Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  bigdee1 Station Staff

Location: campbelltown nsw
As a forum member and a Sydney (Campbelltown ) resident,it has amazed me that there has been very little or no mention of this in the news in Sydney. Maybe if more people were aware of what the State Government id doing to the Newcastle and Hunter Valley people then the outcome may be a little different. I sympathize with the travellers from North of Newcastle as it is going to be a marathon trip just to get to the CBD.

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  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
It will be interesting to see what the court thinks about this premature closure after its ruling  earlier this week . Contempt of court will be one likely charge .
wally

You're a wally if you thinking suspending services and line removal are the same thing.

BTW, think of an injunction as a pause - it isn't a win.

It will not be overturned. The government have no grounds for an appeal and is unlikely to be granted. It will have go through a parliamentary process to be removed. Services will be resumed when labor are elected in my opinion. But I could be wrong.
wxtre

I'll bank on state silks over your opinion.
  CraigW Assistant Commissioner

It will not be the last train, the Supreme Court has said the government need an act of parliament to remove the railway line. Train
services will be returned, the government will fail to get legislation through the parliament to remove the train line and infrastructure.
The Labor government have said they will reinstate services. The liberal government are not even fielding a candidate in Newcastle
at the next election because they are so tainted by systemic corruption.
wxtre

The Labor Government? I think you mean the Labor party and the Libs are not fielding candidates in the by elections. The odds of the ALP winning the next election in NSW are fairly slim, so unless the current mob have a change of heart the reinstatement of the railway line into Newcastle is very remote indeed.

Craig W
  NotebookMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wahroonga NSW
The Labor Government? I think you mean the Labor party and the Libs are not fielding candidates in the by elections. The odds of the ALP winning the next election in NSW are fairly slim, so unless the current mob have a change of heart the reinstatement of the railway line into Newcastle is very remote indeed.

Craig W
CraigW

Change of heart? I'm reminded of a quote. (I can't place it, don't think it was Oscar Wilde.) A: "I think he had an attack of conscience and went overseas in a hurry." B: "It's usually other people's consciences that send one overseas in a hurry."
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
It will not be the last train, the Supreme Court has said the government need an act of parliament to remove the railway line. Train
services will be returned, the government will fail to get legislation through the parliament to remove the train line and infrastructure.
wxtre

Services may not return.

The court ruling is only holding up the tracks being removed.

The court is ruling on Section 99a of the TRANSPORT ADMINISTRATION ACT 1988, which is not enforced much anyway. A number of tracks have been lifted on tracks that have not been formally closed in NSW.
  Lloyd1952 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney, Australia
Yesterday I caught the train (and bus) to Newcastle. Mytrain from the Sydney direction arrived at Broadmeadow Platform 1 at 10.55. Using Platform 1 meant I didn’t have to use the subway to transfer to the bus. Hunter Line services were using Platform 3, so those passengers did have to use the subway. This will change next week when Hamilton becomes the new temporary terminus.


Staff were on hand to greet passengers and invited us towalk “The red carpet” of the awaiting #110 bus. They were doing their best to be positive but the mood of the passengers, sorry “customers” felt somber. ‘Save Our Rail’ were handing out leaflets but comments I heard from other people indicated they felt it was too late. A pro rail cut brochure was also being handed out. I got a seat and waited as less mobile passengers joined thebus. I was quite hot as the bus was not idling and the air conditioning was not running. We left Broadmeadow Station with a full load at 11.01 and arrived near Hamilton Station at 11.06. We made stops along Hunter St to correspond with Wickham and Civic Stations. The bus arrived outside Newcastle Railway Station at 11.19. If I take off a minute for the former normal stop at Broadmeadow, this is a journey time of 25 minutes.

Terminating at Hamilton Station from next week will improvethings a little for the Hunter Line but the 5-6 minutes needed to transfer to the bus and the numerous traffic lights will always result in much longer travel times. If the spare Interurban and Hunter sets are stabled in Broadmeadow Yard, as they were yesterday, this will result in extra empty car movements across Beaumont St level crossing until the new stabling is built. Work is proceeding at a frenetic pace between Hamilton and Wickham so realistically there is no going back. Next time, I will drive.


Lloyd
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

If the Government loses its appeal, then there will be a stalemate.  They can't proceed any further by ripping up existing rail infrastructure to implement their light rail proposal and selling of the rail corridor, but they can maintain a cessation of rail services into the Newcastle CBD.  The final outcome all depends on their political judgment in appeasing the desired preference of the Newcastle/Hunter electorate.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Some seem to be implying an Act of Parliament would be required to remove even a crossover.

Derp.
  Repeater Beginner

Location: Katoomba, New South Wales
Some seem to be implying an Act of Parliament would be required to remove even a crossover.

Derp.
"ZH836301"


ZH836301 mirrors my thoughts on why the injunction will be overturned. The government is only truncating the line and not closing it. There are a number of rules involving th interpretation of statutes also. Too many bush lawyers throwing in their opinions around here. You know the old saying, what is free legal advice worth, nothing?
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Lets just hope the Court decides the corridor is not a sellable asset, what if future government want to restore heavy rail?
If they want a tram so bad why don't they run one from Civic to Merewether?
  Piston Train Controller

For those who want an everlasting different view of the track at Newcastle, go to either Google Earth or Six maps :http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/ and grab the aerial view via 'Print screen' and paste together.

The Six Maps site still shows the runround road coming off Platform 1 which was removed a few years ago. This dates the view but the shot was taken on a clear day and there are a few V sets and railcars present.

Once the tracks are removed you will never get this view again. Do it now before GE and Six maps update.
  NotebookMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wahroonga NSW
ZH836301 mirrors my thoughts on why the injunction will be overturned. The government is only truncating the line and not closing it. There are a number of rules involving th interpretation of statutes also. Too many bush lawyers throwing in their opinions around here. You know the old saying, what is free legal advice worth, nothing?
"Repeater"

SOR did actually pay for their legal representation. Not as mush as Murdoch would pay for his, but it certainly was not free.

"Truncation" might be an appropriate way to evade the provisions of the act if you are shortening a siding by 100 metres. It is not clear at this stage whether the parties have gone into the fine print to determine whether truncation is a viable loophole, but if you apply truncation recursively, you can close any line you like by applying the "death of a thousand cuts" principle, and I doubt that this would be considered to be within the spirit of the act.
  JethroWayOutWest Beginner

ZH836301 mirrors my thoughts on why the injunction will be overturned. The government is only truncating the line and not closing it. There are a number of rules involving th interpretation of statutes also. Too many bush lawyers throwing in their opinions around here. You know the old saying, what is free legal advice worth, nothing?
Repeater
It is a forum of people giving their views (like you are in the one post)

It will be interesting to see what does come out of it, what does closing a line actually mean? Does truncating a line more than 50% of the line make it the same as closed, or does the entire line have to be "closed" to be "closed".

Is it when I drive down the Snowy Mountains or out the Tumut Line and find sections of track up to 500m completely remove make it 'closed'

I didn't expect the Supreme Court ruling on this, will be interesting to see what the Government will come back with.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

It is a forum of people giving their views (like you are in the one post)
Is it when I drive down the Snowy Mountains or out the Tumut Line and find sections of track up to 500m completely remove make it 'closed'
"JethroWayOutWest"


No.  The executive government is not allowed to remove the tracks, or sell the land.  It's that simple.  If someone steals the track, or it washes away, they don't have to replace it.  But they still can't sell the land.

@Repeater & ZH836301

Whether what they are proposing to do constitutes closing the line is not in dispute.  Everyone agrees that it is a closure.  The point the government is disputing is who - if anyone - is allowed to do it.

The legal argument that the government is trying to run is that the owner of the rail infrastructure is not a rail infrastructure owner.

I wouldn't be surprised if the appeal is upheld either, but only because in legal terms if you paraphrases something with Latin using convoluted grammar and say it quickly three times, then it's true.

More likely, the gvt will have the opportunity to decide on the appellant judges and the resources to "sound out"(ie lobby) them accordingly.

On the other side of the coin, the judiciary usually take a very dim view of governments trying to usurp authority by disregarding their own laws.
  Repeater Beginner

Location: Katoomba, New South Wales
No.  The executive government is not allowed to remove the tracks, or sell the land.  It's that simple.  If someone steals the track, or it washes away, they don't have to replace it.  But they still can sell the land.

@Repeater & ZH836301

Whether what they are proposing to do constitutes closing the line is not in dispute.  Everyone agrees that it is a closure.  The point the government is disputing is who - if anyone - is allowed to do it.

The legal argument that the government is trying to run is that the owner of the rail infrastructure is not a rail infrastructure owner.

I wouldn't be surprised if the appeal is upheld either, but only because in legal terms if you paraphrases something with Latin using convoluted grammar and say it quickly three times, then it's true.

More likely, the gvt will have the opportunity to decide on the appellant judges and the resources to "sound out"(ie lobby) them accordingly.

On the other side of the coin, the judiciary usually take a very dim view of governments trying to usurp authority by disregarding their own laws.
"djf01"


They are not closing the line. How many times does this have to be repeated until some of you understand. The simple black and white interpretation some of you continue to apply is not how the law works. The government will no doubt argue that the line requires truncating to provide an improved service because the transport imperatives of the area have changed over the years and that the old route no longer provides a satisfactory transport outcome.

There is no real constitutional limit on what state governments can do as they are only required to do what is in the best interests of the citizens of the state and go argue what does that really mean?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


They are not closing the line.
"Repeater"

Yes, they are.

No-one, apart from you, is disputing this.


How many times does this have to be repeated until some of you understand
"Repeater"

It doesn't matter how many times you repeat it,  it won't make what you say true.


There is no real constitutional limit on what state governments can do as they are only required to do what is in the best interests of the citizens of the state and go argue what does that really mean?
"Repeater"


I know you are struggling to come to terms with this concept, but the government and the parliament are *not* the same thing.  

There are some constitutional limits on what *parliament* can legislate (ie stuff not controlled by the feds), but that's not the issue here.

The issue is the executive government is acting beyond the authority granted to it by parliament.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
They are not closing the line. How many times does this have to be repeated until some of you understand. The simple black and white interpretation some of you continue to apply is not how the law works. The government will no doubt argue that the line requires truncating to provide an improved service because the transport imperatives of the area have changed over the years and that the old route no longer provides a satisfactory transport outcome.

There is no real constitutional limit on what state governments can do as they are only required to do what is in the best interests of the citizens of the state and go argue what does that really mean?
"Repeater"


I obviously have no idea what arguments will be presented in the appeal, and in other posts I've mentioned that there might be argument around whether truncation counts as closing or to what extent the executive is bound by that provision in the act, but note well - the actions of the state government in the week or so before the truncation certainly indicates that they thought that what they were doing could be considered closing the line in terms of that part of act, otherwise they would not have bothered with the transfer of ownership of the infrastructure to be removed to the HDC.  That was clearly just a device to try and get around s 99A!

I'm not sure what the relevance of "constitutional limits" is (noting that the federal constitution certainly places real limits on state governments) - what's at question are the limits on the powers of the executive in the face of the laws passed by parliament.
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
Some seem to be implying an Act of Parliament would be required to remove even a crossover.

Derp.
"ZH836301"

There is a precedent, though I imagine Baird's legal eagles will find - or arrogate - a way around it.

The Kunama branch, which branched off the Tumut line at Gilmore, was truncated back to Batlow in the 50s, with the line between Batlow & Kunama being completely lifted in the process. Why this required a Nacked of Parly Ment is anyone's guess, but it did.

http://nswrail.net/lines/show.php?name=NSW:kunama
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Fun and games at Hamilton today with new crossovers and mains east of the station used as storage roads, needs a third storage road, using Hamilton as a terminus is still too small.
  bjwh86 Chief Train Controller

An act of parliament for infrastructure removal may be required as the same thing needs to happen to rip up the rails on the murwillumbah branch line if the rail trail goes ahead
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

The Act clearly says that "closure" includes the removal of tracks and other works.  Closure requires consent of an Act of Parliament.  End of story!!
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

The Act clearly says that "closure" includes the removal of tracks and other works.  Closure requires consent of an Act of Parliament.  End of story!!
"Transtopic"


The line is being truncated. The rest of the line will still be open. NSW Train Link are referring to it as truncation. The legislation is not clear on what a line is. If it specifically stated that sections of a route could not be closed then that would prevent any part being closed. However, that would place an unacceptable fetter on the rail authority to operate the line according to changing requirements.

It would not surprise me if the Full Court of the Supreme Court declared that the legislation is null and void due to lack of clarity as to its intent or struck down the uncertain sections. It has the power to do this.  Bad legislation should not be allowed to stand.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The line is being truncated. The rest of the line will still be open. NSW Train Link are referring to it as truncation. The legislation is not clear on what a line is. If it specifically stated that sections of a route could not be closed then that would prevent any part being closed. However, that would place an unacceptable fetter on the rail authority to operate the line according to changing requirements.

It would not surprise me if the Full Court of the Supreme Court declared that the legislation is null and void due to lack of clarity as to its intent or struck down the uncertain sections. It has the power to do this.  Bad legislation should not be allowed to stand.
"nswtrains"


The use of the word/term Truncated & the associated ones of Truncation are a smoke screen in what is a closure of the line from Wickham.

This to my knowledge is the first time that term has been used in any closure of lines be they completely or in part.  Up intil this time, & it includes even the Murwilimbah line & others around the state the lines have been deemed as having "Services suspended" it applied to lines such as Nyngan - Bourke through an act of God when some washaways occured, sectionalised suspensions of the Moree - Inverell line as well as Northern Tablelands, initially from Tenterfield - Wallangarra, then Glenn Innes - Tenterfield, then Armidale - Glenn Innes. At one point the only trains that ran on the NT line was superphosphate to an unloading point near Dumaresq.  

The same thing still applies to those lines & many others around the state, the lines are not classed as being closed either, but none have been classed as having the lines truncated either, all of them have some form of a sign & stop block placed in or over the tracks & usually have had a section of the rail removed. The NT line also had the old Main Roads dept cover the track with road fill near Bluff Rock to build an deviation over the line rather than a bridge or the large pipe types to at least leave the line open.

Thus the government is cunning in their use of terms, as they would know that they have to tread carefully, they are also hopeful that by the time of the court hearing that much of the "sold infrastructure" has been removed & could argue the case that the cost to reinstate the line would be too great for the burden to be placed on tax payers, I also doubt if it will hear the case before the election in a couple of months & then hand down a decision after the election likely based on who wins.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
If they truncate the majority of the branch then it will be deemed closed.
The fact they want to run trams up Hunter street so they sell off a portion of the corridor to developers is dodgy, it should remain publicly owned infrastructure.
I can't believe they have even got away with it to this point, what are the plans for Newcastle station and box?
Having Hamilton level crossing blocked all day is a joke.
  a6et Minister for Railways

If they truncate the majority of the branch then it will be deemed closed.
The fact they want to run trams up Hunter street so they sell off a portion of the corridor to developers is dodgy, it should remain publicly owned infrastructure.
I can't believe they have even got away with it to this point, what are the plans for Newcastle station and box?
Having Hamilton level crossing blocked all day is a joke.
"Junction box"


If Hamilton crossing is blocked all day, it shows the joke of reasoning that road traffic has excessive delays at Wickham & the other favourite at Civic.

The aspect that has me wondering about the whole situation is the actual location of the interchange that is to be built, & where its to be located, do they use the existing Wickham station, or close the line on the Hamilton side of Stewart Avenue & build a complete new station there that is incorporated into the new set up.    I admit to not seeing the plans for the site for a while now.

If its at the existing station then Stewart Avenue is still going to be a bug bear, & if they relocate, what happens to the old station,  also Civic & Newcastle. The later has been removed from the state heritage list so some report on RP news has said.

The new Labor candidate for Strathfield & now spokesperson for the Hunter forme NCLE member Jody Makay has made it known that her personal opinion is that she agrees with the current governments position, & was also a hearty supporter of the closure when she was the elected member does not voque well for the line even if Labor should unexpectantly win in March. Unless she is pulled into line by the policy already adopted of opposition.

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