The government says the Sydney Metro West project addresses the city’s rapid growth, responding to the needs of the increasing population, which is expected to exceed 6 million within 20 years.

An extra 420,000 people are forecasted to move into the 35km corridor between Greater Parramatta and central Sydney over that time, with more than 300,000 jobs expected to be created by 2036.

The existing western Sydney Trains heavy-rail line serving Parramatta will become severely overcrowded by the early 2030s, moving around 40,000 people in the morning peak and operating at 135% seated capacity.

Metro West will accommodate around 40,000 people per hour per direction.

Transport for NSW will begin engaging with community, industry and key stakeholders in early 2017 to get feedback on the project with the final number and location of potential stations to be identified following these consultations.

In central Sydney the new line will provide easy access to the existing public transport network and Stages 1 and 2 of Sydney Metro, which are currently under construction.

A request for proposals will go out to the industry in late 2017 with a view to starting construction commencing in 2020. The new line will run largely underground and be in operation by the late 2020s.

A light rail line is also planned for Parramatta.