Why is there no platform 1 at Wynyard or St Leonards?

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Transport
Tags: , , , , ,

To explain this, it helps to understand platform numbering.

On all train stations in Sydney, platform 1 is always on the left hand side of the station when facing in the direction of Central Station. In addition, trains always travel on the left track, in the same way cars always drive on the left hand side of the road. As a result, trains on platform 1 always go to Central; while at stations with 2 platforms, trains on platform 2 always come from Central. Tracks with trains going into Central are called up tracks, while tracks with trains coming from Central are called down tracks.

(In some cases it gets a bit complicated. For example, the direction of Central on the City Circle is a bit tricky, and based on starting at Central itself and going counter-clockwise to Town Hall via Museum. Also, when there are multiple pairs of tracks the direction of trains either alternates: up/down/up/down/etc, or get paired up: up/up/down/down.)

Platform 1 at Wynyard Station

Wynyard station has platforms 3 & 4 (North Shore/Northern/Western Line trains) and platforms 5 & 6 (City Circle trains), but is missing platforms 1 & 2. It did use to have platforms 1 & 2 for trams that crossed the Harbour Bridge and then terminated at Wynyard in the CBD. These platforms were reserved for a future rail line to the Northern Beaches, using the Eastern 2 lanes on the Bridge and 2 of the 4 platforms at North Sydney.

Today it has been turned into a car park, but you can see the tram/train style design of the tunnels. The lanes on the Harbour Bridge are now used by cars, though one of the two was converted into a bus lane when the Harbour Tunnel opened about 20 years ago.

Platform 1 at St Leonards Station

The original St Leonards Station was built in 1890 on its current location North of the Pacific Highway. However, in 1989 it was relocated to a temporary station South of the Pacific Highway so that a new station could be constructed. This was completed in the year 2000.

Meanwhile, in 1998, the government announced it would build the Parramatta Rail Link. This would start at Parramatta, connect up to the Carlingford Line, then travel through a tunnel to Chatswood via Epping, before continuing South to St Leonards. Part of this was an amplification of the track between St Leonards and Chatswood, from 2 tracks to 4, in order to allow trains from Parramatta to terminate at St Leonards and turn around to go back to Parramatta without disrupting trains on the North Shore Line.

However, budgetary constraints meant that the Epping to Parramatta portion of the line was cancelled in 2003, as was the quadruplication of the Chatswood to St Leonards portion. But the new St Leonards Station had opened 3 years earlier, to the specification of and with the expectation that it would be a 4 platform station, not just a 2 platform station. Hence, while only the inner 2 platforms (2 and 3) have tracks on them, the 2 outer platforms (1 and 4) have no tracks and a fence to keep people out.

The missing platform 1 at St Leonards can be seen on the left, with the train actually on platform 2. There is a space on the far right for a platform 4. Click to enlarge. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The missing platform 1 at St Leonards can be seen on the left, with the train actually on platform 2. There is a space on the far right for a platform 4. Click to enlarge. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Today the Chatswood to St Leonards quadruplication is set to form the start of the Second Harbour Rail Crossing (and the only part that will be above ground), a new rail line connecting Redfern to Chatswood. It will then connect to the North West Rail Link on the Northern end, and the Bankstown and Illawarra Lines on the Southern end (but only through to Cabramatta/Lidcombe and Hurstville respectively).

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Comments
  1. Dullsteamer says:

    “…trains always travel on the left track, in the same way cars always drive on the left hand side of the road.”

    That’s not always the case. The Illawarra line between Hurstville and Sutherland is signalled for bi-directional running – trains may run in either direction on either track. Hurstville to Oatley operates under yard working, Oatley to Sutho uses half-pilot staffs. Waterfall to Wollongong is bi-directional, as is Cowan to Hawkesbury River. The relief road between North Strathfield and Rhodes is also bi-di.

    From an operational perspective, there is no up or down on the City Circle. Trains running via Town Hall are on the City Outer, and those running via Museum are on the City Inner. Run numbers change over at Circular Quay.

  2. Rails says:

    Good article. For the proposed Single Deck second harbour rail crossing it will be interesting to see how they re-work St Leonards station, including how they change the current tracks and platforms since based on the Chatswood configuration the NWRL/ ECRL will need to use the middle tracks and the North Shore line needs to use the outer tracks, so one would assume the currently unused outer platforms too. From here you must then ask where the ECRL/NWRL tracks will dive between St Leonards and Wollstonecraft. Or maybe they will not use the existing unused platforms and the line will dive well before the existing platforms (plenty of room close to the bridge crossing of the express way) to a new pair of platforms and tunnel from there. Hard to know. Although apparently TNSW have already worked this out if you believe the media. Suggests that they have already decided the path that the second harbour rail crossing will take.

  3. Peter Isaacs says:

    Actually there is space for 8 tracks at Wynyard. The City Circle platforms are beneath the original platforms 1&2 and thus offset horizontally from 3&4. This leaves the possibility of 7&8 underneath 3&4. Perhaps, when the uselessness of metros to the outer suburbs is realised the NW metro could run across the Harbour Bridge and be terminated on 7&8 instead of ruining the rest of the heavy rail system and, heaven forbid removing a car parking station for the sake of public transport.

  4. Ray says:

    If you were to run the NWRL across the eastern lanes of the harbour bridge (which I think is extremely unlikely), why not just terminate at platforms 1 & 2 at Wynyard. It would be a steep dive from the bridge to new platforms on the same level as platforms 5 & 6. The only hope of resurrecting the harbour bridge eastern tracks is if a new harbour road tunnel is built instead of a rail tunnel to replace the traffic lanes displaced on the bridge. On the face of it, this is not such a bad idea. At least a road tunnel it is more likely to attract funding from the new Abbott government because of its disinclination to fund urban rail projects.

  5. Rails says:

    The WEX/ CBD Relief line via the “Metro West” reserved alignment was meant to terminate at new platforms under Wynyard 3 and 4 (so 7 & 8 as mentioned) however I don’t think you can access those platforms from the bridge, they were discussed as forming part of a second rail crossing via the an under harbour tunnel though. Also apparently you cant run the Single Deck NWRL along the eastern tracks of the bridge if you believe the Government, from what I recall when reviewing the plan of converting the bridge to run single deckers they claimed that it is limited to 26 tph, thus they reverted back to the second harbour rail crossing plan. Cant imagine them wanting to dedicate all that extra cash to public transport if it was not true.

  6. Alex says:

    @Bambul, thanks for this reminder of how the rail system “preserves” some aspects of its history and in particular some of the projects commenced by Bradfield that were never completed and/or converted to other uses.

    There used to be a similar situation at Town Hall station before the completion of the ESR. Six platforms were built but two on the lower level originally intended for Bradfield’s Western Suburbs line were not used until the ESR was built. The three platforms on the upper level were numbered 1-3 and the sole deep platform numbered as 6. The ESR platforms were subsequently numbered 4 and 5 (there are reasonable accounts of this and Wynyard’s history in Wikipedia).

    Your statement regarding Bradfield’s two tracks on the eastern side of the Harbour Bridge, Wynyard’s platforms 1 and 2 and the connecting tunnels is substantially correct but just to clarify an important point – this infrastructure was not constructed as tramlines with the intention of future conversion to heavy rail – it was actually constructed to heavy rail standards but converted, supposedly temporarily, to tram use.

    At the northern end of the Harbour Bridge there used to be a bridge taking the rail lines from North Sydney station over the traffic lanes to the Harbour Bridge’s eastern side, first to a set of platforms that matched those still in place on the western side for Milson’s Point station and then on over the Harbour Bridge to Wynyard. After the proposal for Bradfield’s Northern Beaches railway line was abandoned, these tracks were connected to the North Shore tram system.

    As I understand it the platforms at Milsons Point were identical to those for the existing station and the track was raised at this point to allow passenger access to trams (there were no platforms at Wynyard). There were two interesting things about this corridor – first, Wynyard became, almost by accident, Australia’s first and so far only underground tram terminus and second, even though it ran to Wynyard there was no direct connection between the north shore tram system and the city network. Trams had to be carted over the bridge by truck to be transferred between the two systems.

    The crossover bridge and eastern platforms at Milsons Point were dismantled after the closure of the tram network and the conversion of the Bridge tracks to become the Cahill Expressway. The deliberate closure, conversion and destruction of this public transport infrastructure – a dedicated two-track heavy-rail line across the Harbour Bridge integrated with the north shore rail line, the tunnels to Wynyard station and the interchange there with the rest of the rail network, as well as the additional platforms at Milsons Point – was an act of economic and environmental vandalism equal in my view to the destruction of the whole of the rest of the tram system.

    A single bus lane, important as that is, is a very inadequate substitute, especially when as we are now discovering it will cost billions to construct a replacement harbour rail crossing.

  7. shiggyshiggy says:

    Why don’t they just commission the private sector to build a new harbour tunnel(allowing the company to charge juicy toll’s) and THEN convert some lanes on the bridge to heavy rail?

    Is it because of the Cahill Express-way and its connection to the Eastern Suburbs? Can’t traffic use the cross-city tunnel for the same purpose?

  8. Simon says:

    I think the major issue with bringing back the eastern lanes for rail would be crossing over the remaining bridge lanes to reach North Sydney.

  9. Alex says:

    Yes – I did use the term “destruction of public transport infrastructure” advisedly in my previous comment regarding the removal of the extensive cross-harbour rail infrastructure constructed by Bradfield.

    Reinstating the rail lines on the Cahill Expressway would be a bit of a mess at both ends, involving the reconstruction of the bridge at North Sydney over the Harbour Bridge and (I assume) closing the connection to the eastern suburbs at the city end, not to mention having to decide what to do with the traffic and bus lanes.

    Another option suggested by the Fairfax Christie Public Transport Inquiry (disclaimer – I was involved in this) was to sling additional rail lines under the deck of the Harbour Bridge, which apparently is feasible and would be much cheaper than tunnelling.

  10. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Perhaps a further clarification:

    1. The tram tracks on the bridge were originally the “Shore Local”, the current lines being the “Shore” lines.

    2. The Shore Local lines were to continue south from Wynyard and turn SEly to a deep station between Pitt and Castlereagh, with the southern end at the intersection with Market Street. This then turned southerly again and ran to a station at Wentworth St, thence on to the southern suburbs.

    3. The Western Suburbs line ran from the centre tracks at St James under Macquarie St, then dipped under the City Inner Line in a sharp 180 degree curve to a station under O’Connell St (between Bligh and the western end of Bent St), thence south to a station between King and Market Sts, which would have been over the top of the Shore Local station, thence into the spare platforms at Town Hall, after which it would have wandered off in a SSW direction and presumably turned west.

    4. The Western Suburbs line in the other direction would have run south, crossing over the City Outer, and then run to a station at Wentworth and Oxford Sts, after which it would have split, one presumably proceeding to Bondi, and one following Anzac Parade.

    Alex refers to the destruction of the crossover bridge north of Milson’s Point tram stop, and Simon refers to restoring this bridge as an obstacle. Actually there is no reason why any northern line should run via North Sydney as ‘something set in graven tablets’. Yes, it is a a major traffic generator, but it is still a diversion if one is coming from the northern beaches suburbs and bound for the CBD. Better to continue north over the Warringah Expressway for a bit then turn east to run under Military Road to the Spit and on.

    Better still to reopen these lanes as tram lanes and run a decent tram service on the same route, more or less, as the original tram service. When you look at it you can see that there is plenty of room on the bridge for two extra road lanes – these would be over the existing road lines, but beneath the major cross girders linking the two arches together. For cars only the extra weight would be small – the roadway would not have to stand up to the same standards as when the bridge was first built! And if the trams replaced almost all the buses, the existing vehicular lanes would be cleared of the buses, to the greater convenience of the motorists. Further, the trams could happily have a branch running to the North Sydney area. Better coverage than a major underground line.

    If this were the case, then either the trams should run through Wynyard then turn sharply into Barrack St to connect with the George St trams, or turn earlier into Grosvenor St to connect with the George St trams. Plenty of room in either cross street for these connexions.

  11. Simon says:

    Dudley, the sort of thing I was thinking too about bypassing North Sydney. Not sure why it has to be a tram though. I’d be favouring a larger vehicle, fully automated.

  12. Dullsteamer says:

    Why fully automated?

  13. Ray says:

    As much as I would like to see the restoration of the rail tracks on the eastern bridge lanes, the major obstacle is that it might be difficult to maintain a direct traffic connection between North Sydney and Kirribilli with the eastern side of the Sydney CBD via the Cahill Expressway (though perhaps not impossible), requiring east bound traffic to thread its way through the congested CBD core. A new road tunnel to replace the displaced traffic lanes on the bridge is unlikely to be able to replicate this connection, although it would add greater capacity to traffic travelling beyond the CBD.

    I don’t subscribe to the view that North Sydney should be bypassed by any extension of a new rail line to the north as it is a major destination, not only from south of the harbour, but also from all areas north of the harbour. A minor deviation from the Northern Beaches is irrelevant.

    Following up on Alex’s comments with regard to a proposal in the Fairfax/Christie Independent Public Inquiry for a Long Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, to construct additional rail tracks (up to 4) under and within the existing deck structure, is certainly worthy of further detailed investigation. I have heard that the bridge is massively over engineered for its task and adding another 4 rail tracks under the road deck would be quite feasible. It would certainly be far less expensive than building a new cross harbour rail tunnel.

  14. shiggyshiggy says:

    If adding the tracks under the bridge is feasible, why do both sides of government appear to be ignoring such an option? If its easier and cheaper, why aren’t they jumping at at?

  15. shiggyshiggy says:

    change government to politics!

  16. AlexAle says:

    @Dudley, thanks for the further information about Bradfield’s plan.

    My use of the phrase “destruction of public transport infrastructure” actually referred to the dismantling of the whole North Sydney to Wynyard rail/tram link as a dedicated public transport corridor, and not just the crossover bridge.

    I also don’t believe your proposal to install additional traffic lanes above the current deck of the bridge to replace those that would be displaced by returning trams/trains to the Cahill Expressway/bus lane would get political or community support because of the major impacts on the aesthetics and heritage of the bridge.

    Anything to do with the bridge receives enormous scrutiny, so it’s not just a matter of finding the best engineering solution. This was a key factor in the Fairfax/Christie Indepenent Inquiry’s proposal that any additional rail tracks (or road lanes) should be put under the deck, where they would be largely unseen within the framework supporting the deck. This is obviously a far less visible alternative than above the deck.

    I also agree with Simon that reinstating trams is not the best option. The Christie Inquiry assumed that any additional rail lines across the harbour would and should be heavy rail, integrating the NWRL and the SWRL. If however the NWRL is constructed as a metro line including a converted ECRL, then I’m not sure what the best option should be – metro or heavy rail.

  17. Simon says:

    Dullsteamer: Save on staff costs and no reason why not.

    Ray: Bypassing North Sydney is probably needed because it’s not really achievable to go there, not because it’s a particularly desirable feature. Although it does have some advantages in that there won’t be unused capacity crossing the harbour.

    shiggyshiggy: Not sure where you are going at either end of the bridge though?

  18. shiggyshiggy says:

    Almost every time the second harbour rail crossing is brought up, the discussion moves to the harbour bridge; whether that it is removing two lanes of traffic, or adding a second deck, or slinging the crossing under the bridge.

    Now we all know that a rail tunnel under the harbour is going to be VERY expensive, and it is the kind of money BOTH sides of state politics DON’T want to spend. However, I don’t really see any serious discussion (official/within government, etc) on what would be a cheaper option: using the harbour bridge.

    Any engineering difficulties would probably be small fry compared to tunnelling under the harbour, It would get more bang for the government’s buck, and could happen sooner, rather than later.

    And yet……silence.

    I have no vested interest in either solution, I’m just curious as to what could possibly be the reason for ‘ignoring’ the bridge option.

    It gets mulled over enough on all these transport blogs! Someone must have a decent theory. Is it some sort of voodoo curse or something?

  19. Rails says:

    If anyone reading on here has seen my posting on other forums over a number of years you would see that I’ve been a huge supporter of avoiding an under harbour rail crossing, mainly via utilizing the bridges eastern lanes and a privately funded road tunnel built to replace the lost road space. Although a line strapped under the bridge works well too except on the face of it it would make more sense for road lanes be added underneath and the bridge deck returned to rail.

    However, with the second harbour rail crossing you have to consider the long term implications of your choices. You need to end up with a cross harbour infrastructure that can support between 4 and 5 rail lines (North Shore, Central Coast, NWRL, Northern Beaches and possibly the PERL via Carlingford). For arguments sake if you ignore the PERL you most likely keep the existing the existing North Shore and Central Coast lines as is serviced with Double Decker trains which leaves the NWRL and the Northern Beaches lines.

    I am pretty sure the cheapest option would be to build the second crossing as Bradfield intended, the eastern lanes of the bridge into Wynyard 1 and 2. However, if you believe the Government that the bridge itself is limited to 26 tph in Single Deck form and 20 tph in Double Deck form then its not going to be able service the potential of the Single Deck NWRL on its own let alone service two lines, you would need three crossings at least and to stop short many services. We are struggling to get a second crossing built so I cant see three being built for a long time so its obviously time to look at either a new line running under the bridge or an under harbour tunnel. A Northern Beaches line would also have much worse grades than the NWRL/ ECRL has, it requires a serious slippery dip to get through the spit area, plus it has a catchment that suits turn up and go services and thus it makes sense to be a Single Deck line.

    Now it seems the under harbour tunnel will have no issue running the required tph and should be able to service two lines with one crossing, at least for the foreseeable future. I assume that a new line under the bridge deck would be the same considering the idea of both paths seem to be very similar.The trick for the bridge option would be getting it to meet either of the two reserved rail corridors through the CBD, I think this will not be easy and in particular to connect to the “Metro Pitt” corridor it may require the demolition of a number of skyscrapers, very pricey. I do wonder though if the Single Deck trains make it more viable as you could run a steeper grade to get under these building foundations.

    The other issue with an under deck rail crossing is that it will change the look of the bridge, that is something that people get very upset about. I also do question if the line itself will be particularly cheap, not long ago a submission was made to Infrastructure Australia to build just such a crossing and the reports said that it was very expensive. What we don’t know is whether it will be cheaper than and under harbour rail crossing. The assumption is yes but one interesting aspect of the NWRL is that compared to previous projects the tunneling cost is actually quite good. I am not so sure the tunnel cant be competitive and as mentioned it may well be much cheaper to connect the under harbour tunnel to the proposed “Metro Pitt” reserved corridor. It may also be much easier to connect at the North Sydney end. Also if my understanding of the current funding model for the NWRL is right and it proves successful then the Tax payer will stump up around half the cost of the crossing and the private sector the rest, that will make this happen IMO.

    On a side note, I have been thinking if a second rail crossing was built in either form to initially take just the NWRL but eventually a Northern Beaches line as well whether you could later build the Northern Beaches line to avoid the Spit and only service the suburbs past Manly plus Northbridge leading into North Sydney, then you can remove the bus lane and one car lane on the bridges eastern lanes to allow Light rail servicing all to Mosman via Military road, all to Lane Cove via the Pacific Highway and all to Chatswood via Willoughby.

  20. mich says:

    It’s perfectly feasible to restore the connection between the eastern side of the bridge, and north sydney. Just replace the bridge that was there until about 1962.

    After the trams were removed, there was actually a period where cars used that bridge. To get to the Cahill expressway lanes on the bridge, you had to drive along that piece of road which is now a carpark which you can see to the left of the tracks when you come out of north sydney on the train. Actually, they stopped using it as a carpark, they just store junk there now.

    At the southern end of the bridge, the rail lines go downhill steeper than the road. This means, you can keep the left-turn connection onto the cahill expressway, it runs over the rail lines as it turns left. It used to be necessary to keep road lanes 1 and 2 completely segregated from the other lines, because of the position of the toll gates. With electronic tolling, this should no longer be an issue, there is no reason why you can’t turn left from lane 3 of the bridge onto the cahill expressway.

  21. Ray says:

    I acknowledge mich’s suggestion that it would be perfectly feasible to restore the rail connection between North Sydney Station and the eastern lanes of the harbour bridge by reinstating the bridge across the Bradfield Highway that previously existed. No big deal! In hindsight I also agree that it would be possible to maintain a road connection between North Sydney/Kirribilli and the Cahill Expressway utilising lane 3 which is part of the original 6 lane roadway. However, it would still require a new under harbour road tunnel to replace the eastern road lanes on the bridge. Whether it would require twin tunnels northbound and southbound or just a southbound tunnel should be the subject of further investigation. I suggest that whatever the final outcome, that it should connect with the Western Distributor where it comes to ground level.

    Having said that, I think that the under bridge deck rail option may offer greater flexibility for future expansion of the rail network, with up to an additional 4 tracks being feasible. In this scenario, no further under harbour crossing, road or rail, would be necessary.

    For those unfamiliar with the concept of a new cross harbour rail link under the bridge road deck as submitted to the Independent Public Inquiry for a Long Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, it proposed twin tracks linking an underground line from St Leonards via Crows Nest and Victoria Cross (Square) at North Sydney with the Airport Line south of Central via the mid city route (Pitt St/Castlereagh St), with a new interchange station with the Eastern Suburbs railway in the Pitt St Mall. This might present some problems in connecting with the Airport Line as it would have to close down for an extended period. It was also suggested that an alternative connection could be with the Illawarra and Western lines, which I think would be the preferred option.

    It also proposed that in the longer term an additional 2 tracks could be connected with Platforms 1 & 2 at Wynyard (the old tram platforms) and with future extensions north and south of the bridge.

    One of the obvious options is a rail link to the Northern Beaches. However, I don’t agree with Rails that this should present any problem in crossing the Spit. Rather than a very steep under Middle Harbour tunnel, I suggest that the better option would be to construct a combined motorway/rail tunnel from the Warringah Freeway at Cammeray to a high level bridge over the Spit connecting with Seaforth and then proceeding underground to Dee Why (with the motorway connecting with the Burnt Creek Deviation).

    I’m sorry Rails, you can forget the PERL. It is never going to happen. It was never the best option anyway. Whilst the connection from Chatswood to Epping was warranted, particularly in terms of a connection to the future NWRL, the better option to connect with Parramatta was the more direct route from Macquarie University via Eastwood, which is 3 km shorter and considerably faster because of the more gradual and straighter alignment. The Western Sydney Light Rail Network proposed by Parramatta City Council has acknowledged this fact by advocating that the line from Parramatta to Macquarie University/Park via Eastwood should be the first priority. This would negate the need for any heavy rail/metro option between Parramatta and Epping.

    The under harbour bridge deck rail option could be adapted to either the existing Sydney Trains network or the proposed Rapid Transit system (not that I agree with it), or both, but at the very least it should be considered and investigated as an option in the government’s planning for a future cross harbour rail link.

  22. Rails says:

    Basically all the SMH report does is take MREP between Chatswood and the airport line via the reserved Metro Pitt corridor and instead of using an under harbour tunnel they replaced it with the under bridge deck idea (partly needed because of the issues running Double Deckers under the harbour). You do have to be careful with that proposal as it was a theoretical exercise, even by their own admission. They don’t know if it will work or not and as I mentioned I believe its in no way straight forward connecting to the Metro Pitt corridor at the Wynyard end (partly why MREP was proposed as a tunnel in the first place). However I agree it has to be reviewed as part of the second harbour rail crossing planning process, in fact all the options must be considered in detail. I would really like to see the details of the proposal made to Infrastructure Australia regarding this crossing but when I looked I couldn’t find any details past the media reports.

    I think you are kidding yourself if you think you are ever going to see a rail bridge over the spit!!! The locals have manged to stop even expansion of the existing road bridge for decades let alone something like that. Using your path (I believe you are following the proposed under ground road tunnel put forward by the private sector a few years ago?) you may be able to tunnel under the spit and have the line run closer to the surface near Brookvale for the first station I guess. Still one heck of a grade, not Cityrail Double Decker friendly that is for sure. Also with that path you’re going to miss a very large part of the catchment so you would need a high capacity alternative for that part of the corridor. The previous NSW state Government has already reviewed this line actually along with all the others in Sydney but they refused to release the report to the public. It was actually a great read but flawed. A line from the CBD to Mosman and onto Dee Why was one of the best performing lines for a number of criteria except for cost and complexity to build and local opposition.

    While I understand what you’re saying about the PERL, ( I have been very negative about this line in its proposed configuration in the past) it actually works a lot better in Single Deck form and could be used as a transport solution. While it is a long term proposition it can serve a few different purposes that the proposed light rail connection cannot match, so its not as simple as you have put forward. However much like the second harbour rail crossing it would have to be reviewed and I am sure they both will be.

  23. Simon says:

    Not convinced that bringing back the bridge over the Bradfield Highway is no big deal. The location is very constrained. You’d think that it would have been studied though.

  24. TandemTrainRider says:

    Going even more off topic here …

    But I think you’ll find the SMH plan was a slightly adjusted version of Garry Glazebrook’s plan: http://www.dab.uts.edu.au/research/outcomes/garry-glazebrook-main.pdf

    The primary difference was Glazebrook advocated resuming the eastern SHB without compansation for road users, but the SMH report “fixed” this problem by slinging the rail tracks under the bridge.

  25. Rails says:

    I cant currently download that document but wasn’t Garry Glazebrooks plan actually closer to what the Government are considering then what the SMH proposed? It was written in response to the previous Governments Metro plans and from memory it consists of the North Shore line remaining as Double Deckers from a new express tunnel at St Leonards to the new tracks on the Eastern side of the bridge into Wynyard 1 and 2. From here it joined the existing line to Town Hall onto the Western line. The other line is a Single Decker line that is formed by a new path from Central built along the Metro West reserved corridor to Wynyard 3 and 4 to then run along the Western side of the bridge along the existing path to St Leonards via Waverton. From here it ran to the ECRL/ NWRL to Rouse Hill. This Single Decker line is joined by a line to the Northern Beaches at North Sydney using the old Bradfield tunnels. Due to the removal of the Bus lane (and one car lane) he devised a number of bus interchanges as well. I remember thinking this plan was such a great idea but as mentioned above if the Government is right then it wont work because of the bridge limitations. They are basically replicating the idea using the under harbour tunnel and the Metro Pitt alignment and not disturbing the existing network.

  26. Alex says:

    Having been involved with the Fairfax/Christie Independent Inquiry I agree with Rail’s comment that the under-bridge option (which was based on a submission to the Inquiry) was somewhat speculative but the Inquiry strongly recommended that it be further investigated.

    I disagree however that it would have made a major change to the appearance of the bridge. The proposal wasn’t for a massively wide second deck but rather for two or potentially four tracks to be placed centrally and as close as possible under the main deck and almost entirely within the existing structural supports (see pages 255-260 of the Inquiry’s Inal Report).

    This addition would be barely visible from a distance and would have little impact on the bridge’s profile or on shipping. The work undertaken a few years back to strengthen the bridge’s vertical hangars also means that it should be able to take the extra weight.

    Of course it would still be expensive to build and even this modest change to the bridge’s appearance is likely to meet strong opposition. However I agree with the Inquiry’s recommendation that ithe proposal should be thoroughly investigated as a cheaper alternative to a tunnel.

  27. TandemTrainRider says:

    I think the “need” for a second harbour crossing is something an of article of faith among gunzels and public transport advocates ever since Bradfield decided to install those redundant rail lines across Sydney harbour in the 1920s.

    But the fact is those lines wern’t needed then, and still aren’t needed now nearly a century later.

    The PRL project, which really only appeared seriously on the drawing board in the last 20 years – was as much about making use of the under utilised North Shore approach to the CBD as it was about delivering people from the west to employment zones north of the harbour (though that would no doubt have proved a side benefit decades down the track). How well it would have achieved this objective given the loopy alignment that was eventually settled on is another matter of course.

  28. Dudley Horscroft says:

    The existing road tunnel was situated where it is because, IIRC, apart from the alignment with the Eastern Distributor (which could easily have been changed) the current location is the shallowest part of the Harbour. This made it easy to use the Immersed Tube method of construction. Underneath the Bridge and to a fair distance either side is the deepest part of the Harbour, being constrained by Dawes Point and Milson’s Point. Hence why this was the location for the Bridge.

    Any new rail tunnel would have to be either well west or well east of the bridge location, and hence very difficult to serve the CBD. IIRC a rail tunnel lined up with the CBD has been ruled out because of the excessive length of the approach tracks using a reasonable gradient, and the very deep level of any stations to service the CBD.

    Suggest you go to Google Street view (Hickson Road) and look up at the understructure of the bridge (or go there yourself). No way is it possible to hang any rail (or road) tracks under the bridge. You effectively have a dense grid of beams all roughly at the same level, and you have the two gantries which run under the bridge to give access to all of them for maintenance. I am not sure where the rails on which the gantry hangs are located, but I would suggest they are under the long side girder, see (hopefully) https://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

    With a train you have what is effectively a large point load, with road vehicles of the same capacity the load is more than double but it is spread over a wide area. A Waratah train is 404 tonnes, 3 m wide and 163 m long, but with a seated passenger load of 896, and 448 standing the total load is about 500 t over about 500 sq m. For that passenger load you would have over 1000 cars at about 1200 tonnes spread over 30 000 sq m – 0.04 t/sq m. So the best solution is to put the rail tracks where they were designed to be put.

    Using Google street view you can look along the old eastern southbound rail track – note the ease of adding a road over at the height of the catenary – the beams which supported the overhead in days of trams are still there – same as the beams on the other rail tracks. Such a roadway for cars only would be barely visible, in comparison to trying to hang a rail track or road lane under the bridge.

    Rails says “if you believe the Government that the bridge itself is limited to 26 tph in Single Deck form and 20 tph in Double Deck form”. Using the Waratah train example, a reasonable peak load is the 1344 I have used which if evenly distributed means 26 880 persons per hour. Simon says: “Not sure why it has to be a tram though. I’d be favouring a larger vehicle, fully automated.” But trams cam be large vehicles. The Skoda 15T in a five section form can carry just over 600 people, and a six section form more suited to Sydney – with far more seats and less standing – would If needed) carry 1200 in coupled pairs. This is not far short of the capacity of capacity of the Waratah, BUT trams can run far more frequently. Think – a tram carrying 600 people every minute = 36 000 people per hour. Alternate trams could cross a new bridge, running via North Sydney and Crows Nest, the others via elevated tracks over the Warringah Expressway and turn into Military Road.

    Can be done – think outside the square!

  29. Simon says:

    TandemTrainRider wrote: “But the fact is those lines wern’t needed then, and still aren’t needed now nearly a century later. ”

    Hear here.

  30. Alex says:

    @Dudley, the detailed submission the Inquiry received from Australian Infrastructure Solutions Ltd proposing the under-bridge proposal indicated that it would be feasible to install two or even four additional rail lines which would sit within the supporting girder structure with relatively minor modification and that the Bridge with the recent strengthening of the hangars could take the extra weight. In fact I understand an earlier version of this proposal involving road lanes was developed and nearly adopted by the Carr government, but they got cold feet at the last minute, partly because of the incorrect perception that this was going to stretch all the way across the width of the bridge.

    I don’t think it would be much more difficult to construct than your earlier suggestion to put road lanes above the current deck – and despite the opposition to the earlier under deck roads proposal it would be a lot less visually intrusive. Either way there is probably an engineering solution, though whether it is financially viable or competitive with other options remains to be seen. That’s why the Inquiry stopped short of endorsing the under-bridge option, instead recommending that the proposal be comprehensively investigated.

    Until there is a detailed engineering or cost/benefit analysis explicitly ruling it out, I’m keeping an open mind. Ultimately some variation on the proposal to return rail tracks to the Cahill Expressway and bus lane may be more viable, but unfortunately political realities mean that this will have to involve replacing the displaced traffic lanes.

    Putting these above the current deck is likely to encounter enormous opposition, so I suppose a logical solution would be to put the road space underneath. My concern with this approach is that a future state government will take up the proposal for the extra road lanes and then “forget” about converting the two lanes on the existing deck to rail.

    As for the prospect of trams returning to the bridge, I think that the prospects for any proposal to build a new tram network on the north side of the harbour connected to the city will come a distant second to the combined demands of the existing heavy rail network and the NWRL for additional capacity into the city.

    @TandemTrainRider, the Independent Transport Inquiry’s modelling indicated that the additional tracks across the harbour would be required by 2030/2040, based on current (2010) projections of population growth, employment and travel demand.

    in any case, I think the argument is moot – by the mid 2020s, the private operator and the passengers using the NWRL metro who want to travel to the city are certain to put enormous pressure on the government on the day to extend the line to the CBD. It’s either that or convert the existing north shore line to metro to facilitate the connection, which would have obvious implications for Western Line services.

    And personally I don’t think you can label the additional lines installed by Bradfield as “redundant”. Bradfield was a visionary but by all accounts he was also a practical man, and while he may have overreached himself in terms of the funds available he really was planning for the long-term growth of the city. The “redundant” rail lines were to provide the capacity for his proposed northern beaches line and for a Eastwood-St Leonards link.

    These proposals and the additional lines on the bridge may not have met the requirements of a modern cost/benefit analysis, but neither I suspect would the Harbour Bridge itself (nor the penal colony of Sydney, but that’s a debate for another time). In any case I stand by my statement that removing the additional tracks from the bridge and the associated infrastructure was one of the greatest acts of planning vandalism that I have seen.

  31. DLS says:

    The Cancellation of the Epping to Parramatta rail link and the Chatswood to St Leonard’s quadruplication is by far one of the most short-sighted decisions I’ve ever seen.

  32. Rails says:

    Dudley Horscroft,

    I completely agree that the harbour is very deep where they need to run these rail lines. However I am not sure I understand your statement “IIRC a rail tunnel lined up with the CBD has been ruled out because of the excessive length of the approach tracks using a reasonable gradient, and the very deep level of any stations to service the CBD.”?

    A rail tunnel from the North of Sydney connected to either the Metro West or Metro Pitt CBD reserved rail corridors through to Central has not been ruled out as far as I know? Do you have some further information on this? Even in the latest transport NSW report “Sydney’s Rail Future” doesn’t it mention use of an under harbour rail tunnel through the CBD? Or do you mean ruled out for Cityrail Double Decker trains?

    I believe the path that has an issue is the Metro West corridor, in particular for Cityrail trains. Apparently due to the grade this line from underneath Wynyard could not hit North Sydney, it would have to meet up somewhere around St Leonards. Even Single Deckers would probably be in the same position most likely. I believe however Metro Pitt could possibly work for Cityrail trains to a new North Sydney station (Victoria Cross) but its sill very steep. Single Decker trains should have no issue with this path though, well at least to the proposed Martin Place station, the Rocks and Macquarie Place stations may be a bit tricky but hopefully still doable.

  33. michblogs says:

    Chatswood to St Leonards quadruplication serves almost no useful benefit, so it is not “short-sighted” at all to cancel it.

  34. michblogs says:

    ” the current location is the shallowest part of the Harbour. This made it easy to use the Immersed Tube method of construction. Underneath the Bridge and to a fair distance either side is the deepest part of the Harbour,”

    People often claim this wacky belief, and I don’t think it is true. During the ice age, the sea level was lower and Sydney Harbour was dry and the Parramatta river flowed along it, out to the sea [ through the Rose Bay golf course and Bondi Beach ].

    Rivers flow downhill. Always. They do not flow uphill. And they do not, in general, erode the bedrock at the bottom of the river so it goes uphill either. I do not believe the claim that the Harbour is deeper directly under the Harbour Bridge, than it is between Kirribilli and the Opera House.

  35. Dudley Horscroft says:

    To Mitchblogs

    I refer you to: http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/docs/maps/portjackson-east9D-front.pdf

    This clearly shows the large very deep ‘hole’ off Blues Point, and a small deep hole right under the Bridge, with another deep hole off Kirribilli Point the other side of the Harbour tunnel. Note also the very deep area in Middle Harbour, north of the shallow bar. Unfortunately the map is only very general as regards the contours – intended basically for small craft who would not be worried how deep the harbour is, and they’re basically prohibited from anchoring in the Bridge area anyway. Refer to Admiralty chart AUS 201 and 202 for more detailed into, on which my memories were based.

    To Rails

    My comments on the rail tunnel having been ruled out were due to statements I have seen which I presumed were authoritative. Unfortunately I can give you no source. Certainly not due to differences between single and double deckers, as suitable new stock should be equally able to climb any gradient likely to be used. Existing stock? – well the Tangaras and their predecessors are underpowered, but the Waratahs are said to be able to use an acceleration of 1.0 m/s/s, so should be be rather better powered. ISTR developing this theme on one of the other Transport Sydney sites.

  36. Ray says:

    Rails, just with regard to a Northern Beaches rail link, you’ve misinterpreted my suggestion. I wasn’t suggesting an under Middle Harbour rail link, which I agree would be impracticable, but a high level combined road/ rail bridge to replace the existing Spit Bridge. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t have to be that much higher than the existing bridge to allow suitable clearance for the yachting fraternity. I don’t believe that the good burghers of Seaforth and Clontarf are so stupid to deny themselves an uninterrupted journey to the CBD, without the inconvenience of the delays caused by the opening bridge, whether it be by road or rail. In any event, why should they be the sole arbiters of what is in the best interest of the rest of the Northern Peninsular?

    With regard to the PERL, I don’t agree with you. With the cost now approaching $4 Billion, it will never be viable, having regard to the anticipated patronage. So you can forget it. The Light Rail alternative, at a fraction of the cost and on a more direct route to Macquarie Park via Eastwood, with multiple stops to increase patronage, would appear to be a more sensible option.

    As an aside, I note Simon’s consistent objection to a new cross harbour rail link. I would be interested to know what suggestions he has to address the capacity restraints on the existing Sydney Trains network through the Sydney CBD.

  37. Rails says:

    You may need to research the history of the spit bridge and its proposed upgrade, the locals have fought against any upgrade and they certainly wouldn’t tolerate rail, let alone rail through the harbour (brings in noise, visual pollution and the undesirables to dirty up the beaches) in fact the Northern Beaches area itself has been historically against rail for as long as I can remember. The Government even noted this local opposition when scoping Metro to the Northern Beaches a few years back. While I don’t agree this kind of opposition should stop rail to this region in any way shape or form, it is a barrier, one the Government of either persuasion has been unable to break. I certainly don’t believe you will ever see anything other then underground rail through here and if it does not service Neutral Bay to Mosman there has to be another high capacity solution for that path, that is where the bulk traffic is coming from for this corridor.

  38. Rails says:

    For the PERL, I agree based on just local patronage it does not justify anything more than BRT or Light Rail, the interesting thing about this corridor though is that it can actually provide relief for the Western line, not in the proposed Double Decker format but it can if built to run Single Decker trains and there are changes to the Main Western line. It could be part of the answer to keeping Northern Line trains running to the CBD via Strathfield. The BRT or Light Rail solutions cant offer this.

  39. Simon says:

    Ray, the current plans do nothing to address the capacity limitations of the Sydney Trains network. The Government’s spin that they do is lies, pure and simple.

    When they first came to power, they copied the previous government’s plans for CBD expansion and gave them a new name. I think that should tell you something about the merit. They need to do something about getting more paths for sector 3 now. They might need to do something about a 2nd harbour crossing in several decades. Look at the growth for Cityrail and the passenger capacity stats.

  40. Ray says:

    Simon, we seem to agree on most things, but I am a little confused about your objection to a new cross harbour rail link to provide increased capacity through the CBD. I can’t see how else it could be achieved.

    I agree with you that getting more paths for Sector 3 should be the main priority, and the current rapid transit plans completely ignore that fact (another reason why the rapid transit plan will seriously compromise the rest of the Sydney Trains network despite all the spin). But how do you suggest that this can be done without a new CBD and cross harbour rail link?

    As I have previously suggested, a new cross harbour rail link, and I’m proposing this on the basis of the continued operation by Sydney Trains, could be split from a new link from the North Shore to both the Western and Illawarra Lines at Eveleigh. This would involve a connection to the Western Main Line tracks and to the current Illawarra Local tracks (which includes the East Hills Line) servicing both corridors. The completion of the Erskineville to Sydenham sextup would enhance the Illawarra corridor by separating and connecting the Bankstown line directly to the City Circle.

    I would be interested to know how you would address additional capacity through the CBD without the option of a new cross harbour rail link.

    In response to Rails with regard to the PERL, I don’t think you could seriously consider it as an alternative for Western Line commuters to the CBD. It is a round about route which would take much longer even to reach North Sydney compared with the existing route via Strathfield.

    It may have some benefit in providing a connection to Macquarie Park, but this can also be achieved with the Parramatta City Council’s proposed Light Rail network at a fraction of the cost.

  41. Simon says:

    There is no reason a new CBD line needs to cross the harbour from day 1. It could be a dead end, so long as there is provision for going under the harbour at a later date without a disruptive construction period, I’d be satisfied with that.

  42. Dudley Horscroft says:

    IIRC the original justification for the PERL was that trains from the west could reach the CBD on the existing main line, cross the harbour, run to Epping and then return via Parramatta to the west. This would obviate the reversal at Central. However, it now seems that City link are determined that they cannot improve capacity on the bridge, so there is no need for PERL.

  43. Ray says:

    Simon, I concede that there may not be a need for a new cross harbour link initially and that a new CBD Line should allow for its future extension across the harbour, whether it be via the Harbour Bridge or a tunnel. However, I would favour a new CBD Line via the Pitt St corridor rather than the previously proposed Western Express corridor from Eveleigh to Wynyard. I believe the Metro West corridor to Wynyard/Barangaroo should be reserved for a future separate metro line.

  44. Simon says:

    I can’t recall any proposals for new lines using Metro Pitt that increase capacity for the Western/Northern line?

  45. TandemTrainRider says:

    > “I can’t recall any proposals for new lines using Metro Pitt that increase capacity for the Western/Northern line?”

    MREP

  46. Simon says:

    Are you sure? My understanding is that the MREP went via Sydenham/Airport and did nothing for via Strathfield.

  47. TandemTrainRider says:

    > Are you sure? My understanding is that the MREP went via Sydenham/Airport and did nothing for via Strathfield.

    Yeah you’re right. MREP did nothing directly for sector 3 on the sth side.

  48. Ray says:

    I wasn’t suggesting that there have been any official proposals for increasing capacity from the Western/Northern Lines (I’m referring to the Western Main) via the Metro Pitt corridor, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be feasible.

    The MREP, when initially introduced by Bob Carr in 2005, involved a new CBD and cross harbour rail link via the Metro Pitt corridor connecting with the Illawarra and East Hills Lines. To the best of my recollection, I don’t it think involved any connection with the Airport Line (It certainly doesn’t appear that way in the schematic diagram for the route). After Bob Carr’s retirement, the new Premier Morris Iemma deferred the MREP but legislated to create the Metro West and Metro Pitt Indicative Protection Corridors from St Leonards to Eveleigh.

    There is a broad protection corridor between Redfern and Central, which even includes Platforms 12 to 15 at the terminal station, which would allow for multiple combinations of potential connections between the Western Main and the Illawarra Line to either the Metro West or Metro Pitt corridors. This would include a link between the Western Main at Eveleigh via a new underground station at Redfern, servicing additional capacity from the Western and Northern Lines, and the Metro Pitt corridor through the unused underground platforms at Central. Even if the Metro Pitt corridor had a temporary terminal station in the northern CBD prior to expansion across the harbour, it would perform just as well as the Western Express plan which terminated at Wynyard.

    My main objection to the use of the Metro West corridor is that it will cut off the option of a future separate West Metro Line from Parramatta to a more centrally located station in Barangaroo. It’s a long walk from Wynyard Station to the centre of Barangaroo.

    Ideally, both the Western Main and Illawarra Lines should connect with the Metro Pitt corridor and a future cross harbour rail link.

  49. Ray says:

    Just to expand on my earlier post, my ideal scenario for new CBD rail capacity is as follows.

    Whilst it may all be now academic because of the government’s current proposals, it nonetheless needs to be debated.

    On the assumption that a future cross harbour rail link will be part of the solution, I suggest that as a first priority that the Metro Pitt corridor should be adopted as the primary new CBD rail link. This would also require completion of the Sydenham to Erskineville sextup.

    The Western Main is currently underutilised with 8 tph in the morning peak for Intercity services from Newcastle/Central Coast and the Blue Mountains to Sydney Terminal and Western Line services which cross over to the Suburban tracks at Eveleigh. With upgraded signaling and a connection from Eveleigh to a new CBD Rail Link via the Metro Pitt corridor, the capacity could potentialy be increased on the Western Main to 24 tph. This would allow for 12 tph into Sydney Terminal for Intercity services (including provision for future expansion) and 12 tph for suburban services to the Metro Pitt corridor (increasing services from the Western and Northern Lines).

    The Metro Pitt corridor could also be configured for 24 tph, with 12 tph from the Western Main and 12 tph from the Illawarra Local. The Sydenham to Erskineville sextup would be a significant contributor to this operating pattern. The aforementioned would separate Bankstown Line services from the Illawarra Line tracks with a direct connection to the City Circle. The current Illawarra Local would be connected to the Metro Pitt corridor, servicing both express services from the East Hills Line and South Coast Intercity and Southern Line services via the Illawarra dive to Sydney Terminal. The current Ilawarra Main would be exclusively connected to the Eastern Suburbs Railway. This provides three separate corridors from the south and west shared with one through to the CBD via the City Circle.

  50. Simon says:

    I wouldn’t do this Cityrail-esque dividing of services. Just have the Western Main running into it’s own corridor in the CBD.

    Isn’t the western main 10tph + 2tph or so from the Illawarra by Redfern? Not that bad given how inconvenient the services are to use.

  51. TandemTrainRider says:

    @Ray If you can upgrade the signalling to 24tph for any new line, there is no real reason why you can’t do that for the existing lines as well. And that provides potentially 20 extra paths, the same as a new track pair.

    The current system has a signal headway of ~80 seconds in the city, with a mean dwell time of 70 seconds of which less than 30 is due to passenger boarding movements. The bulk of the rest is timetable padding).

    It should be possible to do 24tph now, but it would need a more stochastic approch to OTR measurement and management.

    Modest changes to conventional signalling (splitting platform blocks and the trailing blocks into two) could lower the signal headway to ~55 seconds. Fully automated ATC would see headways drop to 45 seconds (but only retaining the 40kph speed limit).

    The other really low hanging fruit is passenger distribution. The maximum achieved loading of Sydney trains is typically 70% their theoretical capacity. Especially at Central 16&17 & TH 3,2&1 there are too few access points to the platform forcing the bulk for boarders into just the few accessible train doors. Two extra sets of stairs to these critical platforms is hardly the engineering challenge of the century.

  52. Dudley Horscroft says:

    At the risk of having it ignored on the grounds that “If Poms say they did it it can’t be true” I refer you to H P White’s Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol 3 – Greater London, on page 94.

    “Today the southern part of the Inner Circle is one of the busiest sections of the London Transport system, with 24 trains per hour on each rail. At peak hours this is increased to 36 and no sooner has a train cleared the platform than the following one in running in. Besides Circle trains there are services from Richmond, Wimbledon and Ealing in the west, and Barking and Upminster in the east. On the northern part the basic service is one of 16 trains an hour on each rail, 8 on the Circle service and 8 on that between Hammersmith and Whitechapel. At peak periods this is augmented between Baker Street and the City by services to and from the “Extension’ line, and 32 trains an hour each way pass King’s Cross.”

    Note, flat junctions at Gloucester Road/Earl’s Court, Paddington, Baker Street and the Aldgate triangle. The track plan does not particularly help.

    If the Poms can do it, so can we.

    TandemTrainRider has the right idea. It is essential that passengers spread out evenly along the length of the platforms. This can best be done by ensuring there are evenly spaced escalators or stairs to cover the full length of the platform. This also assists in getting arriving passengers off the platform, so there is less congestion around the foot of the upward stairs. What is the problem here? NIHS perhaps?

  53. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Oops, should be “following one is running in”.

  54. Ray says:

    I don’t deny that it may well be feasible to increase capacity to 24 tph on existing lines through the CBD, but whether it would be enough to overcome platform congestion at the busiest stations, deferring the need for a new line, is debatable. They are struggling now to run 20 tph. In the early days of the NW Rapid Transit planning, Gladys had indicated that there would be a frequency of 24 double deck tph on the North Shore Line from Chatswood to the CBD. However, this commitment was quietly dropped later back to 20 tph. If it was feasible to run 24 tph, particularly having regard to the overcrowding that’s going to occur at Chatswood, you would have thought that they would have pursued this option. There must be a very good reason why they didn’t (I doubt if it would just be cost alone).

    TTR’s suggestion of creating additional access points to platforms in the CBD would certainly help spread passengers evenly along the platforms, overcoming some congestion, but I don’t know if it would be feasible within the physical constraints of the existing station layouts. If it can be done, then it should be implemented.

    One of the main benefits of a new CBD Rail Link and cross harbour tunnel is to reduce the need for passengers travelling from lines other than the Western Suburban to North Shore employment destinations having to interchange, thereby significantly reducing platform congestion and dwell times. If alternative strategies such as signaling upgrades and station reconstruction were able to avoid a very costly new rail link through the CBD then you’d think they would have followed through on this.

  55. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Increasing the number of trains from 20 to 24 would means the existing passengers would have 20% more capacity, hence only 5/6ths of the number of passengers to board each train. Result: shorter dwell time, making it easier to run the extra trains.

    All I can say is that if London Transport (or TfL as it is now known) were to try to run 24 trains per hour on the southern half of the Inner Circle instead of 36 the platforms and stations would be so thoroughly clogged that it would be doubtful if they could run a service at all!

  56. Ray says:

    I don’t disagree with you Dudley, but if it is possible to increase the frequency to 24 tph or more on existing lines, why haven’t they done it? Perhaps someone in the know can offer an explanation.

  57. TandemTrainRider says:

    > I don’t disagree with you Dudley, but if it is possible to increase the frequency to 24 tph or more on existing lines, why haven’t they done it? Perhaps someone in the know can offer an explanation.

    This is not an “in the know” explanation, but I think the truth is Sydney has neither the demand nor the rolling stock to implement it.

  58. Simon says:

    It certainly has the demand for additional capacity through Central #18. That point cannot be argued.

  59. TandemTrainRider says:

    @Simon: I think that point can be argued. This issue is about interchanges from interurbans, but also the (growing) imbalance between sector 2 and sector 3 as Sydney’s weighted geographic centre drifts north west. This is a choke point created by operational rather that hard core capacity issues.

    That said platform crowding is a major issue in sydney because the current platforms were designed for half the traffic they now handle. However queue length is a stochastic function, and how long a queue is does not have a linearly relationship between volume and service frequency. The sector 3 platforms all have stairs and these were well and truely over-engineered in terms of capacity. This issue is more their distribution.

    @Ray: “Gladys had indicated that there would be a frequency of 24 double deck tph on the North Shore Line from Chatswood to the CBD. However, this commitment was quietly dropped later back to 20 tph.”

    I think you’ll find the primary impedement to 24 tph on the Shore is the NWRL interchange at Chatswood. Typically the maximum boardings/alightments per train stop on sector 3 now are ~500/600 IIRC. But at Chatswood it’ll potentially be ~1000.

  60. Dudley Horscroft says:

    How many platforms does Chatswood have? Two or four? If four, it should be possible to route services appropriately so there is plenty of time available for passenger interchange.

    As to lack of stock – well, with 87 (?) new Waratah sets coming into service there should be plenty of stock available. Perhaps lack of staff? Take on trainees so that there will be sufficient trained staff by mid 2014?

    With the new stock available there should be a few sets available to provide a service from Parramatta to Marrickville (electric) and then haul the trail (diesel) to a new (temporary) Kingsford Smith station to service the airport. This would itself take some of the load off interchange in the CBD from the Western lines to the Airport Line.

  61. Dullsteamer says:

    There are four platforms at Chatswood.

    As for hauling electric stock with diesels – not likely. Sydney Trains doesn’t have any diesel locos or diesel-qualified crew. Those operators who do have diesels don’t have many crews who are qualified for the relevant roads. The only EMU stock with knuckle couplers are the stainless-steel S-sets and derivatives. Everything else has Scharfenbergs, which means using the emergency transition coupling/adapter, not always a simple or straightforward task. Then there are speed restrictions on EMUs being loco-hauled, plus you’d probably need a TOC waiver to allow diesels on the Airport line, and to use them in passenger service – no EP brake on most diesel locos for starters. Too much hassle…

    Incidentally – why do you suggest running via Marrickville?

  62. Dullsteamer says:

    Forgot to add, S-set withdrawals are roughly keeping pace with Waratah deliveries, so there’s no net increase in the number of trains available. And even if you started a heap of trainee drivers today, they wouldn’t be available by mid 2014.

  63. Simon says:

    Oops, did I say Central #18? I meant Central #16.

  64. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Dullsteamer asks:

    “Incidentally – why do you suggest running via Marrickville?”

    Because the trains should run from Parramatta – or perhaps the Blacktown branch line platform so as to provide a reasonable terminus – via Lidcombe, the Strathfield triangle, and Campsie to Marrickville. The line is already electrified on this route as far as Marrickville. Possibly a platform (bi-directional) at Dulwich Hill for interchange with the DH Light Rail, to be finished soon, and a similar one at Marrickville.

    Electrify the line thence to Kingsford Smith, with a new platform (bi-directional) immediately south of the bridge over the South Main, with a footpath to Sydenham for interchange. Thence to a temporary platform immediately east of O’Riordan St, which is a reasonable walk to the domestic terminals, and only about 500 m walk from the Domestic Station. Eventually an elevated line should be constructed from west of O’Riordan St, via Sir Reginald Ansett Drive and Keith Smith Avenue to a terminus as close as possible to the Domestic terminal buildings.

    Note: apart from the extension last mentioned all the trackwork is in place. About 90% of the route is already electrified. New works are a platform at Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, Sydenham and KSA, and, eventually, the extension. Use some of the S sets instead of scrapping them.

    Cost? Apart from the spur into the Airport, low.

    I doubt that the Goods Line is so thick with goods trains that it would be impossible to insert a 30 or even a 15 minute electric service.

  65. Dullsteamer says:

    “trains should run from Parramatta – or perhaps the Blacktown branch line platform so as to provide a reasonable terminus – via Lidcombe, the Strathfield triangle, and Campsie to Marrickville.”

    A train running from Parramatta to Marrickville via the Goods road doesn’t go anywhere near Strathfield. Once you leave Lidcombe and get the turnouts you’re headed straight to Enfield.

    “The line is already electrified on this route as far as Marrickville…all the trackwork is in place. About 90% of the route is already electrified.”

    Not any more. The overhead on the goods road from Enfield South to Campsie is no longer live, nor is it complete. The crossovers between the Goods and the Banko at Campsie were removed a few weeks back. And there has been no attempt to replace the overhead at Marrickville that went years ago when the council carpark was demolished. Your road knowledge is well out of date. :)

    “I doubt that the Goods Line is so thick with goods trains that it would be impossible to insert a 30 or even a 15 minute electric service.”

    The Goods line is now part of ARTC’s domain, it is no longer operated or administered by Sydney Trains. At least part of the reason behind that was to further separate freight and passenger services to minimise delays to both. What you’re suggesting would defeat the purpose of that separation.

  66. Dullsteamer says:

    “Use some of the S sets instead of scrapping them.”

    The endless trivial complaints from whingeing passengers seems to be the main reason the S-sets are going. How do you propose to remedy that problem?

  67. Ray says:

    I agree with Simon that the demand is certainly there (on platform 16 at Central and also coincidentally on platform 18, both Sector 3 in am & pm peak respectively) as well as corresponding platforms at Town Hall and Wynyard. On the basis of the currently accepted capacity of 20 tph with existing signaling infrastructure, which is now fully utilised, there is no scope for expansion of additional services from the Western (including Richmond Line) and Northern Lines via Strathfield, unless they are forced to use the Western Main to terminate at Sydney Terminal. Not an ideal scenario. In the longer term, a new CBD Rail Link and cross harbour tunnel could potentially address this capacity constraint.

    TTR, I don’t understand your reasoning that the primary impediment to operating 24 tph from Chatswood is the NWRL interchange. Whilst I still think it will be an utter disaster, one would think that having more double deck trains from Chatswood to the CBD, crowded as they are already likely to be, to pick up the interchange of passengers from the NWRL, would ease the congestion.

    Sorry Dudley, you’ve lost me. I wish to be kind, but your suggestion to divert trains from the Western Line via Campsie and Marrickville to the Botany Goods Line is preposterous. It’s never likely to happen. The Botany Goods Line should remain that, an exclusive freight corridor to the Port Botany container terminal, connected to the rest of the metropolitan freight only network. How you could suggest that it could be mixed with passenger services is beyond my comprehension.

    Anyway, to add some balance to this debate, I have included a link below which refers to Ron Christie’s response to the Infrastructure NSW Report, which included proposals for Sydney’s Rail Future. Whilst he may no longer be “in the know” as far as current NSW Government policy is concerned, he is nonetheless a well respected former public servant as Coordinator-General of Rail in NSW and has a vast knowledge and insight of how the NSW Rail system has developed and how it needs to be expanded in the future.

  68. Ray says:

    Further to above, link is:

  69. Ray says:

    Bambul, how can I include this link?

  70. TandemTrainRider says:

    > TTR, I don’t understand your reasoning that the primary impediment to operating 24 tph from Chatswood is the NWRL interchange.

    If a 400 odd boarding/alightments for a stop at Central/TH results in a 60sec dwell, how long will the dwell be at Chatswood when there are 1000 boardings?

    After reading the leaked report http://images.smh.com.au/file/2013/09/23/4770519/trains.pdf
    and in particular the data from the 2007 RailCorp Dwell Time surveys, I’m nowhere near as pesimistic about this as I once was.

  71. TandemTrainRider says:

    @Ray “I agree with Simon that the demand is certainly there (on platform 16 at Central and also coincidentally on platform 18, both Sector 3 in am & pm peak respectively) as well as corresponding platforms at Town Hall and Wynyard. On the basis of the currently accepted capacity of 20 tph with existing signaling infrastructure, which is now fully utilised, there is no scope for expansion of additional services from the Western (including Richmond Line) and Northern Lines via Strathfield, unless they are forced to use the Western Main to terminate at Sydney Terminal. Not an ideal scenario. In the longer term, a new CBD Rail Link and cross harbour tunnel could potentially address this capacity constraint.”

    As I see it the geographic centre of Sydney has been drifiting both west *and* north, and this is reflected in a faster rate of growth of patronage on sector 3 than 1&2. I think the best medium term solution to this is to transfer either the the lower main north, or the Richmond line to Sector 2. Neither of these options is without consequences of course, but there are solutions to these.

    Never the less, this is still largely a pathing and interchange problem as much as it is one of total capacity. It will be interesting to see if the new timetable makes much of a difference, because AFAIK the new timetable shifts all Illawarra interurbans out to BJ, meaning most of those users no longer need to transfer at all, or if they do the interchange is shifted down to Town Hall.

  72. @Ray –

    Not sure. I and others have been able to include links in comments before. Will have a closer look on the weekend. Am a bit tight for time at the moment.

  73. Ray says:

    Thanks TTR for including the link I was trying to post (I’ve still got to work out how to do this). I take your point about boarding/alightments at Chatswood, but I’m trying to get my head around how having more frequency from Chatswood to the CBD would result in greater congestion. With my simple reasoning I would have thought that having more services from Chatswood would clear the platforms faster, nothwithstanding the alightment of passengers from the Upper North Shore. If nothing else, it demonstrates how the dumping of around 12,000 passengers per hour from the NWRL is going to stretch its capacity to the limit. If the NWRL had been extended into the CBD, whether by the Rapid Transit concept or a less frequent double deck service on the existing line, which would have been possible, the interchange and congestion problems at Chatswood would not be an issue.

    I note your comment that the geographic centre of Sydney is drifting to the north and west thereby reflecting a faster rate of growth in patronage for sector 3. However, you overlook the fact the South West Growth Corridor, which is actually larger than the North West, is only just beginning to come on stream and will no doubt continue to grow once the South West Rail Link is completed, and even more so if the Badgerys Creek Airport eventuates. The pendulum is then more likely to swing back towards the west and sectors 2 & 3.

    I can’t see any possibility of transferring the Lower North Main or Richmond Line to sector 2 (Inner West Local) as it is almost completely allocated to Inner West (from Homebush) and Liverpool via Granville services. To transfer Northern Line services would be impracticable anyway as they would have to cross over from the suburban to the local tracks at Strathfield, which is something to be avoided, especially in the peak. I’d like to know what you suggest would be solutions to these options.

  74. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Thanks, Dullsteamer for the update. As you say, my knowledge is rather out of date. I have, not living in Sydney, to rely on Google (NearMap will not let me use an up-to-date view) and Street-view. Street-view shows the overhead still in place at Marrickville. After leaving Lidcombe and turning south, the line passes a triangle. This is, according to Google – see the view containing this triangle, in Strathfield. If not Strathfield, what is the correct name for this triangle. That “crossovers between the Goods and the Banko at Campsie were removed” is, I think irrelevant as I do not suggest that the new service on the goods line should crossover to the passenger lines – or do I misunderstand you here?

    Ray, my suggestion may be preposterous to you, but adding a new service – not diverting trains – seems reasonable to me. It is not unknown to mix freights with passenger services, most railways do this on suitable lines. What sort of service is operated on the Botany Goods Line? A regular service or an irregular service. If regular, how frequent? If irregular, might it be possible to convert it to a regular service? Hourly? Half hourly? Transfer of containers during the working day in Port Botany would be at a near constant speed, resulting in a need for a regular service bring export containers to the Port and taking import containers away.

    That the goods lines are run by ARTC is a much more serious objection. One in the political domain and hence either insoluble, or easily fixed! More likely the former.

  75. TandemTrainRider says:

    @Ray > I can’t see any possibility of transferring the Lower North Main or Richmond Line to sector 2 (Inner West Local) as it is almost completely allocated to Inner West (from Homebush) and Liverpool via Granville services. To transfer Northern Line services would be impracticable anyway as they would have to cross over from the suburban to the local tracks at Strathfield, which is something to be avoided, especially in the peak. I’d like to know what you suggest would be solutions to these options.

    Richmond Line to Sector 2 means the locals as far as Blacktown are all in sector 2, achieving complete sectorisation. The problem is dealing with the extended run time associated with servicing all the tightly spaced station on the inner west. (Station rationalisation, weird skip stopping patterns or just telling customers to “deal with it”)

    Lower Northern to Sector 2 means throwing Sector 3 to the mains, leaving the locals and suburbans on sector 2. For this the northern and western interurbans have to be dealt with. (Suburbanising them, terminating at Nth Sydney/Parramatta, or something). This also achieves full sectorisation, and addresses (or at worst moves) the interurban interchange issue away from Central.

  76. Ray says:

    Dudley, I can’t quote any numbers for freight trains using the Botany Goods line to Port Botany, but believe me it is substantial and being only a single line at present, there is little room for extra services, let alone passenger services. The ARTC is proposing to duplicate the line to provide greatly increased capacity for container traffic to and from the planned inter-modal terminal at Moorebank.

    The freight only lines in Sydney, including the new Southern Sydney Freight Line, are an invaluable part of Sydney’s rail infrastructure and any suggestion that they should be shared with passenger traffic should be vigorously resisted. Putting that aside, I can’t see the point of running a cross country service from Parramatta to the airport, when a link already exists.

    TTR, sorry, you’ve lost me. Whilst you could theoretically transfer the Western Suburban, which includes the Richmond Line, to Sector 2 at Homebush, there simply isn’t the line capacity to absorb the additional services on the Inner West Local. To suggest that the Western Suburban tracks from Homebush be transferred to Sector 2 is also not feasible. What happens when the Suburban tracks reach Central, proceeding to the North Shore? Do they suddenly become Sector 3? Very messy!!

    Let’s keep things simple. IMO, the only solution is a new CBD Rail Link from both the Western Main and Illawarra Local to either the Metro Pitt or Metro West corridor with a longer term option for a new cross harbour rail link to the North Shore.

  77. TandemTrainRider says:

    @Ray “TTR, sorry, you’ve lost me. Whilst you could theoretically transfer the Western Suburban, which includes the Richmond Line, to Sector 2 at Homebush, there simply isn’t the line capacity to absorb the additional services on the Inner West Local.”

    Don’t know about the new timetable, but IIRC the old timetable ran all of 8tph on the locals during the peak on sector 2, which is hardly at capacity. The issue is servicing all those tightly spaced Inner West stations without overly compromosing Richmond train run times.

    @Ray “To suggest that the Western Suburban tracks from Homebush be transferred to Sector 2 is also not feasible. What happens when the Suburban tracks reach Central, proceeding to the North Shore? Do they suddenly become Sector 3? Very messy!!”

    Under this scenario the suburbans (and thus the lower northern) goes to sector 2, sector 3 goes to the mains. They both cross over at Macdonaldtown. This is not compatible with current interurban operations.

  78. Dudley Horscroft says:

    To Ray

    Unless the Goods line has been recently singled – within the last five years ago or so – it is double all the way from Campsie to a few yards before O’Riordan St. It is then single all the way to Port Botany. I see no reason why the line should have been singled (or one track taken out of service), especially as you say there are plans to duplicate the single line section. There should be no problem in putting a half hourly, or perhaps even a 15 minute, service on the double track section, especially if the temporary station just east of O’Riordan St is located on a siding just off the main line.

    The length of the single track section is approximately 5 km. Taking this as a given, and an average speed of 30 km/h on this section, a train will take 10 minutes to traverse the line, plus an allowance for the length of the train. So assuming that 15 minutes must be allowed for each goods train then the best possible freight service at present is every 30 minutes in each direction. This can be easily interspersed with a 30 minute passenger service on the double track section from Enfield Yards to O’Riordan St.

    Consider the plausible timings – Blacktown, Parramatta, Lidcombe, Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, KSA (O’Riordan St). . I think you would find this is far faster than Blacktown, Westmead, Parramatta, Granville, Strathfield, Central, then change train to Airport line, thence Green Square, Mascot, Domestic Airport.

    The goods line is indeed valuable. But with a half hourly – at best – goods service the double track section is woefully underused, and there is ample capacity available for a non-conflicting passenger service.

  79. Simon says:

    Dudley, I’m with Ray on claiming freight tracks for passenger services.

    TTR, as for more trains through the locals, that is possible in theory but would result in further shafting of the South Line as well as the trains so rerouted. Do it enough and every train needs to all stop RedfernAshfield.

  80. Ray says:

    Dudley, I wasn’t referring to the goods line from Campsie as single track, but the Botany Goods line which runs from Sydenham to Cooks River and Port Botany. I have to say that they have been talking about duplicating this line now for what seems an eternity and I wish they would just get on with it. I can remember years ago when I travelled with my uncle, who was a guard, in the loco compartment as the train picked up freight along the route from various sidings including the old Kelloggs factory. Long before Port Botany.

    The Metropolitan Goods Lines as they were called have been a foresighted legacy to the separation of freight and passenger traffic in the inner city area and I can see no justification for changing anything. The goods line is a long way from both the domestic and international airport terminals anyway (unlike the Airport Rail Link), so what is the point of it? There is going to be an increasing volume of container traffic using the line and there is no room for passenger traffic. That’s why they are planning to duplicate the line.

    TTR, there are 12 tph under the new timetable for the Inner West Local, 8 express services from the South Line and 4 all stations services from Homebush during the am peak. With 3 minute headways between consecutive express services and the earlier all stations service by the time they reach Central, there is no room for any additional services. 12 tph is the limit with the mix of all stations and express services.

    The only way to increase capacity from Strathfield to the City is to build a short term CBD Rail Link which ultimately will have to be extended across the harbour. The Western Express proposal had some merit, but I would prefer using the Metro Pitt corridor.

    Ideally all express services from the South, Western, Richmond and Northern Lines should be shared between the Suburban and Main tracks between Strathfield and Central, leaving the Local tracks from Homebush exclusively for all stations services. This wouldn’t be possible with the existing infrastructure.

    Under the new timetable, there a total of 38 am peak services from the South, West and North (16 West + 8 South + 6 Northern), including 8 Intercity services from the Blue Mountains and Newcastle/Central Coast. Whilst you could theoretically run 20 tph on both the Main and Suburban tracks as far as Redfern, it would mean that 20 tph would have to terminate at Central. I don’t know what the turn around capacity is at the terminal platforms, but I doubt if it would be that high, considering it doesn’t take into account Intercity terminating services from the South Coast.

    If a City Relief Line was built (from the Main tracks), whether by the Metro West or Metro Pitt corridors, it could potentially provide an additional 12 paths for suburban services, with the 8 Intercity services proceeding to the terminal platforms. That’s on the basis of current signalling technology, but with upgraded signalling and Automatic Train Protection (ATP) for both the Main and Suburban tracks, the overall capacity could be increased to say 48 tph, which would more than allow for future expansion of both suburban and Intercity services. If the Illawarra/East Hills Line was also connected to the CBD Rail Link, a future extension via a new cross harbour tunnel to the North Shore would significantly reduce the need to interchange, particularly at Town Hall.

    With the Main and Suburban tracks used exclusively for express services from Strathfield to Central, this leaves the Inner West Line exclusively for an enhanced all stations service. With current peak hour services at 4 tph, they could potentially be increased to say 12 tph, depending on what the limit is with the single Homebush turnback. Whilst this may appear to be a candidate for single deck operation, double deck trains should be able to handle it quite adequately (1 train every 5 minutes).

  81. Dullsteamer says:

    “Street-view shows the overhead still in place at Marrickville.”

    I don’t know how up-to-date Google maps are but I worked trains through there on the weekend – the overhead has a substantial gap from the down end of Marrickville platfrom, where the carpark used to be, back to just clear of Meeks Road west fork junction.

    “After leaving Lidcombe and turning south, the line passes a triangle. This is, according to Google – see the view containing this triangle, in Strathfield. If not Strathfield, what is the correct name for this triangle.”

    If you’re referring to what I think you are, it’s Flemington Goods Junction.

    “That “crossovers between the Goods and the Banko at Campsie were removed” is, I think irrelevant as I do not suggest that the new service on the goods line should crossover to the passenger lines – or do I misunderstand you here?”

    Perhaps we’re at cross purposes. There aren’t any platforms on the goods road between Campsie and Marrickville, so any passenger service coming from Lidcombe via Enfield would need to cross back over to the Banko to serve these stations as you suggested in a previous post.

  82. Dullsteamer says:

    “Unless the Goods line has been recently singled – within the last five years ago or so – it is double all the way from Campsie to a few yards before O’Riordan St.”

    It’s double track only to Mascot Loop, which ends on the up side of Robey Street.

    http://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/ARTC/AR718.pdf

    “a train will take 10 minutes to traverse the line, plus an allowance for the length of the train. So assuming that 15 minutes must be allowed for each goods train then the best possible freight service at present is every 30 minutes in each direction. This can be easily interspersed with a 30 minute passenger service on the double track section from Enfield Yards to O’Riordan St.”

    You’re assuming that trains run through without getting blocked by shunting moves, light engines, or trains waiting to enter/leave Cooks River yard, and/or waiting for relief.

  83. Dullsteamer says:

    “I’m with Ray on claiming freight tracks for passenger services.”

    Bad idea, if you want to run frequent passenger services without lengthy delays.

  84. Simon says:

    “Bad idea, if you want to run frequent passenger services without lengthy delays.”
    Which is what Ray said and I agreed with.

  85. Dudley Horscroft says:

    To Dull Steamer

    According to Google Maps there were no overhead supports from the up end of Marrickville Station to the east, so plausibly the only section of overhead missing is that in Marrickville Station itself.

    Thanks for providing the correct name – Flemington Goods Junction.

    Agreed there are no platforms on the goods line between Campsie and Marrickville – I suggest a crossover from the eastbound goods to the westbound goods just west of Dulwich Hill, and the reverse just east, with the existing platform extended out to serve the westbound track. Same arrangement as is used at Broadmeadow, where both up and down trains use the one platform, the other now being, I think, totally disused for passenger purposes.

    Relevant streets are Ewan St, just before the lines merge, Coleman St just after, then Robey and O’Riordan Sts. The single track section used by passenger trains would be just the section from Coleman to O’Riordan. There is ample space for a four car set on a siding east of O’Riordan and it could manage an 8 car set if the line was angled to clear that monstrous hoarding about 160 m east of O’Riordan St. This may have some aviation purpose, but I doubt it as it is not aligned with the east west runway – the only people with sufficient time to read what it says would be customers in the Airport Espresso cafe on the corner of Qantas and Sir Reginald Ansett Drives.

    “You’re assuming that trains run through without getting blocked by shunting moves, light engines, or trains waiting to enter/leave Cooks River yard, and/or waiting for relief.”

    Cooks River Yard is reached by a single lead off the eastbound goods line immediately east of the Princes Highway overpass. There are a pair of crossovers west of the bridge so trains from any direction can access and leave the yard, though trains from Port Botany must reverse over the crossovers west of the bridge. Between the lead into the yard, and Cooks River Bridge, there are loops off the main goods, both for east and westbound tracks, though it looks like the connexion to the southern loop has been removed near the bridge, so the loop functions only as a siding. These loops should be able to provide sufficient storage space for (most) trains waiting to enter the yard. Longer trains should be timetabled cleared to enter the yard with no problems. One would hardly think that any train would need to stop for relief as it would be either entering or leaving the Yard, or bound for Port Botany, which would be suitable for arranging the relief.

    We seem to have got a long way from “Why is there no No. 1 platform at Wynyard?”!!

  86. Ray says:

    For God’s sake, forget about using the Metropolitan Goods Lines for passenger traffic. It’s just not an option. Anyone who advocates it doesn’t have a clue about how the Sydney rail network operates.

  87. Dullsteamer says:

    Simon says:

    “Bad idea, if you want to run frequent passenger services without lengthy delays.”

    “Which is what Ray said and I agreed with.”

    My apologies Simon, I lost track of who was advocating what.

  88. Dullsteamer says:

    “According to Google Maps there were no overhead supports from the up end of Marrickville Station to the east, so plausibly the only section of overhead missing is that in Marrickville Station itself.”

    Never mind Google maps Dudley, I work trains through there at least three times a week – I can quote the individual stanchion numbers if you like. The overhead is incomplete from the down end of Marrickville platform to the west fork. You said yourself you don’t even live in Sydney, so why do you want to argue with me?

    “Cooks River Yard is reached by a single lead off the eastbound goods line…One would hardly think that any train would need to stop for relief as it would be either entering or leaving the Yard, or bound for Port Botany, which would be suitable for arranging the relief.”

    I know the road into Cooks River very well, as I work trains in and out of there quite regularly. You may hardly think that trains would get relieved there, but I’m telling you what actually happens there, based on daily experience. You can bust your hours anywhere, and you can get relieved anywhere as well. It’s common for crews to bust while waiting for entry into yards.

    I have to agree with Ray. By advocating putting passenger services on the goods lines you display your lack of knowledge and understanding of how we run things here.

  89. XP says:

    This paper provides a very detailed analysis on how to better use the Wynyard spare platforms to increase north shore line capacity to 26-28tph, without building new infrastructure and without converting north shore line to single deck metro:

    http://www.atrf11.unisa.edu.au/Assets/Papers/ATRF11_0118_final.pdf

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