This week in transport (28 September 2014)

Posted: September 28, 2014 in Transport, Urban planning
Tags: , , , , , ,

VIDEO: Man races a train to the next stop

Tuesday: Parking minimums for new developments scrapped

New developments near transport hubs in and around the inner city will no longer be required to include parking spaces as part of government reforms to planning laws. Including a parking space can add an additional $50,000 or more to the cost of a unit, with the changes designed to allow inner city residents who do not need or want a parking space from being forced to pay for one. Developers can still choose to include parking spaces, should market demand for them exist. Opposition to the plan prevented it from being extended to outer suburban locations, with critics worried that it would result in cars spilling over into streets and using up the limited amount of available on-street parking in the inner city.

Tuesday: Replacement Epping to Chatswood Line bus routes announced

Five indicative bus routes have been identified which will run while the Epping to Chatswood Line is shut down during 2018 and 2019. The line is being upgraded as part of the North West Rail Link and will not operate for 7 months. During this time, additional bus services will operate to connect the T1 Northern Line and T1 North Shore Lines that are currently linked by rail between Epping to Chatswood.

5 bus routes will replace the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link in 2018 and 2019 during the 7 months that it is being upgraded as part of the North West Rail Link. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

5 bus routes will replace the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link in 2018 and 2019 during the 7 months that it is being upgraded as part of the North West Rail Link. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW.)

Thursday: Registration of Interest for Maldon to Dombarton Line opens

Update: Northern Line added (10:52PM, 28/09/2014)

The NSW Government has called on private sector investors to show their interest in building and operating the 35km Maldon to Dombarton Rail Line. The freight line would connect Port Kembla in Wollongong to the Southern Sydney Freight Line, potentially removing freight trains from the T4 Illawarra Line that currently travel via Sutherland to reach Sydney from Port Kembla. This could mean a completely segregated freight and passenger rail network in metropolitan Sydney outside of the Western Line and Northern Line, much of which consists of 2 pairs of tracks and can better handle disruptions to passenger services caused by broken down freight trains, while also allowing more freight to operate during the busy commuter peak hour during which curfews are in place for freight trains on much of the passenger network.

Construction on the Maldon to Dombarton freight line began in 1983 but was never completed due to an economic downturn and the forecast growth in coal traffic not eventuating.

Saturday: Rail line building plan to be scrapped

Plans to build high rise buildings close to the CBD by utilising the airspace above the rail line between Central and Redfern Stations looks set to be abandoned. The plan has proven to be too risky and too expensive. This made it unlikely that the private sector would be willing to bear the risk of the project, leaving the Government the risk burden. The plan, which would also contain a redevelopment of industrial areas on either side of the rail line near Redfern, had been compared to Barangaroo in size and scale.

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Comments
  1. baltoria says:

    The North Main line will still share passenger and freight trains.

    Up trains will still share one track from Berowra to south of Rhodes (bar the extra track from Epping to West Ryde) and down trains from Rhodes to West Ryde and Thornleigh to Berowra, even after NSFC works.

    The entirety of the T1 will remain susceptible to falling apart because of freight train issues, but the completion of ETTT will significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of impact on passenger trains by separating them at the most common point of failure (the uphill section from Epping to Thornleigh)

  2. @baltoria –

    Good point. I’ll make a correction.

  3. Alexsg says:

    Re rail line building plan to be scrapped – I love it when these things are announced with great fanfare but a few months later, when reality sets in, they are taken behind the stage and quietly garrotted. The slot freeway concept for Westconnex is another example.

    I don’t have any objection to using the airspace above railway lines but as the article suggests the best locations for this are at or near stations, both for the practical reasons outlined and also for the bleedin’ obvious – these are much more logical places to put higher density development than strung out along the line.

    Even in these locations the practical challenges aren’t trivial. Clearly it’s easier to do with a new line rather than a retrofit, or if the line is underground – for example, the number of major stations on the Tokyo metro with exits straight into the department stores built above them – very handy access to the food halls!

  4. Simon says:

    I don’t understand the news about parking minimums being abolished. I thought that happened years and years ago. E.g. The Aston on Hosking Pl was built in 1998 and has zero parking.

    Alexsg, it seems that both sides of politics are guilty of a lack of follow through. But the ALP were certainly worse.

  5. Sam says:

    >Simon
    Parking rates are generally loutlined in a local Councils DCP. There are only a few Sydney COuncils that have (or had) minimum parking. There are many, many apartments that have no parking and have been built recently, often for groundwater, access or other construction reasons. It looks like the state government is updating the apartments SEPP and overrules a COuncil DCP, thereby giving developers the option to reduce or eliminate parking.

  6. Sam says:

    Correction: have (or had) NO minimum parking RATE

  7. MrV says:

    The biggest risk for building above the lines between Central and Redfern is the government itself.
    It seems to have no clue what it is doing with regard to future transport requirements.
    There exists the future possibility for HSR access to central (albeit v. long term), conversion of Bankstown line to metro, future requirement for increased Western line capacity, increased expansion of central itself (underground platforms).
    In short far too many things that building over this corridor would impede without causing significant additional cost.

  8. JC says:

    @MrV: Absolutely!

    A plan like this has the potential to revolutionise land use/amenity/transport for a big chunk of inner Sydney. Converting the elevated railways in 4th Ave in New York into some of the most expensive real estate on the planet (Park Ave) by undergrounding the the tracks and coordinated re-development at ground level is a hundered year old model that could be followed. (A grand boulevard from Railway Square to Newtown Bridge??) But the govt proposals trying to make fast buck$ out of the real estate without thinking about the context and without a clear plan for how all the transport fits together won’t work – and won’t make the $ that would be possible if it was done properly.

  9. Alex says:

    @JC: “Converting the elevated railways in 4th Ave in New York into some of the most expensive real estate on the planet (Park Ave) by undergrounding the the tracks and coordinated re-development at ground level is a hundered year old model that could be followed.”

    At a more modest level this is what’s just been done in Perth through the sinking of the Freemantle line near Perth station, with the government intending to redevelop the space above: http://www.pta.wa.gov.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=n0TcJXjK4uo%3d&tabid=478&mid=1283&language=en-AU

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