A couple of smaller updates that probably wouldn’t warrant a dedicated post, so I’m doing them all together
Freight rail upgrade progressing
The first stage of works on Sydney’s freight rail lines has been completed, with an upgrade and reconfiguration of the rail yard at Port Botany now finished. This forms part of a greater overall freight rail network, that will both take trucks off the road and segregate freight trains from commuter trains. It will link up to the existing freight rail network around Chullora/Enfield and eventually be linked to the Southern Sydney Freight Line and Northern Sydney Freight Line, which will connect freight from Sydney through to Melbourne and Brisbane.
Opal rollout starts in CBD stations
New Opal card readers are being installed in rail stations in the CBD (photos at Central and Wynyard) aswell as ferry stops. The Opal card is set to begin on ferries later this year before eventually rolling out to trains, buses and light rail.
Hobart and Canberra show interest in Sydney’s monorail.
Both Hobart and Canberra have mentioned potential interest in purchasing the Sydney monorail when it is finally dismantled by the NSW government following its purchase of the company that owns the monorail. The Canberra bid seems a bit dire, and almost seems like a light rail proposal with “light rail” crossed out and replaced with “monorail”. Hobart, on the other hand, with its compact CBD and lack of major public transport infrastructure, might possibly have a case. Why they would want to go with a 25 year old piece of technology that needs significant upgrade and repairs is beyond me, but if they want to buy it then they are more than entitled to.
On the topic of the monorail, a great Sydney based parody of the classic Simpons monorail song has emerged. I can’t embed it here, so check out the Sydney Morning Herald website to see it for yourself.