This week in transport (23 March 2014)

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Transport
Tags: , , , ,

Monday: Town Hall Station gets an upgrade

Town Hall Station is to be the first of 19 stations across the network to get a major $8m facelift with new tiles, better lighting, and upgraded staircases. It forms part of a $20m “refresh” program for stations across the network including Parramatta, Bondi Junction, St Leonards, and Hurstville.

Artists impression of the upgrades for Town Hall Station. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

Artists impression of the upgrades for Town Hall Station. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

Wednesday: Badgery’s Creek airport needs an express rail line

Peter Thornton, one of the authors of the report calling for an airport at Badgery’s Creek, has called for express trains to run on any future rail line out to a potential airport on the site. Mr Thornton argues that running all stop services would cause unacceptably long journey times for passengers travelling from Badgery’s Creek to either Kingsford Smith Airport or the Sydney CBD, both of which could potentially be on the same line that links up to Badgery’s Creek.

It has been previously pointed out that building a rail line after the airport is complete would require billions of additional dollars in tunnelling costs, compared to the much cheaper option of cut and cover before any runways are built.

Thursday: Opal rollout to Sydney Trains as well as Southern Highlands and South Coast Lines

The Opal smartcard will be rolled out to the entire Sydney Trains network on Friday 28 March. This will be followed a week later with the South Coast Line down to both Port Kembla and Bombaderry as well as the Southern Highlands Line down to Goulbourn coming online on Friday 4 April.

This leaves the Blue Mountains and Hunter regions as the only two that will still not be Opal enabled. Opal readers have been installed at some, but not all stations in these two remaining regions. The Opal rollout will likely move on to complete the bus rollout, which so far includes only the 594/594H and 333 bus routes.

Friday: Inner West Light Rail extension to open

Sydney’s sole light rail line is set to double in length. Currently operating between Central Station and Lilifield, from Thursday 27 March it will be extended out to Dulwich Hill. The line will also feature four new look red trams, which will soon be the sole vehicle type running on the line. Frequencies will also be improved, with trams running every 10 minutes between 7AM-10AM and 3PM-6PM, with 15 minute frequencies at other times. Opal cards are not expected to be rolled out to trams until 2015.

Sydney's light rail will be extended to Dulwich Hill and feature new trams in red livery. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

Sydney’s light rail will be extended to Dulwich Hill and feature new trams in red livery. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

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Comments
  1. Dudley Horscroft says:

    The Media release for the IWLR states it will open this Thursday, 27th, not the following week.

    One can hope that the upgrade for Town Hall will get rid of all impedimenta on the platforms – even including seats (if any are left they should ALL be clearly marked “for pregnant ladies, the disabled and the aged”) and a few more staircases will be added so people can get off the platforms asap. Need plenty of seats in the mezzanine above the platforms, with appropriate information there, like “North Shore line train arriving on platform X in 2 minutes, move to platform NOW!” or “North Sydney train arriving on platform X in 2 minutes, Milsons Point and North Sydney passengers only move NOW”. Incidentally a few more signs at that level stating “North Shore trains platform X” and “Circular Quay trains on Platform Y” would be invaluable for those rarely using Town Hall – difficult to spot those signs that currently exist – try finding them!”

  2. @Dudley –

    Well spotted. Typo has been fixed. I must have gotten my dates mixed up.

  3. Mark Newton says:

    Interesting to see Bondi Jct listed amongst the stations to be “refreshed”. When we were campaigning for improved crew facilities there we were repeatedly told that the station had some sort of conservation order/heritage protection on it, and this severely limited what could be altered. Have a close look at the mealroom on the beach end of the platform and you’ll see that it is effectively a demountable building – it’s not physically attached to the rest of the structure.

    And yet when the passengers have a sook about the state of the place, all bets are off, apparently.

  4. nicholas says:

    Suspicious how they show the render for Platform 6 at Town Hall – 1, 2, and 3 are still going to be crazy narrow, because of the escalators from the lower levels cutting through them, right? And why are the tunnel walls still so dark? Epping underground lights up them quite nicely.

    I really don’t understand why we still have metal sheets covering the vertical columns at Town Hall either. A quick Google search reveals that the New York subway leaves them bare, for example. Those shiny metal sheets don’t make them look better, in fact, they probably look uglier thanks to them.

    Ultimately, however, Town Hall is in desperate need of this.

  5. Covo says:

    Correction: there will also be 12 factory fresh trams coming too. 3/12 have been delivoured. This will complement the 4 secondhand trams and will replace the blue trams

  6. MrV says:

    What can you really do to ‘refresh’ town hall?
    At a minimum you need to get digging and try to implement spanish solution by creating some additional platforms opposite 1,3 and 6,4 to try and alleviate capacity constraints.
    Although who knows if this is even possible?

    One thing is for sure, the bureaucracy won’t even get out of bed for $8 million.

  7. QPP says:

    The sums announced don’t really add up to much more than a lick of paint.

    Desperately needed, but as has been correctly stated, Town Hall and other stations (esp Wynyard) need much more than a cosmetic touch to address capacity, fire safety and other key constraints

    Impossible to do any of it without major works, and impossible to carry out those major works without closing those stations and probably the lines that use them – which isn’t realistic until there is a viable alternative. So that will be in 20 years time, post 2nd harbour crossing then.

    I suppose you could do a big job at Wynyard with less underground work as there are “unused” tunnel available. Impossible at Town Hall though

  8. Tandem Train Rider says:

    > Impossible to do any of it without major works, and impossible to carry out those major works
    > without closing those stations and probably the lines that use them – which isn’t realistic until
    > there is a viable alternative. So that will be in 20 years time, post 2nd harbour crossing then.

    Wynyard should be a relatively easy fix: reroute the Shore UP through platform 2 instead of 3. All (well most of) the major works could be done offline, and you end up with double the platform capacity.

    I think there are two viable options at Town Hall:
    – Construct a new Platform 3 to the west of the existing bridge structure and east of the Town Hall. That deals with the biggest problem of platform 3 directly (at the expense of making the interchange tricker. Platform 2 could be potentially double sided, or switched to be served by the former (but widened) platform 3. Messy, but possible.
    – Construct 2 (or my preference 4) hunking new platforms in the car parks under Kent St adjacent the QVB.

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