Extend Lithgow line to Bowenfels Parkway

 
  Chidda Bang Locomotive Driver

Location: Banned
Hey guys i just read on wiki that they opened a bit of old line for a new aylesbury north parkway in england & i was thinking we could do the same to lithgow run V set to bowenfels for parking & take pressure off lithgow?

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  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Hey guys i just read on wiki that they opened a bit of old line for a new aylesbury north parkway in england & i was thinking we could do the same to lithgow run V set to bowenfels for parking & take pressure off lithgow?
Chidda Bang
Why bother? Didn't work last time, so they pulled down the catenary.

ps What "pressure on Lithgow?" Surprised it still even has a train service. Isn't the grand plan to only run buses west of Mt Vic?
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Why bother? Didn't work last time, so they pulled down the catenary.

ps What "pressure on Lithgow?" Surprised it still even has a train service. Isn't the grand plan to only run buses west of Mt Vic?
apw5910
Although the overhead is still there and 'LIVE', where the line crosses Coates Avenue west of the 'New Station' is an "Electric Trains STOP' board.
Also there are no crossovers or signals at Bowenfels now to allow this to happen as was done in past years as it was as Bowenfels was remodeled when they replaced the Upper Quadrants with single Colour lights in different locations between Lithgow and Wallerawang.


Rumours abound regarding terminating the present Interurban service at either Mt Victoria or Katoomba (both have been proposed) and changing to a Bus there instead of Lithgow.
However, currently its all only a rumour.............

One thing to put these proposals on hold is what has already been spent at Lithgow and how much would be needed to upgrade either Katoomba or Mt Victoria to handle the interchange.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Although the overhead is still there and 'LIVE', where the line crosses Coates Avenue west of the 'New Station' is an "Electric Trains STOP' board.
Also there are no crossovers or signals at Bowenfels now to allow this to happen as was done in past years as it was as Bowenfels was remodeled when they replaced the Upper Quadrants with single Colour lights in different locations between Lithgow and Wallerawang.


Rumours abound regarding terminating the present Interurban service at either Mt Victoria or Katoomba (both have been proposed) and changing to a Bus there instead of Lithgow.
However, currently its all only a rumour.............

One thing to put these proposals on hold is what has already been spent at Lithgow and how much would be needed to upgrade either Katoomba or Mt Victoria to handle the interchange.
gordon_s1942
Considering the traffic volumes out that way, they could probably get away with wrong road running back from Bowenfields.

As far as I understand the govt has purchased or announced they will purchase new stock to replace the V-sets and hence any chance Lithgow will be dewired has probably gone out the window.
  Bethungra Train Controller

Did electrics ever run to Bowenfels and if not why was the overhead constructed past Lithgow anyhow?
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Did electrics ever run to Bowenfels and if not why was the overhead constructed past Lithgow anyhow?
Bethungra
I vaguely recall timetables (sixties, seventies?) showing a service to Bowenfels. The electrification was supposed to go to Wallerawang, Bowenfels is where the money ran out...
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

1: There is only 1 platform at Bowenfels on the Down.

2: Even though the physical boundary between Sydney Trains control and JHR CRN control is on the country side of Bowenfels at 158.200, JHR CRN control up to Yard Box Up Accept at 156.361

3: The down main is not BI-DI so where is the money to convert this for JHR to control coming from?

4: Who would catch the train to or from Bowenfels anyway?
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

Considering the traffic volumes out that way, they could probably get away with wrong road running back from Bowenfields.

As far as I understand the govt has purchased or announced they will purchase new stock to replace the V-sets and hence any chance Lithgow will be dewired has probably gone out the window.
RTT_Rules
What JHR is going to SPA every train back to Lithgow yard limits??
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
What JHR is going to SPA every train back to Lithgow yard limits??
Throughwestmail

Think longterm "IF" you wanted to run some trains to Bowenfells would it be cheaper to upgrade the signally to enable the train to run back, or install cross overs?
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

Think longterm "IF" you wanted to run some trains to Bowenfells would it be cheaper to upgrade the signally to enable the train to run back, or install cross overs?
RTT_Rules
Either would cost millions, and when they are pulling out or changing existing infrastructure because it costs money to keep operational for multiple trains each day, there is no hope for a couple a day.

Who would pay? John Holland-I think not. Is absolutely no use to them.

Sydney Trains-no way, not in their area of control, and anyway, have you noticed JHR do not operate in areas under the wires, same as ARTC.

Just another pie in the sky thought bubble someone has had.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Either would cost millions, and when they are pulling out or changing existing infrastructure because it costs money to keep operational for multiple trains each day, there is no hope for a couple a day.

Who would pay? John Holland-I think not. Is absolutely no use to them.

Sydney Trains-no way, not in their area of control, and anyway, have you noticed JHR do not operate in areas under the wires, same as ARTC.

Just another pie in the sky thought bubble someone has had.
Throughwestmail
Who would pay should be fairly clear.

No train is timetabled or track is built in the Sydney Suburban/Interurban area unless the state govt provides funding. To extend the sparks to Bowenfells would be a political decision for which numerous cost options would be presented at the time for final decision and approval.
  wally-wowser1 Train Controller

Location: overlooking the Mt vic washaway on Soldiers Pinch
Not sure what the OP s looking at  here , Lithgow already has a major bus interchange in existence , a new overhead booking office area  & shops for refreshment  beside the station , There is none of this available at Bowenfells  ,  Mt Vic or  Wang . Lithgow has plenty of stabeling  for Interurbans  along with Mt Vic having the same . Bowenfells & Wang are just a platform with no stabeling facilities . There has been rumors regarding the building of a bus interchange for the last 20 odd years but there has been no plans  , survey or even drawings submitted for viewing . Numerous rumors about removal of catenary from between Mt Vic & Lithgow  & they had the opportunity a few years ago when large storms hit the area & brought down trees in the tunnel area  &  closed  rail service for many days . Make what you want of this garbage  but it  wont happen in our lifetime .

 Wally , Lithgow & Mt Vic driver  for over 25 years.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Not sure what the OP s looking at  here , Lithgow already has a major bus interchange in existence , a new overhead booking office area  & shops for refreshment  beside the station , There is none of this available at Bowenfells  ,  Mt Vic or  Wang . Lithgow has plenty of stabeling  for Interurbans  along with Mt Vic having the same . Bowenfells & Wang are just a platform with no stabeling facilities . There has been rumors regarding the building of a bus interchange for the last 20 odd years but there has been no plans  , survey or even drawings submitted for viewing . Numerous rumors about removal of catenary from between Mt Vic & Lithgow  & they had the opportunity a few years ago when large storms hit the area & brought down trees in the tunnel area  &  closed  rail service for many days . Make what you want of this garbage  but it  wont happen in our lifetime .

 Wally , Lithgow & Mt Vic driver  for over 25 years.
wally-wowser1
+1 to this, no way they would close the line to sparks after spending that much to get it all going again after the fires (but then, this IS the railway after all, don't they spend a sh!tload of money on things before they close it?)

The ONLY advantage I can see, from a passenger point of view, is that if it WAS to happen, then Lithgow could become hourly all day, with buses going via Hartley and Clarence alternately, giving Lithgow twice the service they have now, as well as providing services to areas which are not currently serviced (Hartley, Lithgow Hospital, Clarence, Dargan, et al).

But I agree, it won't happen, would require a major remodelling of Mt. Victoria for accessibility reasons (Up trains would need to be able to terminate and then return directly to Sydney from P2) as well as the fact that Mt. Victoria can't stable all the sets that need to be in the Mountains overnight, some storage is needed at Lithgow, and if you are going to run empties to Lithgow for storage, you might as well run them there with fare-evaders on them as well (I think I am one of the few that actually pays for a ride in the Mountains).

As for the Parkway Interchange at Bowenfels, this would only be useful if there was a huge number of people driving there to cath the train who needed somewhere to park their car for the day, and this happening every day of the week.

This doesn't happen with Lithgow, it is just a tad too far from Sydney to attract regular commuters.

Dave
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
... this is a gee-up?!  Bowenfels?!
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
+1 to this, no way they would close the line to sparks after spending that much to get it all going again after the fires (but then, this IS the railway after all, don't they spend a sh!tload of money on things before they close it?)

The ONLY advantage I can see, from a passenger point of view, is that if it WAS to happen, then Lithgow could become hourly all day, with buses going via Hartley and Clarence alternately, giving Lithgow twice the service they have now, as well as providing services to areas which are not currently serviced (Hartley, Lithgow Hospital, Clarence, Dargan, et al).

But I agree, it won't happen, would require a major remodelling of Mt. Victoria for accessibility reasons (Up trains would need to be able to terminate and then return directly to Sydney from P2) as well as the fact that Mt. Victoria can't stable all the sets that need to be in the Mountains overnight, some storage is needed at Lithgow, and if you are going to run empties to Lithgow for storage, you might as well run them there with fare-evaders on them as well (I think I am one of the few that actually pays for a ride in the Mountains).

As for the Parkway Interchange at Bowenfels, this would only be useful if there was a huge number of people driving there to cath the train who needed somewhere to park their car for the day, and this happening every day of the week.

This doesn't happen with Lithgow, it is just a tad too far from Sydney to attract regular commuters.

Dave
thadocta
the reopened the line to sparks because they had few other options at the time on the table ready to go.  Rio Tinto restated an smelter after a fire 9mths before final closure due to insurance, maybe its similar.

I doubt the line will be de-sparked, Gladis has bought or buying new trains so the O/H is here to stay. It also doesn't make sense, they close lines with 5000 users per hour, so you don't close lines with 5000 users per day! Population growth will help boost numbers over time.

I've said it before, the line from Bathurst to Mt Vic could do with curve easing and especially where they have closed one of the tracks, just using the full width of the corridor would get a speed boost. Perhaps there is some opportunity to do same between Lithgow and Mt Vic to reduce to single track in sections if you could achieve a significant time saving by using the full corridor width to ease the curves. Or is there just too many trains a day?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
+1 to this, no way they would close the line to sparks after spending that much to get it all going again after the fires (but then, this IS the railway after all, don't they spend a sh!tload of money on things before they close it?)

The ONLY advantage I can see, from a passenger point of view, is that if it WAS to happen, then Lithgow could become hourly all day, with buses going via Hartley and Clarence alternately, giving Lithgow twice the service they have now, as well as providing services to areas which are not currently serviced (Hartley, Lithgow Hospital, Clarence, Dargan, et al).

But I agree, it won't happen, would require a major remodelling of Mt. Victoria for accessibility reasons (Up trains would need to be able to terminate and then return directly to Sydney from P2) as well as the fact that Mt. Victoria can't stable all the sets that need to be in the Mountains overnight, some storage is needed at Lithgow, and if you are going to run empties to Lithgow for storage, you might as well run them there with fare-evaders on them as well (I think I am one of the few that actually pays for a ride in the Mountains).

As for the Parkway Interchange at Bowenfels, this would only be useful if there was a huge number of people driving there to cath the train who needed somewhere to park their car for the day, and this happening every day of the week.

This doesn't happen with Lithgow, it is just a tad too far from Sydney to attract regular commuters.

Dave
the reopened the line to sparks because they had few other options at the time on the table ready to go.  Rio Tinto restated an smelter after a fire 9mths before final closure due to insurance, maybe its similar.

I doubt the line will be de-sparked, Gladis has bought or buying new trains so the O/H is here to stay. It also doesn't make sense, they close lines with 5000 users per hour, so you don't close lines with 5000 users per day! Population growth will help boost numbers over time.

I've said it before, the line from Bathurst to Mt Vic could do with curve easing and especially where they have closed one of the tracks, just using the full width of the corridor would get a speed boost. Perhaps there is some opportunity to do same between Lithgow and Mt Vic to reduce to single track in sections if you could achieve a significant time saving by using the full corridor width to ease the curves. Or is there just too many trains a day?
  David10 Station Master

The idea of making Bowenfels the coach interchange was run up the flagpole when the SRA replaced services west of Lithgow in the late 1980s with coaches. This was when the entrance was at the eastern end and the coaches caused congestion. However it was decided to redevelop Lithgow with a new concourse at the western end and adjoining coach bays.

While Bowenfels is probably a better site, given that is adjacent to the Great Western Highway and has ample parking space available, the 15 or so coaches a day don't cause problems in Lithgow, nor does parking seem an issue. While the V set does occupy a platform at Lithgow for about 30 minutes, both platforms are signalled for bi-directional working so doesn't impede other trains. And it brings a bit of welcome custom to a fairly quiet retail area.

The economic case for cutting services beyond Katoomba is no doubt strong, given that the knitting now is only maintained for these services, but both the electorates of Blue Mountains and Bathurst are swinging seats, so unlikely a government of either colour would seek to rock the boat.
  voom Station Master

However, in lacking hard data on actual passenger figures to and from Lithgow, maybe my thoughts can be proven wrong.
3l diesel
Typical 2011 daily patronage for the stations on the Blue Mountains line (plus Sydney interchange stations on the way):

Lithgow – 300
Zig Zag – 0
Bell – 0
Mount Victoria – 90
Blackheath – 310
Medlow Bath – 40
Katoomba – 1210
Leura – 350
Wentworth Falls – 720
Bullaburra – 110
Lawson – 260
Hazelbrook – 440
Woodford – 200
Linden – 30
Faulconbridge – 240
Springwood – 1670
Valley Heights – 130
Warrimoo – 230
Blaxland – 820
Glenbrook – 570
Lapstone – 160
Penrith – 7250
Blacktown – 15460
Parramatta – 33220
Strathfield – 20660
Redfern – 23360
Central – 86780
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

Interesting figures voom. Just wondering where they came from.
  David10 Station Master

http://visual.bts.nsw.gov.au/barrier/ shows figures for 2013
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
An average of 540 people at Lithgow (2013) each way is not really justification to spend millions to make Bowenfels as the terminal. There are busier stations on the line that need basic upgrades, like Hazelbrook has 800 and what I can see it is pretty average station. The odd occasion family members drive from out here to Sydney, we often park the car at Mt Victoria or Katoomba only because there is more chance of catching a train and save the train transit time from Lithgow.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Whilst there is certainly the cost of building the infrastructure, think about this for a hidden and ongoing cost:

Bowenfels comes under the Train control of John Holland. None of their Network Controllers are trained to operate in conjunction with the 1500 Volt. neither are their infrastructure maintainers.

So there is a large cost, in this day of user pays do we put a surcharge on railfares from Wallerawang to amortise the cost?
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Whilst there is certainly the cost of building the infrastructure, think about this for a hidden and ongoing cost:

Bowenfels comes under the Train control of John Holland. None of their Network Controllers are trained to operate in conjunction with the 1500 Volt. neither are their infrastructure maintainers.

So there is a large cost, in this day of user pays do we put a surcharge on railfares from Wallerawang to amortise the cost?
  David10 Station Master

According to Wikipedia (I know) the SRA used to operate light engine movements to keep the wires operational. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowenfels_railway_station AFAIK the wires are still in place.
  wally-wowser1 Train Controller

Location: overlooking the Mt vic washaway on Soldiers Pinch
Wires are still in place  but isolated just west of Lithgow Station about where the old theatre is .

wally

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