Other rail possibilties

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tonyp
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Other rail possibilties

Post by tonyp »

I think the metro project will keep going full steam ahead under this government. The only way it will slip to decades away is if Labor gets back in. Not being political, just being realistic!

According to the transport plan:

Image

there will be a link between Parramatta and Epping via Carlingford. It doesn't specify the mode, but having built light rail two-thirds of the way, it seems unlikely they will replace it with metro. The Macquarie Park connection is via modal interchange at Epping.

Now that they've decided not to go north of the river with the West Metro, I think it likely that the eastern branch of the light rail will very likely be on the go again. I think it was only paused while they decided whether to cross the river with the metro or not.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by Transtopic »

tonyp wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:28 am I think the metro project will keep going full steam ahead under this government. The only way it will slip to decades away is if Labor gets back in. Not being political, just being realistic!

According to the transport plan:

Image

there will be a link between Parramatta and Epping via Carlingford. It doesn't specify the mode, but having built light rail two-thirds of the way, it seems unlikely they will replace it with metro. The Macquarie Park connection is via modal interchange at Epping.

Now that they've decided not to go north of the river with the West Metro, I think it likely that the eastern branch of the light rail will very likely be on the go again. I think it was only paused while they decided whether to cross the river with the metro or not.
I'd take that 2056 Transport Plan with a grain of salt. They're just lines on a map and most of the proposed new routes haven't been fully investigated so far. They're certainly not set in stone. At best I'd call them aspirational, but a lot more investigation needs to be done before any firm commitments can be made. You know as well as anyone how plans can change over multiple election cycles, even with the same party in power. There's a lot more water to go under the bridge yet.

I read today that the completion date for Metro West has now been pushed back to 2030 and for all we know it could even be later. They still haven't finalised the route and station locations through Pyrmont and the CBD, not publicly at least. Just BTW, the plan shown is a combination of the existing network and new metro lines without differentiating between them. Pity that we couldn't have one homogenous rail network.

The link shown between Parramatta and Epping is a proposed metro line. It doesn't show the light rail route. As I've said innumerable times on this thread, it is extremely unlikely that the light rail will be extended from Carlingford to Epping, which by the government's own admission, has challenging cost and engineering implications. It's not practicable to have a surface route along the 4-lane Carlingford Rd without major and costly property resumptions, aside from the traffic disruption, nor is it viable to construct a costly underground route for light rail. They never thought this through from the very beginning. It's been planning on the run. It has now quietly slipped off the agenda and we're left with a half-baked light rail line which was initially proposed to link with Macquarie Park. Epping wasn't even mentioned then. Parramatta Council's feasibility study dismissed this option early in the study.

I agree with you that it would be unlikely that they will replace the light rail line with a metro link via Carlingford as it would just be a wasteful duplication, notwithstanding the fact that the light rail is also unlikely to be extended to Epping for reasons expressed. In that scenario, then it opens up the option for an alternative route for a metro from Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Eastwood which is more direct. That's assuming that it's not built as a light rail line, in which case the need for a duplicate metro link is questionable. As I said, the route options still need to be fully investigated.

There is no compelling reason why a light rail or metro link has to go via Epping, with or without interchange, to reach Macquarie Park. The major trip generators will be Parramatta and Macquarie Park and the focus should be on providing the most direct and fastest route between those strategic centres and that's via Eastwood. Eastwood is the second largest centre after Rhodes on the Northern Line between Strathfield and Hornsby and has the same connectivity as Epping, as well as a future metro line (or Light Rail) via Eastwood interchanging with Metro Northwest at Macquarie University.

As for the proposed Stage 2 of the Parramatta Light Rail link to SOP, we shall just have to wait and see how that pans out. It's by no means a certainty as you suggest.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by Swift »

Time to complete the ESM by finishing the tunneling beyond Bondi Junction and converting to metro.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by Transtopic »

Swift wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:27 pm Time to complete the ESM by finishing the tunneling beyond Bondi Junction and converting to metro.
While extending the ESR to Maroubra Junction is certainly warranted, I can't ever see it being converted to metro, when it's so integrated with the T4 Illawarra Line.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by gilberations »

Transtopic wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:48 am
Swift wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:27 pm Time to complete the ESM by finishing the tunneling beyond Bondi Junction and converting to metro.
While extending the ESR to Maroubra Junction is certainly warranted, I can't ever see it being converted to metro, when it's so integrated with the T4 Illawarra Line.
You could almost justify it, if you did it the other way.
Let me explain.

If you had the T4/SCO travel to the city circle, you could then allow for metro to start at Redfern (or continue via a new route, possibly duplicating or replacing the inter west line either above or below ground), travel along the existing line to Bondi, extending to Maroubra, and the onto the proposed line down to Miranda via the Airport, Brighton Le Sands, and Sylvania and/or Tarren Point.

The only issue I would see is the ESR already has a 3 min frequency with 8 car double deck trains, that are usually full. And before you say “but that’s just because people going south” I’ll remind people that the train is usually full between Kings Cross and Town Hall, and on shut downs when only central to bondi is operating, those trains run fairly full too. So I’d struggle to see the justification in single deck
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by Linto63 »

gilberations wrote: If you had the T4/SCO travel to the city circle, you could then allow for metro to start at Redfern...
Except one of the prime reasons for making the Bankstown line part of the Metro is to free up capacity on the City Circle. The current T4 line is segregated from the rest of the network, reintegrating it with T2 and T8 services would be counter productive.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by Swift »

Ok, just build an extension of the T4 out to Maroubra and beyond, maybe even forming a giant circuit back toward the Sutherland shire.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by ed24 »

Maybe they don't want to risk the NIMBYs but Frenchs Forest seems like a huge missed opportunity in the plan - it's an area that could do with better transport options and more density in the next 30 years.
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Re: Parramatta light rail

Post by gilberations »

Linto63 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:10 am
gilberations wrote: If you had the T4/SCO travel to the city circle, you could then allow for metro to start at Redfern...
Except one of the prime reasons for making the Bankstown line part of the Metro is to free up capacity on the City Circle. The current T4 line is segregated from the rest of the network, reintegrating it with T2 and T8 services would be counter productive.
That’s a benefit of it, not a cause for it. Again though, if you were to turn the Inner West, possibly all the way to Parramatta, into Metro, it would allow for Western/BMT trains to have more paths to run into the city, and again open the city circle for T4.

In the modern age of transferring services, no reason why the T5 should be used more and have people transfer to T1 or T8 to get to the city.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by tonyp »

ed24 wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:00 pm Maybe they don't want to risk the NIMBYs but Frenchs Forest seems like a huge missed opportunity in the plan - it's an area that could do with better transport options and more density in the next 30 years.
I think there are a couple of minor drafting omissions in that diagram. Bondi Junction and Frenchs Forest are sitting there on their own and the former obviously should show the ESR and, with the latter, I wonder if they meant to put in the proposed B Line from the northern beaches to Chatswood?
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Re: Other rail possibilities

Post by Linto63 »

gilberations wrote: That’s a benefit of it, not a cause for it. Again though, if you were to turn the Inner West, possibly all the way to Parramatta, into Metro, it would allow for Western/BMT trains to have more paths to run into the city, and again open the city circle for T4.
But for what benefit? In an ideal world each line would be separate from all others, much like how many metro systems operate. Sydney doesn't have that luxury, but the T4 is as close as we have. Running T4 trains from the Illawarra via the City Circle again would mean they have to interact with T2 and T8 trains again, effectively putting it back as it was in the 1970s.
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Re: Other rail possibilities

Post by Transtopic »

Linto63 wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:37 pm
gilberations wrote: That’s a benefit of it, not a cause for it. Again though, if you were to turn the Inner West, possibly all the way to Parramatta, into Metro, it would allow for Western/BMT trains to have more paths to run into the city, and again open the city circle for T4.
But for what benefit? In an ideal world each line would be separate from all others, much like how many metro systems operate. Sydney doesn't have that luxury, but the T4 is as close as we have. Running T4 trains from the Illawarra via the City Circle again would mean they have to interact with T2 and T8 trains again, effectively putting it back as it was in the 1970s.
Yes, it would be a backward step and isn't going to happen anyway. The government has already committed to its plan to begin upgrading of T4 to ATO standard with the new Hurstville and Erskineville Crossovers and the ESR will be an integral part of that. Once the T3 Bankstown Line is converted to metro and separated from the existing network, SCO Intercity trains will run on the Illawarra Local from Hurstville to Sydney Terminal and discontinue operating to Bondi Junction. This will free up more paths for Waterfall, Cronulla and Hurstville T4 services on the ESR. ATO will also allow faster services and an increase in frequency to 24tph. That's up from the current 16tph (excluding SCO) - a 50% increase. There's no need to convert the ESR to metro.

The major justification for the Bankstown Line metro conversion was to remove it from the City Circle, freeing up more paths for T2 and T8. When ATO is also rolled out on T2, T8 and the CC, which is planned within the next decade, there will be a total of 48tph paths available on the CC for T2 and T8, compared with the current 30tph (excluding T3 @ 10tph) - a 60% increase.

This will effectively create a further separate line for the Sydney Trains' network with T2 feeding into T8 via the CC (and vice versa), although there will be some cross over via the Central flying junctions. SCO and SHL Intercity and Regional services will also share the express Illawarra Local tracks with T8 between Wolli Creek and the Illawarra Dive at Erskineville/Eveleigh to Sydney Terminal. If increasing demand warranted additional track capacity between Wolli Creek and the Illawarra Dive in the future, particularly if and when the SHL is electrified, then a modified Sydenham to Erskineville sextup could be constructed to allow T8 services exclusive use of the new tracks from Wolli Creek direct to the CC and the existing Illawarra Local from Wolli Creek to the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal would be for the exclusive use of SCO and SHL Intercity and Regional services. It would be expensive though, with an underground link needed between Wolli Creek and the existing sextup track reservation beyond Sydenham. Unfortunately, this is one of the negative consequences of the Bankstown metro line taking over the existing T3 surface platforms 1 and 2 at Sydenham, whereas if they had shown a little more foresight, it's the metro platforms which should have been constructed underground. All T4 services will be separated on the Illawarra Main from Wolli Creek to Bondi Junction and any extension thereof.

On the other side of the ledger, i.e. T2, forming a separate integrated sector with T8, it would be split between Lidcombe and Cabramatta, just as T8 is between Turrella and Central. In its recent community consultation for the operation of the remnants of T3 from Liverpool to Bankstown/Lidcombe after the metro conversion, TfNSW's preferred option was for the Liverpool via Regents Park service to be reinstated, operating in tandem with the Liverpool via Granville service, with a shuttle service between Lidcombe and Bankstown feeding into the metro. We shall have to wait to see what the outcome of that consultation process is.

If it is decided to reinstate the Liverpool via Regents Park service, then it brings into question whether the T2 Parramatta terminators are feasible because of the limited track capacity between Homebush and Granville. There doesn't seem to be an overwhelming preference for a Liverpool to Bankstown shuttle service, requiring interchange to reach the city via the metro, and hence TfNSW preferred option. Considering their metro bias, this says something.

Parramatta platforms 3 & 4 are grossly underutilised in the peak, with just 6tph (4xT2 and 2xT5), while platforms 1 & 2 are operating at maximum capacity of 20tph. This is a direct consequence of the limited track capacity of the Western Line between Homebush and Granville and also to the CBD from Strathfield.

The government through its spin has conned everyone into believing that Metro West will resolve this as well as alleviating overcrowding on the T1 Western Line. It won't. While I fully support Metro West as a valuable addition to Sydney's rail network, servicing a new rail corridor between Parramatta and the CBD, it will do bugger all for increasing capacity for the Outer Western and Richmond Lines and also the T2 South Line via both Granville and Regents Park.

It's bleedingly obvious that sextuplication of the Western Line between Homebush and Granville should have greater priority to increase capacity, enabling more services from the Western, Richmond and South Lines to travel directly into the CBD, without the need to interchange to a metro service, if it was at all ever practicable. The location and design of supposed interchange stations for Metro West at Westmead, Parramatta and North Strathfield (with the Northern Line) are hardly conducive to convenient interchange.

Sextuplication will provide some short to medium term breathing space to increase services on the existing network from the outer suburbs to the CBD by utilising the spare capacity on the Western Main Line tracks from Strathfield to Sydney Terminal. However, eventually further amplification will be needed from Strathfield to the CBD by way of an express tunnel for suburban services to a new terminus in the CBD, such as the previously proposed City Relief Line to Wynyard/Barangaroo via the western fringe of the CBD. The government's current strategy of ignoring infrastructure upgrades to the existing network, i.e. track amplifications and extensions, in favour of the 'one size fits all' metro alternative is flawed. By TfNSW own admission, the existing Sydney Trains' network will continue to provide 80% of rail services, so it can hardly be ignored and will require continuing investment. There is a place for both however, particularly for new segregated metro lines servicing inner and middle ring suburbs, which don't have a rail service. The Northern Beaches and South Eastern suburbs, as well as cross regional links come to mind.

Too many commentators continue to proffer the unrealistic suggestion that much of the existing suburban rail network should be "metrofied". It's neither warranted nor affordable, as well as the disruption caused by closing down existing lines for conversion for extended periods. After the Bankstown Line metro conversion, I don't think there will be too much appetite for further metro conversions in view of the compromises which have to be made in converting a legacy network, compared with a completely segregated greenfield metro.
Last edited by Transtopic on Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by Swift »

I agree fully with the importance of continued investment in the double decker system and leaving metro for inner ring suburbs. Having a metro out to Tallawong puts paid to that idea. It should have been left as double deck stock going out that far, which is what they're suited for.
It was obviously politics before practicality as usual for NSW.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by tonyp »

Swift wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:14 am I agree fully with the importance of continued investment in the double decker system and leaving metro for inner ring suburbs. Having a metro out to Tallawong puts paid to that idea. It should have been left as double deck stock going out that far, which is what they're suited for.
It was obviously politics before practicality as usual for NSW.
One of the main reasons for the metro system is to deliver faster travel times between centres right across Sydney while also stopping at all stops. It's the only system that can achieve this, regardless of distance. In inner ring suburbs, the travel time difference between metro and suburban is fairly marginal. Once the limited conversions to metro are completed, there will be enough pressure taken off the suburban system to enable its performance to be improved, which means there should be no future need to convert further lines. There's nothing inherently wrong with the two systems operating side by side with interchange between them. One significant feature of the metro is that it will be free of line-entanglement/ train conflict issues, which is what plagues the Sydney system (and to a lesser extent Melbourne and Brisbane).
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by Swift »

Well said tonyp couldn't agree more. (I would have left a thanks instead if that facility wasn't gone).
The acceleration is out of the 20th century and well into the 21st. That's advantageous in a longer distance even if seating is not.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by gilberations »

If the Liverpool to City via Regents Park are returned, I would argue that further supports the idea of removing direct services from Canley Vale - Merrylands to City in exchange for a T1 transfer via T5, and the frequency of that could be increased also.

There were plans at one stage when I was a suburban guard, that The Richmond Branch and Toongabbie, Pendle Hill, Wentworthville would all become T5 only. The theory being that you can have a theoretical 3 min frequency Penrith to Hornsby via Central in the peak, with all T9 terminating at Sydney Terminal.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

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The real issue is that the Botany to Minto Qube container transfers that are mostly lead by the sometimes mechanically unreliable ex independent rail MZ class diesel motor locomotive have to use the main commuter line between Sefton and Minto in both directions they should tunnel under the main line south of Minto station linking the ARTC freight line with the entrance of the Qube container depot
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by Swift »

Campbelltown busboy wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:47 pm The real issue is that the Botany to Minto Qube container transfers that are mostly lead by the sometimes mechanically unreliable ex independent rail MZ class diesel motor locomotive have to use the main commuter line between Sefton and Minto in both directions they should tunnel under the main line south of Minto station linking the ARTC freight line with the entrance of the Qube container depot
What a great system privately run goods trains turned out to be when they cheap out by importing junk from Europe and affecting commuter train services with those ugly things.
I remember waiting at Woy Woy in the early hours and seeing one of these railed jalopies for the first time, heading south. Soon we get an announcement that there is a delay to city bound services due to a broken down goods train at Hawkesbury River. I remember thinking then, why are they allowed to run those bombs on the network? It's time they were retired.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

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gilberations wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:06 pm There were plans at one stage when I was a suburban guard, that The Richmond Branch and Toongabbie, Pendle Hill, Wentworthville would all become T5 only. The theory being that you can have a theoretical 3 min frequency Penrith to Hornsby via Central in the peak, with all T9 terminating at Sydney Terminal.
Operationally that could work quite well, though I couldn't see them actually going ahead with it as it would be unpopular with passengers, and probably not politically palatable.

Then again, for the last few months at least, they've gotten away with rarely ever actually running the weekend T1 North Sydney to Richmond services, as there is some kind of alteration nearly every weekend, usually consisting of those services running from Olympic Park to Richmond instead :twisted:

For instance, last weekend there was a shutdown west of Granville so those services were completely cancelled, next weekend those services are shortened to end at Central, and the following weekend they are shortened to end at Olympic Park.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

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Swift wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:35 pm
Campbelltown busboy wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:47 pm The real issue is that the Botany to Minto Qube container transfers that are mostly lead by the sometimes mechanically unreliable ex independent rail MZ class diesel motor locomotive have to use the main commuter line between Sefton and Minto in both directions they should tunnel under the main line south of Minto station linking the ARTC freight line with the entrance of the Qube container depot
What a great system privately run goods trains turned out to be when they cheap out by importing junk from Europe and affecting commuter train services with those ugly things.
I remember waiting at Woy Woy in the early hours and seeing one of these railed jalopies for the first time, heading south. Soon we get an announcement that there is a delay to city bound services due to a broken down goods train at Hawkesbury River. I remember thinking then, why are they allowed to run those bombs on the network? It's time they were retired.
Try being stuck on a Macarthur service south of Glenfield that happens to follow a MZ lead container transfer when the locomotive decides it wants to break down at Minto metres from the container depot entrance
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by Swift »

Campbelltown busboy wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:11 pm
Try being stuck on a Macarthur service south of Glenfield that happens to follow a MZ lead container transfer when the locomotive decides it wants to break down at Minto metres from the container depot entrance
I can't believe they're permitted to keep running those things on the network.
According to Wikipedia, two were written off on the way to Australia when the boat encountered extreme weather.
I'd say it was a sign.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by Transtopic »

BroadGauge wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:56 pm
gilberations wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:06 pm There were plans at one stage when I was a suburban guard, that The Richmond Branch and Toongabbie, Pendle Hill, Wentworthville would all become T5 only. The theory being that you can have a theoretical 3 min frequency Penrith to Hornsby via Central in the peak, with all T9 terminating at Sydney Terminal.
Operationally that could work quite well, though I couldn't see them actually going ahead with it as it would be unpopular with passengers, and probably not politically palatable.

Then again, for the last few months at least, they've gotten away with rarely ever actually running the weekend T1 North Sydney to Richmond services, as there is some kind of alteration nearly every weekend, usually consisting of those services running from Olympic Park to Richmond instead :twisted:

For instance, last weekend there was a shutdown west of Granville so those services were completely cancelled, next weekend those services are shortened to end at Central, and the following weekend they are shortened to end at Olympic Park.
Those proposals for the Richmond and Northern Lines have been around for some time now, but they've never been implemented because of the negative political consequences as you say. However, since the conversion of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link to metro, the Hornsby to the CBD services which previously used the ECRL, have now been forced to travel to the CBD via Strathfield. In peak hours, the semi-express Hornsby services have to terminate/start at Sydney Terminal because of the lack of paths on the Suburban tracks from Strathfield through the CBD and across the Harbour Bridge to the North Shore Line.

The whole purpose of the ECRL was to redirect the Hornsby services away from the congested Inner West corridor, but that doesn't seem to have been given much consideration when the decision was made to convert the line to metro. If Metro Northwest had been constructed as part of the existing network, which was the Liberal's original promise in the lead-up to the 2011 State Election, then the Hornsby services could have continued to the CBD via the ECRL. This is an unfortunate consequence of converting existing lines to metro and compromising services because of the incompatibility of the 2 systems. The Suburban tracks operate at their full capacity of 20tph with 16tph T1 Western and Richmond Line services and 4tph T9 Epping services. In the off-peak, all T9 services run across the Harbour Bridge.

The failure to upgrade track capacity between Granville and Homebush with sextuplication for the benefit of T1 and T2 is another example of compromises being forced on existing services while prioritising metro expansion. The mooted redirection of Richmond Line services to Liverpool via T5 is only one of the compromises. The government's preference for reinstatement of Liverpool via Regents Park services, in the face of widespread criticism by those T3 commuters beyond Bankstown, who would no longer have a direct journey into the CBD without interchanging upon the opening of the Bankstown metro, demonstrates that they are prepared to take note of public anger. They would face the same backlash if stations between Canley Vale and Merrylands were denied direct access to the CBD.

Sooner or later, the government will have to bite the bullet and undertake further track amplifications on the existing network where warranted, notwithstanding new metro lines, which should be focused on areas without a rail service.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by tonyp »

Why should we need track amplifications, there are plenty already? The metro doesn't need them, Melbourne has been removing the opportunities for them in its skyrail program. Wouldn't more efficient operation (with better signalling etc) do the job in a more cost-effective way?
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by Nugget »

tonyp wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:00 pm One of the main reasons for the metro system is to deliver faster travel times between centres right across Sydney while also stopping at all stops. It's the only system that can achieve this, regardless of distance. In inner ring suburbs, the travel time difference between metro and suburban is fairly marginal. Once the limited conversions to metro are completed, there will be enough pressure taken off the suburban system to enable its performance to be improved, which means there should be no future need to convert further lines. There's nothing inherently wrong with the two systems operating side by side with interchange between them. One significant feature of the metro is that it will be free of line-entanglement/ train conflict issues, which is what plagues the Sydney system (and to a lesser extent Melbourne and Brisbane).
The main issue is that they have essentially scuppered Metro performance by using it to do a heavy rail job.
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Re: Other rail possibilties

Post by tonyp »

Nugget wrote: Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:40 am
The main issue is that they have essentially scuppered Metro performance by using it to do a heavy rail job.
That remark is so confusing that you'll have to explain it I'm afraid! Exactly how? I mean it is heavy rail and it's using metro performance to do a heavy rail job better. That's the whole point.
Perpetually on a T3 to "I. P. Pavlova, přestup na Metro. Příští zastávka, Náměsti Míru"
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