Talks of potential electrification of railway line to Goulburn

 
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Two articles were posted in late October 2017 which talks of investigations which will take place to examine the potential to extend electrification from Macarthur/Campbelltown through to Goulburn.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/macarthur/electrifying-rail-into-wollondilly-should-be-a-priority-says-mayor/news-story/676deecbe6d8ca8c70f1d16cd7d93a18

http://www.goulburnpost.com.au/story/5013836/district-expected-to-receive-five-large-projects-over-40-years-transport-strategy/


I've never caught a train over this line as it is far from my area, but for those who do travel over this line, what are your thoughts on this? It would essentially create a new intercity network from Macarthur/Campbelltown through to Goulburn. If such a service were to be introduced what kind of stopping pattern would it likely have and would it travel via the quadruplicated East Hills Line? As far as Sydney to Macarthur is concerned I'm guessing a stopping pattern such as:-

- Central/Sydney Terminal, Sydenham (maybe), Glenfield, Campbelltown or Macarthur.

I guess, providing the 16-23 platforms can take it they could run a Central via Airport line which would stop at Wolli Creek before proceeding through the East Hills line to Glenfield and beyond.

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  Clyde Goodwin2 Chief Train Controller

More media utter garbage.
ARTC operate the line from MacArthur south so it will never happen.
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

The Southern Highlands is a growth area, but it would take a massive population boom to create the demand for electrification to Goulburn.
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

70's, 80s and 90s and still there are still talks going on and on and on!!
Two words 'NEVER HAPPEN' FULL STOP!!!

Canberra would be included in the electrification IF it does happen, ha ha ha ha
the government is a BIG FAT joke

That's my 2 cents worth including GST!
EDIT: It maybe true once the Inland Rail is completed, but I doubt it
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Yeah, right! ARTC will just sit back and let this happen!
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Along with a curfew south of the SSFL. Laughing

Don't laugh Twisted Evil
  ivahri Train Controller

I bet back in 1966 there were rail narks who said "Oh no, electrification to Campbelltown will never happen..."

Yes the ARTC will need to be dealt with. Yes they will want much $ to calm their grumbling. But given that there will be a few hundred thousand people- larger than Canberra- living in the Macarthur in the next 20 years- rail industry attitudes will be changed whether you narks think it will or not. Whether that means extension of a 3rd track from Macarthur to Picton... who knows... but it will happen just as in 1968 a quiet little town called Campbelltown received its first electric train.

Its called progress. It doesn't happen in this place fast enough, but it happens.


Richard
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I've never caught a train over this line as it is far from my area, but for those who do travel over this line, what are your thoughts on this?
SydneyCider


I used to live in Goulburn, was a regular (though not frequent) user of these services, and also served on the STRUG management committee.  I can tell you first hand how crappy the service is, how low the patronage is, and all of the problems on this line.

It's pretty clear the line probably needs to be sparked as far as Mossy, and if it was, the Southern Highlands would have a similar interurban service to the Short North, the Blue Mountains line and South Coast line, but would still be the least patronised of the interurban lines.  My modeling suggests between 2 and 3mil trips per year

ATRC ownership is unique for a Sydney interurban line, and this complicates things.  It has no doubt delayed electrification south of Campbelltown.

The population in the Highlands is slightly less than the Blue Mountains, and the local economies are more self contained/sufficient.  But population growth pressure, particularly in Wollondilly shire, is accelerating - and the M5 giving good road access to South Western Sydney has accelerated this.

Politically the area is still conservative, but with the influx of new suburbanites it's becoming more working/middle/mortgage belt class, and the seats are held by more progressive Libs IIRC.

I think there will be enough political and population pressure to see electrification of the line to Picton become a reality in the next 10-15 years, especially (as seems likely) if Macarthur becomes a marginal Labor seat after the next Fed election.

The other big pressure will come from possibility of deferring the need to widen the Hume freeway south of Campbelltown.

Yes, ARTC complicates things, but I think the quid pro quo will be the life expired Menangle Bridge will be replaced.  ARTC will still own the track and charge access fees as they do now, Railcorp will own and maintain the overhead.


It would essentially create a new intercity network from Macarthur/Campbelltown through to Goulburn. If such a service were to be introduced what kind of stopping pattern would it likely have and would it travel via the quadruplicated East Hills Line? As far as Sydney to Macarthur is concerned I'm guessing a stopping pattern such as:-
SydneyCider

The stopping pattern is likely to be an extension of the existing Campbelltown services into the City Circle, probably via Sydenham and probably skip stopping some of the stations between Campbelltown and Glenfield.
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place

I've never caught a train over this line as it is far from my area, but for those who do travel over this line, what are your thoughts on this?
SydneyCider
This is my patch but I have little need nor tolerance for what I regard as a poor service.  There are three aspects to that:


  • The number of services south of Campbelltown / Macarthur


  • The change at CTN / MAC


  • The stopping pattern for electrics between CTN and about Revesby

Once I am in the car I just keep going.

While you can plan your outbound trip around the available services if you do not know when you will be returning you can find yourself stranded at CTN.

I can see the electrification needing to be extended to Picton to service the development which is and will continue to occur along that corridor.  Two car Endeavours are not going to cut it and neither will stations only two cars long (Menangle Park, Menangle, & Douglas Park)

Unless the service improves markedly there is going to be virtual total reliance on roads which are also not up to the demands being made on then.

The traffic on Picton Road waiting to turn northbound onto the Hume Freeway already backs up out past Bingara Gorge in the mornings.  Picton Road is the first point of access to the freeway south of Narellan Road at Campbelltown.

In the afternoons the traffic southbound into Picton along Remembrance Drive backs up to the north.  I have seen it backed up and crawling right back out over Razorback and that is several kilometers.  It is not going to get better as Picton is a bottleneck for which there is no quick fix.  Those are just two examples and I am not suggesting they are unique to this area.

That said, unless you work along the rail corridor towards the city or Parramatta rail just does not work for the commute and you are pretty well stuck with road.

It is one thing to say that the service needs improvement it is another thing for it to happen.

What will in all likelihood happen will be a lot of new homes and people will get dumped out here without the infrastructure to service their needs.  The lacking will not be confined to rail transport or even transport in its broader aspects.

IF, and it is a big IF, electrification is extended I could see it getting to Picton but I have a stretch to see it extending any further.  If it did the next logical terminus would seem to be Moss Vale as at present but that is a big jump.  Beyond Moss Vale the rail service is virtually nonexistent.

If the SSFL was extended that would make sense and it should be a part of the project.  Whether the ARTC likes it or not will not come into it if some pollie thinks there is a vote in it.

We have now come to the fundamental conflict between politicians and common sense / good policy.  No politician is interested in anything beyond the current news cycle or unless it makes them look good (or the opposition look bad) and if it does then whether it makes sense is irrelevant.

Where any politician is involved I apply the following logic - If their lips are moving they are probably lying, if they are not moving then they are thinking about it.

And yes, I am a cynical old bathplug!
  ivahri Train Controller

Trying to analyse what a service will look like in 20 years time is ludicrous.

What will work patterns be? Will people even need to commute? What will the trains look like? Will future generations even accept an hour or more commute?


Richard
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Maybe the agreement between nsw and Artc includes the ability to take back control for purposes of metro extensions ?
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Electrification should only happen with a full realignment to at least moss vale.  Ideally have 3 tracks to moss vale, 2 sparked, one extension of SSFL.
  M636C Minister for Railways

What is needed is a through service to Sydney from Goulburn at the current frequency of the Endeavour services.

The best solution to this is dual mode trains that will run on electric power north of Campbelltown and diesel power south of Campbelltown.

Current AC traction technology can probably convert 1500 Volts DC directly, since the intermediate DC link is usually about 100 volts DC

The trains should be three or four cars to take the passenger loads north of Campbelltown, although they would run express as the V and H sets do.

I'd suggest a four car Hunter with AC electric transmission, three power cars one trailer.

In the mean time, overhaul the Endeavours, fit them with uncoupleable centre cars (Just buy Velocities from Dandenong) and run more of them through to Sydney.

Peter
  ivahri Train Controller

Those arguing that diesel powered vehicles should be retained forget that major countries are now mandating the end of fossil fuel based motor vehicles by 2040. That will force a complete rethink about how trucks and trains are powered, whether we like it or not. 2040 is one generation of technology away- I'm not sure that rail enthusiasts appreciate the change that is going to come within the lifetime of many of the younger crowd.


Richard
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Diesel trains can be just as fast as electric trains these days. As someone else said, nothing more than media "rubbish".
  M636C Minister for Railways

Those arguing that diesel powered vehicles should be retained forget that major countries are now mandating the end of fossil fuel based motor vehicles by 2040. That will force a complete rethink about how trucks and trains are powered, whether we like it or not. 2040 is one generation of technology away- I'm not sure that rail enthusiasts appreciate the change that is going to come within the lifetime of many of the younger crowd.


Richard
ivahri

These restrictions are generally in cities and suburbs.

It will be a long time before electric vehicles are used in harvesting grain in Western Australia, for example.

Dual Mode diesel trains will run as electric in the suburbs. generating no pollution, and only run the diesel south of Campbelltown where the problems from exhaust are much less due to the lower population density.

Peter
  michaelgm Deputy Commissioner

Any erection of overhead beyond Macurthur, will entrench the steam age alignment for generations. Maybe as far as Picton with an extension of the SSFL, that far.
  ivahri Train Controller

Those arguing that diesel powered vehicles should be retained forget that major countries are now mandating the end of fossil fuel based motor vehicles by 2040. That will force a complete rethink about how trucks and trains are powered, whether we like it or not. 2040 is one generation of technology away- I'm not sure that rail enthusiasts appreciate the change that is going to come within the lifetime of many of the younger crowd.


Richard

These restrictions are generally in cities and suburbs.

It will be a long time before electric vehicles are used in harvesting grain in Western Australia, for example.

Dual Mode diesel trains will run as electric in the suburbs. generating no pollution, and only run the diesel south of Campbelltown where the problems from exhaust are much less due to the lower population density.

Peter
M636C

The obvious question is why not?

Sorry to say Peter but I think you are in for a shock. Entire countries are already starting to mandate the end of fossil fuel based power. Grain harvesters and every other form of machinery, including trains, will need to address this issue. In a country like Australia where we produce very little of our transport technology and don't even have an oil refinery any more, we are totally at the mercy of the mandates of the major global economies.

If there is no diesel being produced overseas investing now in anything that is not already available off the shelf would be an expensive mistake.


Richard
  M636C Minister for Railways

Those arguing that diesel powered vehicles should be retained forget that major countries are now mandating the end of fossil fuel based motor vehicles by 2040. That will force a complete rethink about how trucks and trains are powered, whether we like it or not. 2040 is one generation of technology away- I'm not sure that rail enthusiasts appreciate the change that is going to come within the lifetime of many of the younger crowd.


Richard

These restrictions are generally in cities and suburbs.

It will be a long time before electric vehicles are used in harvesting grain in Western Australia, for example.

Dual Mode diesel trains will run as electric in the suburbs. generating no pollution, and only run the diesel south of Campbelltown where the problems from exhaust are much less due to the lower population density.

Peter

The obvious question is why not?

Sorry to say Peter but I think you are in for a shock. Entire countries are already starting to mandate the end of fossil fuel based power. Grain harvesters and every other form of machinery, including trains, will need to address this issue. In a country like Australia where we produce very little of our transport technology and don't even have an oil refinery any more, we are totally at the mercy of the mandates of the major global economies.

If there is no diesel being produced overseas investing now in anything that is not already available off the shelf would be an expensive mistake.


Richard
ivahri
In the UK where Oxford is the first city to actually ban petrol and diesel cars, dual mode trains are being purchased right now to run to cities just to the south of Oxford because the cost of electrification (planned for many years) was found to be much higher than expected.

This will be a long process based on the economics of the changeover. London won't be far behind, since they already have congestion charges for the inner city. But it isn't going to happen tomorrow.

In the UK, I'd expect it will be many years before fossil fuels aren't used in northern Scotland, for example where there is no risk from the very few vehicles to the sparse population.

Peter
  ivahri Train Controller

Peter the big difference is that the UK (to my knowledge) still refine petroleum. We don't. Where do you think the fuel will come from when the majority (and major population centres) cease to need it? Do you really think supply chains will be retained just to supply harvesters in the bush? Or trains in NSW? Demand influences supply and price. At some point the importers will decide to stop importing, or only import if price rises... as prices rise it will make electrification a slam dunk decision.


Richard
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Peter the big difference is that the UK (to my knowledge) still refine petroleum. We don't. Where do you think the fuel will come from when the majority (and major population centres) cease to need it? Do you really think supply chains will be retained just to supply harvesters in the bush? Or trains in NSW? Demand influences supply and price. At some point the importers will decide to stop importing, or only import if price rises... as prices rise it will make electrification a slam dunk decision.
ivahri
We still do have a few refineries here in australia, just not in NSW.
  Matthew Train Controller

Peter the big difference is that the UK (to my knowledge) still refine petroleum. We don't. Where do you think the fuel will come from when the majority (and major population centres) cease to need it? Do you really think supply chains will be retained just to supply harvesters in the bush? Or trains in NSW? Demand influences supply and price. At some point the importers will decide to stop importing, or only import if price rises... as prices rise it will make electrification a slam dunk decision.
We still do have a few refineries here in australia, just not in NSW.
tazzer96
But almost zero domestic crude oil production. So where were the remaining refineries get their raw materials from?

Given the are something like 3 passenger trains a day south of Moss Vale, I doubt electrification is even remotely viable to Goulburn.

To Piction maybe, to pick up the expanding population who may be commuting to Sydney. Then take back the Piction to Mittagong loop line Smile

Only when the price of oil peaks so high that rail freight is forced to electrify the Sydney to Melbourne corridor will Goulbourn ever see electric trains and it will be 25kv AC.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

As for the interchange at Campbelltown may I suggest that you interchange at macarthur instead on the way to the city. A cross platform interchange is much easier then having to walk up and down stairs.

There is about 23 trains in each direction a day from the southern highlands and most of the time they are empty. Electrification isn't going to happen and neither is putting a single deck train on the suburban network (not including the metro) during peak hour. Complain about the hard seats if you must but a train service every 30-60 minutes in both directions between 5.33 am and 12.04am is not a smeg service for such an area as the southern highlands.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

If serious money is to be spent on rail in the south-west I believe the steam-age alignment must be addressed. My suggestion is an electrified "outer suburban" branch to Thirlmere-Tahmoor, and the Wentworth deviation (besides the freeway) to service Bargo-Goulburn and freight users.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Peter the big difference is that the UK (to my knowledge) still refine petroleum. We don't. Where do you think the fuel will come from when the majority (and major population centres) cease to need it? Do you really think supply chains will be retained just to supply harvesters in the bush? Or trains in NSW? Demand influences supply and price. At some point the importers will decide to stop importing, or only import if price rises... as prices rise it will make electrification a slam dunk decision.
We still do have a few refineries here in australia, just not in NSW.
But almost zero domestic crude oil production. So where were the remaining refineries get their raw materials from?

Given the are something like 3 passenger trains a day south of Moss Vale, I doubt electrification is even remotely viable to Goulburn.

To Piction maybe, to pick up the expanding population who may be commuting to Sydney. Then take back the Piction to Mittagong loop line Smile

Only when the price of oil peaks so high that rail freight is forced to electrify the Sydney to Melbourne corridor will Goulbourn ever see electric trains and it will be 25kv AC.
Matthew
You may want to do some research on that statement and then correct it and this will answer your own question.
https://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?country=au&product=oil&graph=production+consumption

NSW no longer has oil refinery's and others will close due to the shift in how we make and use oil products, but Australia will always need at least 2 oil refinery's. Alice Springs even has a small one for a reason.

Based on the current timetable, electrification could be remotely justified to Moss Vale, but not to Goulburn. It is however unlikely to occur as the wires will need to be high set to enable DS as I believe there is a ban on new structures below the DS min clearance height over ARTC controlled and funded tracks.

High set not a major issue technically, but then specialised rollingstock is needed and then DMU's are still needed for Goulburn, so do you wire to Goulburn when its unviable to do so so you have standard fleets? Or will south of Moss Vale on the new timetable be simply severed by Canberra services which is rumored by some to be increased thus likely removing the need for all or most Gouburn terminators.

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