The Newcastle Rail Line IS to be cut, announced 14 dec 2012

 
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

So what is the problem? They are planning to remove the under utilised heavy rail system and replace it with a light rail system on the same alignment.  The hub of Newcastle should now be Broadmeadow, not the end of a branch line out in the middle of nowhere
tezzaHERE
Well no they are not. Although it was in a budget, light rail is only being used as a false sweetener. Remember only $340 million has been set aside for this false sweetener. Once again, it will end as the NURS document states that not viable, and they will say that the existing bus network will do. Newcastle is NOT in the middle of nowhere.

Under utilised - the developers/HDC/HBC favourite saying. Under used you say? Answer: Here & Here (

//[size=2]http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHyNc8vaYfcB0-CBfjavNlrG-iqsK4mjk[/size])

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  tezza Chief Commissioner

Newcastle rail is hardly convenient now, for me to Journey to Central by train from Swansea on Lake Macquarie requres a 1 hour bus trip north to Newcastle Station or Civic to make a connection, followed by an extremely slow train trip all the way to the city.
An extra 5 minutes changing onto light rail to get to Newcastle CBD or whats left of it , from Broadmeadow is nothing.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Tezza, trackwork buses require an extra 15 - 20 minutes at Broadmeadow.

So going by your logic, the NWRL then, it should terminate at Epping, and passengers change at Chatswood & Epping? Or terminate the NWRL at Castle Hill, and change into buses to Rouse Hill.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

What does a trackwork bus have to do with it? Its the regular Newcastle bus service from Swansea , takes an hour to make the connection at Newcastle followed by an extremely slow train trip to the city.
A 5 min transfer onto light rail at Broadmeadow would be nothing
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Going by your logic Newcastle Express, Sydney Terminal should be transplanted to Watsons Bay and all connecting bus services to other parts of the city are to be made from there.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Joan Dawson of Save Our Rail is quoted as listing a long wish list of potential projects that would certainly benefit the Newcastle region, but not solve the political problem the government has.  She is quoted as saying "Better value for such funding  could include, dedicated express services from  Newcastle to Sydney, restore Cessnock passenger services, build  Glendale interchange, solve the Scone barrier, install crossings at Worth Place and Steel Street,  or even a light rail beach connection from Swansea to Port Stephens bridging Newcastle Harbour and  linking Newcastle to its airport."  None of these are currently on the table politically.

To be politically effective Save Our Rail need to concentrate on the issue at hand and present a viable short list.  I suggest the only two options be
1. Tram-trains running on the existing tracks connecting with heavy rail at Broadmeadow and either Waratah or Warrabrook. These tram-trains would need to be capable of running with heavy rail trains.  Transfer times would need to be minimised by cross-platform connections.
2. Sinking the line around Civic. It would be worthwhile pointing out that this is happening in Perth for a budget of $360m (about the same as is on the table for Newcastle). In Perth's case the problem was exactly the same, that the railway line led to development one side of the line but not the other.  The sinking is to increase crossing points.  There are many of the same engineering challenges of high water tables, plus the extra costs of running an electrified railway adjacent to the construction zone.

http://www.pta.wa.gov.au/RailProject/tabid/324/language/en-US/Default.aspx



http://www.pta.wa.gov.au/RailProject/tabid/324/language/en-US/Default.aspx
  a6et Minister for Railways

What does a trackwork bus have to do with it? Its the regular Newcastle bus service from Swansea , takes an hour to make the connection at Newcastle followed by an extremely slow train trip to the city.
A 5 min transfer onto light rail at Broadmeadow would be nothing
tezza

The problem you face is what has often been put to others who face a similar problem & that is distance from a Railway station along with the factor of you live where you live by choice, as such you have to accept that fact.  Has been shoved down mine on many an occasion.  The aspect also that even if you drove to you possible closest station Cardiff or Fassifern does not help but you can get a relatively fast train from those 2 stations, rather than Cockle Creek which would be around same time in driving.

No one would disagree with you on the slow trip from Newcastle to Central, & certainly the hour in the bus adds to it, however it is the same for many others & the whole point is those who use rail on a daily basis to commute are those that make the difference in the debate.  For you the change may be better if you can get a bus to BMD, if not you go to NCLE then get a tram to BMD & then the train, but you then have to work out the timetables to ensure a connection. I guess that would also depend on what sort of bus service you get from Swansea also.

The aspect is more for those who do use the line on a daily basis & they would use the local connections from Morriset, Scone, Dungog & points in between, which for the outer stations sticking the extra change time in both directions would make a big difference to them permanently, if they stayed on rail. Not surprisingly I am reasonable sure that not as many from Dungog & Scone would be using the services compared to the past, so any loss of those passengers could end the overall service to those locations. I am sure the coal companies would rub their hands with glee on that.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Will running a tram instead of a train actually attract more people to the CBD?
Through the week its business as usual and on the weekends the Hunter street side is dead anyway, I gotta question the viablity of the project when punters end up having a beer overlooking an industrial harbour anyway.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Will running a tram instead of a train actually attract more people to the CBD?
Through the week its business as usual and on the weekends the Hunter street side is dead anyway, I gotta question the viablity of the project when punters end up having a beer overlooking an industrial harbour anyway.
Junction box

Very true indeed, & I think many of the old pubs along Hunter st have had to change from just pulling beer to yuppee eateries in order to attract patrons.  I honestly doubt that on other than special event weekends during the colder months & those over the summer months that there would be a lot of people using the area, certainly I do not believe that trams would provide any better service or attract extra patronage.

In fact I really do not believe that the CBD title is really relevant anymore, as how many businesses are there in that area now.  Better to simple call the area Central Newcastle.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Exactly, the CBD is no more and hasnt been for years,it shouldnt now be the major interchange for bus services throughout Newcastle
The hub of Newcastle should now be Broadmeadow.
It is a pointless exercise to have to train it to the end of the line at Newcastle to make a connection to buses and then head back out again if you want to go anywhere in Newcastle by public transport
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Exactly, the CBD is no more and hasnt been for years,it shouldnt now be the major interchange for bus services throughout Newcastle
The hub of Newcastle should now be Broadmeadow.
It is a pointless exercise to have to train it to the end of the line at Newcastle to make a connection to buses and then head back out again if you want to go anywhere in Newcastle by public transport
tezza
The flaw in your argument is that there is no need to truncate the rail line in order to move the bus interchange.

There is still reasonable commuter traffic to and from the CBD and environs.  At peak times (i.e., when it counts from a congestion point of view) this class of traffic absolutely dominates service use - it might even be the biggest single class of passengers across all times.  On the other hand, I'd expect the number of people interchanging from bus to rail to be small.  Your specific use example would be an infinitesimal part of the use of the system.

An interchange at Broadmeadow is a distinct disadvantage for this direct commuter group.  Estimates of the likely delay due to interchange have been modelled in one of the studies conducted by NSW Transport and were of the order of 15 minutes, from memory, with time savings for other passengers being nominal.  That increased delay was expected to have a noticeable effect on rail patronage - I recall the expected decline in patronage from a requirement to interchange was of the same order as the potential growth in patronage from any one of the public transport improvement options being considered in the report.  The movement of the interchange, in isolation, was not expected to grow total public transport use - if it did, then we would be having a different discussion!

(Note the use of "from memory" and "I recall" - I don't have the report handy at the moment to check details.)

If you relocated those commuter jobs to Broadmeadow, then the situation would be quite different.  But I very much doubt that features in any plan to "revitalise" the CBD.  Perhaps it should.  Relocation of the rail yards, which would be well and truely on the cards if the Hexham bypass was built, would give you a very large parcel of land that you could use to build a new, well connected town centre from scratch.

For your specific location (Lake Macquarie) the intended point of interchange in the future for services to Sydney will be Glendale.  That interchange has budget funding and appears likely to progress - but I agree with mm42 that the other Save our Rail wish list projects for Newcastle are delusional, that said I also think mm42's tram trains and sinking of the line are equally delusional.

We will have to wait and see if anything comes of the light rail proposal mentioned (barely!) in the recent budget.  The lack of any sort of reliable pre-feasibility style study for it concerns me - reminding me of the various farcical "we're gonna build a metro!" plans announced by the previous government.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Don'ttellmywife, those videos and photos I've linked to before, the majority of them weren't taken in peak hours.

And when trackwork buses replace trains between Newcastle & Broadmeadow, while the trackwork do have a downturn in passengers, multiple standby buses were needed.

As for so called this false sweetener of light rail, Tim Owen has already said that their is not enough money for this so called light rail shuttle between who knows where (Gladys has confirmed that any terminus may not be at Wickham), and Andrew Cornwell has already stated that light rail is a MAYBE option.

But this decision and the recall of parliament a week or so later, was so that the Christian Democratic Party demanded to have their anti-abortion bill passed, in return for selling (leasing for 99 years is virtually the same thing) the Port of Newcastle.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Click on http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1649817/hunter-street-350m-puts-life-back-in-our-town/?cs=305 & see note below the quote & highlighted word in the quote.

Addressing an urban renewal summit with business leaders and * developers *, Cr McCloy was critical of height restrictions to protect views to Christ Church Cathedral.
Somebody
NOTE: Whatever this meeting was called, this meeting was very secret. Information from AFTER this "don't-tell-the-public-about-this-yet-another-cut-the-rail-line(1) meeting suggests about 30 or so people were invited.

IF that number of 30 or so is correct, we thought someone would have "shooted their mouth off."

1. They claim the meeting was about height restrictions, but I think we know what the REAL purpose of this secret meeting was and is. Information suggests that this may not be the only meeting that will affect the public.

PS: And no "greedy" Jeff McCloy, Newcastle is not YOUR city, and we know what YOU & your GPT mates are really after.
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

Going by your logic Newcastle Express, Sydney Terminal should be transplanted to Watsons Bay and all connecting bus services to other parts of the city are to be made from there.
tezza
Central is already congested enough! Not the greatest idea.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

I see that it went completely over your head
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

I see that it went completely over your head
tezza
I am just kindly telling you that your idea was not the best, but still a good suggestion.

SSS
  NotebookMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wahroonga NSW
The flaw in your argument is that there is no need to truncate the rail line in order to move the bus interchange.

There is still reasonable commuter traffic to and from the CBD and environs.  At peak times (i.e., when it counts from a congestion point of view) this class of traffic absolutely dominates service use - it might even be the biggest single class of passengers across all times.  On the other hand, I'd expect the number of people interchanging from bus to rail to be small.  Your specific use example would be an infinitesimal part of the use of the system.

An interchange at Broadmeadow is a distinct disadvantage for this direct commuter group.  Estimates of the likely delay due to interchange have been modelled in one of the studies conducted by NSW Transport and were of the order of 15 minutes, from memory, with time savings for other passengers being nominal.  That increased delay was expected to have a noticeable effect on rail patronage - I recall the expected decline in patronage from a requirement to interchange was of the same order as the potential growth in patronage from any one of the public transport improvement options being considered in the report.  The movement of the interchange, in isolation, was not expected to grow total public transport use - if it did, then we would be having a different discussion!

(Note the use of "from memory" and "I recall" - I don't have the report handy at the moment to check details.)

If you relocated those commuter jobs to Broadmeadow, then the situation would be quite different.  But I very much doubt that features in any plan to "revitalise" the CBD.  Perhaps it should.  Relocation of the rail yards, which would be well and truely on the cards if the Hexham bypass was built, would give you a very large parcel of land that you could use to build a new, well connected town centre from scratch.

For your specific location (Lake Macquarie) the intended point of interchange in the future for services to Sydney will be Glendale.  That interchange has budget funding and appears likely to progress - but I agree with mm42 that the other Save our Rail wish list projects for Newcastle are delusional, that said I also think mm42's tram trains and sinking of the line are equally delusional.

We will have to wait and see if anything comes of the light rail proposal mentioned (barely!) in the recent budget.  The lack of any sort of reliable pre-feasibility style study for it concerns me - reminding me of the various farcical "we're gonna build a metro!" plans announced by the previous government.
donttellmywife
The Currie report (available through the SOR website) pointed out that according to the Broadmeadow Interchange study's own calculations, 38% of rail passengers to stations on the Newcastle-Hamilton line would choose alternative transport rather than change to a bus. Currie then attacked the choice of demand elasticity parameter used by the study as biased (the lower end of the range in the source cited), and suggested that with a more realistic choice of parameter, the loss would be more like 60%.

When AECOM did a similar study for the Wickham terminus in 2010, they used a demand elasticity (-0.74) intermediate between the Broadmeadow number (-0.6) and Currie's suggestion (-1.0), at Cityrail's suggestion. Maybe the high car usage in Newcastle influenced that choice. But unlike the Broadmeadow study, AECOM didn't actually report the calculated rail patronage drop. Their only prediction was that total public transport usage would rise by 1% over 5 years. Wow. That really encourages my confidence in the impartiality of the report.

Vacation of the Broadmeadow rail yards might actually free up enough space to build a reasonable rail-bus-LR interchange with adequate train stabling (including multiple exit points and no impact on Beaumont Street). You could even use all three platforms without having to rebuild the Lambton Road bridge. The contortions required to create a bus-rail interchange without interfering with Railcorp freight operations were major hassles.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The Currie report (available through the SOR website) pointed out that according to the Broadmeadow Interchange study's own calculations, 38% of rail passengers to stations on the Newcastle-Hamilton line would choose alternative transport rather than change to a bus. Currie then attacked the choice of demand elasticity parameter used by the study as biased (the lower end of the range in the source cited), and suggested that with a more realistic choice of parameter, the loss would be more like 60%.

When AECOM did a similar study for the Wickham terminus in 2010, they used a demand elasticity (-0.74) intermediate between the Broadmeadow number (-0.6) and Currie's suggestion (-1.0), at Cityrail's suggestion. Maybe the high car usage in Newcastle influenced that choice. But unlike the Broadmeadow study, AECOM didn't actually report the calculated rail patronage drop. Their only prediction was that total public transport usage would rise by 1% over 5 years. Wow. That really encourages my confidence in the impartiality of the report.
NotebookMan
I'm not sure what the motivation for your impartiality comment is.

It turns out it was the AECOM "TMAP" report that I was thinking of (so yes - it analyses a Wickham interchange, rather than Broadmeadow - my mistake, but I still think the negative impact on travel time and public transport share are still illustrative).  That report includes the numbers for the impact of rail line termination on public transport mode share - from 14.1% down to 13.3%; and a break down of mode share within public transport, so it is quite easy to come up with a lower bound estimate of the impact on rail.
  NotebookMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wahroonga NSW
I'm not sure what the motivation for your impartiality comment is.

It turns out it was the AECOM "TMAP" report that I was thinking of (so yes - it analyses a Wickham interchange, rather than Broadmeadow - my mistake, but I still think the negative impact on travel time and public transport share are still illustrative).  That report includes the numbers for the impact of rail line termination on public transport mode share - from 14.1% down to 13.3%; and a break down of mode share within public transport, so it is quite easy to come up with a lower bound estimate of the impact on rail.
donttellmywife
The historical context is that the Currie report was highly critical of the Broadmeadow Interchange proposal, describing it as biased, misleading, and tending to favour the case for truncating the line. This was a considerable political embarrassment to the pro rail cut cause. When I read the AECOM report, I was disappointed to find that the presentation of demand patronage forecasts was less transparent than in the report criticised by Currie.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

I'm not sure if the video [size=2]here[/size] (oh great, just see: [size=2][size=2]http://councils.apstream.net/council/public/newcastlelivenew/player.asp?Tab=2&OrgEntity=89&Meeting=1346[/size][/size]) that was on the night (18 Jun 2013) of the state budget mentions the rail line or not. But just in case, I've posted the link, but although it is a state matter, I'm not sure if the council had enough time to change any agendas.

Off topic (at the moment)
HUHH?? For tonights budget (23 Jul 2013) What's this?
Surely I must be hearing & seeing things, McCloy agreeing with Labor Cr Nelmes?! Shocked
Well this is odd, McCloy agreeing with Labor, and the Green member disagreeing with the Labor Cr Nelmes?!
Now where getting Liberal Cr Brad Luke (Deputy Lord Mayor) agreeing to an amendment by a Labor councillor!
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

McCloy is off somewhere this week pushing the case to get the light rail onto Hunter street and "free up the rail corridor"
What a hair brained scheme this is.
Imagine the traffic congestion and delays involved with cars and trains mixing it up along Hunter Street, and at the same time there is a parallel 2 rail corridor with supposedly nothing on it.

Imagine this fantasy scenario -
For many many years Newcastle has had a light rail system running along Hunter Street with motorists dodging trains and traffic congested at various locations as the train takes right off way at lights and intersections but it has always been like this so everyone got used to it.
Then some bright spark came along with a fist full of government dollars and suggested that he could use the money to purchase real estate running parallel with Hunter Street and we could move the whole rail system onto this land and free up Hunter Street for traffic and parking. We would all hail the messiah and welcome him into our arms for solving our city's transport problems.

Unfortunately this is a bizarro fantasy and it is all working in reverse
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

McCloy is off somewhere this week pushing the case to get the light rail onto Hunter street and "free up the rail corridor"
Showtime
Lol:lol:
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

McCloy said he wants "space" for extra car parks - and guess what is suitable for extra car spaces?

Of course I think we know what McCloy & GPT are really after.

This developer is going to meet next month. Going from what I have read in the past, mccloy wants this rail line cut as soon as possible, and I mean soon. We've already had this NSW dictatorship privatise three power stations without ANY consultation with the public at all.

I wonder how mccloy will “influence” the state government to cave to him?
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

That Greedy McCloy has also hinted that he wants "space" for extra car parks - and guess what is suitable for extra car spaces?

Of course we know what McCloy really wants to do with that rail land, as does his mates GPT.

This developer is going to meet next month. Going from what I have read in the past, mccloy (no caps deliberate) wants this rail line cut as soon as possible, and I mean soon. We've already had this NSW dictatorship privatise three power stations without ANY consultation with the public at all.

I wonder how mccloy will “influence” the state government to cave to him, if you get my drift?
Newcastle Express
Before we start making up conspiracy theories about developers have any studies been done on who actually uses the rail corridor now, the numbers and the socio-economic groupings. In my discussions with my Newie relatives they claim no one in their right mind goes into the CBD these days as there is no real reason to go into CBD for shopping etc. Also, I would be a bit careful about what posters call McCloy as he might decide to make an example of a few of you just for the fun of it. Someone with deep pockets could totally f**k you over financially.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

I doubt  Councilor McCloy would even be aware of this obscure gunzil forum to be bothered by it.
Watched half a dozen empty trains leave Newcsstle tonight after 6 30 pm, will be good when this eyesore on the foreshore is gone and we have the light railway at 15 minute service intervals

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