grog wrote: ↑Thu May 21, 2020 10:57 pm
Almost everything lunchbox raises is addressed since the EIS. At Westmead there is no road to cross a road as Alexandra Ave is being relocated and the Metro and Sydney Trains stations will be integrated. Same at North Strathfield. The EIS also mentions Olympic Park being designed for event crowds.
I don't think it adequately addresses the issues raised by lunchbox at all, particularly with regard to interchange between the metro and Sydney Trains at Westmead and North Strathfield.
As far as I can tell, there haven't been any concept designs released for the stations themselves, showing layouts and cross-section elevations and how they will inter-connect with the existing surface platforms. You would think that this should be an essential prerequisite before any construction starts. It all seems like planning on the run to me.
In the case of Westmead, while Alexandra Ave will be permanently diverted around the metro station site and in the absence of an underground pedestrian concourse linking the metro platforms with the surface platforms, interchange will still necessitate up and down movements and a long walk between the surface platforms, the overhead concourse, the surface metro concourse and the underground metro platforms and of course vice versa. This is hardly conducive to creating any incentive to interchange, which is allegedly a major justification for the project to relieve overcrowding on the T1 Western Line. How this will work in relieving overcrowding west of Westmead is yet to be demonstrated. So far, there's been no suggestion that an underground pedestrian concourse linking all platforms is contemplated. It's essential.
Ideally, the metro platforms should have been constructed below the existing station with a common underground concourse in between, in addition to the existing overhead concourse for street access, all by escalators. This is a similar arrangement which currently exists at Epping. The ideal arrangement would have been like Chatswood, with cross platform interchange, but that was more to do with circumstance than by design, because the metro took over the ECRL.
The same less than desirable situation can be said for North Strathfield. However, unlike Westmead, an underground pedestrian concourse linking all platforms is not practicable, as the freight line dive runs between the metro and Sydney Trains platforms. It will also require up and down movements for interchanging passengers.
Another issue which hasn't yet been raised in respect of North Strathfield, is the lack of a platform for the future Up Suburban (Relief) line to complete quadruplication between Strathfield and Epping. When the freight line dive was planned and constructed, space was left between it and the existing Up North Main for an additional track to complete the quadruplication. However, there is no room for an additional platform because of the dive, unless it is staggered some distance from the existing surface platforms. The Down Suburban (Relief) track already has a platform, which is platform 3.
The reason why I raise this issue is because the government has intimated that CCN Intercity trains may also stop at North Strathfield to allow interchange with Metro West, which would be particularly useful for those destined for Sydney Olympic Park or Parramatta. Under current operating conditions on the existing quad track between West Ryde and Epping and the Third track in the Down direction between Epping and Thornleigh (I know it's actually uphill), Intercity and Regional trains, in addition to some Suburban express peak services and freight, generally run on the Suburban tracks (outer track pair) and all stations Suburban services on the North Main (inner track pair). Once quadruplication is completed as part of the Northern Line Freight Corridor program within the next decade, I expect that this pattern will be reinforced.
If CCN Intercity services do stop at North Strathfield to allow interchange to Metro West, then without an additional platform on the new Up Suburban track, they would be forced to cross to the Main track to access the current platform 1. All that will do is compromise services on the Northern Line by interfering with the separation of express and all stations services on the quad track.