Newcastle light rail

 
  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network
Newcastle Port will be privatised and the rail line will be replaced with light rail:
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1580147/ofarrell-privatises-newcastle-port-in-return-for-light-rail/?cs=303

NEWCASTLE will get light rail in its inner city in return for the Port of Newcastle being handed over to the private sector, the O’Farrell government has announced in its latest budget handed down on Tuesday.
The government will use $340million to replace heavy rail with light rail from Wickham to Newcastle, from the proceeds of a proposed 99-year lease of the Port that Treasurer Mike Baird said could reap about $700million.
The $340million would come on top of the $120million the government has already committed to spending on rail changes in the inner city, including the construction of a transport interchange at Wickham.
And the light rail strip could be the start of a broader system, with $10million to be spent exploring the potential to link the city centre to surrounding suburbs, beaches and broader region.
‘‘This will now go beyond a mere revitalisation: it will effectively be the rebirth of Newcastle as a modern city,’’ Mr Baird said.
The proposal forms the budget’s centrepiece infrastructure announcement.
A scoping study for the port transaction would get underway immediately.
The government is aiming to complete the lease by mid next year.
It follows the recent lease of both Ports Botany and Kembla, which were announced in previous budgets and raised about $4billion net for infrastructure spending.
Overall, Mr Baird has forecast a deficit of $329million in 2013-14, with a return to surplus expected in 2014-15, in a budget he says will ‘‘secure the future for NSW’’.
It confirms the provision of $585million for the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the Hunter.
The budget also provides for up to $120million this year for the Resources for Regions program, which is aimed at returning some of the proceeds of mining to affected communities.
About $40million would be allocated to successful applications made before June 11, with $80million available for those who make applications before October.
Singleton and Muswellbrook are among the councils to have already made applications and will need to wait to learn if they will get a share of the money.
Newcastle City Council was also eligible but did not submit an application. It may have another
The budget also delivers more money for the Newcastle justice precinct, with a further $63million for its construction.
The government has also continued its housing acceleration fund, with two Hunter sites included in the initiative this year.
Wastewater network upgrades at Farley and Rutherford will be fast-tracked to help pave the way for the construction of 5300 new homes, and an intersection on the New England Highway at Lochinvar and its water mains will be upgraded to enable 5000 new homes to go ahead.
But the budget is silent on allocations for the remainder of the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund. The fund’s board had made recommendations to the government earlier this year on how to spend the $60 million remaining of the $350 million election commitment.
The budget papers say the government is considering the board’s recommendations.

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  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Has anyone stopped to look at the fact that the cost of the 'new' light railway is the same as what it would probably cost to sink the existing heavy rail?
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Sinking the line would be the ideal solution.
  dat581 Chief Train Controller

Location: The Shire
I mentioned the best solution was to sink the rail line and that the developer who wanted the land should pay for it on the internet survey from Bang the Table. There were quite a few replies to my post written in quite a professional manner and not like a normal Joe or Jane Bloggs reply. Most of the posts against the removal of the line were attacked in this way. I'm pretty sure this is known as 'super terfing' and is a fake grass roots campaign. A few days later I received and email from Bang the Table saying my post was inflammatory and had been removed. I was warned not be an internet troll!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Yeah those fake 'grass roots' campaigns are becoming more common so I'm told; it's a bit like being invited to a 'focus group' only to find at the last minute that you don't have the 'right' opinions and your attendance is no longer required.  That actually happened to me once, it was a group on what your feelings were about a particular 'big four' bank but at the last minute I was told I didn't have the right profile for them - I think there might have been a connection between that and the fact that I did a survey the day before where I told them I thought banks ripped off their customers on interest rates.

On the topic of the Newcastle Light Rail line, I haven't been able to find any immediate references on the internet but I thought that Barry had decided not to bother any more?
  dat581 Chief Train Controller

Location: The Shire
In fairness to Barry NSW is a bit broke.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
In fairness to Barry NSW is a bit broke.
dat581

Sydney and Melbourne suffering the same syndrome - a million plus new residents each in the last decade or so and hardly any new infrastructure.  Time for some new coal mines and fixed speed cameras!
  KymN Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
On the topic of the Newcastle Light Rail line, I haven't been able to find any immediate references on the internet but I thought that Barry had decided not to bother any more?
don_dunstan
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/next-stage-deliver-newcastle-light-rail-begins

and while you are there, try:
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/lightrail-program/cbd-and-south-east-light-rail/current-works

Laughing
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
KymN: Okay, thanks for that, I didn't see it the first time I searched. But I must say, none of the language sounds really definite, it's a little bit 'proposal' and 'community consultation' sort of sound-bite fluff.  I'm not commenting on whether or not it's likely to be built or not but it seems to me that they've left themselves plenty of room in case they back out.

Despite that, at least there's more projects being given lip service in NSW than there is down here and they're actually building tram lines in Sydney as we speak. Our state government couldn't care less about public transport and they're not even pretending any more...
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Sydney and Melbourne suffering the same syndrome - a million plus new residents each in the last decade or so and hardly any new infrastructure.  Time for some new coal mines and fixed speed cameras!
"don_dunstan"


They could make a lot of revenue from booking people on the Hume Highway.
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

Sydney and Melbourne suffering the same syndrome - a million plus new residents each in the last decade or so and hardly any new infrastructure.  Time for some new coal mines and fixed speed cameras!
don_dunstan
Doesn't stop them building freeways.

If this is a money thing, sinking the line can be more profitable as they can lease the air rights+develop the stations (of course that turns out crap like Melbourne Central and Box Hill)
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
From what I've read of the decision to rid Newcastle of it's railway line, there's no option to sink it or a replacement tram because it would cost too much money.  Developers want to make easy $$$ out of this, they don't want to have to contribute towards the provision of public transport infrastructure.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
From what I've read of the decision to rid Newcastle of it's railway line, there's no option to sink it or a replacement tram because it would cost too much money.  Developers want to make easy $$$ out of this, they don't want to have to contribute towards the provision of public transport infrastructure.
don_dunstan

So - is it reasonable to assume that we're looking at a "bait and switch" strategy - that is to say, the light rail is merely a "sweetener" to get people to agree to the heavy rail being ripped out, only to be quietly binned as "not feasible" once the developers get their grubby little mits on the corridor?

Bastards.........
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Fred Scuttle, that is correct, it's already been said by the developers that they don't want anything on, under or above the rail land - which brings us to the reason why the developers don't.

And if the developers are not after the rail land, then why do the developers want a tram line along Hunter St?

And if it's not a land grab by greedy(1) developers, then why are the developers interested in that piece of land?

1. Not saying all developers are greedy, just some of them.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

First, testing to check connection

Instead of destroying transport in Newcastle, by developers who are after the rail line, by trying to cut this vital link, they can introduce trams as an ADDITION, or use tram-trains where both can share the same tracks.

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