Final approval for Western Sydney Airport metro

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 13 Oct 2021 21:40
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The way they've gone about the airport line is even worse. Their strategy for the St Marys connection is expensive, and inconvenient - any airport passenger will have to change trains and mix with commuters on one of the busiest train lines in Australia.

If it were me, I would extend the SWRL as an interim. Three new stations, less than 10km of double track. Yes, airport passengers would have to mix with commuters, but it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper to build, and it'd be a one-train journey. The main connection would come later - an extension of the Parramatta metro to Blacktown, before heading down to the airport. This extension would be build alongside the rest of the Parramatta metro, for the same 2030 opening date.

The St Marys - Airport link is basically a metro version of the Cumberland line. A great idea, sure, but is this really what we want to prioritise? Not at all.
A major problem with the St Marys - Airport link, and its further extensions, is that it is introducing yet another incompatible sector on Sydney's rail network. The proposed North-South metro link will not be compatible with the current metro lines, as it will operate wider rolling stock and will be limited to 4 car trains, as will the station infrastructure.  Only 3 car trains will operate initially.  There will be no through running from Metro Northwest and interchange will ultimately be required at Schofields.
Is a source available for this information?
Cubologist
The source is the Infrastructure Australia Evaluation Summary which I posted on Oct 14.

Quote below is from Page 4 of that evaluation -

"A fleet of fully accessible, single-deck, driverless trains would operate on the new line. The rolling stock presented in the business case is wider than those in service on other metro lines to give more room for passengers and their luggage. The train-to-platform interface would be designed to be as even as possible to enable roll-on and roll-off for customers travelling with prams, wheelchairs or wheeled-luggage. As the line is planned to operate independently, the rolling stock assumed in the business case would not be interoperable with Sydney Metro Northwest or the Sydney Metro West. This means that customers would be required to interchange with other heavy rail or metro lines, which presents a demand risk if some passengers carrying luggage want to avoid interchanging services."

It's been stated previously by Transport for NSW that the ultimate North-South Line from Schofields to Macarthur will be independent of the other metro lines, which would require interchange from an extended Metro Northwest at Schofields (and the Sydney Trains Richmond Line) as well as the Sydney Trains South Line at Macarthur or possibly Campbelltown.

It's also been stated that the St Marys- Aerotropolis link will initially be operated by 3 car trains and the whole line ultimately increased to 4 cars.  That's all the station infrastructure will allow for, which in itself I think is misguided.

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  Cubologist Station Staff

The way they've gone about the airport line is even worse. Their strategy for the St Marys connection is expensive, and inconvenient - any airport passenger will have to change trains and mix with commuters on one of the busiest train lines in Australia.

If it were me, I would extend the SWRL as an interim. Three new stations, less than 10km of double track. Yes, airport passengers would have to mix with commuters, but it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper to build, and it'd be a one-train journey. The main connection would come later - an extension of the Parramatta metro to Blacktown, before heading down to the airport. This extension would be build alongside the rest of the Parramatta metro, for the same 2030 opening date.

The St Marys - Airport link is basically a metro version of the Cumberland line. A great idea, sure, but is this really what we want to prioritise? Not at all.
A major problem with the St Marys - Airport link, and its further extensions, is that it is introducing yet another incompatible sector on Sydney's rail network. The proposed North-South metro link will not be compatible with the current metro lines, as it will operate wider rolling stock and will be limited to 4 car trains, as will the station infrastructure.  Only 3 car trains will operate initially.  There will be no through running from Metro Northwest and interchange will ultimately be required at Schofields.
Is a source available for this information?
The source is the Infrastructure Australia Evaluation Summary which I posted on Oct 14.

Quote below is from Page 4 of that evaluation -

"A fleet of fully accessible, single-deck, driverless trains would operate on the new line. The rolling stock presented in the business case is wider than those in service on other metro lines to give more room for passengers and their luggage. The train-to-platform interface would be designed to be as even as possible to enable roll-on and roll-off for customers travelling with prams, wheelchairs or wheeled-luggage. As the line is planned to operate independently, the rolling stock assumed in the business case would not be interoperable with Sydney Metro Northwest or the Sydney Metro West. This means that customers would be required to interchange with other heavy rail or metro lines, which presents a demand risk if some passengers carrying luggage want to avoid interchanging services."

It's been stated previously by Transport for NSW that the ultimate North-South Line from Schofields to Macarthur will be independent of the other metro lines, which would require interchange from an extended Metro Northwest at Schofields (and the Sydney Trains Richmond Line) as well as the Sydney Trains South Line at Macarthur or possibly Campbelltown.

It's also been stated that the St Marys- Aerotropolis link will initially be operated by 3 car trains and the whole line ultimately increased to 4 cars.  That's all the station infrastructure will allow for, which in itself I think is misguided.
Transtopic
Thank you. To me this lack of interoperability seems short-sighted as the general purpose of the new metro line is to connect South-western, Western and North-western Sydney with a convenient link to the new airport and aerotropolis. So by making WSA Metro incompatible with the existing NW Metro and not connecting Schofields and Tallawong, NW commuters wanting to go to the airport have to get themselves over the few km between the two Metro termini to continue their journey. Even if one line was extended to meet the other, interchange would still be required, which for two expensive, blank-slate infrastructure projects, I don't think is too impressive.

I'm not arguing for a 100km long, snaking Metro line with one service from Liverpool to Macarthur, I just don't think they're doing themselves any favours in the long-term by making each Metro system incompatible with each other.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Thank you. To me this lack of interoperability seems short-sighted as the general purpose of the new metro line is to connect South-western, Western and North-western Sydney with a convenient link to the new airport and aerotropolis. So by making WSA Metro incompatible with the existing NW Metro and not connecting Schofields and Tallawong, NW commuters wanting to go to the airport have to get themselves over the few km between the two Metro termini to continue their journey. Even if one line was extended to meet the other, interchange would still be required, which for two expensive, blank-slate infrastructure projects, I don't think is too impressive.

I'm not arguing for a 100km long, snaking Metro line with one service from Liverpool to Macarthur, I just don't think they're doing themselves any favours in the long-term by making each Metro system incompatible with each other.
It is proposed to extend Metro Northwest to Schofields where interchange could take place.  The only reason I can see for not providing a through service is to keep the cost down for the North-South metro link by limiting it to 4 car trains and building station infrastructure accordingly to suit.  While it may be possible to extend surface stations for longer trains in the future if warranted, it won't be so easy on the underground stations at the Airport and Aerotropolis.  If extension of Metro Northwest from Tallawong to the Aerotropolis via Schofields and St Marys were to be completed as a single project, then through running with compatible rolling stock would be possible and there would be no need for a separate service facility as the existing Tallawong facility could perform that role.

However, that would take much longer to construct and wouldn't be completed in time for the Airport's opening, which is why the St Marys-Aerotropolis link doesn't warrant the priority it's been given.  Just to demonstrate why it isn't a priority, I attach a further quote from Infrastructure Australia's evaluation to show how little demand there would be for this link until some time into the future -

"The rail line would initially operate with 12 driverless trains per hour, providing capacity for 15,500 passengers per hour across both directions. It is capable of running 20 trains per hour (capacity for almost 26,000 passengers), and with additional investment, could run 30 trains per hour with larger trains, giving an ultimate capacity of around 52,000 passengers per hour across both directions. Upon the Western Sydney International Airport’s opening in 2026, the business case estimates that the rail line would have peak line loadings of approximately 880 passengers per hour, or about 11% of the capacity of the metro in one direction. It forecasts peak line loadings growing to 3,200 passengers per hour by 2036 and 6,200 passengers per hour by 2056."

Hence why the SWRL extension from Leppington to the Airport warrants priority to provide a more immediate rail link with the Airport before a longer term rail link on the North-South corridor is warranted.  The existing service facility on the SWRL at Rossmore would service that sector.  As I stated in an earlier post, my preference would be for the SWRL to be extended to St Marys and Macarthur in stages as originally intended and extend Metro Northwest from Tallawong to St Marys.  An interchange from the North West to the Airport and Aerotropolis would still be necessary at St Marys under this scenario, but that's something that's difficult to avoid when you have two incompatible rail systems.  The analogy is a 'break of gauge'. This wouldn't be the case if it was all one system.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
This is why the Metro concept is a croc of s h it.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/538-5-million-sydney-metro-western-sydney-airport-line-contract-awarded Developing quickly the cost of the new airport is adding up.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
This would have to be one of the greatest white elephants of all time and could become an isolated asset for some years.  No doubt it could be needed in the future as part of a longer term orbital rail link, but it's not the most immediate priority, which should be extension of the SWRL from Leppington.  It's being pushed by the development lobby.

Consider the proposed patronage in its early days as noted in the business case submitted to Infrastructure Australia, which I quoted in my earlier post.

Using 3 car trains initially (4 cars ultimately), operating at 12tph, it will have a line capacity in each direction in the peak of 7,750 passengers per hour.  However, it is predicted to have only 880 passengers per hour, or 11% of its potential capacity in each direction.  If you want to break it down further, that's an average of 73 passengers per train or 24 passengers per carriage.  At least everyone would get a seat.  A complete waste of resources, when it could be adequately serviced by a fleet of buses in the initial years until development along the corridor reached a critical mass and passenger demand warranted the rail link.

I would be extremely surprised if the SWRL extension to the airport didn't perform better, with the bonus of providing a more direct and faster rail link with the Sydney CBD via the East Hills Line without the need to interchange.  In fact the Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study said as much, as well as the longer term proposed Metro West extension from Westmead also performing better.  In their wisdom, the government chose to ignore that advice for their own ideological reasons.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This line isn't being built for passengers, while its being designed to be suited airport passengers and their luggage this is not its prime purpose as the numbers just don't stack up. The line is being buult for the business district workers to prevent the whole project being a white elephant.

Think about this way
If the govt just built the airport at best they would get if they are lucky 10 flights a day, Gold Coast Airport is probably 20 - 30 and thats Australia's most popular tourist destination. Western Sydney is not a tourist destination. Sure the airport will get the freight, but mostly freighter services, most air freight is in the belly of normal passenger services, which is therefore Mascot.

On this basis Western Sydney Airport would be a failure for passenger use as everyone will continue to the primary airport where you have choice of destination and flexibility, ie Mascot. ie why Avalon and Essenden basically have no passenger services despit frequent attempts to do so. Also think Monteral where a Western Sydney type airport was built as a 2nd airport and ulimately failed and closed.

Mascot's curfew is Western Sydney Airports only strong point is it 24h operation which is a major problem for airlines and the airlines have been tellingthe govt for decades to resolve. At least this way if a flight is delayed it doesn't have to divert to Melbourne or Brisbane which then sees the crew and plane held up for 12h, while the crew rest and wait for a new slot into Sydney.

Back to supporting the business district which in turn helps generate demand for the airport, majority of workers and buisness supporting are based along the Main west corridor, hence the need to build the metro north, not extend the SWRL which is more suited to supporting the miniscule passenger traffic to the city and Mascot. Yes I do support the extension of the SWRL to the airport and I've stated in the past I believe there should be a loop line between the two airports and two CBD's.

As for using the same technology metro as NWRL, good point although the two metro's will not meet this side of 2040, if that soon so. Even then going by the numbers quoted the NWRL rolling stock will be over sized for the task. Personally provided the interchange is Chatswood or similar then no issue, Central Plat 22/23 is alot worse.
  Yappo Train Controller

Also why is this in NSW thread instead of Sydney?
simstrain
Ditto.

Can a mod pls move this?

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