What can be done to improve suburban services in Newcastle and Wollongong

 
  a6et Minister for Railways


The short answer is no: there won't be an improvement in services. The current Gvt doesn't want to do it.  They are ideologically opposed to public transport in any form, and certainly not where it won't win them votes/seats.  Demand pressure for improvements would need to be enormous.
Thats a bit of WTF Dif01

NWRL
Sydney Metro
Western Metro
SSELR
New interurban rolling stock
New Regional Rolling stock
More B-Sets
Hell, even the Newcastle LR over rapid bus option previously promoted for a replacement on the Newcastle line.interurban rollingstock with one toilet in a 4 car set, low back seating.....
NWRL had it's own political dynamic.

Sydney Metro driven primarily by the form factor of the NWRL, which in turn was driven (at least in part) by a desire *not* to invest in existing PT.  

I know it's not the full story, but it's certainly part of it, and I think supports rather than counters my assertion the Libs just don't like PT ideologically.


But fleet renewal as an argument the Libs want to increase services?

We still have S-Sets and V-Sets in the SWT FFS.  I would argue the current Gvt has done *less* than the bare minimum in terms of fleet renewal.  It was the current Premier which cancelled the extension of the A-Set order.

And in fairness, *no-one* has wanted to adequately address the V-Set fleet issue, extending as far back as the Unsworth Lab Gvt (IIRC) which cancelled the V-Set program while U-boats were still running.

But I would argue the fleet renewal program during the course of this administration has been insufficient to cope with the organic growth in patronage, which itself has not kept pace with population growth.  They have been ordering the bare minimum to maintain the status quo at the time of the order, and not by the time the order has been fulfilled.  hence, we are slipping further behind the curve at the bottom end.  We are looking at T-Sets having a planned 50+ year service life.

The Newcastle Fiasco highlights the problem better than anything.  Not so much the outcome, but the ideology driving these decisions.  None of it happened from a desire to improve services.  BTW, have a look in 6 maps sat at where they built the tram shed, and then talk to me about extensions Smile.

Western Metro?  It's being driven by property development, and two small ones (relative to the size of the metro project) at that.

We're way off topic as it is, but I maintain the Libs are ideologically opposed to PT, and service improvements in particular.  

If any Gvt were serious about regional local rail PT, we'd be looking at getting a small fleet of small, cost effective EMUs: ~150-250 seats in a 2-3 car DOO format, as well as appropriately renegotiating the EBA.  As if to underline my point: ideally something that can be maintained at Dubbo.

@Ethan - even if all the other issues were resolved, our rail systems simply don't have the fleet - either in quantity or quality - to provide anything better than a 60min frequency.
djf01
Agree, the current government is doing enough to fool the electorate into believing they want PT, Constance has publicly stated in his arrogant way, he longs for the day when there are no trains with drivers, guards and automated stations.

The way Sydney and basically the outer urban areas are growing, there all but needs to be a constant renewing and extensions to the system along with separation of the tracks for freight and for the passenger services, and that includes train renewal and more of them.

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  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
The Newcastle Fiasco highlights the problem better than anything. Not so much the outcome, but the ideology driving these decisions. None of it happened from a desire to improve services. BTW, have a look in 6 maps sat at where they built the tram shed, and then talk to me about extensions https://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif.

If any Gvt were serious about regional local rail PT, we'd be looking at getting a small fleet of small, cost effective EMUs: ~150-250 seats in a 2-3 car DOO format, as well as appropriately renegotiating the EBA. As if to underline my point: ideally something that can be maintained at Dubbo.

@Ethan - even if all the other issues were resolved, our rail systems simply don't have the fleet - either in quantity or quality - to provide anything better than a 60min frequency.
djf01
I will say this at the very least - the tram terminus at Newcastle Interchange has been built with extension in mind, but until it happens, I'm convinced that the government does not care about public transport outside of Sydney.

I agree about the small fleet of cost effective EMUs, pretty much an electric version of the Hunter Railcar - would it be possible to have a carriage as long as a Hunter Railcar and the width of an OSCar to avoid platform gap issues?
The advantage of a suburban rail service in a smaller city like Newcastle is that hopefully the trains run full but not packed, allowing for things like passengers being able to take bicycles in the end-carriage areas, improving car-free connectivity. - good luck getting a bike onto a peak hour Sydney train!

For the time being, we don't currently have the fleet to these services, so a temporary solution could be using OSCar's when the NIF arrives or hand-me-down K-Sets (although I don't think this would attract the car loving population of Newcastle).

-------

Commuter car parks are a basic essential for commuters to access stations. Buses are in most respects trains on rubber wheels and not all run to stations or connect with trains. I see that every day at Victoria st station where buses arrive and depart before a train arrives, and K&P cars arrive on both sides as a result. Other aspect is that buses do not go to all areas, therefore a long walk for many to bus stops but need to leave extra early to catch a bus to get them to the station in time for the train.

Both forms of PT are needed and both serve their different purposes. Connections that work are what is needed, case point with Kotara is how far to walk for commuters from Park Ave to the station from a bus stop, same on other side but at least there are buses closer to that station. To walk to the Reserve, could be done but either end of housing cluster would be long and then getting across busy Carnley Ave would be problematic. Realistically though with the population base around Kotara there is little if any possible case for any housing growth which is the only way more stopping services would be needed.
a6et
I'm not saying that commuter car parks are not needed (they are). but they should not be the only means to accessing a station, needing a car to access public transport is a reason patronage is so low in Newcastle.

The current bus system is a joke and needs to be completely redone, if the old lines (Belmont, Toronto, Wallsend, West Wallsend) were still in places, buses could act as efficient frequent feeder service shuttling between two stations, but instead it's the hourly scenic city tour!

And I do believe a station at Glendale would not need a commuter car park since it's a destination station.

Unfortunately in the case of Blackbutt Reserve and the existing Kotara Station, a few houses would need to be relocated (if possible, not bulldozed in respect for residents) to create a direct pedestrian link to Blackbutt Reserve with a pdestrian bridge over Carnley Avenue.
I'm not sure how old Blackbutt Reserve but this could be the unfortunate result of car focused urban planning not considering pedestrain and public transport access.

Again any aspect of having a station build for the Tafe would need to have a really strong case with numbers, especially when there are buses that run along the Pacific Highway and stop at the front of the Tafe, a short walk also from Hamilton station. As I said before, a new station between Islington Jct and Clyde st would be the only spot for it, but it would create a lot of issues for the level crossing delays, also fitting the trains into the timetables, stopping trains add at least 3 minutes to the tt, 1 minute to stop, 1 at the station and 1 to acceleration, and that's the very least.
a6et
At least the roads leading up to the Clyde St level crossing are straight, making it possible to build an under/overpass and eliminate the crossing.

The buses travelling from the Newcastle CBD are not very helpful for people travelling to the TAFE from the outer suburbs.

Adding to that, a well-run rail service attracts more passengers than a bus service.

Certainly there really needs to be a real hard look at PT services in the Hunter region, especially as its still the biggest growth area in NSW, but go to all the road intersections to the by passes and see how many cars are parked there as so many use shared car traveling to Sydney and other areas. There are several large new estates at Rutherland and across to where the old Station of Farley was, could there be a case for a station to be built there? Who knows! But the majority of people are still car centric in their travel use.
a6et

Certainly the majority of people are car centric and this is what needs to change, as I mentioned earlier:

Catching public transport in Newcastle: Slow, inconvenient, indirect, poor connections, unsafe, looks bad to potential employers
Driving in Newcastle: quick, convenient, direct, prioritised at the comprise of pedestrian safety, often required for employment

Improve public transport and introduce a toll on the bypass and more paid parking for those who don't have a valid reason for needing to drive and use the revenue to fund public transport. Also considering halving the cost of the adult fare to be competitive with petrol prices.

Like I have mentioned, when services are inaccessible (uncrossable roads), infrequent (one train every 2 hours on weekends), passes destinations would stopping (TAFE, shopping centres, hospital, etc), has poor connections (train to train, bus to train, train to bus), no one is going to use it.
Fixing this makes it convenient and usable, the step after that is making car travel less convenient.
  billybaxter Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
I've been browsing through the regional / suburban services of a few European cities of a similar population to Newcastle (200-500K) and it seems 30 minutes services are pretty standard. What are the main traffic generators in Newcastle where a car is not really seriously more convenient than a car? There's been mention of shopping centres and so on, but I'm just thinking, who would catch a train to a shopping mall or a place like Bunnings? The focus needs to be more on employment / study centres, maybe weekend destinations where there's a low turnover of parked cars.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I've been browsing through the regional / suburban services of a few European cities of a similar population to Newcastle (200-500K) and it seems 30 minutes services are pretty standard. What are the main traffic generators in Newcastle where a car is not really seriously more convenient than a car? There's been mention of shopping centres and so on, but I'm just thinking, who would catch a train to a shopping mall or a place like Bunnings? The focus needs to be more on employment / study centres, maybe weekend destinations where there's a low turnover of parked cars.
billybaxter
BB, my point with much of what I have said, who would catch a train to go to Bunnings or really most shopping centres anyway? a damn long way to carry heavy stuff even push on a trolley hope the station has a lift, then get on the train and heading back to the closest station to home and hope it has a lift and push the trolley home.

Regions such as we have in the Sydney area then those to the north such as the CC, and Newcastle provide quality in living and ability to commute to work locations if the PT is good enough and even fast enough to compete with driving, it needs to also be cost affective as so many are car pooling these days.

Similar thing with the Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands, extend those out to Bomaderry, Bathurst and Goulburn there is a need for faster trains therefore less travel times by rail, a lot sleep where they can on the way to work and home but trips over 2 hours both ways add to the disadvantage of rail.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
I've been browsing through the regional / suburban services of a few European cities of a similar population to Newcastle (200-500K) and it seems 30 minutes services are pretty standard. What are the main traffic generators in Newcastle where a car is not really seriously more convenient than a car? There's been mention of shopping centres and so on, but I'm just thinking, who would catch a train to a shopping mall or a place like Bunnings? The focus needs to be more on employment / study centres, maybe weekend destinations where there's a low turnover of parked cars.
billybaxter
30 minute frequency is decent but 15 minutes is what is really needed for true convenience. Hourly is too inconvenient and a train every 2 hours (weekend frequency for smaller suburban stations) is just pathetic.

The main traffic generators and shopping centres which are the employment centres and study centres. The University of Newcastle has a railway station at Warabrook but the large Newcastle TAFE is right next to the railway line with no station and two large shopping centres are also right next to the railway line with no stations.
Blackbutt Reserve is a popular weekend destination even though there is a station located nearby geographically, there is NO pedestrian access.
Stations at shopping centres wouldn't just serve shoppers (although this is still important as public transport should primarily help people who don't have access to a car) but also workers.

The Bunnings example was in defense of keeping a station which has been historically isolated with low patronage (Cockle Creek), but now has the said large Bunnings, a new housing development going nearby, and a proposal for an IKEA and a Costco next to the station.
I was saying how this station has potential but poor frequency, lack of other stations to catch a train to, and no safe place to cross the road to get to the station keep patronage down.

A big problem in Newcastle is that the car travel is far too convenient and public transport is not even safe to use because of this since urban planning doesn't even consider pedestrian access, here are a few examples which I have previously mentioned in this topic.

At Kotara there's Westfield, then the Homemakers Centre (both of which employ a significant portion of the population), then the railway line, then a residential suburb of Blackbutt (which also contains a hotel and a few small shops) - but pedestrians can't walk across the road from Westfield to the Homemakers Centre because there is no direct access, then there is no station serving this busy commercial area alongside the railway line which also can't be directly crossed to the residential area - pedestrians are forced to take long detours an follow the same way the cars need to follow.

Cockle Creek station in the suburb of Boolaroo is another example, there is a new housing development, Bunnings, the proposed site for IKEA and Costco, and the railway station, but all a separated by a large mutli-lane roundabout ensuring pedestrians can't safely cross the road between any of these locations.

Even at Hamilton there is no pedestrian crossing at Beaumont Street near the station (but there are crossings on the adjacent quiet side streets) forcing those who a taking the 20 minute walk to the large TAFE to detour up to the traffic lights and back again to walk parallel to the railway line to this large educational facility which also lies next to the railway line because no surprise - there is no station.

BB, my point with much of what I have said, who would catch a train to go to Bunnings or really most shopping centres anyway? a damn long way to carry heavy stuff even push on a trolley hope the station has a lift, then get on the train and heading back to the closest station to home and hope it has a lift and push the trolley home.
a6et
The shopping centers are employment zones (especially in Newcastle where little employment is found elsewhere) making the stations necessary, and an added bonus is that people who don't have access to a car (which is who public transport should primarily be for) can catch the train to shop.
It's pathetic to think that a suburban railway line can pass by a hopsital, an educational facility, and two large shopping centres without stations.
it needs to also be cost affective as so many are car pooling these days.
a6et
The current adult fare either needs to be halved or the old weekly rewards needs to come back - free travel after 8 paid trips. While public transport is significantly cheaper than owning a car, petrol can sometimes be competitive with the standard fare and while convincing people to leave their cars at home is one thing, asking people not to own one altogether is impractical.
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

Cockle Creek growth in importance may have merit when the former Sulphide works finally becomes a green fields residential village once the contaminants in the soil is finally stabilised

But why stop there? What about a fully functioning, lower Hunter Valley Metro system - Wallsend next perhaps?

Or trams (sorry, light rail) to Speers Point - hang on, that sounds familiar

The Cockle Creek Renaissance!
  a6et Minister for Railways

Cockle Creek growth in importance may have merit when the former Sulphide works finally becomes a green fields residential village once the contaminants in the soil is finally stabilised

But why stop there? What about a fully functioning, lower Hunter Valley Metro system - Wallsend next perhaps?

Or trams (sorry, light rail) to Speers Point - hang on, that sounds familiar

The Cockle Creek Renaissance!
gw0071
It wont be that much longer before the site is ready for housing, the problem then still comes down to the distance to the existing station of Cockle Creek compared to a new station closer to Cardiff, that would serve the new location and the shopping area.

While the new area is closer to the Cockle Creek station itself I am not sure that it will be a viable location for the new subdivision, to use the idea of the likes of Bunnings, Costco and Ikea as attractions for passenger rail users will not do anything to increase passenger numbers.  Each are after all very much bulky goods warehouse type enterprises.

Closer to Glendale, MAY attract some workers from the industrial areas on the eastern side but I would not count on it without a lot of research that would indicate that people would abandon their cars to use rail.

Looking at Cockle Creek station and its location it does have the potential for an expanded Car park, also there are bus stops at a handy spot on Lakes Rd near the car park entry, one problem with that car park is that the busyness of Lake Road and visibility is that you can only turn left at the exit, not much chop for those who live on the Warners Bay side of the station.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
It wont be that much longer before the site is ready for housing, the problem then still comes down to the distance to the existing station of Cockle Creek compared to a new station closer to Cardiff, that would serve the new location and the shopping area.

While the new area is closer to the Cockle Creek station itself I am not sure that it will be a viable location for the new subdivision, to use the idea of the likes of Bunnings, Costco and Ikea as attractions for passenger rail users will not do anything to increase passenger numbers. Each are after all very much bulky goods warehouse type enterprises.

Closer to Glendale, MAY attract some workers from the industrial areas on the eastern side but I would not count on it without a lot of research that would indicate that people would abandon their cars to use rail.

Looking at Cockle Creek station and its location it does have the potential for an expanded Car park, also there are bus stops at a handy spot on Lakes Rd near the car park entry, one problem with that car park is that the busyness of Lake Road and visibility is that you can only turn left at the exit, not much chop for those who live on the Warners Bay side of the station.
a6et
The only station near the new housing development is Cockle Creek, it's within walking distance.
In reality 5 stations are needed in this area:

-Cockle Creek (renamed it Boolaroo): serving the new Pasminco Site housing development, Bunnings, the proposed IKEA and Costco, and Club Macquarie, it's also a good location for feeder buses to serve
-Argenton: serving the railside suburb of Argenton, could also serve industry on the southern side of the line
-Glendale: serving the large railside shopping centre of Stockland Glendale, and industry on the southern side of the line
-Cardiff: serving the residential/light suburb of cardiff, the station should be moved closer to the commercial
-Cardiff Heights: serving residential areas further up the line.

And as I must point out again, the stations serving the shopping centres are not just for shoppers, but also the many workers of said shops, and the bonus is that people who don't have access to a car can access the shops easier, and public transport should be primarily be for those who either don't have a car, or don't want to use one. I'm not saying that people are going to catch a train to IKEA and push trolley-loads of flatpacks down to the platforms, I'm saying that workers of IKEA can able to catch the train to work and those who don't have access to a car are not automatically excluded from these locations.
I know these stations are pretty close together but placing stations further apart means you need a car to use the train and what is the point of public transport if you need a car to use it?

Also, 8 carriage Waratahs are not going to be serving these closely spaced stations, 2/3/at most 4 carriage single deck fast accelerating trains with 2x2 seating and wide asiles for low dwell time would be much more appropriate for the lower density in the area.

And what you just about the car park is what I have been talking about - urban planning in Newcastle does not consider pedestrians and/or public transport users. That car park entrance needs a set of traffic lights, that large roundabout separating the housing development/Bunnings/the station needs to go and be replaced with traffic lights, and mabye a new entrance to Club Macquarie with traffic lights, the added bonuses with all these new traffic lights would be pedestrians and cyclists can safely cross the road, motorists and safely access the commuter car park from all directions, and car travel might become less convenient making rail travel more appealing.
  a6et Minister for Railways

It wont be that much longer before the site is ready for housing, the problem then still comes down to the distance to the existing station of Cockle Creek compared to a new station closer to Cardiff, that would serve the new location and the shopping area.

While the new area is closer to the Cockle Creek station itself I am not sure that it will be a viable location for the new subdivision, to use the idea of the likes of Bunnings, Costco and Ikea as attractions for passenger rail users will not do anything to increase passenger numbers. Each are after all very much bulky goods warehouse type enterprises.

Closer to Glendale, MAY attract some workers from the industrial areas on the eastern side but I would not count on it without a lot of research that would indicate that people would abandon their cars to use rail.

Looking at Cockle Creek station and its location it does have the potential for an expanded Car park, also there are bus stops at a handy spot on Lakes Rd near the car park entry, one problem with that car park is that the busyness of Lake Road and visibility is that you can only turn left at the exit, not much chop for those who live on the Warners Bay side of the station.
The only station near the new housing development is Cockle Creek, it's within walking distance.
In reality 5 stations are needed in this area:

-Cockle Creek (renamed it Boolaroo): serving the new Pasminco Site housing development, Bunnings, the proposed IKEA and Costco, and Club Macquarie, it's also a good location for feeder buses to serve
-Argenton: serving the railside suburb of Argenton, could also serve industry on the southern side of the line
-Glendale: serving the large railside shopping centre of Stockland Glendale, and industry on the southern side of the line
-Cardiff: serving the residential/light suburb of cardiff, the station should be moved closer to the commercial
-Cardiff Heights: serving residential areas further up the line.

And as I must point out again, the stations serving the shopping centres are not just for shoppers, but also the many workers of said shops, and the bonus is that people who don't have access to a car can access the shops easier, and public transport should be primarily be for those who either don't have a car, or don't want to use one. I'm not saying that people are going to catch a train to IKEA and push trolley-loads of flatpacks down to the platforms, I'm saying that workers of IKEA can able to catch the train to work and those who don't have access to a car are not automatically excluded from these locations.
I know these stations are pretty close together but placing stations further apart means you need a car to use the train and what is the point of public transport if you need a car to use it?

Also, 8 carriage Waratahs are not going to be serving these closely spaced stations, 2/3/at most 4 carriage single deck fast accelerating trains with 2x2 seating and wide asiles for low dwell time would be much more appropriate for the lower density in the area.

And what you just about the car park is what I have been talking about - urban planning in Newcastle does not consider pedestrians and/or public transport users. That car park entrance needs a set of traffic lights, that large roundabout separating the housing development/Bunnings/the station needs to go and be replaced with traffic lights, and mabye a new entrance to Club Macquarie with traffic lights, the added bonuses with all these new traffic lights would be pedestrians and cyclists can safely cross the road, motorists and safely access the commuter car park from all directions, and car travel might become less convenient making rail travel more appealing.
Ethan1395
Sorry, but if you believe that there is a need for that many stations between Cockle Creek and what you call Cardif Heights is needed, and still believe those large warehouses will provide passengers to any of the stations, you are not looking at a reality situation at all.  There are lines in the Sydney metro areas that have more people in that same distance that have less stations than NCLE area.

Some of which have very large populations than what is found along the line.  As I said early on, before any of this could happen a business case would need to be done and one that has realistic figures to it.  Many more people would sign a petition than ever will use it.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Sorry, but if you believe that there is a need for that many stations between Cockle Creek and what you call Cardif Heights is needed, and still believe those large warehouses will provide passengers to any of the stations, you are not looking at a reality situation at all. There are lines in the Sydney metro areas that have more people in that same distance that have less stations than NCLE area.

Some of which have very large populations than what is found along the line. As I said early on, before any of this could happen a business case would need to be done and one that has realistic figures to it. Many more people would sign a petition than ever will use it.
a6et
The issue in Newcastle compared to Sydney is that in Sydney, there is typically some sort of road/pathway/park/plaza that runs parallel to the railway line making stations more accessible allowing stations to be placed further apart,
this is not the case in Newcastle, there is not always a road or path running adjacent to the tracks, making stations difficult to access when placed far apart, and the roads that run near the tracks are often not through roads which makes it difficult to serve efficiently by bus.

Also, I did not once list the large warehouses as the primary purpose of a station, it's just a bonus being near the line, a station at Argenton would serve the suburb of Argenton, and it's just a bonus that it would also serve the industrial area south of the railway line, same at Glendale where the station would serve the large shopping centre, and it's just a bonus that it would also serve the industrial area.

Of course a business case would be necessary and many more people would sign a petition than use the service - or maybe they actually would use the service if driving became less convenient.
The problem is that many are content in their cars and don't see the problems that arise from city-wide car culture, they have their cars and they are happy.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Sorry, but if you believe that there is a need for that many stations between Cockle Creek and what you call Cardif Heights is needed, and still believe those large warehouses will provide passengers to any of the stations, you are not looking at a reality situation at all. There are lines in the Sydney metro areas that have more people in that same distance that have less stations than NCLE area.

Some of which have very large populations than what is found along the line. As I said early on, before any of this could happen a business case would need to be done and one that has realistic figures to it. Many more people would sign a petition than ever will use it.
The issue in Newcastle compared to Sydney is that in Sydney, there is typically some sort of road/pathway/park/plaza that runs parallel to the railway line making stations more accessible allowing stations to be placed further apart,
this is not the case in Newcastle, there is not always a road or path running adjacent to the tracks, making stations difficult to access when placed far apart, and the roads that run near the tracks are often not through roads which makes it difficult to serve efficiently by bus.

Also, I did not once list the large warehouses as the primary purpose of a station, it's just a bonus being near the line, a station at Argenton would serve the suburb of Argenton, and it's just a bonus that it would also serve the industrial area south of the railway line, same at Glendale where the station would serve the large shopping centre, and it's just a bonus that it would also serve the industrial area.

Of course a business case would be necessary and many more people would sign a petition than use the service - or maybe they actually would use the service if driving became less convenient.
The problem is that many are content in their cars and don't see the problems that arise from city-wide car culture, they have their cars and they are happy.
Ethan1395
Not all stations in Sydney are that easily accessed, and there is much more growth potential there as well, how many new stations are being built there as well, even with its higher growth aspects.

I drove down to Warners Bay yesterday, through Argenton as there was a shop I had to go to, no matter which direction I looked and even taking into account the work going on at Sulphide, I cannot see enough residential development projects that can sustain a new station as well as Cockle Creek, in the foreseeable future.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Not all stations in Sydney are that easily accessed, and there is much more growth potential there as well, how many new stations are being built there as well, even with its higher growth aspects.

I drove down to Warners Bay yesterday, through Argenton as there was a shop I had to go to, no matter which direction I looked and even taking into account the work going on at Sulphide, I cannot see enough residential development projects that can sustain a new station as well as Cockle Creek, in the foreseeable future.
a6et
I haven't had much experience with inaccessible and missing stations in Sydney although I have seen a few locations that need stations such Voyage Point and Wattle Grove on the T8 line (between East Hills and Glenfield, the line is like Newcastle, several locations which need stations, but only one exists (Holsworthy) and you need a car to use it)
But certainly nothing compared to the situation in Newcastle where almost literally EVERYWHERE that is a major destination that is near the railway line has NO station (or an inaccessible one).

Regarding Cockle Creek and Argenton, it might be possible to have a single station between the two but serious pedestrian accessibility upgrades around both sites would be necessary including new pedestrian links, traffic lights, and roundabout removal, and there is still the issue of connecting buses on Lake Road.
A new station in Glendale would still be necessary to serve the shopping centre, complementing the existing Cardiff station which, if possible, should be moved closer to the commercial area, and another new station serving the residential area of Cardiff Heights, there is miles between the existing Cardiff station and and the existing Kotara station and the terrain in the area is steep and roads dead-ending.

Please answer me this (without mentioning Sydney-related issues such as traffic and parking) - what is the point of local suburban public transport if you need a car to use it? spacing stations too far apart, especially in areas of steep terrain, no pedestrian links, and indirect roads makes a car a pre-requisite to using a train.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Not all stations in Sydney are that easily accessed, and there is much more growth potential there as well, how many new stations are being built there as well, even with its higher growth aspects.

I drove down to Warners Bay yesterday, through Argenton as there was a shop I had to go to, no matter which direction I looked and even taking into account the work going on at Sulphide, I cannot see enough residential development projects that can sustain a new station as well as Cockle Creek, in the foreseeable future.
I haven't had much experience with inaccessible and missing stations in Sydney although I have seen a few locations that need stations such Voyage Point and Wattle Grove on the T8 line (between East Hills and Glenfield, the line is like Newcastle, several locations which need stations, but only one exists (Holsworthy) and you need a car to use it)
But certainly nothing compared to the situation in Newcastle where almost literally EVERYWHERE that is a major destination that is near the railway line has NO station (or an inaccessible one).

Regarding Cockle Creek and Argenton, it might be possible to have a single station between the two but serious pedestrian accessibility upgrades around both sites would be necessary including new pedestrian links, traffic lights, and roundabout removal, and there is still the issue of connecting buses on Lake Road.
A new station in Glendale would still be necessary to serve the shopping centre, complementing the existing Cardiff station which, if possible, should be moved closer to the commercial area, and another new station serving the residential area of Cardiff Heights, there is miles between the existing Cardiff station and and the existing Kotara station and the terrain in the area is steep and roads dead-ending.

Please answer me this (without mentioning Sydney-related issues such as traffic and parking) - what is the point of local suburban public transport if you need a car to use it? spacing stations too far apart, especially in areas of steep terrain, no pedestrian links, and indirect roads makes a car a pre-requisite to using a train.
Ethan1395
Thing to realise is that stations are built based very much on local populaces and at times where motor vehicles were not in abundance as they are now, I don't have the dates of the openings of the NCL area stations, but you need to realise that trains were the primary mode of mass transit to the various industrial areas, yes industrial areas! but those areas and the associated businesses were very much built alongside the line, go back and look at the amount of large and small industries from basically Waratah - NCLE and from Toronto - NCLE, but the latter was more for business people and school children especially for high school education as those smaller locations generally would have only had primary schools.

The old Belmont line had a lot of businesses as well as the mines and local residents using the pax services, but the coal ran out and now all residential and school on the site, the rest is exercise track.  Teralba had more business in regards to goods services and I have worked shunting trains on the up at that location. The small populace though would have shopped locally or gone into NCL, but a lot less was needed in the early days.  Cockle Ck station served more the few general passengers but was mainly put in place for the colliery branch workers. Sulphide was a NSWGR workers platform, Cardiff was built for the general public and the old line having heavy grades, but the embankments still visible.

Kotora and Adamstown were purely local patronage at a time when buses were less available and private operators had limited routes for people

The steelworks and the associated works at Waratah had worker entrances on the Eastern end of their works for workers access, other side of the line was a busy goods shed.  The main steel works had connecting buses from Hamilton/Wickham for workers there.  Many other short sidings existed between Hamilton and Wickham that had a lot of workers. How many now exist?  What was built in a basically non road user environment has changed rapidly by the more mobile road users. Those many industries no longer exist, does Toohey's still have their brewery at Sulphide still working and going a bit further away is Grafton does it have their brewery open there still.

The old Wallsend line and the line to Cessnock are both lines that had minimal patronage along them, whether for workers or just passengers.

If there is so much available for potential passengers into industrial areas, how come none into the PTW/Morandoo area? a lot of closed businesses there now but some still going.  One area that had a lot of workers was the gas works at the triangle at Islington Jct, as well as the old Shell siding (I think it was shell) that had sidings off the goods road to the southern side of the gasworks just past Chatham Road, they had quite a few workers, but no rail station thing is how many would have used it anyway.

As I have said, the way scty is so mobile these days and car centric, I do not see that changing anytime soon, which basically says that there would be no way a business case could be made for them.

I mentioned the bus stop convenience at Cockle Ck on both sides of the road, but also the left hand only turn out of the car park really makes it a non event for those on the lake suburbs who would drive there. Even with the new warehouses to be built, one can guarantee that Glendale shopping centre and Charlestown Square would still be the main locations for shopping.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Thing to realise is that stations are built based very much on local populaces and at times where motor vehicles were not in abundance as they are now, I don't have the dates of the openings of the NCL area stations, but you need to realise that trains were the primary mode of mass transit to the various industrial areas, yes industrial areas! but those areas and the associated businesses were very much built alongside the line, go back and look at the amount of large and small industries from basically Waratah - NCLE and from Toronto - NCLE, but the latter was more for business people and school children especially for high school education as those smaller locations generally would have only had primary schools.

The old Belmont line had a lot of businesses as well as the mines and local residents using the pax services, but the coal ran out and now all residential and school on the site, the rest is exercise track. Teralba had more business in regards to goods services and I have worked shunting trains on the up at that location. The small populace though would have shopped locally or gone into NCL, but a lot less was needed in the early days. Cockle Ck station served more the few general passengers but was mainly put in place for the colliery branch workers. Sulphide was a NSWGR workers platform, Cardiff was built for the general public and the old line having heavy grades, but the embankments still visible.

Kotora and Adamstown were purely local patronage at a time when buses were less available and private operators had limited routes for people

The steelworks and the associated works at Waratah had worker entrances on the Eastern end of their works for workers access, other side of the line was a busy goods shed. The main steel works had connecting buses from Hamilton/Wickham for workers there. Many other short sidings existed between Hamilton and Wickham that had a lot of workers. How many now exist? What was built in a basically non road user environment has changed rapidly by the more mobile road users. Those many industries no longer exist, does Toohey's still have their brewery at Sulphide still working and going a bit further away is Grafton does it have their brewery open there still.

As I have said, the way scty is so mobile these days and car centric, I do not see that changing anytime soon, which basically says that there would be no way a business case could be made for them.

I mentioned the bus stop convenience at Cockle Ck on both sides of the road, but also the left hand only turn out of the car park really makes it a non event for those on the lake suburbs who would drive there. Even with the new warehouses to be built, one can guarantee that Glendale shopping centre and Charlestown Square would still be the main locations for shopping.
a6et
Yeah I am aware about the locations of stations being historical, but unfortunately Newcastle has failed to update it's public transport to meet the times, and as a result, it is unusable.

In Sydney, they built new lines (Cronulla, East Hills, Eastern Suburbs, Epping-Chatswood, NWRL), in Newcastle, they tore out lines and replaced them with cycleways (Wallsend, West Wallsend, Belmont, Toronto, CBD) with the rest of the city being unsafe to walk or cycle in.
In Sydney, stations were added and/or relocated to be more conveniently located (Mount Druitt, Macarthur), in Newcastle, shopping centres, a hospital, the TAFE, a nature reserve all sprung up next to the railway line, with no connectivity added at all.

And regarding businesses here is what I can see today: small locally owned business suck as bakeries, discount stores, and other retails stores can be found in plentiful locations near railway stations and bus stops, even in smaller quiet suburbs, passengers from public transport probably making the bulk of their customers, in Newcastle, the shopping centres are bustling but business outside of said shopping centres suburbs appears slow, most likely because people get straight into their car and drive to the shopping centre to shop or work, and never walk past the small locally owned businesses, creating a harsh environment for small businesses who can't afford rent inside a shopping centre, probably contributing to the very high unemployment rate in Newcastle.

The can-centric society of Newcastle already contributes to the continual decline of small locally owned businesses (as mentioned above), unemployment (as mentioned above), discrimination in employment (employers favoring applicants with cars, which in turn favors those who already have money of those who don't), urban planning not even considering pedestrians or public transport users, creating an unsafe environment to walk of cycle in, which in turn can potentially lead to contributing to obesity), placing more people on the road (particularly young people, potentially placing their lives at risk), and creating a society where young and old people have no independence.
This is would should be said in a case for fixing the public transport in Newcastle and pretty much any potential location with a large enough population outside of Sydney, such as Wollongong.


Yeah I remember you mentioned the bus stops and left-turn-only at Cockle Creek, something which is caused by lack of consideration for public transport users.
You'd think when the Bunnings and housing development went up, it could be seen as a potential use for a low patronage station, but a large multi-lane berlin wall roundabout was put in place, ensuring that no one could safely walk or cycle anywhere, and there is no safe crossing between the bus stops, so in turn, you can't walk or cycle to the station, you can't park your car at the station, and you can't catch a bus to the station, in other words, you can't even use the station.
What should have been done is that roundabout be made a set of traffic lights with pedestrian crossings, another set of traffic lights installed at the entrance to the commuter car park, an a new entrance to Club Macqaurie be built with a set of traffic lights, this would make the car park usable, the bus stops usable, the make it possible for residents of the area to get around with being a slave to their cars.

Of course Glendale and Charlestown are the main locations for shopping, but also Kotara, Charlestown is away from the current or any former lines, but Glendale and Kotara are both alongside the railway line but lack stations are are poorly designed for pedestrian use.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Turns out I'm not the only one with crazy ideas:

Hunter Property Council study 'Maximum Opportunity 2.0' reveals future for Newcastle suburbs

For those who are blocked by a pay wall, this sums it up:

Speakers from a Hunter Property Council taskforce presented arguments for transport oriented development in Newcastle’s suburbs. The ideas presented were new stations at:

-Tighes Hill (Clyde St Level Crossing)
-New Broadmeadow (between existing station and Adamstown)
-Kotara (at Homemakers with pedestrian bridge to Westfield)
-New Cardiff (most likely to replace existing station)
-Glendale
-Argenton

Apparently Cockle Creek and Cardiff were identified as weak locations for adjoining development, a new Cardiff station would definitely repalce the old one, otherwise stations would be too close together (best off placing new stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb in the miles between Cardiff and Kotara)

A new station between Adamstown and Broadmeadow would be difficult and might pose station spacing issues.

---

I certainly didn't expect to find this article and it makes me wonder how difficult it would be to get a business case for improving suburban rail in Newcastle (a city of approx 500,000), but it would still be very difficult to get the government to fund major public transport infrastructure outside of Sydney.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Tighes Hill platform won't happen, they can walk to Hamo.
They can put the stairs back at Sandgate though, walking in the opposite direction in the dark to get to the North side is a joke
  a6et Minister for Railways

Turns out I'm not the only one with crazy ideas:

Hunter Property Council study 'Maximum Opportunity 2.0' reveals future for Newcastle suburbs

For those who are blocked by a pay wall, this sums it up:

Speakers from a Hunter Property Council taskforce presented arguments for transport oriented development in Newcastle’s suburbs. The ideas presented were new stations at:

-Tighes Hill (Clyde St Level Crossing)
-New Broadmeadow (between existing station and Adamstown)
-Kotara (at Homemakers with pedestrian bridge to Westfield)
-New Cardiff (most likely to replace existing station)
-Glendale
-Argenton

Apparently Cockle Creek and Cardiff were identified as weak locations for adjoining development, a new Cardiff station would definitely repalce the old one, otherwise stations would be too close together (best off placing new stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb in the miles between Cardiff and Kotara)

A new station between Adamstown and Broadmeadow would be difficult and might pose station spacing issues.

---

I certainly didn't expect to find this article and it makes me wonder how difficult it would be to get a business case for improving suburban rail in Newcastle (a city of approx 500,000), but it would still be very difficult to get the government to fund major public transport infrastructure outside of Sydney.
Ethan1395
I wonder how much reality there was in the proposals, especially viewing their images?  Clyde St is shown using a google earth image at Street level with it facing Newastle, showing the gasworks main office to the right, then the impression comes in showing it as a metro like station with two different train types at the new station, one a heavy rail type and the other a metro like image.

All the surrounding areas have been revamped most of all no sign of the heavily used main tracks for the triangle towards BMD, so where do freight services that head north, south get reverted to?  The image shows two different systems on two separate lines meaning two single track options, or do they expect two types of different operational services to be built over the same areas, affectively it would reduce what is already in place. On that score where does the metro one finish?

The cost to rehabilitate the old gas works and fuel depot area would be huge, and on the same scale as Sulphide, albeit smaller.

Broadmeadow. Where would a new station be built?  While there is around 2 k's or more between there and Adamstown, the only real areas for a station would be to knock down the heritage old Traffic Branch Barracks and old admin buildings at the end of Bale Road, and locate the station over towards the main line, that would need to have a lot of work on the Up through road in the yard,  realign other roads in the yard to facilitate that as well.  What it does do also is to reduce the access to the station for those living on the Western side of the line, as the yard and main line blocks the way.

If anything, the best option would be for the government to reclaim the area near the BMD station between Burke, Cooranbong and Heddon Road for a commuter car park. Improve the footpath access to BMD Station at the Lambton Rd end.

If the station described for the Homemakers centre is seriously considered, that reflects my previous belied that the existing Kotara Station could close, have a decent carpark for Commuters there and consider closing Adamstown as well.

A new station at Cardiff would likely be an extension of the existing one rather than a relocation, there would be room at the Newcastle end to extend the platform for longer trains, especially given the new interurban trains could be longer. One thing for certain though is that there needs to be a better carpark there, although there is a good bus stop right at the stations location.

Cockle Creek though has advantages over a new station and that is the aspect it has room to be extended for long trains if the need arises, also there is room enough on the Eastern side for an enlarged commuter car park, access to the park needs fixing though.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Tighes Hill platform won't happen, they can walk to Hamo.
They can put the stairs back at Sandgate though, walking in the opposite direction in the dark to get to the North side is a joke
Junction Box
But they won't walk to Hamilton, they will drive.
Where did the old stairs at Sandgate use to be? and why did they remove them?

I wonder how much reality there was in the proposals, especially viewing their images?  Clyde St is shown using a google earth image at Street level with it facing Newastle, showing the gasworks main office to the right, then the impression comes in showing it as a metro like station with two different train types at the new station, one a heavy rail type and the other a metro like image.

All the surrounding areas have been revamped most of all no sign of the heavily used main tracks for the triangle towards BMD, so where do freight services that head north, south get reverted to?  The image shows two different systems on two separate lines meaning two single track options, or do they expect two types of different operational services to be built over the same areas, affectively it would reduce what is already in place. On that score where does the metro one finish?

The cost to rehabilitate the old gas works and fuel depot area would be huge, and on the same scale as Sulphide, albeit smaller.

Broadmeadow. Where would a new station be built?  While there is around 2 k's or more between there and Adamstown, the only real areas for a station would be to knock down the heritage old Traffic Branch Barracks and old admin buildings at the end of Bale Road, and locate the station over towards the main line, that would need to have a lot of work on the Up through road in the yard,  realign other roads in the yard to facilitate that as well.  What it does do also is to reduce the access to the station for those living on the Western side of the line, as the yard and main line blocks the way.

If anything, the best option would be for the government to reclaim the area near the BMD station between Burke, Cooranbong and Heddon Road for a commuter car park. Improve the footpath access to BMD Station at the Lambton Rd end.

If the station described for the Homemakers centre is seriously considered, that reflects my previous belied that the existing Kotara Station could close, have a decent carpark for Commuters there and consider closing Adamstown as well.

A new station at Cardiff would likely be an extension of the existing one rather than a relocation, there would be room at the Newcastle end to extend the platform for longer trains, especially given the new interurban trains could be longer. One thing for certain though is that there needs to be a better carpark there, although there is a good bus stop right at the stations location.

Cockle Creek though has advantages over a new station and that is the aspect it has room to be extended for long trains if the need arises, also there is room enough on the Eastern side for an enlarged commuter car park, access to the park needs fixing though.
a6et
I don't think the trains used in the Clyde Street artist impressions were given much thought, I don't think anyone is proposing metro trains, traditional trains, and regional trains on the same set of tracks!

I'm scratching my head myself on where a new station would go between Broadmeadow and Adamstown, those two stations are not too far apart and I have always agreed that footpath access between Lambton Road and the platforms, would make a great place for a heavy-light rail interchange.

The station at the homemakers centre is probably one of the most essential ones, and it's seriously head-scratching why it was never done earlier, as I have mentioned earlier, it's ridiculous to think that a suburban railway line can pass a hospital, a major educational facility, two large shopping centres, a popular nature reserve and many residential areas all either without a station (in most cases) or completely inaccessible stations.
The existing Kotara station should NOT be closed, it should be linked to Blackbutt Reserve on the northern side and the residential area on the southern side.

From what I understand (please correct and forgive me if I'm wrong), you think it's best to have stations spaced widely apart with large commuter car parks so people can park and ride, but the problem with this is that public transport is not convenient as owning and driving a car is a pre-requisite to being able to use public transport, and people are required to pay for both petrol (and the plethora of other costs associated with cars) AND fares destroying any cost effectiveness, and car dependency is not reduced at all.
For true efficiency and convenience, stations need to be closer together (obviously not too close like Wolli Creek-Tempe or Clyde-Granville) with people being able to walk or cycle to the station if they live in the areas surrounding the railway line, and bus timetables should be completely rewritten allowing for efficient feeder buses for those who live further out.
Obviously still have commuter car parks, but they should not be relied on, please answer this question, what is the point of even providing public transport if you need a car to use it?

The article said "Cockle Creek and Cardiff train stations were identified as weak locations for adjoining development, and new stations were proposed for Glendale, Argenton and a Cardiff site closer to commercial areas.", if the people suggesting these ideas actually get listened to, then a new Cardiff Station would be built near the commercial area with the existing station closing (stations are too close together here), although not mentioned, the logical thing to do would be to built two new stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb along the miles of stationless track between Cariff and Kotara that is surrounded by steep terrain and terminating roads.
The platform at Cardiff can already hold an 8 carriage V-Set, it would not have to be extended much to take a 10 carriage NIF.

I agree that access to the car park and Cockle Creek needs improving, however, the most important thing is improving access for pedestrians (which are currently required to risk their lives to use Cockle Creek station would a car), installing a set of traffic lights at the car park entrance would make it easier for motorists to use the car park, and provide safe pedestrian access between the station and the bus stops. Secondly, that large roundabout needs to go and be replaced with traffic lights, no one is going to be safely walking or cycling anywhere with roundabouts like that around.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Kotara Station as a link to Blackbutt, cannot be improved on how it is now, why is there a need for another set of steps at the other end?   How many use rail now to go there, once off the train only hindrance is exercise and the lack of a ped xing over the main road.

The current location for Cardiff is as strategically placed as possible to serve the area, move it to where? and what sort of access to Cardiff Heights would need to be put into that location, I assume you are talking about somewhere nearer to Tickhole?

My view is that any station that serves a large community and depending on the amount of passengers that use the stations large ones are needed. Locations such as Wyong. Tuggerah, Gosford on CCL need expanding, each are full from 0700 every morning, Wyong can be made into a 3 deck station if needed, Tuggerah another level as well. Gosford has been targeted for additional parking spaces. Those three stations have people travel by bus to them and catch trains, stations are pretty much packed for all services.

Hunter line few of the 2 car sets are standing room only on them at any point of the journey. If a similar service was introduced down to Fassi or Morriset, same would apply there as well.

Owning a car is not a pre-requisite for anyone with most areas having good bus services to different areas, where we are a bus stop is around 400metres walk, doesn't connect with trains though, and that's the only problem with it, as if it did we would not need to drive the 5 minutes to Victoria St. There are buses that connect at the other side of the station, that is if the bus driver waits for the train that arrives as the bus departs.

Sure there is a need for revisions, but get the pollies to do it, as they know more than anyone here, just ask them,  Everyone tells them they are doing the right thing, but who is everyone?
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Kotara Station as a link to Blackbutt, cannot be improved on how it is now, why is there a need for another set of steps at the other end?   How many use rail now to go there, once off the train only hindrance is exercise and the lack of a ped xing over the main road.

The current location for Cardiff is as strategically placed as possible to serve the area, move it to where? and what sort of access to Cardiff Heights would need to be put into that location, I assume you are talking about somewhere nearer to Tickhole?

My view is that any station that serves a large community and depending on the amount of passengers that use the stations large ones are needed. Locations such as Wyong. Tuggerah, Gosford on CCL need expanding, each are full from 0700 every morning, Wyong can be made into a 3 deck station if needed, Tuggerah another level as well. Gosford has been targeted for additional parking spaces. Those three stations have people travel by bus to them and catch trains, stations are pretty much packed for all services.

Hunter line few of the 2 car sets are standing room only on them at any point of the journey. If a similar service was introduced down to Fassi or Morriset, same would apply there as well.

Owning a car is not a pre-requisite for anyone with most areas having good bus services to different areas, where we are a bus stop is around 400metres walk, doesn't connect with trains though, and that's the only problem with it, as if it did we would not need to drive the 5 minutes to Victoria St. There are buses that connect at the other side of the station, that is if the bus driver waits for the train that arrives as the bus departs.

Sure there is a need for revisions, but get the pollies to do it, as they know more than anyone here, just ask them,  Everyone tells them they are doing the right thing, but who is everyone?
a6et
It would be difficult to improve access from Blackbutt Reserve to Kotara Station due to the houses, but not impossible, a pedestrian bridge over Carnely Avenue would be a good start, with a pedestrian subway to the station.
No one goes there by rail now, I doubt anyone even knows the station is there due to lack of pedestrian access from Blacbutt Reserve, Blackbutt Reserve is also a weekend destination, and the weekend frequency is currently a pathetic 1 train every 2 hours.

Check out the map below to see where stations should go, but yes, Cardiff should be moved further west closer to the commercial area (it's location would have been strategic when it was first built in 1889 and relocated in 1902), with two new suburban stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb, these smaller stations would likely not need staffing (unless crime became in issue) as they primarily would serve low density residential areas.

Wyong, Tuggerah, and Gosford are served by intercity trains and I agree that stations like that warrant larger car parks (and most importantly, good bus and suburban train connections, and pedestrian accessibility),
speaking of intercity stops, there is NO need to have intercity trains leave Newcastle Interchange and unnecessarily slow down by topping at the close-by Hamilton and Broameadow, improved suburban services should serve these stations instead.

I can't remember what the passenger load on the old 2-carriage K-Sets that used to run Newcastle-Morisset used to be, but in order to maximise patronage, the new stations are needed with better accessibility and connectivity.
Also, travel patterns in Newcastle are not CBD-centric, with makes it even more necessary to have stations at places like Kotara.

Regarding buses, not only are connections an issue, as all the other rail lines in Newcastle have been closed down, buses are forced to take scenic routes though some suburbs to reach everyone instead of short feeder routes, which makes bus trips take eternity, making people want to drive.
To to sum it up, Newcastle has lost most of it's rail lines, the remaining ones have no stations where needed and inaccessible stations with a pathetic service frequency, buses taking long scenic routes to make up for lost rail lines (look at route 48), very low public transport patronage for these reasons, meaning urban planning does not consider pedestrians (only drivers), so the few that do use public transport need to risk their lives to do so - but the government doesn't want to fix any of this because Newcastle is not Sydney.

On a side note, having to catch a bus when you live near the railway line (but not a station due to spacing) is an unnecessary inconvenience and would likely send people to their cars since buses rarely, if ever, match the service frequency and late night/early morning running of trains.

  a6et Minister for Railways

It would be difficult to improve access from Blackbutt Reserve to Kotara Station due to the houses, but not impossible, a pedestrian bridge over Carnely Avenue would be a good start, with a pedestrian subway to the station.
No one goes there by rail now, I doubt anyone even knows the station is there due to lack of pedestrian access from Blacbutt Reserve, Blackbutt Reserve is also a weekend destination, and the weekend frequency is currently a pathetic 1 train every 2 hours.

Check out the map below to see where stations should go, but yes, Cardiff should be moved further west closer to the commercial area (it's location would have been strategic when it was first built in 1889 and relocated in 1902), with two new suburban stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb, these smaller stations would likely not need staffing (unless crime became in issue) as they primarily would serve low density residential areas.

Wyong, Tuggerah, and Gosford are served by intercity trains and I agree that stations like that warrant larger car parks (and most importantly, good bus and suburban train connections, and pedestrian accessibility),
speaking of intercity stops, there is NO need to have intercity trains leave Newcastle Interchange and unnecessarily slow down by topping at the close-by Hamilton and Broameadow, improved suburban services should serve these stations instead.

I can't remember what the passenger load on the old 2-carriage K-Sets that used to run Newcastle-Morisset used to be, but in order to maximise patronage, the new stations are needed with better accessibility and connectivity.
Also, travel patterns in Newcastle are not CBD-centric, with makes it even more necessary to have stations at places like Kotara.

Regarding buses, not only are connections an issue, as all the other rail lines in Newcastle have been closed down, buses are forced to take scenic routes though some suburbs to reach everyone instead of short feeder routes, which makes bus trips take eternity, making people want to drive.
To to sum it up, Newcastle has lost most of it's rail lines, the remaining ones have no stations where needed and inaccessible stations with a pathetic service frequency, buses taking long scenic routes to make up for lost rail lines (look at route 48), very low public transport patronage for these reasons, meaning urban planning does not consider pedestrians (only drivers), so the few that do use public transport need to risk their lives to do so - but the government doesn't want to fix any of this because Newcastle is not Sydney.

On a side note, having to catch a bus when you live near the railway line (but not a station due to spacing) is an unnecessary inconvenience and would likely send people to their cars since buses rarely, if ever, match the service frequency and late night/early morning running of trains.

Ethan1395
I understand where you are coming from, thing is what benefit would there be, and assuming I reading you correctly in a moving of the existing Cardiff station to the west?  There is open space on the down side that would suit parking but would wreck an open ground area, it really does not bring people that much closer to the businesses in the shopping area, only aspect perhaps is that not as steep with walking, yet a convenient bus stop is located at the existing station and more homes direactly around the existing station.

Can you honestly believe new stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb would generate any extra patronage for rail in two areas that realistically do not have great populations?  Access to both stations would add a huge amount of money on top of the stations themselves.  It appears you are renaming Kotara to Blackbutt, moving Kotara to the Homemakers spot.

When you talk of having pedestrian underpasses, you will actually turn people away owing to the danger aspects at night. Even the one at BMD station has issues with people walking under there and changing platforms and the like. East Maitland Station used to be the primary stop between Maitland and Thornton, High St being minimal in passenger numbers, and Metford adding a few, also Victoria St was not big, very few people now use East Maitland as a consequence of the underground walkway and stairs, with Victoria St being the primary passenger station from Maitland, then Thornton the next one.

If you are not considering Hamilton or Broadmeadow, or putting it low on the list, where are these passengers going to come from?  The trains to/from the Hunter line connect both directions with CCL trains with max of around 10 minutes between them.

There is a reason why there is likely only a 2 hour service to Kotara and that is passenger numbers.  Even the attraction of the first suburban shopping centre outside of NCLE in the form of Garden City did nothing for passenger numbers, had it been built where the Homemakers Centre is, may have been different, but I doubt it. Certainly that centre along with Charlestown Square that came next pulled the shopping aspect of NCLE down, with the old Store which was prominent and very much used in NCLE slowly dying as did the main City centre, which was dead anyway on weekends the closing of DJ's was inevitable as well.

The only W/E patronage in NCLE was by rail for beach goers in the summer and some surfies, even when NCL CBD as such was going, once midday on Saturdays came, one could sit in Hunter st with a machine gun with endless rounds of ammunition and fail to hit anyone, even when they tried to fix things with having a mall.

Overall, the topography of NCLE and lower Hunter is not contusive to attracting passengers to rail, better bus connections may help some areas likewise better commuter car parks may also help. Increasing more stations likewise will not help and will only add to the overall cost of rail orientated passenger services.

In the end, there is a need to asses things based on Reality vses being Realistic.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
I understand where you are coming from, thing is what benefit would there be, and assuming I reading you correctly in a moving of the existing Cardiff station to the west?  There is open space on the down side that would suit parking but would wreck an open ground area, it really does not bring people that much closer to the businesses in the shopping area, only aspect perhaps is that not as steep with walking, yet a convenient bus stop is located at the existing station and more homes direactly around the existing station.

Can you honestly believe new stations at Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb would generate any extra patronage for rail in two areas that realistically do not have great populations?  Access to both stations would add a huge amount of money on top of the stations themselves.  It appears you are renaming Kotara to Blackbutt, moving Kotara to the Homemakers spot.

When you talk of having pedestrian underpasses, you will actually turn people away owing to the danger aspects at night. Even the one at BMD station has issues with people walking under there and changing platforms and the like. East Maitland Station used to be the primary stop between Maitland and Thornton, High St being minimal in passenger numbers, and Metford adding a few, also Victoria St was not big, very few people now use East Maitland as a consequence of the underground walkway and stairs, with Victoria St being the primary passenger station from Maitland, then Thornton the next one.

If you are not considering Hamilton or Broadmeadow, or putting it low on the list, where are these passengers going to come from?  The trains to/from the Hunter line connect both directions with CCL trains with max of around 10 minutes between them.

There is a reason why there is likely only a 2 hour service to Kotara and that is passenger numbers.  Even the attraction of the first suburban shopping centre outside of NCLE in the form of Garden City did nothing for passenger numbers, had it been built where the Homemakers Centre is, may have been different, but I doubt it. Certainly that centre along with Charlestown Square that came next pulled the shopping aspect of NCLE down, with the old Store which was prominent and very much used in NCLE slowly dying as did the main City centre, which was dead anyway on weekends the closing of DJ's was inevitable as well.

The only W/E patronage in NCLE was by rail for beach goers in the summer and some surfies, even when NCL CBD as such was going, once midday on Saturdays came, one could sit in Hunter st with a machine gun with endless rounds of ammunition and fail to hit anyone, even when they tried to fix things with having a mall.

Overall, the topography of NCLE and lower Hunter is not contusive to attracting passengers to rail, better bus connections may help some areas likewise better commuter car parks may also help. Increasing more stations likewise will not help and will only add to the overall cost of rail orientated passenger services.

In the end, there is a need to asses things based on Reality vses being Realistic.
a6et

Unfortunately 'convienient' bus stops such as the one in Cardiff suffer from bus related issues that a more convenient train station with improved services would not; lower service frequency, no early morning/late night service, scenic routes compensating for torn up rail lines.

I know Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb are a long shot, with any luck, Cardiff Heights may gain some of the passengers affected by moving the existing Cardiff station, and a frequent feeder bus could operate between Charlestown Square and John Hunter Hospital via
a station at Garden Suburb.
I know where you are coming from with the access issue, the stations themselves could just be concrete slabs with a bus shelter and opal pole, but the lifts would cost a fortune, and there is no way one could get away with building new stations without lifts.
Kotara is known for it's commercial area, so I imagine getting off at a station named 'Kotara' to go to a nature reserve would confuse people, especially if a station at Homemakers was called something else. The railway line actually runs along the border of the suburbs of Kotara and Blackbutt

I'm saying that intercity trains should not stop at Broadmeadow (except for regional connections) or Hamilton with Newcastle Interchange being close by, instead, suburban trains between Newcastle Interchange and Fassifern should be running every 15 minutes to take car of passenger numbers there, if the line to the Newcastle CBD was still in place, stopping at Hamilton would be justified, but still not Broadmdeadow.

The other reason why Kotara (and other stations) only get 1 train every 2 hours on weekends is because there are no local services on weekends at all, meaning intercity services are forced to stop at more stations to pick up the slack.
Passenger numbers are an issue though, but why? it's because there are no stations where people need to go, stations are inaccessible, and public transport is dangerous to use due to lack of crossings.

The death of the Newcastle CBD is exactly why more stations are needed, in the old days, I imagine services did better taking more people into the CBD, but nowadays, little employment is found in the CBD (loads of apartments are going up, but very few businesses), employment is found elsewhere in places like Kotara and Glendale - well actually, employment is diffcult to come by in general in the entire Newcastle area, this may have been partially caused by the lack of public transport, but I don't have time to elaborate on that right now.

Anway to sum things up - people in Newcastle can't catch a train to work (no stations in commercial ares in places like Glendale or Kotara, can't catch a train to Newcastle TAFE, and can't weekend leisure seekers can't catch a train to Blackbutt Reserve - despite all of these locations being in close proximity to the railway line - and this is why patronage is low, people can catch a train to the edge of the CBD to transfer to a toy tram, but little of interest is found there.
  a6et Minister for Railways


Unfortunately 'convienient' bus stops such as the one in Cardiff suffer from bus related issues that a more convenient train station with improved services would not; lower service frequency, no early morning/late night service, scenic routes compensating for torn up rail lines.

I know Cardiff Heights and Garden Suburb are a long shot, with any luck, Cardiff Heights may gain some of the passengers affected by moving the existing Cardiff station, and a frequent feeder bus could operate between Charlestown Square and John Hunter Hospital via
a station at Garden Suburb.
I know where you are coming from with the access issue, the stations themselves could just be concrete slabs with a bus shelter and opal pole, but the lifts would cost a fortune, and there is no way one could get away with building new stations without lifts.
Kotara is known for it's commercial area, so I imagine getting off at a station named 'Kotara' to go to a nature reserve would confuse people, especially if a station at Homemakers was called something else. The railway line actually runs along the border of the suburbs of Kotara and Blackbutt

I'm saying that intercity trains should not stop at Broadmeadow (except for regional connections) or Hamilton with Newcastle Interchange being close by, instead, suburban trains between Newcastle Interchange and Fassifern should be running every 15 minutes to take car of passenger numbers there, if the line to the Newcastle CBD was still in place, stopping at Hamilton would be justified, but still not Broadmdeadow.

The other reason why Kotara (and other stations) only get 1 train every 2 hours on weekends is because there are no local services on weekends at all, meaning intercity services are forced to stop at more stations to pick up the slack.
Passenger numbers are an issue though, but why? it's because there are no stations where people need to go, stations are inaccessible, and public transport is dangerous to use due to lack of crossings.

The death of the Newcastle CBD is exactly why more stations are needed, in the old days, I imagine services did better taking more people into the CBD, but nowadays, little employment is found in the CBD (loads of apartments are going up, but very few businesses), employment is found elsewhere in places like Kotara and Glendale - well actually, employment is diffcult to come by in general in the entire Newcastle area, this may have been partially caused by the lack of public transport, but I don't have time to elaborate on that right now.

Anway to sum things up - people in Newcastle can't catch a train to work (no stations in commercial ares in places like Glendale or Kotara, can't catch a train to Newcastle TAFE, and can't weekend leisure seekers can't catch a train to Blackbutt Reserve - despite all of these locations being in close proximity to the railway line - and this is why patronage is low, people can catch a train to the edge of the CBD to transfer to a toy tram, but little of interest is found there.
Ethan1395
I have said all I can say on this topic, but I believe you are wrong in a couple of areas, in one of them you finally reveal the hospital that is close by, and putting a new station no matter the facilities on it, and a lift would be need to get passengers up to the main road above the tunnel. A road into the station on the hospital side would be feasible but a huge added expense, and another set of traffic lights on a road littered with them. The distance to John Hunter hospital for rail passengers also rules out any prospect of patronage there.

The other one is not stopping at BMD, on every occasion I have travelled to Sydney and back, especially in the morning needing to be in Sydney before lunch time, also travelling on weekends both Hamilton and BMD station have a very large number of passengers getting on and off, in fact I would suggest that BMD possibly has the largest number of passengers than any other station past Wyong on the CCL.  

You want more trains to attract passengers but kill off perhaps the busiest one in the area!
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

Has it ever crossed your mind to run this harebrained proposal past the relevant State MP's as opposed to continuously flogging the dead horse on this 'platform'?

I'm certain that you'd still reciecve a polite go away, similar to A6's

Probably academic anyway considering that the popularity vote has just taken place
  billybaxter Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
It makes more sense to close some of the less used stations and extend the light rail now. It could service all the traffic generators as well as the two or three important stations left open, and provide direct transport to the downtown area.

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