The Disconnected Mess of Sydney Metro

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Open to be corrected any time, without making it personal.

Western Metro city

Yes the NW Metro has mostly forced their hand which is what I indicated.  The NW Metro curve left from Bangalroo, where as the Western Metro comes in curving to the right and needs to cross the NW Metro to be on the north side of NW Metro at Martin Place.  I cannot see how you get at least 200m in straight and level track in this alignment. The Bangalroo area is the only place where the track is close enough to the surface to be viable before going under the elevation of Wynyard.

Western Metro to Central and BEyond

The line finishes at what Macquarie street or just beyond and the station platforms are close to if not parallel to NW Martin Place station. So of course it will point SE. However does the NW Metro continue to SE? From what I can see, it turns almost 180 degrees backt to Pitt Street. Why couldn't the Metro West follow the same, the turn wouldn't even be as tight.

When Phase 1 of NWRL Metro was being constructed, what was the level of documentation to commit to extend to the city? Lines on a map and a basic commentry about future extension. The project had no detailed engineering done south to the city, just expectation that phase 2 would do roughly XYZ, which changed in detail, which included at some point dropping Hurtsville and Liverpool. At the the time of NWRL Metro construction they didn't even know how they were going to fund the extensio, Likewise Phase 2 of Metro west is lines on a map and basic commentry unless you are in the inner circle of the govt and have more unpublished detail. With Metro West not due for completion for at least 7 years, there is no rush and/or there will be an annoucement for the election in either 2023 or 2027.

I would bet a carton that if the current govt is to be retained the extension will continue and there will be a station at Central with a SE alignment. However if there is a change of govt (likely) then who knows because we all know the first thing a new govt does is rebrand major projects to reflect their own marketting. As well why would the line continue east to follow the ESR? Yes it could follow the M1 and avoid Central or together, but whats the advantage? No one lives in Moore Park so best to go under Surry Hills. Which again woudl they go so close to Central but not be Central?  Unlikely, my view.

Extension to SE La Parouse

Any map showing a $150m Metro station at La Parouse needs to be treated with a "yeah, right" attitude unless there is a serious intention to cross to Cronulla. However as the connection will require 11 km of line just to join Malabar with Cronulla I don't see this being feasible. Miranda to Kogarah achieves the same outcome, which is in the plan.

BMT via Bridge

You would only run BMT across the bridge for sectorisation or at least remove crossing paths on the Western Main as an alternative to fly overs. Personally I cannot see why it cannot be done technically as those people who fill the BMT train are already filling suburbans so I think it would all balance out, but I am not proposing it would be done.

Digital signally

Can you explain to us how digital signally speeds up the express services which already have few stops and assumed already operating at track speed at all times? Isn't a green light still just a green light regardless of the electronics behind it?

Westmead Station and users away from T1

The drawings on the site seem to show Westmead etro is partly under Westmead DD, the interchange would appear to be no longer than if there were two additional platforms to the south of the existing 4 track corrior. As such if already on T5 services and other non HR PT, then if the Western Metro suits you then yes it would pull people away from HR

When I says suits, this would indicate your destination is perhaps Paramatta station away from the existing station, although probably not significant, but more so other destinations further down the line including Martin Place district.

Likewise anyone access rail from Paramatta.

Will it be a white elephant, I very much doubt it. My data is old, but it shows 50,000 people a day joining at Paramatta and Westmead, I'm sure its alot higher with Martin Place being the 10th highest destination.

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  scadam Locomotive Driver

Metro West White Elephant

@scadam I understand you concern about the Wynyard interchange adding demand to the T1, but Metro West is most likely going to have very little use in it's current state and if it were to me improved to make it more user-friendly then it could also be improved to interchange at not just Wynyard, but also Martin Place, St James, and Central.

You are probably thinking, how is our most expensive project yet going to attract so little patronage, but think about it, how will use it?

 - Western Line passengers to the CBD? No! The incontinent interchange at Westmead will negate any time savings on the Metro, people will only use Metro West if travelling to a Metro West station, and there are not many of those
 - Westmead Station passengers? Yes, these people will actually use Metro West
 - Parramatta Station passengers? Some! Anyone arriving to the station by bus will use the existing station as that is where the interchange is, but more people get off here then get on
 - Olympic Park Station passengers? Yes, these people will actually use Metro West
 - Northern Line passengers to CBD? No! The incontinent interchange at North Strathfield will negate any time savings on the Metro, people will only use Metro West if travelling to a Metro West station, and there are not many of those
 - North Strathfield Station passengers? Some!, it will depend on their final destination on whether or not they use Metro West
 - People travelling to Olympic Park Yes, these people will actually use Metro West
 - People travelling to Parramtta/Westmead Highly unlikely, due to inconvenient interchange in the CBD
 - People travelling to/from Pyrmont Some!, it will depend on their final destination/origin

With Westmead and Parramatta being the major trip generators on the T1 Main West and more people getting off then on, and the Metro stations here being inconvenient to transfer to, this idea that the Metro West is going to take significant demand off T1 is a lie.
ExtremeCommuter

While I don't think the interchanges at Westmead and North Strathfield are 'ideal', they're hardly dealbreakers for people interchanging. If it's not a cross-platform transfer, the difference between an Epping-style transfer and the proposed Westmead transfer is only incremental. Hopefully a canopy will be installed to keep people dry as they walk between the Sydney Trains and Metro stations. Everyone walks at least some distance to get on the train, whether that be from the car park, or transferring off a bus, or from their house, or even just along the platform to get to an empty carriage. The walking interchange will just become an accepted part of people's everyday commute. There won't be any street crossings (I think).

My thoughts... I don't think it's going to be a white elephant at all.

- Western Line passengers to the CBD?
I think this depends on whether 'T1' gets diverted into Sydney Terminal in the future to add capacity on other lines through the CBD. If this occurs, then I suspect many will choose to change at Westmead rather than Central.

- Olympic Park Station passengers?
Olympic Park is going to be very busy in 20 years time. Lots of additional commercial and residential planned.

- Northern Line passengers to CBD?
It depends on what you define to be the 'CBD'. White Bay and Pyrmont might be considered as part of the CBD in the future and a become major commute destinations. But you're right, if Northern Line continues to get a direct service through to North Sydney, not too many people would want to interchange at North Strathfield. Not huge numbers but there might be some Central Coast passengers interchanging to reach the northern end of the CBD.

- People travelling to Parramtta/Westmead
The way you wrote your post makes it sound like you're saying 'most people travelling between the CBD and Parramatta/Westmead are interchanging passengers'. I don't think this is true. If the CBD is the main destination then most people will be arriving at Hunter Street by walking from somewhere in the CBD.

- People travelling to/from Pyrmont
Pyrmont is among the densest neighbourhoods in Australia, in addition to the casino and other cultural attractions, so I think this station will be extremely well-used (on-par with Kings Cross).

Digital signally

Can you explain to us how digital signally speeds up the express services which already have few stops and assumed already operating at track speed at all times? Isn't a green light still just a green light regardless of the electronics behind it?
RTT_Rules
I believe it's to do with signal sighting distance around curves. On a particular curve, a train might be able to safely do 100km/h. However, at that speed, if you come around the bend and the next signal is at stop, the train might not be able to slow down in time. So the speed limit gets lowered to allow adequate braking distance, despite the track itself being able to handle more. With the in-cab signalling, the driver will always be able to see the signals, so perhaps a small amount of speed will be gained.

Other Points

- I think it is good that Silverwater is being left out of Metro West. Sydney already has an industrial land shortage in the built-up area because we keep turning it all into housing. Building a metro station will only encourage future governments to rezone and start rebuilding Silverwater into residential/commercial. I don't think this would be a good outcome for the city as a whole.

- The grade of a connection from any under-harbour tunnel (e.g. Metro West) to St James centre platforms would be far too steep for a railway. St James is in a pretty useless location anyway, being right underneath the middle of Hyde Park - a long walk followed by what can be a long wait to cross Elizabeth St on foot.

- All the discussion on alignment and stations, while enjoyable, has become a bit pointless now that the project has been confirmed and the contracts awarded. Sure, we could've had this and we could've had that, but I'm sure the design team considered many things and made their decisions based on what they thought was best at the time (or what they could afford).

- Sydney Metro (the government corporation) has been set up as a statutory authority, and therefore it might be a little difficult to dismantle at the whim of a new government.

- Wolli Creek extra platforms, I don't think its going to happen. If the current plans are taken forward in the future and there is a new line from Kogarah to Randwick via the airport, the Interurbans would probably begin stopping at Kogarah to allow access to the airport and the eastern suburbs. Then there wouldn't be much need to stop at Wolli Creek anyway.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Digital signally

Can you explain to us how digital signally speeds up the express services which already have few stops and assumed already operating at track speed at all times? Isn't a green light still just a green light regardless of the electronics behind it?
RTT_Rules
I believe it's to do with signal sighting distance around curves. On a particular curve, a train might be able to safely do 100km/h. However, at that speed, if you come around the bend and the next signal is at stop, the train might not be able to slow down in time. So the speed limit gets lowered to allow adequate braking distance, despite the track itself being able to handle more. With the in-cab signalling, the driver will always be able to see the signals, so perhaps a small amount of speed will be gained.

Thanks for the explanation. TT has mentioned it for sometime, not sure if he ever stated how there would be an increase in speed, but obviously it helps with capacity. Based on this I doubt we'd see more than 1min in time saved so I think we can probably dismiss any significant reduction in travel time unless there are reduced number of stops or the trains are currently held waiting, for example being advised to travel at X speed to avoid a red rather than approaching the red at speed, stopping, then time lost restarting. Even still, for what ~25km of mostly straightish track, mmmm, we are grasping at straws for any signifcant time saving.

Overall I think we are too focused on what the line services TODAY and then drawing conclusions of what the customer base is and not in 6-7 years time when it opens or more importantly 10 - 20 years time and beyond and then drawing conclusions of what the customer base is. Yet with likes of Green Square, Leppington and Tallawong etc we have seen and will continue to see more significant increase in local population in the first 5 - 10 years of operation and more will follow.

 
  alleve Junior Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
I dont really remember who said what


- Wolli Creek Intercity and Platforms
SCO Trains won't change from the local to the main back to the local again. That's an easy way to lose capacity, and defeats the purpose of the crossover projects. The lower platforms at Wolli Creek couldn't have been an island, and their only real problem is how thin they are. This problem impacts the entire airport line, which clearly wasn't built with the long-term future in mind. Green Square regularly had issues with its platforms during the peak pre-Covid and IIRC Mascot is having another entrance built to allow people to enter faster (it's one of the few underground stations with one entrance). I don't know enough about the design of the platforms and tunnels to know if it's possible, but if it is possible they should widen the Green Square and Wolli Creek platforms, and probably Mascot as well.

- St James Metro
RTT is correct that St James' unused platforms couldn't be used. The angle of the tunnels prevents it, not to mention the difference in depth between the Metro and St James which would require a steep climb for the Metro trains. And obviously, tunnelling into St James would place the station under great stress, and doing that to a 1920s station would probably cause it to collapse.

- Approaching Central
I'm not sure why this is still a matter of conversation, but yes it's entirely possible to Metro West will go to Central. In fact this is the most likely option, and would make the most amount of sense. The turn to Central is less than that of the City Circle approaching Circular Quay or the ESR between Town Hall and Martin Place. Both of these lines can be run by V Sets, which are 5m longer per carriage than Metro trains. Metro West going to Central is definitely possible.

- Is Metro West Worth It

My position on Metro West is somewhere between @RTT_Rules and @ExtremeCommuter . I don't believe the project will be a white elephant. Parramatta-City is a popular journey for a reason and the Metro is the best option for it. However, the Metro won't be as successful as some claim. If you live anywhere along the main suburban that isn't Parramatta or Westmead, you're better off just catching the existing train. I wouldve much prefered the money going into a city relief tunnel, but that's not politically powerful enough so they didn't go for that. Instead we got a Metro line which will be useful for a couple particular popular journeys, and not much else. Even as it is, the line wouldve been as DD, driverless DD if you want to not be communist.

- Kogarah
Kogarah will only continue to grow. If it wasn't for the Hurstville via Banksia service being so empty anywhere that isn't Kogarah and Rockdale (kind of), I'd even suggest it being a semi-main station. Does it need two Metro lines + the T4? No, not even close. Hurstville would be a better interchange, and would give Intercity trains even more reason to stop there. Kogarah could do with being on the Randwick-Miranda Metro and be fine.

- La Perouse
Shouldn't have a Metro stop, and I'd be very surprised if it gets one. There really is no reason for it.

That's all I remembered to talk about
  alleve Junior Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
"Based on this I doubt we'd see more than 1min in time saved so I think we can probably dismiss any significant reduction in travel time unless there are reduced number of stops or the trains are currently held waiting, for example being advised to travel at X speed to avoid a red rather than approaching the red at speed, stopping, then time lost restarting. Even still, for what ~25km of mostly straightish track, mmmm, we are grasping at straws for any signifcant time saving."
Over 25km, being able to take curves at higher speeds will lead to time savings (and there are multiple curves). More than 1 minute would be saved. Combined with closer together trains and the end result is a much higher capacity
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
"Based on this I doubt we'd see more than 1min in time saved so I think we can probably dismiss any significant reduction in travel time unless there are reduced number of stops or the trains are currently held waiting, for example being advised to travel at X speed to avoid a red rather than approaching the red at speed, stopping, then time lost restarting. Even still, for what ~25km of mostly straightish track, mmmm, we are grasping at straws for any signifcant time saving."

Over 25km, being able to take curves at higher speeds will lead to time savings (and there are multiple curves). More than 1 minute would be saved. Combined with closer together trains and the end result is a much higher capacity
alleve
Respectively, I'm still not convinced. How can the train take the curves at higher speed just because of signally? which tight curves are we talking about? The track is mostly straight, but does ongoing light curves around structures and the few curves there are for change of direction.

BMT in middle of the night is 26min or an average of 53 km/h with just one intermediate stop. The leg from Central to Redfern alone have a major impact on average speed.

So assume the BMT is running on double greens at the time of night. While I have taken this route more than a few times and obviously not looking out the front, but from memories the signals were closely spaced and what would more likely be in the way was the OH, stations or bridges. Correct me if I'm wrong but on double greens the drivers will operate at track speed as the next signal won't be a double red but warning to slow.

Meanwhile a T1 limited express witgh two extra stops, Redfern and Lidcombe in peak is 27 min.

Never disputed the ability for higher capacity, but others have expressed their view on just how many more trains you can squeeze through Town Hall if the crowd from previous train has yet to clear the platform and the impact on reliability this may cause.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
In response to @alleve -

- Wolli Creek Intercity and Platforms
SCO Trains won't change from the local to the main back to the local again. That's an easy way to lose capacity, and defeats the purpose of the crossover projects. The lower platforms at Wolli Creek couldn't have been an island, and their only real problem is how thin they are. This problem impacts the entire airport line, which clearly wasn't built with the long-term future in mind. Green Square regularly had issues with its platforms during the peak pre-Covid and IIRC Mascot is having another entrance built to allow people to enter faster (it's one of the few underground stations with one entrance). I don't know enough about the design of the platforms and tunnels to know if it's possible, but if it is possible they should widen the Green Square and Wolli Creek platforms, and probably Mascot as well.


From memory. I think that the Wolli Creek Station was not part of the original private Airport Line proposal and was financed by Railcorp to interchange with the Illawarra Main and not the Local.  The private Airport Line, which ultimately failed, was a botched proposal from the very beginning, with minimal standards and little consideration of how it fitted into the broader rail network, particularly in taking over paths on the City Circle, which was the easy option, instead of extending it to a more centrally located terminus in the CBD, or even potentially a new cross harbour rail link.

- St James MetroRTT is correct that St James' unused platforms couldn't be used. The angle of the tunnels prevents it, not to mention the difference in depth between the Metro and St James which would require a steep climb for the Metro trains. And obviously, tunnelling into St James would place the station under great stress, and doing that to a 1920s station would probably cause it to collapse.

Agree and hence why after investigation, it was decided to construct new platforms for the North West Metro between the existing platforms and Elizabeth St under Hyde Park.  I doubt if tunnelling would have caused any great stress for the existing St St James Station as stub tunnels had already been constructed to feed into the unused platforms, not that it was feasible for the North West Metro alignment.  The orientation of the proposed Metro West stub tunnels still makes any alignment to St James unlikely.

- Approaching CentralI'm not sure why this is still a matter of conversation, but yes it's entirely possible to Metro West will go to Central. In fact this is the most likely option, and would make the most amount of sense. The turn to Central is less than that of the City Circle approaching Circular Quay or the ESR between Town Hall and Martin Place. Both of these lines can be run by V Sets, which are 5m longer per carriage than Metro trains. Metro West going to Central is definitely possible.

I'm not so sure about this.  The orientation of the Metro West stub tunnels is clearly in an easterly direction under The Domain and at a pinch to the south-east.  It's a stretch to suggest that it would swing in a large arc back towards Central.  If that is the intention, then you would think that the stub tunnels would take a more southerly alignment, as the North West Metro did, albeit via St James.  It would not be the same as the turns from St James to Circular Quay or from Town Hall to Martin Place.  There's nothing definitely proposed that's publicly available at this stage, so we will just have to wait and see.

I don't know what V sets have got to do with it, as an 8 car V sets is nominally about 36m longer than an 8 car suburban or metro set at 160m.  The 10 car NIF will be a similar length to an 8 car V set, which is why they're unlikely to run on the underground stations, which are 160m in length.

- Is Metro West Worth It

I've stated my case on this innumerable times and although I agree that it is questionable whether it will live up to its expectations, I've got nothing further to add.

- Kogarah
Kogarah will only continue to grow. If it wasn't for the Hurstville via Banksia service being so empty anywhere that isn't Kogarah and Rockdale (kind of), I'd even suggest it being a semi-main station. Does it need two Metro lines + the T4? No, not even close. Hurstville would be a better interchange, and would give Intercity trains even more reason to stop there. Kogarah could do with being on the Randwick-Miranda Metro and be fine.


I agree that Kogarah will continue to grow, but I doubt if it will ever supplant Hurstville as the major Strategic Centre on the Illawarra Line. It is more likely that Kogarah would be on a Randwick-Miranda or Randwick-Parramatta axis and Hurstville on the A3 corridor axis to Macquarie Park via Olympic Park and Top Ryde.  There is also the option of Cronulla/Waterfall semi-express  and SCO Intercity services stopping at both Hurstville and Kogarah.

- La PerouseShouldn't have a Metro stop, and I'd be very surprised if it gets one. There really is no reason for it.

I'm in two minds about this, but perhaps a future metro line should terminate at Maroubra Junction and the LR extended from Kingsford to La Perouse along the old tram reservation, which I used to regularly travel on I might add.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Over 25km, being able to take curves at higher speeds will lead to time savings (and there are multiple curves). More than 1 minute would be saved. Combined with closer together trains and the end result is a much higher capacity
alleve
Agree with this.  The thing that RTT overlooks is that the speed limits were slowed down several years ago following the Waterfall and Glenbrook train accidents and ATP was subsequently trialled and introduced across the network and from what I've read recently is nearing completion.  The next stage is the complementary introduction of ETCS-Level 2 technology which will allow ATO.  It is likely that speed limits will be increased because the new signalling technology will allow higher speeds at closer headways.  I would therefore expect that journey times on the existing network between Parramatta and the CBD (however you define it) will be significantly reduced.  Making comparisons of the metro with the current journey times and frequencies on the existing network is meaningless.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Over 25km, being able to take curves at higher speeds will lead to time savings (and there are multiple curves). More than 1 minute would be saved. Combined with closer together trains and the end result is a much higher capacity
Agree with this.  The thing that RTT overlooks is that the speed limits were slowed down several years ago following the Waterfall and Glenbrook train accidents and ATP was subsequently trialled and introduced across the network and from what I've read recently is nearing completion.  The next stage is the complementary introduction of ETCS-Level 2 technology which will allow ATO.  It is likely that speed limits will be increased because the new signalling technology will allow higher speeds at closer headways.  I would therefore expect that journey times on the existing network between Parramatta and the CBD (however you define it) will be significantly reduced.  Making comparisons of the metro with the current journey times and frequencies on the existing network is meaningless.
Transtopic
Not really no.

While I don't remember the Paramatta timetable as I never went out there much in days gone by, but I have used it a bit in recent years. I have the CCN timetables from the 1980's well entrenched into my head and I compare that with today's timetables and 45min for a express Horsnby to Gosford only stopping at Woy Woy, maybe 2-3 min longer at best.

No comparisons were made with Metro times.

Back to Paramatta, if we focus on Redfern to Paramtta express its 24min with two stops at Straifield and Lidcombe, whats the digital signally going to offer, a 10% increase in sectional speed? (average speed increasing from low 50's to high 50's km/h). Thats a 2min saving, go back to my original comment which I think was 1 maybe 2 min at best.   Note those two stops actually means its more than 10% increase in speed as the braking / accelertion and dwell times of two full stops plus departing Redfern and arriving at Paramatta are all fixed. Also assume there is no upgrade in points etc.

Guys, I'm not arguing what this new safe working technology can or cannot do, I'm argung the physics of what could happen with this new technology and I just do see miracles happening unless I'm missing something. Also noting from Straithfield to Redfern at night in the bad old days of hanging out red rattlers you could often see more than one set os signals ahead.
  Totoro Junior Train Controller

I think RTT is on the money here, this is a simple matter of physics/geometry. Comparing the Metro West / T1 routes on a map, the Metro route is far closer to being a straight line, as opposed to the parabolic path towards/through the CBD taken by T1.

Considering also the faster dwell times and acceleration for Metro trains, of course Metro will be significantly faster, by something like 5-10 minutes, even after ATO. I think ATO can provide many benefits for frequency and speed, but bending spacetime is not one of them. :p
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I think RTT is on the money here, this is a simple matter of physics/geometry. Comparing the Metro West / T1 routes on a map, the Metro route is far closer to being a straight line, as opposed to the parabolic path towards/through the CBD taken by T1.

Considering also the faster dwell times and acceleration for Metro trains, of course Metro will be significantly faster, by something like 5-10 minutes, even after ATO. I think ATO can provide many benefits for frequency and speed, but bending spacetime is not one of them. :p
Totoro

There are video's in Youtube taken from drivers cab along the line, while I'm a total supportive of in cab signally for various reasons (basically because line side signally is early 20th century technology and time to move on from this rigid inflexible and costly to update system), regardless you can see there are no hiden signals and that with multi aspect (open for correction), there is no last minute surprises and drivers can nearly always see the next signals as soon or shortly after as they have passed the previous.

Green Green
Green Amber
Green Red
Red Red

Again, I'm open to correction on any of this.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think RTT is on the money here, this is a simple matter of physics/geometry. Comparing the Metro West / T1 routes on a map, the Metro route is far closer to being a straight line, as opposed to the parabolic path towards/through the CBD taken by T1.

Considering also the faster dwell times and acceleration for Metro trains, of course Metro will be significantly faster, by something like 5-10 minutes, even after ATO. I think ATO can provide many benefits for frequency and speed, but bending spacetime is not one of them. :p
Totoro

I agree with RTT and Totoro but the problem is that you can't tell Transtopic that. He thinks this new signalling system is going to magically allow speeds of 160km/h on the sydney network even though the fastest speed on the sydney network is 115km/h for sparks and 125 in a few spots for the X's. ATO is not possible on the ST network with the interconnected passenger and freight services across the whole system. With the recent fire and wet weather issues showing that when the system is blocked somewhere you need drivers to run to modified arrangements.

Waterfall did not result in any reduction of speed because the issue wasn't with speed but the fact the driver had a heart attack and the dead man's brake failed. This is why ATP was suggested by the inquiry to be introduced and not for increasing frequency and speed. It's a safety mechanism.

Metro might be a disconnected mess but it's very nature allows for something that ST can never be.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think RTT is on the money here, this is a simple matter of physics/geometry. Comparing the Metro West / T1 routes on a map, the Metro route is far closer to being a straight line, as opposed to the parabolic path towards/through the CBD taken by T1.

Considering also the faster dwell times and acceleration for Metro trains, of course Metro will be significantly faster, by something like 5-10 minutes, even after ATO. I think ATO can provide many benefits for frequency and speed, but bending spacetime is not one of them. :p

I agree with RTT and Totoro but the problem is that you can't tell Transtopic that. He thinks this new signalling system is going to magically allow speeds of 160km/h on the sydney network even though the fastest speed on the sydney network is 115km/h for sparks and 125 in a few spots for the X's. ATO is not possible on the ST network with the interconnected passenger and freight services across the whole system. With the recent fire and wet weather issues showing that when the system is blocked somewhere you need drivers to run to modified arrangements.

Waterfall did not result in any reduction of speed because the issue wasn't with speed but the fact the driver had a heart attack and the dead man's brake failed. This is why ATP was suggested by the inquiry to be introduced and not for increasing frequency and speed. It's a safety mechanism.

Metro might be a disconnected mess but it's very nature allows for something that ST can never be.
simstrain
Regretfully sims, you continue to display your ignorance of what is proposed.  I've never suggested that the signalling upgrade will allow speeds up to 160km/h on the suburban network, although that could still be possible on limited sectors for the NIF and new regional train fleet which will have that capability.  The latest Waratah, Oscar and Millennium suburban stock have a maximum design speed of 130km/h, which would be achievable on many of the existing lines for express services on quad track with the signalling upgrade.  Existing speed restrictions are irrelevant.

Contrary to your opinion, ATO in conjunction with the ETCS - Level 2 upgrade is being implemented on the ST network.
There will still be drivers who can take over when required in an emergency.  It's not a driverless standard like the metro, which is ETCS - Level 4, or GoA 4.  Freight train locomotives, as well as Intercity and Regional trains will be equipped with in-cab signalling, as lineside signalling will be removed.  Even heritage steam trains will have mobile in-cab signalling devices.

ATP is separate from the ATO signalling upgrade and works in conjunction with it.

The ST network is not aspiring to be a driverless system like the metro and it fact it's not achievable.  Nonetheless, it will remain the dominant rail network for Sydney for many years to come with progressive upgrades.  It's not unlike innumerable legacy rail networks across the globe.  
 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The issue raised by Sims and myself is not so much what ATO can do, but rather what it won't do or won't fix and these constraints will remain and these constraints are the major limiting factors fir trains to increase speed and save time.

ATO
- won't fix track alignment
- won't reduce dwell times not related to safe working
- won't see any significant if any change in track speed boards
- won't improve train performance, ie acceleration or braking.

So while changes came in following Waterfall, most if I recall was acknowledging. Trains in past were forced to speed to retain the time table, especially as automated doors and voice announcements slowed them slightly. And that when waterfall happened, Sydney had only not lo g before got rid of rolling stock without speedos.

So on routes like Central - Paramatta, what significant improvement in speed can be realistically achieved to save more than 1 maybe 2min (2 min being optimistic)? To do this you need to increase train speed by 10%.

Now if you watch those real time cab videos on YouTube, you can see a Central to Penrith service following a train on the IU tracks. The later does not have the traffic density on its tracks but both trains have double greens all the way. The two trains operate at same speed, but the T1 service looses just a bit of  time going around station platforms it doesn't stop due to curve induced speed limit. The IU just maintains a steady speed and slowly pulls ahead at each of these locations. Both trains are running on greens and the signals can be see well ahead and with 3 aspect signals there are no surprises waiting to slow for.

ATO will allow for greater train density, no question.

If there is a logical explanation for how ATO will increase line speed and reduce travel time over 25 km route, I'd love to hear it.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I await the first fatal accident caused by this system as a train magically is running at 130 or 160km/h  according to you on it's way to waterfall where most of the speed is between 60-90km/h currently.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
I await the first fatal accident caused by this system as a train magically is running at 130 or 160km/h  according to you on it's way to waterfall where most of the speed is between 60-90km/h currently.
simstrain
My giddy train crew, you're a pessimist, aren't you?
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
If there is a logical explanation for how ATO will increase line speed and reduce travel time over 25 km route, I'd love to hear it.
RTT_Rules
The following media release from Transport for NSW confirms that journey times will be reduced with the implementation of the Digital Signalling Program and ATO, but as yet hasn't specified by how much.  I imagine that the reduction would be due to a combination of factors, such as speed increases, travelling at higher speeds with closer headways more safely, improved acceleration/deceleration performance (which is currently not fully utilised) and track upgrades including amplification to relieve pinch points.

Digital Systems Program Transport for NSW

A more detailed summary is shown in the following paper, which also mentions the benefit of reduced journey times (Section 2.9, pages 8 & 9)

*RECRUITMENT & PUBLICITY COMMITTEE (rtsa.com.au)
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Thanks for that information.

No argument with the general comments and the technology is certainly an improvement, but I'd be cautious about expecting mote than 2 min time saving on anywhere from Central to Sutherland, Glenfield, Paramatta and Hornsby. Mainly the distance just isn't enough to get much more.

However the article did say some additional track work and if this is the case then all bets are off in that area.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I await the first fatal accident caused by this system as a train magically is running at 130 or 160km/h  according to you on it's way to waterfall where most of the speed is between 60-90km/h currently.
My giddy train crew, you're a pessimist, aren't you?
s3_gunzel

I am now. Too much crap has happened recently for me to not be. Do you think that on the illawarra where the train is doing 60-90km currently we will see trains magically doing 130km/h because of this new signalling system?

I look back at incidents such as waterfall, wentworthville etc and laugh at such suggestions.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
I await the first fatal accident caused by this system as a train magically is running at 130 or 160km/h  according to you on it's way to waterfall where most of the speed is between 60-90km/h currently.
My giddy train crew, you're a pessimist, aren't you?

I am now. Too much crap has happened recently for me to not be. Do you think that on the illawarra where the train is doing 60-90km currently we will see trains magically doing 130km/h because of this new signalling system?

I look back at incidents such as waterfall, wentworthville etc and laugh at such suggestions.
simstrain
Wentworthville?

The one in the 80s?

The one where the Tangara rammed into the platform?

You know that section of line is now 115 don't you?
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I await the first fatal accident caused by this system as a train magically is running at 130 or 160km/h  according to you on it's way to waterfall where most of the speed is between 60-90km/h currently.
My giddy train crew, you're a pessimist, aren't you?

I am now. Too much crap has happened recently for me to not be. Do you think that on the illawarra where the train is doing 60-90km currently we will see trains magically doing 130km/h because of this new signalling system?

I look back at incidents such as waterfall, wentworthville etc and laugh at such suggestions.
simstrain
The only services likely to reach 130km/h would be express services where there is quad track and when the digital signalling upgrade is completed.  It's not as though 130km/h will become widespread across the Sydney Trains network.  All stations services are unlikely to reach that speed, although I expect that the potential will be there to increase overall average speeds compared with what is achievable with the current signalling technology.

By way of example, under the pre-2005 timetable when it was slowed down to improve on-time running statistics, it used to take exactly 30 minutes from Eastwood to Central on the T9 Northern Line, as it had done for decades.  It now takes 34 minutes over a distance of 21km.  I would be extremely surprised if the signalling upgrade didn't improve on that original journey time, considering the infrastructure upgrades which have been made over the past few decades.  The same potential improvement goes across the whole network.  

There are limited opportunities on the network to achieve 130km/h, which as I suggested would be for express services, Suburban, Intercity and Regional.  Examples would be North Strathfield to West Ryde on the Northern Line which is practically dead straight and soon to have the quad completed under the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor program; sections of the Western Line from Blacktown to Penrith and on the East Hills Line from Turrella to Revesby and potentially to Glenfield.  The latest Suburban and Intercity rolling stock has a maximum design speed of 130km/h (new Regional 160km/h), so why wouldn't they make use of it?
  alleve Junior Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
I await the first fatal accident caused by this system as a train magically is running at 130 or 160km/h  according to you on it's way to waterfall where most of the speed is between 60-90km/h currently.
My giddy train crew, you're a pessimist, aren't you?

I am now. Too much crap has happened recently for me to not be. Do you think that on the illawarra where the train is doing 60-90km currently we will see trains magically doing 130km/h because of this new signalling system?

I look back at incidents such as waterfall, wentworthville etc and laugh at such suggestions.
The only services likely to reach 130km/h would be express services where there is quad track and when the digital signalling upgrade is completed.  It's not as though 130km/h will become widespread across the Sydney Trains network.  All stations services are unlikely to reach that speed, although I expect that the potential will be there to increase overall average speeds compared with what is achievable with the current signalling technology.

By way of example, under the pre-2005 timetable when it was slowed down to improve on-time running statistics, it used to take exactly 30 minutes from Eastwood to Central on the T9 Northern Line, as it had done for decades.  It now takes 34 minutes over a distance of 21km.  I would be extremely surprised if the signalling upgrade didn't improve on that original journey time, considering the infrastructure upgrades which have been made over the past few decades.  The same potential improvement goes across the whole network.  

There are limited opportunities on the network to achieve 130km/h, which as I suggested would be for express services, Suburban, Intercity and Regional.  Examples would be North Strathfield to West Ryde on the Northern Line which is practically dead straight and soon to have the quad completed under the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor program; sections of the Western Line from Blacktown to Penrith and on the East Hills Line from Turrella to Revesby and potentially to Glenfield.  The latest Suburban and Intercity rolling stock has a maximum design speed of 130km/h (new Regional 160km/h), so why wouldn't they make use of it?
Transtopic
Parts of the SWRL could also reach those speeds, Nth Strathfield to West Ryde already allows trains to reach up to 110, so there's no reason why not there. Do you have any info about the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor program?
  Totoro Junior Train Controller
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Wentworthville?

The one in the 80s?

The one where the Tangara rammed into the platform?

You know that section of line is now 115 don't you?
s3_gunzel

The 60-90 I was talking about was on most of the T4 and on the main west until west of westmead it is mostly 60-100. The Wentworthville accident where it ran in to the platform was what I was referring to. Do you see that 115km/h being raised any higher just because of this new signalling system?

Transtopic, when the timetable was slowed down it wasn't because of the signalling. It was because Labor wanted the trains to have a higher percentage of on time running and slowed the trains to make this possible and reduced services accordingly. That 4 minute saving is nothing to do with signalling at all. I don't buy for one minute it would improve especially now with how the trains are run. ST trains are not capable of achieving these goals you think this new system will allow.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Transtopic, when the timetable was slowed down it wasn't because of the signalling. It was because Labor wanted the trains to have a higher percentage of on time running and slowed the trains to make this possible and reduced services accordingly. That 4 minute saving is nothing to do with signalling at all. I don't buy for one minute it would improve especially now with how the trains are run. ST trains are not capable of achieving these goals you think this new system will allow.
simstrain
I never said that the timetable was slowed down because of the signalling.  As you have commented, it was to improve on-time running, which is exactly what I said.

The digital signalling and ATO upgrade and the introduction of a new traffic management system will allow for faster speeds and greater reliability of the network.  If you haven't done so already, you should read the paper I posted earlier in response to RTT's query.   It's there in black and white and directly from the engineer from Transport for NSW.  If you're still sceptical, then nothing is going to convince you.

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