Why the Northwest Metro will be smeg

 

News article: Why the Northwest Metro will be shit

A look at whether the biggest infrastructure project in NSW is worth its dollar

  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The reasons for choosing the Metro technology make clear bloody sense when you look at ....

Missing the point.  As we both know, the reason to go Metro had nothing to do the with the merits or suitability of the format.  

And equally the decision to reduce the tunnel size had nothing to do with cost.  It was entirely to ensure the decision to go metro could not be reversed later.  IMHO this tells us all we need to know about the confidence those who made the decision had in it's wisedom.
...
I know there is the conspiracy theory over trying to ...
RTT_Rules

Not a conspiracy theory.  This was openly stated by politicians and the bureaucracy of the time.  IIRC there may even be a record of it in Hansard (but I'm not inclined to go and find it).  

I'll paraphrase my memory of it, but
O'Farrell: "the double deckers were a mistake"
Glad B/R Staples(I forget which, probably both): "we're building a new system that will be a break with the past"
and under questioning about whether this was being done "just" to save money
Glab B: "we're actually spending *more* money this way, once you include the cost of converting the ECL"

They've actually been quite open about it.  The diameter was chosen to prevent double decker trains from ever running through the tunnels.  The only person claiming it was done for cost reasons is @RRT_Rules

Sponsored advertisement

  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

I'm reluctant to have to regurgitate this again because it's academic now, but let's not forget that the then Liberal Opposition went to the 2011 election with the promise to build the North West Rail Link as part of the existing network, as did the Labor Party after abandoning their North West Metro proposal.  The Labor Party even left open the option to reconsider their original proposal for the NWRL to branch from the Northern Line between Cheltenham and Beecroft, which would have involved far less tunnelling, eliminating the steep alignment from Epping to Cherrybrook under Devlin's Creek.  The stub tunnels at Epping as part of the ECRL could have been saved for a future extension to Parramatta if warranted.

The original proposal for the NWRL to branch with the Northern Line would have allowed for trains from the North West to run by both the ECRL to the CBD via the North Shore Line and the Northern Line via Strathfield, with the latter running limited stop express services.  Labor's City Relief Line and Western Express proposals would have freed up capacity through the Inner West for the additional North West services via Strathfield and at the same time delay the need for the second harbour rail crossing.

After the Liberals won the election, as promised, they quickly implemented a community consultation process for the NWRL as an extension of the existing rail network based on the Labor Party's previous alignment for the North West Metro from Epping to Cherrybrook under Devlin's Creek, but utilising the stub tunnels to connect it directly to the ECRL. There was never any reference to an option for a segregated metro line.

Labor's North West Metro did not involve a connection to the ECRL via the stub tunnels, but had proposed separate platforms on the western side of Beecroft Rd continuing to Eastwood and the CBD via the Victoria Rd corridor, with pedestrian links to the existing station.  The ECRL was left intact as part of the existing network.

However, things changed when an application by the Liberal State Government to Infrastructure Australia to transfer funds promised by the then Gillard Labor Federal Government for a Parramatta to Epping Rail Link to the NWRL was rejected.  The State Government, then out of the blue, announced that the North West Rail Link would be built as a segregated rapid transit link, taking over the ECRL in the process, no doubt encouraged by the likes of Rodd Staples.  No community consultation, they just did it.  The initial proposal didn't even involve a second harbour rail crossing, but terminated at Chatswood. That came later when they obviously realised that its extension to the CBD would be needed as well.  It was planning on the run and they clearly hadn't thought it through.  They'd also given little thought or cared, as they have with the Bankstown metro conversion, of how it would impact on the operation of the existing network.

Those that argue that you wouldn't build a DD metro today are quite correct.  You wouldn't.  The difference is that when you have a legacy rail network, with its inherent operational characteristics, such as DD trains, any extensions to that network such as the NWRL, should seek to utilise as much of the existing infrastructure as is practicable to allow for compatible operation.  You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Outer suburban extensions are not metro territory and can legitimately warrant alternative rolling stock to service a different market where comfort is more important.  On the other hand, new SD metro lines are perfectly suited along inner city corridors not currently serviced by rail, of which there are many, including the likes of the Northern Beaches and South Eastern suburbs.  

Just on the issue of the narrower tunnel profiles for the metro, there was a rumour at the time that one contractor had indicated that they were prepared to construct a wider profile tunnel to meet the current loading gauge for the same price as the narrower loading gauge.  Even if the costs were greater, it would have to be a minimal additional cost in terms of the overall cost of the project.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The reasons for choosing the Metro technology make clear bloody sense when you look at ....

Missing the point.  As we both know, the reason to go Metro had nothing to do the with the merits or suitability of the format.  

And equally the decision to reduce the tunnel size had nothing to do with cost.  It was entirely to ensure the decision to go metro could not be reversed later.  IMHO this tells us all we need to know about the confidence those who made the decision had in it's wisedom.
...
I know there is the conspiracy theory over trying to ...

Not a conspiracy theory.  This was openly stated by politicians and the bureaucracy of the time.  IIRC there may even be a record of it in Hansard (but I'm not inclined to go and find it).  

I'll paraphrase my memory of it, but
O'Farrell: "the double deckers were a mistake"
Glad B/R Staples(I forget which, probably both): "we're building a new system that will be a break with the past"
and under questioning about whether this was being done "just" to save money
Glab B: "we're actually spending *more* money this way, once you include the cost of converting the ECL"

They've actually been quite open about it.  The tunnel diameter was chosen to prevent double decker train could ever run through the tunnels.  The only person claiming it was done for cost reasons is @RRT_Rules
djf01
Agree converting the ECRL and Bankstown lines adds to cost, not sure how much but I would have thought the ECRL wouldn't be that much.

Is the additional money just for NWRL or the entire Metro project to Bankstown?

Next question,
What is the long-term operating cost comparison?

O'Farrell: "the double deckers were a mistake"
Potentially correct.

Glad B/R Staples(I forget which, probably both): "we're building a new system that will be a break with the past"
Agree, at some point you have to stop building 60 year old technology with 21st century skin. Sydney is far from the first commuter network to do this.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Transtopic,
Appreciate the detailed post.

A few comments
- I distinctly remember that Phase 2 of the NWRL Metro project was part of the original project promotion. Yes there was no detail but it wasn't unknown. I remember because I argued this with Dad on same point. Obviously Phase 2 is not detailed engineered in parallel as Phase 1, but after.

- why did they just switch from DD to Metro "out of the blue"? Did they not want to keep with the past or did they want to move forward, potentially the lower operating costs was attractive? The SD rapid rail concept has been investigated numerous times over last 20 years, nothing new.

- Running the Metro to the end of the line is no different to running the DD. The former would certainly be cheaper but with Sydney growth, how long before the population catches up? Look what has happened to Chatswood in last 15 years!

-  Personally I would have preferred the NW line to run via Victoria Road as per the ALP proposal, not ECRL, no issue with connection via Beecroft. However that Project was so toxic from the ALP days I don't think anyone would have touched it. Additionally the govt was committed to start building a line to the far NW in the first 4 year election term as promised. To start from the city end would have seen a upfront $20B bill at a time the state revenues were good but not what they now are and not made the NW voters happy, but otherwise the ALP's original Inner to outer NW Metro would have been likely a better project if it could have been announced as a single project and funding committed too in one go.

I suppose the problem with coming into the city from the west is how to relieve traffic on the other lines into the city loop which is what will happen with the City Metro to Bankstown.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Transtopic,
Appreciate the detailed post.

A few comments
- I distinctly remember that Phase 2 of the NWRL Metro project was part of the original project promotion. Yes there was no detail but it wasn't unknown. I remember because I argued this with Dad on same point. Obviously Phase 2 is not detailed engineered in parallel as Phase 1, but after.

- why did they just switch from DD to Metro "out of the blue"? Did they not want to keep with the past or did they want to move forward, potentially the lower operating costs was attractive? The SD rapid rail concept has been investigated numerous times over last 20 years, nothing new.

- Running the Metro to the end of the line is no different to running the DD. The former would certainly be cheaper but with Sydney growth, how long before the population catches up? Look what has happened to Chatswood in last 15 years!

-  Personally I would have preferred the NW line to run via Victoria Road as per the ALP proposal, not ECRL, no issue with connection via Beecroft. However that Project was so toxic from the ALP days I don't think anyone would have touched it. Additionally the govt was committed to start building a line to the far NW in the first 4 year election term as promised. To start from the city end would have seen a upfront $20B bill at a time the state revenues were good but not what they now are and not made the NW voters happy, but otherwise the ALP's original Inner to outer NW Metro would have been likely a better project if it could have been announced as a single project and funding committed too in one go.

I suppose the problem with coming into the city from the west is how to relieve traffic on the other lines into the city loop which is what will happen with the City Metro to Bankstown.
RTT_Rules
It's getting late and I haven't got time to respond to you in detail, but I 'd like to refer you to a report prepared by the Tipping Point Institute on the Sydney Suburban Rail Service for the NSW Business Chamber in 2011.  Of particular interest is the overlay diagrams of Sydney's suburban rail network on metro and suburban rail systems in some of the world's major cities, including Melbourne. It's quite telling and demonstrates how metros typically service inner city regions within a relatively short distance of the CBD core.  Even the likes of Hong Kong's and Singapore's more recent metro systems easily fit within Sydney's inner core of suburbs. It's also illuminating to note how Sydney's suburban rail network closely mirrors that of the Paris RER, compared with the much smaller Paris Metro (in distance from the CBD).

[i]http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/NSWBC/media/Policy/Infrastructure/Recently%20published/Opportunities-for-improving-Sydney-s-suburban-rail-service-Sep-2011.pdf[/i]

Just on your reference to a "Phase 2" metro link for the NWRL by the Liberal Government, it was never in the public domain and was certainly "out of the blue" as far as the public was concerned.  It was never mentioned as an option in the original community consultation process.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It's getting late and I haven't got time to respond to you in detail, but I 'd like to refer you to a report prepared by the Tipping Point Institute on the Sydney Suburban Rail Service for the NSW Business Chamber in 2011.  Of particular interest is the overlay diagrams of Sydney's suburban rail network on metro and suburban rail systems in some of the world's major cities, including Melbourne. It's quite telling and demonstrates how metros typically service inner city regions within a relatively short distance of the CBD core.  Even the likes of Hong Kong's and Singapore's more recent metro systems easily fit within Sydney's inner core of suburbs. It's also illuminating to note how Sydney's suburban rail network closely mirrors that of the Paris RER, compared with the much smaller Paris Metro (in distance from the CBD).

[i]http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/NSWBC/media/Policy/Infrastructure/Recently%20published/Opportunities-for-improving-Sydney-s-suburban-rail-service-Sep-2011.pdf[/i]

Just on your reference to a "Phase 2" metro link for the NWRL by the Liberal Government, it was never in the public domain and was certainly "out of the blue" as far as the public was concerned.  It was never mentioned as an option in the original community consultation process.
Transtopic
Hi,
Again appreciate the info, although link doesn't work for me.

I did some digging
- The govt announced the NWRL as part of 2011 Election as DD just basically rebranding the former ALP proposal.

- Further studies identified that a line via Epping to Chatswood would see less than 50% continue their journey to the city. ie the line is not the typical Sydney suburban sweeper to the city.
(I thought originally St Leonards was proposed to be terminus which would probably push this above 60% and for me make more sense under original proposal).

- Proposed to have 6 trains an hour or more, but only 4 could continue to the city, today this would be less or eliminate the Lindfield and/or Gordon starters.

- Sometime before mid 2013 it publically rebranded as Metro.

- 2013 (wiki) states announcement of the City Metro mostly running on the back of the previously abandoned ALP MREP project. The similarities are too much to think it just magically appeared in early 2013 from out of the blue as a solution to solving the NWRL terminus at Chatswood.  

In 2006, both of these corridors (through the city) were protected with planning buffers to allow the option of future construction.[color=#0b0080][12][/color] Developers who want to excavate deeper than two metres within a 25-metre buffer zone of the corridors need to seek RailCorp's approval.

- Not sure exactly when but when Gladys was Transport minister the project was awarded excellence in community consultation. https://www.sydneymetro.info/article/nwrl-awarded-community-consultation.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

It's happening and already completed testing over 100km/h.

https://www.facebook.com/SydneyMetro/videos/vb.1398640573756914/2143717599249204/?type=2&theater&comment_id=2146373552316942&notif_t=comment_mention&notif_id=1534071906749312
simstrain
Who did all these videos? Seems like the team that did that ABC show 'UTOPIA'.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

... converting the ECRL and Bankstown lines adds to cost, not sure how much but ...
RTT_Rules

Obviously not (sure how much), because if you had you wouldn't be endlessly running your cost argument.

Edit: Sorry Shayne, a bit harsh
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
... converting the ECRL and Bankstown lines adds to cost, not sure how much but ...

Obviously not (sure how much), because if you had you wouldn't be endlessly running your cost argument.

Edit: Sorry Shayne, a bit harsh
djf01
Hi
My point is, they are following global practice, so the reasons must make sense or at least is not unusual.

Also shutting down lines to convert to automated has been done a few times, ie Paris on 2 of its Metro lines. Again if they are doing it and went through the pain of doing it, the reason must be strong.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Also shutting down lines to convert to automated has been done a few times, ie Paris on 2 of its Metro lines. Again if they are doing it and went through the pain of doing it, the reason must be strong.
RTT_Rules

Equally, the fact they didn't continue to accelerate a roll out of automation across the entire Paris Metro and RER could be interpreted as: with hindsight, the benefits didn't outweigh the costs as anticipated.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Also shutting down lines to convert to automated has been done a few times, ie Paris on 2 of its Metro lines. Again if they are doing it and went through the pain of doing it, the reason must be strong.

Equally, the fact they didn't continue to accelerate a roll out of automation across the entire Paris Metro and RER could be interpreted as: with hindsight, the benefits didn't outweigh the costs as anticipated.
djf01

Conversely maybe some political issues arose just like here in Sydney that stopped further roll out.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Also shutting down lines to convert to automated has been done a few times, ie Paris on 2 of its Metro lines. Again if they are doing it and went through the pain of doing it, the reason must be strong.

Equally, the fact they didn't continue to accelerate a roll out of automation across the entire Paris Metro and RER could be interpreted as: with hindsight, the benefits didn't outweigh the costs as anticipated.
djf01
I wouldn't say that if you have been there, dealing with 100 year old infrastructure and trains not that old, but still old.

http://www.urbantransport-technology.com/features/featureparis-metro-line-1-driverless-trains-ratp/

https://www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-articles/7238/the-automation-of-paris-subway-line-1-contributes-to-on-going-modernisation/

The later link goes into more detail, but basically Line 14 was built new automated.

Line 1 was converted and in doing so got new rolling stock with old going to Line 4.

The link goes into some detail on why Line 1 was chosen and you could probably take a punt and be right that other lines are too complicated to automate for various reasons and age of infrastructure being part of it.

There may (or may not) be other lines targeted for the future during rolling stock replacement.

Yes, minimal facts on why no more at this stage, but the direction in the industry is very clear. Build it new, build it automated!
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Hi,
Again appreciate the info, although link doesn't work for me.

I did some digging
- The govt announced the NWRL as part of 2011 Election as DD just basically rebranding the former ALP proposal.

- Further studies identified that a line via Epping to Chatswood would see less than 50% continue their journey to the city. ie the line is not the typical Sydney suburban sweeper to the city.
(I thought originally St Leonards was proposed to be terminus which would probably push this above 60% and for me make more sense under original proposal).

- Proposed to have 6 trains an hour or more, but only 4 could continue to the city, today this would be less or eliminate the Lindfield and/or Gordon starters.

- Sometime before mid 2013 it publically rebranded as Metro.

- 2013 (wiki) states announcement of the City Metro mostly running on the back of the previously abandoned ALP MREP project. The similarities are too much to think it just magically appeared in early 2013 from out of the blue as a solution to solving the NWRL terminus at Chatswood.  

In 2006, both of these corridors (through the city) were protected with planning buffers to allow the option of future construction.[color=#0b0080][12][/color] Developers who want to excavate deeper than two metres within a 25-metre buffer zone of the corridors need to seek RailCorp's approval.

- Not sure exactly when but when Gladys was Transport minister the project was awarded excellence in community consultation. https://www.sydneymetro.info/article/nwrl-awarded-community-consultation.
RTT_Rules
If you read, if you haven't already, Sandy Thomas' article "Fixing the Trains: 1855 revisited", for which I posted a link earlier, he gives a detailed history of the various proposals for the North West Rail Link and the behind the scenes machinations within the Government and bureaucracy. He has far more credibility than any of the spin coming out of the Government  I've never seen anything to refute his claims.  

The Liberal Government initially proposed the North West Rail Link as an extension of the ECRL from Epping to Rouse Hill (Cudgegong Rd).  The Project Overview and subsequent EIS made no reference whatsoever to the possibility of it operating as a stand alone metro.  Although some services would terminate at Chatswood in the peak, most would continue to the CBD via the existing North Shore Line.  The metro proposal came out a year later when Sydney's Rail Futures report was released, with the line terminating at Chatswood as it was incompatible with the existing network.  The new Overview Report and EIS was presented as a fait accompli and despite numerous criticisms of the new format, they were completely ignored.  My reference to "out of the blue" was in relation to the public's knowledge and input, not to what was going on behind closed doors in the Government and bureaucracy.

The Tipping Point Institute Report prepared on behalf of the NSW Business Chamber is also worth reading, because it challenges a lot of the ideas with regard to the appropriate use of metro and suburban rail systems in a contemporary environment, which you espouse.  If you can't get the link to work, then I suggest you log onto the NSW Business Chamber website where you can find the report.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi,
Again appreciate the info, although link doesn't work for me.

I did some digging
- The govt announced the NWRL as part of 2011 Election as DD just basically rebranding the former ALP proposal.

- Further studies identified that a line via Epping to Chatswood would see less than 50% continue their journey to the city. ie the line is not the typical Sydney suburban sweeper to the city.
(I thought originally St Leonards was proposed to be terminus which would probably push this above 60% and for me make more sense under original proposal).

- Proposed to have 6 trains an hour or more, but only 4 could continue to the city, today this would be less or eliminate the Lindfield and/or Gordon starters.

- Sometime before mid 2013 it publically rebranded as Metro.

- 2013 (wiki) states announcement of the City Metro mostly running on the back of the previously abandoned ALP MREP project. The similarities are too much to think it just magically appeared in early 2013 from out of the blue as a solution to solving the NWRL terminus at Chatswood.  

In 2006, both of these corridors (through the city) were protected with planning buffers to allow the option of future construction.[color=#0b0080][12][/color] Developers who want to excavate deeper than two metres within a 25-metre buffer zone of the corridors need to seek RailCorp's approval.

- Not sure exactly when but when Gladys was Transport minister the project was awarded excellence in community consultation. https://www.sydneymetro.info/article/nwrl-awarded-community-consultation.
If you read, if you haven't already, Sandy Thomas' article "Fixing the Trains: 1855 revisited", for which I posted a link earlier, he gives a detailed history of the various proposals for the North West Rail Link and the behind the scenes machinations within the Government and bureaucracy. He has far more credibility than any of the spin coming out of the Government  I've never seen anything to refute his claims.  

The Liberal Government initially proposed the North West Rail Link as an extension of the ECRL from Epping to Rouse Hill (Cudgegong Rd).  The Project Overview and subsequent EIS made no reference whatsoever to the possibility of it operating as a stand alone metro.  Although some services would terminate at Chatswood in the peak, most would continue to the CBD via the existing North Shore Line.  The metro proposal came out a year later when Sydney's Rail Futures report was released, with the line terminating at Chatswood as it was incompatible with the existing network.  The new Overview Report and EIS was presented as a fait accompli and despite numerous criticisms of the new format, they were completely ignored.  My reference to "out of the blue" was in relation to the public's knowledge and input, not to what was going on behind closed doors in the Government and bureaucracy.

The Tipping Point Institute Report prepared on behalf of the NSW Business Chamber is also worth reading, because it challenges a lot of the ideas with regard to the appropriate use of metro and suburban rail systems in a contemporary environment, which you espouse.  If you can't get the link to work, then I suggest you log onto the NSW Business Chamber website where you can find the report.
Transtopic
Hi,
Thanks

I posted the same on the proposed timetable above and said considering the timetable today, how do we think the NWRL if DD would fit into the lower NSL, likely answer it won't. Most services would terminate at Chatswood. In AM peak you would get maybe two and that involves taking the Gordon starter.

So this was a problem regardless if Metro or DD, another line to the city was always needed.

Having traveled quite extensively myself I do find it quite funny how the likes of Mytone etc try and define a train or give it a label based on some ideal. As per my previous comment eariler, this line's train type chosen is as suited as DD, Melbourne SD, Brisbane SD to the corridor. They all have some disadvantages and some advantages. The NWRL is also not a typical Sydney line, the average journey length is far shorter than the overall line length with high turn over along the line and it has 2 major other line interchanges. Overall the trains types more suited to this line are therefore likely to the chosen Metro and/or most of the Melbourne 3 door car trains which are both better suited to high turn over services over the Brisbane SD or Sydney DD.

Honestly there is far more to a successful commuter railway than the number of floors or even seats per car. Last I checked the surveys in Sydney and other state capitals of what people want from PT, neither of these are listed and nor is track gauge, power supply, driver vs driverless.

Like the rest of us here, I don't know how successful this new line will or won't be until its finished and running, but I can guarantee you one thing from my experience in Dubai, Vancouver and Singapore. The ability for pax to see forward and rear of the train through the end cars due to lack of drivers cab will be EXTREMELY popular. People will ride the train just for this alone, yes it happens elsewhere.

I'll try to access from home tomorrow.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I have stated on here many times that just extending the DD from epping to the north west would not actually provide any services to the north west in peak hour to/from the cbd at all. With no limitations like the rest of the network a single deck train that can run all the way in to the CBD is way more then capable of moving the amounts of people needed to the north west.

The city cbd core is lucky to get 18 trains an hour per line through it but once you spread out from there the line numbers diminish significantly. Liverpool gets 12 trains an hour across 2 lines. Parramatta gets about 20 but across 4 different lines (T2, T1 western, T1 richmond and BMT services. Bankstown currently gets 8 trains an hour and epping gets 8 suburban services via 2 different routes + about 4 Central coast and Newcastle services.

The metro will get up to 30 trains an hour throughout it's entire length and so the numbers are clearly in favour of the metro when it comes to a single line vs our current DD services.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
One of the biggest issues with the metro is that it's simply not right for the area it's going to serve - metro style trains are great for short trips, Sydney is a city with an significantly large urban sprawl, few are going to want to sit sideways or worse, stand, for a trip to the edge of the metropolitan area.

Also, the article mentions that the Hills District has a strong car culture, and the seating configuration limits people to what people use the train for, not everyone uses the train solely for the purpose of commuting to work, some use the train to go and do the shopping, and a lack of seats will discourage the use of the train, I certainly wouldn't want to use public transport if it involved standing for an extended period of time with heavy groceries. Because of reasons like this, the metro will not fix the car culture, I don't know much about the Hills District but I come from Newcastle/Lake Macquarie so I know what car culture is like and it's not a good thing, it makes employers less likely to hire someone if they don't have a car (which prevents them from being able to afford to own and drive a car) and can lead to people being more judgmental towards people without cars.

Thirdly, once the metro reaches Chatswood, it follows a route that runs parallel to the existing North Shore Line for the second harbour crossing, they should have taken the opportunity to have the rail line service areas previously not serviced by rail, such as Lane Cove, before going under the harbour and into Barangaroo and the city.

Another serious issue with the metro is the lack of compatibility with the existing heavy rail Sydney Trains network, because of this, existing lines need to be closed for 6 months to be converted to metro, which puts commuters onto buses, and potentially into their cars, making the much needed North West Rail Link an extension of the existing heavy rail network would have prevented this. Combined with the proposed extension of the South West Rail Link from Leppington to Badgerys Creek and St Marys, a compatible North West Rail Link would have allowed for trains to operate around a large loop from through the City, then Sydenham, Bankstown and Liverpool or Revesby, Glenfield, Leppington, Badgerys Creek, St Mary's, Scofields, Rouse Hill, Epping, Chatswood, and back to the city.

Speaking about Badgerys Creek, that's where metro style trains belong, the proposed airport, as well as Mascot airport, metro style trains should be shuttling passengers between Central and Sydenham/Wolli Creek via Mascot Airport, and between Parramatta and Liverpool/Glenfield via Badgerys Creek Airport. The single deck design with large floor space would prove beneficial on short trips to the airports as it would provide room for customers luggage.

But the worst issue of all is the economic impact which I will talk about below in my response to RTT_Rules , sadly, Australia is a nation with about one third of it's youth unemployed and almost a further 1 in 200 homeless, so a metro system that could potentially put more people out of work is a truly awful thing.



So what are the Anti-Metro campaigners actually afraid of? I suspect its not that the Metro line will be a failure, its actually that it will be an outstanding success and will encourage the govt to not just continue to build more Metro lines ie the Western Metro, but reclaim other DD lines in the process!
RTT_Rules
I'm not afraid that the metro will be success, but I am afraid that it will encourage the government to continue to build more metro lines, reclaiming other double deck lines (DD) in the process and but more people out of work, and onto Centrelink payments, as well as limiting what the train can be used for, providing long uncomfortable journeys and increasing car culture.

Think about it, people would have be employed to build and convert the line so people would probably see the metro as good for the economy at first, but once that's done, less people will be employed overall in the long run, with trains built in India operating autonomously on lines that were once served by Australian built trains (Waratah excluded) operated by a two person crew.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
One of the biggest issues with the metro is that it's simply not right for the area it's going to serve - metro style trains are great for short trips, Sydney is a city with an significantly large urban sprawl, few are going to want to sit sideways or worse, stand, for a trip to the edge of the metropolitan area.
Ethan1395
Why, what is so "not right"? I kept hearing this but what is so wrong?

Also, the article mentions that the Hills District has a strong car culture, and the seating configuration limits people to what people use the train for, not everyone uses the train solely for the purpose of commuting to work, some use the train to go and do the shopping, and a lack of seats will discourage the use of the train, I certainly wouldn't want to use public transport if it involved standing for an extended period of time with heavy groceries. Because of reasons like this, the metro will not fix the car culture, I don't know much about the Hills District but I come from Newcastle/Lake Macquarie so I know what car culture is like and it's not a good thing, it makes employers less likely to hire someone if they don't have a car (which prevents them from being able to afford to own and drive a car) and can lead to people being more judgmental towards people without cars
Ethan1395
Strong car culture because its the car or the bus.

If you look Sydney Train's own survey's, once you live more than 2km from the train, you don't use it for commuting. The data for Sydney is very clear, provide a railway, people use it. Don't, they drive!

Sydney Trains are predominating used for work and study, not doing the groceries.

The lack of seats is partly compensated by more trains per hour. Its also not supported by the existing network data which shows crush capacity on most lines in peak, nor is this supported elsewhere in the world.

Many on the NW already stand all the way into the city on a bus.

The NWRL rail pax data clearly indicates that the turnover on line is huge due to the junctions with north main, NSL and Macquarie park employment zone. If you join the train near the end of the line, you will get a seat, if you join the train further down, you will eventually get a seat. If you join the train at Chatswood to the City and there is no seat, big deal, you spent more time standing brushing your teeth than the trip to the city.

Sydney employers are less focused on how you get to work as they are more than likely on a bus, train or ferry themselves.

Thirdly, once the metro reaches Chatswood, it follows a route that runs parallel to the existing North Shore Line for the second harbour crossing, they should have taken the opportunity to have the rail line service areas previously not serviced by rail, such as Lane Cove, before going under the harbour and into Barangaroo and the city.
Ethan1395
Terrain! Lane cove is difficult to serve via rail, even one in tunnel, Lane Cove residents also protested previously for the ECRL forcing it underground at the river thus removing a station and increasing cost. Crows Nest is far more viable.

Another serious issue with the metro is the lack of compatibility with the existing heavy rail Sydney Trains network, because of this, existing lines need to be closed for 6 months to be converted to metro, which puts commuters onto buses, and potentially into their cars, making the much needed North West Rail Link an extension of the existing heavy rail network would have prevented this. Combined with the proposed extension of the South West Rail Link from Leppington to Badgerys Creek and St Marys, a compatible North West Rail Link would have allowed for trains to operate around a large loop from through the City, then Sydenham, Bankstown and Liverpool or Revesby, Glenfield, Leppington, Badgerys Creek, St Mary's, Scofields, Rouse Hill, Epping, Chatswood, and back to the city.
Ethan3195
Agree, Shutting the existing lines is going to be a pain and data shows from Gold Coast Commonwealth games when rail went to bus, people drove to other rail options. Longterm, the benefit will be more clear.

The NWRL or Bankstown Metro will never get to BC airport, regardless of train technology used nor would you want it too. Sydney is trying to untangle the network, not tangle it. SWRL extension and potentially one from St Mary's area is more viable.

But the worst issue of all is the economic impact which I will talk about below in my response to RTT_Rules , sadly, Australia is a nation with about one third of it's youth unemployed and almost a further 1 in 200 homeless, so a metro system that could potentially put more people out of work is a truly awful thing.
Ethan1395
How is building the Metro line going to put people out of work? What about all the people working on it now and those to operate it?

The official youth unemployment rate is ~12%, even allowing for govt cover-ups, its still not 1/3.

1:200 homeless, even during the mining boom this changed little. Again the Metro project if anything is creating jobs.


I'm not afraid that the metro will be success, but I am afraid that it will encourage the government to continue to build more metro lines, reclaiming other double deck lines (DD) in the process and but more people out of work, and onto Centrelink payments, as well as limiting what the train can be used for, providing long uncomfortable journeys and increasing car culture
Ethan1395
Its sucess will drive more Metro projects, both Sydney and elsewhere. Thats what we want more cheaper and cheaper to operate to build PT that means the govt has more money to build other stuff including PT.

Considering most likewise trains in the world run very full much of the time. The data to suggest a rise in car culture is not there.

Additionally it will not drive up unemployment no more than using an ATM of a bank teller, email over mail, removal of the guard in other cities, removal of the bus conductor, removal of the flight engineer on planes etc etc etc. Retaining onto jobs that technology has superseded has never been proven to improve employment rather opposite as it makes your systems more expensive and employers go elsewhere. Remember railways made the Pony Express and the horse/mull carting industry in general redundant.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

This bullcrap about it not being right for the job is a laugh. Most journey times on the metro will be significantly less then my 60 minute commute from liverpool. Oh and they will have a train every 4 minutes.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
This bullcrap about it not being right for the job is a laugh. Most journey times on the metro will be significantly less then my 60 minute commute from liverpool. Oh and they will have a train every 4 minutes.
simstrain
Most journey's on Metro will be less than 20-25min and this includes Bankstown end.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

I posted the same on the proposed timetable above and said considering the timetable today, how do we think the NWRL if DD would fit into the lower NSL, likely answer it won't. Most services would terminate at Chatswood. In AM peak you would get maybe two and that involves taking the Gordon starter.

So this was a problem regardless if Metro or DD, another line to the city was always needed.

Like the rest of us here, I don't know how successful this new line will or won't be until its finished and running, but I can guarantee you one thing from my experience in Dubai, Vancouver and Singapore. The ability for pax to see forward and rear of the train through the end cars due to lack of drivers cab will be EXTREMELY popular. People will ride the train just for this alone, yes it happens elsewhere.
RTT_Rules
Just for the record, the NWRL as an extension of the existing ECRL could have been accommodated on the Lower North Shore Line if the Upper Northern Line trains were diverted from the ECRL to the CBD via Strathfield, which is exactly what is about to happen in just over a month to allow the ECRL to be converted for metro operation.  

The ECRL currently has 6tph in the peak, with 2 services in the contra-peak direction.  At the time, the North Shore Line ran at 18tph in the peak, with 2 more available.  That would have potentially allowed a total of 6tph for through services to and from the CBD via the North Shore Line, with 2tph terminating at Chatswood.  That's a total of 8tph servicing the NWRL, which is all that would be needed in the early years, until such time as additional patronage warranted a second harbour rail crossing.  It would have had through services from day 1, without the interchange congestion at Chatswood.  Or it could have terminated all NWRL services at Chatswood, just like the metro is doing, and interchange to North Shore Line trains, but that wouldn't be necessary anyway if through services are possible.

In reality, 8tph (DD) on the NWRL would have been sufficient in the early stages of operation with the potential to run more if needed, terminating at Chatswood.  If as many commuters as predicted get off the train between Epping and Chatswood, then having a few trains terminating at Chatswood wouldn't be a problem.  Let's face it, the only reason they're running 15tph for the metro is to equate it to the number of seats on half the number of DD services.  The same applies for the Bankstown Line metro.  The total capacity of the SD metro, seated and standing, doesn't warrant that high a frequency, at least not for many years.  It's all about the seats, not the frequency or capacity and it seems a far from economical way of matching the DD stock seating capacity with double the number of trains.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and as you say, we won't know how successful it is until it's up and running.  We shall just have to wait and see.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Just for the record, the NWRL as an extension of the existing ECRL could have been accommodated on the Lower North Shore Line if the Upper Northern Line trains were diverted from the ECRL to the CBD via Strathfield, which is exactly what is about to happen in just over a month to allow the ECRL to be converted for metro operation.  

The ECRL currently has 6tph in the peak, with 2 services in the contra-peak direction.  At the time, the North Shore Line ran at 18tph in the peak, with 2 more available.  That would have potentially allowed a total of 6tph for through services to and from the CBD via the North Shore Line, with 2tph terminating at Chatswood.  That's a total of 8tph servicing the NWRL, which is all that would be needed in the early years, until such time as additional patronage warranted a second harbour rail crossing.  It would have had through services from day 1, without the interchange congestion at Chatswood.  Or it could have terminated all NWRL services at Chatswood, just like the metro is doing, and interchange to North Shore Line trains, but that wouldn't be necessary anyway if through services are possible.

In reality, 8tph (DD) on the NWRL would have been sufficient in the early stages of operation with the potential to run more if needed, terminating at Chatswood.  If as many commuters as predicted get off the train between Epping and Chatswood, then having a few trains terminating at Chatswood wouldn't be a problem.  Let's face it, the only reason they're running 15tph for the metro is to equate it to the number of seats on half the number of DD services.  The same applies for the Bankstown Line metro.  The total capacity of the SD metro, seated and standing, doesn't warrant that high a frequency, at least not for many years.  It's all about the seats, not the frequency or capacity and it seems a far from economical way of matching the DD stock seating capacity with double the number of trains.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and as you say, we won't know how successful it is until it's up and running.  We shall just have to wait and see.
Transtopic

The reason those trains are on the ecrl is because there is no more capacity through the cbd via strathfield. When the ecrl is being converted those upper northern line trains will be terminated at central which will be an inconvenience for those commuters. 20 trains per hour is really more of a theoretical peak as on every line through the cbd there is at most only 18 trains an hour because of overcrowding on trains and platforms results in extremely long dwell times.

Your comment about adding a second harbour crossing when needed is the problem with your thought process because in Sydney speak that means "never". The metro means that the job will get done because it has to get done.

There are only 4 train an hour in peak through the ecrl in the peak direction and normally throughout the day. More frequency is actually more economical because the SD trains are lighter and will spend less time at the platform providing a faster trip and the high frequency will drive patronage increase which you can see throughout Sydney regardless of transport mode. Where there is high frequency services there is high PT usage. Where there is low PT frequency there is low PT usage.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Just for the record, the NWRL as an extension of the existing ECRL could have been accommodated on the Lower North Shore Line if the Upper Northern Line trains were diverted from the ECRL to the CBD via Strathfield, which is exactly what is about to happen in just over a month to allow the ECRL to be converted for metro operation.  

The ECRL currently has 6tph in the peak, with 2 services in the contra-peak direction.  At the time, the North Shore Line ran at 18tph in the peak, with 2 more available.  That would have potentially allowed a total of 6tph for through services to and from the CBD via the North Shore Line, with 2tph terminating at Chatswood.  That's a total of 8tph servicing the NWRL, which is all that would be needed in the early years, until such time as additional patronage warranted a second harbour rail crossing.  It would have had through services from day 1, without the interchange congestion at Chatswood.  Or it could have terminated all NWRL services at Chatswood, just like the metro is doing, and interchange to North Shore Line trains, but that wouldn't be necessary anyway if through services are possible.

In reality, 8tph (DD) on the NWRL would have been sufficient in the early stages of operation with the potential to run more if needed, terminating at Chatswood.  If as many commuters as predicted get off the train between Epping and Chatswood, then having a few trains terminating at Chatswood wouldn't be a problem.  Let's face it, the only reason they're running 15tph for the metro is to equate it to the number of seats on half the number of DD services.  The same applies for the Bankstown Line metro.  The total capacity of the SD metro, seated and standing, doesn't warrant that high a frequency, at least not for many years.  It's all about the seats, not the frequency or capacity and it seems a far from economical way of matching the DD stock seating capacity with double the number of trains.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and as you say, we won't know how successful it is until it's up and running.  We shall just have to wait and see.
Transtopic
There is only 4 trains per hour on ECRL between 7:30 and 8:30 AM peak and these come from Hornsby.

The NWRL trains would have been in addition, but there is no capacity to do so and all would need to terminate at Chatswood.

But what could have happened is North Mainline continues to Sydney and terminate at Central as they will shortly do anyway via Straithfield and this would open 4 slots over the bridge.

The harbour crossing was needed regardless, would this have made more things tangled? ie upper shore line trains or CC starters jumping across to the new line, or just Northern Main and NWRL, total 12 trains an hour maybe? Anyway, this is one thing I did favour DD over Metro. But when would have been built?

The Metro to Chatswood forces the govt to finish the job to city ASAP and being cheaper its easier to do. It was always in plan, it had to happen. Build the NW line, you need the 2nd route to city. Just in the early 2010's, funding was finalised and it makes the NWRL which is itself one of NSW largest ever infrastructure projects look small.

The NWRL could be 4 maybe as much as 8 DD's per hour for many years to come. The Metro being smaller, shorter intially and automated means train frequency is world class. There are no non-clock face time tables, a bad legacy in much of the Sydney network (yes ECRL doesn't have), there are no 15 gaps between trains, dedicated line through the city or max of other branch. This is what Sydney would have today if the railway was built today.

As I've said before, once the City Metro is up and running, I hope they come back and build the Wollestonecraft/Waverton by-pass tunnel and cut 8-9min out of the North SHore line services. At 2km long, no stations, its not expensive and they can use the Northern Beach stub tunnels at North Sydney to minimise distribution on the NSL. The Northern Beach Line, if ever built but I'm sure it will one day will have its own harbour tunnel.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and as you say, we won't know how successful it is until it's up and running.  We shall just have to wait and see.
Transtopic

This might sound a bit odd, but I don't think the proof will be in the pudding at all.

One of my criticisms of the metro project is it's doing more cost shifting than cost reduction.  The new system will be significantly more efficient than the old - the old system will be slightly less efficient than it would have been if left untouched.

If this is observed, it could be used to support whatever position anyone takes now.

If the Metro were being built compatibly with the current format, and integrated into the legacy network:
  • the NWRL part wouldn't be quite as good (but swings and roundabouts, service more suitable for those at the far end)
  • the benefits would be distributed across the whole network, rather than confined to just the new 15% of it.

To my mind, this whole Metro fiasco is illustrative of why Sydney's rail system has so many efficiency issues: it's an accumulation of decisions like this (not necessarily right or wrong, but not fully thought through IMHO) coming from a flawed decision overly top down making process.

I'm not suggesting this will or should happen, but I would be unsurprised if in 40 years time the order to replace the ageing A sets will be for a new, universal double decker platform (ie with uncomfortably lower ceilings Smile).
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner


The reason those trains are on the ecrl is because there is no more capacity through the cbd via strathfield. When the ecrl is being converted those upper northern line trains will be terminated at central which will be an inconvenience for those commuters. 20 trains per hour is really more of a theoretical peak as on every line through the cbd there is at most only 18 trains an hour because of overcrowding on trains and platforms results in extremely long dwell times.

Your comment about adding a second harbour crossing when needed is the problem with your thought process because in Sydney speak that means "never". The metro means that the job will get done because it has to get done.

There are only 4 train an hour in peak through the ecrl in the peak direction and normally throughout the day. More frequency is actually more economical because the SD trains are lighter and will spend less time at the platform providing a faster trip and the high frequency will drive patronage increase which you can see throughout Sydney regardless of transport mode. Where there is high frequency services there is high PT usage. Where there is low PT frequency there is low PT usage.
simstrain
So!  In diverting the Upper Northern Line trains from the ECRL to Central via Strathfield, it's irrelevant whether the ECRL is used exclusively for DD trains from the North West if it were to be an extension of the existing network or the metro trains.  It's the same outcome as far as inconveniencing commuters from the north is concerned.  That will only be applicable in peak hours BTW.  I don't get your point.  

It's a fallacious argument to suggest that with regard to the second harbour crossing, "the metro means that the job will get done because it has to be done".  I've never heard such twaddle in all my life.  You could equally apply that argument to the need to meet the demand for patronage on an extended DD network.  What's the difference?  The government would be paying for it regardless.  At least a DD NWRL would allow for some through services to the CBD in the interim period, reducing interchange congestion at Chatswood and avoiding the disruption which is going to occur when the ECRL shuts down for conversion to metro.  I don't think the government has seriously given enough thought to cost to the community this disruption will cause.  The Bankstown Line shutdown is going to be even worse.

I perhaps didn't express myself clearly enough when referring to the current number of trains per hour on the ECRL.  What I meant to say was that there are 6tph in the contra-peak direction, which suggests that the line in isolation is capable of more than 4tph.  I don't know what the potential line frequency is in terms of a stand alone line, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't much higher.  In any event, it's not rocket science to boost the power supply to run more trains, as they no doubt will be doing for the metro.  The government keeps spruiking the lie that you can only run 4 DD tph on the ECRL (it's already running 6tph), conveniently ignoring the fact that it could run more services if they terminated at Chatswood or continued on to the CBD via a second harbour crossing.  I can see no reason why they couldn't also potentially run 15 DD tph, the same as the metro, whether just to Chatswood or through to the CBD via a second harbour crossing.  

Please don't bring up the argument about dwell times, as it would be irrelevant on a new line with modern station design.  With the limited number of stops over such a long distance and wider station spacing, the metro loses its advantage of its greater acceleration and deceleration with more frequent stops.  In essence, the Metro Northwest is a suburban railway using metro rolling stock, with half the seating compared with an equivalent number of DD services and without being compatible with the broader network.  It's never going to warrant 30tph.

However, we're stuck with it now and have to make the most of it.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.