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There will be few if any extra train services in Sydney at weekends when a new timetable is introduced in October, despite the city's rapidly worsening weekend road traffic.
An internal Transport for NSW analysis of the October timetable, which has not yet been released, shows there will be a slight increase in the number of trains through Sydney on weekdays and a small increase in the average speed of trains as more express services are introduced.
But commuters at some smaller stations in the Blue Mountains, Hunter and south coast will miss out in the October timetable, when their stations get skipped by more trains. And the level of weekend service will remain the same across the city, even though Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has claimed the new timetable had been rewritten ''from scratch''.
Missing out: Commuters at stations in the Blue Mountains, Hunter and south coast will lose out on the new October timetable. Photo: Andrew Quilty
''By and large, the weekend timetable is generally the same as for the current 2010 timetable,'' says an internal Transport for NSW document obtained by Fairfax Media called Operational Review and dated July 2013.
The document shows that when the new timetable is introduced in October there will be a 5.1 per cent increase in train coverage in Sydney compared with the present timetable. This is largely because of some increased service frequencies during peak hour or just before or after the peak.
Trains will also travel a little faster. The average speed of trains through Sydney will increase from 42.2 km/h to 43.3 km/h.
But the faster services will come at the expense of commuters at some stations. People travelling to Rockdale and Kogarah will miss out as longer distance services from Waterfall and Cronulla skip those stations. They will have to change at Hurstville.
In May the Herald published a draft of the October timetable. The July Operational Review is an internal departmental document testing if that timetable works.
Among other changes listed in the review, peak hour Blue Mountains services will start skipping Blacktown, Westmead and Granville, and express trains from the Blue Mountains will not stop at Lidcombe between 7am and 8am.
Also in the mountains, services from Blackheath, Medlow Bath, Linden, Bullaburra, Lawson, Woodford, Faulconbridge, Valley Heights and Warrimoo stations will be cut to two an hour in the peak.
For south coast commuters, some slow trains to Sydney are replaced with more local shuttle trains. In the off-peak, the journey between Kiama and Sydney will be about 10 minutes faster.
Return services between Newcastle and Morriset are withdrawn, but Sydney to Wyong services are extended to Newcastle.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said the timetable would deliver better outcomes for the ''overwhelming majority of customers''.
''The timetable is still a draft and further changes are likely between now and when the timetable is finalised,'' he said. ''The final timetable will be publicly released well in advance of the October 20 start date.''
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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