Tonsley takes a dive in the popularity stakes

 
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
From 'Adelaide Now 24/6

PATRONAGE on the Tonsley line has slumped by 30 per cent since the line re-opened in May after a two year closure.
Figures show 850 commuters use the service daily, down from 1200 commuters who were using the weekday-only service before it was cut in February 2012.
The rail service closed as part of the State Government’s rail upgrades and the extension of the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Transport Department spokeswoman Lauren Whitney ruled out making any timetable changes to boost patronage.

“(The) Tonsley timetable replicates the previous timetable before the line was closed for works, and is based on rail car availability in comparison to patronage,” Ms Whitney said.
“The infrastructure of the Tonsley line is capable of supporting a more frequent service and weekend services if patronage develops in future.”
However, the number of weekday passengers using the Seaford line jumped to 13,400 in May from 10,300 in the month to its closure in January, 2013, as part of the rail electrification works.
Another Transport Department spokeswoman, Melissa Martin, said she expected passenger numbers to rise as the south became more populated.
“With continued residential growth occurring in the southern suburbs and the Tonsley Park project coming online, patronage it is expected to grow on these lines over the coming years,” Ms Martin said.
The government has bought 22 trains each with three railcars, costing about $220 million in total, which will be in service by the end of next year.
Trains run about 19 times per day on the Tonsley line and about 64 on the Seaford line.


http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/west-beaches/passenger-numbers-down-on-reopened-tonsley-line/story-fni9llx9-1226963987946

Yeah. 26 months without their rail service. Roughly 33% of passengers have discovered better means of getting into the CBD, or maybe have just plain forgotten about the rail service.

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  filmfanatic Beginner

Given that people have been forced to find alternative transport for more than two years, it will take a while for patronage to recover. If a better service is provided than before, which probably won't happen until an all-electric service is introduced, then numbers should go up.

I particularly like the spokesperson comment: "The Tonsley line is capable of supporting ... weekend services if patronage develops in future."

Not sure how people can patronise a weekend service that doesn't exist! Razz
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The fact that the platform at Tonsley still has CONSTRUCTION ZONE - DO NOT ENTER signs at both end ramps probably doesn't help.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
The fact that the platform at Tonsley still has CONSTRUCTION ZONE - DO NOT ENTER signs at both end ramps probably doesn't help.
justapassenger

If that's the case (and I have no reason to doubt you, it just seems incredible) it's as good an example of anything of modern journalism relying on press releases and other online information as opposed to sending someone out on foot to have a quick look.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The article has hard figures and responses from two interviews which is probably about right for a short report on new patronage numbers, of all the cases you could point out where modern 'journalism' is unworthy of the name this is a rather weak example.

The issue of the signage being left in place does make you wonder - if the DPTI project managers have such poor attention to detail that they didn't notice signage left in place when inspecting an allegedly completed project, what important stuff have the contractors put past them? Maybe some local knowledge could have been useful here, instead of having the project overseen by managers who would need a secretary to look up the Tonsley line on Wikipedia for them.

Time for another trip past there tomorrow with a pair of pliers in case they haven't gone in the last week - my young cousin has a birthday coming up and he might appreciate a 'construction zone' sign for his bedroom door Wink
  Sojourner Train Controller

Is there any talk around about the line being extended to the Flinders Hospital or has that idea been set aside for good?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I posted once before on the topic of when the tons would re open, that it would only reopen when interest in usage had dropped to a sufficient level to allow for closure. Seems I may not have been far wrong.

As for extending to Flinders, for what possible reason? No other hospital has, nor needs a railway station.
  doyle Junior Train Controller

The Austin hospital does its called Heidelberg
  Sojourner Train Controller

As for extending to Flinders, for what possible reason? No other hospital has, nor needs a railway station.
Aaron

The idea was mooted to link the rail to the existing transport hub/s there.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The idea was mooted to link the rail to the existing transport hub/s there.
"Sojourner"
An interchange at Flinders Medical Centre would be a terrible location for that, the design is not fit for purpose and the manoeuvring in and out of there makes the buses ridiculously slow - it can take up to ten minutes in peak traffic.

A far better interchange could be built in the Sturt Triangle to the east of the police station by demolishing Tonsley Station and extending the rail line across Sturt Road to a new Sturt Interchange. There's enough space there to have a proper people-ready interchange with cross-platform transfers to/from buses on both sides of a bay platform, with buses from the outer south terminating at Sturt Interchange instead of crawling along as through routes to the city along the choked South Road and Goodwood Road corridors. A free loop bus would take care of the local link between Sturt Interchange, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, the infrastructure to take rail up there is just too damn expensive for a rust bucket state that needs to focus on projects with a good bang/buck ratio.

There's no chance in the short/medium term though, not when the political "options" at the moment are pro-car Liberals or pro-car Labor. Remember that Labor just released a budget with $404 million for transport but not even 5¢ for improved cycling infrastructure which would do far more to unblock the roads than underpasses or expressways designed only to get you to the back of the same traffic jam at the same choke point a couple of minutes earlier.
  mynameismike Deputy Commissioner

Location: /dev/adelaide/magill
Is there any talk around about the line being extended to the Flinders Hospital or has that idea been set aside for good?
Sojourner


IIRC its in a marginal seat.  It may just happen.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The Austin hospital does its called Heidelberg
doyle

Sorry, I thought this was a South Australian forum.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
An interchange at Flinders Medical Centre would be a terrible location for that....A far better interchange could be built in the Sturt Triangle to the east of the police station
justapassenger

I need say no more than HEAR! HEAR!
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
A far better interchange could be built in the Sturt Triangle to the east of the police station by demolishing Tonsley Station and extending the rail line across Sturt Road to a new Sturt Interchange. There's enough space there to have a proper people-ready interchange with cross-platform transfers to/from buses on both sides of a bay platform, with buses from the outer south terminating at Sturt Interchange instead of crawling along as through routes to the city along the choked South Road and Goodwood Road corridors.
justapassenger


This.  When I commute in the morning, there are 721F/721X/T721/T721X/722F/722X/T722 that all go down South Rd, and that's just from Noarlunga (via Morphett Vale).  Add to that various others like 723F, 723X, and I'm sure there's others, it adds a lot of traffic to the already congested South Rd.

With a proper interchange at Tonsley, located where JAP suggests, would mean you could get rid of T721 and T722 at least, as the frequent stopper could service stops between Darlington and the City.  For people in the South who absolutely don't want to go from bus to train at Tonsley, you could run an "X" route from Darlington to the city that goes express down South Rd and has first stop where the current one does.  You'd be able to consolidate 721X/722X/723X services and reduce the number of buses on the road (run fewer, fuller buses).  This doesn't even take into account buses that go down Goodwood Rd (I have no knowledge of those) but I'm sure more consolidation could be done there.
  doyle Junior Train Controller

Wasn't their plans for a railway station for the new RAH
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Wasn't their plans for a railway station for the new RAH
"doyle"

Nope
  doyle Junior Train Controller

I think there was
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I think there was
"doyle"

Maybe your getting confused with (once opposition leader) Issy Redman's plan to build a sports stadium on the site where the hospital is  now going up, that plan included relocating the interstate station to under the stadium, where she was magically able to fit 700m long passenger trains into a 300m long platform!
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures

Wasn't their plans for a railway station for the new RAH
- doyle

Nope
Pressman

http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fece5f8041298402b6b9f641bc5d9290/FINAL+TMJNH+Master+Plan+18+July+2008.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=fece5f8041298402b6b9f641bc5d9290 Page 54




Page 54
"As part of these investigations,
the merit of the provision of a station at the Hospital Precinct
will be assessed. The Department of Transport, Energy and
Infrastructure will advise of the results of this assessment in
2008. This assessment will consider the number of people
that will use a new station for access to the Hospital Precinct
and the West End along with those that would use it as an
exchange station between rail services."


It seems that it was considered but never actually got past the consideration stage. I do remember seeing somewhere an artists rendering of a platform along the North side.
  doyle Junior Train Controller

Nm39

Thanks I vaguely remember artists impressions but not sure if it was the advertiser or channel 10
Anyway thanks for the link
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Maybe your getting confused with (once opposition leader) Issy Redman's plan to build a sports stadium on the site where the hospital is  now going up, that plan included relocating the interstate station to under the stadium, where she was magically able to fit 700m long passenger trains into a 300m long platform!
"Pressman"
If they had anybody other than the cat lady in charge, the Liberals would have romped home in the 2010 election and we'd already be back onto a Labor state government after this year's election.

This doesn't even take into account buses that go down Goodwood Rd (I have no knowledge of those) but I'm sure more consolidation could be done there.
"DrJames"
These are routes to/from Aberfoyle Park, the G20/G20F/G20X, G21/G21F/G21X (which extends through Happy Valley), G22 (which is the old TL1 renumbered) and 320 which diverts after FMC and finishes at Marion. These routes get a service of ten per hour in the peaks and in the peaks they are well loaded with passengers who are almost all going all the way to/from the city.

I would be in favour of making all outer south bus routes terminate at Sturt Interchange (except for Footy Express and After Midnight) to connect with a proper train timetable (three per hour from 6am-10pm), but with the majority of buses continuing as through routes after a number change at Sturt just as the M44 terminates at Marion with the buses continuing as the local 64n feeder routes. You could then have just one route in normal operation on each of South Road (replacing the 719) and Goodwood Road (replacing the G10 minus the Flinders diversion).

The need for various ways of restricting usage on the inner suburban segment of all the 72n through routes would obviously evaporate if the routes terminate at Sturt, so there would be no more need for confusing F/X/T variations - except perhaps an X version for buses skipping the Reynella-Darlington segment of South Road by running on the Southern Expressway.
  Sojourner Train Controller

The issue as I see it with the Tonsley line is the location of the terminus station. It worked well when the Tonsley Chrysler / Mitsubishi plant ran different shifts with several thousand employees on site who were able to make good use of it and give it patronage numbers. The closure of the plant has removed much of the patronage. The terminus would be better suited as being a part of a transport hub with timetabled bus connections and access to different bus routes to make the best use of the service. Such a hub exists at Flinders where as pointed out various South Rd and Goodwood Rd buses make connections. Whilst I don’t think that it is going to be possible to connect in at that point, I do think there is some merit in the idea of making a new terminus station for the Tonsely line adjacent to South Rd as a part of the Sturt Overpass Interchange project.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
......Whilst I don’t think that it is going to be possible to connect in at that point, I do think there is some merit in the idea of making a new terminus station for the Tonsely line adjacent to South Rd as a part of the Sturt Overpass Interchange project.
Sojourner

This is a no-brainer. If the planners of the new Sturt Overpass project had the least amount of common sense this relatively cheap option would be built.

Buses from the Westfield Marion interchange currently have to turn right from Sturt Road into South Road and then into Flinders Drive to access the hospital stop which has become a de facto interchange. The consequent extra traffic on South Road and the considerable lengthening of bus transit times is significant. I am a frequent user of 300 cross-suburban, 700 and Goodwood Road buses on this route. At busy times buses sometimes have to wait for two lengthy cycles of the lights.

The present Tonsley terminus is hidden from all but the most observant passers by, and this is partly why it is under-used.

There needs to be a direct connection from Flinders Drive to Sturt Road across now vacant land, and a bus/train cross platform interchange and car park with a level train crossing Sturt Road which would have significantly reduced through traffic. The traffic lights for the intersection and the boom gates could be co-located and electronically interlocked to give approach preference to trains.

With shuttle buses serving the university and hospitals connecting at the new interchange, there would be no need for costly rail bridges and a station in the space starved hospital precinct.

If needed the line could be slewed eastwards before the crossing to give it added clearance from the police station.
  KymN Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
As for extending to Flinders, for what possible reason? No other hospital has, nor needs a railway station.
Aaron

But universities have, and do.  Macquarie University has its own station and a light rail line is to be built to serve the University of NSW.  A possible answer may be an interchange in the triangle with the line continuing past the Medical Centre to a point below Flinders University.  Might need to drive into the hill a bit given the grades.

Yes I know this is a South Australian forum, but I used to be one.

cheers,
Kym
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
But universities have, and do. Macquarie University has its own station and a light rail line is to be built to serve the University of NSW. A possible answer may be an interchange in the triangle with the line continuing past the Medical Centre to a point below Flinders University. Might need to drive into the hill a bit given the grades.

Yes I know this is a South Australian forum, but I used to be one.

cheers,
Kym
KymN

Why don't we go the whole hog and build the railway right into the hill with a balloon loop and stations at FMC, FU, FUH and BPTC?Twisted EvilLaughing ROFL

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