Hawkesbury commuters will have to switch trains late at night as part of changes to the Sydney Trains timetable which come into effect later this year.
A NSW Transport spokesperson said Richmond customers would continue to have direct access to and from the Sydney CBD in all time periods except late at night throughout the week, and early in the morning on weekends.
“During these time periods, customers travelling between Marayong and Richmond will benefit from improved service frequency, with a T5 Cumberland Line train every 30 minutes rather than having to wait one hour between services as they do today,” the spokesperson said.
“This also gives Richmond branch customers direct access to Merrylands and stations south on the Cumberland Line during these time periods.”
The spokesperson said that around 85 per cent of customers travelling west of Blacktown late at night are travelling towards Penrith.
“In order to provide more services for these customers, T1 Western Line customers on the Richmond branch west of Blacktown, travelling to and from Sydney CBD will be required to change trains at Parramatta during these times.
“Changing trains at Parramatta will be the same platform and the wait time will be minimised.
“While some journeys may be slightly longer, this is all about meeting the needs of the majority of our customers and gearing up for the future.
“We’re still finalising the remaining aspects of the timetable and further information will be made available to customers well in advance.”
With the T1 Western Line under the greatest strain from overcrowding, the state government unveiled plans for about 250 express trains each week between Parramatta and the CBD on that link, which includes 20 during peak hours.
Sydney Trains will also start a new direct link between the inner west and Parramatta on the T2 Line on weekdays. Inner-west services to Sydney's CBD will run as frequently as every six minutes during peak periods.
The other major changes to the Western and Inner West lines – some of the busiest on the city's overstretched network – include a doubling of late-night services between the CBD and Penrith on the T1 Line.