Sydney Metro West station locations confirmed

Posted: October 21, 2019 in Transport

VIDEO: Sydney Metro: West project update, October 2019 (Transport for NSW)

The locations of 6 stations on the Sydney Metro West between Westmead and the Sydney CBD have been confirmed. Two locations of potential stations currently under investigation at Rydalmere and Pyrmont as well as the Sydney CBD station are still unconfirmed. When complete, the government boasts the line will connect the Sydney CBD to Parramatta in 20 minutes and the Sydney CBD to Sydney Olympic Park in 14 minutes.

The line is set to open in 2030, according a Sydney Morning Herald report. Future extensions are also under consideration, both West to the future Nancy Bird Walton Airport and the nearby Aerotropolis as well as East along the Anzac Parade corridor.

Station Locations

The new Westmead Station (left) will be located immediately South of the existing Westmead Station. The new Parramatta Station (centre) will be located North of the existing Parramatta Station, largely under what is currently a multi-storey car park on Macquarie St. The new Sydney Olympic Park Station (right) will be located immediately East of the existing Sydney Olympic Park Station.

The new North Strathfield Station (left) will be located immediately East of the existing North Strathfield Station. The new Burwood North Station (centre) will be located about 1km North of the existing Burwood Station, on the corner of Parramatta Rd and Burwood Rd. The new Five Dock Station (right) will serve a new catchment not currently served by rail and be located about 600m North of Parramatta Rd along the on the Great North Rd.

The new Bays Precinct Station will be located somewhere between Glebe Island and the White Bay Power Station. The new Sydney CBD Station is rumoured to be likely located between Wynyard and Martin Place Stations along Hunter St. Rydalmere and Pyrmont Stations are not yet confirmed nor are there public details on exact locations.

Commentary: Journey Speed vs Coverage

The government’s deal breaker on this new line has for a long time been a single number: 20 minutes. This new line must provide a 20 minute journey from the Sydney CBD to Parramatta. This appears to be more important a goal than providing rail transport to dense or growing parts of Sydney that currently lack access to rail transport. It also appears to be a more important goal than providing opportunities for urban renewal.

The result is long distances between some stations. Potentially as long as 7km between Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park or 5km between Five Dock and the Bays Precinct. Most stations are 2km apart, meaning that anyone along the line’s route is no more than 10-15 minutes walking distance to the nearest station, roughly the distance that most people are willing to walk to a train station.

The soon to be fully completed metro line from Tallawong to Bankstown followed a similar pattern, which sees large distances between many stations: 6km between Cherrybrook and Epping, 4km between Chatswood and Crows Nest, or 4km between Waterloo and Sydenham.

For a metro style line that provides high frequency services under dense or growing precincts, there are three likely reasons: to cut down on cost, the increase journey speeds, or to avoid local opposition from so called “NIMBY” (not in my backyard) groups fearful that a metro station brings change to urban fabrix of their neighbourhood. In this particular case, the government has been as clear as it can that the reason is the second one, it is all about fast journeys. The irony of this is that at the same time they are considering a dog-leg detour out to Rydalmere for a potential station, which would increase travel times far more than including a station along a more direct route.

And yet the lack of stations remains a missed opportunity. So one potential solution would be to build in spaces for future stations. Two future stations between Pattamatta and Sydney Olympic Park, one between Five Dock and the Bays Precint, as well as the proposed station at Pyrmont would achieve this goal. By not building a station at Rydalmere, which itself will be served by light rail direct to Parramatta starting in 2023, the cost savings could be used to create empty station boxes at these locations. A hypothetical example of this was published by Fantasy Sydney Rail (see below). This also avoids all 3 potential challenges: cost blowouts, long journey times, and opposition by local residents.

It then falls on a future government to take the small step of building these stations once the network matures. By making these “missing links” with a cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars each, compared to billions or tens of billions for a new rail line, it increases the chances of these locations getting improved rail transport in the future as they begin to develop higher densities.

It may well be one way for the government to get both journey speed and coverage.

Comments
  1. Ray says:

    Although I agree with the concept of the Metro West rail link, as proposed it falls far short of what should ideally be constructed. There are too many compromises in an endeavour to satisfy conflicting demands for a fast express service between Parramatta and the CBD and servicing a new rail corridor through the Inner West. It has to be one or the other.

    In focusing on fast journey times as the defining parameter, it discourages including additional stations to increase its catchment area. Having stations 4 or 5 km apart for a “metro” supposedly servicing inner and middle ring suburbs is ridiculous. Up to 2 km should be the maximum.

    The concept of a 20 minute journey time from Parramatta to the CBD depends on your destination in the CBD. If your destination is in the Northern CBD, then it may be feasible with the metro, depending on the number of intermediate stations and the location of the so far single CBD station. It will take you longer with a change to reach Central.

    If on the other hand, your destination from Parramatta is Central, then you already have an express journey time of 25 minutes without interchange. With so much slack in the existing timetable and the potential to significantly reduce journey times with signalling upgrading to ATO standard and allowing the new DD trains to fully utilise their specified performance characteristics, then comparative journey times would be lineball.

    So why is there a need to emphasise allegedly superior journey times between Parramatta and the CBD for the metro, when a competitive alternative is already available, in greater comfort, and can potentially be improved even further? It always amuses me how they show the metro trains in their promotional videos with only a limited number of passengers, with a few standing, instead of a fully packed train in peak hours with most standing.

    The government should forget about promoting Metro West as a faster journey time from Parramatta to the CBD and instead focus on broadening its catchment area to provide greater access for commuters with more stations along a new rail corridor. That’s how metros typically operate.

    I agree that at least 3 more stations should potentially be included. I can’t see the logic in creating that dog leg via Rydalmere when it will be serviced by the light rail link to Carlingford. It may have some relevance in respect of a future metro link branching to Macquarie Park via either Epping or Eastwood, but that’s a long shot. It should just go direct to Sydney Olympic Park with stations at Camellia, interchanging with the light rail, and Silverwater/Newington. The route via Rydalmere brings into question the future plans for the redevelopment of the Camellia precinct. The other intermediate station as suggested should be at Lilyfield/Leichhardt North. A station at Pyrmont shouldn’t even be questioned.

    Although a CBD station hasn’t yet been confirmed, I would prefer that there should be at least 2 CBD stations at Wynyard/Barangaroo and Martin Place/St James, interchanging with Metro/Sydney Trains lines, similar to the previous North West Metro alignment. A mooted CBD station around Hunter St isn’t exactly convenient for Metro West commuters destined for the developing Barangaroo precinct on the western fringe of the CBD. Another compromise, without taking into account the convenience for commuters.

    Further extensions of Metro West to the west and east are another story.

    Finally, the government’s spin that Metro West, as much as it is a desirable addition to Sydney’s rail network, will relieve congestion on the Western and Northern Lines needs to be challenged. It will not! It will certainly significantly add capacity between Parramatta and the CBD, but do little to relieve congestion west of Parramatta/Westmead where the greatest overcrowding occurs.

    There is an implied suggestion that Outer Western Line commuters will just interchange to the metro at either Westmead or Parramatta, but how practicable is that when there is no cross platform interchange? It completely glosses over how overcrowding on the Outer Western Line can be addressed. More DD train services could potentially be added, but there are no further paths available, except for a limited number to Sydney Terminal, for these services to continue through to the CBD. It’s impracticable to terminate any additional services from the Outer West/Richmond to meet the demand at Parramatta/Westmead to interchange to the metro in peak hours, without causing major disruption.

    Similarly, the suggestion that Metro West will provide relief to increasing demand on the Northern Line, by interchanging at North Strathfield, is misplaced. Why would you bother when you will save only a matter of a few minutes, depending on your destination in the CBD?

    In saying that, it doesn’t mean that Metro West isn’t a worthwhile project, but let’s cut the spin and emphasise its value as providing a rail service along a new inner city corridor.

  2. Hisashi says:

    I would similarly prefer that the new metro be built as a new corridor for the suburbs between the two CBDs, and the stations placed accordingly. Pyrmont Station should be built together with the overall project, and I think there should be additional stations earmarked in the following locations:
    – either Lilyfield, and/or Leichhardt North and connect to the Inner West Light Rail
    – Canada Bay
    – Silverwater – make it an actual stop
    – Camellia (along Grand Ave), and connect to Rydalmere via the light rail and maybe in addition make another walk/bus/bicycle-only bridge similar to Bennelong Bridge
    – and maybe Harris Farm East (under Hassall Street maybe?)

    I think that would be more effective in shifting people to the Metro who would otherwise take the train at Parramatta, Strathfield, or Burwood.

    As for the Western Line, I think it might be better if we can start separating it entirely from both the Blue Mountains Line, the Inner West Line, and the Cumberland Line, and allow higher capacity that way. For a start, all four services should have their own tracks and platforms at Parramatta and Westmead. Beyond Parra, maybe the Blue Mountains Line can run on a newly-built separate pair of tracks to Blacktown, while the Inner West Line gets extended to Blacktown, and share the tracks with the Cumberland Line, servicing all stations.

  3. Ray says:

    @Hisashi, I agree that there needs to be some separation of the Western Line routes to maximise its capacity, but I’d approach it differently. The Western Line track pair (quad) beyond Granville already has a combined theoretical capacity of 40tph or up to 48tph with signalling upgrading to ETCS Level 2 (ATO) standard. It’s currently running at 26tph (20tph Suburban + 6tph Main) at Parramatta.

    It’s a little confusing, because for some inexplicable reason which I’ve never quite been able to work out, the Suburban tracks east of Granville Junction (southern pair) become the Western Main tracks west of the junction (platforms 3 & 4 at Parramatta) and conversely the Main tracks from the east become the Suburban tracks to the west (platforms 1 & 2). After the dive on approach to Westmead, the outer track pair are the Main and the inner track pair the Suburban. It used to be the reverse.

    Perhaps it may have something to do with future long term planning for eventual sextuplication between Homebush and Parramatta. A proposal in 2013 had the Main Line (northern pair) east of Granville Junction slewed to the now Main West Line (southern pair) west of the junction and a new tunnel constructed from Homebush, passing under the Main and emerging on the northern side of the rail corridor east of Clyde to connect directly with a slewed Suburban West Line (northern pair).

    The existing Inner West Line extended at grade beyond Homebush and slewed to the Suburban Line in parallel with its diversion to the new tunnel. The Inner West Line was then effectively separated from the Suburban Line and continued to connect directly with the South Line as well as Bankstown and Liverpool via Regents Park. This scheme seems to have been superseded by the West Metro. But I digress.

    There is currently ample spare capacity and potentially even more with signalling upgrading on the Western Line quad west of Granville. The problem is, that there is insufficient track capacity from Granville to the CBD for this latent capacity to be fully utilised. The West Metro has erroneously been promoted as providing this additional capacity, but it would require interchange to continue into the CBD and points in between. However, they haven’t thought it through.

    Even if services were increased from Emu Plains/Penrith and Richmond to interchange to the metro, it isn’t practicable to terminate them at either Westmead or Parramatta in peak hours without impacting on other services. They’ve got nowhere to go. There have been suggestions that all Richmond Line services, which includes some stations between Seven Hills and Westmead, should be diverted to the Cumberland Line, forcing those whose destination is the CBD, which would be the majority, to interchange to either existing Sydney Trains services or the metro. Aside from the political fallout from those directly affected, it’s a flawed strategy, particularly having regard to the proposed metro station locations at Westmead, and more so Parramatta, which aren’t exactly designed to provide convenient interchange.

    There is no question in my mind that further amplification of the Western Line from Paramatta to the CBD is essential, regardless of the merits of the West Metro, which can stand alone as a worthwhile project servicing a new rail corridor between Parramatta and the CBD. In fact I’d even argue that the former deserves greater priority than the latter.

    My preference would be a modified version of the above noted sextuplication proposal by constructing an express tunnel, exclusively for Western Line suburban services, from Granville to the CBD, with possibly one intermediate station at Strathfield, before continuing along the previous City Relief Line alignment from Eveleigh to the unused platforms 1 & 2 at Wynyard, with new underground stations at Redfern, Central and Town Hall West.

    I have proposed a more radical concept on another forum to continue that line from Wynyard by reclaiming the eastern lanes of the Harbour Bridge for a new rail line to the Northern Beaches via North Sydney Station, utilising the existing stub tunnels constructed as part of Bradfield’s original plan. It would obviously require a new rail bridge to be reinstated across the Warringah Freeway, which shouldn’t be an engineering obstacle. The concept is subject to the Western Harbour Tunnel being constructed, which would more than make up for the loss of two traffic lanes on the Harbour Bridge, one of which is a bus lane. A new rail link to the Northern Beaches would significantly reduce the need for direct bus services into the CBD, making the bus lane superfluous. A southbound connection from the Harbour Bridge to the Cahill Expressway could still be maintained. But that’s another story.

    In respect of the operation of the Western Line with a new express tunnel to the CBD, the aforementioned sextuplication scheme should be amended by maintaining the connection of the Suburban (southern track pair) at Granville Junction with the Western Line (to be redesignated as the
    West Suburban Line becoming the outer track pair beyond Parramatta). It would become an all stations track to and from the Inner West Line for extended services from Parramatta to Blacktown, avoiding the termination/start at Parramatta, as well as crossing over to a new express tunnel via a dive between Harris Park and Granville. South Line services would share the tracks with a mixed semi-express stopping pattern from Granville as they do currently. It would also include increased services on the Cumberland Line.

    The northern track pair through Parramatta platforms 1 & 2, to be redesignated as the West Main Line, would cater for all express and semi-express services from Emu Plains/Penrith and Richmond, including Blue Mountains Intercity. The new track pair as part of the express tunnel would diverge from the West Main between Parramatta and Harris Park for suburban services to Wynyard and Intercity services would continue along the existing Main to Sydney Terminal.

    This is such a complicated arrangement and I may have missed something here, but please feel free to comment further.

  4. Anthony says:

    My major problem with the Metro West is its extraordinary cost of $30b. What other projects could be built for this price tag and would they do more to reduce congestion than this project?
    It is touted as a project to relieve Western Sydney but there are only two stations which are considered Western Sydney (potentially 3 if Rydalmere is built). It mostly provides services to inner west suburbs most of which are already well served by public transport (why does Burwood need a station when it has a busy one up the road).
    The benefits to Western Sydney are limited to boosting Parramatta and Olympic Park as employment centres and reducing congestion on the T1 line by getting those in Parramatta and Westmead onto the Metro instead (this is only going to happen if the travel time to the City is 20 minutes so the govt is right to limit the number of stations).
    If a metro is going to be built it should be looking at having more stations further west in suburbs not already served by rail.
    In relation to potential stations, Rydalmere is more justified than other stations. It has a growing university campus, its industrial area has a significant workforce which is scheduled to grow significantly and the metro station could interchange with the light rail for commuters from Carlingford and Dundas.
    Pyrmont on the other hand is walking distance to the CBD, a direct light rail to the CBD, bus and ferry services. The only reason a Pyrmont station will be built is to justify allowing Star to build a skyscraper there.
    The Bays Precinct could have direct and frequent ferry services to the CBD quite easily, as well as a short bus route to the CBD. There are surely other locations with a greater need.

  5. Hisashi says:

    @Ray, I had some trouble understanding what you meant with the existing conditions – due to me being a noob in understanding track configurations, so no offence to you – until I found a diagram showing exactly what they look like. The switchover between Parra and Granville does look weird! Just to be clear, in terms of actual operations, do the T1 trains still stop on the southern pair of Granville and Parramatta? (*)

    Either way, there’s definitely going to be a huge bottleneck for all the Penrith to CBD trains considering how the Western Line needs to share tracks and conflicting movements with at least another route. As you pointed out, I do wonder whether this should have been dealt with the third pair of tracks, concurrently, or even before the West Metro was built.

    On a different note, what do you think of earmarking Camellia, Silverwater, (and maybe Newington as well) as stations? And for possible CBD stations and further extension? Part of me reckon it should be built at Pitt Street or Town Hall, and the line eventually extended down Oxford Street to the stadium ground. Yet part of me reckon it should be built at Wynyard, and new tracks laid across the Harbour (either on the Cahill lanes, or a third harbour tunnel), along under Military/Spit Rds, and essentially upgrade parts of the B-line.

    (*)I sometimes went through the former station when I lived out West in 2012-2016, and I occasionally still pass through that station to go to our workshop owned by my current workplace at St Marys, but I don’t exactly remember where the train usually stops.

  6. Tandem Train Rider says:

    I must say, I am very disappointed with this project for so many reasons. I much the same way I objected to the NWRL as a metro, I think there is a similar problem with this project, though manifest in different ways. They have decided to do a metro first, then tried to find a problem to solve with it.

    The major problem with this route is it simply doesn’t open up sufficient new high density urban redevelopment opportunities. I expect the project is being driven primarily by a desire to maximise the sale price of The Bays and the ongoing redevelopments at Olympic Park.

    Of the 8 station on the new line, 4 are interchanges (Westmead, Parra, Nth Strathfield, CBD), 3 are *already* served by rail (Olympic Park, Burwood, “The Bays” – by light rail). Only Five Dock – no doubt with heritage concerns limiting redevelopment opportunities – is a genuine greenfields site.

    Pyrmont and Rydalmere also receive a rail service currently.

    I’m not pretending for one second the service at any of the non-interchange locations the Western Metro is expected to serve is adequate, but that’s not the point. A project like this should be opening up substantial high density redevelopment opportunities, but it’s not. It’s just trying to redress the limitations of the existing system with overbuild.

    And because of this, it needs to cannibalise Western Line traffic to make the patronage stack up, and that means reducing the intermediate stations.

    Quite frankly, if current Western Line patronlge is the core market, they might as well build the thing with *no* stations bar the CBD, the use the freed up slots to provide direct services to Olympic Park plus a new station at Pipita & provide high speed high frequency service at Flemington, another redevelopment opportunity greater than five dock.

    IMHO this is NSW planning at it’s finest. Define the solution, the look for a problem to justify it.

  7. Ray says:

    @TTR, couldn’t agree more that the West Metro is an overhyped project looking for a problem to resolve. Although in saying that, it would be a useful addition to Sydney’s rail network serving a new rail corridor between Parramatta and the CBD, but it’s not a major priority when other more compelling arguments can be made to prioritise investment in the existing network to address its deficiencies. However, anything to do with expanding the existing network, no matter how warranted, isn’t in the current government’s DNA.

    The most bleedingly obvious solution is to amplify the existing track between Parramatta and the CBD, by way of an express tunnel for outer suburban trains with a limited number of intermediate station, perhaps only one at Strathfield. It could connect directly with a City Relief Line from Eveleigh to Wynyard as previously proposed. Even allowing for a larger DD tunnel profile (we’re talking just centimetres anyway), it would have to be a lot cheaper than a new metro line with multiple stations along its route. It would also avoid unnecessary interchange at Westmead or Parramatta by providing a continuous through route.

    The proposed West Metro station locations at Westmead and Parramatta are hardly designed to allow for convenient interchange, so perhaps they are changing tack after realising that it won’t be the magic bullet for relieving congestion on the Western Line, which was one of its major justifications. They will now be looking for other reasons to justify its priority over a more meaningful commitment to spend some serious money on upgrading the existing network where warranted. Imagine what could be achieved in spending $5-10 billion on upgrading the existing network.

    It doesn’t preclude new metro lines being constructed, but greater priority should be given to bringing the current network up to scratch, rather than turning a blind eye to its inadequacies and hoping the problems will go away by building more metro lines. Sooner or later, this strategy will come home to bite them and I suggest it already is.

    They have a similar head in the sand attitude with regard to the proposed North/South metro line from St Marys to the new Badgerys Creek airport, when anyone with half a brain would conclude that it would be more logical to extend the SWRL. It would provide a much earlier, more direct and faster express rail service to the CBD as well as servicing Sydney’s South West. A longer term extension could be made from the Aerotropolis and airport to St Marys on the Western Line. This isn’t metro territory. But that’s another story.

    I don’t entirely agree with your intimation that new high density urban redevelopment opportunities should necessarily be a determining factor in constructing new rail lines, whether they be metro or part of the existing network. They should certainly be taken into account along with other issues such as providing a rail service to existing established areas which don’t already have that benefit. Creating opportunities for developers is not what sensible transport planning should be about.

  8. Ray says:

    @Hisashi. I apologise if I’ve confused you with regard to the track designations between Granville and Parramatta, if that’s what you’re referring to. Please disregard that and just focus on the northern and southern track pairs.

    If you have sighted a schematic diagram prepared by Transport for NSW in 2013 for a proposed 6 track amplification from Homebush to Parramatta, then you will see that the northern track pair (Main) was proposed to be slewed to the southern track pair between Granville Junction and Harris Park and the connection of the southern track pair between the South Line and Western Line at Granville Junction being eliminated, meaning that the South Line and Western Line would be physically separated. The tunnel proposal as part of the sextup descends in a dive from the Suburban Line (southern track pair) in parallel with an extended track Inner West Local from Homebush to tunnel through to the northern track pair between Granville and Harris Park which in turn is slewed in parallel with the abovementioned connection.

    I know this is all very confusing without the schematic being displayed, but what it effectively means is that it was proposed to separate the southern track pair between Homebush and Granville from the Western Line so that the Inner West Local continued from Homebush through to the South Line, including Liverpool/Bankstown via Regents Park. The existing Suburban Line tracks west of Homebush descended in a dive under the Main Line tracks (northern track pair) to re-emerge between Granville and Harris Park to connect with the northern track pair to the west, which effectively becomes the Suburban Line (centre track pair from Westmead dive).

    In that scenario, T1 services wouldn’t use the southern track pair between Homebush and Granville, which would be exclusively used by T2. The T1 services from Strathfield would run via the new tunnel to connect with the northern track pair through Parramatta (P1&2). The current Main Line (northern pair) from Strathfield would connect with the slewed track west of Granville through Parramatta (P3&4). As I mentioned earlier, this is perhaps why P3&4 through Parramatta has been redesignated as the Main (outer track pair west of Parramatta).

    The problem with this sextup proposal is that it doesn’t address the longer term capacity constraints between Strathfield and the CBD. In the first instance, the merging of the Western and Northern Lines at Strathfield and further at Eveleigh, doesn’t allow for any further services through the CBD which is already operating at its maximum capacity. Secondly, the separation of the Inner West and South Lines from the Western Line at Granville means that stations along this route would no longer have a direct service to Parramatta. I have wrestled with the need to maintain this essential service and at the same time foster greater separation of services. It’s not as easy as you think.

    Ideally, all T1 suburban services from the outer suburbs should be run via a new express tunnel from Parramatta to a City Relief Line terminating at Wynyard and an all stations service from Blacktown and Quakers Hill to Burwood, running express to Redfern on the Suburban tracks in tandem with T9 Northern Line services through to the North Shore Line. The Main Line tracks from Strathfield to Sydney Terminal should be reserved exclusively for Northern and Western Intercity and Regional services. The only other issue which should also be ideally addressed is how to allow for South Line services to have an express run from say Burwood into the CBD, similar to the Western and Northern Lines. It could potentially allow for an increase in frequency on the Inner West Line by eliminating the mixed stopping pattern and introducing a single all stations pattern.

    In respect of additional stations on the West Metro, I’ve already addressed that in my earlier post. With regard to CBD stations for the metro, in addition to Pyrmont which I think is a no-brainer, there should be at least two stations in the CBD. A station servicing the western side of the CBD at the emerging Barangaroo precinct is essential, say under Margaret St close to Wynyard as proposed in the original North West Metro alignment. The purported station location in Hunter St is a compromise, but isn’t particularly convenient for those destined for the western CBD. Similarly, a station is needed on the eastern fringe of the CBD, close to Martin Place and St James. Both stations can adequately service the central region of the CBD.

    Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess, but my preference would be to follow an alignment under Oxford St to Taylor Square and swinging south to Zetland paralleling the Eastern Distributor. It doesn’t need to go via Central as there would be opportunities to interchange to the existing network or metro if at least two stations were built in the CBD.

  9. Tandem Train Rider says:

    @Ray, I’m sure you’ve read me write this before, but I think in 20 years and another 3 changes of government from now, the current Metro Mania will be resolved by specifying the replacement for the T-Sets as a DD format reduced in height & headroom from 4.25 to 4.10m, with an unfortunately slightly reduced door width. This train will be completely compatible with the NWRL metro & Western format, as well as the current HR format, though possible with an even wider platform gap.

    SW-Airport-Leppington-Liverpool-Campsie-Sydenham-CBD-Chatswood-Epping-Rouse Hill-Richmond will be one of three stopping patterns on the CBD “metro”, to go with Hornsby via Epping & Lidcombe via Bankstown

    Similarly, this “new” format will serve Katoombta-Springwood-Penrith-Parramatta-Five Dock-“Bays”-CBD, and perhaps a branch to the 2nd Airport as well.

    IMHO history will look back at our flirtation with “metro” as a repeat of our tendency to change the loading gauge every 30 years.

  10. Ray says:

    @TTR, I can’t seriously see a hybrid DD train being introduced which will allow compatible operation with the current metro trains. Whichever way you look at it, the decision to reduce the loading gauge for the metro tunnels was a cynical attempt to stop this very thing from happening, by one Rodd Staples no doubt.

    There were suggestions by some contractors early in the piece that the North West Metro tunnels could be constructed to the wider tunnel profile to accommodate DD trains at a similar cost, but that came to nothing. I think we just have to accept, that for better or worse, we have what we have, and plan future train operations around it. If the metro was a completely segregated system, without converting and impacting on sections of the existing network, then it really wouldn’t matter.

    Conversely, there’s nothing to stop compatible SD trains with ATO, albeit with a driver/attendant, being introduced on the existing network to service all stations inner city lines with a higher frequency, including the City Circle, with the ability to also run on the metro lines if warranted. London’s new Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) has a driver for the outer branches where it inter-reacts with other rail services, but is fully ATO through the London central core with the driver monitoring operation. However, the differences in the platform gap as you suggest may be an obstacle, but it’s not an insurmountable problem.

    I don’t support any future conversions of the existing network to metro operation. However, if future metro lines were completely segregated, then compatibility with the existing DD network is irrelevant.

  11. Ray says:

    It appears that a just released report by the Greater Sydney Commission into the Greater Parramatta and Olympic Park (GPOP) precinct has recommended that the previously proposed rezoning of the Camellia Precinct for residential redevelopment be abandoned. This is on the basis of recent investigations which have established that the costs to the government for remediation, flood mitigation and service delivery would be prohibitive and not recoverable from developer contributions. It has recommended that the Camellia/Rosehill area should continue to be used for industrial purposes, including retention of the racecourse.

    This explains why the route option for Metro West via Rydalmere is being considered and no doubt the implications for the future of the proposed Stage 2 of the Parramatta Light Rail link to Olympic Park via Rydalmere and Wentworth Point. Stay tuned.

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