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It’s not possible to put any more passenger trains on the South Coast line.
So while the rest of the network is seeing the benefits of the NSW government’s new $1.5 billion “More Trains, More Services”, commuters in the Illawarra will just get more of the same.
Commuters have cried out for more trains, seeing it as the solution to overcrowding and a range of other complaints.
But, according to Transport for NSW, that’s not going to happen. At least not right now.
“Currently, adding more services onto the South Coast Line is not possible due to constraints caused by the line being single-track south of Unanderra,” a Transport for NSW spokesman said.
“Similarly, the timetable cannot be altered north of Bulli due to the amount of trains needed to meet customer demand to and from Sydney.”
The spokesman suggested that there might be some enhancements in the coming years, which would be designed to improve capacity as well as upgrading existing infrastructure.
This is most likely a reference to the intercity fleet now being constructed in South Korea and due to start rolling onto the tracks in 2019.
The spokesman also pointed to a number of other improvements that had already been introduced on the South Coast line, including the controversial 2013 timetable overhaul.
“We’ve already introduced a number of improvements for customers to make the best use of the infrastructure and rolling stock we have right now,” he said.
“We’ve cut travel times for Austinmer Station customers and provided more seats for South Coast line customers.
“In addition, South Coast intercity customers will also benefit from changes made on the T4 Illawarra Line to improve capacity.”
He also said extra carriages were added to some afternoon services to address crowding issues.
“Transport for NSW is committed to providing the best possible services for customers and will continue to monitor the network to see how we can make further improvements,” he said.
“Our priority has always been to find the best balance by meeting the demands for the majority of customers without increasing travel time for other customers who are travelling longer distances.”
Late last week Transport Minister Andrew Constance released a draft timetable that included more than 1500 extra weekly services and improvements in frequency for western Sydney.
It is understood that none of these were on the South Coast line.
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