EFFORTS are being made to rescue Sydney’s 3·6 km embryonic light rail line from oblivion. Right from the start, success depended on the route being extended north into the city centre. But opposition from shop owners to trams along the Pitt Street pedestrian mall has prevented approval for the extension, and neither the New South Wales government nor the city council wish to rock the boat before council elections next year.

The embargo on the extension through the city has prompted a study to see if the line can be extended west. There has always been a plan to extend to Lilyfield, but a further extension could be along a freight line and through the inner west suburbs to Leichhardt, Dulwich Hill and Ashfield. o