NSW Future Rail Plan - NWRL/Metro/Harbour Crossing

 
  rrroLLa Chief Train Controller

That's where the density should be put first.  Not in small residential towns.  Some density is ok, but not these skyscrapers you want.
"rrroLLa"


While I'll resist commenting on the 'build it over there' sentiment, I'll concede there are better places to chuck towers - taller ones. The buildings in your precious suburban areas don't have to be so tall, but there has to be a local focal area.

Also, how are these 'skyscrapers'? 25 floors is around 80m or so tall, while the usual lower limit of what constitutes a skyscraper is set around 150m tall.
"Watson374"


Well depending on where you get the definition from the minumim height can be anywhere from 10 - 35 stories.  So yeah, for this example its near the middle, and using the term makes it sound more outrageous!
  The whole point and only reason I'm arguing is because 25 stories is two high.  10 would probably be the absolue maximum.

Just because it costs a lot doesn't meen we need to cram the North-West will skyscrapers.  There are many projects Sydney needs that cost a lot.
"rrroLLa"


O RLY? So it's justified to blow massive amounts of money to build a line to strengthen an area, and then not use it to its maximum potential?

Gee, we'd better spend the money on something else that will actually be used, then...
"Watson374"


We probably should, I never said we shouldn't....


Honest question: Can you give me some examples of cities that have 25 story buildings that far from the cbd?
I have no knowledge so I looked up two random stations that looked the same distance on google maps then found the real distance.
Kellyville-Sydney = ~29km as the crow flys
New York - Union station (new Jersey) ~ 21km as the crow flys: no tall buildings at all
Tokyo -Tamagawagakuenmae station ~24km as the crow flys: no tall buildings at all.

So where are these other places that you keep quoting?

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  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Well depending on where you get the definition from the minumim height can be anywhere from 10 - 35 stories.  So yeah, for this example its near the middle, and using the term makes it sound more outrageous!  The whole point and only reason I'm arguing is because 25 stories is two high.  10 would probably be the absolue maximum.
"rrroLLa"


I think you fail to appreciate that skyscrapers are actually far beyond your declared range of outrageous. You know, if you think 25 floors is tall, wait till you walk around Central in Hong Kong...

We probably should, I never said we shouldn't...
"rrroLLa"


Mhm, fair enough.

Honest question: Can you give me some examples of cities that have 25 story buildings that far from the cbd?
I have no knowledge so I looked up two random stations that looked the same distance on google maps then found the real distance.
Kellyville-Sydney = ~29km as the crow flys
New York - Union station (new Jersey) ~ 21km as the crow flys: no tall buildings at all
Tokyo -Tamagawagakuenmae station ~24km as the crow flys: no tall buildings at all.

So where are these other places that you keep quoting?
"rrroLLa"


I'm probably asking for a '$1 engineer'-type outrage from jedimasterc, but you're more likely to find this in big Asian cities. Since Singapore (which, by the way, has two 40-floor HDB tower blocks on top of malls opposite Clementi MRT) seems to be an example I'm not allowed to use, I'll use Hong Kong.

'Outlying' new towns such as Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tung Chung, and (albeit slightly closer to Central) Sha Tin all have towering blocks of apartments. This is quite normal, and you're welcome to check them out online. Even car-oriented cities like Kuala Lumpur have significant numbers of high-rise residential developments (e.g. Mont Kiara in KL), and some are actually very nice (admittedly, there is also a market in terrace houses as well as McMansions).

Granted, commercial towers are less common in these areas. It remains unclear as to whether this structure in Kellyville is to be residential or commercial. I would concede that a commercial tower in Kellyville to be pretty pointless, and better of in, say, Macquarie Park or Parramatta.

However, if it's residential, I see no reason why it shouldn't end up in Kellyville. Yes, you can keep your mansions, but they have their places and in close proximity to an expensive railway, wasting precious prime land, is not one of them.

You know what? Screw it - I'm going to use Singapore anyway.

I accept that the idea of a Singapore-style HDB town centred on a strong transport node is unappealing to those accustomed to their big cars and bigger houses. A railway station, bus interchange and connected suburban shopping mall, coupled with other local amenities such as markets and libraries forms the core; from this spreads a network of apartment blocks, smaller commercial areas (e.g. food centres or shop rows) and other facilities such as schools which benefit from a slightly decentralised location within the town. It's not everyone's thing, but it works.

Contrary to what some may believe, one does not feel too packed in when in these new towns in Singapore. Care has been taken to have enough open civic space. Roads are wide, gardens are spacious, trees hang over and provide good shade. It's not everyone's thing, but it works - damned well.

When it comes to maximising the efficiency of land use and infrastructure investment, it's the way forward. We would do well to emulate it, if only in a more limited, locally-compatible manner. We need more density, and the only way is up.

I can concede that this entire project could certainly be better handled. But as far as I can tell, opposing high-rise development in its most logical place just because it doesn't suit your ideas is, to borrow the word from the article, obscene.

A sensible suggested local application of the strong-core taper-out concept was outlined upthread by djf01.

IMHO, we need fewer but better clusters built on a heavy rail scaffolding. A 25 story development within 5 min walk of a heavy rail station shouldn't be deemed "overdevelopment". It's what's required at the centre of these nodes, with medium-rise (up to 10 floors) 5-10min away, then regular medium density (flats without lifts, freestanding houses) >=15 walk from the node. By this measure, stations should be no less than 30 min walk (non-stop, straight line) apart, which is every 5-6km.
"djf01"


Balances it perfectly. This dovetails nicely with the Singaporean model I outlined earlier in this post.

It's a far more effective model. Everything works much better. It's a win-win situation.

EDIT: Oh look, the Gold Coast features lots of apartments, just like certain parts of Sydney. Evidently, not all Australians dream of a McMansion and a Holden Commodore.
  jedimasterc Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
most of the gold coast apartments and buildings are foreign owned. Mainly Japanese or Chinese. Everybody else still have there big houses on the waterside.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
most of the gold coast apartments and buildings are foreign owned. Mainly Japanese or Chinese. Everybody else still have there big houses on the waterside.
"jedimasterc"


O RLY? And does it matter?
  rrroLLa Chief Train Controller

The gold coast is a city in it's own right
  jedimasterc Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
most of the gold coast apartments and buildings are foreign owned. Mainly Japanese or Chinese. Everybody else still have there big houses on the waterside.
"jedimasterc"


O RLY? And does it matter?
"Watson374"


It matters because they are rental and not what is being purchased by joe blogs. It is for tourists who are visiting the city and not for general consumption.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.

The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?

most of the gold coast apartments and buildings are foreign owned. Mainly Japanese or Chinese. Everybody else still have there big houses on the waterside.
"jedimasterc"


O RLY? And does it matter?
"Watson374"


It matters because they are rental and not what is being purchased by joe blogs. It is for tourists who are visiting the city and not for general consumption.
"jedimasterc"


Can you prove this claim? Somehow, I don't think they're all hotels.

Seriously, tell me what you find wrong about the idea of high-rise housing, apart from the useless 'I don't like it' or 'it's not the western suburbs way'.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Sydney has plenty of residential high rises, and people live in them.  It's not valid to say that we can't have high rises.
  rrroLLa Chief Train Controller

The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
"rrroLLa"


I don't think you quite understand my idea of distributed suburban centres...
  rrroLLa Chief Train Controller

The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
"rrroLLa"


I don't think you quite understand my idea of distributed suburban centres...
"Watson374"


I don't think you understand we have the exact same idea, you just think that Kellyville is a good place and I don't
  grog Train Controller

The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
"rrroLLa"


I don't think you quite understand my idea of distributed suburban centres...
"Watson374"


I don't think you understand we have the exact same idea, you just think that Kellyville is a good place and I don't
"rrroLLa"


Frankly every railway station with a frequent service connecting to to major employment nodes is a good place for a suburban cluster. This criteria is met by every NWRL station.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
"rrroLLa"


I don't think you quite understand my idea of distributed suburban centres...
"Watson374"


I don't think you understand we have the exact same idea, you just think that Kellyville is a good place and I don't
"rrroLLa"


Frankly every railway station with a frequent service connecting to to major employment nodes is a good place for a suburban cluster. This criteria is met by every NWRL station.
"grog"


What grog said.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
"rrroLLa"


I don't think you quite understand my idea of distributed suburban centres...
"Watson374"


I don't think you understand we have the exact same idea, you just think that Kellyville is a good place and I don't
"rrroLLa"


In which case, Kellyville is also an unsuitable place for a railway station.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The gold coast is a city in it's own right
"rrroLLa"


Your point?
"Watson374"


If you are saying this then you obviously have ignored everything I have said re centers...
"rrroLLa"


I don't think you quite understand my idea of distributed suburban centres...
"Watson374"


I don't think you understand we have the exact same idea, you just think that Kellyville is a good place and I don't
"rrroLLa"


In which case, Kellyville is also an unsuitable place for a railway station.
"djf01"


Isn't there a rumour/prediction floating around about only getting to Castle Hill or something?
  rrroLLa Chief Train Controller

A suburban cluster doesn't have to be a 25 storey tower.  I have nothing against density.  Sure there should be a cluster of higher density at Kellyville, i just believe that 25 stories is far two high. Leave that sort of development for centers like: Parramatta, castle hill, blacktown, rouse hill, norwest, westmead ect (I think you get my drift now)

The whole point of this argument is over a 25 story tower in kellyville, not over increased density.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

A suburban cluster doesn't have to be a 25 storey tower. I have nothing against density. Sure there should be a cluster of higher density at Kellyville, i just believe that 25 stories is far two high. Leave that sort of development for centers like: Parramatta, castle hill, blacktown, rouse hill, norwest, westmead ect (I think you get my drift now) The whole point of this argument is over a 25 story tower in kellyville, not over increased density.
"rrroLLa"

No, it's about a railway station in Kellyville, and the appropriateness of it's neighbouring developments.
  unrailed Junior Train Controller

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. too many buildings for a rail topic.  for the off topic. Tall builds follow the main transport hubs. Parramatta is getting a few of the towers, just waiting the rest of the western line main station's to get one. they all have large shopping center's with parking. we also have centers without stations with large buildings but there still next to a transport hub.

the point of the NWRL is to connect the hubs to the main rail network and kill off the many busses/cars in the area. 

the current goverment is posting the fix is the NWRL but has not posted any (AFIK)  fix for the bus problems over the years the line is being built.  mostly for the cbd bus parking lot during peak.

as we all post the transport network has bee on hold for some time. the outer parts of the network have expanded but the core of the network has not been expanded to keep up with the flow. ie Central and redfern also the limited track on the eastern side of Central.
  Rails Chief Commissioner



I think this rather epitomises what is wrong with planning in NSW.  IMHO, we need fewer but better clusters built on a heavy rail scaffolding.  A 25 story development within 5 min walk of a heavy rail station shouldn't be deemed "overdevelopment".  It's what's required at the centre of these nodes, with medium-rise (up to 10 floors) 5-10min away, then regular medium density (flats without lifts, freestanding houses) >=15 walk from the node.  By this measure, stations should be no less than 30 min walk (non-stop, straight line) apart, which is every 5-6km.

Each node really should be large enough to support it's own substantial commercial precinct, and be an employment destination.  Bella Vista and Samatha Riley Dr stations are so close they'll be able to share a car park.  They *may* be a justification for one of them, but certainly not both.

To my mind, the station spacing the NWRL should be:
City - Nth Sydney - St Leonards - Chatswood - Macquarie Park - Epping - Castle Hill - NW Business Park - Kellyville - Rouse Hill - Nelson - Maraylyn - Cattai.

All the other stations are just counter productive.



"djf01"


Do you own property in Cattai djf01? You mention it a lot Laughing

I have to say I disagree with this. If the NWRL was going to be DD I would partly agree, in fact my previous argument was that the NWRL should be the DD line fed by the main western line and the North Shore line should be SD as far as Hornsby. Having said this, the fact that the Lower North Shore/ ECRL/ NWRL contain a number of major commercial employment centres and the upper North Shore does not, there is a decent argument for what the Government has chosen. As stated I think the SD North West line should actually take over the existing route from Wynyard via Waverton and the new route be a more DD suitable corridor for the North Shore and Central Coast lines that runs: City - Nth Sydney - St Leonards - Chatswood.

I am not sure why you are convinced that the ECRL should have one station (you said this before too), the other two ECRL stations are just as important as Macquarie Park, actually North Ryde currently has the access to the major buildings (at least on one side!) as it stands and of course Macquarie Uni services the university, the shopping centre, the bus routes and major residential components. I think the ECRL is a great example of how a modern SD rail line should be with the way its being developed except it needed more stations! They obviously dropped one because of the change to run under the river. The very location where that station would be is currently being developed with high density housing. I also think the SD NWRL needs another one or two stations but I dont agree with sending it off towards Cattai, that is not following the NW growth centre residential allocations and is not set up to create the ring back through the western suburbs being developed. You want to create access for the west up to Norwest and the Macquarie Park area as well as the other major outer west employment nodes (present and future). The LNS too if the numbers add up, that all takes slack off the via city route. I don’t think that there will be a lot of expansion in the future past the boundaries set for the NW growth centres but I may be wrong, tmk its not the cards anyway.

I also dont think its achievable that every station being a major commercial node and that does not mean that there is no justification for a station. However every station should be able to have high density housing surrounding it and connect to a number of major commercial nodes. The NW line certainly fits the bill here unlike nearly every other Sydney rail line! The LNS/ ECRL/NWRL is one of the few lines in Sydney that achieves what a good rail line should, major patronage in both directions. Based on the requirements placed on the NWRL in these recent posts there is no justification for nearly the entire southern half of the Cityrail network yet its the part that has had all the money spent on it recently. There are some lofty future employment numbers put next nodes in this region but I think its a safe bet to say that the Northern half of Sydney will end up with the majority of those jobs right or wrong.

I dont actually understand this constant talk that the NWRL would be better off terminating after two stations at Castle Hill, that completely removes the justification for the line and achieves very little. You build the expensive part of the line and it doesnt reach the major commercial areas of Hills Centre (where the original stage 1 NWRL ended) and more importantly Norwest. You also dont have the stations where the cost effective large residential development can occur and the outer bus corridors can meet. Even with major redevelopment in Cherrybrook and Castle Hill there is no justification for this line if it ends short at Castle Hill.    

Lastly, I am not sure it matters if the developments around the NWRL stations are 8 or 25 storeys as long as the passenger numbers are the same. You can build more shorter developments or fewer taller ones, it depends on the sites themselves. The taller buildings have the benefit of having a smaller footprint and I am not sure that is as important in the NW suburbs or the outer west for that matter. Taller buildings to me make a lot of sense in Castle Hill and Cherrybrook where a lot of development has already occurred and the land value is high. However if that is also suitable at Kellyville then so be it, the locals can argue but with the money spent on the NWRL it will happen whether they like it or not.




  djf01 Chief Commissioner



I think this rather epitomises what is wrong with planning in NSW.  IMHO, we need fewer but better clusters built on a heavy rail scaffolding.  A 25 story development within 5 min walk of a heavy rail station shouldn't be deemed "overdevelopment".  It's what's required at the centre of these nodes, with medium-rise (up to 10 floors) 5-10min away, then regular medium density (flats without lifts, freestanding houses) >=15 walk from the node.  By this measure, stations should be no less than 30 min walk (non-stop, straight line) apart, which is every 5-6km.

Each node really should be large enough to support it's own substantial commercial precinct, and be an employment destination.  Bella Vista and Samatha Riley Dr stations are so close they'll be able to share a car park.  They *may* be a justification for one of them, but certainly not both.

To my mind, the station spacing the NWRL should be:
City - Nth Sydney - St Leonards - Chatswood - Macquarie Park - Epping - Castle Hill - NW Business Park - Kellyville - Rouse Hill - Nelson - Maraylyn - Cattai.

All the other stations are just counter productive.The reason



"djf01"


Do you own property in Cattai djf01? You mention it a lot Laughing

"Rails"

No.  What I'm doing is thinking >25 years down the track, and the types of transport problems Sydney will have then.  As I see it, this time frame simple isn't being considered at all, but by 2030 what are currently greenfield sites with no growth at all will be where all the new development is going.  And these regions are going to have the same problems the NW of Sydney does now: no rail, and hence dispersed completely car dependant development.  And that has (bad) implications for the type of road network Sydney will need beyond 2030.

I also think Schofields, and perhaps Epping, are likely to be the next Liverpool.  A concentration point that needs a fast direct service to Parramatta and/or the City, but ends up having multiple very slow services because of all the different routes and intermediate stations they need service.

I don't think DD vs SD is really that much of an issue.  But IMHO it is a problem we're building short un-extendible platforms *and* an SD loading gauge on the NWRL.  It's ultra short term thinking IMHO.   The real issue is how the rail corridor will be used, and what benefit it will provide into the future.  If we make decisions based only on the very short term requirements, then the potential very long term benefits of this project won't materialise, and future generations will be playing the same infrastructure catchup game we are today.


I have to say I disagree with this. If the NWRL was going to be DD I would partly agree, in fact my previous argument was that the NWRL should be the DD line fed by the main western line and the North Shore line should be SD as far as Hornsby. Having said this, the fact that the Lower North Shore/ ECRL/ NWRL contain a number of major commercial employment centres and the upper North Shore does not, there is a decent argument for what the Government has chosen. As stated I think the SD North West line should actually take over the existing route from Wynyard via Waverton and the new route be a more DD suitable corridor for the North Shore and Central Coast lines that runs: City - Nth Sydney - St Leonards - Chatswood.

This is always the problem trying to retrofit a rail line to a region developed with car transport assumptions.  There are a lot of places worthy of a railway station for various reasons. 

But ultimately I think we're creating the problem Leisham/Petersham/Stanmore/Macdonaldtown causes for Liverpool commuters for future commuters from beyond the current NWRL.  Personally, I think we'd be much better off now, and in the future, with fewer but better stations with better pedestrian links to expand their foot catchment.  900m between stations is just too close for routes that are >40km long.

For the NWRL, I really think Samantha Riley Dr should be ditched altogether, and *maybe* Bella Vista moved half a a block north (ie the original Burns Rd station proposal).  Certainly ditch Cudgewond Rd, it's close enough to Rouse Hill and Schofields as it is.  The argument for that is the 200 lot housing estate land release.  You can fit 200 flats in a single 20 story building. 


I don’t think that there will be a lot of expansion in the future past the boundaries set for the NW growth centres but I may be wrong, tmk its not the cards anyway.

In the next 20 years, no.  But beyond that, just because it's not planned today doesn't mean it won't happen.  Infill only delays Sydney's inevitable march westward.  And the lack of a rail network accelerates it, because new development beyond the 2010s' growth areas means it will be all car dependant and thus low/lower density.


I also don’t think its achievable that every station being a major commercial node and that does not mean that there is no justification for a station. However every station should be able to have high density housing surrounding it and connect to a number of major commercial nodes.

My take on this is the density surrounding a station could and should be enough to warrant it's own independently viable commercial centre.  And I don't mean a fish & chip shop, news agent and bottlo: I mean at *least* a full Coles/Woolies shopping precinct fully supported by the population withing that station's catchment (and no other).  Preferably a Westfield too.  And that in turn makes the node appropriate for other supporting business activities.


The NW line certainly fits the bill here unlike nearly every other Sydney rail line! The LNS/ ECRL/NWRL is one of the few lines in Sydney that achieves what a good rail line should, major patronage in both directions. Based on the requirements placed on the NWRL in these recent posts there is no justification for nearly the entire southern half of the Cityrail network yet its the part that has had all the money spent on it recently.

As it happens, I agree with you here.  But IMHO the money being spent in the south is about rectifying the problems caused by the "every 1/4 acre block needs a train station in walking distance" mentality of the past.

I think the decision(s) we're really suffering from today were those to build the "missing link" Liverpool to Regent's Park line in the 1950s IIRC.  That was a penny pinching move to avoid building two bridges over the George's river.  But 30 years alter they built them anyway (on the East Hills line).  Boosting the revenues to the state coffers for land releases around Yagoona and Villawood were no doubt contributing factors.  Ultimately, had they extended the Bankstown Line directly to Liverpool (and expanded the Bankstown Airport reservation while they were at it) in the 1960s, Sydney would look very different today, and we'd certainly have a much more functional rail system.


I don’t actually understand this constant talk that the NWRL would be better off terminating after two stations at Castle Hill, that completely removes the justification for the line and achieves very little. You build the expensive part of the line and it doesn’t reach the major commercial areas of Hills Centre (where the original stage 1 NWRL ended) and more importantly Norwest.

I think that was just the previous government had published their NWRL plan would be built in stages, and that was just because of limited available funding.  I agree that a line just to Castle Hill is useless.  But I can seer the sense in building the thing in stages.  Given the limited likely initial patronage I think the way to stage the project (just to reduce/defer costs) is the defer the second track, but that's not really what we're arguing here. 


  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Regarding that Liverpool to Regents Park missing link, was the Bankstown line already a loop at this point?  I'd be interested in a reference if you have one.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Regarding that Liverpool to Regents Park missing link, was the Bankstown line already a loop at this point?  I'd be interested in a reference if you have one.
"simonl"


Just checked on http://www.nswrail.net/maps/sydney-by-year.php

Sorry, I was out by a few decades!  I was going from memory of one of those ARHS book (Sydney in the Steam Time IIIRC) which I no longer own.

This was done in the 1920s, before this region was really part of Sydney.  The route of the Belmore/Bankstown line was chosen withthe intent of it eventually connectin tothe main south at Liverpool and provide a more direct way into Sydney.



  boxythingy Chief Commissioner
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7zNHOAc5Ow
"boxythingy"


interesting video boxy. i never knew the old tram line was going to eventually be a heavy rail line. interesting idea from him to restore the former tram route to rail use as originally planned and use existing infrastructure. 3 billion is not a lot but judging by what Bob Carr did to prices we could end up with something well over 6 billion or even 8 billion or more. lets pass it on to Barry and Gladys (knowing it wont be built).
  Rails Chief Commissioner




No.  What I'm doing is thinking >25 years down the track, and the types of transport problems Sydney will have then.  As I see it, this time frame simple isn't being considered at all, but by 2030 what are currently greenfield sites with no growth at all will be where all the new development is going.  And these regions are going to have the same problems the NW of Sydney does now: no rail, and hence dispersed completely car dependant development.  And that has (bad) implications for the type of road network Sydney will need beyond 2030.

I also think Schofields, and perhaps Epping, are likely to be the next Liverpool.  A concentration point that needs a fast direct service to Parramatta and/or the City, but ends up having multiple very slow services because of all the different routes and intermediate stations they need service.

I don't think DD vs SD is really that much of an issue.  But IMHO it is a problem we're building short un-extendible platforms *and* an SD loading gauge on the NWRL.  It's ultra short term thinking IMHO.   The real issue is how the rail corridor will be used, and what benefit it will provide into the future.  If we make decisions based only on the very short term requirements, then the potential very long term benefits of this project won't materialise, and future generations will be playing the same infrastructure catchup game we are today.

"djf01"


I am reasonably familiar with the NW region you speak of and I am going to say that its very unlikely you will see the sprawl move past the boundaries of the existing NW region allocations. It will be concentrated in the direction they are looking to send the rail line, all the way back to Penrith and it will be more dense. Even when you look at places like Kellyville, they do not have big blocks, most are around 400 sqm with large houses on them. I think you will find in 30 years time there will be substantially less sprawl. I believe the type of people who have been building on the fringe will be pushed to regional centres and cities like Newcastle and Wollongong. 

I am unsure the true justification for saying SD is short term thinking compared to DD. I am also unaware that they are restricting the length of the platforms for the NWRL?



This is always the problem trying to retrofit a rail line to a region developed with car transport assumptions.  There are a lot of places worthy of a railway station for various reasons. 

But ultimately I think we're creating the problem Leisham/Petersham/Stanmore/Macdonaldtown causes for Liverpool commuters for future commuters from beyond the current NWRL.  Personally, I think we'd be much better off now, and in the future, with fewer but better stations with better pedestrian links to expand their foot catchment.  900m between stations is just too close for routes that are >40km long.

For the NWRL, I really think Samantha Riley Dr should be ditched altogether, and *maybe* Bella Vista moved half a a block north (ie the original Burns Rd station proposal).  Certainly ditch Cudgewond Rd, it's close enough to Rouse Hill and Schofields as it is.  The argument for that is the 200 lot housing estate land release.  You can fit 200 flats in a single 20 story building. 

In the next 20 years, no.  But beyond that, just because it's not planned today doesn't mean it won't happen.  Infill only delays Sydney's inevitable march westward.  And the lack of a rail network accelerates it, because new development beyond the 2010s' growth areas means it will be all car dependant and thus low/lower density.




The problem to me with the areas you mention on the inner west line are not so much that they are so close together but that they are so close together on a "Suburban" train line with little scope for more density, you should be able to build 25 storey towers all along the inner west line but you cant for a number of reasons, NIMBYs, heritage protection, land value and so on. Not a problem on the NWRL. Even existing sites that were recently built can be knocked down and replaced by units. So I have no issues with that spacing if the stations serve a purpose and have a lot of density built around them. They have direct access to so many employment centres that it makes sense and the SD trains will be well equipped for that kind of station spacing and high levels of people movement.



My take on this is the density surrounding a station could and should be enough to warrant it's own independently viable commercial centre.  And I don't mean a fish & chip shop, news agent and bottlo: I mean at *least* a full Coles/Woolies shopping precinct fully supported by the population withing that station's catchment (and no other).  Preferably a Westfield too.  And that in turn makes the node appropriate for other supporting business activities.


Wow, very few parts if any in Sydney can support that level of retail capacity! In fact retail is dying. Even look at retail/ commercial centres like those found in Pymble/ Gordon, these centres are not even viable despite meeting all of the criteria mentioned, theyre empty and falling apart even though they are not that old and surrounded by new density and good rail services. I would imagine if all the NW areas are self contained like you mention then they have little use for the rail line... I think as long as you have major centres within a few stations of high density residential only development its no problem, the ECRL/NWRL can work well in this way as for example you have North Ryde and Macquarie Park as major employment centres, Macquarie Uni as a major educational institution and large retail centre, then high density housing in Epping and Cherybrook plus Castle Hill which also has another large retail centre and then Hills Centre with a lot of commercial and then Norwest with a major employment node bookended by a number of high density residential based stations and another smaller commercial and retail centre at Rouse Hill. All supporting large transport interchanges/ T-ways and a lot of station parking. The centres themselves of course have a lot of residential development too, this is starting in Macquarie Park/ Uni on the back of the rail line, lots of large building coming, the NWRL will be the same.

Compare this to a lot of what you have on the Southern side of the bridge, this area will work much better. The thing is those southern areas are not being in-filled despite being perfectly suitable for it. Parts of the North side of the harbour is filling fast, In fact I believe the only two parts of Sydney that are filling their development quotas are the Eastern Suburbs and the upper North (Ku-Ring-Gai/ Hornsby).

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