As I said earlier, well done Barry for having the guts to tackle the issues, lets just hope he has the stomach to follow through. Of course he has the stomach
I was cynical at first but this is probably the best shot at getting the Northwest Link. The one major flaw it that it will be twenty years before it will take all of its users to work, two thirds of whom who work in the city. In my opinion the only reason that trains are not to work past Chatswood is because the government has been persuaded by its advisors that they should not do so.
But why? That is the question.
I think I'll need to pop on the M61 up to Castle Hill and ask some pointed questions...
There is no technical reason for this - it is only if the trains are incompatible with CityRail DDs and could not share the same track. DDs won't run on the ECRL for the same reason. It is most likely that Rapid Transit trains are to use platform doors to suit their different door spacing, and platform doors are essential unless you have fully automatic operation. But Automatic Train Operation (ATO) is perfectly feasible, and the Rapid Transit 'operator' (door monitor) employed by the private company could operate into ATO equipped CityRail territory mixed with the more modern CityRail DDs. This public and private drivers mix right now (but with conventional signalling) in the freight sector.
Theoretically, we could resort to the mixed operation as seen on parts of the London Underground shared with British Rail, where LU trains run on BR track and follow BR rules. It's worked fairly well for quite a while, so I don't see why we can't do it here.
It is, however, still sub-optimal when compared to just one operator.
The idea of mixed operation was floated in a number of forums as a transition to the Rapid Transit. The same advisors would be well aware that existing infrastructure, with some track rearrangement and ATO, can fit another ten trains per hour whether double deck, single deck, or a mix of both between Chatswood and Wynyard. It's done every day it the centre of Paris much more effectively than this proposal will.