Call to speed up train link to Sydney

 

News article: Call to speed up train link to Sydney

COMMUTERS are making a new push for express rail services between Newcastle and Sydney.

  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
COMMUTERS are making a new push for express rail services between Newcastle and Sydney.



Draft timetables show Newcastle has missed out again on fast services between the two biggest cities in NSW.
Call to speed up train link to Sydney


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Cutting fourteen stops saves 45 minutes and magically creates express paths through the northern part of the Sydney network.  Impressive.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
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donttellmywife
Between $1B and $3B spent over 5-10 years could cut alot fo time off the Hornsby-Broadmedow section and help both freight and passenger alike. As its part of the interstate, dual funding should be possible.

Its not hard, just cut the bends out, easy targets between Asquith and Berowa, Hawsberry River and Woy Woy, Gosford North ot Broadmedow.

The hardest part would be a complete relaignment from Bewora to Hawesberry River by-passing Cowan by staying east of the freeway and a flatter alignment with a fair bit of tunnel work.

In both cases the rebuilt track would be three tracks, 1 for freight with passing lanes 2 for sparks.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Between $1B and $3B spent over 5-10 years could cut alot fo time off the Hornsby-Broadmedow section and help both freight and passenger alike. As its part of the interstate, dual funding should be possible.


RTT_Rules
Sure... but that's a little bit beyond the scope of a timetable refresh, don't you think?

It isn't going to help the cause for improved services (in whatever way) when the supposed advocates babble in a way that clearly indicates they don't understand the underlying issues.

Besides which, those advocates appear to have forgotten that there is an existing "limited stop" service very similar to what they are asking for.  It still takes 2 hours 20 minutes or so.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Sure... but that's a little bit beyond the scope of a timetable refresh, don't you think?

It isn't going to help the cause for improved services (in whatever way) when the supposed advocates babble in a way that clearly indicates they don't understand the underlying issues.

Besides which, those advocates appear to have forgotten that there is an existing "limited stop" service very similar to what they are asking for.  It still takes 2 hours 20 minutes or so.
donttellmywife

Once they cut the last 5-10km off the route it should be a bit quicker too Smile.
  TheLoneGunMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: At NF88.7 taking pictures
Hi All,

I'd like to see stations like Eastwood & Epping get taken off the Newcastle timetable as well. I had a discussion with people who got on the Intercity Train that I was on last week at Eastwood when they said that us lazy people wouldn't get up to give an old lady a seat who got on the train at Eastwood. I told these people that the train was an Intercity train for Intercity passengers & that if people who got on at Epping & Eastwood should either "live" with standing up on the Intercity train or get a seat on the following Suburban train that has over 200+ more seats than the Intercity service.

All Intercity services need a break from stopping at suburban stations when the train is going to fill up with suburban passengers displacing Intercity passengers who would end up having to stand up because suburban passengers are too lazy to catch their own services that run for them. I don't see why Newcastle services can't just (when leaving Sydney) pick up at Strathfield, Hornsby, then set down at Woy Woy with the occasional fast suburban service to run before the Newcastle train taking suburban passengers home first with an all stations train running after the Newcastle train.

But this can happen on all lines with Intercity services cos this will allow Intercity trains to be used the way that they should be used without the Intercity train getting held by longer station dwell times at stations like Epping & Hornsby awaiting for people to alight from the train.

TLGM
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

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Cutting fourteen stops saves 45 minutes and magically creates express paths through the northern part of the Sydney network.  Impressive.
donttellmywife
From what I can understand, all they are asking for is the two trains 06:12 & 08:04am trains to be proper expresses, or at least to leave the 08:04 to the current stopping pattern, and to get rid of the political Eastwood stop on the interurbans. (The equivalent of these trains that is)

The draft timetable has the 08:04am stopping to include Wyong, Tuggerah, Woy Woy, Epping & Eastwood.
(I wonder if marginal Central Coast seats had anything to do with adding the three Central Coast stops)

If they must stop the semi-expresses (not the two above) stop at Epping, then it must be set down only to Central, pick up only from Central. Hornsby for all interurbans should be set down only to, pick up only from Central.

They are called interurban (oh, oh sorry RailFlop I mean "intercity"), not suburbans for a reason.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
If they must stop the semi-expresses (not the two above) stop at Epping, then it must be set down only to Central, pick up only from Central. Hornsby for all interurbans should be set down only to, pick up only from Central.
"Newcastle Express"
I can agree with pick up only on the down for selected peak services, but set down only on the up is, I believe, going too far. All the interurban passengers will arrive at Hornsby seated quite comfortably (or uncomfortably, if they're on an OSCar), so any suburban passengers boarding will be picking up the remaining seats and/or standing.

They are called interurban (oh, oh sorry RailFlop I mean "intercity"), not suburbans for a reason.
"Newcastle Express"
I'm inclined to think that there's a ridiculous level of commuter self-entitlement that needs to be broken.
  a6et Minister for Railways

If up services were taken over with an all station service to Wyong, go into #1 platform to allow an express stopping there & run through, then Tuggerah, Gosford, Hornsby Epping, for Mac park, Strathfield & Central how much time would that take out of the journey.

The all stations from Newcastle could leave the express ex Wyong & could then stop Tuggerah, Ourimbah the Gosford, Woy Woy Hornsby & then to the shore.

Prior to the Exp, a service starting from Wyong could do all to Gosford, arrive in time to transfer those to the two faster services, which would then be all to Bewowa. Hornsby Epping perhaps Eastwood, Strathfield & Central.

A similar pattern could operate on the Down as well, especially in Peak times.

Realistically, there is enough short sections of track up there that could be diverted which would increase speed & running times, without a lot of expenses, especially given the huge sums spent over the years with track closures.  There is room between Ourimbah - Tuggerah:  Wyong - Wyee, to have some realingments, also Wyee - Morriset.  The section approaching Fassifern on the down could readily be straightened from the straight section from Awaba, & do away with the reverse curves near the down home with some small station replacement/realigning, likewise reopen the old line from the top of Fassifern down to Teralba, making very much a straight section of track, Single line the large slow curve around through Booragul & keep for local services & a freight diversion.  

That would help both freight as well as passengers. I have not mentioned Hawk Mount but it could also do with some realigning even with grade retention.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Hi All,

I'd like to see stations like Eastwood & Epping get taken off the Newcastle timetable as well. I had a discussion with people who got on the Intercity Train that I was on last week at Eastwood when they said that us lazy people wouldn't get up to give an old lady a seat who got on the train at Eastwood. I told these people that the train was an Intercity train for Intercity passengers & that if people who got on at Epping & Eastwood should either "live" with standing up on the Intercity train or get a seat on the following Suburban train that has over 200+ more seats than the Intercity service.

All Intercity services need a break from stopping at suburban stations when the train is going to fill up with suburban passengers displacing Intercity passengers who would end up having to stand up because suburban passengers are too lazy to catch their own services that run for them. I don't see why Newcastle services can't just (when leaving Sydney) pick up at Strathfield, Hornsby, then set down at Woy Woy with the occasional fast suburban service to run before the Newcastle train taking suburban passengers home first with an all stations train running after the Newcastle train.

But this can happen on all lines with Intercity services cos this will allow Intercity trains to be used the way that they should be used without the Intercity train getting held by longer station dwell times at stations like Epping & Hornsby awaiting for people to alight from the train.

TLGM
TheLoneGunMan
Not this **** again.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
From what I can understand, all they are asking for is the two trains 06:12 & 08:04am trains to be proper expresses, or at least to leave the 08:04 to the current stopping pattern, and to get rid of the political Eastwood stop on the interurbans. (The equivalent of these trains that is)

The draft timetable has the 08:04am stopping to include Wyong, Tuggerah, Woy Woy, Epping & Eastwood.
(I wonder if marginal Central Coast seats had anything to do with adding the three Central Coast stops)

If they must stop the semi-expresses (not the two above) stop at Epping, then it must be set down only to Central, pick up only from Central. Hornsby for all interurbans should be set down only to, pick up only from Central.

They are called interurban (oh, oh sorry RailFlop I mean "intercity"), not suburbans for a reason.
Newcastle Express

I suspect "more patronage" is the simple explanation for the additional stops.  

Call their bluff.  Can the earlier limited stops interurban and reschedule the Casino XPT to do the express run, for XPT fares.

Expecting any level of service with current interurban fares is borderline delusional.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Not this **** again.
"simonl"
I know right?

Expecting any level of service with current interurban fares is borderline delusional.
"donttellmywife"
This.

I'll propose a compromise solution - pick up only on down PM peak flagship(s) only. It is all well and good for people to say they want nicer trains because the current ones suck, but if people continue to trash trains and refuse to pay more than the current peanuts, the trains will continue to suck.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I think Syd - Newcastle deserves a 1hrly express service. Stops, City, Staith, Hornsby, WW, GF, WY, ... Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

just as we have feeder buses, we should also have feeder trains. At Gosford, the slow train arrives just prior to the express and leaves after. Not sure if this is still the case, but it used to be and I thought worked well.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I think Syd - Newcastle deserves a 1hrly express service. Stops, City, Staith, Hornsby, WW, GF, WY, ... Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

just as we have feeder buses, we should also have feeder trains. At Gosford, the slow train arrives just prior to the express and leaves after. Not sure if this is still the case, but it used to be and I thought worked well.
"RTT_Rules"
This is exactly what happens already, for most of the day on weekdays.

There is the through express, hourly, from Sydney Terminal to Newcastle. There are then 'local' trains, from Sydney Terminal to Gosford/Wyong, and from Newcastle to Morisset/Gosford. I'm hearing rumblings that it will be standardised to the Gosford/Gosford pairing, though, so the through service is a genuine express (as some still run all stops between Gosford/Wyong and Morisset to cover the gap between the locals).
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I think Syd - Newcastle deserves a 1hrly express service. Stops, City, Staith, Hornsby, WW, GF, WY, ... Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

just as we have feeder buses, we should also have feeder trains. At Gosford, the slow train arrives just prior to the express and leaves after. Not sure if this is still the case, but it used to be and I thought worked well.
RTT_Rules

Total Patronage to and from Newcastle/Hunter is ~5000 PAX/day.  Some of which by necessity, some perhaps because of a price decision, will chose to use the local trains.  There is probably not enough to justify an hourly 800/900 seat train (8 car V/H set) express train (say 14 runs & 12000 seats/day).  Bi-Hourly Flyers stopping Syd-Hby-Gff-Wyg-Brd might make sense.  

Terminating at Broadmeadow means a sub 2hr run and thus Bi-hourly can be provided with just 2 trains rather than 5 hourly now.  

I also think if there were a NSW Trains "Flyer" then the northern CL routes could be operated by DMUs out of Newcastle.  Cutting 160min off these routes means all of them, even Brisbane (just), can be operated out and back each 24 hrs.  6xDMUs could provide 4NCL and 2NW services each day each way, connecting with the Flyers at Broadmeadow (vs 4 DMUs and 5 XPT sets currently).  At a minimum 2 H sets refurbished with a bit more leg room and better seats (but would probably still need 2+3) and a snack bar/vending machine & extra luggage space would produce a 360-400 seat train.  8 per day, 6 connecting with CL DMUs delivers ~3000-3500 "premium" seats, 2000 of which available to Novacastrains.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Unless you're using a Newcastle Flyer as a "feeder" (Newcastle Feeder?) for North Coast and North West long-haul services, I see no point in a service stopping anything less than Woy Woy, Gosford, Tuggerah, Wyong, Morisset, Fassifern, Cardiff, Broadmeadow and then all to Newcastle.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
...8 per day, 6 connecting with CL DMUs delivers ~3000-3500 "premium" seats, 2000 of which available to Novacastrains.
djf01
Very good - you should get a trademark on that.

The rest of your proposal I'm lukewarm on - but I've leave that to the thread in the NSW forum.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Very good - you should get a trademark on that.

The rest of your proposal I'm lukewarm on - but I've leave that to the thread in the NSW forum.
donttellmywife
It was indeed very good.  If only I'd intended it!
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

With Straithfield, Hornsby on Sydney side is probably about right, hrly clockface from 4-5am through to 8pm at night.

If I recall, the all stoppers, ie adding Epping, Beowora, Cowan and all to Gosford, need to leave about 20-25min before the express to have the express catch and pass it at Gosford station. The all stopper nth bound departs just after.

Coupled with some long over due track alignmnet optimisation will easily get that express to Newcastle in less than 2hr using Citytrain rolling stock with top speed of 130-140 with sufficent time to enable comfortable turnaround and departure 2hr after it left central. Perhaps cleaners join the train at Broadmeadow. The alignment works have payback in reduced Cityrail and CL running costs (maybe more fares) and reduced freight running costs for which slightly higher charges could apply and still deleiver savings and benefits to the freight operators. Does it balance out? probably not.

regards
Shane
RTT_Rules
Said before and will say it again:  Gosford - Wynyard via North Sydney is ~80km and *should* be a sub 60min (outer) suburban run with either 60 or 30min off peak frequency.  Newcastle line then a 30min frequency shuttles (still 2&1/2hr run time plus change @ Gosford) with CL to provide only direct services OR hourly shuttles augmented with bi-hourly "flyers".
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Said before and will say it again:  Gosford - Wynyard via North Sydney is ~80km and *should* be a sub 60min (outer) suburban run with either 60 or 30min off peak frequency.  Newcastle line then a 30min frequency shuttles (still 2&1/2hr run time plus change @ Gosford) with CL to provide only direct services OR hourly shuttles augmented with bi-hourly "flyers".
djf01

Gosford via Nth Sydney is something that was talked about for years before introduced, its more than likely will be dropped in not too distant future with NWML or probably as now, Gosford all to Central via shore. The track capacity won't be there for expresses. While longer, you will have for more easier opportunity to run via mains and longterm ability to upgrade the track standard to faster running.

Not sure why you feel only CL to provide direct services, lets keep the whole thing simple. The two cities deserve a through service. 1hrly from city express with about 6-7 stops City to Broadmeadow and the all stop from there is open for debate. South of Gosford local services to/from Gosford, nth of Gosford local services to Broad meadow.

The shore should either be by-passed or local from Gosford via shore, all to Central.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Gosford via Nth Sydney is something that was talked about for years before introduced, its more than likely will be dropped in not too distant future with NWML or probably as now, Gosford all to Central via shore. The track capacity won't be there for expresses. While longer, you will have for more easier opportunity to run via mains and longterm ability to upgrade the track standard to faster running.
RTT_Rules

I just think equivalent upgrades on the Shore would be a better use of resources than trying to sort out the Main North only to be confronted with the main south and Sydney Terminal issues.  
ATM the speed limit boards on the Shore are 60kph IIRC - AFAIK mostly because of the sharp curves around the island platforms.  But even while as slow as it is now, it's more or less the same run time as an unobstructed run via Strathfield.  The big issue with this bridge capacity, but it solves a lot of other problems, not least creating a true NSFL and thus a justification to attract Fed funding.

So my agenda to implement this is:
- Faster/Straighter/Steeper deviations for the EMUs on the Cowan Bank and/or Mullet Ck.
- Speed and/or capacity upgrades on the Nth Shore which may include amplification, bustitution of Woolsoncraft & Waverton, converting Nth Sydney into a DOWN facing Turnback


Not sure why you feel only CL to provide direct services, lets keep the whole thing simple. The two cities deserve a through service. 1hrly from city express with about 6-7 stops City to Broadmeadow and the all stop from there is open for debate. South of Gosford local services to/from Gosford, nth of Gosford local services to Broad meadow.
RTT_Rules


Hourly express services to Newcastle needs 5 trains, dropping to 4 with realignments.  In addition 3 trains are needed to run hourly Gosford-Newcastle locals to give a 60min frequency.  RailCorp ATM offers a bit less than that, with only some Syd-Newcastle trains limited stops.  Most day trains are also locals.  Most stations get a 60 min frequency, mostly local service but with direct connection to Sydney (including numerous stops in the Sydney suburban area).

A bi-hourly service that can do the run comfortably under 2 hours means you could still have a 60min frequency local (connecting with larger trains at Gosford) plus 60/30/30/60/30/30 at stations stopped at by the Flyer, and still only use 5 trains.  i.e.  Same/similar service and cost to now, but with regular fast limited stop services.

The other operating pattern I've suggested is 6 local Gosford-Newcastle trains running a 30min frequency.  Increases frequency at the expense of limited stop and direct Sydney services.  However, ATM CL provides 3 day and 1 night direct services through Broadmeadow.  Combined with some of the other fleet changes we've discussed on the XPT thread that could change to 5 or 6 day CL services, giving a 2-3 hour direct/express service frequency.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
From Hornsby to Lindfield you can probably get away with sharing the tracks with locals and some easy curve easing. South from Lindfield/Chatswood realestate becomes increadibly expensive and you will need a dedicated pair of tracks as the existing track capacity is approaching 20t/hr. The propose UG Metro is UG because cost wise its not worth the effort to go surface. Then there is the bridge and tunnels and stations to Central, all of which are fairly crowded.

Meanwhile on the main north, there alignment is more readily expandable, some of which is already 4 tracks or was previously made ready for 4 tracks. Newcastle expresses could share a pair of tracks with freights leaving a pair of tracks for local traffic. The bridge over the river is much easier to expand than HB or short enough with low enough traffic to simply leave as a single pair. It would far more easier and cheaper to get sparks holding +90km/hr from Hornsby south than getting another 20km/hr on NSL.

Cityrail clearways projects was designed to segreate intertwinned services and keep trains from A to B not mixing with C to D and elimnate where possible A to C's etc To me running express CC/Newcastle trains down the NSL especially post NWRL is clashing with the clearwats concept. You could easily build a double pair of tracks from Hornsby to Nth Straithfield excluding the bridge where you have two tracks for local, two tracks for express, CL and freighters or some other combination.

having commuted the route from Straithfield to Gosford for some years although a while back. The route screams of "realign me".
- From Asquith to Berowa, should be no issue and you would probably cut 500-1000m of trackage. stick a 3rd track down the middle for NSFL.
- Berowa to Hawsberry River (costly, lots), almost a completely new route going east of the F3 and direct via a series of long tunnels to teh River probably using the last few km of existing route. The current line nth of Cowan would be removed. the route from Bewora to Cowan maybe even reduced to part single track with Cowan station Plat 1 increased to 8 cars. The current freight stowage loop could be used for storing sparks. Suspect 2-4km of route distance would be eliminated. I've seen reports that leave the freights on the current route, if if single tracked and alignment improved to take advanatage of the wider ROW, I cannot see how this makes sense when you are building a new alignment, it won't cost that much more to do it properly as 3 tracks or even as two tracks as freighters will move through faster. Modern bi-di design will enable sparks to pass freighters on the move or even stalled. QR can manage this quite well with 80km/hr coalies, 100km/hr freighters and 160km/hr TT on the dual Gladstone-Rocky section. Not uncommon to have trains changing back and forward enable passing.

- Hawsberry to Woy Woy tunnel, again this route screams straighten me. Just nth of the nth side river tunnel, use modern machinery to build the route straight rather than have train holding 50-70km/hr around the endless bends. There will be impacts on the national park, but the final result will see trains more away from the trees and water front than now with less sqr metreage used for the rail alignmemt. Proberly pull out 1-2km of track here.

- Limited options along the Brisbane Waters, perhaps some curve easing near Tascott/Point Clair.

- Nth of Gosford to Tugg, shouldn't be hard to achieve a bit here.

- nth of Wyee, again there are plenty of low cost options.

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