Minister's answer undercut by cabinet documents on Sydney-Wollongong rail tunnel

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 28 Jun 2017 13:46
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Smells of a deal with Transurban previously mentioned on RP regarding the keeping of the financial and economic benefits of the rail tunnel alternative quiet.

Anyone get the feeling Transurban now works behind the scenes like coal companies doing deals behind closed doors where the details are not to be disclosed to the public.  We are seeing a similar issue in Melbourne where Transurban is pushing a road we really don't need and which will not solve the traffic problems we have today.  In fact in the Melbourne case the road will deliver very little ecomonic benefit and very little productivity gains and being paid for again by tolls both new on the new road and an extension of tolls on the current SouthEastern Freeway.

In the end the people who use the eastern suburbs roads will be paying for trucks to use the new tunnel when rail is clearly the answer.  In 10 years time Daniel Andrews or his finance minister will get a cushy job on the board of a transurban related company.

Minister's answer undercut by cabinet documents on Sydney-Wollongong rail tunnel

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Only problem with your assumption Bevans is the fact the south coast already has a rail line the whole way to Central. The new rail tunnel is just to speed up passenger rail services and wouldn't have any significance for freight since rail is already available for such traffic . The F6 on the other hand stops at Sutherland and feeds into local traffic causing a car park into the Sydney CBD.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Bevens
Sims doesn't like this study as it undermines his theory that it's impossible to drill a tunnel in that terrain.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Bevens
Sims doesn't like this study as it undermines his theory that it's impossible to drill a tunnel in that terrain.
RTT_Rules

I never said it was impossible or that it shouldn't be done. I said that using the old tunnels is not going to happen.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The rail tunnel will have no significant benefit for rail freight over road freight. Tradies can't take the train with all their gear. Anybody travelling into the city for office work is already likely taking the train. The only upside is a 20 minutes shorter train journey for a nearly $5 billion spend.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
  1. The rail tunnel will have no significant benefit for rail freight over road freight.
  2. Tradies can't take the train with all their gear.
  3. Anybody travelling into the city for office work is already likely taking the train.
  4. The only upside is a 20 minutes shorter train journey for a nearly $5 billion spend.
simstrain
  1. Diverting passenger services via the new direct route will free up capacity on the bypassed section for freight trains. And if the tunnel can take freighters as well, then they'll likely have a faster trip along the South Coast line outside of peak periods.
  2. This is a complete furphy. Tradies can and do take their tools on the train. It's a surprisingly common sight in Melbourne - mostly workers going to CBD construction sites where there's no on-site parking. And to boot, when you get more people off the F6 and onto the South Coast line you free up space for any other tradies that absolutely can't take their tools with them. More reading on the topic: https://www.danielbowen.com/2014/10/30/more-roads-tradies/
  3. Evidence? The 2016 Census results are out now, perhaps you could do some reading.
  4. As opposed to spending $8-10 billion on a freeway extension that will clog up with traffic again within 6 months. A rail tunnel under Thirroul sounds like a bargain in comparison.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

  1. Diverting passenger services via the new direct route will free up capacity on the bypassed section for freight trains. And if the tunnel can take freighters as well, then they'll likely have a faster trip along the South Coast line outside of peak periods.
  2. This is a complete furphy. Tradies can and do take their tools on the train. It's a surprisingly common sight in Melbourne - mostly workers going to CBD construction sites where there's no on-site parking. And to boot, when you get more people off the F6 and onto the South Coast line you free up space for any other tradies that absolutely can't take their tools with them. More reading on the topic: https://www.danielbowen.com/2014/10/30/more-roads-tradies/
  3. Evidence? The 2016 Census results are out now, perhaps you could do some reading.
  4. As opposed to spending $8-10 billion on a freeway extension that will clog up with traffic again within 6 months. A rail tunnel under Thirroul sounds like a bargain in comparison.
LancedDendrite

1. Freight trains will be using the new tunnel as well and so it won't be freeing up anything. Between Waterfall and Thirroul on the old line is 8 stations and so there will still be passenger services along that line as well. A coal mine means freight trains will still be running along the current line as well.

2. It is not a furphy in Sydney and the train line already goes all the way to the cbd and so what is stopping Tradies from using the train now. In any case that tradie in the picture at that link you provided isn't a tradie. He is a hired construction worker or apprentice. Tradies have significantly more tools then you can fit in a bucket. A sub contracted tradie needs to bring all his own gear such as ladders, wheelbarrows, compressors, a tool chest and all sorts of other equipment and hazardous materials that you can't take on a train for legal reasons.

3. Because the train is already the better option over the car. It connects directly to the cbd and has an interchange with the airport line. I don't need a census report to tell me what is happening in my own city. The main issue is not time but the hard seats on the Oscars that the people of the Illawarra have to put up with. The new rolling stock will hopefully resolve this issue.

4. Sydney already has high PT usage and the reason our roads are clogged is because either A. They weren't finished or B. They were made only 2 lanes wide. The M5 was made wider between the M7 at the crossroads and Campbelltown and it hasn't been filled up. The equivalent train line has also seen a rise in patronage and the parking at the 2 new stations on the SWRL are also full during the day.


I'm not against the tunnel and if somebody wants to build it in the future then fine but if you think it will change how people travel to work from the south coast to Sydney then you are wrong. Same goes for freight.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The rail tunnel will have no significant benefit for rail freight over road freight. Tradies can't take the train with all their gear. Anybody travelling into the city for office work is already likely taking the train. The only upside is a 20 minutes shorter train journey for a nearly $5 billion spend.
simstrain

A 60 min Woll-Syd transit time would (at least) double patronage *and* reduce operating costs.  It would bring the cost recovery of the South Coast line up near that of Sydney's suburban lines Smile.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
1. Freight trains will be using the new tunnel as well and so it won't be freeing up anything. Between Waterfall and Thirroul on the old line is 8 stations and so there will still be passenger services along that line as well. A coal mine means freight trains will still be running along the current line as well.

2. It is not a furphy in Sydney and the train line already goes all the way to the cbd and so what is stopping Tradies from using the train now. In any case that tradie in the picture at that link you provided isn't a tradie. He is a hired construction worker or apprentice. Tradies have significantly more tools then you can fit in a bucket. A sub contracted tradie needs to bring all his own gear such as ladders, wheelbarrows, compressors, a tool chest and all sorts of other equipment and hazardous materials that you can't take on a train for legal reasons.

3. Because the train is already the better option over the car. It connects directly to the cbd and has an interchange with the airport line. I don't need a census report to tell me what is happening in my own city. The main issue is not time but the hard seats on the Oscars that the people of the Illawarra have to put up with. The new rolling stock will hopefully resolve this issue.

4. Sydney already has high PT usage and the reason our roads are clogged is because either A. They weren't finished or B. They were made only 2 lanes wide. The M5 was made wider between the M7 at the crossroads and Campbelltown and it hasn't been filled up. The equivalent train line has also seen a rise in patronage and the parking at the 2 new stations on the SWRL are also full during the day.


I'm not against the tunnel and if somebody wants to build it in the future then fine but if you think it will change how people travel to work from the south coast to Sydney then you are wrong. Same goes for freight.
simstrain
  1. Are you arguing that building a pair of bypass tracks won't increase capacity or service quality?
  2. Hate to break it to you, but not every tradie is a subbie or works on their own. You're splitting hairs.
  3. You haven't provided evidence for your original point.
  4. The M5 is a toll road. Perhaps the F6 should be tolled to pay for its extension? Laughing
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

20 minutes is a massive improvement in travel times.   It would likely cause such a jump in patronage that more tracks into the cbd would need to be built.   I have always thought that a cbd - sutherland rail tunnel along with a triple/quad of sutherland - waterfall would have massive benefits for south coast services (faster and more frequent travel), cronulla services would have a benefit of added frequency.   Hurstville all stops would have more frequency.   Long distance (canberra xpl, melbourne xpt, and southern highlands) by having less services between the junction at st peters and sydenham.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

  1. Are you arguing that building a pair of bypass tracks won't increase capacity or service quality?
  2. Hate to break it to you, but not every tradie is a subbie or works on their own. You're splitting hairs.
  3. You haven't provided evidence for your original point.
  4. The M5 is a toll road. Perhaps the F6 should be tolled to pay for its extension? Laughing
LancedDendrite

1. Neither. I'm saying it isn't going to change much aside from a quicker journey. In Peak hour the train is faster because between Sutherland and the CBD on the road the traffic is at walking pace or stopped. The train is significantly cheaper then a car and the 8 car DD trains are full already from the south coast. 20 minutes is nothing for freight and isn't going to make a difference in this regard.

2. Yes they are. Your mistaking tradie for worker.

3. I don't need to.

4. The part of the M5 I am talking about is not a toll road. Invariably any F6 extension will be a toll road.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

A 60 min Woll-Syd transit time would (at least) double patronage *and* reduce operating costs.  It would bring the cost recovery of the South Coast line up near that of Sydney's suburban lines Smile.
djf01

Please explain as to how it would double patronage? The existing stations between Waterfall and Thirroul still need to be serviced. Can you explain how you are going to get extra south coast trains through to the CBD without affecting suburban services?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Tripview shows a travel time from Thirroul to Central station of 1 hour and 14 minutes. Google earth shows a car travel time of 1 hour and 12 minutes which can easily explode out to 2 hours with heavy traffic or an accident. The train runs right down the spine of the Illawarra escarpment and close to peoples homes. So yes please explain to me how the train line will double it's patronage with a shortcut when the train is already placed well within walking distance of most people.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Quadding from Hurstville to Sutherland would achieve much more in increasing patronage then this proposed tunnel.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

A 60 min Woll-Syd transit time would (at least) double patronage *and* reduce operating costs.  It would bring the cost recovery of the South Coast line up near that of Sydney's suburban lines Smile.

Please explain as to how it would double patronage? The existing stations between Waterfall and Thirroul still need to be serviced. Can you explain how you are going to get extra south coast trains through to the CBD without affecting suburban services?
simstrain

I did a bit of research when I was part of STRUG was developing a patronage model.  There is a clear correlation between transit times to Sydney and the percentage of the local population that gets on a train every day.  Campbelltown and the Shire are both ~9% (for a sub ~60min transit), and the Illawarra, Central Coast & Blue Mts it's ~4.5% for a sub 90min transit and ~2% for a sub 120min transit.  The dropoff is actually slightly steeper than that, but that gives you some idea.  (Roughly) every 30min extra travel time halves patronage, and visa versa.

BTW, a mode shift also halves patronage - which is probably in keeping with the typical time penalty of a mode shift.

My view is the tunnel on it's own would not do enough to justify it's expense, or reduce transit times.  But a combination of alignment changes, faster rolling stock, overtaking facilities withing the suburban area and better terminal facilities could achieve a suburban standard transit time service fort well south of the $3bil just for the tunnel.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Quadding from Hurstville to Sutherland would achieve much more in increasing patronage then this proposed tunnel.
simstrain

I think an additional Down road (or two) between the Mortdale Car sheds and the Como bridge on the pre 1905 alignment, and conversion of Hurtsville to Wolli-Creek to Up-Up-Down-Down cold also reduce South Coast train transit times by 10-12 minutes, and Shire transit times by ~5minutes
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think an additional Down road (or two) between the Mortdale Car sheds and the Como bridge on the pre 1905 alignment, and conversion of Hurtsville to Wolli-Creek to Up-Up-Down-Down cold also reduce South Coast train transit times by 10-12 minutes, and Shire transit times by ~5minutes
djf01

Moving to up, up, down, down would only require a new flyover at wolli creek.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I think an additional Down road (or two) between the Mortdale Car sheds and the Como bridge on the pre 1905 alignment, and conversion of Hurtsville to Wolli-Creek to Up-Up-Down-Down cold also reduce South Coast train transit times by 10-12 minutes, and Shire transit times by ~5minutes

Moving to up, up, down, down would only require a new flyover at wolli creek.
simstrain
No, two crossovers.  And one or two at Hurstville.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think an additional Down road (or two) between the Mortdale Car sheds and the Como bridge on the pre 1905 alignment, and conversion of Hurtsville to Wolli-Creek to Up-Up-Down-Down cold also reduce South Coast train transit times by 10-12 minutes, and Shire transit times by ~5minutes

Moving to up, up, down, down would only require a new flyover at wolli creek.
No, two crossovers.  And one or two at Hurstville.
djf01
No it doesn't. All it requires is for one line to be taken up and over 2 lines.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I think an additional Down road (or two) between the Mortdale Car sheds and the Como bridge on the pre 1905 alignment, and conversion of Hurtsville to Wolli-Creek to Up-Up-Down-Down cold also reduce South Coast train transit times by 10-12 minutes, and Shire transit times by ~5minutes

Moving to up, up, down, down would only require a new flyover at wolli creek.
No, two crossovers.  And one or two at Hurstville.
No it doesn't. All it requires is for one line to be taken up and over 2 lines.
simstrain

No it doesn't.

What's required is
- a (high speed) facing crossover on the Illawarra Main south of Wolli Creek
- a trailing crossover from the Illawarra Local Down to the Illawarra Mail Up
- a trailing crossover just south/west of Hurstville on the main
- (optionally) a facing crossover on the Local lust south/west of Hurstville to allow the main Up to operate as a turnback.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

All that needs to be done is what is done on the western line between parramatta and westmead. The difference being an overpass instead of an underpass.

In Sydney the removal of a conflicting move is of more value and so removing the conflicting move would mean an overpass and not crossovers.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
What goes on between Sydenham and Sutherland is a bit OT , even if the metropolitan Illawarra carries more people in comparison to the outer suburban electrified section ie Kiama to Waterfall etc .
The drama is that we have run out of "easy" upgrades like concrete electrification and reasonably modern signaling . No more low hanging fruit .
If the Governments really want to make the transport of people and goods better we need road and rail improvements . It really is a question of when rather than if because the population in this Sutherland - Illawarra region has more than doubled since 1970 .
I say 1970 because it was around then that the road conditions really started to improve south of Sutherland and electrification came from Sutherland south a few years later .
The highway eventually bypassed Sutherland and ran on the east side of the railway to just short of Engadine . The new road was a vast improvement over the zig zag between Heathcote and Waterfall . Some won't remember the toll on the freeway south of Waterfall but the highway beyond is still more than adequate today .
The problem now is the low ie 60km/h speed through Heathcote and the shopping center lights , Heathcote Road lights are worse . There are three sets of lights in Engadine if you include Old Bush Rd at Yarrawarra .
If you think these are trivial take a drive north of Helensburgh on the freeway one sunny Sunday afternoon . The proposed Great Southern Freeway has been talked about for at least 40 years but believe it when you see it .
And the railway , a great opportunity was wasted to improve Waterfalls layout when the line was electrified .
Pathetic signal sighting into the down refuge and a useless 25 km/h speed out the south end , the down dead end refuge just south of the road overbridge should have had direct access to the down storage sidings rather than via the down main line . And the down main line through the platform . Seriously , 40 km/h - in 2017 ? Ridiculous . You may think so what but the Inter Urbans use these lines as platform bypasses because Sydney Trains parks sparks in the mainline platform roads for extended periods . It just means Sydney Trains , once City Rail , has complete disregard for anything but its local sparks .
The route between Waterfall and Austinmer isn't brilliant but how do you straighten it out while still servicing all the current stations - and have acceptable grades .
I doubt very much that the governments would maintain a faster new route and the existing bundle of bends , and I doubt the freight operators could afford to maintain the existing part even without the wires powered up .

There is no simple we'll spend up on one mode and stuff the other because neither can carry the load on its own . I smell smoke and see mirrors here with no action in the short term .
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Wolli creek to Sutherland is extremely relevant to this thread because any tunnel between Waterfall and Thirroul won't be viable unless improvements in this area is achieved. What will happen to the rail and stations in between these 2 stations is also important and relevant. Quadding between Hurstville and Sutherland will allow complete separation of south coast trains from Cronulla services for instance.

A 1 hour and 15 minute express service is not too bad from 70km's away. Compare that to my journey time of 56 minutes from 30km's away at Liverpool and the people of the south coast really don't have that much to complain about.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

A 1 hour and 15 minute express service is not too bad from 70km's away. Compare that to my journey time of 56 minutes from 30km's away at Liverpool and the people of the south coast really don't have that much to complain about.
simstrain

By International standards, and even by Australian standards, it's terrible.  60kph average for an "express" rail service.  Anything under 100kph *average* is sub par..
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

By International standards, and even by Australian standards, it's terrible.  60kph average for an "express" rail service.  Anything under 100kph *average* is sub par..
djf01

Sydney isn't like other international places. This is what we have and we have to deal with it. Stop bringing up what international places are doing. International places have a lot more cities to connect and higher populations then we do and I doubt many of them have to deal with the terrain surrounding Sydney.

At least they have an electric service in the Illawarra. Victoria can't even provide this for it's satellite cities in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo and none of those towns have anywhere near the terrain to deal with that Sydney has around it.

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