A very Newcastle centric discussion
There’s life outside the electrified interurban belt
I talk mainly about Newcastle because I'm from the area, I talk about Wollongong a little bit also.
But this topic is about PT outside of Sydney in general, and the lack of attention given to it, if there are any other places you feel can justify having much better PT, I would like to here it, unfortunately you are going to here mainly Newcastle from me since I know the area.
That's what I thought as well.
I thought this thread was about regional NSW.
A bit tired reading how fast trains will be linked to Sydney and how there will be 6 hour journeys between Syd-Mel when that corridor has multiple flights between them on an hourly basis. Yawn.
Need to decentralise. We need regional areas to become new centres for excellence and provide transport links between them. Where is our nation building?
People need to consider other places to live as high rise towers start to crack and sink under them. The aerial shot of the demolished SFS is sufficient proof that the state govt can't see the forest for the trees.
This topic is about PT outside of Sydney and I'm mainly referring to local PT, what other places in NSW besides Sydney and Newcastle can justify moderate PT networks? if there are others, I am very intrigued to hear more about it, it would probably give this topic some life instead of just having me talk about Newcastle and every other discussion being about Sydney - yes Sydney has 4M and justifies every PT project it gets, and needs more (Northern Beaches Line, etc), but there is absolutely NO reason why it should be the only places in NSW where PT is usable.
High Speed Rail is a waste of money; you could probably do every necessary PT project in Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong for it's price tag. Upgrade to MSR and have fares that are half the cost of flying.
My mindset is that Sydney is the only place where there is usable PT and employment opportunities, giving the people very little choice of where the want to live.
If cities further away have potential for these things, it would be great, even more choice of where to live spread out over a greater area.
The embellishment of the SFS is the biggest waste of money after the truncation of the Newcastle CBD heavy rail line, I certainly hope no one can justify this, it's proof that the government is too Sydney-centric - we can't get one local station in the right location in Newcastle when a council calls for it, but that perfactly good stadium is not good enough.
Its not millions, its population density and preferential direction and timing that makes rail viable or not. Lausanne has this, Newcastle does not.
Car ownership in Oz is not costly. You can pick up 10 year old cars with 10 years of low maintenance costs left in them for a few grand and spend less maintaining than you do on PT each year. Its actually alot cheaper today than when the steam trains to Belmont where still running and declining car ownership costs contributed to their closure.
Cheaper to rebuild the Toronto line as LR than HR as no costly bridges, low cost power supply system, likely battery, no need for ROW fencing, no high level platforms, DOO operation. The list goes on. Buy one tram and truck transfer vehicle to rotate through Newcastle for major PM's and repairs. Just needs to be moved in halves.
Car ownership is costly once youall the associated costs together; insurance, registration, green slip, servicing, maintenance, etc. Multiply it by two for the parents of a family of 4 and you have a significant expense, but it's when you multiply it by two again for 2 young teenagers are when the costs really soar. It varies car to car (for example, a younger persons car is cheaper on fuel and maintenance, but insurance premiums are through the roof), but the average cost of car ownership for a 2-car family is $15,807, so lets estimate $23,000 for a 4-car family (estimating on the fact that younger people's cars are generally cheaper).
And like I keep mentioning, the fact that this is an expensive expected to be paid for before young people in Newcastle are able to work is just inexcusable, no amount of pocket money or Centrelink benefit is going to cover your insurance premiums, registration costs, servicing fees, green slips, and maintenance. It's coming from mummy and daddy, and if you're mummy and daddy can't keep up with the every rising cost of living, then you are left in the dust because few hiring manager's in the area are willing to hire people without cars.
You can excuse this in a smaller regional town, but not in a city of 400K with a growing (the population is growing and will contiune to grow as Sydney becomes increasingly affordable and people still want city life) population, which once had usable PT, and still has potential for better PT.
And even with car ownership costs aside, is it wise to simply be okay with the car culture in such large a city and accept the continuing decline of PT in the area? There are the environmental concerns, and congestion, there is currently little congestion in Newcastle, but more apartments are going up and the population is growing, and in 30 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see congestion, and unfortunately wouldn't be surprised to see both existing rail lines turned into rail trails, and bus frequency being something like only 5 services per day.
Regarding LR vs HR, thanks for letting me know, I didn't think about things like power supply, I was more thinking this about acquisition costs and depots, but there is a lot more than that and you are starting to convince me that LR is a better option for the Toronto Line
Would it be possible though, to have a hybrid vehicle that is essentially a high door (to match high platform) tram that runs along HR lines through local stations, drawing power from existing overhead, at train speeds, and then turns onto a branch and switches over to the LR power supply and runs at tram speeds safely through level crossings?
This would certainly be the best of both worlds; make use of local stations, makes use of old alignments, cheaper LR option, no need for LX removal, can operate at HR speed when able, no need for annoying mode change that can shy away passengers. etc