Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  tezza Chief Commissioner

The PN cripples will just be declared abandoned and sold to scrappies within weeks and there can be no selling of rhe railway corridor until an Act of Parliament has been passed to close the railway line. Has this occurred yet?

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  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
The PN cripples will just be declared abandoned and sold to scrappies within weeks and there can be no selling of rhe railway corridor until an Act of Parliament has been passed to close the railway line. Has this occurred yet?
tezza

Logic would tell that the closure of the line should be postponed until after the election especially given the number of instances of political malfeasance by the current government.  The people of the local electorates should be given the opportunity to decide if this act of political opportunism and vandalism proceeds or not.  The question arises is if there is a change of government at the election will the next government reverse the decision and restore the line spending the money that is presently being committed to the light rail instead to lowering sections of the line ( a cut and cover construction comes to mind ) to remove the supposed barrier and the space over the line could then be used for whatever development is appropriate that wishes to lease the air rights over the rail alignment.
A royal commission into the processes to date would be most interesting and from the present stench that emanates from the actions of the current government and developer mates could well see an increase in the occupancy of Her Majesties Prisons and an exodus from the State of involved persons.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Gladys and Baird have got to be in it up to their eyeballs otherwise why would they be fighting so much public opinion to rip it out now.
If Labor were to get in they have said they will return the line to operation if it hasn't been vandalised too much by the Libs.
Cut and cover has ben discused and dismissed at not feasable with the water table
I would be happy for it to stay the way it is and have the money wasted (I mean spent) on other projects.
Why is it the end of the world and life as we know it in Newcastle if it has a regular rail line like most of the world where trains run along a rail at ground level and has a terminus at one end?
  tezza Chief Commissioner

What public opposition? A few fuddy dudfy bewildered Save Our Rail delagates that can muster 20 people at a public rally. Yes a cut and cover would be a good idea, the average of 12 passengers per V set can look at tunnel walls. At least with a light rail there will be a potential for increase passengert number with the more frequent service and the 27 bus routes that now ply Hunter Street will be removed and the buses realocated elsewhere to improve suburban services into the city.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Tezza, your main argument hinges on the light rail.
We all know we will never see this red herring, so redo your thinking and apply logic to the situation based on removing the line at great expense and replacing it with a few buses.
Now does it add up?
Doesn't matter if it is only being patronised by a few, the rail is there, and it works, and it is paid for, and it won't cost anymore to keep it there.
All the other scenarios cost a fortune and disrupt the city and it's transport systems.
Still logical to proceed with this?
Well it only starts to add up when the greedy developers that are passing browm bags around get their hands on the land.
Just because the local pollies have been busted doesn't mean the big brains behind this scheme aren't still in their.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Even if the light rail never eventuates buses will handle the patronage, no need to run an 8 car V set at great expense with 12 passengers. The city is no longer the stretch of land to the south of Hunter Street and the Mall, it now encompasses the forshore from Nobbys to Mayfield and the railway divides the city. Not many people use it, there are more empty trains run than full and the debate has been ongoing for 30 years. The railway no longer serves it's intented purpose as mass transportation into the city, the masses no longer exist to use it and the railway needs to go.
  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Atta boy Tezza! Let em buy cars and drive like the rest of us decent folk. If they don't want to drive then we don't want em in our town, but if they must come they can wait for the bus and take their turn in the traffic. Them unemployed from the valley got plenty o time on their hands. If the students wanted to get to uni by rail then they would have enrolled somewhere in Sydney or Melbourne. Good riddance I say.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

The Uni Campus at Civic is not open yet and wont be for a couple of years and indications are that the students who will use this faciliity will live in the CBD and surrounding suburbs, they will have no use for the heavy rail from Newcastle to Civic. The few that will travel from outlying areas will no doubt be able walk the 1km from the New Wickham terminus to the campus. When will you get it through your simple heads that no one uses the train now? 220 trains per day with an average of 12 passengers per train. Do you just sit there as gunzels and look at them?
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
I dunno, I'd count a couple thousand people as a bit more than "no-one" but, your choice.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

You count just as good as Newcastle Express with trains carry 12 or so passengers expressed as thousands, uou might need to do a little of your own research into average daily passenger numbets before grabbing thousands out of thin air.
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
220 trains per day. 12 passengers per train?
`220
x`12
-------
`440
220
-------
2640 times that Newcastle and Civic have been used
unless you want to make your wording clearer?
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Yep, they can all fit in the buses easily, no need for 8 car V sets to carry 12 passengers.
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
Is it really worth spending 140 million to remove a rail line rather than just keep the trains going for four more minutes?
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Is it really worth keeping a rail line running at a loss of over 100 million per year just so an average passenger loading of 12 per train can have a 4 minute trip?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is it really worth keeping a rail line running at a loss of over 100 million per year just so an average passenger loading of 12 per train can have a 4 minute trip?
tezza


Tezza, is that $100m figure correct?  Just sounds a little high to me.  What is the distance between the terminus and the proposed terminus post 2014?
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
Wikipedia says 2.17km.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

The light rail terminus hasnt been decided yet, it could be Broadmeadow, Hamilton or Wickam. The temporary terminus from the 5th January is Hamilton, which is 3.7km from the proposed light railway terminus at Pacific Park which is 100m fron Newcastle Beach. There are moves pushing to extend the light railway to Hamilton to dispense with the WickhamTerminus
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
If it was Broadmeadow, would there be any chance of some V sets going to the Hunter?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Oh forget about changing the size of the font back to normal, takes up too much time, & it seems to do set the size automatically, even if you don't enter a size.

Greg Piper's bill: I wouldn't support it either at the moment.

Inquiry: Let's put this way, the transcript can't have the "heated" discussion that it was between the panel & the HDC. One of the groups either the HDC or a NCC representative was asked about 20 story tall buildings on the rail land.

Documents from the Newcastle City Council were prepared solely by the general manager of the Newcastle City Council - he has decided to go on holidays and won't be back until the day after the inquiry finishes.

Fred Nile again said something interesting this morning.



https://www.youtube.com/user/WSDuplex/videos,

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHyNc8vaYfcDTTxv-spRwyLwLh3IIWn83
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http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2679764/urbangrowth-seeks-development-on-rail-corridor/?cs=305

UrbanGrowth urges NSW government to allow development on Newcastle rail corridor
STATE development authority UrbanGrowth is urging the government to permit development on at least part of the Newcastle rail corridor that will be left vacant after the heavy rail is truncated, sources say.

With the heavy rail between Newcastle and Wickham set to be permanently closed on December 26, the powerful authority that was put in charge of the project – and is a partner in the Newcastle East End mixed redevelopment – is said to be eyeing up nearby land in the corridor in the vicinity of the current Newcastle railway station building.

Asked on Thursday whether it has put more residential or commercial development on the government’s radar, an UrbanGrowth spokeswoman said only: ‘‘No decisions have been made on how the rail corridor land will be used’’.

It is understood a separate proposal is for the Hunter Development Corporation to manage the land after the rail lines are removed.

When the government first announced plans to truncate the rail line in 2012, it ruled out use of the corridor for anything other than public space or new transport modes.
But since deciding on a light rail corridor that traverses only about half of the heavy rail corridor, it has left open the door to some development while rubbishing suggestions of high rise.

‘‘It makes no sense to take down the dingo fence and replace it with a Berlin Wall of buildings,’’ Planning Minister Pru Goward said in June.

With less than two months to go before the rail line is closed, the government’s plans for the land remain under wraps.

A spokesman for Ms Goward said on Wednesday that UrbanGrowth was ‘‘continuing to work with key stakeholders and the Newcastle community on the urban renewal plan for Newcastle city centre’’.

UrbanGrowth was made the lead agency on several major urban renewal projects, including Newcastle’s, early this year, to hasten the delivery of new housing and jobs and attract investment.

It has a two-thirds stake in the East End redevelopment with the GPT Group.

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper has introduced a bill that would limit development of the rail corridor to cafes, passive recreation, landscaping and transport, providing for such uses as cycleways and public art installations. But government backing needed to secure its passage through the lower house has not been forthcoming. Labor has not lent its support either.

Mr Piper had planned to bring on the bill on Thursday but is continuing to discuss it with the government.

The Property Council, a private sector industry group, recently told a parliamentary inquiry looking at the rail truncation decision that it believes the corridor should be retained as public space and construction of any commercial building in the corridor ‘‘is simply not viable’’.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Is it really worth keeping a rail line running at a loss of over 100 million per year just so an average passenger loading of 12 per train can have a 4 minute trip?
tezza

What they are doing is a bit Irish, they are trying to make the East end more attractive then making it hard to get to, they still don't have the right to sell the corridor because they don't own it, we do, hands off!
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

The light rail terminus hasnt been decided yet, it could be Broadmeadow, Hamilton or Wickam. The temporary terminus from the 5th January is Hamilton, which is 3.7km from the proposed light railway terminus at Pacific Park which is 100m fron Newcastle Beach. There are moves pushing to extend the light railway to Hamilton to dispense with the WickhamTerminus
tezza

Tezza, decision was made 12 months ago. It is Wickham, full stop.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

What they are doing is a bit Irish, they are trying to make the East end more attractive then making it hard to get to, they still don't have the right to sell the corridor because they don't own it, we do, hands off!
Junction box

How is removing the rail making it harder to get to? First, bugger all people use the train to get to the East End, secondly, changing to light rail is hardly a huge impost, particularly if it gets you closer to your destination.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Save Our Rail fails to find evidence of corruption


COMMENT: Pointless inquiry provides platform for posturing but reveals nothing to help city
By JASON GORDON
IF the Fred Nile inquiry was designed to embarrass a few bureaucrats and allow a few people to vent their anger at recent planning decisions in Newcastle, it has so far succeeded.
If it was about proving that something was rotten in the old steel city, or about finding an evil underworld of rich people corrupting the process, its first public hearing failed miserably.
In what became nothing more than a political sideshow, Friday’s first public hearing into planning processes gave us nothing significant which we didn’t already know.
It would be hard to find anyone in this city who wasn’t left disappointed, disillusioned and angry by recent revelations made before the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Most, in my opinion, would be left further disillusioned by the political posturing, the grandstanding and complete waste of time and taxpayer money that played out on the second floor of Newcastle’s Novotel hotel on Friday.
If Fred Nile hasn’t already written his inquiry’s findings, he already knows what they are. He gave us a hint on Friday morning when he went on a number of Hunter radio stations to say he wanted the state government to at least postpone its planned Boxing Day truncation of the rail line because the community didn’t want the rail line to go.
Really? There are plenty who do, Fred – certainly as many as those who don’t. And in the middle are the rest of us who were just glad to see a damn decision made one way or the other.
What concerns me more is that those words came from the Christian Democrat leader before he had heard a word from anyone presenting a case to the inquiry.
How independent a chairman is he when he’s made his mind up before he’s heard any evidence at an inquiry he’s supposed to be running?
Sorry Fred, but the revelations of the ICAC inquiry left me without a lot of confidence in ‘‘the system’’. You’ve just made it a lot worse.
There is no doubt that some of the groups presenting to the inquiry on Friday have legitimate concerns and feel alienated by some of the processes.
The people of this city will forever debate the issues they raised, particularly around the rail line, just as they have done for decades.
But where is this inquiry taking us?
Is it just about giving a voice to those who want to vent their frustrations at recent planning decisions or is it genuinely about reforming a broken system?
Linda Voltz and David Shoebridge gave us every inch of the evidence we needed that this whole shebang was more about political gain and political whipping than anything else.
Was there anything presented to the public hearing that wasn’t in the submissions already presented to the inquiry? Anything at all we didn’t already know? If there was, I missed it, but feel free to let me know if I’m wrong.
And what of any recommendations your inquiry makes? Aren’t I right in saying the government won’t be required to adopt them anyway, regardless of what they are?
I actually felt sorry for some of the bureaucrats dragged into the quagmire on Friday – some more than others. I also felt sorry for a few of those community groups with genuine grievances – some more than others.
But you know who I feel sorry for the most? This grand old city, which keeps getting pulled and torn in 26 different directions. The grand old city that is continually hijacked by stupid politicians and divided by the same old arguments that have hamstrung it for decades.
With all respect to you, Reverend Nile, and to the rest of your upper house inquiry members who none of us really know, hear me when I say your inquiry is just adding to the problem.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
As an outsider and someone who has taken a keen interest in the Newcastle rail truncation debate, it seems to me it would be a backward step to remove a valuable piece of transport infrastructure into the Newcastle CBD.  The lessons of history haven't been learnt.  In the early 20th Century, there was major public agitation to extend the Sydney Suburban rail system into the CBD proper from the then Terminus at Central.  Until the city underground railway was extended into the CBD, thanks to the vision of Dr Bradfield, passengers had to change to trams to complete their journeys (sound familiar?).  Another example is Auckland, where the rail link into the CBD was abandoned and it has now been reinstated at great expense.  The same thing is likely to happen to Newcastle in the future if this mindless decision perseveres.

I would like to know what has been the historical patronage of the inner Newcastle rail line before the CBD went into decline.  Similarly, I would like to know if any feasibility studies have been done to estimate the likely public transport patronage arising from revitalisation of the CBD.  This should be a crucial factor in determining the future of the rail service.  Basing decision making on the current level of patronage is inept if not deceptive.  It's putting the cart before the horse. You also have to ask the question, why would you spend millions of dollars in ripping up the existing heavy rail tracks and building a new light rail link for what is supposedly a minimal number of passengers (12 per train?) transferring from the existing rail service?  Where are the additional passengers going to come from to justify the expense of the light rail link?  Certainly not Wickham.  If the government is suggesting that the light rail link will encourage more passengers transferring from the rail service, then it's clearly at odds with its own assessment that public transport patronage will decline by a quarter.  If there is an anticipated increase in patronage, then why wouldn't you leave the rail line in place, at no additional cost?  You can't have it both ways.

I've worked in the property industry all my life, and I can tell you that the push by certain development interests to close the rail line because it thwarts their redevelopment plans is a myth.  If they were honest, it wouldn't make one iota of difference.  Look at the alternative, having a wall of buildings between their sites and the waterfront (good call that one!).  The key to revitalising the Newcastle CBD is in having the appropriate planning controls to create incentive for redevelopment.  It's got nothing to do with the rail line.  Any reasonable person would think that having a direct uninterrupted rail link with Sydney, Maitland and the Upper Hunter would be a clear advantage.  

It all boils down to the fact that there is a blatant agenda by some developers, including some government agencies, to get their grubby hands on the only land not undermined in the CBD.  Nothing more, nothing less!
  tezza Chief Commissioner

I was quite impressed Transtopic reading through your post above until i read right to the very end and you mentioned the undermined railway, this indicates to me that you havent done your research into the history of mining activities or studied any of the mapping available held by the Department of Mineral Resources in the area occupied by the railway corridor. It became apparent that you are relying on hearsay and innuendo to make that remark.

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