Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

For all of my life I have been a frequent visitor to Newcastle and a routine traveller through the area. From my earliest memories, regular visits to relatives in Newcastle are constant joys. The 4.40pm UP Newcastle Flyer was a much loved old friend.

With 6 months of the new transport arrangements it was time for a visit to see how the objectives promoting the line closure were progressing towards fulfilment. The changes can only be described as profound. Had somebody predicted them 12 months ago they would not have been believed. The proponents of the line closure and their supporters must be beside themselves with delight.

The most striking change east of Stewart Ave is the absence of people. The area around Hunter/Watt/Scott Sts is like a ghost town – totally deserted. The bus terminus is a lonely and empty place with a few buses standing over and no people. The route 110 shuttle buses barely have enough passengers to justify their operation. The normal services along Tudor St and Maitland Rd can easily handle the demand. There is no justification for a tramway.

Prior to the line closure it was predicted that the downturn in train passengers would be about 25%. Anecdotally, it appears to be about 66%. The only people now travelling into downtown are those who must; employees and those needing to keep appointments. Just about all travel by choice has ceased. The visitors are now going elsewhere.

We were told that an objective of the line closure was to rejuvenate the retail trade. The closure has certainly brought fundamental change to retail. Without the passing pedestrian traffic, many surviving retailers are fast going broke. There is no longer enough business to remain financially solvent. The visitors who have gone will not be coming back.


A second objective of the line closure was to open up the town to the riverbank. The new crossings of the railway “right of way” are tradesmen’s masterpieces. The sun reflects brightly off of the green grass and black bitumen of the crossings. Nobody is using them. They are deserted. Recently another 7 story building was approved for construction on the riverbank in the Honeysuckle precinct. Undoubtedly this will enhance the attraction of the riverbank from Hunter St. The enhancements will be complete when all of the space between Hannell St and Honeysuckle which is north of the railway line is filled with 5 or 7 story buildings. A wonderful achievement of the claimed objective.

It is almost awe inspiring to observe the management of train movements at Hamilton. You do not need to be a railway minded person to understand that convenient interchange is of major importance to passengers. The connection at Hamilton between Sydney and Maitland trains has never been good, let alone perfect. I had the spectacle of a Maitland train departing and being held at the first junction signal to allow the train from Sydney to cross in front of it. Passengers from Sydney being denied a convenient connection to Maitland. The inconvenience made worse by the Maitland train continuing to be held to allow an UP freight to cross in front of it at Islington Jct. This was a wonderful display of how to arrange matters for the comfort and convenience of passengers.

Then there is the spectacle of carsets sitting in the Railway St reversing lines preventing arriving trains from moving forward from the platform which of course blocks further arriving trains from entering the station. The confected issue of running empty trains continues. Trains arriving at the end of their journey need to be cleaned and serviced. The necessary facilities are not at Newcastle nor at Hamilton so they must return to Broadmeadow. The serviced carsets must then return empty. This practice continues as a necessity. The Beaumont St gates close against road traffic on average every 6 minutes. When road traffic is stopped by the traffic lights at Tudor St or Maitland Rd., it banks up and vehicles stop on the railway tracks. Newcastle road users are such wonderfully safe drivers. The whole spectacle at Hamilton is like something from Alice in Wonderland.

The proponents of the line closure and their supporters should be delighted with the progress being achieved since the line closed.

By any measure; Newcastle has ceased to be a city. Retail is in its final death throes; as office leases expire it remains to be seen if they will be renewed; visitors have stopped coming; there has never been a lot of recreational/sports/arts facilities in the downtown area and the viability of any proposals looks doubtful.
LesS
Les, rail was only transporting 5% of passengers in the first place. Even your claimed reduction of 66% (it isn't) of 5% is not going to be noticeable to the visitor. I live in the city and I can tell you the change since truncation has been wonderful. It is easier to move around the city by foot, bike, car or bus. Retailers are reporting an increase in revenue. Investment has increased by eight fold since truncation was announced and there is over a billion dollars in private investment about to start. Those with skin in the game don't share your observation. As for Hamilton, it is a temporary arrangement and the sooner Wickham is finished, the better. In the interim, it is a very good interchange with a walk of 30m from platform edge to bus.

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  LesS Train Controller

Location: Behind the Camera
Flyer I do not accept your rantings but I also will not continue to give support to your soapbox as you display all the attributes of a Baird mole. Good night!
Yeah, you caught me out. I get paid by the Baird Government to blog on Railpage.
Northern Flyer
By this admission you are a spokesperson for vested interests. All views expressed by you on this subject must be viewed accordingly. They can never be considered as either impartial or objective. Accordingly they have little value of substance, if any at all.

Your dismissal of my report as being from a mere "visitor" is both condescending and paternal. It is insulting. It is deeply offensive.
I have a lifelong association with Newcastle and the lower Hunter which continues to this day. My family origins are rooted in the area where my ancestors were pioneer settlers nearly 180 years ago. At last count the family tree filed 25 foolscap pages of very small typeface. Over more recent times this has grown considerably. I have a very large number of distant relatives settled throughout Newcastle and its regions as well as elsewhere.

That you find it easier now to drive and move around downtown Newcastle is to be expected with the reduction in road traffic east of Stewart Ave and by the significant reduction in pedestrians. Many areas are like a ghost town.
Your assertion that retail trade has increased is demonstrably untrue. With reduced passing pedestrian traffic, surviving customers would need to have increased their spending. Extremely unlikely. Sources close to the retail trade inform me that trade has materially reduced.

I will continue to make my regular visits to the Hunter. There is no longer a reason to visit downtown Newcastle so I will be going directly to Maitland. There is life, activity and much of interest in Maitland.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Flyer I do not accept your rantings but I also will not continue to give support to your soapbox as you display all the attributes of a Baird mole. Good night!
Yeah, you caught me out. I get paid by the Baird Government to blog on Railpage.
By this admission you are a spokesperson for vested interests. All views expressed by you on this subject must be viewed accordingly. They can never be considered as either impartial or objective. Accordingly they have little value of substance, if any at all.

Your dismissal of my report as being from a mere "visitor" is both condescending and paternal. It is insulting. It is deeply offensive.
I have a lifelong association with Newcastle and the lower Hunter which continues to this day. My family origins are rooted in the area where my ancestors were pioneer settlers nearly 180 years ago. At last count the family tree filed 25 foolscap pages of very small typeface. Over more recent times this has grown considerably. I have a very large number of distant relatives settled throughout Newcastle and its regions as well as elsewhere.

That you find it easier now to drive and move around downtown Newcastle is to be expected with the reduction in road traffic east of Stewart Ave and by the significant reduction in pedestrians. Many areas are like a ghost town.
Your assertion that retail trade has increased is demonstrably untrue. With reduced passing pedestrian traffic, surviving customers would need to have increased their spending. Extremely unlikely. Sources close to the retail trade inform me that trade has materially reduced.

I will continue to make my regular visits to the Hunter. There is no longer a reason to visit downtown Newcastle so I will be going directly to Maitland. There is life, activity and much of interest in Maitland.
LesS
Now that is really funny. I was joking. Do you really think Mike Baird gives a dam about what people say on a rail enthusiast page? I just can't believe someone would think otherwise.

Thanks for your family history, but by your own admission, you visited the city for the first time in at least 6 months. I think it is reasonable to assert that you cannot be in as good a position to judge the city in one visit.

Where did you get the reduction in traffic from. According to Save Our Rail there is traffic chaos as people are now driving instead of catching the train. You can't have it each way. The truth is that the traffic changes as a result of removal of the railway level crossings mean that north-south traffic flows are much improved which also improves east-west flows. That is why buses on Hunter Street are no longer being delayed at Stewart Avenue as they were pre-truncation. The other effect is a massive improvement in north-south pedestrian movements which has reduced trips within the city.

The fact that you started by talking about your deep roots in Newcastle and then say you will never come here does raise questions in one or both of those claims.

The fact is that investment is booming in the city. It has doubled in the last 12 months and 8 fold since the change of government in 2010/2011. Care to explain why this would happen in a dying city? Several large apartment blocks have fully sold off the plan. This is unheard of in Newcastle.

Here is a story about how bad things were once in Newcastle (with the railway in place) and how good it is now http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3275918/bad-days-of-citys-decline-forgotten/

So when do you think the place started declining?
  tezza Chief Commissioner

There's been not a peep out of Newcastle Flyer or Showtime regarding the monumental loss in the Supreme Court by the Labor/Greens political group Save our Rail. They now are required to fork out approximately $800 000 in court awarded costs following the governments win.

THE NSW Court of Appeal has ruled in the Baird government’s favour in its long-running legal dispute with Save Our Rail over the closure of Newcastle's rail line.

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3481876/state-wins-appeal-against-save-our-rail-legal-challenge/

Who will save Save our Rail?

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3483904/who-will-save-save-our-rail-poll/?cs=305


Work resumed last week on removing the disused railway line.
  TomBTR Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Yes indeed. It is important that the community group are seen to be punished severely. That should set an example to anyone seeking to interfere with plans to demolish the Power House Museum and give the site to the development industry.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

tessa, get ya b well facts correct, I HAVE commented. That is SOR's, NOT my problem. Don't see how SOR would be my problem.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Save our Rail was hardly a community group TomBTR, they are political activists funded by Labor, The Greens, and Newcastle Trades Hall Council. When you run vexatious litigation and you lose in court it is not an unusual requirement to pay the defendant's costs.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

I'm still here Tezza
Been commenting in the other thread.
Democracy is dead in NSW thanks to Baird.
Last night was also the deadline for the merging of local councils, another hair-brained scheme that does not give the councils any chance of appeal.
Baird and his bunch of pirates are just going to merge councils despite the stupidity of it.
Lake Macquarie and Newcastle are his plan around here - nobody wants that at all!
Lake Macquarie is a good council that promotes a better life style and supports local business and sporting organisations. It has a lower residential and business rate than Newcastle and appears to be functioning well, although it's funds are stretched tight because it has a such a large area to look after.
Newcastle council on the other hand is a disfunctional organisation that appears to show no interest in any where other than its dead and decrepit CBD. It allows the Greens to run wild with stupid rules like changing their bank accounts etc. They have forgotten they are the largest coal port in the world and without this literally millions of people around the world would have no electricity, as well as Newcastle having no income either from the mining sector and its support industries.
Baird will destroy NSW and the Hunter with policies.
Would anyone in this area have voted for any government that said before the election they proposed to sell Newcastle Port and take away most of the profits, close the rail line, propose a pie-in-the-sky light rail system and then sell off all the public transport system as well.
  TomBTR Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Here's another example from today's news that I didn't know about when I made my last comment on this topic:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/disgraceful-attempt-to-sneak-new-moore-park-buildings-through-parliament-20151118-gl283e.html

It could be that the present NSW government are not particularly anti-rail or anti-Newcastle, rather that they are ideologically opposed to the continued public ownership of anything that is coveted by private interests.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
For all of my life I have been a frequent visitor to Newcastle and a routine traveller through the area. From my earliest memories, regular visits to relatives in Newcastle are constant joys. The 4.40pm UP Newcastle Flyer was a much loved old friend.

With 6 months of the new transport arrangements it was time for a visit to see how the objectives promoting the line closure were progressing towards fulfilment. The changes can only be described as profound. Had somebody predicted them 12 months ago they would not have been believed. The proponents of the line closure and their supporters must be beside themselves with delight.

The most striking change east of Stewart Ave is the absence of people. The area around Hunter/Watt/Scott Sts is like a ghost town – totally deserted. The bus terminus is a lonely and empty place with a few buses standing over and no people. The route 110 shuttle buses barely have enough passengers to justify their operation. The normal services along Tudor St and Maitland Rd can easily handle the demand. There is no justification for a tramway.

Prior to the line closure it was predicted that the downturn in train passengers would be about 25%. Anecdotally, it appears to be about 66%. The only people now travelling into downtown are those who must; employees and those needing to keep appointments. Just about all travel by choice has ceased. The visitors are now going elsewhere.

We were told that an objective of the line closure was to rejuvenate the retail trade. The closure has certainly brought fundamental change to retail. Without the passing pedestrian traffic, many surviving retailers are fast going broke. There is no longer enough business to remain financially solvent. The visitors who have gone will not be coming back.


A second objective of the line closure was to open up the town to the riverbank. The new crossings of the railway “right of way” are tradesmen’s masterpieces. The sun reflects brightly off of the green grass and black bitumen of the crossings. Nobody is using them. They are deserted. Recently another 7 story building was approved for construction on the riverbank in the Honeysuckle precinct. Undoubtedly this will enhance the attraction of the riverbank from Hunter St. The enhancements will be complete when all of the space between Hannell St and Honeysuckle which is north of the railway line is filled with 5 or 7 story buildings. A wonderful achievement of the claimed objective.

It is almost awe inspiring to observe the management of train movements at Hamilton. You do not need to be a railway minded person to understand that convenient interchange is of major importance to passengers. The connection at Hamilton between Sydney and Maitland trains has never been good, let alone perfect. I had the spectacle of a Maitland train departing and being held at the first junction signal to allow the train from Sydney to cross in front of it. Passengers from Sydney being denied a convenient connection to Maitland. The inconvenience made worse by the Maitland train continuing to be held to allow an UP freight to cross in front of it at Islington Jct. This was a wonderful display of how to arrange matters for the comfort and convenience of passengers.

Then there is the spectacle of carsets sitting in the Railway St reversing lines preventing arriving trains from moving forward from the platform which of course blocks further arriving trains from entering the station. The confected issue of running empty trains continues. Trains arriving at the end of their journey need to be cleaned and serviced. The necessary facilities are not at Newcastle nor at Hamilton so they must return to Broadmeadow. The serviced carsets must then return empty. This practice continues as a necessity. The Beaumont St gates close against road traffic on average every 6 minutes. When road traffic is stopped by the traffic lights at Tudor St or Maitland Rd., it banks up and vehicles stop on the railway tracks. Newcastle road users are such wonderfully safe drivers. The whole spectacle at Hamilton is like something from Alice in Wonderland.

The proponents of the line closure and their supporters should be delighted with the progress being achieved since the line closed.

By any measure; Newcastle has ceased to be a city. Retail is in its final death throes; as office leases expire it remains to be seen if they will be renewed; visitors have stopped coming; there has never been a lot of recreational/sports/arts facilities in the downtown area and the viability of any proposals looks doubtful.
LesS
In a nutshell: "How To Kill A CBD"
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

For all of my life I have been a frequent visitor to Newcastle and a routine traveller through the area. From my earliest memories, regular visits to relatives in Newcastle are constant joys. The 4.40pm UP Newcastle Flyer was a much loved old friend.

With 6 months of the new transport arrangements it was time for a visit to see how the objectives promoting the line closure were progressing towards fulfilment. The changes can only be described as profound. Had somebody predicted them 12 months ago they would not have been believed. The proponents of the line closure and their supporters must be beside themselves with delight.

The most striking change east of Stewart Ave is the absence of people. The area around Hunter/Watt/Scott Sts is like a ghost town – totally deserted. The bus terminus is a lonely and empty place with a few buses standing over and no people. The route 110 shuttle buses barely have enough passengers to justify their operation. The normal services along Tudor St and Maitland Rd can easily handle the demand. There is no justification for a tramway.

Prior to the line closure it was predicted that the downturn in train passengers would be about 25%. Anecdotally, it appears to be about 66%. The only people now travelling into downtown are those who must; employees and those needing to keep appointments. Just about all travel by choice has ceased. The visitors are now going elsewhere.

We were told that an objective of the line closure was to rejuvenate the retail trade. The closure has certainly brought fundamental change to retail. Without the passing pedestrian traffic, many surviving retailers are fast going broke. There is no longer enough business to remain financially solvent. The visitors who have gone will not be coming back.


A second objective of the line closure was to open up the town to the riverbank. The new crossings of the railway “right of way” are tradesmen’s masterpieces. The sun reflects brightly off of the green grass and black bitumen of the crossings. Nobody is using them. They are deserted. Recently another 7 story building was approved for construction on the riverbank in the Honeysuckle precinct. Undoubtedly this will enhance the attraction of the riverbank from Hunter St. The enhancements will be complete when all of the space between Hannell St and Honeysuckle which is north of the railway line is filled with 5 or 7 story buildings. A wonderful achievement of the claimed objective.

It is almost awe inspiring to observe the management of train movements at Hamilton. You do not need to be a railway minded person to understand that convenient interchange is of major importance to passengers. The connection at Hamilton between Sydney and Maitland trains has never been good, let alone perfect. I had the spectacle of a Maitland train departing and being held at the first junction signal to allow the train from Sydney to cross in front of it. Passengers from Sydney being denied a convenient connection to Maitland. The inconvenience made worse by the Maitland train continuing to be held to allow an UP freight to cross in front of it at Islington Jct. This was a wonderful display of how to arrange matters for the comfort and convenience of passengers.

Then there is the spectacle of carsets sitting in the Railway St reversing lines preventing arriving trains from moving forward from the platform which of course blocks further arriving trains from entering the station. The confected issue of running empty trains continues. Trains arriving at the end of their journey need to be cleaned and serviced. The necessary facilities are not at Newcastle nor at Hamilton so they must return to Broadmeadow. The serviced carsets must then return empty. This practice continues as a necessity. The Beaumont St gates close against road traffic on average every 6 minutes. When road traffic is stopped by the traffic lights at Tudor St or Maitland Rd., it banks up and vehicles stop on the railway tracks. Newcastle road users are such wonderfully safe drivers. The whole spectacle at Hamilton is like something from Alice in Wonderland.

The proponents of the line closure and their supporters should be delighted with the progress being achieved since the line closed.

By any measure; Newcastle has ceased to be a city. Retail is in its final death throes; as office leases expire it remains to be seen if they will be renewed; visitors have stopped coming; there has never been a lot of recreational/sports/arts facilities in the downtown area and the viability of any proposals looks doubtful.
In a nutshell: "How To Kill A CBD"
Fred Scuttle
So how do you explain the massive explosion in investment since the rail truncation was announced?
  Speedbird1 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Wyee
So how do you explain the massive explosion in investment since the rail truncation was announced?
Northern Flyer
I heard that HDC/GPT or whoever owned the majority of the CBD buildings particurlarly around Hunter St, and refused to lease them/sell unless the rail was cut, hence strangling the local economy. Sounds like blackmail to me... but we can't say a word against the political/developer masters now can we?...
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Nothing quite like railfoamer heresay to gain your facts, you could at least try something remotely reliable. The old NH might be a dodgy newspaper, but they do their research first..
Here's an article on the construction boom in Newcastle..

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3297823/demand-sky-high-for-inner-city-living/
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

For all of my life I have been a frequent visitor to Newcastle and a routine traveller through the area. From my earliest memories, regular visits to relatives in Newcastle are constant joys. The 4.40pm UP Newcastle Flyer was a much loved old friend.

With 6 months of the new transport arrangements it was time for a visit to see how the objectives promoting the line closure were progressing towards fulfilment. The changes can only be described as profound. Had somebody predicted them 12 months ago they would not have been believed. The proponents of the line closure and their supporters must be beside themselves with delight.

The most striking change east of Stewart Ave is the absence of people. The area around Hunter/Watt/Scott Sts is like a ghost town – totally deserted. The bus terminus is a lonely and empty place with a few buses standing over and no people. The route 110 shuttle buses barely have enough passengers to justify their operation. The normal services along Tudor St and Maitland Rd can easily handle the demand. There is no justification for a tramway.

Prior to the line closure it was predicted that the downturn in train passengers would be about 25%. Anecdotally, it appears to be about 66%. The only people now travelling into downtown are those who must; employees and those needing to keep appointments. Just about all travel by choice has ceased. The visitors are now going elsewhere.

We were told that an objective of the line closure was to rejuvenate the retail trade. The closure has certainly brought fundamental change to retail. Without the passing pedestrian traffic, many surviving retailers are fast going broke. There is no longer enough business to remain financially solvent. The visitors who have gone will not be coming back.


A second objective of the line closure was to open up the town to the riverbank. The new crossings of the railway “right of way” are tradesmen’s masterpieces. The sun reflects brightly off of the green grass and black bitumen of the crossings. Nobody is using them. They are deserted. Recently another 7 story building was approved for construction on the riverbank in the Honeysuckle precinct. Undoubtedly this will enhance the attraction of the riverbank from Hunter St. The enhancements will be complete when all of the space between Hannell St and Honeysuckle which is north of the railway line is filled with 5 or 7 story buildings. A wonderful achievement of the claimed objective.

It is almost awe inspiring to observe the management of train movements at Hamilton. You do not need to be a railway minded person to understand that convenient interchange is of major importance to passengers. The connection at Hamilton between Sydney and Maitland trains has never been good, let alone perfect. I had the spectacle of a Maitland train departing and being held at the first junction signal to allow the train from Sydney to cross in front of it. Passengers from Sydney being denied a convenient connection to Maitland. The inconvenience made worse by the Maitland train continuing to be held to allow an UP freight to cross in front of it at Islington Jct. This was a wonderful display of how to arrange matters for the comfort and convenience of passengers.

Then there is the spectacle of carsets sitting in the Railway St reversing lines preventing arriving trains from moving forward from the platform which of course blocks further arriving trains from entering the station. The confected issue of running empty trains continues. Trains arriving at the end of their journey need to be cleaned and serviced. The necessary facilities are not at Newcastle nor at Hamilton so they must return to Broadmeadow. The serviced carsets must then return empty. This practice continues as a necessity. The Beaumont St gates close against road traffic on average every 6 minutes. When road traffic is stopped by the traffic lights at Tudor St or Maitland Rd., it banks up and vehicles stop on the railway tracks. Newcastle road users are such wonderfully safe drivers. The whole spectacle at Hamilton is like something from Alice in Wonderland.

The proponents of the line closure and their supporters should be delighted with the progress being achieved since the line closed.

By any measure; Newcastle has ceased to be a city. Retail is in its final death throes; as office leases expire it remains to be seen if they will be renewed; visitors have stopped coming; there has never been a lot of recreational/sports/arts facilities in the downtown area and the viability of any proposals looks doubtful.
In a nutshell: "How To Kill A CBD"
So how do you explain the massive explosion in investment since the rail truncation was announced?
Northern Flyer
What investment. The CBD is dead and the last time I was in Newcastle (a few weeks ago). There were shops shutting down left right and centre and there was not one new development started. In fact the only thing new that I saw was the amount of shuttered buildings with for sale or lease signs on them. The only thing being constructed in Newcastle is the Wickham interchange. Other then that everything else is being dismantled.

The reason buses are having it so easy is because traffic has dropped significantly and nothing at all to do with the train line closing. Fixing up the CBD could have easily been fixed by sinking the rail line. This would have opened up the cbd to the foreshore and retained passenger train services into Newcastle while also removing the level crossings. If the tram was to get built the level crossings would have to be re activated which is why the tram will never happen as it will get in the way of the government selling the land to developers.

It must be nice however to look through rose tinted classes Northern Flyer.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
The Government think trams are a novelty so we have to have one forced up our noses, no real study says things will be better off.
Now they expect the protesters to come with 800G, are they expected to sell their houses for standing up for logic.
By the time the tram runs the East end will be dead.
  1771D Junior Train Controller

Add greedy developers and dodgy politicians, and this is what you get.  It's not the first, and it won't be the last time a community gets screwed over by so called progress.
  chuffa Junior Train Controller

Tracks just past Hamilton have been ripped up over last couple of days. Media hasn't mentioned it but there's photos on Facebook.
  Speedbird1 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Wyee
Where would you find these photos?
  NotebookMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wahroonga NSW
Ideahttp://www.theherald.com.au/story/3527233/case-for-light-rail-is-flawed/

Well, well, what a surprise. Report after report has condemned the idea since Travers Morgan in 1989, usually in the long form (from Woodville Junction), which ought to be slightly more viable than the Wickham version.

The only way light rail will get up is if Newcastle is transformed into a miniature version of Hong Kong or Singapore. (Not that I think that is all that far from the government's intentions, the way they are going.) Only then will there be the population density to sustain it.

Shooters and Fishers, what will you do now? Hope that nobody notices? Oh, yes, it doesn't matter now because the government won their appeal.

So much for the power of light rail to reinvigorate shopping centres. But then, as the experts in the field have always said, light rail routes only influence the choice of street for a commercial development, not whether the business case for commercial development would be sound. Did anyone really believe that putting light rail in Hunter Street would bring the crowds of shoppers of old flocking back from the suburbs? The local population would not justify it.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

The light rail never stacked up as financially viable at any point and has always been used as a red herring fopr this governments real objectives
I have said on many occasions on this site that Newcastle will never see light rail and when it comes to the crunch the government will produce a document that says the goal posts have shifted and it can no longer be justified so the buses will stay.
If you look at was would be involved versus leaving the existing heavy rail there you can see there is no case to build it.

The proposed but imaginary light rail would require -
laying new tracks and wires
construction of new power substations
constructing new island stops and ticket centres
opening up more crossings to the harbour
building new rolling stock
maintaining new rolling stock
new areas to stable the rolling stock
new tracks for a dedicated interchange
employing and training new staff
major road alterations in Hunter Street
destruction of existing station buildings at Civic and Newcastle

To have kept the existing heavy rail (before it was removed) would require -
(insert noise of cricket chirping here)

Back to Tezza now to bag me out!
  TomBTR Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
If it were simply a question of the cost of maintaining an existing rail line versus the cost of building and operating an imaginary tram line between the same places then the answer is obvious.

However, in favour of the trams is the possibility that they could be extended elsewhere to suburbs without a rail service. In European towns of similar size to Newcastle, such as Montpelier in France, it is common for the trams to roll gracefully through the old town centre before racing off along mainly reserved track to dormitory and factory areas several km away.

Advantages over heavy rail include a greater frequency, disadvantages include more staff per seat.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

If it were simply a question of the cost of maintaining an existing rail line versus the cost of building and operating an imaginary tram line between the same places then the answer is obvious.

However, in favour of the trams is the possibility that they could be extended elsewhere to suburbs without a rail service. In European towns of similar size to Newcastle, such as Montpelier in France, it is common for the trams to roll gracefully through the old town centre before racing off along mainly reserved track to dormitory and factory areas several km away.

Advantages over heavy rail include a greater frequency, disadvantages include more staff per seat.
TomBTR
Seriously Tom, could you ever imagine any government coming up with the funds to re-introduce a tram/light rail to Broadmeadow or Wallsend or Kotara or Charlestown?
It would never be patronised anyway as we do not have the population or the tourists to warrant any proposed extension to the fairy land express now proposed that buses couldn't handle.
There just does not seem to be any positive reason for light rail to have even been suggested except to dangle as a carrot while at the same time the heavy rail is being taken away.
  TomBTR Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Well Showtime, I did say "could". It was a hypothetical observation that Newcastle could be rejuvenated in the same way as many smaller cites abroad. The example I gave was Montpellier in the south of France which has a population of only about 260,000. Their tramway is all new work.

(enlarge the map to see the tramways, also the mainline station close to the town centre - they did not feel the need to remove heavy rail in order to rejuvenate).

Of course I did not say "will" because I am cynical enough to expect that the crooks in Macquarie Street will do nothing about light rail in Newcastle. If they were ever serious then various early works would have begun well before the announcement of their intention to close the line. Tenders for substantial work would have been ready to call the day that they got their Act of parliament through.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Yes Tom, and also the preliminary designs and tender agreements for the """"light rail"""" hahaha.
One would think that if you are ACTUALLY going to build one you have to know what it will look like and how it will be powered and then shortlist a group of companies to manufacture it.
I don't seem to see these details in the government's submissions so I must have missed it!
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
2018 until the first tram?? Yawn FMD..
This is nearly as good as the Belmont branch revival, buy a bicycle and get there yourself!

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