Map revels massive expansion of Sydney Metro network with 39 new stations

 

News article: Map revels massive expansion of Sydney Metro network with 39 new stations

A massive expansion of Sydney’s rail network is underway with a new map showing multibillion-dollar plans and scores of new stops.

  viaprojects Train Controller

M3 /M4 routes will not fly ...M3 currently cannot connect Parramatta to Epping even with the light rail that is being built.. and the M4 has rail connections ..

Map revels massive expansion of Sydney Metro network with 39 new stations

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

M3 /M4 routes will not fly ...M3 currently cannot connect Parramatta to Epping even with the light rail that is being built.. and the M4 has rail connections ..

Map revels massive expansion of Sydney Metro network with 39 new stations
viaprojects

This map isn't official. It is just a wish list drawn on a map by someone with some info from the greater Sydney forum. Newspaper just took this persons map and ran with it as official policy which it isn't. Sort of like what Daniel Bowen in Melbourne does.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The M4 is probably not a bad idea if it went to miranda from hurstville and it went north of Macquarie uni to the north shore line and further north towards pittwater. I agree the M3 proposal is pointless since getting from parramatta to Bankstown isn't that hard at the moment as all it takes is an interchange at Lidcombe.

The branches of the M2 are most definitely not going to happen (even though technically possible) as there will be one route only at either end of Metro west.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

The M4 is probably not a bad idea if it went to miranda from hurstville and it went north of Macquarie uni to the north shore line and further north towards pittwater. I agree the M3 proposal is pointless since getting from parramatta to Bankstown isn't that hard at the moment as all it takes is an interchange at Lidcombe.

The branches of the M2 are most definitely not going to happen (even though technically possible) as there will be one route only at either end of Metro west.
simstrain
I don't see the need to connect the metro to Kogarah from the M3. Hurstville is the major strategic centre in the South Region and it should be the focal point for branches along the M3 and M4 corridors to Macquarie Park forming a loop.  

The M3 branch should run via Bankstown and Parramatta and on a more direct alignment to Macquarie University via Eastwood rather than the circuitous route via Epping, linking up with the M4 route mirroring the A3 road corridor via Rhodes and Ryde to provide a continuous loop.  The connecting link between Macquarie University and Macquarie Park stations could be constructed adjacent to the existing Metro Northwest Line under Waterloo Road, without impacting on the latter.

I disagree that the M2 shouldn't be branched.  I have my doubts whether a frequency of 30tph would be justified even from Parramatta to the CBD without branching, when further upgrading to the existing Sydney Trains network could also add further capacity.  A branch from Westmead to Norwest seems logical as does a branch from the south east extension to Kogarah.  It would also be more logical for the M2 branch to Kogarah being extended to Miranda rather than from Hurstville, although my preference would have been to extend the metro line from Sydenham to Miranda via Sydney Airport, rather than converting the Bankstown Line.

I don't agree with the concept of the North/South rail link connecting with Badgerys Creek via St Marys as a metro.  It's not typical metro territory.  For what it's worth, the most bleedingly obvious solution is to extend the SWRL from Leppington to St Marys via the Aerotropolis and Airport, with later extensions to Macarthur and Schofields.  It doesn't preclude a branch of Metro West being extended to the Airport and Aerotropolis.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
M1 - extension to Liverpool, yes, just do it, should be part of the current project
M1 - extension south of the airport to Camden, No, waste of money, catch the DD


M2 - extension beyond Leppington a waste of money, extend the Leppington DD to the airport, cheaper, faster and makes sense, Leppington is a stupid place to change trains to suit someones agenda against DD.
M2 - extension to Norwest, Looking at a map, I see their point, ok agree
M2 - extension to Malabar, sigh, but maybe right
M2 - extension to Miranda, yes, but really extension of the ESR and LR should be the priority and cheaper and the ESR has plenty of spare capacity.

M3 - yes

M4 - Yes

Conveniently forgotten

M5 - Line to North beaches, if you really think a line through cow paddocks connecting greater metropolis of Camden to the western airport is required, then so is this, 50 years before.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Conveniently forgotten

M5 - Line to North beaches, if you really think a line through cow paddocks connecting greater metropolis of Camden to the western airport is required, then so is this, 50 years before.
RTT_Rules
Yes, I overlooked that and agree that a Northern Beaches Metro link warrants far greater priority than a cross regional rail link on the outer fringes of Sydney, whether as a metro or part of the existing network, in spite of the irrational outcries from the "insular peninsular".  Just like the other major trunk routes into the CBD without a rail service, it's unsustainable to continue to rely upon direct bus services into the CBD, unnecessarily clogging up road space, and a high capacity rail link will ultimately be required.  I'd suggest sooner rather than later.

In saying that, I still support the Western Harbour Tunnel proposal and the Northern Beaches Motorway Tunnel, as they provide a much needed western bypass of the CBD, relieving congestion on the Eastern Distributor, and also add a further harbour crossing for traffic between the Gladesville Bridge and the Harbour Bridge.  It's purpose is not to direct traffic into the CBD and it performs a different function to a potential rail link, which I consider to be complementary.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Conveniently forgotten

M5 - Line to North beaches, if you really think a line through cow paddocks connecting greater metropolis of Camden to the western airport is required, then so is this, 50 years before.
Yes, I overlooked that and agree that a Northern Beaches Metro link warrants far greater priority than a cross regional rail link on the outer fringes of Sydney, whether as a metro or part of the existing network, in spite of the irrational outcries from the "insular peninsular".  Just like the other major trunk routes into the CBD without a rail service, it's unsustainable to continue to rely upon direct bus services into the CBD, unnecessarily clogging up road space, and a high capacity rail link will ultimately be required.  I'd suggest sooner rather than later.

In saying that, I still support the Western Harbour Tunnel proposal and the Northern Beaches Motorway Tunnel, as they provide a much needed western bypass of the CBD, relieving congestion on the Eastern Distributor, and also add a further harbour crossing for traffic between the Gladesville Bridge and the Harbour Bridge.  It's purpose is not to direct traffic into the CBD and it performs a different function to a potential rail link, which I consider to be complementary.
Transtopic
I'm stunned that the NE section of the city doesn't even appear on any plan for expansion of rail.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Where does the money come from for this incredibly ambitious plan? They've already spent the proceeds of the sale of the electricity network on the North East Metro - that's only a small part of whats being proposed. What other assets will be privatised in order to pay for this multi-billion dollar plan?
  mike49 Station Master

Where does the money come from for this incredibly ambitious plan? They've already spent the proceeds of the sale of the electricity network on the North East Metro - that's only a small part of whats being proposed. What other assets will be privatised in order to pay for this multi-billion dollar plan?
don_dunstan
Although there are some worthwhile ideas here most of it will never happen, it's just lines on a map, someone's thought bubble.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Where does the money come from for this incredibly ambitious plan? They've already spent the proceeds of the sale of the electricity network on the North East Metro - that's only a small part of whats being proposed. What other assets will be privatised in order to pay for this multi-billion dollar plan?
don_dunstan
Its a 50+ year vision by 1-2 people, nothing more, Bradfield did the same thing 100 years ago, look how that turned out.

Regardless of what actually happens and what is actually needed, around 100 - 150km of Metro UG style lines will no doubt be needed and built over the coming decades and I'm not counting the wishfull thinking to the 2nd airport which will no doubt be scaled down to common sense extension of the Leppington Line by the bean counters.

As for funding, NSW can afford to fund around $1.5Bpa rising to $2Bpa by 2025 in rail capital projects. As $1B buys you about 4km of UG track with one UG stations, then you can see around between 5 and 8km per year of Greenfield track projects being rolled out. The NWRL and city and SW Metro is about 50-60km. Some new, some old, some UG and above ground, all within a decade from a lower starting funding base.

I also expect funding for roads per capita to wane  and funding per rail per capita to grow as road projects become increasingly more costly per km and rail projects becoming increasingly more viable per km.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

I'm stunned that the NE section of the city doesn't even appear on any plan for expansion of rail.
RTT_Rules
So am I, when it should be a logical extension of rail services to such a significant part of the Sydney metropolitan area.

This just reinforces my view that the Greater Sydney Commission is a complete failure.  It is supposedly an "Independent" authority but just seemingly adopts planning proposals without question, including transport, which are prepared by other State bureaucracies and adopted as government policy, when it should have the resources as the overarching body responsible for Sydney planning to carry out it's own research, even if on the macro level.  The fact that it can't even recognise that there is a vast area of Sydney on the Northern Beaches which doesn't have a rail service, in whatever form, is testimony to its failure as an independent planning body.

It's about as useless as Infrastructure NSW.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm stunned that the NE section of the city doesn't even appear on any plan for expansion of rail.
So am I, when it should be a logical extension of rail services to such a significant part of the Sydney metropolitan area.

This just reinforces my view that the Greater Sydney Commission is a complete failure.  It is supposedly an "Independent" authority but just seemingly adopts planning proposals without question, including transport, which are prepared by other State bureaucracies and adopted as government policy, when it should have the resources as the overarching body responsible for Sydney planning to carry out it's own research, even if on the macro level.  The fact that it can't even recognise that there is a vast area of Sydney on the Northern Beaches which doesn't have a rail service, in whatever form, is testimony to its failure as an independent planning body.

It's about as useless as Infrastructure NSW.
Transtopic
The Nth Beaches is also relatively easy to service as the traffic is predominately NNE - SSW following the A8, the only question is to you go via Manly or not with Dee Why / Collaroy / Narabeen being the northern terminus.

A line from the city via Nth Sydney and following closely to the A8, skirting Norwest Manly / Fairlight terminating at Narabeen is around 20km from the CBD, thats around 20-25min to the City CBD. Thats up to 1/3 the peak hour driving time, 75% off-peak and half the bus trip.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

It's a no-brainer isn't it?  My preference is to follow the A8 corridor, bypassing Manly, which is serviced  by the ferries.  It should initially terminate at Dee Why and progressively extended to Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Newport.  

The other major benefit of the A8 route is that it would service the high density Lower North Shore region from North Sydney to Spit Junction, which is an area well suited for a metro.

The only obstacle is whether it's feasible to branch from Metro Northwest at North Sydney (Victoria Cross) without causing major disruption to existing services.  I doubt whether another cross harbour rail link would be warranted.  With your engineering expertise Shane,  I'd be interested in your opinion.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Where does the money come from for this incredibly ambitious plan? They've already spent the proceeds of the sale of the electricity network on the North East Metro - that's only a small part of whats being proposed. What other assets will be privatised in order to pay for this multi-billion dollar plan?
Its a 50+ year vision by 1-2 people, nothing more, Bradfield did the same thing 100 years ago, look how that turned out.
RTT_Rules

The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Smile

Seems like a pretty good outcome to me...

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Where does the money come from for this incredibly ambitious plan? They've already spent the proceeds of the sale of the electricity network on the North East Metro - that's only a small part of whats being proposed. What other assets will be privatised in order to pay for this multi-billion dollar plan?
Its a 50+ year vision by 1-2 people, nothing more, Bradfield did the same thing 100 years ago, look how that turned out.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Smile

Seems like a pretty good outcome to me...

Mike.
The Vinelander
True
I meant all the lines he drew that were never built because priorities change.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It's a no-brainer isn't it?  My preference is to follow the A8 corridor, bypassing Manly, which is serviced  by the ferries.  It should initially terminate at Dee Why and progressively extended to Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Newport.  

The other major benefit of the A8 route is that it would service the high density Lower North Shore region from North Sydney to Spit Junction, which is an area well suited for a metro.

The only obstacle is whether it's feasible to branch from Metro Northwest at North Sydney (Victoria Cross) without causing major disruption to existing services.  I doubt whether another cross harbour rail link would be warranted.  With your engineering expertise Shane,  I'd be interested in your opinion.
Transtopic
Yes, I've thought about a branch off Victoria Cross, issue now is the new line will be built without such provisions so to do so now would likely cost alot and cause significant disruption to their new paper. The Dubai Metro is a Viaduct and I've watched them spend 18mth with line closed to put a junction in for a new branch line, made more complex because the junction is directly under HV power lines and clearances above the line is limited to a backhoe. I suppose it only took 9mth to cut into the ECRL, but again you have to close  the line.

To keep it simple, lets assume its either doable or all out change stand alone option like Chatswood until numbers increase to jusyify a harbour crossing that compliments the current network and Metro, not duplicates it. So lets assume this is a plan. And the line runs to Dee Why only on opening. About 12-13km of route km, 5 stations, Mossman, Balgowlah, Many Vale, Curl Curl/Freshwater, Dee Why. Thats about $3 - 3.5B, chicken feed for NSW and we all know it will be very popular.

Crossing the Harbour for rail is complex as its deep and the city is elevated. The bridge option really screams out here but we all know this won't happen. To compliment the existing network, I wonder if coming up under the Opera House with a station in the lower Quay area and the Pitt Street would work? Probably still too deep under Martin Place for a station there or if not use the St James Tunnel and station. What you think?
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

It's a no-brainer isn't it?  My preference is to follow the A8 corridor, bypassing Manly, which is serviced  by the ferries.  It should initially terminate at Dee Why and progressively extended to Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Newport.  

The other major benefit of the A8 route is that it would service the high density Lower North Shore region from North Sydney to Spit Junction, which is an area well suited for a metro.

The only obstacle is whether it's feasible to branch from Metro Northwest at North Sydney (Victoria Cross) without causing major disruption to existing services.  I doubt whether another cross harbour rail link would be warranted.  With your engineering expertise Shane,  I'd be interested in your opinion.
Yes, I've thought about a branch off Victoria Cross, issue now is the new line will be built without such provisions so to do so now would likely cost alot and cause significant disruption to their new paper. The Dubai Metro is a Viaduct and I've watched them spend 18mth with line closed to put a junction in for a new branch line, made more complex because the junction is directly under HV power lines and clearances above the line is limited to a backhoe. I suppose it only took 9mth to cut into the ECRL, but again you have to close  the line.

To keep it simple, lets assume its either doable or all out change stand alone option like Chatswood until numbers increase to jusyify a harbour crossing that compliments the current network and Metro, not duplicates it. So lets assume this is a plan. And the line runs to Dee Why only on opening. About 12-13km of route km, 5 stations, Mossman, Balgowlah, Many Vale, Curl Curl/Freshwater, Dee Why. Thats about $3 - 3.5B, chicken feed for NSW and we all know it will be very popular.

Crossing the Harbour for rail is complex as its deep and the city is elevated. The bridge option really screams out here but we all know this won't happen. To compliment the existing network, I wonder if coming up under the Opera House with a station in the lower Quay area and the Pitt Street would work? Probably still too deep under Martin Place for a station there or if not use the St James Tunnel and station. What you think?
RTT_Rules
The problem is that I still haven't heard from anyone whether it is feasible to cut into the metro tunnel at Victoria Cross for a branch to the Northern Beaches without causing major disruption to the proposed metro service.

In the initial planning for the extension of Metro Northwest to the CBD from Chatswood, there was some criticism that proposed stub tunnels for a future Northern Beaches Line were eliminated.  The official response from the government was that there wasn't any definite plan of where a future Northern Beaches link would branch from the Metro Northwest CBD extension and that it could be constructed at a later date anywhere along the route.  The same reasoning applied to the elimination of the previously proposed stub tunnels at Epping for a future metro link to Parramatta.  In the absence of any credible engineering analysis, this is where I am extremely sceptical.  If there's anyone out there who can verify that this strategy is feasible, without major impact on the then existing services, then I'd love to hear from you.

However, if it isn't feasible for a Northern Beaches Line to branch from the proposed metro CBD extension, then there is another option, which you probably won't agree with because it involves an extension of the existing Sydney Trains network.  Again, it may not be feasible, but it is nonetheless worth investigating.

The proposed Western Harbour Tunnel linking with a Northern Beaches Motorway Tunnel will provide additional cross harbour traffic capacity, which will take pressure off the existing Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel.  A Northern Beaches rail link will significantly reduce direct bus services over the Harbour Bridge into the CBD and combined with additional cross harbour traffic capacity provided by the Western Harbour Tunnel, this will potentially allow for the existing eastern bus lanes on the Harbour Bridge to be freed up for the reinstatement of the rail lines for which they were originally intended.

My thesis is that, as an alternative to another cross harbour metro rail tunnel to the Northern Beaches, an express rail tunnel from Parramatta to the CBD as an extension of the existing network be linked with the previously proposed City Relief Line from Eveleigh along the western fringe of the CBD to the unused Wynyard Platforms 1 & 2, where it was proposed to terminate.  

With the reinstatement of the two eastern lanes of the Harbour Bridge for a rail corridor, the line could be extended from Wynyard to North Sydney, crossing the Warringah Freeway with a new bridge and utilising the existing stub tunnel from North Sydney to the Northern Beaches, for which it was originally intended.  Bradfield's original plan could eventually be realised.

The reinstatement of the rail lines on the Harbour Bridge eastern traffic lanes doesn't necessarily compromise access from the Harbour Bridge to the Cahill Expressway.  It could still be accessible from the remaining traffic lanes.    








.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The problem is that I still haven't heard from anyone whether it is feasible to cut into the metro tunnel at Victoria Cross for a branch to the Northern Beaches without causing major disruption to the proposed metro service.

In the initial planning for the extension of Metro Northwest to the CBD from Chatswood, there was some criticism that proposed stub tunnels for a future Northern Beaches Line were eliminated.  The official response from the government was that there wasn't any definite plan of where a future Northern Beaches link would branch from the Metro Northwest CBD extension and that it could be constructed at a later date anywhere along the route.  The same reasoning applied to the elimination of the previously proposed stub tunnels at Epping for a future metro link to Parramatta.  
In the absence of any credible engineering analysis, this is where I am extremely sceptical.

 If there's anyone out there who can verify that this strategy is feasible, without major impact on the then existing services, then I'd love to hear from you.
Transtopic
Well I would look at it this way.

I think its safe to say it didn't take 9mth to convert the ECRL to Metro requirements, rather it took 9mths to connect the tunnels and I suspect the shutdown time was under heavy political pressure to be as short as possible. Unless I've missed something I cannot see why the Metro to metro cut in would be any different? I'm trying to find OS comparisons.

(Don't ask me why it takes 9mths to connect the tunnels and why some of this work couldn't be done during say a 10h shut down each night for most of it.)

The Bankstown line conversion will be less intrusive, short down time for the whole line and some stations closed individually for longer periods

So I think the likely answer to your question is +6mths, however could they do one tunnel at a time? Leave one track open between Victoria Cross and Crows Nest although the resulting frequency would be around 10min and the line still does parallel the NSL.

Why didn't they build stub tunnels for Metro? Well seems logical and is logical in my view but has any of the stub tunnels ever previously built in Sydney ever actually later been used? For the ECRL, its criminal that stubs were not added and yes they should have been added for the Nth Beaches, surely it doesn't cost that much? If not entirely sure, add two sets.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I think its safe to say it didn't take 9mth to convert the ECRL to Metro requirements, rather it took 9mths to connect the tunnels and I suspect the shutdown time was under heavy political pressure to be as short as possible. Unless I've missed something I cannot see why the Metro to metro cut in would be any different? I'm trying to find OS comparisons.
RTT_Rules
https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/northern-line-extension

I'm not a NSW native so I can't say I'm following the conversation too closely, but the Northern Line extension in London might be similar in that they have cut into an existing running line to build the extension off?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I think its safe to say it didn't take 9mth to convert the ECRL to Metro requirements, rather it took 9mths to connect the tunnels and I suspect the shutdown time was under heavy political pressure to be as short as possible. Unless I've missed something I cannot see why the Metro to metro cut in would be any different? I'm trying to find OS comparisons.
https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/improvements-and-projects/northern-line-extension

I'm not a NSW native so I can't say I'm following the conversation too closely, but the Northern Line extension in London might be similar in that they have cut into an existing running line to build the extension off?
TOQ-1
Thanks
I can see the station was closed to allow passage ways to improved with trains operating non-stop, but I cannot see the line was actually closed and below probably explains why

The extension was cut into what is a balloon loop at the line http://tubenoise.com/how.html. However as this diagram shows there are two other options to terminate trains from CX branch.
1)  instead of taking the loop, connect to the mainline and use the shunt neck
2)  continue on the main line

If you look at the photos were the new line actually cuts in, the line had to be closed to open up the tunnel, line it and rebuild the floor for the new junctions. There is I doubt no way this could be done with an operating railway or short closures. The tube tunnels are reknown for their very limited clearances and curved design doesn't really allow for easy scaffolding to protect a train.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner


I think its safe to say it didn't take 9mth to convert the ECRL to Metro requirements, rather it took 9mths to connect the tunnels and I suspect the shutdown time was under heavy political pressure to be as short as possible. Unless I've missed something I cannot see why the Metro to metro cut in would be any different? I'm trying to find OS comparisons.
RTT_Rules
In the case of the conversion and extension of the ECRL to the North West, it was a little different, as it didn't actually involve cutting into existing running lines.  The extension to the North West from Epping utilised the existing stub tunnels which were originally intended for an extension to Parramatta via Carlingford.  

You may recall that the original North West Rail Link proposal by Labor branched from the Northern Line between Cheltenham and Beecroft, where it dived into tunnels through to Castle Hill and beyond.  It also proposed quadruplication between Epping and the junction for the NWRL.  However, because of the NIMBY outrage in the Cheltenham/Beecroft area (totally irrational IMO), they subsequently changed the alignment to utilise the stub tunnels at Epping instead, diving under Devlin's Creek and  culminating in the short lived North West Metro.  

The alignment from Epping to Rouse Hill was formerly approved by the Department of Planning and the incoming LNP government adopted this as the basis for their NWRL plan to avoid the delay in having to go through the whole planning approval process again. This is the reason why it wasn't extended to either Schofields or Vineyard on the Richmond Line as part of the LNP proposal, although it was planned to extend the line after further assessment of the options.  Initially, the LNP plan did allow for additional stub tunnels to Parramatta to replace those taken over by the rail link to the North West, but they were subsequently eliminated.

The connection of the North West Line to the existing stub tunnels at Epping was carried out by road headers from the services excavation on the western side of Beecroft Rd.  It didn't have any impact on the then ECRL services from the Northern Line.  When the shutdown came into effect, all that had to be done was to disconnect the Up line dive from the Northern Line and install a turnout from the Down line to the Northern Line, which has been retained for access for maintenance vehicles, although the junction with the Northern Line has been removed.  That could have been done in a matter of days.

I still can't see how it would be feasible to cut into existing metro running lines for further branching without a significant shutdown.  The private operator, currently MTR, would also have to be compensated for loss of profit.  This has significant implications for further metro line expansion.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
In the case of the conversion and extension of the ECRL to the North West, it was a little different, as it didn't actually involve cutting into existing running lines.  The extension to the North West from Epping utilised the existing stub tunnels which were originally intended for an extension to Parramatta via Carlingford.  

You may recall that the original North West Rail Link proposal by Labor branched from the Northern Line between Cheltenham and Beecroft, where it dived into tunnels through to Castle Hill and beyond.  It also proposed quadruplication between Epping and the junction for the NWRL.  However, because of the NIMBY outrage in the Cheltenham/Beecroft area (totally irrational IMO), they subsequently changed the alignment to utilise the stub tunnels at Epping instead, diving under Devlin's Creek and  culminating in the short lived North West Metro.  

The alignment from Epping to Rouse Hill was formerly approved by the Department of Planning and the incoming LNP government adopted this as the basis for their NWRL plan to avoid the delay in having to go through the whole planning approval process again. This is the reason why it wasn't extended to either Schofields or Vineyard on the Richmond Line as part of the LNP proposal, although it was planned to extend the line after further assessment of the options.  Initially, the LNP plan did allow for additional stub tunnels to Parramatta to replace those taken over by the rail link to the North West, but they were subsequently eliminated.

The connection of the North West Line to the existing stub tunnels at Epping was carried out by road headers from the services excavation on the western side of Beecroft Rd.  It didn't have any impact on the then ECRL services from the Northern Line.  When the shutdown came into effect, all that had to be done was to disconnect the Up line dive from the Northern Line and install a turnout from the Down line to the Northern Line, which has been retained for access for maintenance vehicles, although the junction with the Northern Line has been removed.  That could have been done in a matter of days.

I still can't see how it would be feasible to cut into existing metro running lines for further branching without a significant shutdown.  The private operator, currently MTR, would also have to be compensated for loss of profit.  This has significant implications for further metro line expansion.
Transtopic
Thanks for this

The issue I have I cannot see how it took 9mths to convert the ECRL if the connection to the NWRL is not part of the schedule.

I'll check the Youtube videos before of the ECRL under DD, but if I recall the stubs were not very long if I recall, just widened cavity that is near the surface as you said.

Back to your main question, a cut in of the existing railway tunnel with no provisions would expect to take nearly a year shutdown as the whole tunnel at the junction needs to delined and excavated. However for the Nth Beaches I don't see this ever being done as I doubt there will be sufficient spare capacity to do so. I count no less than 15 bus routes crossing the Spit River bridge.

MTR are paid to run trains, not make profit on ticket sales running them. I could not see how whether this project was done or not it would affect their bottom line or the need to be compensated.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner


The issue I have I cannot see how it took 9mths to convert the ECRL if the connection to the NWRL is not part of the schedule.

I'll check the Youtube videos before of the ECRL under DD, but if I recall the stubs were not very long if I recall, just widened cavity that is near the surface as you said.

Back to your main question, a cut in of the existing railway tunnel with no provisions would expect to take nearly a year shutdown as the whole tunnel at the junction needs to delined and excavated. However for the Nth Beaches I don't see this ever being done as I doubt there will be sufficient spare capacity to do so. I count no less than 15 bus routes crossing the Spit River bridge.

MTR are paid to run trains, not make profit on ticket sales running them. I could not see how whether this project was done or not it would affect their bottom line or the need to be compensated.
RTT_Rules
The ECRL stubs at Epping aren't that long, but long enough to avoid impacting on the then existing services.  The tunnel break through by the road headers from the services centre excavation was completed before the line was shut down for conversion to metro.  The underground lines and platforms at Epping are very deep and the road headers operated from the floor of the services centre excavation to connect to them.  The TBMs from Cherrybrook connected with the other end of the excavation shaft.  

I think that the reason for the extended period of the ECRL shutdown was not so much because of the need to physically connect it with the North West extension, but the need to upgrade the existing power cabling, replace the existing signalling with upgraded systems for automatic operation, adjustments to platforms and installation of platform screen doors and other upgrades to the existing stations to make them compatible for metro operation.  On top of that, a lengthy period of testing would have been required to ensure that all systems were operating efficiently.  In view of the operational problems which were experienced during the early stages, perhaps the testing phase wasn't long enough.

I don't know what the current bus patronage in peak hours is across the Harbour Bridge from the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore, but assuming a branch to the Northern Beaches from Victoria Cross is feasible, it would potentially operate at a minimum of 15tph, which would equate to a peak hour patronage of 20,000pph, based on the government's current estimates.  If someone can provide us with the current bus patronage figures, then we could make a valid comparison (sorry, I haven't got time to look it up).

If on the other hand, it's not feasible to branch from the metro, then the suggestion I mentioned earlier of reclaiming the eastern lanes of the Harbour Bridge for an extension of the City Relief Line from Wynyard to the Northern Beaches as part of the existing network is at least worthy of further investigation, although it won't appeal to the metro protagonists.  It would avoid the need for another under harbour rail crossing.  It could potentially operate as a fully automated DD line with a frequency of at least 24tph, which would equate to around 30,000pph.

As you say, MTR is paid to run the trains, but there is still a profit margin in there for them, otherwise why would they bother?  It's a private company.  All ticket revenue goes to the government, which will fall well short of the overall operating costs.  MTR will still have operating costs during a shutdown, such as staff for one thing which they just can't temporarily suspend, and they would be justified in seeking compensation, even if the trains aren't running.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

The issue I have I cannot see how it took 9mths to convert the ECRL if the connection to the NWRL is not part of the schedule.

I'll check the Youtube videos before of the ECRL under DD, but if I recall the stubs were not very long if I recall, just widened cavity that is near the surface as you said.

Back to your main question, a cut in of the existing railway tunnel with no provisions would expect to take nearly a year shutdown as the whole tunnel at the junction needs to delined and excavated. However for the Nth Beaches I don't see this ever being done as I doubt there will be sufficient spare capacity to do so. I count no less than 15 bus routes crossing the Spit River bridge.

MTR are paid to run trains, not make profit on ticket sales running them. I could not see how whether this project was done or not it would affect their bottom line or the need to be compensated.The ECRL stubs at Epping aren't that long, but long enough to avoid impacting on the then existing services.  The tunnel break through by the road headers from the services centre excavation was completed before the line was shut down for conversion to metro.  The underground lines and platforms at Epping are very deep and the road headers operated from the floor of the services centre excavation to connect to them.  The TBMs from Cherrybrook connected with the other end of the excavation shaft.  

I think that the reason for the extended period of the ECRL shutdown was not so much because of the need to physically connect it with the North West extension, but the need to upgrade the existing power cabling, replace the existing signalling with upgraded systems for automatic operation, adjustments to platforms and installation of platform screen doors and other upgrades to the existing stations to make them compatible for metro operation.  On top of that, a lengthy period of testing would have been required to ensure that all systems were operating efficiently.  In view of the operational problems which were experienced during the early stages, perhaps the testing phase wasn't long enough.

I don't know what the current bus patronage in peak hours is across the Harbour Bridge from the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore, but assuming a branch to the Northern Beaches from Victoria Cross is feasible, it would potentially operate at a minimum of 15tph, which would equate to a peak hour patronage of 20,000pph, based on the government's current estimates.  If someone can provide us with the current bus patronage figures, then we could make a valid comparison (sorry, I haven't got time to look it up).

If on the other hand, it's not feasible to branch from the metro, then the suggestion I mentioned earlier of reclaiming the eastern lanes of the Harbour Bridge for an extension of the City Relief Line from Wynyard to the Northern Beaches as part of the existing network is at least worthy of further investigation, although it won't appeal to the metro protagonists.  It would avoid the need for another under harbour rail crossing.  It could potentially operate as a fully automated DD line with a frequency of at least 24tph, which would equate to around 30,000pph.
Transtopic
Reclaiming the HB lands for HR to the Norhern Beaches I don't think would upset anyone and it really has nothing to do with Metro and could go either way as it would a more useful option for the Western Metro or Western Relief either way, DD or SD. After all most of the bits are there from Wynyard to Nth Sydney station with stub tunnels. Just need a TBM to head NE from Nth Sydney, reinstall a few small cross over bridges to the eastern lanes and drill to Central.

The issue you will have will be with those who prefer non-rail types of transport. Also note that one lane on the SHB is now reserved for buses. Anyway, I think we can all agree the SHB option for a 2nd pair of tracks boat sailed 60 years ago and is not coming back. Look at the failed attempt to remove the Cahill Expressway via-duct.

9 mths, is still a long time to replace alot of stuff the could have been done during operation. The testing time is I assume the longest part.

Bus patronage, when time allows will count the frequency and the rest should be easy.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Reclaiming the HB lands for HR to the Norhern Beaches I don't think would upset anyone and it really has nothing to do with Metro and could go either way as it would a more useful option for the Western Metro or Western Relief either way, DD or SD. After all most of the bits are there from Wynyard to Nth Sydney station with stub tunnels. Just need a TBM to head NE from Nth Sydney, reinstall a few small cross over bridges to the eastern lanes and drill to Central.

The issue you will have will be with those who prefer non-rail types of transport. Also note that one lane on the SHB is now reserved for buses. Anyway, I think we can all agree the SHB option for a 2nd pair of tracks boat sailed 60 years ago and is not coming back. Look at the failed attempt to remove the Cahill Expressway via-duct.

9 mths, is still a long time to replace alot of stuff the could have been done during operation. The testing time is I assume the longest part.

Bus patronage, when time allows will count the frequency and the rest should be easy.
RTT_Rules
My proposal for reclaiming the eastern lanes of the Harbour Bridge for a rail link from Wynyard to the Northern Beaches is in the context of construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel.  Without that, then I agree it's not a goer.  

The WHT and associated Northern Beaches Tunnel would divert a significant amount of through traffic from the Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel.  In addition, a Northern Beaches Rail Link, whether metro or HR, would eliminate the need for most of the direct bus services from the Northern Beaches to cross the Harbour Bridge into the CBD, making the current bus lane superfluous to requirements.  The WHT would provide a net gain in cross harbour traffic capacity, without a bus lane, even if the eastern lanes of the Harbour Bridge were reclaimed for rail.  I can't see the Cahill Expressway ever being replaced and it could still be accessible from the Harbour Bridge via the remaining traffic lanes.

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