NSW Future Rail Plan - NWRL/Metro/Harbour Crossing

 
  Rails Chief Commissioner



I am not around as much lately as I have been living in London for 12 months now, but I do still keep an eye on things and come on here when something big is announced.

Living in London has given me a good appreciation of how separate systems with varying levels of private involvement can be operated as a coherent network seamlessly to the public.

Forget the commuter trains in London - they are too private and contracted by the national government and don't integrate well at all.

What I am talking about is the networks under the control of Transport for London, namely the Underground, Overground and DLR. Of these, the Underground is publicly operated and the other 2 privately, but they are presented as a coherent network with an integrated fare structure.

There were some high profile PPP maintenance contract failures on the Underground, so the track record isn't good here and I believe a great deal of caution is needed for a PPP that is to own and maintain the infrastructure, but I believe the primary causes of the failures were the requirements to take legacy infrastructure and perform 30 years of deferred maintenance on it to bring it up to scratch, which proved too much for the private consortia.
"grog"


Interesting comments, thanks. Good to see that you still pop in to contribute every now and then Smile

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  unrailed Junior Train Controller



Long term

Upgrade Penrith to cater for 20tph terminating
"drwaddles"


Penrith is not going to be upgraded. Emu plains is getting the upgrade if we get any updates on the project.
  PDCL Chief Train Controller

But the point is pointless!

Stopping pattern rationalisation is fair enough though.
"simonl"


Well no, congestion is not an issue on Blacktown's platforms, at least not anything like what it is at Wynyard or Town Hall.  Throw another 30,000 people from Barangaroo onto Wynyard's platforms and you go from the present Three Mile Island to a full blown Chernoble.  There are two basic solutions to this, retain the current branch structure AND build a new CBD line or two, OR, you have one stopping pattern per platform and make the masses change somewhere you have spare platform capacity for them to do so.  

Really it makes more sense to have single pattern platforms anyway, otherwise platform crowding will forever be an issue unless you build gigantic platforms which is frankly a bit of a waste of money.  One pattern per platform means people will just pile onto every train as it arrives.  As soon as you throw one branch in you have people standing around blocking up the platform waiting for their train.

Look I'm not pathologically opposed to multiple destinations per platform, it's just that with the current infrastructure we have a critical shortage of platforms in the CBD, so there is a clear logic to rationalising things this way as it's a hell of a lot cheaper than the alternative.
Look at it this way, if we broadly define the CBD as being something like Pyrmont-east of Wattle st to Cleveland st, across to Elizabeth St, then north until Devonshire st, east to Riley, North to Albion, east to Flinders, north to Oxford, east to Victoria, north to the Cross, Then Darlinghurst Rd, then Macleay st to the Navy Base, Plus north Sydney bounded by the freeway to Ridge st, west to the Pacific hwy, south to Bay rd, south west to Carr st, south to Union st which becomes Lavender st, and at Walker st draw a line into Lavender Bay.
Broadly from a city planning point of view, that is what consitutes the CBD and I suppose its immediate fringe.  At the moment there are 36 active through platforms, 15 terminal platforms (all at Central) and 6 unused platforms (2 each at Central, St James and Wynyard) within that area.  This is to service a population of a approximately 5.3million, by contrast when the system was built in the 1920's, there were 24 active through platforms (incl 2 tram ones at Milsons pt), 19 terminal platforms (incl 2 tram ones at Wynyard) and just 2 unused platforms at St James, to service a population of about 1.3 million.

Now while I wouldn't necessarily advocate for a straight linear comparison (travel habits have changed a bit, although CBD trips are still PT dominated), its pretty obvious that with 4 times the population being served, we haven't kept pace in building new stations/lines in the CBD.  Until we bridge that gap (probably something like 50-60 active through platforms and a couple of extra terminal ones for current needs) then it's going to be unfeasible to maintain multiple stopping patterns per platform because there will simply be too many people crowding the platforms.
  Rails Chief Commissioner



What would most likely happen is:

Aim: 20tph on a consistent stopping pattern from Penrith to Hornsby

Short term:

Penrith - can only turnback X, therefore we have to extend (20-X) services to Emu Plains, or conversely terminate (20-X) at St Marys.
Hornsby - can only turnback X, therefore we terminate (20-X)/2 at Gordon and (20-X)/2 at Berowra

Coast via Shore - gone (I hope)

Blue Mountains - slot in between the services from Penrith

Long term

Upgrade Penrith to cater for 20tph terminating
Probably retain Gordon, Hornsby, Berowra as terminating locations. I don't think you can justify 20tph to Berowra and I'm not sure you can turn back 20tph at Hornsby. 

----

Having short runners on a segregated track pair doesn't add to reliability issues and the turnback options are needed for redundancy anyway...

Edit: Fixed me maths
"drwaddles"


Yeah I was picturing something along these lines but I actually prefer the simplicity and benefits of running all the services on one pattern between Hornsby and Penrith. So no Lindfield/ Gordon starters for sure. You want everyone in the CBD to get on the first train that comes and that includes all the stops past Gordon. I personally like the idea of moving the Berowra starters off the North Shore line and the same for emu plains on the western line but it may not be viable. So I guess it would  make more sense to have a more even split of trains turning back at Hornsby and Berowra? Plus I guess the same with St Marys and Emu Plains?

At least with good service to Berowra you could have Coast passengers change here for the North Shore employment centres meaning a guaranteed seat.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
PDCL, so you agree that there aren't enough lines through the CBD?  Why not actually fix that?

Even this Richmond-Campbelltown plan doesn't prevent the need to branch to serve the lower Northern Line - I'd be quite surprised if there were shuttles out of Strathfield #1.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle


  • I think you  will find that systems which are best practice still can have branching, e.g. Paris RER A.  It doesn't make sense to have 20tph at Penrith, nor does it make sense to truncate some of those trains at Blacktown, which is also impossible on the proposed operating pattern with current infrastructure.
    "simonl"



To an extent, however having people waiting in Town Hall for a Richmond train, clogging up platforms will not address the platform congestion issues. Hence, the desirability of having everyone jump on the next train that arrives because they all go to the same place.

Short runners address the issue of inadequate turnback facilities without the operational complexity of branching and without as severe impact on wait times at the CBD platforms.

...I actually prefer the simplicity and benefits of running all the services on one pattern between Hornsby and Penrith.
"Rails"


Definitely, I completely agree with you. However in the short term they will be limited by the turnback infrastructure. 

I personally like the idea of moving the Berowra starters off the North Shore line and the same for emu plains on the western line but it may not be viable. So I guess it would  make more sense to have a more even split of trains turning back at Hornsby and Berowra? Plus I guess the same with St Marys and Emu Plains?
"Rails"


Berowra could become an extension of the Northern Line. Again, depends on your turnback capability at Hornsby; others will have better understanding of that than I.

At least with good service to Berowra you could have Coast passengers change here for the North Shore employment centres meaning a guaranteed seat.
"Rails"


With 20tph from Hornsby southwards it would be pretty unlikely that you would fighting hard for a seat at Hornsby. I doubt Coast passengers would change at Berowra for a longer trip. Actually I'm sure some would. I value my travel time more than others though so I wouldn't. 
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Short runners address the issue of inadequate turnback facilities
"drwaddles"

Doubt it gets around the need for infrastructure upgrades, which makes it not a valid counter.

Not sure how many, if any, could be turned around at St Marys.
  Rails Chief Commissioner




Definitely, I completely agree with you. However in the short term they will be limited by the turnback infrastructure. 

Berowra could become an extension of the Northern Line. Again, depends on your turnback capability at Hornsby; others will have better understanding of that than I.


With 20tph from Hornsby southwards it would be pretty unlikely that you would fighting hard for a seat at Hornsby. I doubt Coast passengers would change at Berowra for a longer trip. Actually I'm sure some would. I value my travel time more than others though so I wouldn't. 
"drwaddles"


I have no idea how many trains you can turn back at any of these stations so I am not sure either! thought about the Northern line option but since that will now be one line again terminating at Central its probably best to have Berowra remain as part of the North Shore line. Based on what happens even now, there will be periods when certain services are well overcrowded, even with 20tph so I am guessing many Coasties will take the option of jumping on the starters at Berowra if its there. Maybe you could have a 8 tph Berowra to St Marys and 12tph Emu plains (or penrith, whichever it is) to Hornsby setup? I don't know the numbers. I know for the original SD plan they needed an upgrade at St Marys to turn trains.

However even with just the two patterns in place I can still see issues with crowding at CBD stations for the North, for example in the afternoon, Berowra and Coast passengers waiting for their train instead of the Hornsby train (worse if you stall have Gordon trains). It will be an improvement but not as good as it could be but as discussed, it all depends on what you can turn around with the existing infrastructure. Maybe there will be some investment to facilitate this plan?
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Anyway, I believe this restriction to 6.1m wide tunnels is disastrous, unless they're prepared to fork out even more for longer platforms. Seriously, running 30tph will not solve it all, as our platforms are shorter than most.

I believe this is a mistake and that the SMH inquiry is correct in retaining support for the deckers.
"Watson374"


Absolutely. This current plan is Looney Tunes stuff. It just gets worse, but you could see it coming. This is the same cast of arrogant misguided characters that created the Metro fiasco. It is totally irresponsible to use otherwise unnecessary technical specifications as differentiators. We have been suffering from different standards in this country (track gauges, communications, ...whatever) for long enough without adding to them.
"KymN"


Absolutely. I'll reiterate my belief that the entire single-deck issue keeps coming back again and again because somebody is pushing their agenda/preference/bias/fetish. While there could be operational segregation - that's fine, we currently call it sectorisation - making it physically impossible to cross-run is nothing short of downright idiotic.

Sure this is an urban railway not an interstate one, but the Herald has it right. The whole concept that our double deckers are somehow an antiquated inferior technology, to be replaced by 'modern' trains that have barely half the seats is just nuts.
"KymN"


Indeed. The Herald actually dedicated an entire appendix to compare and contrast our double-deckers with other trains around the world, and we actually managed to score very well when it came to balancing dwell time and capacity. The reality is that dwell times will soar at major interchanges and there is no way around it. London Underground tries to keep its dwell times under twenty-plus seconds or so, but at major stations like Victoria on the District, dwell time regularly goes into minutes.

Running from an hour out of the city in an inner urban type train for an hour-long journey to the city and then tipping out two-thirds of the passengers over twenty minutes from their destination station is crazy. Greiner's comment that Sydney passengers 'need to get used to it' and that they 'need to grow up' is not only offensive but it defies both common sense and actual fact.
"KymN"


Incidentally, I agree with Greiner on the point, but dispute his target for it. He has correctly targeted the attachment Sydney commuters have to their one-seat rides. The problem is that he has targeted the suburban railway, which, being the heaviest trunk routes, should not be run this way. The correct target to slag about how people need to grow up and learn how to make connections is the bus system.

PDCL, so you agree that there aren't enough lines through the CBD?  Why not actually fix that?


Even this Richmond-Campbelltown plan doesn't prevent the need to branch to serve the lower Northern Line - I'd be quite surprised if there were shuttles out of Strathfield #1.
"simonl"


Well, the interurbans have to branch anyway - run Epping (or even Hornsby) via Strathfield services on the mains, out of Sydney Terminal, or a CBD relief line.

Short runners address the issue of inadequate turnback facilities
"drwaddles"


Doubt it gets around the need for infrastructure upgrades, which makes it not a valid counter.

Not sure how many, if any, could be turned around at St Marys.
"simonl"


Short workings also taper the service out along the line.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
However even with just the two patterns in place I can still see issues with crowding at CBD stations for the North, for example in the afternoon, Berowra and Coast passengers waiting for their train instead of the Hornsby train (worse if you stall have Gordon trains). It will be an improvement but not as good as it could be but as discussed, it all depends on what you can turn around with the existing infrastructure. Maybe there will be some investment to facilitate this plan?
"Rails"


Why would Coast passengers not use the Hornsby service? There's more chance of getting a seat on an interurban at Hornsby than Berowra, because (a) there's more people getting off at Hornsby to make room and (b) it's closer to Sydney. 

Also, from the CBD, it would be more likely that Coast passengers would go to Sydney Terminal to get the interurbans, rather than go via the shore, especially if they are keen for a seat. The waiting issues on the platform are not much of an issue outside of the CBD.
  Rails Chief Commissioner



Why would Coast passengers not use the Hornsby service? There's more chance of getting a seat on an interurban at Hornsby than Berowra, because (a) there's more people getting off at Hornsby to make room and (b) it's closer to Sydney. 

Also, from the CBD, it would be more likely that Coast passengers would go to Sydney Terminal to get the interurbans, rather than go via the shore, especially if they are keen for a seat. The waiting issues on the platform are not much of an issue outside of the CBD.
"drwaddles"


Depending on the number of Coast trains via Strathfield, I would imagine passengers will not just be catching any train out of the 20tph, they will need to catch certain trains to make the connection. Now with this in mind if all other passengers are treating the service as a turn up and go there is likely to be select services that are more crowded and that will flow on to platform crowding as well. That will flow on to dwell time just as it does now.

You also have to account for the mentality of certain passengers. Over time jumping on any train to Hornsby or Epping via the metro may become the norm but I have noticed that the Central Coast passengers are more likely to turn up well before their train arrives and stand as close to the doors as possible and push through exiting passengers to make sure they get a seat for the whole trip since they are travelling the longest distance. I don't think this will change, they wont want to be the ones standing on the suburban services either. The trains via the shore are bloody slow and I don't see them getting much faster unlike the Western line services. You have to account for the number of Coast passengers that choose the shore trains to access the North Shore employment centres too, check the crowding at North Sydney and St Leonards for example even though as you say its less of a concern then the CBD.

Whether there are seats in the evening at Hornsby will also depend on how many Coast trains they run to Central (which is what I assume will happen, not stopping short of the western line). I may be completely wrong but I am guessing that in return for losing their via Shore trains the CC via Strathfield trains will have revised stopping pattern and (Eastwood) will be removed and instead serviced by the all stations from Hornsby via Strathfield. So it may lessen the number of passengers exiting before Hornsby. Its all going to depend on load and the number of trains.

Again, I would probably just interchange the interurban trains at Berowra or Hornsby and Emu plains or Penrith and run more shuttles outwards but that wont happen.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
Depending on the number of Coast trains via Strathfield, I would imagine passengers will not just be catching any train out of the 20tph, they will need to catch certain trains to make the connection. Now with this in mind if all other passengers are treating the service as a turn up and go there is likely to be select services that are more crowded and that will flow on to platform crowding as well. That will flow on to dwell time just as it does now.
"Rails"


A hypothetical Coast passenger might time their departure from work to catch a certain train, yes, but they aren't likely to stand by and let a Shore train go past because it'll get them to Hornsby 3 minutes earlier than they need to be. If anything, the earlier train better positions themselves to do what you described below. In the worst case, where some people can't get on, there's another train to the exact same place and same stopping pattern 3 minutes later so no biggie.

You can't get away from slight peaks in patronage in a system ever. Even if all services were running at the same headway, there will still be fluctuations as people leave work on the half hour, uni classes finish etc. They'll always be there so the best you can do is go to maximum frequency.

You also have to account for the mentality of certain passengers. Over time jumping on any train to Hornsby or Epping via the metro may become the norm but I have noticed that the Central Coast passengers are more likely to turn up well before their train arrives and stand as close to the doors as possible and push through exiting passengers to make sure they get a seat for the whole trip since they are travelling the longest distance. I don't think this will change, they wont want to be the ones standing on the suburban services either.
"Rails"


Don't really care, to be honest. Passenger habits shouldn't be leading the system in the long term, the system should lead passenger habits.

The trains via the shore are bloody slow and I don't see them getting much faster unlike the Western line services. You have to account for the number of Coast passengers that choose the shore trains to access the North Shore employment centres too, check the crowding at North Sydney and St Leonards for example even though its less of a concern then the CBD.
"Rails"


Door-to-door time is reduced by the higher frequency and better trip flexibility/redundancy.

Whether there are seats in the evening at Hornsby will also depend on how many Coast trains they run to Central (which is what I assume will happen, not stopping short of the western line). I may be completely wrong but I am guessing that in return for losing their via Shore trains the CC via Strathfield trains will have revised stopping patterns and the stations removed will be serviced by the all stations from Hornsby via Strathfield. So it may lessen the number of passengers exiting before Hornsby. Its all going to depend on load and the number of trains.
"Rails"


if there's no seats at Hornsby, there's not likely to be many seats at Berowra either, so it is a moot point.


  Rails Chief Commissioner



A hypothetical Coast passenger might time their departure from work to catch a certain train, yes, but they aren't likely to stand by and let a Shore train go past because it'll get them to Hornsby 3 minutes earlier than they need to be. If anything, the earlier train better positions themselves to do what you described below. In the worst case, where some people can't get on, there's another train to the exact same place and same stopping pattern 3 minutes later so no biggie.

You can't get away from slight peaks in patronage in a system ever. Even if all services were running at the same headway, there will still be fluctuations as people leave work on the half hour, uni classes finish etc. They'll always be there so the best you can do is go to maximum frequency.

Don't really care, to be honest. Passenger habits shouldn't be leading the system in the long term, the system should lead passenger habits.

Door-to-door time is reduced by the higher frequency and better trip flexibility/redundancy.


if there's no seats at Hornsby, there's not likely to be many seats at Berowra either, so it is a moot point.

"drwaddles"


Yeah, of course there will be peaks and troughs but were not talking about just the odd passenger were talking about theoretically trains full of passengers, unlike the Richmond or northern line examples, for the Coast there is no incentive with the higher frequency and its not more flexible, they will have to change trains at some point where as right now they don't and thus due to the number of Coast trains they are not just catching any train and turning up when they feel like it, they are timing it to make a connection and minimise wait time. Unless you can make the all stop North Shore trains faster then now or increase the number of Central Coast trains via Strathfield then its worse then now for these passengers, also what you are doing is more likely to be getting other passengers to adjust to the Central Coast passengers requirements and that also leads to a similar issue to what we have now. Still of course this is a common issue around the world but hey, you know Sydney Smile

However don't misunderstand me, I am in no way saying its a show stopper but there will be a fall out from it I think and it may adjust the outcome of the final plan (political pressure).

For Berowra, it was more a comment on the AM rather then the PM, I was more suggesting that as a benefit for the Coast if you have to stagger the trains from Hornsby and Berowra because of the turnback situation. As I said, I would rather everything be one pattern! I just dont want to see them extend the North Shore trains to the Coast to create another pattern on the line because Coast passengers wont change as you know the results of that.
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
Absolutely. I'll reiterate my belief that the entire single-deck issue keeps coming back again and again because somebody is pushing their agenda/preference/bias/fetish. While there could be operational segregation - that's fine, we currently call it sectorisation - making it physically impossible to cross-run is nothing short of downright idiotic.
"Watson374"

metros can be double deckers. something like the paris double decker train with 3 doors a side. that could work if we lengthen the carriages and shorten the train and use some kind of signaling system like ETCS to give us 30tph.  the problem i see with this govt is that its cannabilising cityrail tracks for metro. i can see a point with bankstown tracks as the bankstown line will cease to run but illawarra tracks where their is a mix of normal services, intercity and freight would be a problem.
  PDCL Chief Train Controller

PDCL, so you agree that there aren't enough lines through the CBD?  Why not actually fix that?

Even this Richmond-Campbelltown plan doesn't prevent the need to branch to serve the lower Northern Line - I'd be quite surprised if there were shuttles out of Strathfield #1.
"simonl"


Being NSW I assume that it would take something in the order of 10-20 years and $30-40 billion to achieve what needs to be done, we have about 5 years until Barangaroo is done and the current system implodes, by which I mean the will be queues running from the platform edge to well outside of the paid areas of Wynyard.

Of course I think the CBD is under-invested in, the city as a whole is about 40years and $100billion(-ish, give or take) under invested in.  I'm not really arguing about the relative merits of building this line or that here, or which should be done first.  I'm just making the point that the current plan to remove or modify the existing branch operation structure makes a lot of sense within the constraints of the existing infrastructure, especially as we just don't have time to build anything.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.

especially as we just don't have time to build anything.
"PDCL"


Which is why I came up with the idea to fix the buses ASAP, to give some breathing space for rail infra development (at least in certain areas such as the Hills District, the Eastern Suburbs, the Inner West, the Northern Beaches...).

Absolutely. I'll reiterate my belief that the entire single-deck issue keeps coming back again and again because somebody is pushing their agenda/preference/bias/fetish. While there could be operational segregation - that's fine, we currently call it sectorisation - making it physically impossible to cross-run is nothing short of downright idiotic.
"Watson374"


metros can be double deckers. something like the paris double decker train with 3 doors a side. that could work if we lengthen the carriages and shorten the train and use some kind of signaling system like ETCS to give us 30tph.  the problem i see with this govt is that its cannabilising cityrail tracks for metro. i can see a point with bankstown tracks as the bankstown line will cease to run but illawarra tracks where their is a mix of normal services, intercity and freight would be a problem.
"fixitguy"


I paid the NWRL centre a visit today, and I got some interesting documents. Essentially, the bits to be eaten will be Rouse Hill via Macquarie Park and Victoria Cross, the new Harbour Tunnel, MetroPitt, the Illawarra to Hurstville and the Bankstown.

It will be a disaster. I've taken a nice look at what they have, those animated artist's impressions they have. Sure, it looks sleek and sexy - it's based off the Melbourne Siemens train, as far as I can tell - but the capacity is lacking. I realise none of this is final, but it's not looking good.

I've identified three main reasons why single-deckers are being trumpeted as Sydney's Saviour. Apparently, they will provide more doors and will have better acceleration, leading to faster journeys due to reduced dwell times and faster running. The reduced capacity will be dealt with by increased frequency. I do not believe that SD stock is the only way to do this - I believe this is perfectly achievable with DD stock.

Under both circumstances following, the lines will have to be completely resignalled anyway, so I have taken the assumption that the lines will have been upgraded to take 24tph (DD) and/or 30tph (SD), and most likely have ATO/ATP.

With the SD stock impression, t
hey've gone for a 2+2 layout coupled with longitudinal near the two outer doors. I crunched an estimate, and I get around 600 seats, will provide just over 21,000 pphpd at 20tph. That is a marginal increase over what we have currently, and that was based off a 175% loading (i.e. the standing load is assumed to be up to 75% of the seating load). The capacity is just shy of 32,000 pphpd at 30tph (the assumed maximum SD tph value) - but with much of it being standing capacity. My exact numbers and fully worked solutions are available upon request.

I then crunched an alternative, my old 7RER idea, which some of you may remember. It consists of 7-car DD trains, similar to the Paris RER ones (hence the name), each car of approximate V set dimensions. The length of the car allows a third, middle door. The car thus has two double-deck areas and two outer vestibules. The total seating capacity works out as 832 (a mere 62 less than a Waratah, but with 5 more doors), and the capacity at 150% loading is 1,248. This gives 24,960 pphpd at 20tph, and provides 29,952 pphpd at 24tph (the assumed maximum DD tph value).

Thus, in terms of capacity, the numbers just don't stack up to justify conversion.

Then there's the acceleration problem. I believe this to be due to the heavyweight nature of CityRail equipment - there's been a creeping biggerism in train weight, to the point where D and N cars on the Waratah weigh 51 tons - and the T cars aren't much lighter at 48 tons. I also believe the trains can be made lighter without having their structural integrity affected. This reduces the acceleration problem.

By having three doors per car across seven cars, the door count is now 21, over the present 16. Admittedly, this probably can't match the SD stock, but the 7RER obtains the greater door count without sacrificing the high seating capacity of the current stock.

Thus, with some creativity, DD stock can be crafted to reduce dwell time and increase speed. They can also be made to look sleek and sexy, and are most certainly not obsolete in Sydney. Double-deck stock can be adapted to achieve the main goals of single-deck stock identified without making the sacrifices and taking the risks of converting to single-deck.

The 7RER concept can first be applied just by rolling stock changes (the best opening being the withdrawal of the C sets, K sets and Tangaras) and then resignalling, both of which have been done before in parallel with revenue running, both here and abroad, without undue catastrophe. I do not believe conversion to metro is such a smooth process.

I thus conclude the state government is incorrect in its decision to head down the single-deck route, and that by deliberately limiting new infrastructure to single-deck stock, it is headed for a disaster.
  grog Train Controller

I paid the NWRL centre a visit today, and I got some interesting documents. Essentially, the bits to be eaten will be Rouse Hill via Macquarie Park and Victoria Cross, the new Harbour Tunnel, MetroPitt, the Illawarra to Hurstville and the Bankstown.

It will be a disaster. I've taken a nice look at what they have, those animated artist's impressions they have. Sure, it looks sleek and sexy - it's based off the Melbourne Siemens train, as far as I can tell - but the capacity is lacking. I realise none of this is final, but it's not looking good.

I've identified three main reasons why single-deckers are being trumpeted as Sydney's Saviour. Apparently, they will provide more doors and will have better acceleration, leading to faster journeys due to reduced dwell times and faster running. The reduced capacity will be dealt with by increased frequency. I do not believe that SD stock is the only way to do this - I believe this is perfectly achievable with DD stock.

Under both circumstances following, the lines will have to be completely resignalled anyway, so I have taken the assumption that the lines will have been upgraded to take 24tph (DD) and/or 30tph (SD), and most likely have ATO/ATP.

With the SD stock impression, t
hey've gone for a 2+2 layout coupled with longitudinal near the two outer doors. I crunched an estimate, and I get around 600 seats, will provide just over 21,000 pphpd at 20tph. That is a marginal increase over what we have currently, and that was based off a 175% loading (i.e. the standing load is assumed to be up to 75% of the seating load). The capacity is just shy of 32,000 pphpd at 30tph (the assumed maximum SD tph value) - but with much of it being standing capacity. My exact numbers and fully worked solutions are available upon request.

I then crunched an alternative, my old 7RER idea, which some of you may remember. It consists of 7-car DD trains, similar to the Paris RER ones (hence the name), each car of approximate V set dimensions. The length of the car allows a third, middle door. The car thus has two double-deck areas and two outer vestibules. The total seating capacity works out as 832 (a mere 62 less than a Waratah, but with 5 more doors), and the capacity at 150% loading is 1,248. This gives 24,960 pphpd at 20tph, and provides 29,952 pphpd at 24tph (the assumed maximum DD tph value).

Thus, in terms of capacity, the numbers just don't stack up to justify conversion.
"Watson374"


The basic working you have done here is sound, and I really appreciate when people base their arguments on facts rather than gut feel or ideology, but unfortunately some of the assumptions made are flawed.

I am going to take quite a conservative view here and lay out some more realistic numbers.

Single deck:
Seated: 500 (conservative number based on comparisons to both Melbourne and international trains with 2x2 layout and 3 doors)
Standing: 624 (based on 208m squared of floor space - 160m/sqr of center aisle and an extra 48m/sqr around doors, and 3 people per square metre - some Metro systems use a number of 6-8 people for capacity - a real crush load!)
Total: 1124

Double deck:
(I am just going to go with your numbers here, but if you are running double deck with 2x3 seating you will struggle to get more than 135% seated load without causing delays loading/unloading and reducing your TPH throughput, so the number may be a little too high)
Seated: 832
Standing: 416
Total: 1248

Seating capacity comparison:
SD: 15,000pphpd (@30tph)
DD: 19,968pphpd (@24tph)

Total capacity comparison:
SD: 33,720pphpd (@30tph)
DD: 29,952pphpd (@24tph)

So the SD provides 75% of the seats EVEN assuming you can run at 24tph (90% if you only run at 20tph). Including standing capacity (which will be important when they develop apartments along the lines within a 20 minute ride from the CBD) the SD provides 112% of the capacity of your DD stock (which itself has a large number of standees). If you push the SD to 4 people per square metre (a global benchmark for normal, and not too packed to slow down loading at stations) the SD capacity goes up to 39,960pphpd - and pushing the capacity over your DD solution to 133%.

Then there's the acceleration problem. I believe this to be due to the heavyweight nature of CityRail equipment - there's been a creeping biggerism in train weight, to the point where D and N cars on the Waratah weigh 51 tons - and the T cars aren't much lighter at 48 tons. I also believe the trains can be made lighter without having their structural integrity affected. This reduces the acceleration problem.

By having three doors per car across seven cars, the door count is now 21, over the present 16. Admittedly, this probably can't match the SD stock, but the 7RER obtains the greater door count without sacrificing the high seating capacity of the current stock.

Thus, with some creativity, DD stock can be crafted to reduce dwell time and increase speed. They can also be made to look sleek and sexy, and are most certainly not obsolete in Sydney. Double-deck stock can be adapted to achieve the main goals of single-deck stock identified without making the sacrifices and taking the risks of converting to single-deck.

The 7RER concept can first be applied just by rolling stock changes (the best opening being the withdrawal of the C sets, K sets and Tangaras) and then resignalling, both of which have been done before in parallel with revenue running, both here and abroad, without undue catastrophe. I do not believe conversion to metro is such a smooth process.

I thus conclude the state government is incorrect in its decision to head down the single-deck route, and that by deliberately limiting new infrastructure to single-deck stock, it is headed for a disaster.


Sounds way more expensive that building new lines with off the shelf systems and stock using running methods used in most other cities around the world.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The basic working you have done here is sound, and I really appreciate when people base their arguments on facts rather than gut feel or ideology, but unfortunately some of the assumptions made are flawed.

I am going to take quite a conservative view here and lay out some more realistic numbers.
"grog"


That's normal - being relatively new, my assumptions and logic are bound to have flaws. In fact, I couldn't believe how neatly my own numbers stacked up, and ran them through multiple times.

Single deck:
Seated: 500 (conservative number based on comparisons to both Melbourne and international trains with 2x2 layout and 3 doors)
Standing: 624 (based on 208m squared of floor space - 160m/sqr of center aisle and an extra 48m/sqr around doors, and 3 people per square metre - some Metro systems use a number of 6-8 people for capacity - a real crush load!)
Total: 1124
"grog"


I would estimate against 6, which is what I believe London Underground works on, but that really only works against me Razz

Double deck:
(I am just going to go with your numbers here, but if you are running double deck with 2x3 seating you will struggle to get more than 135% seated load, so the number may be a little too high)
Seated: 832
Standing: 416
Total: 1248
"grog"


I think you're right, and I'll lower it to 135%, which gives 1,123 passengers per train.

Seating capacity comparison:
SD: 15,000pphpd (@30tph)
DD: 19,968pphpd (@24tph)

Total capacity comparison:
SD: 33,720pphpd (@30tph)
DD: 29,952pphpd (@24tph)

So the SD provides 75% of the seats EVEN assuming you can run at 24tph (90% if you only run at 20tph). Including standing capacity (which will be important when they develop apartments along the lines within a 20 minute ride from the CBD) the SD provides 112% of the capacity of your DD stock (which itself has a large number of standees). If you push the SD to 4 people per square metre (a global benchmark for normal, and not too packed to slow down loading at stations) the SD capacity goes up to 39,960pphpd - and pushing the capacity over your DD solution to 133%.
"grog"


The main thing was that I was fishing for seats, which I believed to be vitally important for the longer runs. I will admit this was a answer I've created and tried to find a question to - in my defence, that's how I see the whole SD thing - but I will concede that I haven't factored in the equally important inner areas within 20 min of the CBD.

That having been said, the objective has to be made clear - and this is something the government hasn't done. Yes, we're aiming for more capacity. Do we want the increased capacity as standing or seated? From there, we derive our answers.

Sounds way more expensive that building new lines with off the shelf systems and stock using running methods used in most other cities around the world.
"grog"


Not really. While it sounds complicated, it is nothing more than introducing new rolling stock and resignalling in stages. Both are routine upgrades, as far as I'm aware.
  grog Train Controller

The main thing was that I was fishing for seats, which I believed to be vitally important for the longer runs. I will admit this was a answer I've created and tried to find a question to - in my defence, that's how I see the whole SD thing - but I will concede that I haven't factored in the equally important inner areas within 20 min of the CBD.

That having been said, the objective has to be made clear - and this is something the government hasn't done. Yes, we're aiming for more capacity. Do we want the increased capacity as standing or seated? From there, we derive our answers.
"Watson374"


Absolutely agree that seating is important for longer runs. This is why it is good that they are not branching the Rapid Transit north of the CBD - they are starting with 12TPH SD, which will provide 6,000 seats per hour to the NW, which is the equivalent to about 6.5tph of DD stock (more than they were likely to get!).

As the need for seats increases, they can increase the number of services in line with demand (without timetable changes as it is turn up and go). This will max out at 30tph (15,000 seats per hour, equivalent to over 16tph of DD stock, way more than the NWRL was ever likely to see, and more than the entire western line sees at the moment).

That is JUST taking into account seats. Also take into account that 1 in 3 passengers are expected to alight between Macquarie Park and Chatswood and you have more opportunity for people to grab a seat. The capacity can be timed/adjusted so that the seats are full about 20 - 25 minutes outside the CBD, but then within that 20 - 25 minute radius you could have enough apartments to fill the standing room with the same amount of people again (and then some!)

This rail plan needs to be viewed in the context of the metropolitan plan and the need to house population growth. People in the middle/inner suburbs are pushed to the back of the queue so to speak when the trains fill in the outer suburbs - these are people that would be happy to stand, if only they could wedge themselves in the door of an already packed train.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
I thus conclude the state government is incorrect in its decision to head down the single-deck route, and that by deliberately limiting new infrastructure to single-deck stock, it is headed for a disaster.
"Watson374"

Let's hope the disaster you refer to is electoral.

I prefer shorter carriages still with 2 doors/side/carriage and smaller vestibules with articulation.  But probably requires a bit of weight to be trimmed.

Aluminium carriages as occur in other places would violate Australian standards. Rolling Eyes
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.


I prefer shorter carriages still with 2 doors/side/carriage and smaller vestibules with articulation.  But probably requires a bit of weight to be trimmed.
"simonl"


I believe djf01 has some drawings on his flickr of a design similar to this. The greatest advantage would be that the shorter carriage length results in more width (or at least that's the idea).

Aluminium carriages as occur in other places would violate Australian standards. Rolling Eyes
"simonl"


Probably, despite aluminium alloy carriages being perfectly crashworthy and lighter to boot. Then again, the 620/720 railcars were aluminium...

Absolutely agree that seating is important for longer runs. This is why it is good that they are not branching the Rapid Transit north of the CBD - they are starting with 12TPH SD, which will provide 6,000 seats per hour to the NW, which is the equivalent to about 6.5tph of DD stock (more than they were likely to get!).
"grog"


Hmm, I suppose the numbers aren't as bad as I first believed.

As the need for seats increases, they can increase the number of services in line with demand (without timetable changes as it is turn up and go). This will max out at 30tph (15,000 seats per hour, equivalent to over 16tph of DD stock, way more than the NWRL was ever likely to see, and more than the entire western line sees at the moment).
"grog"


Naturally. I am, however, slightly concerned that they may also start ripping out seats and lead us along the path to bench seats only.

That is JUST taking into account seats. Also take into account that 1 in 3 passengers are expected to alight between Macquarie Park and Chatswood and you have more opportunity for people to grab a seat. The capacity can be timed/adjusted so that the seats are full about 20 - 25 minutes outside the CBD, but then within that 20 - 25 minute radius you could have enough apartments to fill the standing room with the same amount of people again (and then some!)
"grog"


This makes sense. This is, of course, assuming that those on shorter commutes will not travel with STA.

This rail plan needs to be viewed in the context of the metropolitan plan and the need to house population growth. People in the middle/inner suburbs are pushed to the back of the queue so to speak when the trains fill in the outer suburbs - these are people that would be happy to stand, if only they could wedge themselves in the door of an already packed train.
"grog"


That's very true - thanks for this very informative post, grog.

(Well, I can still push my 7RER to the expanded suburban thingo - it might be useful for the WEX...)
  Rails Chief Commissioner

Just to add more weight to what I was mentioning in my post above regarding employment centres along the NWRL/ ECRL/ LNS lines, I just noticed some Government figures that show with the employment areas this line will directly service, in 2006 (before the large increase in employment in the Macquarie Park area this NWRL directly services) Sydney CBD employment was at 429,000 jobs while the inner North and North West regions combined was at 504,000. The projections for employment to 2036 in the CBD is expected to be 543,000 jobs, while jobs in the inner North and North West regions that this line covers combined are expected to be 711,000! These figures suggest that connections for employment centres in the North and North west have a lot of weight even when compared to the CBD. The NWRL will be the best placed line to take advantage of these jobs and you would expect that a lot of movement would be happening on city bound trains from their start point at Rouse Hill as people get off to access these Northern Sydney employment zones, seats are not the huge issue they may seem. Compare this to say, the west and south west and you will have the vast majority people getting on trains at their station and staying on for long periods of time to reach the CBD and the Northern Sydney employment centres. Seats matters a lot more in that scenario.




  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
Just to add more weight to what I was mentioning in my post above regarding employment centres along the NWRL/ ECRL/ LNS lines, I just noticed some Government figures that show with the employment areas this line will directly service, in 2006 (before the large increase in employment in the Macquarie Park area this NWRL directly services) Sydney CBD employment was at 429,000 jobs while the inner North and North West regions combined was at 504,000. The projections for employment to 2036 in the CBD is expected to be 543,000 jobs, while jobs in the inner North and North West regions that this line covers combined are expected to be 711,000! These figures suggest that connections for employment centres in the North and North west have a lot of weight even when compared to the CBD. The NWRL will be the best placed line to take advantage of these jobs and you would expect that a lot of movement would be happening on city bound trains from their start point at Rouse Hill as people get off to access these Northern Sydney employment zones, seats are not the huge issue they may seem. Compare this to say, the west and south west and you will have the vast majority people getting on trains at their station and staying on for long periods of time to reach the CBD and the Northern Sydney employment centres. Seats matters a lot more in that scenario.
"Rails"


Get out of this thread. Your smug brand of "facts" and "research" and "analysis" have no place amongst the foamers.  Wink
  jedimasterc Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
Just to add more weight to what I was mentioning in my post above regarding employment centres along the NWRL/ ECRL/ LNS lines, I just noticed some Government figures that show with the employment areas this line will directly service, in 2006 (before the large increase in employment in the Macquarie Park area this NWRL directly services) Sydney CBD employment was at 429,000 jobs while the inner North and North West regions combined was at 504,000. The projections for employment to 2036 in the CBD is expected to be 543,000 jobs, while jobs in the inner North and North West regions that this line covers combined are expected to be 711,000! These figures suggest that connections for employment centres in the North and North west have a lot of weight even when compared to the CBD. The NWRL will be the best placed line to take advantage of these jobs and you would expect that a lot of movement would be happening on city bound trains from their start point at Rouse Hill as people get off to access these Northern Sydney employment zones, seats are not the huge issue they may seem. Compare this to say, the west and south west and you will have the vast majority people getting on trains at their station and staying on for long periods of time to reach the CBD and the Northern Sydney employment centres. Seats matters a lot more in that scenario.
"Rails"


Get out of this thread. Your smug brand of "facts" and "research" and "analysis" have no place amongst the foamers.  Wink
"drwaddles"


he is welcome with his facts. we don't care about people wanting to bring facts. We take it in and then try to apply it to our statistics and foam.
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
i have done some drawing and seating designs and have come up with a desgn for a train that can work both metro and non metro. dimensions are waratah train dimemsions (length and width) with 25m long carriages. the train in a 3 door 6 car design.

design
largly based on cityrail colours for exterior. interior design will meet cityrail corperate colours and design levels

seating
50 (L) by 40 (W) cm seating and 50 (L) by 40 (W) cm leg room (only applies to upper and lower decks), i have come up with a train that can accomdate 796 people seated and 1146 standing (4 ppl per sq m).
pictures of trailers shown below

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicholasnothing/7507125190/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicholasnothing/7507125460/



my DD stock (6 car set)
seating: 798 (12 wheelchair spaces not included in figure)
standing: 1146
total: 1935

waratah (8 car set)
seating: 896 (including 16 wheelchair spaces) (from reliance rail waratah fact sheet)
standing: 1246
total: 2150

215 passengers less on my train but there are two advantages on my train.

first
the 3 doors will significantly improve traffic flow and decreased dwelling times

second
this is not an advantage as such but how can 1246 people stand on a waratah. i believe this number is overestimated.

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