DISCUSSION: Is the NSW Government too 'Sydney-Centric' with public transport?

 
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Lausane  is 1/7 the physical size of Newcastle with extensive high density housing compared to Newcastles mostly detached house on black.

Cleveland and Lausane have something Newcastle doesn't, a city centre, makes it easy to run trains and buses if they have a common direction to go as you follow the route people want to go. Newcastle's employment base is geographically diversified.

Toronto line is dead because it requires a major level crossing.

Other lines, I have no idea, but would they attract the numbers required to justify their construction?
RTT_Rules
Hence the reason I said you couldn't justify the same level of service in those places as you could in Newcastle, I was just pointing out that you don't need populations on the millions to justify usable PT.
The city centre issue is somewhat true, but some Hunter Line services still run standing room only to the Newcastle CBD so there is still demand to go there, and having more stations on existing lines could somewhat solve issues with the geographically diversified employment base.

Before building new lines, we need to upgrade the existing lines to a usable level with several new stations at places like Kotara, Glendale, and the Newcastle TAFE, and make other stations accessible to make them usable, a new housing development went up next to the lightly patronized Cockle Creek station for example, but so did a large multi-lane roundabout, killing potential use for the station as it's inaccessible to pedestrians.
Could new lines attract the numbers required to justify construction and operation? make the existing line usable and that will give us our answer.

The Toronto line slopes down towards Carey St from the station, if the line sloped up (and mabye Carey St sloped down a little), it would be pretty easy to eliminate that level crossing.
Considering the fact that the Carlingford Line has been operating for all these years with it's bugger-all patroange, isolation, low frequency, and even worse level crossing, and the fact that it's future is a usable light rail line and not a rail trail - I would say that the Toronto Line is dead because it's unrelated to Sydney - but I am open for correction.

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  a6et Minister for Railways

Lausane  is 1/7 the physical size of Newcastle with extensive high density housing compared to Newcastles mostly detached house on black.

Cleveland and Lausane have something Newcastle doesn't, a city centre, makes it easy to run trains and buses if they have a common direction to go as you follow the route people want to go. Newcastle's employment base is geographically diversified.

Toronto line is dead because it requires a major level crossing.

Other lines, I have no idea, but would they attract the numbers required to justify their construction?
Hence the reason I said you couldn't justify the same level of service in those places as you could in Newcastle, I was just pointing out that you don't need populations on the millions to justify usable PT.
The city centre issue is somewhat true, but some Hunter Line services still run standing room only to the Newcastle CBD so there is still demand to go there, and having more stations on existing lines could somewhat solve issues with the geographically diversified employment base.

Before building new lines, we need to upgrade the existing lines to a usable level with several new stations at places like Kotara, Glendale, and the Newcastle TAFE, and make other stations accessible to make them usable, a new housing development went up next to the lightly patronized Cockle Creek station for example, but so did a large multi-lane roundabout, killing potential use for the station as it's inaccessible to pedestrians.
Could new lines attract the numbers required to justify construction and operation? make the existing line usable and that will give us our answer.

The Toronto line slopes down towards Carey St from the station, if the line sloped up (and mabye Carey St sloped down a little), it would be pretty easy to eliminate that level crossing.
Considering the fact that the Carlingford Line has been operating for all these years with it's bugger-all patroange, isolation, low frequency, and even worse level crossing, and the fact that it's future is a usable light rail line and not a rail trail - I would say that the Toronto Line is dead because it's unrelated to Sydney - but I am open for correction.
Ethan1395
The busiest line in the NCL area is those services to Telerah with the support services from Scone and Singleton, in both directions. There is a half hourly off peak service to Telerah. Not a lot on the Dungog trains to really justify their running except for School children, even the XPT services now get few passengers and there are 3 of those each direction daily.

There are usually very few people standing in any of those trains, my wife travels from Victoria st weekly sometimes more frequently, and asking her about that she has not seen many if any standing, the trains that skip stations and the other all stations services in off peak could be handled by a single DMU, only the peak ones only need the standard explorer sets, and many of those who use the train get off at Warabrook for the uni. The peak hour services are around half full at Wickham before getting on the trams.

Comparing the Toronto line with the Hunter line is not possible as the Toronto line would not get many to use it. you suggested 3-4 an hour, at best it would be 1 every two hours, the cost to reinstate the line along with the bridge, level crossing upgrade would never pay for these works.

Looking at the Carlingford line, it does not have the patronage today as it used to have, the primary reason is that for those who catch the trains in the past worked in the city, in earlier days there were two direct services from Carlo in the morning and back in the evening into the city during peak hours, with the shuttles as additional services throughout the day.  I don't know the patronage today but of the trains I have seen its not much, but they are off peak and the changing at Clyde for primarily slow trips to the city does not help its cause.

That lines useage has dropped dramatically since the loss of the many industrial works and the oil depots on the Camelia branch, where trains to/from Carlingford would be connecting services as well as that there were two suburban services, one morning an one in the afternoon for workers along that line, there were two platforms on it as well.

The trams may get more patronage owing to them having more stops and a decent interchange option with rail compared to the buses.. Still had HR remained those going into NCLE would have been at the terminus before the tram left Wickham

Many people would acknowledge your desire to see more and better PT, and I am one of them however, one has to look at reality in it all. The burden of cost to provide the infrastructure such as stations, and all have to have lifts, decent facilities, most no longer have toilets on them or open at limited times. The choosing of where those stations are best suited for those who may use them is ultra costly, and its also the maintenance of them as well, also the track and trains.

Of interest though as I have mentioned I live near Morpeth, in the past 6 months I have noticed one new subdivision start and houses in the process of construction in the area, each a distance from rail, there are also 2 others in the cut out stage as well, after many crackers and fanfare a slow start has been made on the new Maitland hospital, going on Metford Road located on the old PGH brickworks storage side of the road, the other side of the road where the works existed is now sporting fields and a big open dam. Once completed, there may be justification for a station to be built close to the hospital, but that is some time off as well  If that happens it will affectively then create several stations in close but convenient locations to each other.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
The busiest line in the NCL area is those services to Telerah with the support services from Scone and Singleton, in both directions. There is a half hourly off peak service to Telerah. Not a lot on the Dungog trains to really justify their running except for School children, even the XPT services now get few passengers and there are 3 of those each direction daily.

There are usually very few people standing in any of those trains, my wife travels from Victoria st weekly sometimes more frequently, and asking her about that she has not seen many if any standing, the trains that skip stations and the other all stations services in off peak could be handled by a single DMU, only the peak ones only need the standard explorer sets, and many of those who use the train get off at Warabrook for the uni. The peak hour services are around half full at Wickham before getting on the trams.

Comparing the Toronto line with the Hunter line is not possible as the Toronto line would not get many to use it. you suggested 3-4 an hour, at best it would be 1 every two hours, the cost to reinstate the line along with the bridge, level crossing upgrade would never pay for these works.

Looking at the Carlingford line, it does not have the patronage today as it used to have, the primary reason is that for those who catch the trains in the past worked in the city, in earlier days there were two direct services from Carlo in the morning and back in the evening into the city during peak hours, with the shuttles as additional services throughout the day.  I don't know the patronage today but of the trains I have seen its not much, but they are off peak and the changing at Clyde for primarily slow trips to the city does not help its cause.

That lines useage has dropped dramatically since the loss of the many industrial works and the oil depots on the Camelia branch, where trains to/from Carlingford would be connecting services as well as that there were two suburban services, one morning an one in the afternoon for workers along that line, there were two platforms on it as well.

The trams may get more patronage owing to them having more stops and a decent interchange option with rail compared to the buses.. Still had HR remained those going into NCLE would have been at the terminus before the tram left Wickham

Many people would acknowledge your desire to see more and better PT, and I am one of them however, one has to look at reality in it all. The burden of cost to provide the infrastructure such as stations, and all have to have lifts, decent facilities, most no longer have toilets on them or open at limited times. The choosing of where those stations are best suited for those who may use them is ultra costly, and its also the maintenance of them as well, also the track and trains.

Of interest though as I have mentioned I live near Morpeth, in the past 6 months I have noticed one new subdivision start and houses in the process of construction in the area, each a distance from rail, there are also 2 others in the cut out stage as well, after many crackers and fanfare a slow start has been made on the new Maitland hospital, going on Metford Road located on the old PGH brickworks storage side of the road, the other side of the road where the works existed is now sporting fields and a big open dam. Once completed, there may be justification for a station to be built close to the hospital, but that is some time off as well  If that happens it will affectively then create several stations in close but convenient locations to each other.
I'm not sure if I've ever seen the Hunter Line services standing room only (I'm going off what you have told me on a previous topic), but I have seen them well used with many people waiting on the platform at Hamitlon Station, I also heard that patronage dropped slightly when the Newcastle CBD line closed.
I can't see why they need to run a separate express and all stops service, there is only 6 minute time saving skipping stops, and having one stopping pattern with 2 trains per hour departing every 30 minutes would be better for passengers as the service would be more consistent.
Naturally I would be all for the Maitland Hospital station, I would advocate for closer spaced stations that people can walk/cycle too, as opposed to stations spaced further apart which people need to park at (if they can find a spot) which requires people to own a car to use PT. In the Newcastle suburban area, a station is needed at the Maud St bridge in Waratah West that can serve the Calvary Mater Hospital (admittedly a specialized hospital, but still with many staff members) and the surrounding residential/industrial areas, and at the Clyde St level crossing in Islington that can serve the Newcastle TAFE Campus (I imagine this one would get quite a few passengers) and the surrounding residential/industrial areas.
The only downside of closer stations on a line served by diesel trains is the slower acceleration of said trains, with that being said, I believe electrification is in the 50 year plan, but with a Sydney-centric government, is there any chance of any of this happening?

As you've heard be talking about on a previous topic, I think the station locations between Newcastle and Fassifern are a huge issue that is topped off by the existing stations being inaccessible. New stations are needed at the commercial area at Kotara (which would also serve the residential suburb of Blackbutt and provide pedestrian access between the two areas) and Glendale (which may also serve workers at EDI and the Cardiff industrial area). And to fix things, the existing stations need to be made more accessible, the new housing development at Booragul needs to be connected to the station, and the large roundabout at Cockle Ck needs to be replaced with traffic lights to residents of the new housing development there can safely access the station. After upgrades, there should be 3-4 local services to Fassifern per hour with trains terminating on the old Toronto platform to keep them clear of the main line.

Regarding the Toronto Line, I suggested it as an extension form terminating at Fassifern (not a Carlingford-style branch operation) as Fassifern station is fairly isolated and the former Toronto station is in a commercial area, and it's lakeside location could provide a train-ferry interchange, and Lake Macquaire Council DOES want a ferry network. In terms of cost, the Carey St bridge would be the biggest cost, but the corridor itself is preserved which would hopefully help as there would be no significant acquisition costs.
I was suggesting a complete suburban route of Toronto (or Fassifern)-Newcastle Intg to the Telerah-Newcastle Intg suburban routes, not just the Toronto Line alone.

I've only used the Newcastle Light Rail once around 1pm on a Saturday and only went one stop, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the service running standing room only. The Stockton Ferry now runs more frequently now and as a result, patronage increased. Studies show that people patronize frequent services, so if the stations on the Newcastle lines were fixed and the frequency is right, chances are that people would actually use the services. If someone can drive to their destination in the time it takes to wait for the next PT service, that's exactly what they will do.
Light rail is probably the logical choice of transport mode for future PT lines in a place like Newcastle, although heavy rail might be cheaper if using old alignments if useful. Regardless, the existing lines need to be fixed before building new ones.

The cost of fixing (we are not even talking about building new lines yet) existing services might be fairly significant, but at what cost are we spending money to maintain empty inaccessible stations that are served by empty trains with zero fare recovery? Why not spend some money to fix the already existing service so they can at least get some fare recovery? probably a better sue of tax payer money (I believe Novacastrians pay tax towards PT) instead of rebuilding stadiums and running 6 8-carriage trains per hour to Olympic Park on a late Sunday night.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think you need to look deeper into Atlanta's population. That 498,000 number you used is actually for the Atlanta CBD. The Atlanta urban area is 5 million.

The equivalent in Sydney would be the city of Sydney LGA population which is about 248,000.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
I think you need to look deeper into Atlanta's population. That 498,000 number you used is actually for the Atlanta CBD. The Atlanta urban area is 5 million.

The equivalent in Sydney would be the city of Sydney LGA population which is about 248,000.
simstrain
Thanks for pointing that out, disregard Atlanta from my examples.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There is no real comparison in Australia because Geelong has 100,000 less people then Newcastle and there isn't another 330,000 people between it and it's capital Melbourne. Newcastle is also significantly further away from Sydney then Geelong is to Melbourne and yet still has an electric railway to Sydney. Some new stations could be built along the existing rail line to cover new housing but there isn't any hope of the old coal mine lines re opening. The toronto line could have some light rail installed but even that is a long shot.

Canberra is probably the closest example and it has only just received it's first light rail line. The heavy rail is purely for the 6 xplorer services to Sydney and a little bit of freight. It is covered with bus services and I think that is where the biggest gains to PT in Newcastle can be made.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
There is no real comparison in Australia because Geelong has 100,000 less people then Newcastle and there isn't another 330,000 people between it and it's capital Melbourne. Newcastle is also significantly further away from Sydney then Geelong is to Melbourne and yet still has an electric railway to Sydney. Some new stations could be built along the existing rail line to cover new housing but there isn't any hope of the old coal mine lines re opening. The toronto line could have some light rail installed but even that is a long shot.

Canberra is probably the closest example and it has only just received it's first light rail line. The heavy rail is purely for the 6 xplorer services to Sydney and a little bit of freight. It is covered with bus services and I think that is where the biggest gains to PT in Newcastle can be made.
simstrain
Yeah, Newcastle is pretty unique for comparisons to Australian cities, the Gold Coast is the only place comparable population-wise, but could not be compared to Newcastle in any other way.
Canberra's layout looks good for light rail, I would also say that light rail is more appropriate in cities with populations similar to that of Newcastle, provided the speed of service would be equal or greater than that of driving, with that being said, building heavy rail might be cheaper thanks to preserved corridors, but would face local oppisition as people wouldn't want to lose their cycleways, that is provided the old alignment goes where you want to go.

All I'm really advocating for for the time being is:
      -more stations on the existing lines to serve local destinations
      -existing stations made accessible with the right pedestrian infrastructure
      -more frequent local services between Newcastle and Fassifern
      -better connection times between the electrified line and the Hunter Line

It may also be beneficial to have:
      -electrification of Hunter Line
      -fleet of cost effective 3 carriage single deck EMUs for local services in Newcastle and Wollongong, and also Olympic Park services

There would be a pricetag, but we already spending who knows what on maintenance of empty stations and empty trains, so money would be well spent upgrading the service to something that people can actually use. And is really sustainable to have a city with a 400K population with no usable PT, this population will grow, Sydney is becoming increasingly unaffordable. We are not talking about building new lines or new infrastructure here, we are just talking about upgrading what we have to something usable.
Only once the existing services are actually made into something people are able to use, then construction of new lines can be looked at based on passenger numbers.

Regarding the Toronto Line, Fassifern would be the logical terminating point for frequent Newcastle local services, and said station is in a fairly isolated area with the former Toronto station being in the heart of the suburb making a better terminus. Having a tram on this route will mean having a completely new isolated system, whereas HR would be an extension of existing infrastrucutre along a preserved corridor (most of the cycleway was constructed next to the alignment in case the line ever reopened), the only issue where a tram could have an advantage is the need for level crossing removal.

Buses should only be really used where they have to be, the travelling public doesn't like them as they are slower than driving (with fares similar to that of petrol prices), infrequent, have inconsistent services, and rarely run (if at all) early morning, late at night, or on weekends.
It's worth mentioning that it's not only local rail stations being unusable in Newcastle, the bus network is dying too, the old donut-shaped State Transit bus network never worked with it's indirect routes, poor connection times, and not connecting with trains (unless by pure coincidence), so the NSW government sold it off, and at first things seemed hopeful with routes 28 and 29 connecting with trains at Broadmeadow and Cardiff, but now it's clear what the privatization has done as Keolis Downer is cutting three opal bus routes (41, 43 and 48) to two hourly frequency in favour of their premium on demand service.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The Gold coast is not comparable in population. It is at least twice the size of newcastle. Maybe if you include the central coast you would get those numbers.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
The Gold coast is not comparable in population. It is at least twice the size of newcastle. Maybe if you include the central coast you would get those numbers.
simstrain
I thought the population of the Gold Coast was 569,997.
It doesn't matter regardless, I was making the point that Newcastle is a unique situation, one of the few non capital cities that can justify having it's own services, and the only one that is too far from Sydney or another capital to reasonably commute.

It's also the only example to start out with comprehensive infrastructure, and slowly getting it all removed, with 1st July this year marking another example when three bus routes get their frequency cut to 2 hourly.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Lausanne Swiss is not a fair comparison and having caught train through and driven through its so far from Newcastle its not funny.
1) Its on a main railway, so benefits from a high frequency through traffic
2) It is the terminus of 2-3 small valley railways in a country that loves its trains and gets high levels of snow where roads and slippery and trains keep running, fuel is also expensive.
3) The Metro line is basically the equivalent to the Newcastle tram except it extends out on to existing branches/main line, you have Wickham Junction.

Belmont line,
Apart from first 2km, the rest of the line follows a low populated area. Not worthy of a railway which is why pax trains stopped in the first place. Adamstown is too close to Wickham to run a 2km long branch to the Wickham Interchange.

It might work if the corridor from Kahibah to Wickham via Adamstown was light rail.

Issue these days is of course LX are not acceptable for HR.

Tram from Charlestown up the A43 to Newcastle CBD would be more logical, but at $500M + its not going to happen.

Toronto Line,
Its not just the big LX, there are a few others but I don't disagree if this could be resolved yes it would make a logical location for a southern terminus of a local service but its alot of money for little return.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Lausanne Swiss is not a fair comparison and having caught train through and driven through its so far from Newcastle its not funny.
1) Its on a main railway, so benefits from a high frequency through traffic
2) It is the terminus of 2-3 small valley railways in a country that loves its trains and gets high levels of snow where roads and slippery and trains keep running, fuel is also expensive.
3) The Metro line is basically the equivalent to the Newcastle tram except it extends out on to existing branches/main line, you have Wickham Junction.

Belmont line,
Apart from first 2km, the rest of the line follows a low populated area. Not worthy of a railway which is why pax trains stopped in the first place. Adamstown is too close to Wickham to run a 2km long branch to the Wickham Interchange.

It might work if the corridor from Kahibah to Wickham via Adamstown was light rail.

Issue these days is of course LX are not acceptable for HR.

Tram from Charlestown up the A43 to Newcastle CBD would be more logical, but at $500M + its not going to happen.

Toronto Line,
Its not just the big LX, there are a few others but I don't disagree if this could be resolved yes it would make a logical location for a southern terminus of a local service but its alot of money for little return.
RTT_Rules
I only brought up Lausanne to point out that you don't need population on the millions to support decent PT, everything else is different, particularly the density, which is why I would never advocate for anything metro-style or frequencies higher than 4 trains per hour (I think 3 (20 minute frequency) is even enough, but 2 is too little to attract passengers) for Newcastle.

Regarding the Belmont, the line does run though some lowly populated areas which is an issue, would it be possible for new development to occur alongside the alignment (the lack of PT infrastructure means suburbs like Cameron Park and Fletcher pop up and these are difficult to serve by PT?)?
A big advantage of rebuilding the line though would be the ability to extend to Swansea for local services, and then extend around the bottom of Lake Macquarie to provide a feeder service (and alternate route to Sydney during trackwork) to Gosford which could hopefully resolve some parking issues for Central Coast commuters.

Tram/light rail to Charlestown would be beneficial for locals, mabye running it via Merewether and The Junction could also be more beneficial, if costs are a problem, many someone answer me this? Why spend millions removing infrastructure and then providing a toy to replace it, why can't we spend millions on providing something that is actually useful?
Newcastle CBD wants heavy rail gone? it's gone! Lake Macquarie council wants station at Glendale? It's not happening!
The removal of the Newcastle CBD heavy rail line and replacement light rail project marks the single biggest waste of money in regards to PT, and it's sad because this happened in a city where usable PT has been progressively been removed for almost a century, with this Monday being another mark in the removal when 3 bus routes are being cut down to 2 hourly frequency with operating hours reduced.

In regards to Toronto, there a couple of small level crossings around Blackhalls Park linking some residential areas, a couple of cheap road bridges across some tiny creeks could redirect these residential streets to Cary St.
I'm not sure what the costs would be, but if they went with another isolated light rail line (I've seen some propose this) instead of heavy rail restoration, that would mean depot or yard would be needed, and what would cost more? the infrastructure required for an isolated tram line, or the level crossing removal?
Obviously doing nothing in Newcastle is even cheaper, but the population is growing, CBD apartments are sold before they are completed, and in 20-30 years time, there will probably be congestion issues, and at the same time, if we keep going the way we are going, there will be almost no PT at all.
Even if the Toronto Line was not rebuilt, the old platform at Fassifern should be to allow more frequent local services to terminate without blocking the main line.

Becasue of cost issues though, before building any new line, it's best to upgrade the existing lines to something usable and get an idea of what to expect in terms of passenger numbers for future lines, these upgrades would involve:
      -new stations at local destinations, a business case would be used to determine the best locations
      -pedestrian infrastructure implemented to make existing stations accessible
      -more frequent services (3 trains per hour, maybe 4)
      -better connections between local services from the south, and the Hunter Line
      -better bus services to feed rail services
I also mentioned (after seeing it suggest by another user djf01) it could be beneficial to have a new fleet of small cost effective EMU's (3 car sets, single deck) that could be used for local services in Wollogong and Newcastle, and Olympic Park services (we send Waratahs on that short branch on weekends, how much does this cost?). It would also be beneficial to electrify the Hunter Line, which I believe is in the 50 year plan (but with the way things are going, it could easily be our next rail trail), that way the one fleet can operate on both lines, an Endevours released for more services such as Bathurst services, and the existing Hunter Railcar fleet used to provide more services to places like Singleton.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Lasuanne example is so far from Newcastle its not funny. Small compact city on the side of a hill where most people live in 2-3 level buildings in a country with a culture of using rail and expensive petrol. Newcastle is what 20 x the geographic area, cheap fuel and an en-grained car culture.

Belmont is dead, not enough people to justify construction costs and the density of the development around it will not change for decades. If it has survived to today, it would have likely been converted to LR.

Toronto will only come back for same reason as LR, construction costs to reopen to modern standards are too excessive for a line that takes 10-15min to bike ride the full length.

Overall the old branch lines of Newcastle are all the same, short runs, rarely in locations where people live in sufficient volumes.

Sparking of the Hunter Line is not justified, trains are two cars also some bridge structures in the way.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Lasuanne example is so far from Newcastle its not funny. Small compact city on the side of a hill where most people live in 2-3 level buildings in a country with a culture of using rail and expensive petrol. Newcastle is what 20 x the geographic area, cheap fuel and an en-grained car culture.

Belmont is dead, not enough people to justify construction costs and the density of the development around it will not change for decades. If it has survived to today, it would have likely been converted to LR.

Toronto will only come back for same reason as LR, construction costs to reopen to modern standards are too excessive for a line that takes 10-15min to bike ride the full length.

Overall the old branch lines of Newcastle are all the same, short runs, rarely in locations where people live in sufficient volumes.

Sparking of the Hunter Line is not justified, trains are two cars also some bridge structures in the way.
RTT_Rules
I'm aware that Lasuanne can't be compared to Newcastle, I mentioned it briefly only to say you don't need populations in the millions to justify usable PT, and then talked about how Newcastle was a unique situation - any comparison stops there!

Interesting point on rail culture and car culture though, and cheap fuel is one thing, but what about expensive car ownership costs? hence what I was talking about before, if you are 17 in Newcastle, very few employers will give you a job if you don't have a car, even if you are dedicated and hard working enough to make do with the limited PT services, but the only way to own a car at that age is to come from a family rich enough to buy you one (as you mentioned, you don't have to be rich to buy a car, but after that, the expenses are far too much for someone without work income)- does anyone know if this situation happens in Wollongong as well?
Car culture also has the potential to hurt small business which rely on foot traffic, as car dependent environments see people driving straight to the large shopping centres that the small business can't afford rent in.
Car culture can't be avoided in small rural/regional towns, and it can't be avoided completely in larger cites, but there is no excuse for just low terrible the services are in Newcastle.

As I mentioned, before talking about the reopening of old branches (or construction of new branches or light rail lines), the existing services need some serious fixing, what do you personall think of:
      -new stations along the existing lines, stops near Stockland Glendale (council has asked for this one) and Westfield Kotara (the rail line here actually forms a barrier between residential and commercial areas here) are the two obvious examples, stops at Islington (near the TAFE) and Waratah West (near the Marter Hospital) are also justifiable, and mabye a few more tops to serve residential areas
      -better use of the low patronage existing stations, this one is actually more the responsibility of councils instead of the NSW government, a large housing estate has gone in near Coclke Ck station but so did a large roundabout preventing pedestrian access, a similar estate has gone in near Booragul Station but it never got properly linked to the station
      -better connections between the sparked Line and the Hunter Line and improved frequencies

We have been going back and forth talking about restoration of old lines so there is little point continuing to do so, I believe it can be justified and you can not, but the point is, we won't have anything close to an answer with existing services being as terrible as they are.
But I will ask you this? what would be more expensive, rebuilding the Toronto Line with level crossings removed, or another entirely isolated LR line?
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Fireman

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
A very Newcastle centric discussion

There’s life outside the electrified interurban belt
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

That's what I thought as well.

I thought this thread was about regional NSW.

A bit tired reading how fast trains will be linked to Sydney and how there will be 6 hour journeys between Syd-Mel when that corridor has multiple flights between them on an hourly basis. Yawn.

Need to decentralise. We need regional areas to become new centres for excellence and provide transport links between them. Where is our nation building?

People need to consider other places to live as high rise towers start to crack and sink under them. The aerial shot of the demolished SFS is sufficient proof that the state govt can't see the forest for the trees.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm aware that Lasuanne can't be compared to Newcastle, I mentioned it briefly only to say you don't need populations in the millions to justify usable PT, and then talked about how Newcastle was a unique situation - any comparison stops there!

Interesting point on rail culture and car culture though, and cheap fuel is one thing, but what about expensive car ownership costs? hence what I was talking about before, if you are 17 in Newcastle, very few employers will give you a job if you don't have a car, even if you are dedicated and hard working enough to make do with the limited PT services, but the only way to own a car at that age is to come from a family rich enough to buy you one (as you mentioned, you don't have to be rich to buy a car, but after that, the expenses are far too much for someone without work income)- does anyone know if this situation happens in Wollongong as well?
Car culture also has the potential to hurt small business which rely on foot traffic, as car dependent environments see people driving straight to the large shopping centres that the small business can't afford rent in.
Car culture can't be avoided in small rural/regional towns, and it can't be avoided completely in larger cites, but there is no excuse for just low terrible the services are in Newcastle.

As I mentioned, before talking about the reopening of old branches (or construction of new branches or light rail lines), the existing services need some serious fixing, what do you personall think of:
      -new stations along the existing lines, stops near Stockland Glendale (council has asked for this one) and Westfield Kotara (the rail line here actually forms a barrier between residential and commercial areas here) are the two obvious examples, stops at Islington (near the TAFE) and Waratah West (near the Marter Hospital) are also justifiable, and mabye a few more tops to serve residential areas
      -better use of the low patronage existing stations, this one is actually more the responsibility of councils instead of the NSW government, a large housing estate has gone in near Coclke Ck station but so did a large roundabout preventing pedestrian access, a similar estate has gone in near Booragul Station but it never got properly linked to the station
      -better connections between the sparked Line and the Hunter Line and improved frequencies

We have been going back and forth talking about restoration of old lines so there is little point continuing to do so, I believe it can be justified and you can not, but the point is, we won't have anything close to an answer with existing services being as terrible as they are.
But I will ask you this? what would be more expensive, rebuilding the Toronto Line with level crossings removed, or another entirely isolated LR line?
Ethan1395
Its not millions, its population density and preferential direction and timing that makes rail viable or not.  Lausanne has this, Newcastle does not.

Car ownership in Oz is not costly. You can pick up 10 year old cars with 10 years of low maintenance costs left in them for a few grand and spend less maintaining than you do on PT each year. Its actually alot cheaper today than when the steam trains to Belmont where still running and declining car ownership costs contributed to their closure.

Cheaper to rebuild the Toronto line as LR than HR as no costly bridges, low cost power supply system, likely battery, no need for ROW fencing, no high level platforms, DOO operation. The list goes on. Buy one tram and truck transfer vehicle to rotate through Newcastle for major PM's and repairs. Just needs to be moved in halves.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
A very Newcastle centric discussion

There’s life outside the electrified interurban belt
Travelling Hooker
I talk mainly about Newcastle because I'm from the area, I talk about Wollongong a little bit also.

But this topic is about PT outside of Sydney in general, and the lack of attention given to it, if there are any other places you feel can justify having much better PT, I would like to here it, unfortunately you are going to here mainly Newcastle from me since I know the area.

That's what I thought as well.

I thought this thread was about regional NSW.

A bit tired reading how fast trains will be linked to Sydney and how there will be 6 hour journeys between Syd-Mel when that corridor has multiple flights between them on an hourly basis. Yawn.

Need to decentralise. We need regional areas to become new centres for excellence and provide transport links between them. Where is our nation building?

People need to consider other places to live as high rise towers start to crack and sink under them. The aerial shot of the demolished SFS is sufficient proof that the state govt can't see the forest for the trees.
ANR
This topic is about PT outside of Sydney and I'm mainly referring to local PT, what other places in NSW besides Sydney and Newcastle can justify moderate PT networks? if there are others, I am very intrigued to hear more about it, it would probably give this topic some life instead of just having me talk about Newcastle and every other discussion being about Sydney - yes Sydney has 4M and justifies every PT project it gets, and needs more (Northern Beaches Line, etc), but there is absolutely NO reason why it should be the only places in NSW where PT is usable.


High Speed Rail is a waste of money; you could probably do every necessary PT project in Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong for it's price tag. Upgrade to MSR and have fares that are half the cost of flying.

My mindset is that Sydney is the only place where there is usable PT and employment opportunities, giving the people very little choice of where the want to live.
If cities further away have potential for these things, it would be great, even more choice of where to live spread out over a greater area.

The embellishment of the SFS is the biggest waste of money after the truncation of the Newcastle CBD heavy rail line, I certainly hope no one can justify this, it's proof that the government is too Sydney-centric - we can't get one local station in the right location in Newcastle when a council calls for it, but that perfactly good stadium is not good enough.

Its not millions, its population density and preferential direction and timing that makes rail viable or not. Lausanne has this, Newcastle does not.

Car ownership in Oz is not costly. You can pick up 10 year old cars with 10 years of low maintenance costs left in them for a few grand and spend less maintaining than you do on PT each year. Its actually alot cheaper today than when the steam trains to Belmont where still running and declining car ownership costs contributed to their closure.

Cheaper to rebuild the Toronto line as LR than HR as no costly bridges, low cost power supply system, likely battery, no need for ROW fencing, no high level platforms, DOO operation. The list goes on. Buy one tram and truck transfer vehicle to rotate through Newcastle for major PM's and repairs. Just needs to be moved in halves.
RTT_Rules
Car ownership is costly once youall the associated costs together; insurance, registration, green slip, servicing, maintenance, etc. Multiply it by two for the parents of a family of 4 and you have a significant expense, but it's when you multiply it by two again for 2 young teenagers are when the costs really soar. It varies car to car (for example, a younger persons car is cheaper on fuel and maintenance, but insurance premiums are through the roof), but the average cost of car ownership for a 2-car family is $15,807, so lets estimate $23,000 for a 4-car family (estimating on the fact that younger people's cars are generally cheaper).
And like I keep mentioning, the fact that this is an expensive expected to be paid for before young people in Newcastle are able to work is just inexcusable, no amount of pocket money or Centrelink benefit is going to cover your insurance premiums, registration costs, servicing fees, green slips, and maintenance. It's coming from mummy and daddy, and if you're mummy and daddy can't keep up with the every rising cost of living, then you are left in the dust because few hiring manager's in the area are willing to hire people without cars.
You can excuse this in a smaller regional town, but not in a city of 400K with a growing (the population is growing and will contiune to grow as Sydney becomes increasingly affordable and people still want city life) population, which once had usable PT, and still has potential for better PT.
And even with car ownership costs aside, is it wise to simply be okay with the car culture in such large a city and accept the continuing decline of PT in the area? There are the environmental concerns, and congestion, there is currently little congestion in Newcastle, but more apartments are going up and the population is growing,  and in 30 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see congestion, and unfortunately wouldn't be surprised to see both existing rail lines turned into rail trails, and bus frequency being something like only 5 services per day.

Regarding LR vs HR, thanks for letting me know, I didn't think about things like power supply, I was more thinking this about acquisition costs and depots, but there is a lot more than that and you are starting to convince me that LR is a better option for the Toronto Line
Would it be possible though, to have a hybrid vehicle that is essentially a high door (to match high platform) tram that runs along HR lines through local stations, drawing power from existing overhead, at train speeds, and then turns onto a branch and switches over to the LR power supply and runs at tram speeds safely through level crossings?
This would certainly be the best of both worlds; make use of local stations, makes use of old alignments, cheaper LR option, no need for LX removal, can operate at HR speed when able, no need for annoying mode change that can shy away passengers. etc
  billybaxter Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
Yes, it's a concept reasonably well developed in Germany.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080521052133/http://www.eaue.de/winuwd/85.htm
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The first problem when claiming 400k people live in Newcastle, is what is defined as Newcastle?

The main sprawl is
- South of the river
- North of Lake Macquarie from Terabla to Swansea which does not include Toronto
- East of Wallsend

Anything out of of this is basically low density and patchy suburbs / villages. The Hunter line is mostly farm land west of Sandgate with a patch of suburbia at the odd town and some lack this.

To make it worse, the CBD (if you can call it that is off on a point almost intentionally as far away from everything as possible and impractical as a "central" point.

So what it gets down to a geographic area 10km E-W and 15km N-S. Unfortunately such small locations are not well suited for suburban rail as the run is too short. IF you look at Brisbane, the Ferny Grove line at around 14km long was only duplicated in the last 10 years to the terminus. Population density, traffic and a decent sized CBD means the line gets a respectable level of traffic these days.

Meanwhile the short Doomben line struggles to get a decent train load and is worse off than the Hunter Line in frequency and number of services per day. It used to be closed on Sunday, may still be. So based on this I doubt the Wallsend line would be popular enough to day to justify a 30min 2 car train. Maybe in peak, but outside peak no. The corridor following the A15 should be a frequent bus route, but maybe one day could be a tram.

The two existing lines rely on the fact they are part of a much bigger network and run through trains, especially from the south, very similar to Lasaunne.

But I will say now having studied the maps, yes Cockle Creek station should be closed and relocated to Glenndale. A half decent business case should be able to sell this to the govt. Its still a $2-3M exercise but I think it would be worth it.

The A43 / Pac hwy is a likely an ideal corridor for a tram, at 12-15km to Charlstown this the upper limit for LR with street running as buses tend to be quicker.

Overall the A43 and A15 are the only two corridors worth even considering for tram extensions.

Warabrook is a bit westerly for the population to the north of the line, but ok for the Uni, but there should be a station in between the Warabrook and Waratah.

The 3rd platform at Toronto is an ideal location to terminate a local suburban train, if I recall there is still the cross over to teh north. You don't want or need a train-tram combo for a 4km branch line. The limited population there now and growth options doesn't not justify the outlay. Toronto branch is dead unless its used for a HR tram or similar.

As I said before, Hamilton should be converted to an island platform to make transfer to the north easier, but remember most of Sydney does not have such a luxury, however in this case Hamilton is a simple side by side station with two tracks.

Maybe 650k on Newstart and 7 for every job advertised, but most jobs are not advertised. Australia had nearly 200,000 vacant jobs recently, I suspect half if not more of these Newstart people are neither living in the areas where the jobs are nor qualified if they are. I know people looking for people they cannot find, hence recruiting OS, usually for senior roles and why immigrants often walk into jobs much easier than Locals as they are generally only allowed if if their skills match a shortfall.
RTT_Rules
I would probably define 'Newcatle' as being bordered by Swansea, Toronto, West Wallsend, Wallsend, Sandgate, and Stockton. For a geographic area that size, I would say LR is the most appropriate form of PT with HR working in a few areas further out, Lake Macquarie also has the potential for a ferry network, buses need to be in places where other forms of PT are not practical obviously, even if they are unpopular with commuters.
If the CBD could somehow be 'moved' to somewhere like Charlestown (higher turnover than the existing CBD) or Kotara (on the existing rail line), that would help, but they are trying to revitalise the existing CBD with a frequent tram but without decent PT to get there (I see people complain about parking in the CBD).

Wallsend Line is HR would probably not justifiable due to it's short length (Toronto only is because it branches off from a logical terminus) and LR would be better suited, you could either follow the A15 for most direct route, or Tutor St, B63, and eventually A15 for highest catchment.
I know there were talks about extending along Lambton Rd and the A37 to a terminus at John Hunter Hospital, but realistically, could a LR vehicle travel over such steep grades? either way, Wallsend would probably make a better terminus.

I actually don't think that Cockle Creek station needs closing, although it has always had low patronage due to it's isolation (and terrible service), there is significant residential development going in around the station now, but there is a large roundabout between everything which makes it dangerous and almost impossible to walk to the station, and there is no right turn out of the car park. Cockle Ck should stay with pedestrian infrastructure and car park access be fixed, alongside a new station at Glendale, and mabye another stop at Argenton in between.
I don't believe any stations on the existing lines need to be closed due to low patronage, they just need to be properly integrated into the surrounding areas (along with service improvements) so they can actually be used.
I would say there is an exception at Cardiff where the station should be relocated the commercial area and a new station at Cardiff Heights to serve the residential area and the people who were once near the current station, and while they are at it, it wouldn't help to straighten out the alignment through the area.

I thoroughly agree that should be a station in between the Warabrook and Waratah, it should be at the Maud St bridge, it could also serve people working at the Mater Hosptial, likewise, there is a need for a station between Waratah and Hamilton at the Clyde St LX which would serve Newcastle TAFE and surrounding areas.
I believe with 820 passengers a day in 2013, Warabrook is the busiest local station in Newcastle (which is not served by regional or intercity trains).
For LR to Charlestown, could the Belmont alignment be reused to Kahibah to reduce the amount of time spent running on-street to speed up service? and then potentially look at street running to Belmont and then off-street (parallel to Highway) to Swansea?
The train-tram concept would hopefully not just be for 4km Toronto branch though, but could have other uses, for exmaple, in Wollongong, extending local rail service beyond Port Kembla through Warrawong, Windang, Shellharbour, and connecting back to the main line at Dunmore.
The Hamitlon island platform is not the most necessary thing, and not everyone in Sydney has the luxury as you mentioned, the most important thing is just to make sure the connection times are right.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
The first problem when claiming 400k people live in Newcastle, is what is defined as Newcastle?

The main sprawl is
- South of the river
- North of Lake Macquarie from Terabla to Swansea which does not include Toronto
- East of Wallsend

Anything out of of this is basically low density and patchy suburbs / villages. The Hunter line is mostly farm land west of Sandgate with a patch of suburbia at the odd town and some lack this.

To make it worse, the CBD (if you can call it that is off on a point almost intentionally as far away from everything as possible and impractical as a "central" point.

So what it gets down to a geographic area 10km E-W and 15km N-S. Unfortunately such small locations are not well suited for suburban rail as the run is too short. IF you look at Brisbane, the Ferny Grove line at around 14km long was only duplicated in the last 10 years to the terminus. Population density, traffic and a decent sized CBD means the line gets a respectable level of traffic these days.

Meanwhile the short Doomben line struggles to get a decent train load and is worse off than the Hunter Line in frequency and number of services per day. It used to be closed on Sunday, may still be. So based on this I doubt the Wallsend line would be popular enough to day to justify a 30min 2 car train. Maybe in peak, but outside peak no. The corridor following the A15 should be a frequent bus route, but maybe one day could be a tram.

The two existing lines rely on the fact they are part of a much bigger network and run through trains, especially from the south, very similar to Lasaunne.

But I will say now having studied the maps, yes Cockle Creek station should be closed and relocated to Glenndale. A half decent business case should be able to sell this to the govt. Its still a $2-3M exercise but I think it would be worth it.

The A43 / Pac hwy is a likely an ideal corridor for a tram, at 12-15km to Charlstown this the upper limit for LR with street running as buses tend to be quicker.

Overall the A43 and A15 are the only two corridors worth even considering for tram extensions.

Warabrook is a bit westerly for the population to the north of the line, but ok for the Uni, but there should be a station in between the Warabrook and Waratah.

The 3rd platform at Toronto is an ideal location to terminate a local suburban train, if I recall there is still the cross over to teh north. You don't want or need a train-tram combo for a 4km branch line. The limited population there now and growth options doesn't not justify the outlay. Toronto branch is dead unless its used for a HR tram or similar.

As I said before, Hamilton should be converted to an island platform to make transfer to the north easier, but remember most of Sydney does not have such a luxury, however in this case Hamilton is a simple side by side station with two tracks.

Maybe 650k on Newstart and 7 for every job advertised, but most jobs are not advertised. Australia had nearly 200,000 vacant jobs recently, I suspect half if not more of these Newstart people are neither living in the areas where the jobs are nor qualified if they are. I know people looking for people they cannot find, hence recruiting OS, usually for senior roles and why immigrants often walk into jobs much easier than Locals as they are generally only allowed if if their skills match a shortfall.
RTT_Rules
I would probably define 'Newcatle' as being bordered by Swansea, Toronto, West Wallsend, Wallsend, Sandgate, and Stockton. For a geographic area that size, I would say LR is the most appropriate form of PT with HR working in a few areas further out, Lake Macquarie also has the potential for a ferry network, buses need to be in places where other forms of PT are not practical obviously, even if they are unpopular with commuters.
If the CBD could somehow be 'moved' to somewhere like Charlestown (higher turnover than the existing CBD) or Kotara (on the existing rail line), that would help, but they are trying to revitalise the existing CBD with a frequent tram but without decent PT to get there (I see people complain about parking in the CBD).

Wallsend Line is HR would probably not justifiable due to it's short length (Toronto only is because it branches off from a logical terminus) and LR would be better suited, you could either follow the A15 for most direct route, or Tutor St, B63, and eventually A15 for highest catchment.
I know there were talks about extending along Lambton Rd and the A37 to a terminus at John Hunter Hospital, but realistically, could a LR vehicle travel over such steep grades? either way, Wallsend would probably make a better terminus.

I actually don't think that Cockle Creek station needs closing, although it has always had low patronage due to it's isolation (and terrible service), there is significant residential development going in around the station now, but there is a large roundabout between everything which makes it dangerous and almost impossible to walk to the station, and there is no right turn out of the car park. Cockle Ck should stay with pedestrian infrastructure and car park access be fixed, alongside a new station at Glendale, and mabye another stop at Argenton in between.
I don't believe any stations on the existing lines need to be closed due to low patronage, they just need to be properly integrated into the surrounding areas (along with service improvements) so they can actually be used.
I would say there is an exception at Cardiff where the station should be relocated the commercial area and a new station at Cardiff Heights to serve the residential area and the people who were once near the current station, and while they are at it, it wouldn't help to straighten out the alignment through the area.

I thoroughly agree that should be a station in between the Warabrook and Waratah, it should be at the Maud St bridge, it could also serve people working at the Mater Hosptial, likewise, there is a need for a station between Waratah and Hamilton at the Clyde St LX which would serve Newcastle TAFE and surrounding areas.
I believe with 820 passengers a day in 2013, Warabrook is the busiest local station in Newcastle (which is not served by regional or intercity trains).
For LR to Charlestown, could the Belmont alignment be reused to Kahibah to reduce the amount of time spent running on-street to speed up service? and then potentially look at street running to Belmont and then off-street (parallel to Highway) to Swansea?
The train-tram concept would hopefully not just be for 4km Toronto branch though, but could have other uses, for exmaple, in Wollongong, extending local rail service beyond Port Kembla through Warrawong, Windang, Shellharbour, and connecting back to the main line at Dunmore.
The Hamitlon island platform is not the most necessary thing, it would certainly be beneficial, not everyone in Sydney has the luxury as you mentioned, the most important thing is just to make sure the connection times are right.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
There is only going to be one station at Glendale / Argenton, no need for two and this is not as easy as it sounds anyway as there are no major roads or really any roads for that matter leading to the railway on the north side of the tracks. Lake Rd leads to the Cockle Creek which is why the govt may have passed over the idea in the first place. I agree with a station a Glendale, its just how without buying up a few homes near the end of Montgomery Street and Brandon St and then increasing traffic on suburban streets or building a new road from Lake Road through t the end of Montgomery Street parallel to the shopping centre fence line, none of which will be highly popular.

Hell if I was to do that I'd drop another $50m on the table and take that blood hairpin out of the line to Cardiff, use the existing railway siding corridor past GJ Glass to Woolworths, then clear a corridor through Toyota and connect to the line around Newcastle Street bridge. Build a new Cardiff railway station on the junction of Myall and Macquarie. Most of the affected land owners would be compensated with cash and priority in picking new blocks from the former ROW which is quite wide through this area.  

Belmont line is too far to the side of the population to bother using.

Swansea is too far south and remote to justify with LR.

The tram can make the grade to the hospital.

The CBD moved itself years ago, just not to one location, just some people don't want to accept this fact. Building mid rises in the precinct around the physical CBD will help bring some services back and increase the volume of others. You will need 25,000 to 50,000 people extra in this location to make a difference. But then if they live and work in the "CBD" what use do they have for suburban PT?

Bottom line is there are many areas, probably as much as 50% of the population of greater Newcastle that are "remote" suburban sprawls and if you move there and don't own a car or can afford to own a car, then the taxpayer is not here to fund your lifestyle choice. Remember Sydney is not building high cost fixed rail PT to satellite suburbs
  viaprojects Train Controller


Belmont line is too far to the side of the population to bother using.

Swansea is too far south and remote to justify with LR.

RTT_Rules


large sections between Belmont and Swansea get flooded out ... option for rail or public transport has to deal with the problems of flood waters and sandy soil types .. ie too costly for a system to be considered or started..
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
There is only going to be one station at Glendale / Argenton, no need for two and this is not as easy as it sounds anyway as there are no major roads or really any roads for that matter leading to the railway on the north side of the tracks. Lake Rd leads to the Cockle Creek which is why the govt may have passed over the idea in the first place. I agree with a station a Glendale, its just how without buying up a few homes near the end of Montgomery Street and Brandon St and then increasing traffic on suburban streets or building a new road from Lake Road through t the end of Montgomery Street parallel to the shopping centre fence line, none of which will be highly popular.

Hell if I was to do that I'd drop another $50m on the table and take that blood hairpin out of the line to Cardiff, use the existing railway siding corridor past GJ Glass to Woolworths, then clear a corridor through Toyota and connect to the line around Newcastle Street bridge. Build a new Cardiff railway station on the junction of Myall and Macquarie. Most of the affected land owners would be compensated with cash and priority in picking new blocks from the former ROW which is quite wide through this area.  

Belmont line is too far to the side of the population to bother using.

Swansea is too far south and remote to justify with LR.

The tram can make the grade to the hospital.

The CBD moved itself years ago, just not to one location, just some people don't want to accept this fact. Building mid rises in the precinct around the physical CBD will help bring some services back and increase the volume of others. You will need 25,000 to 50,000 people extra in this location to make a difference. But then if they live and work in the "CBD" what use do they have for suburban PT?

Bottom line is there are many areas, probably as much as 50% of the population of greater Newcastle that are "remote" suburban sprawls and if you move there and don't own a car or can afford to own a car, then the taxpayer is not here to fund your lifestyle choice. Remember Sydney is not building high cost fixed rail PT to satellite suburbs
RTT_Rules
A station at Argenton is probably of little importance for the time being (but could be looked at in future, just a cheap unnamed station like Casula would do), the most important issues on this stretch of line would be implementing proper pedestrian access to Cockle Ck station, constructing Glendale station, and possible removing the hairpin turn at Cardiff with a new station in the commercial area (at the intersection you suggested), and maybe another unmanned station up the line at Cardiff Heights to serve the residential are which was previously partially served by the current Cardiff station.

On the other stretches of line, it's of equal importance to have a station at the commercial area in Kotara, a station at Garden Suburb immediately west of the Tickhole to interchange with buses on the A37, and better implement the existing stations into the surrounding suburban areas. And then there is also the importance of better connections with the Hunter Line and new stations between Hamilton and Waratah, and between Waratah and Warabrook.
Nothing extravagant needs to be done in Newcastle, the services just need to be frequent and comprehensive enough to be able to be used.

I'm not the only one to have such crazy ideas:
https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/5896143/suburbs-transformed-study-takes-look-down-the-line-at-predicted-growth/
!!!WARNING!!! CLICKING LINK WILL USE UP 1 OF 5 FREE ARTICLES FROM NEWCASTLE HERALD !!!!WARNING!!!

There is no need to buy up a few homes near the end of Montgomery St and increase traffic on suburban streets, there is already a stub road behind the retail centre that is ready to be connected to a railway station and bridge to the Cardiff Industrial area.

If the mid rise buildings bring services to the physical CBD then it should bring jobs and not everyone who works said jobs won't be able to afford to live in the expensive units, especially families, meaning there should still be a demand for suburban travel.

The taxpayer is not there to fund anyone's lifestyle choice, but families can't afford to live in Sydney, even if they need the services there, people need to be able to have a choice of where they can live, Sydney is the logical first option but if finances don't allow it, then Newcastle, being NSW's second largest city and far enough away (without being too far) should be a logical choice, and it has pretty much every service except for PT, and this is not acceptable. There are remote areas in Greater Newcastle where you can't justify many services, but in the actual metropolitan area (which is where I get the 400K figure), the lack of service is completely unacceptable - how can anyone honestly justify inaccessible stations, commercial areas next to passenger rail lines with no stations, and bus services cut to support a premium service?

Belmont line is too far to the side of the population to bother using.

Swansea is too far south and remote to justify with LR.
large sections between Belmont and Swansea get flooded out ... option for rail or public transport has to deal with the problems of flood waters and sandy soil types .. ie too costly for a system to be considered or started..
viaprojects
That's an issue then. Something is definitely needed as far as Belmont though, most idealy via Charlestown, considering how far the area is from another rail line, not going to be good when the population grows.


It's a shame about Swansea though since if the HR line could be rebuilt (HIGH unlikely though), an exention to Swansea could be extended further to Gosford, hopefully with a feeder services solving parking issues at said station, and providing an alternate route to Newcastle during trackwork.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Belmont needs more bus services like many other places up that way need.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

Belmont line is too far to the side of the population to bother using.

Swansea is too far south and remote to justify with LR.


large sections between Belmont and Swansea get flooded out ... option for rail or public transport has to deal with the problems of flood waters and sandy soil types .. ie too costly for a system to be considered or started..
viaprojects
The Belmont line after the first two km basically avoids the population centres with the exception of Redhead, crossing Dudley Road area and Belmont itself. The last passenger train ran in 1971, a clear sign it wasn't competitive to alternatives. Had it survived today, yes it would be a "quaint" Sunday train trip to Belmont for "wet" lunch alongside the lake. It would have been nice to see the line retained as a HR line, but alas it didn't.    

Not impossible to cross the sandy Swansea peninsula, but why would you, the population doesn't support rail PT plus you will pi$$ off the half local population building the line as there is almost no free space.

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