Transport in Western Sydney

Weaving a dramatic web across the landscape of Western Sydney, the roads, railways, rivers and aerodromes define the progress of settlement in a way that little else can. Transport reflects shifts in technology, movement of people, and the rise and fall of towns and cities. The history of transport in Western Sydney is as old as European settlement, and contains a spectacular gallery of achievements which continue through to the present day. From the first road over the Blue Mountains to the first railway in NSW, the first airships and the glorious days of pioneer aviation to the River traders which plied the Hawkesbury-Nepean river, the history of our transport is littered with well-known names: Bass & Flinders, William Cox, Governor Phillip, Hargraves, Kingsford-Smith, W.E. Hart, Whitton, and Jean Batten.

The history of transport is riddled with politics: who stood to gain from the route of the new railways, locations of platforms, re-direction of roads. This feature continues: who can ignore the conflicts and intrigues surrounding such enterprises as the second Sydney airport, or the various new motorways - the M2, M4, and M5 - cutting their way through suburbia.

Despite the great names, and the romance of travel, not all of the history of transport is beautiful. From the first air crash in Australia to the carnage of the Granville rail disaster. Western Sydney has seen the heyday of rail travel come and go, the rise and fall of river transportation, and the concrete jungles of road gobbling up what little space is left to satisfy the greed of developers - with their need to pave the world - and the chronic dependence of individuals on their own motor cars.

The development of Western Sydney in not complete, and the need for new transport links of all varieties will become apparent. The beginning of the new milennium will see the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games staged in the Western Sydney region: a special event with unique transport requirements.