Build it and they will come, the saying goes. That is what they used to do with train and tram lines. They were extended out into undeveloped suburban areas and hey presto, development happened. While I was thinking of the early 20th century, there is a more recent example, London's Docklands and the DLR, Docklands Light Rail.
Parts of it and some stations were in no man's land in the disused docks area land and what happened? Development expanded out from the DLR. It became a victim of its own success and has been extended and upgraded many times since it opened in 1987.
It really does look like a new light rail may be built in Sydney, right through the centre of the city. The question the authorities need to be asking themselves now is what they are going to do when it turns out to far busy than expectations, which is what happened with the DLR.
Yesterday in greater Melbourne two new railway stations opened and a extension to an existing railway line with a new station opened. The extension which takes three minutes to travel along cost around half a billion dollars, a mine boggling figure and viewed suspiciously by many. But this is the cost of building through existing areas, even though the new line followed a disused old railway line.
Rail corridors need to be a part of all housing developments in the mega growth outer areas. Even in the above with an existing old corridor, the government vacillated for years about it, when it was clearly needed and work on extending the line even further needs to begin post haste.
Our State Transport Minister has recently said that people wanted roads for their cars in the past and now they want trains. So get to it Minister.