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Hornsby Junction trackwork

Daniel said on Sun 7 January 2018 at 19:17

With the major trackwork at Hornsby this week, the trip from Gosford to St Leonards takes almost twice as long. A slow all stops bus replaces the train between Berowra and Gordon.

For this, we are also being charged higher Opal fares - about $3.50 more each way, despite the increased travel time. The 2 shorter train trips either side of the trackwork bus somehow add up to a higher fare than the usual direct train between Gosford and St Leonards. How is this fair?

The information, signage, announcements and general customer service provided by Sydney Trains about this ongoing disruption has also been terrible, as are the bus replacement options. The only bus from Berowra to Gordon is all stops along the slowest route, whilst the express bus to Central via the M1 does not stop at Chatswood despite driving right past.

The trains that normally travel from the Central Coast to Sydney via the T1 North Shore Line in the morning peak terminate at Berowra - but none of the information tells you that. Station staff at Gosford were also surprised when they checked this for me, initially saying the trains would probably be diverted via Macquarie Park instead of run via Gordon.

I contacted Sydney Trains and also the Transport Minister 2 weeks ago to provide this feedback and offer suggestions for improvement. Sydney Trains dismissed my concerns with a generic form letter response. I've had no response from the Transport Minister or his office.

The trackwork has another 10 days to go. Maybe you can get them to make some improvements before it's too late? At least reverse the overcharging and reimburse those who have been affected.

Parra Light Rail extension to Epping

Listohan said on Wed 22 November 2017 at 17:30

Extending the light rail underground to Epping along the route planned for the Parramatta to Chatswood heavy rail can be justified when one considers the existing Kong Kong like apartment building at Carlingford and the redevelopment planned for the Dundas Valley. Completing the link to the junction at Epping turns the proposed light rail from a dead end into a useful service in both ways as Epping looks even more to Parramatta. There is no need to duplicate the existing Epping to Macquarie Park section. The absence of the Parramatta to Macquarie Park idea says it all. An Eastwood to Macquarie Park connection exists already and is in heavy use (until the government closes it temporarily). Two nodes close to each other as suggested does not make sense.

"Changing" is not the end of the world. If Sydney is to have six million people, changing will become a fact of life. It is what makes public transport in Berlin and other cities the go-to way to get around. The sooner we embrace it the better.

Sydney has topographical challenges which prevent adopting a closely modeled European city-like plan of inter-connecting lines as comprehensively as is needed for people to really start thinking "public transport is for me". But extending the Parramatta light rail to Epping would be the biggest single move likely to move towards the goal of relieving pressure on the CBD and its immediate environs by faciltiating people looking away from the CBD for work.

The future will see the spread of the influence of the digital economy with its enhanced communications. As Sydney grows, it is important for people to have easy access to various commercial hubs by public transport as these hubs grow.

Extend the Parramatta Light Rail to Epping and Macquarie Park, Norwest and Parramatta CBD and the residential areas between those centres will then all be linked by frequent public transport services at most requiring one change at Epping.

We have been realising for some time land is not quite as boundless as our national anthem proclaims. As Sydney grows, we should look to see how other cities which have faced similar pressure in the past have attempted to deal with the issues of previously unforeseen population growth.

Parra Light Rail extension to Epping

Northern Light said on Sun 6 November 2016 at 23:36

Extending the light rail line from Carlingford to Epping in tunnel would be prohibitively expensive and can't be justified. If a tunnel option were to be considered, they might as well build it as a metro to Parramatta, including the Carlingford Line, and that's no longer on the agenda. This would defeat the whole purpose of having a light rail network based on Parramatta.

Equally, a surface route from Carlingford to Epping is impracticable because of the existing 4-lane Carlingford Rd which would have to be widened for its whole length, again at considerable cost in property resumptions, to accommodate the light rail tracks. Then there is the question of where a light rail terminus would be located in the Epping Town Centre to interchange with the existing station. Beecroft Rd isn't an option as it's a heavily congested traffic thoroughfare. Neither is an underground terminus.

The government had previously proposed an option that the light rail link would run to Macquarie Park "via Carlingford", but curiously there was never any mention of Epping. That was assumed by others. Such a link from Epping to Macquarie Park would be a wasteful duplication of the existing rail line, let alone the challenge in actually crossing the Northern Line rail corridor.

What is most puzzling about this whole project is the omission of the preferred route in Parramatta Council's original feasibility study, from Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Eastwood. It didn't even make the shortlist of options in the government's appraisal.

This route is the most direct and fastest and provides an uninterrupted link between Parramatta and Macquarie Park without the need to change, as you would if the route went only to Epping. It also utilises part of the Carlingford Line from Camellia to Dundas and then follows the 6-lane Kissing Point Rd and Eastwood County Rd reservation all the way to Macquarie Park. The government already owns the overwhelming majority of this wide corridor and there would only be minimal resumptions required. The reserved corridor is already there. It beggars belief that it has been completely ignored. The route doesn't preclude the conversion of the remainder of the Carlingford Line to light rail from Dundas to Carlingford as a branch.

There is no compelling reason why a Parramatta to Macquarie Park light rail route has to go through Epping. Eastwood is actually a much larger retail/commercial centre than Epping, but has gone largely unnoticed because it isn't located on a major arterial road (notwithstanding the proposed Eastwood County Rd linking Epping Rd, North Ryde to Kissing Point Rd, Dundas). It can satisfy all of the transport connections the same as Epping and being on a more direct route offer a faster service. A light rail route via Eastwood interchanges with the Northern Line, including Intercity services, and the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link (future metro) at Macquarie University. It also opens up a major new transport corridor from the Northern suburbs to the Western and South Western suburbs.

Although Epping has been nominated as an Urban Activation Precinct (Priority Centre), Eastwood is likely to receive a similar status with the imminent release of the sub-regional district plans by the Greater Sydney Commission. A light rail route via Eastwood would enhance its importance. A DA for a major multi-storey mixed use redevelopment of the Eastwood Shopping Centre worth $276 million has recently been lodged with Ryde Council.

Light rail vs transitway

Active Transport said on Sat 30 April 2016 at 15:10

I agree Martin - more efficient and flexible. Unfortunately buses haven't been allowed to shine as they could. It has also been explained that people like Light Rail because it is predictable - they know where it is and they know it isn't going away. The selling of Light Rail in the South East has been a classic in con-consultation.

The additional travelling time through Central, the reduced number of seats, the loss of direct travel south of Kingsford and to Coogee have been brushed aside. The sun shines when the Light Rail runs there is no discussion about breakdowns and their impacts. There is a 'suck it up' attitude to the reduction in stops with the assumption that it will be good for everyone to walk further. That may be the case for some but for those who are already mobility challenged it will likely translate to fewer outings and these people already marginalized will become even more invisible. The current travel patterns are going to change markedly in the future as universities embrace on-line learning and maximize use of infrastructure and workplace uptake for telework increases.

Driverless cars and small buses are coming but here we are having conversations about the untimely demise of trams in 1961. Does anyone romanticize about typing pools in the same way. Do they remember how few people with mobility problems got around then. Active transport is losing out as well as surface space that was or could be available for cycling/ walking/mobility scooters (along with additional infrastructure like bubblers, seats along corridors).

Norton Street Bus Stops

Rob said on Tue 15 December 2015 at 09:38

There may be some fine tuning required to Transport for NSW's plan for bus stops on Norton Street, but it is hard to quibble with the general approach. A modern, effective bus network should not locate stops 150 metres apart. They should be 300 - 400 metres apart to make bus journeys faster and more competitive with private car travel.

World best practice is for public transport networks to be designed as high frequency grids, which means fewer lines and more transfers, but higher frequency services. In Sydney, we have too many bus lines operating circuitous routes at low frequency. We would be much better off having fewer, more direct lines operating at high frequency, even if this may mean longer waliks to stops and more transfers.

As an example, why does the Balmain peninsula have a confusing multitude of low frequency bus routes? Wouldn't it be better if there were only two - 444 and 441, but both opreating every 10 minutes in off peak and 5 minutes in the peak? Passengers from east of Montague Street who need to go to the city can transfer from the 444 to the 441 at Montague Street, or take the ferry at the end of Darling Street. By having higher frequencies, the service would be much more attractive, but cost no more to operate because there would be fewer routes.

I have the feeling (and hope) that Transport for NSW is starting to move in this direction. I hope also that Action for Public Transport takes a positive and supporting approach to the modernisation of our bus networks.

efficient public transport

george the wog said on Tue 6 October 2015 at 12:46

if you want to spent so much $ to improve Sydney's transport you need to go; subway or skyrail for fast and independent public transport out of the way and not interfearing with other kind of traffic just more of the same .... high five

duplicating city circle train line

Matthew said on Wed 10 June 2015 at 14:32

If there are any plans to duplicate city circle train line funded by power sell-off, they should have East Hills trains go through Redfern on platform 9 and 10, into an underground tunnel to Surrey Hills, to Darlinghurst, to the Domain, to Circular Quay, to Barangaroo and then to Town Hall to link back to Central.

Light rail vs transitway

martin said on Tue 17 March 2015 at 08:34

I support any new public transport initiative, especially the popular light rail concept. But is there any else out there who sees the benefit of the transitway or bus freeway concept? Transitway buses have the ability to intricately serve a local area, then enter a purpose built bus freeway and whisk passengers to a major destination like Parramatta or Sydney city, nearly as quickly as a train. The concept costs less than building a light rail network, and buses have more maneuverability. Due to their smaller capacity, services run more often meaning a shorter waiting time.

Travelling between Strathfield, Campsie, Bexley North and Rockdale by train

martin said on Tue 17 March 2015 at 08:27

Our rail network is city centric: all lines lead to the city. Considering the city of Sydney was very poorly designed, it was never considered that people would travel in concentric circles around the city by train. Given our relatively low population density, it's certain we will never see such lines built.

will more buildings around Canterbury station mean more screaming mothers?

Matthew said on Sat 6 December 2014 at 15:44

will more buildings being built around Canterbury station mean more screaming mothers seeking assistance with prams to an from platform? Occasionally, I heard female seeking assistance from staff to move their pram. Canterbury station have no elevators and the ramp on one platform does not go all the way up as in there are three steps at the top to access bridge over railway. thanks

If travelling between Strathfield, Campsie, Bexley North and Rockdale by train,

Matthew said on Sat 6 December 2014 at 15:10

If travelling between Strathfield, Campsie, Bexley North and Rockdale by train, why do you have to go to the city first? Haven't anyone thought of a direct train line? thanks

"Wire-free" trams for aesthetic reasons is laughable

St George said on Thu 13 November 2014 at 07:39

There are a number of alternative technologies which would enable Sydney's new trams to operate without the conventional overhead wire ("Wire-free light rail pricier way to go", Herald, 11 Nov. 2014). All of them would cost more, both to install and to operate. But to propose "wire-free" trams on the ground of visual aesthetics is laughable.

Far more visually intrusive will be the perforated advertising film which will be applied to the outside of the tram windows. You can't take photos from inside the vehicle, and when it rains, raindrops clinging to the film will render everything outside a blur. For proof of this, just take a ride on a Sydney bus

Wish list for North West Rail Link

Moderator said on Thu 23 October 2014 at 04:12

We must be careful to not make the train destination information more confusing than it is at present. Ideally, the number of different stopping patterns would be reduced, but that's not going to happen. Moving the maximum number of people on Sydney's near-capacity rail system is more important. Also, there is limited space on the in-carriage displays to provide any further information. Passengers must learn to check the platform indicator to ensure that the next train stops at their station.

Wish list for North West Rail Link

Xings said on Fri 17 October 2014 at 12:41

DESIRABLE ON-TRAIN FEATURES - "Next stop" announcements.

If train stops at the minor station of Roseville, it is almost 100% to stop at
* Chatswood (Southbound)
* Lindfield (Northbound)
* No need to study indicators, really.

Things are more complicated at a busy station like Chatswood.
* Going South bound, next stop can be
** Artarmon
** St Leonards
* Important to study indicators if going to Artarmon.
* Going Northbound, next stop can be
** North Ryde (always)
** Roseville
** Lindfield
** Killara
** Gordon (always)
* Important to study indicators if you are going to any of these minor stations.

However when you jump on a train the Inside Indicator only says that you are at "Chatswood", with no mention of the next station North Ryde, Roseville, Lindfield, Killara.
If you are in a hurry, you may overlook the indicators, and catch the wrong train.
The train only says the next stop when you have already left Chatswood.

Can something(s) be done about this?

XINGS 17 Oct 2014

New Public Transport Signs

Xings said on Fri 17 October 2014 at 12:25

Maybe you could have Letters AS WELL AS the pictograms, space permitting ?

XINGS 17 Oct 2014

New Public Transport Signs

John Holt said on Mon 1 September 2014 at 17:20

TfNSW are introducing new public transport signs. These dispense with the familiar and universally used pictograms for train, bus, ferry and light rail and replace these with letters, T, B, F and L. Pictograms are not dependent on language to be understood. Letters are. Why is the state government spending $50 million on signs that no one will understand; visitors from interstate, from Europe and particularly those from Asian countries who will find it difficult to recognise "english" letters let alone understand what they mean.

Along with professional bodies working in this field I have been vocal in objecting to the new signs but TfNSW are blind to any of our arguments. They are ploughing on regardless.

Anyone who has concerns about this matter might like to convey these to their local member or the Minister. As the Design Institute of Australia says " if implemented it will be an unmitigated disaster".

I am happy to receive feedback and comments from Action for Public Transport. Thank you.

Management of the light rail line

Moderator said on Fri 9 May 2014 at 07:36

One of our members had occasion to complain about the behaviour of the crew of a light rail vehicle. He filed appropriate details on the 131500.info website, specifying the date, time, location and vehicle number. After several days' delay, he was contacted by Transdev management and asked for further particulars: "a description of the staff member i.e. approx. age, hair colour, ethnic background etc." Doesn't Transdev keep records of which crews are on their vehicles?

Peculiar Choice for Planning Institute's public engagement award

Northern Spirit said on Wed 26 March 2014 at 17:58

The Planning Institute has obviously been conned as well. It doesn't do much for their credibility.

Wish list for North West Rail Link

Moderator said on Sun 23 March 2014 at 13:44

The following list was compiled from numerous web discussion boards and other sources. We have no intention of discussing particular items here:




Also see, for example, the lists of features on the GoldLinQ website:

"At all of the 16 stations you can expect to find:

"Some of GoldLinQ's stations will also have:

Wish list for North West Rail Link

Northern Light said on Tue 18 March 2014 at 19:03

Could you possibly supply a link to your submission?

GPSC 3 inquiry - access fees at airport railway stations

Moderator said on Fri 8 November 2013 at 14:24


Presumably to protect submitters from defamation actions etc., all submissions are copyright and cannot be shown unless permission is obtained from the Committee.

Our submission might be published by the Committee on its website later.

Meanwhile, you are able to make a personal submission until Wednesday 13 November.

GPSC 3 inquiry - access fees at airport railway stations

Simon said on Fri 8 November 2013 at 13:42

Might we know the thrust of APT's submission to the inquiry?

IMO - the state ought to buy out the remainder of the contract and reduce the fees. Only then does it become cost effective to do so.

Why does light rail dominate bus rapid transit in Australian urban planning?

Simon said on Tue 22 October 2013 at 13:01

Last I heard, academics are encouraged to work with industry as much as they can.

Why does light rail dominate bus rapid transit in Australian urban planning?

BRT Realist said on Sun 13 October 2013 at 15:26

Simon said on Tue 10 September 2013 at 20:15 How about backing that up, BRT_realist?

See the following.

BRT Realist

An extract from http://sydney.edu.au/business/itls:

The Director of ITLS-Sydney is Professor David Hensher (Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia) http://sydney.edu.au/business/itls/staff/davidh, regarded as one of Australia's most eminent transport academics and someone in high demand as an adviser to industry and government.

A major strength of ITLS-Sydney is its success and reputation in developing and delivering industry-based award and non-award courses throughout Australia in all modes of delivery (i.e., face to face, distance and on-line internet). To illustrate this capability I refer to the very strong association and quality partnership forged between ITLS and the Bus and Coach Association of NSW (and subsequently with BCA of Western Australia) and recently with the Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW. Fuller details are provided in Annex A.

Annex A

The Quality Partnership between ITLS and the Bus and Coach Association (BCA) (NSW)

The 1990 Passenger Transport Act in NSW was a major threshold of change for the bus and coach industry. It challenged the BCA to understand the implications of the forces of change that were heralding in alternative ways of delivering services such as competitive tendering, compliance with minimum service levels, performance benchmarking of operators who do not compete head on with each other (eg scheduled route services in urban areas), and economic deregulation. The BCA together with the government of the day and ITLS saw a need for ways of ensuring that self-regulation of the industry could be met through better managed bus and coach businesses.

This began one of the greatest success stories in management training the introduction of the Certificate of Transport Management (CTM) and the Certificate of Coach Management (CCM). Both programs continue to be important instruments in the self-regulation of the industry and have assisted operators address current issues. Over 3,500 people have now completed the programs. Annual participants average 200. A growing proportion of participants are manufacturers, regulators and new entrants all of whom find the program the best way of getting to know the bus and coach industry. The program has eroded many barriers of communication and added enormous pride to membership of the industry. In particular it has broken down barriers between industry and academia. Increasingly each year we have a few operators moving from the industry Certificate of Transport Management into ITLS's Graduate Certificate of Transport Management and articulating up to a Master of Transport Management (MTM).

Strength of Relationship

The relationship between ITLS and the BCA is extremely strong to such an extent that it is frequently referred to as the family by both parties, and in partnership is recognised by government as an icon of what can be achieved through cooperative joint ventures.

The extent of involvement includes:

  1. All modules in the certificate programs being taught equally by industry personnel and academics in ITLS. Industry personnel include the Executive Director of the BCA, bus operators, and representatives from the NSW Ministry of Transport. Academics teaching in the program are Professor David Hensher and John Rose.
  2. A quality partnership in research programs in ITLS that is in part funded by the BCA through an annual donation since 2000 and earlier funding through donation of a senior lectureship over 6 years plus numerous grants for specific research. The following are examples of important contributions to the BCAs knowledge base:
  3. The safety of school children on buses (where evidence showed conclusively how safe buses really are).
  4. The cost of providing accessible bus transport under the Disability Discrimination Act. A major side-benefit of this study was the development of a software program for an operator to identify the appropriate time to replace a bus and/or coach given the financial constraint, compliance with maximum average age and compliance with the DDA conditions.
  5. Monitoring of the challenges facing the bus and coach industry given the dominant role of the car.
  6. The development of arguments to support bus-based transitways as a more cost effective alternative to light rail.

Opal Card Fails the Integration Test

Northern Light said on Wed 2 October 2013 at 19:55

From my limited knowledge, it appears that one of the major obstacles in implementing a "Smart Card" system such as Opal has been the unwillingness of the government of the day, and this includes the previous Labor government, to restructure and simplify the fare system where for example outer suburban fares would have to be increased relative to commuters in the Sydney metro area and interchange between modes would necessitate a reduction. This has been unpalatable for both sides of politics.

But this is the only way it could work. Treasury may not like it because it could potentially reduce the income stream from public transport usage (if in fact that were to be the case), but you have to ask the question, who is actually running the government, Treasury or the elected politicians?

It's time the latter toughened up and showed some intestinal fortitude by asserting their authority.

Opal Card Fails the Integration Test

ferryman said on Tue 1 October 2013 at 13:59

It is hard to fathom why the Opal Card has such a poorly conceived fare structure. Is it the unwelcome influence of Treasury officials, with reductionist fetishes and little understanding or affection for public transport? Or is it possible that the science of public transport is poorly understood even by policy advisors in Transport for NSW?

Here are three suggestions for the Minister for Transport before too much more destruction occurs:

  1. The Minister should send her advisors on a fact finding fact trip to Munich and other European cities to learn about network design and fare structures to support integrated public transport.
  2. Anybody contributing advice on public transport fare policy, including IPART, should be compelled to first read the late Paul Mees' book "Transport for Suburbia". Even a lazy economist would learn a lot from it.
  3. Either restructure IPART so that public transport fares are considered as a whole, or even better, leave IPART out of the picture altogether, as a shrewd transport bureaucrat obviously did when the MyZone structure was introduced in 2010.

Why does light rail dominate bus rapid transit in Australian urban planning?

Simon said on Tue 10 September 2013 at 20:15

How about backing that up, BRT_realist?

Why does light rail dominate bus rapid transit in Australian urban planning?

BRT realist said on Wed 4 September 2013 at 20:10

I find it less than honest that you continue to highlight the propaganda of Professor Hensher who is well recognised as a paid pusher of Bus Rapid Transport and whose credibility is recognised as lacking by most transport professionals.

BRT realist

Academics fault O'Farrell expansion policy

Chesswood said on Sun 1 September 2013 at 13:18

In a new book Made in Australia - The Future of Australian Cities, authors Richard Weller and Julian Bolleter draw attention to Barry O'Farrell's statement that 50% of the additional population Sydney is expected to have by 2056 will be accommodated in current greenfield areas. According to Weller and Bolleter, there is not enough greenfield land to house more than about 10% of the addition.

They wonder whether O'Farrell will terrace the Blue Mountains or perhaps use national park land for new suburbs!

NWRL: issues of single-deck versus double-deck trains

Northern Light said on Mon 26 August 2013 at 22:07

Sorry, I still don't accept your analysis of the relative merits of single-deck and double-deck rolling stock nor the practicality of connecting a new link from St Leonards to the existing North Sydney Station via Crows Nest or from Waverton to Victoria Cross (Mount St) to a new cross harbour tunnel and CBD rail link. Even if such links were feasible, there is no reason why new double-deck trains couldn't be upgraded with more powerful traction motors to match the performance of single deck trains. New rolling stock would be required whichever way you look at it.

The most logical link to a new cross harbour tunnel and CBD rail link is from St Leonards to Victoria Cross via Crows Nest. Crows Nest is likely to have a significantly greater passenger flow than Wollstonecraft and Waverton combined. A new cross harbour link could be connected at St Leonards to either the existing North Shore Line tracks or the extended quad tracks from Chatswood. This is the link that could maximize line capacity with double-deck operation because of improved signaling and better station design. The existing North Shore Line could also be upgraded to 24tph for double-deck operation. If a single-deck operation was to be implemented from Gordon, then I suggest it would be more appropriate to utilise the link from St Leonards to the CBD via Crows Nest and the new cross harbour tunnel.

On the issue of the relative line capacities of single-deck and double-deck operations, I fail to see why you should ignore crush capacity for double-deck trains and yet accept such figures for single-deck trains as being an acceptable benchmark. You have to compare apples with apples. I acknowledge that there is a limit to about 24tph with upgraded signaling to the existing Western Line/North Shore Line, but a new cross harbour/CBD rail link with improved signaling and station design should be able to accommodate 30tph for both single and double deck operation. As I understand it, the Paris RER double-deck operation is aspiring to 37.5tph (90 second headways). It shouldn't be forgotten that a new CBD rail link would also reduce the impact of interchanging at the most congested CBD stations at Central, Town Hall and Wynyard (3 stations on the whole network).

In my opinion, there is no justification to bastardize the existing Sydney Rail Network by converting parts of it to "metro" operation. It will only result in a disjointed network which will ultimately prove to be unviable.

NWRL: issues of single-deck versus double-deck trains

Moderator said on Mon 26 August 2013 at 15:46

In answer to Northern Light's question re the North Shore, the idea is to run double deck via Crows Nest and into the existing North Sydney station and over the bridge, while the single deck cross harbour link connects to Waverton via a station under Mount Street. This is possible because metro trains are specified for 4.5% grades, rather than 3.3% for double deck.

See our letter to the Minister of 26 June.

Overcrowded off-peak Sydney-Newcastle trains

Moderator said on Sun 25 August 2013 at 08:11

We understand that the weekday 13:31 ex Newcastle regularly experiences overcrowding from Gosford. The train is a four-car set.

Despite this, the leaked October timetable shows all Up trains from Newcastle between noon and at least 16:19 are to be four-car trains. Perhaps this should be reviewed in the light of the reported overcrowding.

NWRL: issues of single-deck versus double-deck trains

Northern Light said on Sat 24 August 2013 at 22:10

Although I'm not totally convinced of the need to re-introduce single-deck trains to Sydney, I acknowledge that it is a debate we need to have.

You raise some interesting points in your comparative analysis of single-deck and double-deck train operations, but I think we should start from a level playing field. We should compare the relative theoretical crush load capacities of the two types of rolling stock, although in practice this may not always be realised. Based on your estimates, a single-deck train should have a crush load capacity of 1,300, with 500 seated and 800 standing at 4 passengers per sq m. In my opinion, the same basis should be applied for double-deck trains, which would give a crush load capacity of 1,700, with 900 seated and 800 standing at the same standing room density. Running 30 single-deck trains per hour gives a theoretical line capacity of 39,000 passengers per hour and with 24 double-deck trains per hour, a line capacity of 40,800 passengers per hour.

Looking at a more conservative and realistic assessment of standing passengers at 2 per sq m for each type of rolling stock, this would equate to 900 (500 seated plus 400 standing) for single-deck and 1,300 (900 seated plus 400 standing) for double-deck. This equates to line capacity of 27,000 per hour for single-deck (30tph) and 31,200 per hour for double-deck (24tph). A new cross harbour tunnel and CBD Rail Link should be able to run 30 double-deck trains per hour with improved signaling and wider station platforms, giving a crush load capacity of 51,000 per hour or 39,000 per hour using the more conservative loading figures. Whichever way you look at it, double-deckers are streets ahead of single-deckers.

With regard to your suggested network opportunities on the assumption that single-deck trains are introduced, I can't quite follow your reasoning for running an all stations service from Gordon, serving Waverton and Wollstonecraft, via the new cross harbour and CBD link. Surely Waverton and Wollstonecraft would continue to be served by trains on the existing route via the Harbour Bridge and City Railway to the Western Line. You possibly meant that such services would travel from St Leonards via Crows Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney) then via the cross harbour tunnel and CBD Link.

Putting aside the issue of driverless trains, it would be more advantageous if a whole of network approach was embraced, so that single-deck and double-deck trains could operate compatibly over the same tracks, providing greater operational flexibility.

I continue to be puzzled by the push by the Transport bureaucracy to convert parts of Sydney's suburban railway system to "metro" or "rapid transit" operation, because they are completely different modes of rail service. Sydney is not London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong or even Singapore, which are well served by "metro" systems in their densely populated inner urban areas. With the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore, these cities are also served by extensive suburban rail operations extending into the outer suburbs, which have more in common with Sydney's rail network.

This is the basis on which Sydney's network should be judged and aspire to world's best practice for this type of rail operation.

Can overcrowding on the Western rail lines be relieved?

Northern Light said on Wed 17 July 2013 at 00:36

With regard to the rerouting of Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Canberra and also presumably through Southern Highlands services, via the East Hills Line when the new timetable is introduced in October, I don't quite understand your statement that their rerouting will take these services away from "suburban track earmarked for eventual conversion to metro-style single deck services".

The most likely tracks for conversation to metro operation will be the Illawarra Local tracks which connect directly with the Bankstown Line and which is also earmarked for conversion. Intercity/Regional services to the Southern Line from Sydney Terminal via the East Hills Line will connect via the Illawarra Dive at Redfern to the Illawarra Main tracks just before Erskineville and will have to cross over to the Illawarra Local tracks to gain access to the East Hills Line at Wolli Creek Junction. If the metro conversion is implemented, these services will be denied access to the East Hills Line, unless a flyover or underpass is constructed, otherwise they will have to revert to the previous route via Strathfield. The connection to the East Hills Line will effectively become redundant because of the incompatibility of the 2 systems. All Sydney Trains services to and from the south west via the East Hills Line, including the South West Rail Link, will be forced onto the Airport Line as they will also be denied access to and from the city via Sydenham.

As you correctly point out, coal and other freight movement on the Illawarra Line is also a critical factor. There is no guarantee that the Maldon-Dombarton railway will be completed to allow freight from the Western and Northern Lines to bypass the line from Sydenham to Port Kembla (although common sense says it should be). If it isn't, then the only alternative would be via Moss Vale and Robertson, which is much longer and considerably slower and more expensive for freight forwarders.

It just demonstrates how compromised the remaining network will become to accommodate an ideological obsession to privatise sections of the rail network by converting it to a separate incompatible metro operation.

What is the alternative? In an ideal world I would like to see the whole concept of conversion to metro operation scrapped completely. By all means construct a metro system, restricted to inner city suburbs, but separate from the existing rail network. The current plan for the NWRL and the future second cross harbour tunnel does nothing to address congestion and future expansion of the existing rail network, particularly on the Western, Southern and Northern Lines.

For a start, I would complete the sextup between Sydenham and Erskineville which would allow the Bankstown Line to be separated from the Illawarra Line tracks. It should be then connected to the existing Illawarra Local tracks (renamed the Bankstown Line) north of Erskineville Station to run directly into the City Circle (Platforms 20 & 22 at Central). In turn, the current Illawarra Local tracks through Erskineville should be slewed to the Illawarra Main tracks, which connect to the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal and also platforms 9 & 10 at Redfern. The Illawarra Local, which also connects with the East Hills Line express tracks, would effectively become the Illawarra Main, catering for express services from the Illawarra and East Hills Lines (including Intercity/Regional services). The current Illawarra Main connecting to the Eastern Suburbs Railway would become the Illawarra Local catering mainly for all stations services.

The renamed Illawarra Main tracks from Erskineville through platforms 9 & 10 at Redfern would ultimately connect with a new CBD rail link and second harbour crossing via the unused underground platforms 26 & 27 at Central. An underground link would also be constructed from the Western Line Main tracks at Eveleigh to the unused underground platforms at Redfern, which would also connect with platforms 26 & 27 at Central. All 14 platforms at Redfern (10 a/g + 4 u/g) would then be fully utilised. The new CBD rail link would then cater for future growth from the Western, East Hills and Illawarra Lines.

Although the current proposal for the NWRL as a stand alone metro service now seems inevitable, the future extension via a second harbour crossing and conversion of the Bankstown and Hurstville Lines will be decades away and a future government could change the whole strategy. If the NWRL remains an isolated sector, then so be it. That's the price we have to pay to maintain the integrity of the overall rail network.

Tangara reduced seating trial - but more standing

Moderator said on Sun 14 July 2013 at 13:29

The carriages concerned are 5131 (longitudinal seat on one side) and 5134 (triple seats replaced by double; one double replaced by a single). The former has floor-to-ceiling grab poles - see http//www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/b2b/resources/images/tangara-web.jpg - and no doubt a few protruding ankles.

Tangara reduced seating trial - but more standing

Peter in Sydney said on Sun 14 July 2013 at 10:22

Dwell times cannot be enhanced by adding an extra 80 passengers per carriage but capacity can. There is a twofold reason that dwell times will reduce. Firstly the obvious that there will be some of those extra passengers wishing to alight at our two dwell time compromised stations of Town Hall and Wynyard. Secondly the extra passengers not wishing to alight will obstruct those that are alighting.

In the case of the upstairs section I can see that not providing grab straps would result in 2 standees per row instead of the current one and could provide zig zag path for movement as well. I have not seen a photo of the lower section but if the triple seat was changed to longitudinal then you are indeed correct intimating the need for handgrips. There would be effectively a 3 seat wide aisle the whole length of the lower section with the only handgrips being at the edge of the double seats.

North West Rail Link Tunnel Diameter

Northern Light said on Sat 22 June 2013 at 19:23

Gladys can obfuscate all she likes to the NSW Parliament without answering a direct simple question, but Gladys, please don't treat the general public like mugs because there are enough of us out here who know what your game is. If anyone is disgraceful, it is you. You have lost all credibility and it will come home to haunt you (and I'm a Liberal voter).

South East Light Rail Route

Moderator said on Wed 19 June 2013 at 16:29

Action for Public Transport was told last week that years ago UNSW identified their preferred route for light rail as to Redfern station, not Central.

This is not only because in most cases Redfern makes for shorter train trips but also because it's quicker to get to than Central. Going to Redfern doesn't waste time passing through the Moore Park and Sydney Cricket Ground area. Sportsgrounds do not often generate many trips. While occasional large crowds occur, they do so on only a very few days per year and hence do not justify large expenditure.

South East Light Rail Route

PUSH said on Tue 18 June 2013 at 20:51

The $100m assumption for property acquisition is based on the 69 apartments in the Olivia Gardens complex that would be demolished for a Devonshire Street surface route. There may be further costs for acquisition as there are homes on Devonshire Street with only street front access.

VIVID festival transport

Moderator said on Sun 16 June 2013 at 07:22

The VIVID festival was on each night 8th-10th June. So far we have had reports of

. Have you anything to add? We'll compile it all and send a letter to the Minister suggesting better planning for next time.

South East Light Rail Route

SE Light Rail = HEAVY FAIL said on Wed 12 June 2013 at 15:23

I was told that the cost of $100mn+ was made up of announced plan to acquire apartment block at end of Devonshire St plus a figure for several other properties likely to be compulsorily acquired.

Parramatta to Epping Rail Link

Northern Light said on Sun 2 June 2013 at 19:35

I predict that the Parramatta to Epping Rail Link is never going to happen, not only because of the difficulty of integrating it with the new "Rapid Transit" concept for the North West Rail Link, but also because the more cost effective Western Sydney Light Rail Network proposed by Parramatta City Council is more likely to gain support.

The initial stage of the Light Rail is for a line from Castle Hill to Parramatta and then continuing from Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Eastwood, with the latter section effectively replacing the Parramatta to Epping Rail Link.

IMO this should have been the route for the western portion of the Parramatta to Chatswood Rail Link in the first place as it is the most direct and fastest between Parramatta and Macquarie Park.

Although it was the most expensive option (and we still don't know by how much), the cheapest option via Carlingford and Epping was chosen because it utilised most of the existing Carlingford Line infrastructure, even though it is steeper, with tight curvature restricting average speeds and 3 km longer.

South East Light Rail Route

St George said on Wed 29 May 2013 at 20:57

APT has advised that the short answer to both of Brendan's questions is "No".

South East Light Rail Route

Brendan said on Wed 29 May 2013 at 16:16

I heard that T4NSW has replied to your submission regarding the south-east light rail and has advised that a cut and cover tunnel is being considered to go under Moore Park and cross Anzac Parade. Do you have any further details on this? Did they respond with any information about the traffic light priority situation further south on Anzac Parade?

NWRL tunnel diameter

vacuous reply from Minister said on Sun 19 May 2013 at 12:02

Regarding the Minister's comment "increasing the capacity through Sydney's most heavily used transit corridor". This is actually incorrect. The most heavily used transit corridor is in fact the Western Line, particularly if you add the Blue Mountains and/or the Northern Line into it.

The 'hop' logo

Peter in Sydney said on Tue 23 April 2013 at 18:49

Are you aware that HOP is the name of the Auckland Transport smart card?

South East Light Rail Route

Moderator said on Tue 23 April 2013 at 09:40

If Simon is referring to the Action for Public Transport submission, http:///www.aptnsw.org.au/documents/selr_pre-eis.html, then:

We don't draw any firm conclusions from the comparison. We are simply making the point that the SE light rail project needs to give serious attention to travel times. Underlying our submission is an awareness that Sydney has a long history of refining the roads system to reduce travel times for private motorists. Roads minister Gay distills that in his own way, in his opposition to cycleways, rainbow pedestrian crossings, or anything else which might upset the "roads lobby". Despite recent concessions to bus priority, there is continuing evidence that "keeping motor vehicles moving" is still the mantra at TfNSW. Hence our concerns about light rail at light-controlled intersections.

South East Light Rail Route

Simon said on Sat 20 April 2013 at 13:09

You note that the travel time proposed is approximately double the 891 travel time? What conclusions do you draw from that?

I think it draws into question the whole project.

South East Light Rail Route

Chesswood said on Tue 9 April 2013 at 17:16

PUSH, would you please clarify how the Devonshire St route will entail $100M in resumptions? Where will they be? Thanks

South East Light Rail Route

PUSH said on Tue 9 April 2013 at 14:15

PUSH (People Unite Surry Hills) would like to understand how other people and communities feel about the government's chosen route through Surry Hills for the light rail project.

PUSH - People Unite Surry Hills Action group was established in response to the local community's grave concern over the proposed SE Light Rail, and its route from Central Station to Randwick straight through the heart of Surry Hills, along Devonshire Street.

Surry Hills is a thriving community with distinct commercial districts and streets sitting alongside restored residential blocks. Surry Hills has been gentrified into one of the most sought after residential and business areas in Sydney, and is the only awarded neighborhood internationally, listed alongside Arrondissement in Paris, New York's SoHo and Tokyo's Harajuku; drawing local, regional and international tourism revenue to the City of Sydney and the state of NSW.

The proposed South East Light Rail route along Devonshire Street bisects Surry Hills, requiring the compulsory acquisition of over $100+million in homes and destruction of historic parklands, in order to become a major transport corridor, with no net benefit to Surry Hills, which is already well serviced with transport.

Devonshire Street is narrow and adjacent residents will suffer noise impacts over many hours each day, along with loss of access and parking. It will cause amenity impacts to adjacent residents and create safety risks for the large numbers of pedestrians and cyclists in this village. The two trains are equivalent to 6+m wide and 45m long (5 standard bus lengths) and Devonshire Street is between 7.5-8.8m wide.

The local businesses are at great risk of not surviving the long construction period. The Gold Coast construction gives a lot of evidence that they won't.

There are alternatives sustainable routes that respect existing traffic corridors and where trams went before. With urban infrastructure failing to keep pace with the growing population, we would like to understand why other, existing routes, which seem to provide greater flexibility for extensions to rapidly growing suburbs, have either been discounted or not considered.

PUSH would like to see equal weight given to the detailed analysis across the potential routes such as Oxford, Campbell, Albion and Foveaux Streets. Until this information is known, with the same criteria, we question how we can have a meaningful discussion about who has to wear the impact - Surry Hills with local residents and businesses suffering, along with Sydney commuters. Or the State Government/Treasury through costing a fraction more for travel time to Central (but not the CBD) but with a larger benefit for a wider community, and less cost to construct?

At $1.6 billion for 12km, or $133 million per km, this may be the most expensive light rail line in human history; and every tax- and rate-paying citizen of NSW should be asking questions.

Northern Beaches BRT

St George said on Sat 2 February 2013 at 08:55

APT is certainly interested in the subject. We will make a submission if we consider it worthwhile.

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