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

 
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

buses are perfect for short trips. Catch a bus to a station and get over glendale as it isn't happening.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Oh, the previously mentioned Cockle Creek to 4 platforms won't happen. It was 4 plats which included two for the old bridge and branch line in place, not to the Nth Main. If I recall collectedly.
you are correct re the platforms RTT

I never said 4 platforms. I said a bypass loop so freight and express can overtake all stoppers. 2 platforms but 3-4 tracks.
simstrain
Not enough room, you'd need to move north of road bridge.

There is a spot around the BMX track that is straight and closer to Glendale but considering people living south of existing station are pushing 1km away and mostly outside nominal walking distance then an extra 300m isn't going to hurt. Meanwhile the entire Glendale area would be within 1.1km.

However if you want a passing loop, the the track south of the shopping centre, has the space, tracks and location to do so.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Oh, the previously mentioned Cockle Creek to 4 platforms won't happen. It was 4 plats which included two for the old bridge and branch line in place, not to the Nth Main. If I recall collectedly.
you are correct re the platforms RTT

I never said 4 platforms. I said a bypass loop so freight and express can overtake all stoppers. 2 platforms but 3-4 tracks.
Not enough room, you'd need to move north of road bridge.

There is a spot around the BMX track that is straight and closer to Glendale but considering people living south of existing station are pushing 1km away and mostly outside nominal walking distance then an extra 300m isn't going to hurt. Meanwhile the entire Glendale area would be within 1.1km.

However if you want a passing loop, the the track south of the shopping centre, has the space, tracks and location to do so.
RTT_Rules
If a passing loop was required, there is no reason why the once mooted plan to bring the old single alignment at the top of Fassifern bank to Teralba back into operation, as it was reserved some time back for that purpose.  While there's the new housing estate going in between that section and Booragul station, the remainder may still be part of reserved land space.

That would allow for both crossings as well as have some time cut off through trains as well.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The road bridge needs to be replaced RTT any way to allow 4 lanes of traffic. The passing loop isn't for moving trains but for stationery passenger services to allow express and freight trains past and so the passing loop is pointless south of glendale unless a station goes in somewhere there.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
buses are perfect for short trips. Catch a bus to a station and get over glendale as it isn't happening.
simstrain
The only bus I'm catching to a station is the 29 to Cardiff station for an express train to Sydney, and I'm going to move permanently so this doesn't effect me. But can everyone live in Sydney? no.

Anyway, getting off a train in a residential area to catch a bus to the commercial employment area which is alongside the railway line is just going to lead to complete PT failure for both modes, no other city in the world does this.
Buses are best for catching a bus to the station from a residential area away from the railway line, go a commercial area away from the railway line, and navigating terrain hostile to rail transport (something that Newcastle has no shortage of).

Glendale is a commercial employment area, and a bus interchange, and right next to the railway line - why would you not put a station there.

The reason existing services get such low patronage as a6et has pointed out, is because almost anything of interest alongside the railway line has no station, and if something of interest happens to be near a station, there is no pedestrian access, add onto to that pathetic frequency (hourly on weekdays, 2 hourly on weekends), poor (or non existent on weekends) connections with the Hunter Line, inaccessible stations, and zero integration with buses.
The railway line is active, trains are running (empty), why not fix and improve services?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

buses are perfect for short trips. Catch a bus to a station and get over glendale as it isn't happening.
The only bus I'm catching to a station is the 29 to Cardiff station for an express train to Sydney, and I'm going to move permanently so this doesn't effect me. But can everyone live in Sydney? no.

Anyway, getting off a train in a residential area to catch a bus to the commercial employment area which is alongside the railway line is just going to lead to complete PT failure for both modes, no other city in the world does this.
Buses are best for catching a bus to the station from a residential area away from the railway line, go a commercial area away from the railway line, and navigating terrain hostile to rail transport (something that Newcastle has no shortage of).

Glendale is a commercial employment area, and a bus interchange, and right next to the railway line - why would you not put a station there.

The reason existing services get such low patronage as a6et has pointed out, is because almost anything of interest alongside the railway line has no station, and if something of interest happens to be near a station, there is no pedestrian access, add onto to that pathetic frequency (hourly on weekdays, 2 hourly on weekends), poor (or non existent on weekends) connections with the Hunter Line, inaccessible stations, and zero integration with buses.
The railway line is active, trains are running (empty), why not fix and improve services?
Ethan1395

What is wrong with catching the 29 bus. You make it sound like everywhere in Sydney is only walking distance to a train line and it isn't. In my area I have to either drive to either Warwick Farm or Liverpool station which isn't really possible past 6.30am in the morning. Take a 30 minute walk or catch a bus to Liverpool station which only comes every hour.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
What is wrong with catching the 29 bus. You make it sound like everywhere in Sydney is only walking distance to a train line and it isn't. In my area I have to either drive to either Warwick Farm or Liverpool station which isn't really possible past 6.30am in the morning. Take a 30 minute walk or catch a bus to Liverpool station which only comes every hour.
simstrain
Not everywhere in Sydney is walking distance from a train line/station, but nine times out of ten, anything of interest next to a railway line is within walking distance of a station.
And that is the problem in Newcastle, nine times out of ten, anything of interest next to a railway line has no nearby station, and the other one time out of ten, there is no pedestrian access.

To compare Newcastle to the Liverpool area;
-Liverpool station would not exist but Casula and Warwick Farm would,
-buses would not line up with trains at Casula or Warwick Farm,
-people would have the choice of getting off at Casula and getting a bus to Liverpool (with no consideration for connection times) or taking a circuitous bus route the entire way,
-Casula would have a large multi-lane roundabout between people's home and the station,
-there would be a 70km/hr road with no footpaths or pedestrian crossings between Warwick Farm station and anything of interest

Nothing wrong with catching a bus, particularly if it's from a residential area to a station, a commercial area distance from the railway line from a station, or over steep terrain,
there is only something very wrong with having to get off a train in a residential area, and the catch a bus to a commercial are  which is right next to the railway line, and is a bus interchange in of itself.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Not everywhere in Sydney is walking distance from a train line/station, but nine times out of ten, anything of interest next to a railway line is within walking distance of a station.
And that is the problem in Newcastle, nine times out of ten, anything of interest next to a railway line has no nearby station, and the other one time out of ten, there is no pedestrian access.

To compare Newcastle to the Liverpool area;
-Liverpool station would not exist but Casula and Warwick Farm would,
-buses would not line up with trains at Casula or Warwick Farm,
-people would have the choice of getting off at Casula and getting a bus to Liverpool (with no consideration for connection times) or taking a circuitous bus route the entire way,
-Casula would have a large multi-lane roundabout between people's home and the station,
-there would be a 70km/hr road with no footpaths or pedestrian crossings between Warwick Farm station and anything of interest
Ethan1395
The difference is that the railway in newcastle developed differently then Sydney and places like Liverpool. The railways in Newcastle have for the most part developed because of coal. It is nothing to do with the NSW government being Sydney centric and more to do with how the 2 cities developed.

Glendale is a lost cause because it has many obstacles for it's introduction. For one there is edi, secondly there are rail sidings for freight wagons and thirdly it requires buying land from edi and tolls driveway.

In some ways it would be more like leightonfield station which is an extremely low patronage station with more appropriate stations at chester hill and villawood nearby.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I would also say that the shopping centres are to blame as well. Why was glendale built where it was instead of nearer to cardiff. Same goes for westfields kotara. In Sydney the big shopping centres popped up next to railway stations and not away from them.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I would also say that the shopping centres are to blame as well. Why was glendale built where it was instead of nearer to cardiff. Same goes for westfields kotara. In Sydney the big shopping centres popped up next to railway stations and not away from them.
simstrain
I would disagree

When building  suburban shopping centre from scratch in the 70's to 2000's, there was little regard for placement near a railway station as few use PT, certainly rail to get there. Typically they just went for the cheapest land with good road access. Realistically we know few will go to a supermarket based shopping centre by anything but car. As for the workers, well thats not the concern of the developer and numbers are small and wouldn't justify a station on their own anyway.

In Sydney, most suburban shopping centre locations have been there fore 50+ years, likely 100 years in some form and hence started near rail and still near rail.

Go to regional Australia anywhere and suburban shopping centres are often not even in CBD's rather outside where space is more available or indeed central. Gladstone, Rocky etc to name a few. Same applies to Central Coast and newer areas of Sydney and certainly Brisbane.

Glendale shopping centre is 20-25min walk from Cockle Creek, and there is a bus.

My support for a station there is simply due to the large gap between CC and Cardiff stations, its justified and again Newcastle is a small city and if you want people to use PT, there bus-train-bus connections for a single journey over relatively short distances is simply not going to work. The data from Sydney is very clear, live within 500m radius of a station and the rail is attractive, after 2km, rail is very unattractive. Therefore its likely the addition of 2-4 new stations with a 30min timetable based on previous discusses would see a dramatic increase in ridership.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I would also say that the shopping centres are to blame as well. Why was glendale built where it was instead of nearer to cardiff. Same goes for westfields kotara. In Sydney the big shopping centres popped up next to railway stations and not away from them.
I would disagree

When building  suburban shopping centre from scratch in the 70's to 2000's, there was little regard for placement near a railway station as few use PT, certainly rail to get there. Typically they just went for the cheapest land with good road access. Realistically we know few will go to a supermarket based shopping centre by anything but car. As for the workers, well thats not the concern of the developer and numbers are small and wouldn't justify a station on their own anyway.

In Sydney, most suburban shopping centre locations have been there fore 50+ years, likely 100 years in some form and hence started near rail and still near rail.

Go to regional Australia anywhere and suburban shopping centres are often not even in CBD's rather outside where space is more available or indeed central. Gladstone, Rocky etc to name a few. Same applies to Central Coast and newer areas of Sydney and certainly Brisbane.

Glendale shopping centre is 20-25min walk from Cockle Creek, and there is a bus.

My support for a station there is simply due to the large gap between CC and Cardiff stations, its justified and again Newcastle is a small city and if you want people to use PT, there bus-train-bus connections for a single journey over relatively short distances is simply not going to work. The data from Sydney is very clear, live within 500m radius of a station and the rail is attractive, after 2km, rail is very unattractive. Therefore its likely the addition of 2-4 new stations with a 30min timetable based on previous discusses would see a dramatic increase in ridership.
RTT_Rules
RTT, sims et all.  I was running to BMD from around January 1965 once I did my diesel, 46cl and then garratt trials as fireman. Things that I remember was looking out along the track on the garratt, my driver mate had to instruct me as to the road and he was a good driver as he also pointed out a lot of interest along the line. Basically everywhere we went through was either minor suburbia or industrial, once through Wyong it was primarily bush with few towns and shops compared to how it is today. Sidings at nearly ever station where pick ups did their jobs. once through Teralba, there was finally sights of housing developments and relics of lines at CC, then the might of the Sulphide Corporation on the hill and Cardiff workshops taking up huge land space after some non descript old homes between CC and Cardiff works, suburbia was there as you rounded up towards Cardif station, after the egg board and other sidings back at Sulphide. Once through Tickhole and rolling down through Kotara with housing to both sides of the line but on the western side backyards backed onto the line to the eastern side houses on hills until you swung around over the road that went up to Adamstown heights, and nothing in that gully at the time, and then to the school. before we got onto the relief road and into BMD yard from Adamstown.

We had around 11 hours at BMD before working back later that evening, so we took a bus into NCLE walking out on to Lambton road. to catch it.  We got into the city of Newcastle and for me an eye opener, the main center was busy but as I sussed things out, there were few super typs shops, with the biggy being The Store at Wickham, virtually the whole of Hunter st was full of small shops I recall a Coles shop and later a DJ's in Newcastle itself.  The store was the big place for shopping, thing to me was that it reminded me of a big country town. Going back we hoped on a train to BMD where I noticed the big yard and how much traffic there was in Honeysuckle also the big carriage area out past Newcastle station now a rec area.  On the way back to BMD I noticed many sidings on the Port side of the line, along with shops at Hamilton and looks the same today with some modernisation though.

That night we worked a train out of Morandoo, there under the belching of smoke from BHP and other industries that adorned the now Industrial drive was an eye opener for a 17 year old.  Sure there was a lot of coal in the PTW yard but the way it was separated with half being for full wagons, and the other half for empties along with Morandoo to the bay side and the other yard near PTW loco for Sydney and other destinations general goods there were engines and trains everywhere.  Heading back though it was almost like driving along old bush roads and seeing glimpses of lights in the distance rather than along railway tracks once we got past Cardif again. Wasn't until we hit Wyong that we saw much of anything and that disappeared after going through Tuggerah. And it was all bush and darkness until Ourimbah, and the suburbia started.

I can remember Kotara shopping centre being built in those days, it was big news in the area as it would enable Novocastrians a new era in shopping enjoyment and experience.  As I reflect on those days, also when I moved to Werris Creek in 1969 and working into BMD at least once a week and seeing Newcastle city area with long Sunday stays there, the only difference was I came in from a different direction, but Newcastle was still the same, the same with BHP, and all the other industries even the coal was the same. But NCLE and suburbia was the same.  We would go through stations that existed and not many used the trains either.

Today, there are a lot more shopping locations than could have ever been dreamed of. Newcastle and its suburbs have the issues of hills and mountain goat territory for housing to be built. It also has Lake Macquarie that effectively divides Ncle with where do people live, head down the ocean side or the western side the lake is a big dividing factor, once over the bridge at Swansea and heading south, any suburbs of note well small note are down on the lake shores, similar on the other side where points have housing but full treed areas around it.  People have a choice as to how to get around, cars or buses on the Coast side, also good shopping as most of those main locations have the major supermarkets and centres like Mt Hutton and Charlestown square.

On the western side of the lake, cars, buses or trains is the choice of transport, not much with shops with the same amount of choice, Toronto has a good amount of shops but a toss up between it and Swansea on the other side of the water.  Warners bay has a huge area of industries mainly small but also shops are fine, relatively easy access up to Charlestown or Glendale which would be better for parking.

Now that I live up in the region, much of the area is no different to how it used to be, sure the steelworks and other industries have gone, housing is the big business now, but the land that's available is not the greatest, realistically the 1/2 hour service to the valley through the week is more than adequate, there are extra trains in peak hours though. But weekends, sure its poor but who uses it, one train an hour is not much but one would think people would use that if they had the need. Same on the weekends, to Sydney.  Here the locals do not use trains or buses, they drive, and I don't believe its because of service lacking but because of convenience, I can fill the car with my family and go where I want cheaper than going by any form of PT.  Even surfies don't use the trains on weekends anymore, they car pool

Go into NCLE now, its the same as it was on my first trip back in 65, but without the named shops, the store is gone and being made into something new, next to the Wickham interchange but drive along the main st, and the empty shops are as bad as found in many country towns if not worse.  Garden City at Kotara, began the death of NCL as anything other than a hospital and legal district, now the hospital has gone and NCLE survives on the latte' set and people with port side views from terrace/ units where many used to work.

NCLE reminds me of those old western movies, where a gunfight was about to take place and all the citizens hide behind windows and partially opened doors to watch the event. Only thing missing I think is the dirt streets and tumbleweeds rolling down the centre of town.

It would not matter one bit, if every suggestion that people have made on this blog ended up happening, the question though would be, What was the point of it, and did/does it work and make any difference?????
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Glendale shopping centre is 20-25min walk from Cockle Creek, and there is a bus.

My support for a station there is simply due to the large gap between CC and Cardiff stations, its justified and again Newcastle is a small city and if you want people to use PT, there bus-train-bus connections for a single journey over relatively short distances is simply not going to work. The data from Sydney is very clear, live within 500m radius of a station and the rail is attractive, after 2km, rail is very unattractive. Therefore its likely the addition of 2-4 new stations with a 30min timetable based on previous discusses would see a dramatic increase in ridership.
RTT_Rules

Where is the justification. Look on google earth at where the housing is and the only people who would benefit is the 100 or so houses directly to the south in argenton and the further south you go the closer you get to cockle creek. To the north there is no distance benefit from the housing areas to glendale vs cardiff. To the west you have much easier access to cardiff station and an industrial estate with no direct access to the rail line unless you buy the toll warehouse.

aside from glendale where would one put 2-4 new stations and how do you think that would affect travel times and freight movement through the main north? Are you doing it solely to be connected to the shopping centre or to actually connect significant population volumes. What population volumes do you foresee that would make these new train services more viable then the bus services that currently service them or is it a case of "I don't like buses and therefore I want a train".
  a6et Minister for Railways

Glendale shopping centre is 20-25min walk from Cockle Creek, and there is a bus.

My support for a station there is simply due to the large gap between CC and Cardiff stations, its justified and again Newcastle is a small city and if you want people to use PT, there bus-train-bus connections for a single journey over relatively short distances is simply not going to work. The data from Sydney is very clear, live within 500m radius of a station and the rail is attractive, after 2km, rail is very unattractive. Therefore its likely the addition of 2-4 new stations with a 30min timetable based on previous discusses would see a dramatic increase in ridership.

Where is the justification. Look on google earth at where the housing is and the only people who would benefit is the 100 or so houses directly to the south in argenton and the further south you go the closer you get to cockle creek. To the north there is no distance benefit from the housing areas to glendale vs cardiff. To the west you have much easier access to cardiff station and an industrial estate with no direct access to the rail line unless you buy the toll warehouse.

aside from glendale where would one put 2-4 new stations and how do you think that would affect travel times and freight movement through the main north? Are you doing it solely to be connected to the shopping centre or to actually connect significant population volumes. What population volumes do you foresee that would make these new train services more viable then the bus services that currently service them or is it a case of "I don't like buses and therefore I want a train".
simstrain
Sims, the more I look at the need for extra stations in that area, also the aspect of the issues that exist with the current Cardiff station's location for the life of me, I cannot see any real solutions to any perceived problems, unless a VG business case can be brought in to being.  Putting one in at Glendale with the so called Stub road, will rely on the need for a desiccated car park on each side of the line. Who mentioned Toll having a building there, is that the old Tooheys brewery? unless one of those spots was made into a car park the potential passengers from the coast side would be hard pressed in getting parking spots.

Ethan has mentioned a couple of times about moving the existing Cardiff station, while I can see some, and only some sense in it, I do not see any sense or benefit in more stations in the area from the existing Cardiff station to Tickhole, if the current Station was moved, you would not gain anything moving it closer to Main Road or to the shops, which are with Woolies being at Cardiff takes away the need to go to Glendale.  The embankment all the way to over Main Road would have huge costs, plus where abouts for the car parks?  If you go Glendale side of Main Rd, roughly where the old dairy was, and don't know if that space could be used for commuter car park but only real option as there is also a private hospital on the other side of the line.

North of Cardiff station though it could work if the station was moved to near the sub station as there is also green area on the Eastern side where a commuter car park could be made, also opposite off Andrew street, where there is ARTC access gates.  Thing is that it would create somewhat of a Nimby rise up.

The worst part of existing Cardiff station is the lack of car parking spots, but there are bus stops right at the top of the stairs and lifts. Any moving of the station takes it away from medical services that are in the area, that are much closer to the existing station.

One option that would not be viable is to try and use the old alignment, while there are parts that are still likely to be available. that would only be from the old egg board storage roads near end of Karila St for possibly a few hundred metres to the open storm water drain from where you are faced with a lot of industries until you get to Harrison St.

Every one of those proposals would have horrendous amounts of money needed for them and for not a lot of real overall gain.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
simstrain
simstrain
True that the rail lines came into Newcastle and Sydney in different ways, and the cities developed differently.
The issue is the lack of adaption, as you mentioned, the shopping centres in Sydney always went up next to rail lines and stations, and not being the case in Newcatle.

I imagine this is because historically, everyone in Newcastle traveled to the CBD due to it's smaller size and I imagine it was a central location before the sprawl happened, yet in Sydney, I imagine suburbs like Liverpool started out as separate locations and sprawled out into the one large city we see today, and the result is making suburbs like Liverpool mini-CBD's, each with their own services including the railway stations, hospitals, educational facilities, and shopping centres in a walkable CBD like environment.

In the case of Newcastle, there was only one CBD, and the local stations in the residential areas represent local patronage at a time when the Newcastle CBD was still a place to be, and where the stations are spread out further apart is where the terrain is the most hostile, my best guess back in the old days, not many bothered with these areas due to inconvenience.

Long story short, the only real open space for the new suburban shopping centres was between stations as there was no real other commercial areas at the time and the existing stations were serving residential areas with the purpose of taking people to the CBD. Can we blame the shopping centres themselves for not going near stations? I don't know. But it is clear that the government has never once adapted the local stations and services in Newcastle with the rest of the city, and the result has always been very low patronage on services.

It's certainly a good discussion on whether or not you can justify building a station just to serve a suburban shopping centre, but it has been done in Sydney before so why not Newcastle? In 1974, Mount Druitt station was relocated 0.5km to the east to serve the shopping centre and this was partly funded by the developer of the shopping centre, and in 1985, Macarthur station opened to serve the shopping centre, and it gets over 3,000 passengers a day, it does also serves Campbellltown TAFE and UWS Campbelltown.

Also, just because when you build the station at the shopping centre, doesn't meant it will always be just for the shopping centre, developers have expressed interest in transit orientated development in Kotara for example.
A station serving the retail centres at Kotara and Glendale and a high service frequency would see the area become more dense and development and likely give birth to more jobs and services around the new stations, likewise for a relocated Cardiff, and obviously the existing stations would need proper pedestrian access to really make the local services work.
Remember, Sydney did not get dense so we decided to put the rail lines and stations in, we put the rail lines and stations in and Sydney become dense around these stations.

The Glendale station would have some obstacles to clear but certainly can be justified on the grounds of serving a commercial area, future development, and halving a long gap between stations, likewise Kotara and a relocated Cardiff. Over on the Hunter Line, new stations could be justified at Clyde St (for the TAFE) and Maud St.
It's not a "I don't like buses and therefore I want a train" mentality, it's because trains are more attractive to commuters so would likely entice people to use PT more, and current local services simply do not work, the bus service could then also be improved to compliment the train service, Newcastle sprawls too much for the bus services to work as the only mode of PT.
And having to get off a train in a residential area to catch a bus to the commercial area will just lead to PT failure for both modes and send people to their cars very quickly, as it already has.

Enjoy the S-Set farewell tour tomorrow by the way.

a6et
a6et
You've certainly led an interesting life.

Regarding moving Cardiff station, the most ideal thing to do would be to straigen out the entire alignment which would put the station in the heart of the commercial area and speed up travel time, the existing alignment could then be used as a passing loop for freight and regional trains. Second best option is closer to the commercial area on the existing alignment, developers identified the current location as being weak for development, a relocated station would probably see units go up and the area become more dense and walkable.
The existing station gets good patronage, but it's primarily park and ride patronage with very limited parking, it's not uncommon to see people simply waiting with their cars on in the traffic area of the car park waiting to pick people up from trains. The 29 bus is nice for connecting with Sydney-bound express trains for that matter, but when the best thing about Newcastle Transport is that it gets you out of Newcastle faster, I think something is being done wrong.

Closer to Tickhole, a station at Garden Suburb to interchange to the A37 road and frequent buses to Charlestown and John Hunter would be very beneficial for local PT, and an island platform could fit right between the tracks when they split apart to go through the tunnel. Plenty of room for commuter parking too.

A station at Glendale would primarily be a local destination/bus interchange station, so it would not really need commuter parking, it might be possible to fit some limited angled or 90 degree parking spaces offn the stub road though.

Most people drive due to convenience, and I imagine this is amplified due to the inconvenience of the unusable PT with it's infrequent service, poor connection times, bypassing of local destinations, and general inaccessibility. And this is not sustainable for the following reasons:
  -financial strain on people, talked about this enough already so I don't need to into to much detail, but basically, a car is a pre-requisite for a job in Newcastle, not because people absolutely can't get to work on PT, someone with a good work ethic will make use of the limited services, but it's become of employer discrimination favoring applicants with cars, the problems comes with the question of how are you meant to buy a car and pay the exorbitant insurance premiums before being able to get a job?
  -bad for small businesses, when someone drives from their garage, to their work car park, to the suburban shopping centre, and back to the garage with zero walking (every PT trip begins and ends with a walk), what room is there for small businesses? they can't afford the rents in the suburban shopping centre.
  -lack of consideration for pedestrians in planning and development, since almost everyone drives, there is little consideration given about PT users and pedestrians with the location of housing and other facilities, and it's not uncommon to see large multi-lane roundabouts which are hazards for pedestrians
  -congestion, the proper Newcastle metropolitan area has abound 400K population, there are already some places places where congestion already occurs, imagine what it would be like when the population rises, and it will rise since not everyone can afford to live in Sydney, but they do need city facilities, and Newcastle being NSW's second largest city, and far enough away from Sydney to offer cheaper housing, can provide this.
  -constant PT decline, it seems every few years, some form of PT in Newcastle is being cut, this time, it was buses in eastern Lake Macquarie were cut to a 2 hourly frequency to support the premium on-demand service.

If PT is attractive and convenient, then people will use it, rail is the most attractive form of PT to people, but it's the weakest form of PT in Newcastle, and the buses are on the decline also.

The store site is become the bus interchange for the Wickham interchange by the way.
  a6et Minister for Railways

[quote=Ethan1395]The store site is become the bus interchange for the Wickham interchange by the way.[/quote][left][color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][color=#000000][size=2][color=#333333][size=4] [/size][/color][url=https://www.railpage.com.au/user/75936][color=#333333][size=4]Ethan1395[/size][/color][/url][/size][/color][/font][/size][/color][/left]
[left][color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][color=#000000][size=2]The store site is become the bus interchange for the Wickham interchange by the way. [/size][/color][/font][/size][/color][/left]
[left][color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][/font][/size][/color][/left]
[left][color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][color=#000000][size=2]I realised that, but don't the advertising banters around the site make one think the old store site is to be the start of a new store and era, rather than a bus interchange?[/size][/color][/font][/size][/color][/left]
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[left][color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][color=#000000][size=2]Its an interesting set of plans for that location, at the moment there's a bus stop outside the station on Hannell St, the commencement of the Industrial drive to by pass NCLE suburbs on that side, of the road. Where do the buses stop in the reverse direction? As I am yet to see a bus in that direction heading into the city area.[/size][/color][/font][/size][/color][/left]
[left][color=#111111][size=2][font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]ATM, one then walks from the interchange train up to Hunter St to catch buses, its not a long wait usually for a bus heading West and looks the same for those heading East. For every 3/4 buses that comes along that continues West bound there is usually one at the most that turns into Hannell St. As I observe this pattern and watch the construction of the interchange, I am wondering about how the interchange is going to work, as its set up primarily for buses arriving from the West, yet to depart from there they will need to come out on to Hannell St and turn to the left, unless a new right turn set of lights are installed and road works to redo what was done when the trams were introduced.

For the majority of buses heading west they will all have to turn into Hannell St turn into the interchange and a new departure and set of lights, along with Hunter St road works to take place again will be needed.

The more I look at that situation the more I see a big reason why people in NCLE do not use PT. Which I guess we blame the government of the day forcing changes on to the local populance where they were happy with what they had, and for that the tram and expense of ripping up the rails is case point as the only winners are the developers who got hold of prime land for new high rises apartments.

The small suburb of Metford came into being and high demand for a station there, it was built but basically only serves people on one side of the line, the semi large car park rarely has more than a dozen cars. Head South a bit and you have GreenHills shopping centre not long expanded, and hard to get parking spots there if you do not choose your hours correctly. The old Metford Road rail crossing has gone as is the old PGH brickworks which took up both sides of Metford road, the main side where the bricks were actually made is now a big water hole, the other side is the new Maitland hospital site, no doubt a new Station would be needed there but again it will only get people to the hospital as the cemetery on the Northern side would not have many travellers using it.

Point of this is that while the NSW State Government always has a say in things especially as far as the costs are concerned, the vast majority of decisions and planning for the NCLE area is made by the various local councils and other local government's as to their input into needs. Been that way for years and well past my time as well.

Now without shooting the messenger, I was involved in around 4 working party groups during the 80's when major changes came into being and the drought becoming the catalyst for much of it. Those working groups included going out to Dubbo - Moree - Walgett - Glenn Innes and finally Newcastle with the proposed needs to have a modern Freight terminal and to find a site for it to replace Honeysuckle, out of all those areas and with discussions that involved local councils, farmer organisations and Business chambers, all those alternatives that were put up as well as service alterations, and new sites, were all pushed aside and what we see today across the state (as the same group style meetings too place right across the state, are the result of rejections by the big end of town in their pushes to dominate, and it did not matter what side of politics were in power.

For the replacement of Honeysuckle, we looked over conversion of parts of BMD yard, areas on Kooragang, and in PTW precinct, each were rejected out of hand, and it came down to two final options, one of them having ready access and room to rail sidings and the other, which became the preferred site had limited space. The first option was for a yard complex on the eastern or Up side of the Main line at Sulphide, where that industrial estate was being built. At that time the up side had two primary roads aside from the relief road where we could go in and have trains run through us. Sat on a garratt one stinking hot afternoon on an up train waiting for wagons to come in from the Works and the Toohey's workers were giving us a real raze as they had their free cold cans, my mate scowled at them and would have loved to change places with them or throw a lump of coal at them, the distance was too far anyway. The Hunter area DS at the time saw the potential and was in agreement as the best site.

Then the other location was revealed, which was the preferred option as we found out, and that was at Sandgate where Crawfords now have their container yard. As such Newcastle overall now has the results of a faite accompli given to the city and surrounds by vested interests.

Developers still control most of what is going on, and in many ways hinder rail and PT, the new Boorugal estate is an example as the old alignment which should be reinstated for through and non stopping trains will be lost, the reason for the new alignment was to lessen the grades for up trains and allow larger loads in steam days, same reason for the old alignment at Cardiff to be built but for down trains, more so for local coal trains from CC area mines.

Sadly in many ways Newcastle and surrounding areas is its own worst enemy, the port of NCLE and access to overseas shipping is what keeps it going, yet the workforce is small, and no room for passengers but not many workers are needed in working those areas, even the extra lines that were put in there are not used anymore, thus the grand ideas were in the grave before they were built.

The only way things could change is if a major campaign was brought into play by Novocastrians for the money to be spent on PT, trouble is that with the State Government being the milking money cow and no matter what party is in control of the purse strings nothings going to happen, the coalition wont spend money in the area owing to the safe labor foothold in the area. Don't expect the ex Win News reader to be any different either.

I would hope for better things but one also has to look at reality verses reason. The reality is for the whole of the locals to make their voices heard, those affected by rail and the Nimby set will go against it, and will outvote the complacency of the others.
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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
From what I've been able to find out. The govt is funding $1.7m into the 3rd stage of the Lake Macquarie Interchange project business case which is Glendale railway station.

So yes the govt is supportive.
  a6et Minister for Railways

From what I've been able to find out. The govt is funding $1.7m into the 3rd stage of the Lake Macquarie Interchange project business case which is Glendale railway station.

So yes the govt is supportive.
RTT_Rules
At least that should result in something coming out which ever way it goes.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
a6et
a6et
Regarding Newcastle Intg, bus connections are poor as most services use Hunter St and few go right past the interchange, so I imagine that's why the new bus interchange is being built on the store site, I believe the former car park for the store is going to become modern development.
I imagine that when the interchange is built, buses will most likely be terminating there to force people onto the tram.

I would say you've got it right about the government taking away what people were happy with, they should have never privatized the buses, but rather improved them so they could be used better, the old 350 got good patronage and now it's gone, likewise rail transport will always be attractive to people when available, yet the government has never upgraded the local services with local stations at local destinations or connections with buses and the Hunter Line yet bothers to run local services anyway with very little patronage (so why not fix and make the services usable and actually get some fare recovery), so I would say it's very clear why people in Newcastle don't use PT.
Then it comes to the chicken and the egg argument, some would say that no one uses what there is now so why spend money to upgrade services, and others would say no one uses the services because they need the upgrades.
The tram has potential only if it's extended, if not extended, I can't think of a bigger waste of money in terms of PT than the Newcastle Light Rail.

It really makes me cringe seeing the public transport falling apart in Newcastle and if money is spent, it's on completely useless and unnecessary things, first it was ripping up more rails and building the tram and now Keolis Downer plans on launching a driveless minibus which almost runs PARALLEL TO THE TRAM! meanwhile in East Lake Macquarie - the part of Newcastle where there is no rail, three of the bus routes are running on 2 hourly frequencies to prop up the premium on demand service.
At least the 29 runs good enough to connect me to a Sydney express train at Cardiff, but when that's the best thing about Newcastle transport, something is not being done right.

The role of developers when it comes to PT is an interesting one, in some ways they love PT as it can be used as a selling point, and it can lead to higher density which is great for rail patronage, but the rail needs to be there first in order for that to be the case, I can easily see stations at Kotara and Glendale, with Cardiff relocated, and the other stations made accessible and local services running every 20 or minutes lead to Kotara, Cardiff, and Glendale become much more dense with many shop-top units going up similar to those at Marketown, developers did share their desires for this.
On the other hand, it's possible for some developers to not consider PT or in the case of the Newcastle CBD, think it gets in the way, local councils may also be to blame, take Cockle Ck for example, I would say the residential development there is excellent in theory, as it makes use of an underutilized railway station and infills green space within the metropolitan area (unlike suburbs like Cameron Park and Fletcher which are very difficult to serve by PT), but then they put in that roundabout which prevents anyone from walking or cycling anywhere, likewise with the Booragul estate, they never bothered to link it to the station, at least for a while, did you say they are linking it now?

As I mentioned earlier, not spending money on PT in the area leads to some very negative consequences which I can see becoming very chaotic in the future following existing trends which will consist of the population rising and PT decreasing. NIMBY's will pose a problem naturally though if services were upgraded as you mentioned, although in the case for what I am proposing for right now, I can't see too many problems, stations at Glendale, Garden Suburb, Clyde St, and Maud St shouldn't have any affect on someones backyard, but I can see issues with relocating Cardiff as some would miss it (partially why I suggested a Cardiff Heights station, but I doubt a business case could be made for one) and in the case of Kotara, residents north of the railway may not be happy, but equally they may also be happy since they would have walking access to the shops via a new station. I would also like to see the existing Kotara station get a pedestrian link to Blackbutt Reserve which may annoy some residents.
Interestingly, I spoke to someone who lives near the old Jewells station on the Belmont Line and they told me they would not want to have a train line rebuilt there, I wonder if they will be saying the same thing in a decade when they need to pay insurance premiums for two young drivers before they are allowed to get a job.

From what I've been able to find out. The govt is funding $1.7m into the 3rd stage of the Lake Macquarie Interchange project business case which is Glendale railway station.

So yes the govt is supportive.
RTT_Rules
Well if that's the case, I'm happy. Where did you find this information though? I read something similar dated 2017, but an article dated 2018 said the government was not prepared to fund the bridge over the railway line, no word on the actual station there though.

If the station is built, it's still important to make sure the other needed stations are built with connections and service frequencies improved to see the full benefit.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Just reading a number of reports and publications, yes the bridge seems dead and I'm sort of agreeing, but the govt has not said the same for the railway station.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Toll is next door to tooheys. The road that ethan says will connect to the eastern side of the line is actually tolls driveway for delivery trucks. On the western side you are relying on the shopping centre for car parking. The link road isn't going to go ahead and the station would back on to the loading docks of glendale shopping centre and so unless a mega upgrade is done to glendale and the surrounding tracks that connect edi and the sidings for wagons on the eastern side are done this is not going to happen.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The old belmont line was a line for moving coal and is never going to be rebuilt for passenger rail. Accept this and focus on getting more frequent bus services then one every 1-2 hours.

I agree that the tram is stupid and done to service a small portion of the rich people's agenda of newcastle and was not done in it's best interest. The new tram has not done anything to bring life back to the Newcastle CBD whatsoever.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
simstrain
simstrain
The route the old Belmont line follows goes too far from the population to be used again, but a new route using parts of the old alignment (including Belmont-Jewells) could be justifiable in the future, but it's best to upgrade local services between Fassifern and Telearah to see how many people would use such a service.
So the immediate solution for the area is as you mentioned, improved buses, needs to be 3 buses per hour on main road routes (reinstate the old 350 and 349), 2 per hour on 'local' routes (back streets), and there needs to be early morning and late night services. On weekends and in times of less demand, services should not be removed, instead they should run smaller buses.

Did anyone really think the tram through? how was it going to be able to bring more people to the CBD when it's just a 2.7km line fed by the same unusable public transport that has always been?
The tram is not worth existing without an extension and upgrade rail services to feed it.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I agree on the tram. I have never been in favour of it. I would have preferred something much more interesting built like moving the electric line underground and maybe even under the hunter to stockton and further north towards the airport.

A train line isn't going to return along any route that isn't the main north. I have no problem with more frequent local services but the main northern rail line is what it is and nothing can change that. It's main focus is delivering passengers and freight to/from Sydney. Until a new rail line is built for freight there isn't much that can be done.
  Ethan1395 Junior Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
@simstrain
Any HR branch lines would be a long way off, like after a dedicated freight line was built anyway.

The immediate need is to fix existing local services with improved frequency, more stations at local destinations, good connections with buses and other trains, and pedestrian-friendly station access. There is also an urgent need to completely overhaul the bus network.
Then and only then could existing patronage numbers be used to decide whether or not to construct more infrastructure such as a new Belmont line via Kotara and Charlestown to serve the east side of Lake Macquarie far from any rail line, or a ferry network on Lake Macquarie.

My comment about the person who wouldn't want the line back is more about NIMBY's rather than saying "let's rebuild the old line now", they don't want the noisy rail line back now, but it wouldn't surprise me if that changed when the time comes for them to pay insurance premiums and registration for two young drivers before they are allowed to work.

Got me thinking, would it be cheaper to run a freight line from Fassifern to Hexham or quad the existing line?
  a6et Minister for Railways

@simstrain
Any HR branch lines would be a long way off, like after a dedicated freight line was built anyway.

The immediate need is to fix existing local services with improved frequency, more stations at local destinations, good connections with buses and other trains, and pedestrian-friendly station access. There is also an urgent need to completely overhaul the bus network.
Then and only then could existing patronage numbers be used to decide whether or not to construct more infrastructure such as a new Belmont line via Kotara and Charlestown to serve the east side of Lake Macquarie far from any rail line, or a ferry network on Lake Macquarie.

My comment about the person who wouldn't want the line back is more about NIMBY's rather than saying "let's rebuild the old line now", they don't want the noisy rail line back now, but it wouldn't surprise me if that changed when the time comes for them to pay insurance premiums and registration for two young drivers before they are allowed to work.

Got me thinking, would it be cheaper to run a freight line from Fassifern to Hexham or quad the existing line?
Ethan1395
Somewhere in my collection there is a Railway Digest dating back to late 70's early 80's as the HV coal was really starting to be big, with exports and local coal use.  In this particular digest there is a map detailing ""proposed future Coal and Freight lines Hunter Valley""  IIRC, it was proposed for the old line top of Fassifern to Teralba to be brought back into operation, initially a single line for bi di running, leaving the existing down and up lines as long loops through Booragul.

Rather than a line from Fassifern to Hexham, it shows a line to be constructed from the bottom of Hawk Mt and come through to Hexham, that allowed primarily the reduction of Northern and NCL freight services to completely by pass the BMD area congestion

The diagram also showed the future coal roads and branches as far as Boggabri on the NW line and those to Stratford on the NCL.

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