The Newcastle Rail Line IS to be cut, announced 14 dec 2012

 
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Official announcement at the 10AM today by Brad Hazzard that the rail line into Newcastle IS TO cut.

I now have permission to post a photo showing Barry O'Farrell wearing a Save Our Rail badge, and that the transport minister came down and protested with Save Our Rail in retaining the rail line.

It's all about developers greed.

I will post the picture later

Edit: He will be in Newcastle to announce it.

Edit: Hazzard claimed that the rail land will NOT be sold developers - bullcrap!

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  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network
Sad News.
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1185362/poll-train-line-to-be-cut-at-wickham/?cs=303

POLL: Train line to be cut at Wickham


NEWCASTLE’S struggling city centre is set to undergo a major transformation under new plans the state government will kick-start with $120million.

Heavy rail services will  end at a new Wickham interchange west of Stewart Avenue, frequent bus services will  replace trains, the rail corridor will  remain as public space and eight new links across it will  be created to connect the inner city to the waterfront.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard will visit Newcastle today to outline the government’s plan that he said is an end to the indecision that has held back the centre of the state’s second biggest city for decades.

Removal of the city’s ‘‘Berlin Wall’’ would trigger a wave of private investment, he said yesterday.

‘‘This announcement will be a shot in the arm for all of those doubting Thomases who have wondered whether they should put their money into Newcastle,’’ Mr Hazzard said.

‘‘Although the government work to be done is still considerable, and has to be done with careful consultation with the community about the Wickham interchange and the bus services for the people of Maitland, and the Upper Hunter and Lake Macquarie, there’s no doubt that the bulldozers and the cranes will be arriving in Newcastle within the next 12 to 18 months.’’

The heavy rail tracks between Wickham and Newcastle are expected to be covered over rather than ripped up, as part of transport changes that  will  take about three to five years to implement.

The $120 million  will  come from Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund and its Restart NSW fund, as revealed by the Newcastle Herald  last week.

The O’Farrell government  will  ask the federal government to contribute another $100 million to the project. 

Mr Hazzard said quiet and positive initial discussions had already taken place.

Government development agency Landcom would also begin work immediately on plans for redeveloping the city centre properties it owns with the GPT Group.

Landcom chief executive Sean O’Toole said last night its redevelopment could be worth about $600 million.

The state’s urban renewal strategy would also foster precincts in the city through changes to planning controls, with the aim of injecting 12,600 new residents and generating up to 10,000 jobs by 2036.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen said the plan was ‘‘what local residents have been fighting for in Newcastle and shows the Hunter is now well and truly on the map’’.

‘‘The strategy will bring a new energy and focus to deliver the 21st century city we all deserve,’’ Mr Owen said.

Mr Hazzard declined to give a figure for the overall cost of the transport works, which would depend on further planning work, the remediation needed for the rail corridor and the final construction process the government selected.

‘‘We have some figures in mind and we understand that the entire package may be considerably more than the initial outlay,’’ Mr Hazzard said.

‘‘But as we’re putting a lot of the work out to the private market it would not be in taxpayers’ interest if we were to go disclosing those figures at this time on the basis that private companies  would work to the upper limit.’’

Projections done for the former Labor government put the total cost at up to $500million, including significant contingency estimates.

Mr Hazzard said the O’Farrell government was also open to light rail along the corridor ‘‘in the fullness of time’’.

‘‘The intent is on an interim basis to deliver a far better transport option [than heavy rail] for residents by using buses,’’ he said.

Transport for NSW would  consider timetables and other matters and look closely at options for the most appropriate property for the Wickham interchange.


  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner


(I would submit this as news, but I'm still having some internet issues)

Tim Owen said that their will be only a three month consultation period.

Tim Owen is saying that the rail land will not be sold to developers - pigs flying.

I now put O'Farrell in the category as Greiner & Kennett.

Owen said a website will be up & running today.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
As I have stated Earlier- No need to get you knickers in a Knot- These things take a long time to come to pass, And things change!! So no need for alarm just yet

Kind Regards
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
No one will want to change at Wickham, what a farce.
Lets see the experts down at the foreshore on New Years eve.
Revitalize the East end, not kill it off.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Mr Hazzard said quiet and positive initial discussions had already taken place.


I.E.  behind closed doors with political cronies?

If (and it's still not a given) the line is truncated it will cause some rail business to be lost as experience almost everywhere else has shown people won't change onto buses for a short hop but use their cars instead.

I live in hope that one day someone will wake up in time to see rail as a worthy means of transport in Australia but I'm running out of years .....
  N959 Junior Train Controller

Newcastle will be struck off the map.

What are we going to do about it? Probably nothing.

I'll shed my tears now.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
First Lord Griff deserteth the faithful, now this. R.I.P. Republica Novocastria 
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Brad Hazzard the Hazard said at 10AM officially that the rail lines WILL NOT be removed, BUT at 12:30, he changed his tune, to say "that we are not sure if we are going to rip up the lines.

He also "guaranteed" that the rail land won't be given to developers, but then gave himself an out, by saying that if a private investor is interesting, . . .

I can tell you though that the fight to save the rail line is still NOT over.

By the way, I'm not going reveal any source, but the source has said that the poll for Yes it should be cut went up sky high in a matter of minutes, if you get my drift.

For keeping the rail, the NO vote is the one to vote for here: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1185362/poll-video-train-line-to-be-cut-at-wickham/?cs=305
  LordMelbury Beginner

This is a very bad move which will be regretted for many years to come. Other cities have removed railway stations from their city centres and it has usually looked back on as a big mistake.
  beanzs27 Assistant Commissioner

Don't you require an ACT of Parliament to close line in NSW?

that my understanding from a Victorian point of view.

the only time I have been to Newcastle was by train, was so easy to catch a train to explore Newcastle. I was able to store my backpack at the station and go to the beach.

I understand closing line in towns where it is one train a day like in some Queensland towns to free up room but with trains running all day, this appears to be a dumb decison.

could you reduce the number of lines along the route, not sure how many lines there are.

why not just bulit over the top or lower the lines below ground.

hope you win your fight to keep line open
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Don't you require an ACT of Parliament to close line in NSW?


Yes you do but not to book it out of use.

There are many lines and stations around Australia, some of which are mere memories while tracks survive to others but could never be used again, which are not "closed" but "booked out of use" probably for the very reason that it is a simple process and avoids legislation.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
If the land was to be developed or turned into a road then an Act of Parliament would be required but otherwise no...
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
And if a private developer buys the land and chooses to run a railway on it?  Then perhaps invites the rail operators of the day to run their passenger trains into central Newcastle in return for a fair and reasonable access fee?  

There are some arguments in favour of rail privatisation Wink
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

In regards in claiming that developers are not after the rail land, here is a summary of what Hazzard said. I believe it to be a reply in the question asked about developers eyeing off that valuable real estate(1)

Brad Hazzard said either at 10am or before 10am, or possibly both times, he stated the the rail line (the closed bit) will be in the hands of the people, but then gave himself an out by saying, but we don't know what's going to happen in the future.

Hazzard & Tim Owen are deliberately keeping how much this will cost in total a closely guarded secret.

For some reason, our employees (the MPs) are hiding how much the real cost is.

At 4pm news today, it was unclear but I thought I heard something about developers are already knocking on the business chamber's door, and Kristen Keegan said that "Oh, Oh no, no, the rail land will not be sold"
(Pigs are f.l.y.i.n.g.)


1. Isn't it interesting that this affected part is the part that has the water views?
(ie: Valuable real estate for developer$)

  abesty1 Chief Commissioner
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

I highly suspect that Owen & McCloy &/or Co will be on that "cough UR cough" Graeme Gilbert talk back sometime between 7pm & 10pm tonight, and maybe (not sure) after 10pm on 2SM and relayed through various stations such as 2HD, etc.

But he supports cutting the rail line at Broadmeadow, even though he has stated that he uses the Broadmeadow - Newcastle part of the rail line. And anyone that disagrees with him on any subject, . .

PS: It has been confirmed that Paul Murphy goes on the train, on the affected part.
So why doesn't he get a bus, and then change to the train?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Don't you require an ACT of Parliament to close line in NSW?


Yes you do but not to book it out of use.

There are many lines and stations around Australia, some of which are mere memories while tracks survive to others but could never be used again, which are not "closed" but "booked out of use" probably for the very reason that it is a simple process and avoids legislation.
"Gwiwer"



99A   Closure and disposal of railway lines
(1)  A rail infrastructure owner must not, unless authorised by an Act of Parliament, close a railway line.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, a railway line is closed if the land concerned is sold or otherwise disposed of or the railway tracks and other works concerned are removed.
(3)  For the purposes of this section, a railway line is not closed merely because a rail infrastructure owner has entered into an ARTC arrangement or a lease or other arrangement in respect of it pursuant to an agreement entered into by the Commonwealth and the State.
"Transport Administration Act - 1988"
  NB, the act has been amended and updated hence the reference to ARTC from 1988 Smile.

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fragview/inforce/act+109+1988+pt.9-div.1b+0+N


http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1185362/poll-video-train-line-to-be-cut-at-wickham/?cs=305
Transport for NSW would  consider timetables and other matters and look closely at options for the most appropriate property for the Wickham interchange.

Consultation  with residents and other interested parties would begin  by March 17.

THE FUTURE

â–  Heavy rail to end at Wickham transport interchange, west of Stewart Avenue

â–  Tracks between Wickham and Newcastle expected to be covered over or filled in

â–  Direct buses to replace trains between Wickham and Newcastle, but light rail possible in future

â–  Former rail corridor to remain in public hands

â–  Eight new links across corridor to connect the city to the harbourfront

â–  $120m committed for further planning work and starting the project

â–  NSW government to ask the federal government for a further $100m

â–  Upgrades of Hunter Street Mall and Wheeler Place

â–  East End would be retail, entertainment, leisure and residential precinct

â–  Civic area would be main educational, civic and cultural hub

â–  West End to be the future commercial hub

â–  Improvements around Birdwood Park and Cottage Creek

â–  Planning of Landcom and the GPT Group’s city redevelopment to begin now, with work maybe to start  2014

"Newcastle Herald"
 
Sorry, I can't find the press release from which this is drawn.

The restrictions in the transport act expressly forbid selling (or otherwise disposing of - which almost certainly means no long or medium term leases either) the land on which the line resides.  It also prevents removing the tracks.  But there is nothing to stop the tracks being buried and turned into parkland.

Redevelopment is not a completely done deal as the developers, and probably depends on how far they can (or are prepared to push) things hewre without an enabling act gaining passage through the upper house.  There is a very real chance any or all of these developments might fail a challenge, depending on how the L&E court decides to interpret these provisions.
  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network
ABC News:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXVoUli8KRM&feature=youtu.be
  8041 Junior Train Controller

This is one of the stupidest decisions, backed by the stupidest of arguments, I have ever seen in my life.

If they cut the railway and it does revitalise the city the way they assure us it will then they will need a railway to transport all the new residents and visitors around.
It will be gridlocked chaos otherwise.
It just beggars belief that anyone, except greedy property developers and their lackeys in council and the liberal party, could fall for this utter steer manure.

Everyone knows they will build a few token parks along the line, can the bus service in a future spending slashathon and the rich folk of Newcastle will get prime harbour views and their mates will make squillions. It will become an enclave like toorak or double bay where the plebs arent welcome and neither is their public transport. That what this is all about. A modern day land grab with help from corrupt politicians and conniving media.

Can the working class folks of the hunter rise up one more time and tell these greedy, arrogant scum to rack off back where they came from and leave our city alone?
I think they can but Im not sure they will. They will regret it if they dont.

P.s. How long before the Endevours to Nowra get the same treatment?
P.P.s And the Port Kembla passenger service? Mt Vic to Lithgow. Scone, Dungog?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Can the working class folks of the hunter rise up one more time
YES
P.s. How long before the Endevours to Nowra get the same treatment?
Not long by the looks of it. Some trains are already replaced with buses.

NBN's Poll (same question as the herald's),
NO, disagree = 61%
YES, agree = 39%
Don't Care = 0%

Herald's Poll (It is interesting to note, that the results sky rocketed within a very short time span.)
NO = 50.7%
YES = 42.9%
Don't care = 6.3%

I just heard Graeme Gilbert cut someone off because he was trying to say his view on why it should be saved, and as suspected he talked over him, and said "take the blinkers off, this is 2012"

And again he is blaming the rail line.

Edit: It seems as though "people" are ringing up, claiming only 900 passengers (on average) in a 24 hour period.

So why are they blaming Hunter St on the rail line?
  newington Chief Commissioner

Location: Here, very occasionally.
Don't you require an ACT of Parliament to close line in NSW?
"beanzs27"


"Close", Yes. However, very few lines are actually closed, but rather are 'services suspended', effectively meaning you stop running services and let the rot set in.


  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner


Question: Has this stupid decision got to go through both houses of NSW parliament?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Question: Has this stupid decision got to go through both houses of NSW parliament?
"Newcastle Express"


Maybe.

Cutting Services?  No

Turning the corridor into a park & building walkways across it? No

Removing the tracks?  Yes - *both* houses of parliament.

Permanently covering the tracks?  Probably not but .... Aussie courts don't like having he piss taken.  If it were challenged there is a fair chance the argument "we didn't remove the tracks - they are still there - we just encased them in 1/5m thick concrete slab for their protection" would not stand up.

Selling the land on which the tracks reside?  Yes

Selling the land next to the tracks (potentially right up to the rails)?  No - but just how far they could go is unclear and it would be a brave developer who takes that on.

Constructing a building in the air space 10cm above the tracks?  Technically no.  But the gvt could not offer the owner of such a structure secure title without being deemed to have "otherwise disposed of the land", so even though the law doesn't explicitly stop this only a complete fool (or perhaps a Council) would ever sink money into such a structure.  In practice, it needs an act of parliament, and it needs to be passed by *both* houses.

Build the new Wickham terminal in such a way it obstructs the route into Newcastle and would cost squillions to revive the line after it's construction?  No




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