Thousands of commuters from inner west and south-west Sydney would be unable to catch trains direct to Redfern or Sydney University under the Baird government's plans for the future of the rail system.
Under the plans, the Bankstown Line between Bankstown and Sydenham would be converted to running privately operated single-deck trains, linking to northern Sydney through another harbour crossing.
But those trains would not stop between Sydenham and Central. This means commuters from inner west stations like Marrickville, Canterbury or Campsie would lose their direct link to Redfern or the fast-growing areas like St Peters and Erskineville.
To win support for its program of electricity privatisation, the Baird government released maps of what another harbour rail crossing would look like and said work could start on the project within two to three years if the privatisation was successful.
The new rail crossing, which would be privately operated, would connect to the north-west rail link at Chatswood. Three new stations would be built in central Sydney, but there would then be a distance of about 6 kilometres before the next station at Sydenham.
This is despite the fact the new line would run single-deck trains with more doors that allow people to get on and off quickly; the type of service that in overseas cities typically operates in densely populated areas with stations close together.
There are also no stops planned at northern Sydney employment hubs like Artarmon.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the government may consider more stations at another time.
Ms Berejiklian also said that a previous commitment to convert the Illawarra Line to Hurstville to running single-deck trains linked to the new harbour crossing remained in the government's plans despite not being included in the privatisation promise.
It is understood Transport for NSW is struggling to work out how to allow freight trains to continue running on tracks it wants to convert to the new metro-style trains.
"We are building a brand new railway that will move more people, more quickly and more reliably than we have ever seen before in Sydney – and future proof our rail network for generations to come," Ms Berejiklian said.
Associate Professor Garry Glazebrook from the University of Technology Sydney said the reason there were no stops slated between Central and Sydenham was because the new line was being planned to run in a deep tunnel.
"There is a case for having a stop under Sydney University, serving the north Newtown end of things," Professor Glazebrook said.
Labor transport spokeswoman Penny Sharpe said the government's plans represented "lines on a map that have not been well thought through at all''.
"There are huge implications from the failure to stop at Redfern and what that would mean for places like St Peters and Erskineville," Ms Sharpe said.
The story Planned new rail line would cut direct trains from inner west to Redfern, Sydney University first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.