Bankstown Line Future

 
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

The Bankstown Line have always been underestimated since 1998 .In 1998, train frequencies in peak hour were higher than it is today and the suburbs along the line have experienced dramatic population growth. Rail services on the Bankstown Line are poor resulting into overcrowded trains, and the worst of it is being stuck on an un-air conditioned train. One of the most overcrowded train in the past 5 years on the renamed Sydney Trains network was in 2010 on an ALL-STOPS train service from Regents Park (Lidcombe) to the city via Bankstown, Canterbury and Sydenham. This particular train service was recorded at 180% capacity meaning passengers are tightly packed on a train barely being able to move. Much needed higher train frequencies, better stopping patterns, and major upgrades should take place in the near future. In the new 2013 October Timetable, overcrowding issues haven't been identified properly on the Bankstown Line. The new timetable increases morning peak hour services between 6am - 10am by ONLY 4 new services which all or semi-express services. While ONLY an additional 3 new train services (2 of which are semi-express) are being introduced in the afternoon peak hour between 4pm - 7pm. In total there are only 7 extra services on a weekday Bankstown Line schedule. The Bankstown Line is one of the most easily-ready line to increase frequency as there are only 8 trains maximum an hour running on duplicated tracks. The line between Sydenham and Birrong is capable of 20 TPH (trains per hour) which means an extra 12 TPH can be introduced. However, there are other factors acting as obstacles to this option. Upgrades and new infrastructure is needed, addressing these obstacles include:

- Sydenham to Erskineville Sextuplication (Additional 2 tracks)
- A new underground rail plan between Redfern and the City ( To separate Bankstown Line services with East Line line services originating from Leppington (future) or Cambelltown/ Macarthur that travel to the city via Sydenham )
- Upgraded signalling and tracks (so that trains can travel faster and be more reliable)
- Cabramatta to Glenfield Quadruplication (allow extra train frequency and capacity and to separate the South Line with the Bankstown Line)
- Fully separate the Bankstown Line with all other Sydney Trains Lines
- Quadruplication of the whole line between Sydenham and Birrong via Bankstown (to allow express services and all stops services separated)

Sydney's Rail Future identifies the Bankstown Line to be converted to SINGLE DECK METRO in 20-30 years time with ONLY 12 TPH in peak hours. Single decker metros have much lower overall seating and standing capacity compared to a waratah train. 12 single deck metro trains equates to about the same capacity of 7 waratah trains. Currently there are 8 TPH on the Bankstown Line in peak. HOW WOULD 12 SINGLE DECK METRO TRAINS PER HOUR CATER FOR THE CURRENT 8 DOUBLE DECK TRAINS PER HOUR, AND THAT FUTURE RAIL PLAN IS IN 20-30 YEARS TIME WHERE POPULATION ALONG THE BANKSTOWN LINE WILL DRAMATICALLY INCREASE!!!

Suburbs along the Bankstown Line have vast opportunities for urban redevelopment which could cater for increase in residential buildings, jobs, commercial and retail activities. Why build large amounts of residential buildings along the Western Line when clearly the line is operating at almost 100% capacity? Bankstown Line is operating at only 40% of its capacity. The government of planning and infrastructure should identify these opportunities along the Bankstown Line.

BANKSTOWN LINE IS THE ONLY SUBURBAN LINE ON THE SYDNEY TRAINS NETWORK TO HAVE THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF INCREASED SERVICES WHICH CAN BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE FUTURE.

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  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

Please enter your suggestions and feedback.

Cheers,
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Some people will tell you that "The loop" is a basket case and yes you are quite right the infrastructure is pathetic . A lot of this is because there are seemingly stations every 500 metres and many of them have tight radius curves into and out of island platforms . Basically lots of low speed boards so even no stopper trains are slugs . Short of having passing lanes I don't know what you do with the Bankstown line , maybe some Bi Di and fix the tight bends at the island platforms .
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

Some people will tell you that "The loop" is a basket case and yes you are quite right the infrastructure is pathetic . A lot of this is because there are seemingly stations every 500 metres and many of them have tight radius curves into and out of island platforms . Basically lots of low speed boards so even no stopper trains are slugs . Short of having passing lanes I don't know what you do with the Bankstown line , maybe some Bi Di and fix the tight bends at the island platforms .
"BDA"


I admit, the trains do travel at slower speeds than many other Sydney suburban lines. For instance, a Central - Revesby  (via airport) service on the airport and a Central- Bankstown both take approximately 35 minutes but the distance of the Central- Bankstown journey is around 75% of the distance between Central and Revesby. Sharp bends along the line, the 20km/hr approach to Sydenham and curved platforms are all factors which affect this line. I don't know how the Bankstown Line can be converted to a metro, pretty much the only option is to build underground and build new stations but that will have a significant cost and will pose negative effects.
  sydnytrains Chief Commissioner

Location: McDonalds Front counter serving customers
Shouldn't this be in the Sydney Suburban Forum?
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Maybe add a couple of short crossing loops so the skip stoppers can get past the all stations, not much point having a skip stopper on the Banka.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

Maybe add a couple of short crossing loops so the skip stoppers can get past the all stations, not much point having a skip stopper on the Banka.
"Junction box"


Yeah, basically the semi- fast services take 4/5 minutes faster to get to the city than an all stops service from Bankstown to the Central. All services should be constricted to 2 stopping patterns which are the all stops to Lidcombe and all stops to Liverpool (and vice versa). Semi- fast services are pointless unless much needed infrastructure is constructed on this line.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

Shouldn't this be in the Sydney Suburban Forum?
"sydnytrains"


Haha. Accidentally posted here. My mistake.
  a6et Minister for Railways

In the late 60's & early 70's prior to the freight curfew, there was a return exp freight service, IIRC it was the Melb - Sydney TNT exp & ran into the metro area in the am peak period, for some reason it was consistently sent via Bankstown rather than via Enfield Main line, which was faster.

We usually to sit at the home signal for Liverpool for at least 5- 8 minutes we followed a stopping service as far as Sefton when it went via Lidcombe, as we approached the junction there was a bankstown service coming from Regents Park, & we had to wait for it there & follow it all the way to Punchbowl before going back over on to the goods road.

We got used to the speed from Liverpool & especially from Sefton & tried to ensure we never got over 18mph, or around 25K/mh , that way we were able to just keep going without having to apply the brakes, following the signals it meant we had constant cautions all the way.  A right pain in the backside, slower than many old pioneer lines that had rails on ashes for ballast.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Take the Goods road back between Campsie and Marrickville and rename it the suburban, this train stops at Campsie then Sydenham.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

Take the Goods road back between Campsie and Marrickville and rename it the suburban, this train stops at Campsie then Sydenham.
"Junction box"


This is not possible unless otherwise the Port Botany Freight Centre is abolished and moved to somewhere else or other freight railway lines are built between this freight centre to other logistics depot. If this was made possible in the future, stations along the line will be a no. 1 priority for urban development but at this moment, the Metropolitan Goods Tracks will be restricted to freight trains only.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Not totally correct , loco hauled pass trains go round the goods roads at times .
In my time the TNT Contrans was called 3177 and 3196 and was in and out of Cooks River . Access to the Bankstown Line was via the crossovers that used to exist next to the old Canterbury Signal Box . Later a crossover was installed between Canterbury and Campsie from the down goods to the up Banker and over to the down Banker south of Campsie station . AFAIK this has been booked out of use for some time .
There was also a crossover installed from the down goods (facing up direction) so trains could travel in the up direction on the down goods ex Enfield and access the up Banker just south of Campsie . Also booked out of use .
At times the IP has run via Sefton Jct or Flemmo Jct and to Sydney Yard via Chullora Jct Meeks Rd and the Illawarra .
A run around the goods roads is usually considerably faster than it was 23 yrs ago mainly because there isn't the number of trip trains nowdays and no junction at Wardell Rd now . Marickville loop is also double lines where it was a single staff section in the old days .
I can't see it happening but it wouldn't be impossible to wire the goods between Campsie and Marickville but is it really worth it ? Bi Di on the Banker would be easier . ARTC is just about to take over the last bit of the Goods Roads at Enfield and I don't think they'd relish fish tanks on the Goods Roads .
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

In the late 60's & early 70's prior to the freight curfew, there was a return exp freight service, IIRC it was the Melb - Sydney TNT exp & ran into the metro area in the am peak period, for some reason it was consistently sent via Bankstown rather than via Enfield Main line, which was faster.

We usually to sit at the home signal for Liverpool for at least 5- 8 minutes we followed a stopping service as far as Sefton when it went via Lidcombe, as we approached the junction there was a bankstown service coming from Regents Park, & we had to wait for it there & follow it all the way to Punchbowl before going back over on to the goods road.

We got used to the speed from Liverpool & especially from Sefton & tried to ensure we never got over 18mph, or around 25K/mh , that way we were able to just keep going without having to apply the brakes, following the signals it meant we had constant cautions all the way.  A right pain in the backside, slower than many old pioneer lines that had rails on ashes for ballast.
"a6et"


Just recently, the Southern Sydney Freight Line was constructed running parallel along the Main South Line stretching from Macarthur to Birrong. This was to fix problems with delays with freight trains since they were sharing tracks with suburban services. Now freight trains won't interrupt suburban passenger services on the Bankstown, South and East Hills Line. For the stretch of stations between Birrong and Punchbowl, I don't think they go via this route anymore, instead they travel through Enfield and back again onto the Metropolitan Goods Line at Belmore. This is a positive thing for Bankstown Line commuters as not only will it minimise noise levels but both trains are fully separated from each other. Hopefully, in the future, the Sydney Metropolitan Railway will be switched for suburban uses for the Bankstown Line.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Later a crossover was installed between Canterbury and Campsie from the down goods to the up Banker and over to the down Banker south of Campsie station . AFAIK this has been booked out of use for some time .
There was also a crossover installed from the down goods (facing up direction) so trains could travel in the up direction on the down goods ex Enfield and access the up Banker just south of Campsie . Also booked out of use .

I can't see it happening but it wouldn't be impossible to wire the goods between Campsie and Marickville but is it really worth it ? Bi Di on the Banker would be easier . ARTC is just about to take over the last bit of the Goods Roads at Enfield and I don't think they'd relish fish tanks on the Goods Roads .
BDA
The turnouts you mention in your post have been removed, IIRC. They were booked out for some time, and with ARTC taking over the goods lines, I believe that the turnouts at the Sydney end were ripped out during the last trackwork. I'm not as certain if the ones at the country end were also removed.

The goods line is wired from Campsie to Marrickville, the missing section of wire is from Marrickville Junction to Meeks Rd, this was removed when the RSL carpark was demolished. I believe the overhead is switched off from Enfield to Marrickville as it is not needed.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
I thought the goods was wired from Flemington to Campsie for emergencies?
Not anymore?
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No point having it past Enfield yard and some question having it that far . Easier to run busses or loco haul EMUs if necessary , having a plastic sealed train full of people powered down in hot weather is a worry though .
SSFL works because there are no stations to stop at and other than south of Macarthur the only notable locations along it are Leightonfield Yard and the passing loop north of Glenfield .
I think minor realignments and Bi di on the Banker are about all you can easily do above ground .
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
I thought the goods was wired from Flemington to Campsie for emergencies?
Not anymore?
Junction box
The power on that section I'm not entirely sure about, I understand it was switched off until they made Enfield live again for crew training, then to work the withdrawn S Sets in. I'm not sure how far the live wires extend, they might extend to Campsie, but that would be happenstance rather than deliberate. Certainly no chance of emergency running via the goods line now with the points at Campsie first booked out and later removed earlier this year. The signal at the city end of Campsie P1 had the shunt indicator bagged about two months ago, with points removed shortly after.
  ar157 Beginner

On the issue of single deck vs double deck rolling stock, an A-Set seats 896 pax in an 8 car set (sorry can't seem to find the standee number) whilst your typical metro stock, i'll take the MTR Metro Cammell EMU for example has a capacity of 2504 pax in an 8 car set. Now whilst an A Set is a tad shorter than the Metro Cammell, you aren't suggesting that an A Set can stand ~200 pax per carriage are you?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

On the issue of single deck vs double deck rolling stock, an A-Set seats 896 pax in an 8 car set (sorry can't seem to find the standee number) whilst your typical metro stock, i'll take the MTR Metro Cammell EMU for example has a capacity of 2504 pax in an 8 car set. Now whilst an A Set is a tad shorter than the Metro Cammell, you aren't suggesting that an A Set can stand ~200 pax per carriage are you?
ar157

The only people doing that are the numbats who say stupid things like "the MTR Metro Cammell EMU for example has a capacity of 2504 pax in an 8 car set."  At that loading density an A set would have 176 PAX standing per car.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

On the issue of single deck vs double deck rolling stock, an A-Set seats 896 pax in an 8 car set (sorry can't seem to find the standee number) whilst your typical metro stock, i'll take the MTR Metro Cammell EMU for example has a capacity of 2504 pax in an 8 car set. Now whilst an A Set is a tad shorter than the Metro Cammell, you aren't suggesting that an A Set can stand ~200 pax per carriage are you?
"ar157"


The MTR Metro Cammell EMU have bench style seating rather than 2 by 2 seating arrangements. This seating arrangement will probably be used on the NWRL which will limit standing capacity. There are more free space on the Cammell which rolling stock provided in the future on the NWRL will not have. You simply cannot say that two different rolling stocks with different features and seating arrangements will be similar in terms of capacity. Your statistics aren't comparable and valid.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Well you only need a few sets of points and a few peak hour runners and you have alleviated some of the Bankas congestion, its not as if the Goods is signal for signal during the day every day.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Well you only need a few sets of points and a few peak hour runners and you have alleviated some of the Bankas congestion, its not as if the Goods is signal for signal during the day every day.
Junction box
If only it was that simple! You've got the expense of installing and maintaining points. You've then got conflicting movements going on that are only to please a minority of train enthusiasts on an internet forum. Go find someone who works in timetabling and ask them if it's as simple as you say it is and they'll laugh you out of the building!
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Its a roughy to alleviate Bankstown line congestion as the initial post suggests, it would have to be BI DI and some crossovers in the middle to account for some chain dragging freighters,signaller error and track work, its still feasable, I would even widen the corridor for a third road, ARTC would pay for some of it since they love new infrastructure.
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

Bi di, crossovers, re-electrifying the goods line for shared freight and passenger train uses and/or adding an additional track on the Southern side of the corridor are the fastest options. Signal upgrades to minimise gaps between 2 trains should be implemented as well.

Increasing train frequency on the Banko Line without infrastructure built will be unpleasant and uneven. For example if an all stops train leaves Bankstown at 8:00 am , the skip-stop service must leave between 8:08- 8:09 and then the extra skip- stop service must leave between 8:11- 8:12 to allow the all stops service to leave at 8:15. Tight 3 minute gaps between 2 skip-stop services will not be beneficial as the first skip-stop service will be full while the next one will be half-empty. Unless the skip-stops services can overtake the all-stops, which obviously will need new infrastructure, nothing much can be done to fix the congestion on the Banko Line.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Signal upgrades to minimise gaps between 2 trains should be implemented as well.
Alfred3333
So, you're familiar with the signalling on the Bankstown line then? Obviously you must be, if you've decided the line needs to be resignalled closer together.

As for all of this fanciful dreaming of crossing over and using the freight lines for bi-di running, you may as well hope for pigs to fly. The freight lines should not, and will not ever be used for mainline passenger services. The connections with these lines and the passenger lines are being removed for a reason.

If you can't figure out the flaw inherent in crossing down and up trains at a diamond crossover, then it's really not worth explaining it. It's very simple logic that if trains must physically cross at a diamond crossover then late trains in one direction can completely screw with trains running in the opposite direction.

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