Improving the cost efficiency of Sydney Trains operations

 
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

re "RTTrules"comment "...the problem with Sydney Trains is that they make no money ...   " True, but that applies to all suburban railways in Australia , and also in most ( not all ) OECD countries.

The reality is that Public Transport in Australia is subsided , as if run entirely for profit , the fares would, compared to current fares, be considered exhorbident, people who could would drive, people who could not drive would be reliant on a failing service and services in general would be cut back due to declining patronage.

As a broad generalisation, subsidy all up hovers around the 60% mark , which is roughly equivalent to the subsidy enjoyed by road transport. Fuel Tax and registration, all of which goes into general revenue , has not covered the cost of road transport since the late 1980s.

I remember when metropolitan bus services were not subsidised in Melbourne. If you think bus services in Melbourne are dire now , then let me assure you, you have no idea as to how dire a for profit bus service can be. Bus services over a day could be counted on one hand in many cases, the last bus, if you were lucky , was at 7pm, frequently earlier , and it was not unusual for the first bus to be 7am. Add to that , it was quite common for the last bus to depart as the train rolled into the station. Even at this poor level, Bus companies started to lose money, hence the reason for public subsidy of a private bus operator. ( And we won't go into the comfort level either, comparison with the back of an army lorry was not unkind. )

It should also be added that train fares historically, especially metropolitan train fares in Australia were generally significantly cheaper than in Europe, especially when compared to the UK. I have a lot of British friends who came here in the 1960s and even then train fares here were a quarter of those prevailing in the UK. ( Utility prices were similar, my Great Aunt from Cardiff paid per quarter (3 months) what my parents paid in a year for a family of 5 , and my Great Aunt lived alone ! )

To add to that I have friends who currently live in Chippenham, UK ( between Bristol and Paddington ) who assure me, much to my amazement, that it is currently just not possible to walk to the station and catch a train to London. You need to book in advance, pay a fare that is eyewatering by V/Line standards to be able to travel to London . Compare that to the ability, on most occasions , to be able to walk to a V/Line train and catch it to wherever you wish to go, and pay a fare not exceeding a maximum of $24-.

With all due respect RTTrules , it is highly unlikely any political party who wishes to be in, or remain in government in Australia will go over to a For Profit Only Public Transport service. If they did, I suspect that they could easily hold a quorum in a telephone box, providing they could find one.

Regards, Radioman.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Radioman

You have completely misunderstood my point and comments on the subsidy.

I said 65% for Sydney is too high and impending govt investment. Brisbane is worse at 75 to 80%.

I never said remove the subsidy.

I said it should be below 50% which is closelr to similar economies and density.

I said one of the benfits of the Metro is its more standard design, lower construction and operating costs is far more attractive to the govt to invext in.

The DD network is too costly in comparison and hence as the future for Sydney rail expansion is mostly underground, we have come to the end of the era for large scale DD roll out and the switch to a more world standard should be expected.

For the record, my local bus service was private and waited for the trains as listed in their timetable. Its called customer service.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
with perhaps intermediate termini at Homebush and Ashfield.
Transtopic
Inner West increase from 4 to 6 trains an hour from Homebush
RTT_Rules
The all stops locals would then all terminate at Homebush
simstrain
The locals would then be free for all stops services and 20 trains an hour to Homebush.
simstrain
Terminating at Homebush is part of one of the big problems with current Sydney Trains operations in my opinion, that problem being timetabling that assumes everyone is going to the city, this is a barrier to people using the train for leisure travel, shopping, and even working in places that are not the city, it is a problem that needs to be fixed.
The reason terminating at Homebush is an issue is because of the limited service further west, currently there are half hourly trains from Homebush to Parramatta so that is something, but prior to the new 2017 timetable, in order to just get from Homebush to Flemington (two adjacent stations), you had to catch two trains, that's ridiculous, and would certainly send people to their cars.

I understand that trains terminate at Homebush because the suburban tracks end there, but unless express services are going to stop at Homebush (which is unlikely), this needs to change.

I saw someone else recommend this and I would like to see it implemented, and that is turning arond all-stop locals at Carlingford, trains should run all stations from the City Circle to Clyde, and then all stations to Carlingford, as this would kill two birds with one stone, no more inconveniently terminating at Homebush, and no more inefficient Carlingford shuttle. The difficulties with this though would be having to extend the suburban tracks to Clyde, at which point, and then having to construct a flyover to get the trains over the western mains to the Carlingford Line.

While Ethan is concerned about the loss of the roles of Driver and/or guard will have a major impact on Sydney's unemployment, the reality is that every industry has always been reducing its manning per unit of output and to object is living with your head in the sand. Reduced costs means customers and/or employers have more money to spend on other things/activities and hence sustain the employment levels. Remember Sydney trains was formerly operated which much higher manning levels than today moving less people in the past. The very move to DD was to negate the need for more drivers and guards for the same number of passengers. I think poor Ethan would be shocked to see how many roles have been automated in the back rooms of Sydney Trains over last 20-30 years. Certainly the gone were the manual track gangs of old I used to see.
RTT_Rules
Yes it's true that every industry is reducing employees to reduce costs, and I'd say it's living with your head in the sand to think it's okay and just assume that all the redundant drivers and guards are going to be able to find work elsewhere.
Of course I know that many roles have been automated over the decades, and in the perfect world, moderate automation would be able to co-exist with a sustainable employment level where everyone who wants a job can get one, but that's not what I see nowadays, a lot of companies are cutting staff to reduce costs and work is hard to come by.

Anyway, Sydney Trains currently runs 8 carriage trains between Lidcombe and Olympic Park on a 5 minute shuttle service on a late Sunday night, so this thread is about how to cut costs and reduce subsidy percentage to below 50% without going down the staff cut routes.

While I'm sure in peak Sydney Train's balance sheet looks more favorable off-peak especially late at night running high capacity trains lightly loaded must be far less viable. Hence could a small number of smaller say 4 car sets be purchased that are designed and operated only for light loads in off-peak shuttles.

For example
- Sutherland to Cronulla and Sutherland to Waterfall shuttles with the 8 car sets only running as far as Sutherland.

The night trains would be better designed for night running, ie improved security, no locked away guard, toilets etc.
RTT_Rules
Would it be practical to have the 8 carriage train divide at Sutherland and have a 4 carriage set from the divided train go to Waterfall and Cronulla rather than a shuttle?

Build new rolling stock that can be easily divided into shorter sets

No, terrible idea as its cheaper to have fixed 8 car sets. Most of the money in a trainset is spent on the the driving cabs as these are the most complicated and important areas. Computers, couplers, crash protection, lights etc are all here. I could write a full essay of why its better for sydney trains to have fixed 8 car sets.
Ethan1395
Cheaper initially maybe, but overtime, will it be cheaper when you have to do all the extra maintenance on carriages that run empty late at night?

Signage to encourage passengers to spread out along the platform to reduce dwell time

Agree with, and is already done to a certain extent, along with platform announcements.
Ethan1395
I'm thinking signs along the platforms showing what carriage will be closest to the exit where they get off, for example, at someone travelling from Central Bankstown would be best off boarding at the southern end of the platform, and if they are travelling to Revesby, the nothern end of the platform. Signs should point things like this out and hopefully encourage people to spread out based on where they are getting off, this would benefit commuters not having to walk the length of the platform when they get off, and benefit everyone on the platform trying to cram in through one door, and benefit the network as a whole by lowering dwell times.

I said one of the benfits of the Metro is its more standard design, lower construction and operating costs is far more attractive to the govt to invext in.

The DD network is too costly in comparison and hence as the future for Sydney rail expansion is mostly underground, we have come to the end of the era for large scale DD roll out and the switch to a more world standard should be expected.
RTT_Rules
The problem with the switch to a 'world standard' is that Sydney is not like other cities in the world, it has a large urban sprawl and low density in many areas, possibly due to the Australian dream of the big backyard, Sydney keeps expanding outwards with housing estates, and this means longer travel times between destinations, compared to the dense cities around the world where metro style rail currently operates.

If the double deck trains are the issue, I would be open to single deck trains that are compatible with the existing network and infrastructure, as long as they have enough forward facing seats though, and are staffed with driver and gaurd, to reduce dwell time they could have 2x2 seating (people tend to avoid the middle seat anyway) with slightly wider seats and a wider aisle to get people on and off quicker. The big issue with such a train though is that it would probably have to run at 3-4 times the current frequency of the double deck trains in peak to provide enough seats for everyone. What's your opinion on such a train? would it take the advantages of the metro, without the disadvantages?

Which actually brings up another point about efficiency since we are talking about low dwell times:

  • Provide level train access at all stations
    Although extending platforms to accommodate longer trains at all stations is not practical with island and underground platforms. It would be possible to make sure all station platforms are level with the train floor and are as close to the train as possible, this would allow for shorter dwell times when wheelchair access is required, and also benefit anyone who may have issues with large gaps such as the elderly.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Terminating at Homebush is part of one of the big problems with current Sydney Trains operations in my opinion, that problem being timetabling that assumes everyone is going to the city, this is a barrier to people using the train for leisure travel, shopping, and even working in places that are not the city, it is a problem that needs to be fixed.
The reason terminating at Homebush is an issue is because of the limited service further west, currently there are half hourly trains from Homebush to Parramatta so that is something, but prior to the new 2017 timetable, in order to just get from Homebush to Flemington (two adjacent stations), you had to catch two trains, that's ridiculous, and would certainly send people to their cars.

I understand that trains terminate at Homebush because the suburban tracks end there, but unless express services are going to stop at Homebush (which is unlikely), this needs to change.

I saw someone else recommend this and I would like to see it implemented, and that is turning arond all-stop locals at Carlingford, trains should run all stations from the City Circle to Clyde, and then all stations to Carlingford, as this would kill two birds with one stone, no more inconveniently terminating at Homebush, and no more inefficient Carlingford shuttle. The difficulties with this though would be having to extend the suburban tracks to Clyde, at which point, and then having to construct a flyover to get the trains over the western mains to the Carlingford Line.
Ethan1395

There are plenty of services further west of Homebush and the tracks don't end at Homebush. Homebush has a turnback platform that allows a train to terminate without interfering with trains in either direction unlike what currently happens with the T2 Parramatta services. The problem with Homebush is the confliction between all stop and limited stop services as 6 tracks diverge into 4 tracks.

What currently happens in peak hour is that there are no longer any homebush terminators but leppington and parramatta services doing a mixture of stops. Flemington and Homebush now get 8 trains an hour in peak hour connecting them on T2 services. Parramatta and homebush actually have 4 services an hour in peak hour and 2 outside of peak.

Forget about the Carlingford line as that will be converted to light rail very soon and ironically the carlingford shuttle is actually extremely efficient as it doesn't interfere with other services. Sydney trains actually has 3 services that aren't CBD centric in Olympic Park, Carlingford and the Cumberland lines.

Turning around the all stops locals at Carlingford is the most moronic suggestion ever. It would require a slow all stops service running across the express western line tracks and would most certainly reduce capacity of the western line.
  darcyj Chief Train Controller

Lots in this thread. I’ve only just skimmed it for the first time so forgive me if I cover old ground or appear to show some misunderstanding of any stated position/suggestion/theory.

In the original post there is a suggestion to run shorter consists, the rationale being that these would be more economical to run (possibly true) and safer for the passengers (not quantifiable). I have to counter this idea by saying that it would cost more to run trains that way. During peak running, all trains should be 8 cars to maximise capacity, and I think we would all agree on that. The time and expense of running trains into yards, dividing them, and later running them back and amalgamating them, would negate any savings in electricity. For every 8 car train that was (for example) shunted empty into Eveleigh and divided, you are adding 30 minutes each for the driver and guard. Another addition of crew costs when the short sets return to a siding to be amalgamated. No, the divisions and amalgamations should not be done at platforms at stations, and this is only done at Sydney Terminal by specialist shunters and with an endless loop announcement for the customers to stand clear. And that is a controlled environment - forget about doing it on a running line.

The capacity of the city underground is discussed, and I am not entirely certain where this impacts on cost efficiency, as any increase in the number of trains running means more crew and more electricity. Nevertheless, if you want to talk about capacity, then talk about the signalling system and the separation of trains. 20tph is the timetabled capacity, which means 5 trains at a time on the City Inner or City Outer.  If they are closer together, the signals restrict to mediums and cautions, and cautions can only be safely passed at less than 25kph. So increasing the throughput to more than 20tph means that they all slow down below the track speed of 40kph.

I had to go back and fix the last paragraph because it got cut off. Now I can’t remember everything else I wrote Sad
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Anyone interested in this topic might be interested in a piece I wrote and posted here on Railpage about 10 years ago on this very topic: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11355278.htm

It's been a while since I've read a RailCorp annual report, but I would be surprised - and pleased - if Sydney Trains was achieving a 35% cost recovery.  I hope that is right.

35% is not such a bad result for a rail system like Sydney's.  ~50% is IMHO achievable and would be an outstanding result.  

There are rail PT systems with higher cost recovery ratios in the world, but they are things like the HK MTR or in Singapore, where the densities and ridership are higher while the route lengths are multiple times shorter.

A point worth noting:  Sector 1 (T4) has a good 25-30% better cost recovery ratio than sector 2.  Yet it's the same rolling stock, crewing practices, operational procedures etc.  It's primarily the effect of the "metro like" ESR.  Short route, high densities.  But it's also that it services only 3 (Hurstville, Waterfall, Cronulla) relatively short routes.  Higher frequency services, more bums on seats, and less distance to cover so less total cost.  The routes, rather than the type of trains, impacts most on the cost recovery.
  Matthew Train Controller

The time and expense of running trains into yards, dividing them, and later running them back and amalgamating them, would negate any savings in electricity. For every 8 car train that was (for example) shunted empty into Eveleigh and divided, you are adding 30 minutes each for the driver and guard. Another addition of crew costs when the short sets return to a siding to be amalgamated. No, the divisions and amalgamations should not be done at platforms at stations, and this is only done at Sydney Terminal by specialist shunters and with an endless loop announcement for the customers to stand clear. And that is a controlled environment - forget about doing it on a running line.
darcyj


I have personally observed in multiple countries - trains amalgamating and diving on platforms on the main lines with passengers on board and only drivers operating the train, no 'specialist' shunters required.

I don't know why people think it's impossible to do without specialist shunters or on platforms here.

To couple, the driver just presses a button to 'arm' the coupler and just drives into the back of the other train. The couplers engage automatically, the electrical heads couple and the driver of the trailing set then shuts down his can and leaves. In due course the coupled set leaves.

Uncoupling a driver enters the cab of the set to remain and presses the uncouple button. CLUNK, it's now two trains.

Once in Holland we misunderstood the platform indicators and in train displays on a double deck VIRM and ended up in the wrong city when the train divided enroute. First, we knew of it was when the front half the train drove off without us. Then we noticed the on train PID screens had changed. (If we had been able to read Dutch we may have got on to this much earlier!)


Tangara trains were built to allow driver only coupling and uncoupling and were operated as such for a while with diagrams that required 'field' splits and amalgamations. The practice stopped as a 'reliability' measure after many delays caused by coupling failures. It also meant that S sets couldn't be subbed into a Tangara diagram if that set was required to divide or amalgamate later in the shift. So they just made every diagram an 8 car set.


Even if we adopted just a few world 'best practice' things into our operation instead of 'it will never work here' approach.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE


I have personally observed in multiple countries - trains amalgamating and diving on platforms on the main lines with passengers on board and only drivers operating the train, no 'specialist' shunters required.

I don't know why people think it's impossible to do without specialist shunters or on platforms here.

To couple, the driver just presses a button to 'arm' the coupler and just drives into the back of the other train. The couplers engage automatically, the electrical heads couple and the driver of the trailing set then shuts down his can and leaves. In due course the coupled set leaves.

Uncoupling a driver enters the cab of the set to remain and presses the uncouple button. CLUNK, it's now two trains.

Once in Holland we misunderstood the platform indicators and in train displays on a double deck VIRM and ended up in the wrong city when the train divided enroute. First, we knew of it was when the front half the train drove off without us. Then we noticed the on train PID screens had changed. (If we had been able to read Dutch we may have got on to this much earlier!)


Tangara trains were built to allow driver only coupling and uncoupling and were operated as such for a while with diagrams that required 'field' splits and amalgamations. The practice stopped as a 'reliability' measure after many delays caused by coupling failures. It also meant that S sets couldn't be subbed into a Tangara diagram if that set was required to divide or amalgamate later in the shift. So they just made every diagram an 8 car set.


Even if we adopted just a few world 'best practice' things into our operation instead of 'it will never work here' approach.
Matthew
Totally agree Mathew, a few questions need to be asked.

Below is the S-bahn network map for Munich.
If you look at S1, the blue line at the top it has a branch to both the airport and Freising. Now, I've caught the S1 in both directions, once in quieter midday and return to airport in peak (standing only). In both directions the 3 car + 3 car EMU set split or joined at the platform at Neufahm because the capacity on each line didn't warrant a 6 car train and the core in the inner city is a train every 2min (or less), so no room for more trains.

So for me the question is simple,
Why can the German's do this as routine at the platform all day long and the Aussies cannot manage it without trotting off back to the yard burning money on the way???

If the coupling technology is different or not suited, then change it!

How does this apply to Sydney?

If we look at say the Cronulla and Waterfall lines, during peak, ok no change. But for the other 12h or so of operation during the week and weekend, why not have trains split at Sutherland headed south into 2 x 4 car sets and then join in reverse, thus improving the time table frequency? To take this a step further each 4 car set could then be DOO for its respective branch. Thus improving frequency at lower costs.

8 car train, two man crews, 4 car train over a short section of line, one man crew, Simple! Passengers and the taxpayers win. Crew do no more than the DOO Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth trains.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The difference is that there is no service that would split in Sydney. If you split a train in half one would be running services while the other would need to be moved into a stabling facility which is what darcyj is talking about. In any case all new trains have regenerative braking and I personally don't believe electricity is the main issue in any case.

The waratahs at 8 carriage lengths are actually quite good in peak hour since most people wait in the middle of the platform to get on a train and the waratahs have a significant amount of extra space in the middle of the train for seating and standing due to not having a drivers compartment in the centre. They can also shut down lighting and AC in certain carriages at night to reduce power usage.

The main issue on cost recovery is that the Sydney trains system is too complicated and can't operate enough services to make it to 50% recovery. cbd relief would allow an up tick in services in addition to simplifying the network to some degree. The Sydney system has a lot of points and crosses to maintain because of this convoluted network which also adds to the maintenance cost.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The difference is that there is no service that would split in Sydney. If you split a train in half one would be running services while the other would need to be moved into a stabling facility which is what darcyj is talking about. In any case all new trains have regenerative braking and I personally don't believe electricity is the main issue in any case.

The waratahs at 8 carriage lengths are actually quite good in peak hour since most people wait in the middle of the platform to get on a train and the waratahs have a significant amount of extra space in the middle of the train for seating and standing due to not having a drivers compartment in the centre. They can also shut down lighting and AC in certain carriages at night to reduce power usage.
simstrain
Why wouldn't a service split? Sydney has a number of locations where off-peak trains could split to service two branches at high frequencies. The Central coast line split trains at Gosford for years as it was the smartest way to service the line further north with both an express and all stopper and prevent wasting money hauling a 10 car train to Newcastle that wasn't needed.

Additionally, does it cost nothing to drag around 180t of train (4 cars) all night? I wonder how much Railcorp would charge me to run a 4 car set with my own crew for 8h at night?

Comments saying "the need to run into a depo" are basically a smoke screen for an underlying issue with the network.

Regen braking is good for about 30% of total energy needs!  

As I said before, the German's can do it on a major service, whats wrong with Australia?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

4 of the 8 Bankstown line trains removed from HR are ex-Liverpool, and will likely need to be re-routed rather than removed.
Add the 4 upper northern line trains back to the south side, and there are in essence no net benefits (in terms of train capacity) of the new metro, which has been one of my main criticisms.

djf01
Of the 4 from Liverpool, do all four need to continue? The service collects at half the stations on the Bankstown line, so perhaps 2 or maybe 3 may need to run.

Nth Main, agree, unless they are going to use the interurban lines to Central as they have spare capacity, only Central Terminal yard I understand was a bottle neck, but the layout of the yard is grossly outdated and needs a rebuild anyway. Will this be undertaken for this project? No idea.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The difference is that there is no service that would split in Sydney. If you split a train in half one would be running services while the other would need to be moved into a stabling facility which is what darcyj is talking about. In any case all new trains have regenerative braking and I personally don't believe electricity is the main issue in any case.

The waratahs at 8 carriage lengths are actually quite good in peak hour since most people wait in the middle of the platform to get on a train and the waratahs have a significant amount of extra space in the middle of the train for seating and standing due to not having a drivers compartment in the centre. They can also shut down lighting and AC in certain carriages at night to reduce power usage.
Why wouldn't a service split? Sydney has a number of locations where off-peak trains could split to service two branches at high frequencies. The Central coast line split trains at Gosford for years as it was the smartest way to service the line further north with both an express and all stopper and prevent wasting money hauling a 10 car train to Newcastle that wasn't needed.

Additionally, does it cost nothing to drag around 180t of train (4 cars) all night? I wonder how much Railcorp would charge me to run a 4 car set with my own crew for 8h at night?

Comments saying "the need to run into a depo" are basically a smoke screen for an underlying issue with the network.

Regen braking is good for about 30% of total energy needs!  

As I said before, the German's can do it on a major service, whats wrong with Australia?
RTT_Rules

Last time I checked the Waratah doesn't service the Central coast. Trains still split at gosford in any case but we are talking suburban trains and not intercity. Trains are that busy in Sydney now that there is only a small period where 8 cars are not needed any more and so why split the ones that can be split.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


4 of the 8 Bankstown line trains removed from HR are ex-Liverpool, and will likely need to be re-routed rather than removed.
Add the 4 upper northern line trains back to the south side, and there are in essence no net benefits (in terms of train capacity) of the new metro, which has been one of my main criticisms.
Of the 4 from Liverpool, do all four need to continue? The service collects at half the stations on the Bankstown line, so perhaps 2 or maybe 3 may need to run.

Nth Main, agree, unless they are going to use the interurban lines to Central as they have spare capacity, only Central Terminal yard I understand was a bottle neck, but the layout of the yard is grossly outdated and needs a rebuild anyway. Will this be undertaken for this project? No idea.
RTT_Rules

There is no capacity on the network for them to be re routed any where DJF. From what I understand there will be shuttles from liverpool and lidcombe to bankstown with a change to metro.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner


Last time I checked the Waratah doesn't service the Central coast. Trains still split at gosford in any case but we are talking suburban trains and not intercity. Trains are that busy in Sydney now that there is only a small period where 8 cars are not needed any more and so why split the ones that can be split.
simstrain
Indeed, and as the suburban fleet based on the Waratahs in indivisible 8 car sets continues to expand, there will be less likelihood of trains splitting.  The new Intercity trains are a different matter.  They will be in 4 and 6 car sets with the potential to run as 8 and 10 car sets, the latter being nominally the same length as an 8 car V-set.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner


4 of the 8 Bankstown line trains removed from HR are ex-Liverpool, and will likely need to be re-routed rather than removed.
Add the 4 upper northern line trains back to the south side, and there are in essence no net benefits (in terms of train capacity) of the new metro, which has been one of my main criticisms.
Of the 4 from Liverpool, do all four need to continue? The service collects at half the stations on the Bankstown line, so perhaps 2 or maybe 3 may need to run.

Nth Main, agree, unless they are going to use the interurban lines to Central as they have spare capacity, only Central Terminal yard I understand was a bottle neck, but the layout of the yard is grossly outdated and needs a rebuild anyway. Will this be undertaken for this project? No idea.
There is no capacity on the network for them to be re routed any where DJF. From what I understand there will be shuttles from liverpool and lidcombe to bankstown with a change to metro.
simstrain
That's correct.  Although I've never supported conversion of the Bankstown Line to metro, as it's now a fait accompli, it would have been better if they'd followed through with the original plan to continue the metro conversion to Lidcombe and Cabramatta, with an additional link continuing to Liverpool, so that they would have a continuous journey to the CBD.  I guess that is still an option.  There's no guarantee that a more direct metro link from Bankstown to Liverpool will ever be built.

I think Liverpool and the stations in between to Lidcombe and Bankstown are the losers in the current metro conversion scenario, as they will have to interchange to the metro at Bankstown to continue their journeys into the CBD.  I know that many of the metro protagonists assert that commuters will just have to get used to the need to interchange to complete their journeys to the CBD, but I suggest they're being naïve if they think that commuters will just cop it.  They won't!  

Liverpool to Cabramatta commuters who want to avoid interchange will now have only one continuous route to the CBD via the longer route through Granville, which isn't exactly going to be attractive.  The reinstatement of the more direct Liverpool via Regents Park service would have been an acceptable alternative, but there's no room for it without further amplification between at least Lidcombe and Homebush and in the longer term from Parramatta to the CBD.  This is in Luke Foley's electorate and if Labor wins the next State Election, he may have something to say about it.  

Just BTW, in response to Shayne's (RTT_Rules) post, the diverted trains from the Northern Line after shutdown of the ECRL will use the Main tracks from Strathfield to Central in peak hours. It's another example of how the incompatible metro conversion has compromised Sydney Trains' operations.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

There is no capacity on the network for them to be re routed any where DJF. From what I understand there will be shuttles from liverpool and lidcombe to bankstown with a change to metro.
simstrain

Yes, there is.  ATM there are 6 ex Liverpool services run through the Bankstown line to Central in the morning AM peak hr (it was only 4 last time I looked at a timetable), 4 of which run around the circle anti-clockwise.  There has to be 4 empty slots on the inner west for those services to occupy when they get to the flying junctions.

IMHO the probably operating practice post Metro is those 4 will run via Granville or via Regents Park instead.

I's not re-routing them to any unused capacity, it's re-routing them into the *same* capacity they use now.  Hence, these are not slots freed up by the Metro.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

There is no capacity on the network for them to be re routed any where DJF. From what I understand there will be shuttles from liverpool and lidcombe to bankstown with a change to metro.

Yes, there is.  ATM there are 6 ex Liverpool services run through the Bankstown line to Central in the morning AM peak hr (it was only 4 last time I looked at a timetable), 4 of which run around the circle anti-clockwise.  There has to be 4 empty slots on the inner west for those services to occupy when they get to the flying junctions.

IMHO the probably operating practice post Metro is those 4 will run via Granville or via Regents Park instead.

I's not re-routing them to any unused capacity, it's re-routing them into the *same* capacity they use now.  Hence, these are not slots freed up by the Metro.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There is no capacity on the network for them to be re routed any where DJF. From what I understand there will be shuttles from liverpool and lidcombe to bankstown with a change to metro.

Yes, there is.  ATM there are 6 ex Liverpool services run through the Bankstown line to Central in the morning AM peak hr (it was only 4 last time I looked at a timetable), 4 of which run around the circle anti-clockwise.  There has to be 4 empty slots on the inner west for those services to occupy when they get to the flying junctions.

IMHO the probably operating practice post Metro is those 4 will run via Granville or via Regents Park instead.

I's not re-routing them to any unused capacity, it's re-routing them into the *same* capacity they use now.  Hence, these are not slots freed up by the Metro.
djf01

There isn't any empty slots on the inner west or else there would be more services on the inner west as it is. 12 trains an hour is all that can run on the inner west with all of the stopping patterns. Regents park services are not returning any time soon.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Terminating at Homebush is part of one of the big problems with current Sydney Trains operations in my opinion, that problem being timetabling that assumes everyone is going to the city, this is a barrier to people using the train for leisure travel, shopping, and even working in places that are not the city, it is a problem that needs to be fixed. The reason terminating at Homebush is an issue is because of the limited service further west, currently there are half hourly trains from Homebush to Parramatta so that is something, but prior to the new 2017 timetable, in order to just get from Homebush to Flemington (two adjacent stations), you had to catch two trains, that's ridiculous, and would certainly send people to their cars.

I understand that trains terminate at Homebush because the suburban tracks end there, but unless express services are going to stop at Homebush (which is unlikely), this needs to change.

I saw someone else recommend this and I would like to see it implemented, and that is turning arond all-stop locals at Carlingford, trains should run all stations from the City Circle to Clyde, and then all stations to Carlingford, as this would kill two birds with one stone, no more inconveniently terminating at Homebush, and no more inefficient Carlingford shuttle. The difficulties with this though would be having to extend the suburban tracks to Clyde, at which point, and then having to construct a flyover to get the trains over the western mains to the Carlingford Line.
There are plenty of services further west of Homebush and the tracks don't end at Homebush. Homebush has a turnback platform that allows a train to terminate without interfering with trains in either direction unlike what currently happens with the T2 Parramatta services. The problem with Homebush is the confliction between all stop and limited stop services as 6 tracks diverge into 4 tracks.

What currently happens in peak hour is that there are no longer any homebush terminators but leppington and parramatta services doing a mixture of stops. Flemington and Homebush now get 8 trains an hour in peak hour connecting them on T2 services. Parramatta and homebush actually have 4 services an hour in peak hour and 2 outside of peak.

Forget about the Carlingford line as that will be converted to light rail very soon and ironically the carlingford shuttle is actually extremely efficient as it doesn't interfere with other services. Sydney trains actually has 3 services that aren't CBD centric in Olympic Park, Carlingford and the Cumberland lines.

Turning around the all stops locals at Carlingford is the most moronic suggestion ever. It would require a slow all stops service running across the express western line tracks and would most certainly reduce capacity of the western line.
simstrain
When I said the tracks end, I meant the fact that the 6 tracks diverge into 4 tracks, which is why trains inconveniently terminate at Homebush. I didn't know that there were no longer any Homebush terminators during peak, and it's good to know now.

I mentioned that the six tracks would need to be extended to Clyde and have a flyover be constructed to connect the local Inner West trains to the Carlingford Line, doing it now under current infrastructure would not work at all.

The Carlingford Line is inefficient because it's low patronage and low frequency (they should have kept the half hourly frequency), and the fact that it's a shuttle from nowhere to nowhere, and Carlingford to Parramatta is a 3 train journey.

The Olympic Park Line is simply the definition if inefficiency, thankfully on weekdays outside of special events, it's now a 4 carriage service, but the weekend Olympic Parks services at done by Waratahs, meaning 8 carriages, that's an 8 carriage train operating a 5 minute shuttle service between two stations, at a 10 minute frequency, on a late Sunday night - inefficient! a flyover or a dive should be constructed to have Lidcombe via Bankstown services turn around via Olympic Park rather than sitting at Lidcombe with 16 doors open straining the air-conditioning and chewing up electricity rather than moving passengers.

If we look at say the Cronulla and Waterfall lines, during peak, ok no change. But for the other 12h or so of operation during the week and weekend, why not have trains split at Sutherland headed south into 2 x 4 car sets and then join in reverse, thus improving the time table frequency? To take this a step further each 4 car set could then be DOO for its respective branch. Thus improving frequency at lower costs.

8 car train, two man crews, 4 car train over a short section of line, one man crew, Simple! Passengers and the taxpayers win. Crew do no more than the DOO Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth trains.
RTT_Rules
We may bicker over the Metro but at least we can agree on train length, I'm against the Driver Only Operation (DOO) though for the simple reason that the government is always cutting jobs and rarley creating them, but from a practicial standpoint, Sutherland to Cronulla/Waterfall is an ideal place for DOO on a 4 carriage train as the platforms are reasonably straight.

Other examples could include Bankstown Line trains dividing at Birrong and 4 carriages heading to Liverpool (or beyond to improve connectivity?) and Lidcombe (actually, Olympic Park for efficiency), Richmond Line services could split at Blacktown with 4 carriages stabling in the sidings just near the station and rejoining the train on it's return to the city.

The difference is that there is no service that would split in Sydney. If you split a train in half one would be running services while the other would need to be moved into a stabling facility which is what darcyj is talking about. In any case all new trains have regenerative braking and I personally don't believe electricity is the main issue in any case.

The waratahs at 8 carriage lengths are actually quite good in peak hour since most people wait in the middle of the platform to get on a train and the waratahs have a significant amount of extra space in the middle of the train for seating and standing due to not having a drivers compartment in the centre. They can also shut down lighting and AC in certain carriages at night to reduce power usage.

The main issue on cost recovery is that the Sydney trains system is too complicated and can't operate enough services to make it to 50% recovery. cbd relief would allow an up tick in services in addition to simplifying the network to some degree. The Sydney system has a lot of points and crosses to maintain because of this convoluted network which also adds to the maintenance cost.
simstrain

It's not just electricity, running empty carraiges on 8 carriage late night services causes unnecessary wear and tear on the carriages and causes the need for extra cleaning and maintenance.

Signage should be put on platforms to encourage people wait closest to the carriage which will be closest to the exist when the get off the train.

If Sydney Trains can't currently operate enough services to make it to 50% recovery, why not improve connections to encourage people to use the train to get to destinations other than the city and for purposes other than work/study to improve patronage off-peak? Examples of this include:
  • Have all stations T4 Illawarra services stop at Erskineville and St Peters - if you want to travel from Bardwell Park to St Peters to go to Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre, you have to catch 3 trains over a short distance, most people won't bother with that - they will drive.
  • Shorten connection times between express and local all stations at Revesby for T8 Airport & South services and consider terminating the locals at East Hills again - if you want to travel from East Hills to Riverwood to shop at Aldi, you are going to have a 10-12 minute wait at Revesby, 15 minutes on weekends if it's not cross-platform, once again, most people won't bother with that - they will drive.
  • Make sure all suburban trains stop at all interchange stations - if you want to travel from Werrington to Liverpool on a half hour when the T5 Cumberland Line services don't run, you either have to wait a length time at Parramatta, or go to Lidcombe and backtrack a significant distance, solve this by having at least every second Western Line train stop at Granville. If you want to travel from Miranda to Panania during peak, you have to catch more trains than you would off peak as no train from Miranda will stop at Sydenham, yet all trains to Panania run via Sydenham. Most people may not bother with this, and drive instead. All suburban trains should stop at all interchange stations including Granville, and Sydenham.
  • Restore Liverpool via Regents Park services - if you want to travel from Sefton to Flemington, you have to catch 3 trains, when it used to be one*
  • Don't terminate trains at Homebush, Quakers Hill, Penrith, or Campbelltown*
  • Link shuttles to existing lines, Carlingford to Inner West locals, and Olympic Park to Lidcombe via Bankstown*
*assumes 6 tracks can be extended rurther west from Homebush.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
When I said the tracks end, I meant the fact that the 6 tracks diverge into 4 tracks, which is why trains inconveniently terminate at Homebush. I didn't know that there were no longer any Homebush terminators during peak, and it's good to know now.

I mentioned that the six tracks would need to be extended to Clyde and have a flyover be constructed to connect the local Inner West trains to the Carlingford Line, doing it now under current infrastructure would not work at all.

The Carlingford Line is inefficient because it's low patronage and low frequency (they should have kept the half hourly frequency), and the fact that it's a shuttle from nowhere to nowhere, and Carlingford to Parramatta is a 3 train journey.

The Olympic Park Line is simply the definition if inefficiency, thankfully on weekdays outside of special events, it's now a 4 carriage service, but the weekend Olympic Parks services at done by Waratahs, meaning 8 carriages, that's an 8 carriage train operating a 5 minute shuttle service between two stations, at a 10 minute frequency, on a late Sunday night - inefficient! a flyover or a dive should be constructed to have Lidcombe via Bankstown services turn around via Olympic Park rather than sitting at Lidcombe with 16 doors open straining the air-conditioning and chewing up electricity rather than moving passengers.

We may bicker over the Metro but at least we can agree on train length, I'm against the Driver Only Operation (DOO) though for the simple reason that the government is always cutting jobs and rarley creating them, but from a practicial standpoint, Sutherland to Cronulla/Waterfall is an ideal place for DOO on a 4 carriage train as the platforms are reasonably straight.

Other examples could include Bankstown Line trains dividing at Birrong and 4 carriages heading to Liverpool (or beyond to improve connectivity?) and Lidcombe (actually, Olympic Park for efficiency), Richmond Line services could split at Blacktown with 4 carriages stabling in the sidings just near the station and rejoining the train on it's return to the city.


It's not just electricity, running empty carraiges on 8 carriage late night services causes unnecessary wear and tear on the carriages and causes the need for extra cleaning and maintenance.

Signage should be put on platforms to encourage people wait closest to the carriage which will be closest to the exist when the get off the train.

If Sydney Trains can't currently operate enough services to make it to 50% recovery, why not improve connections to encourage people to use the train to get to destinations other than the city and for purposes other than work/study to improve patronage off-peak? Examples of this include:
  • Have all stations T4 Illawarra services stop at Erskineville and St Peters - if you want to travel from Bardwell Park to St Peters to go to Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre, you have to catch 3 trains over a short distance, most people won't bother with that - they will drive.
  • Shorten connection times between express and local all stations at Revesby for T8 Airport & South services and consider terminating the locals at East Hills again - if you want to travel from East Hills to Riverwood to shop at Aldi, you are going to have a 10-12 minute wait at Revesby, 15 minutes on weekends if it's not cross-platform, once again, most people won't bother with that - they will drive.
  • Make sure all suburban trains stop at all interchange stations - if you want to travel from Werrington to Liverpool on a half hour when the T5 Cumberland Line services don't run, you either have to wait a length time at Parramatta, or go to Lidcombe and backtrack a significant distance, solve this by having at least every second Western Line train stop at Granville. If you want to travel from Miranda to Panania during peak, you have to catch more trains than you would off peak as no train from Miranda will stop at Sydenham, yet all trains to Panania run via Sydenham. Most people may not bother with this, and drive instead. All suburban trains should stop at all interchange stations including Granville, and Sydenham.
  • Restore Liverpool via Regents Park services - if you want to travel from Sefton to Flemington, you have to catch 3 trains, when it used to be one*
  • Don't terminate trains at Homebush, Quakers Hill, Penrith, or Campbelltown*
  • Link shuttles to existing lines, Carlingford to Inner West locals, and Olympic Park to Lidcombe via Bankstown*
*assumes 6 tracks can be extended rurther west from Homebush.
Ethan1395
The Carlingford line hasn't be able to support a 30min frequency for years and even if it was upgraded to this level I think its unlikely to see the numbers to justify the 6 tracks alone to Clyde. 6 tracks is required to Gladsville to enable T2 to be removed off the western line.

Overall what should have happened to Carlingford years ago was upgraded to DOO and then 2 x two car sets operate shuttle from Carlingford to Clyde, passing at Rosehill. Carlingford line is now unfortunately about to be killed off so this is all a mute point.

Having 16 doors open for long periods is a blatant waist of money that should have been stopped years ago to a more typical standard of doors closing automatically after X many seconds with push button reopen, or one step further and push button open to begin with, works in Qld.

Your vision is the "govt always cutting jobs" is completely screwed. NSW has close to record low unemployment and the current govt has created so many jobs its not funny. Just because you don't work for the govt as a public servant doesn't been you don't work. As for your previous comments, drivers and guards looking for work. If you have been paying attention to the likes of Sim's, the number of trains and in effect train crew jobs is capped by the bottle necks in the network, fix them and the number of trains on the network will increase along with jobs, even if the odd one or two sections is converted to Metro, which itself creates hundreds of operational and support jobs.

Bankstown line is probably a bit short to bother spiting, better to fix the problems that forced the change to the current operating pattern we have today. Liverpool via Regents Park needs a $10-15B dollar tunnel to enable this to come back.

Cannot terminate at East Hills with current track arrangement, need to extend the Quad.

Most people won't catch a train to shop in the next suburb anyway. Eskinville has very low patronage and doesn't justify more trains. The issue is you have 3 stations within a 500m triangle. There is actually an argument to close Eskinville or potentially Macdonaldtown. Removing one of these stations along with little used Clyde post Carlingford line would reduce running costs.

The problem with much of the Sydney network is that the traffic volumes are too high to operate a commonsense timetable on the existing network infrastructure, hence we have ridiculous, non consistent, non clockface stopping patterns on many lines in peak. Making it worse, the theory that everyone should have a single seat trip, ie not change trains. One of the advantages of the total Metro project being stand alone is that it is basically forced to be almost everything that Sydney Trains struggles to achieve.

To solve most of the issues you and others have highlighted is a $25-35B solution, likely more.
- Extra two tracks (4-6) Homebush to Gladsville (to Lidcombe alone would solve many issues)
- Extra two tracks(6-8) Redfern to Homebush(likely only a tunnel possible)
- Extra two tracks (2-4) Revsbey to East Hills
- Extra two tracks (2-4) Hurtsville to Sutherland
- City tunnel relief line, ie Redfern to St James.
- Complete the Quad to Hornsby via Epping
- Waverton/Wollestoncraft by-pass tunnel
- Remove the crossing paths for ESR leaving Southern Line

And this is with the full Metro project solving other issues.

Its a 20-30 year project and thats with Sydney trains getting more funding annually than the Metro is spending, but needs to be done, plus the need for a Inner NW Line and connection to Parramatta will not go away and we haven't even touched the Interurban lines and all their problems, nor future Richmond duplication.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Granville and not Gladesville RTT.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

To solve most of the issues you and others have highlighted is a $25-35B solution, likely more.
- Extra two tracks (4-6) Homebush to Gladsville (to Lidcombe alone would solve many issues)
- Extra two tracks(6-8) Redfern to Homebush(likely only a tunnel possible)
- Extra two tracks (2-4) Revsbey to East Hills
- Extra two tracks (2-4) Hurtsville to Sutherland
- City tunnel relief line, ie Redfern to St James.
- Complete the Quad to Hornsby via Epping
- Waverton/Wollestoncraft by-pass tunnel
- Remove the crossing paths for ESR leaving Southern Line

And this is with the full Metro project solving other issues.

Its a 20-30 year project and thats with Sydney trains getting more funding annually than the Metro is spending, but needs to be done, plus the need for a Inner NW Line and connection to Parramatta will not go away and we haven't even touched the Interurban lines and all their problems, nor future Richmond duplication.
RTT_Rules

To be perfectly frank, I don't think that program does much to improve the cost effectiveness of Sydney HR at all.  

The City Relief line does (where ever it is built), but that also allows better sectorisation and reduces/eliminates the need for all the other amplification.

I still think we'd be better off cancelling the metro - even at this late stage - and focus on establishing a high speed, high capacity, high frequency spine connecting Parramatta - City - Chatswood all in under 30 minutes.

Perhaps this is something we'll need in 2 or 3 decades anyway, but essentially it's overbuilding Metro which is pointless.

Of the City Relief line options, I've championed an eastern route before, and I think it's the cheapest option.  In terms of achieving my high speed Chatswood-CBD-Parra spine it's also the best too.

In terms of fitting in with the existing network, especially post metro to Bankstown, then a Western City Relief line is preferable IMHO.  That could be extended to support 10 or 12 car trains (relatively) cheaply, and support a high speed, high frequency service from a catchment of well spaced stations west of Parramatta.  It doesn't tick the box of connecting Parra with Chatswood, but we've (sort of) got metro for that, just a long, slow interchange away at Wyngaroo.

The last Western Relief line proposal was to cost $8b (about 10 years ago), started at Everleigh and had 4 new underground stations.  Overkill IMHO.  The route should have the portals at about the location of the Devonshire St/Ultimo line tunnel now, under George then Kent St to a terminus two blocks west of the current Wynard Station, between it and the new Barangaroo.

My view on what we should do given where we are now is to build *both* new heavy rail relief lines, *not* convert Bankstown to Metro (though the system would simpler if it was) and combine the NWRL metro and Western Metro into one single system, with an emphasis on more stops for more inner urban redevelopment leaving the rapid transit role to HR.

My program of capital works is (in no particular order)

  • Western Relief Line
  • Western Metro connecting the NWRL Metro
  • Amplification of Nth Sydney-Chatswood-Hornsby (Central Coast/Newcastle hub out of Nth Sydney)
  • Expanded Wynard (to turn North Shore Interurbans)
  • Chatswood Turnback (double track, city facing)
  • Central-St James Quad
  • St James-Bridge St extension
  • Erskinville-Sydenham surface sextup (only in lieu of Metro no longer going to Sydenham)
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
My view on what we should do given where we are now is to build *both* new heavy rail relief lines, *not* convert Bankstown to Metro (though the system would simpler if it was) and combine the NWRL metro and Western Metro into one single system, with an emphasis on more stops for more inner urban redevelopment leaving the rapid transit role to HR.

My program of capital works is (in no particular order)
Western Relief Line
Western Metro connecting the NWRL Metro
Amplification of Nth Sydney-Chatswood-Hornsby (Central Coast/Newcastle hub out of Nth Sydney)
Expanded Wynard (to turn North Shore Interurbans)
Chatswood Turnback (double track, city facing) Central-St James Quad St James-Bridge St extension
Erskinville-Sydenham surface sextup (only in lieu of Metro no longer going to Sydenham)
dif01
Hi
This may surprise you, but on connecting the NWRL Metro to the Western Metro, I actually agree with you. Good idea and yes its not too late. Main reason is that the Bankstown Metro has now been truncated from connecting to Liverpool and hence leaving a messing interaction with the existing network that has messy shuttles over short lengths of track which do nothing for cost or practicality.

Agree with the Sexup from Sydenham to Erskinville, corridor is mostly there and partly built.
Question, could these two extra tracks then connect up to the unfinished Redfern and Central platforms?
I wouldn't run it via Museam (not that popular and most people walk towards Pitt Street from what I noticed, rather via new Pitt Street station and termination at St James, where most of the station is ready and waiting and doesn't need a huge amount of work and 250m from popular Martin Place.
Adding extra platforms at Wynyard would be huge cost.

I'd also add four tracks to Bankstown line from somewhere between Bankstown and Belmore to enable more efficent express running and thus enable faster Liverpool expresses and more Bankstown all stoppers. ie al to lidcombe + mostly express to Bankstown and all to L
Liverpool.

Assuming above, Problems with T2 running on the western line could be solved cheaply simply not running on Western Line. Rely on the Y-link (T5) to connect between Liverpool/Cabramtta and Harris Park to T1 and T2 lines and getting a fast run from there.


I did the numbers before on Quad to Chatsood, not needed any time soon and likely for a few decades if not more. The NWRL Metro will solve most of this issue and adding express tunnel between Nth Sydney and St Leonards solves the slow running for upper shore users.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner


There isn't any empty slots on the inner west or else there would be more services on the inner west as it is. 12 trains an hour is all that can run on the inner west with all of the stopping patterns. Regents park services are not returning any time soon.
simstrain
In the morning peak on the T2 Inner West Local, there are currently 8tph from Leppington/Liverpool via the South Line, 4tph from Parramatta and 2tph from Ashfield, a total of 14tph.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that it would be limited to a cap of 16tph with the existing mixed stopping pattern, compared with a potential 20tph (24tph with ATO) with a single all stops operating pattern.  That's assuming that there would be no crossover from the Illawarra Line via the flying junctions at Central post Bankstown Line conversion to metro.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

My view on what we should do given where we are now is to build *both* new heavy rail relief lines, *not* convert Bankstown to Metro (though the system would simpler if it was) and combine the NWRL metro and Western Metro into one single system, with an emphasis on more stops for more inner urban redevelopment leaving the rapid transit role to HR.

My program of capital works is (in no particular order)
Western Relief Line
Western Metro connecting the NWRL Metro
Amplification of Nth Sydney-Chatswood-Hornsby (Central Coast/Newcastle hub out of Nth Sydney)
Expanded Wynard (to turn North Shore Interurbans)
Chatswood Turnback (double track, city facing) Central-St James Quad St James-Bridge St extension
Erskinville-Sydenham surface sextup (only in lieu of Metro no longer going to Sydenham)
Hi
This may surprise you, but on connecting the NWRL Metro to the Western Metro, I actually agree with you. Good idea and yes its not too late. Main reason is that the Bankstown Metro has now been truncated from connecting to Liverpool and hence leaving a messing interaction with the existing network that has messy shuttles over short lengths of track which do nothing for cost or practicality.

Agree with the Sexup from Sydenham to Erskinville, corridor is mostly there and partly built.
Question, could these two extra tracks then connect up to the unfinished Redfern and Central platforms?
I wouldn't run it via Museam (not that popular and most people walk towards Pitt Street from what I noticed, rather via new Pitt Street station and termination at St James, where most of the station is ready and waiting and doesn't need a huge amount of work and 250m from popular Martin Place.
Adding extra platforms at Wynyard would be huge cost.

I'd also add four tracks to Bankstown line from somewhere between Bankstown and Belmore to enable more efficent express running and thus enable faster Liverpool expresses and more Bankstown all stoppers. ie al to lidcombe + mostly express to Bankstown and all to L
Liverpool.

Assuming above, Problems with T2 running on the western line could be solved cheaply simply not running on Western Line. Rely on the Y-link (T5) to connect between Liverpool/Cabramtta and Harris Park to T1 and T2 lines and getting a fast run from there.


I did the numbers before on Quad to Chatsood, not needed any time soon and likely for a few decades if not more. The NWRL Metro will solve most of this issue and adding express tunnel between Nth Sydney and St Leonards solves the slow running for upper shore users.
RTT_Rules
I also agree that it would have been a better option to connect the NW Metro with the West Metro, but via Central and the Parramatta road corridor through Camperdown and Leichhardt to Parramatta/Westmead, similar to Labor's original scheme.  

However, it will probably be too late to cancel the Bankstown Line conversion after the State Election (assuming Labor wins), as the major contracts will most likely be in place and it would be an expensive exercise to abandon the project.  I think we have to accept that it will be a fait accompli.  The only thing that could possibly derail it before the election, is if, and it's a big if, the current government has second thoughts if there is widespread disruption and public criticism following the shutdown of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link.  The chaos with the shutdown of the Bankstown Line for conversion will be much worse.  If the anticipated chaos does occur, then I'd suggest that future conversions of existing lines to metro will be off the agenda and the focus will be on building completely segregated metro lines where warranted, as it should have been in the first place.

Assuming the Bankstown Line metro conversion proceeds, then the sextup from Sydenham to Erskineville is less likely to be  needed, although it could have potentially been utilised for the metro, instead of tunnelling all the way to Sydenham and included Erskineville and St Peters Stations in the process (a metro is supposed to service inner city stations isn't it?).  

I also agree that completion of sextuplication of the Western Line from Homebush to Granville is another major infrastructure project that should be given greater priority.  There was a draft schematic diagram prepared by Transport for NSW in 2013, posted on another site, which proposed an additional track pair between Homebush and Granville to complete the sextuplication.  I've been trying to copy it here, so far without success, but I will continue to do so.

I'll try to summarise it as concisely as I can, but basically it extended the existing Local tracks from Homebush via a surface route to link directly with the South Line at Granville Junction, utilising the existing Suburban tracks west of Flemington.  The existing junction with the line to Regents Park was to be retained.  At Granville Junction, the Suburban tracks linked directly with the South Line to Liverpool and would no longer have a connection to the Western Line to Parramatta.

The existing Suburban tracks from Homebush dived into a tunnel in parallel where the connection from the new Local tracks to the Suburban tracks merged after Flemington.  The new Suburban Line then continued in tunnel along the northern side of the rail corridor and surfaced just east of Clyde Station, continuing on to merge with the existing Western Main at Granville Junction.  The proposal abandoned stations at Clyde and Harris Park as well as the branch connections to the Carlingford Line.

The end result was that there were to be three independent track pairs between Homebush and Granville, with the southern track pair connecting directly with the South Line (as well as Regents Park) and the centre and northern track pair connecting up with existing Western Line tracks.  However, the difference with the configuration of the Western track pairs would be that the current Suburban tracks through platforms 3 and 4 at Parramatta would become the Main for fast express services (including the Cumberland Line) and the current Main through platforms 1 and 2 would become the Suburban tracks (which connect with the new tunnel from Granville and the Suburban tracks from Strathfield).  

Looking further west, the southern track pair through Parramatta Station (platforms 3 and 4) would diverge at the underpass between Parramatta and Westmead (as they now do) to form the outer track pair to St Marys and potentially the fast line for express services from Penrith, Richmond and the Blue Mountains, as well as freight.  The northern track pair from Parramatta (platforms 1 and 2) become the centre track pair further west for all stations services, allowing a simple terminating arrangement at St Marys between adjoining tracks.  They could also potentially provide for all stations services from Schofields on the Richmond Line.

To make full use of any amplification between Homebush and Granville, the City Relief Line is a much needed complimentary project.  Additional Western Line suburban services running on the Main tracks to the CBD should ultimately extend into the northern CBD to avoid interchange congestion at Sydney Terminal.  I still prefer the previous plan from the Main tracks at Eveleigh to Wynyard on the western side of the CBD, but extended to terminate at the Barangaroo metro station.  The western side of the CBD around Town Hall, Wynyard and now Barangaroo has far greater patronage than the eastern side.  I think any future diversion of the Airport Line, which would free up even more capacity on the City Circle, should more logically connect with the St James unused centre platforms.

Looking well into the future, I can see a need for a further express tunnel from Parramatta to the CBD, to allow for further expansion of services from the Western, South (including Regents Park), Northern and Intercity Lines as well as moving the South Line services off the T2 Inner West Line for a faster express service.

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