Blue Mountains Line — an absolute joke

 
  r22s7 Beginner

Hello everyone,

I am annoyed about the stopping pattern of the Blue Mountains Line. All other intercity lines have a number of different stopping patterns, but the Blue Mountains line is always Penrith, all to Springwood/Katoomba/Mt Victoria/Lithgow.
IT IS NOT NECESSARY.
The train does not need to stop at EVERY station.

The main problem is Katoomba station. For people continuing on to Mt Victoria or Lithgow, it makes the train way too full. When returning, after stopping at Katoomba, at least 100 people would get on. And then, to make it worse, after it has become very crowded, it stops at every station to Penrith.

Sorry for going on and on, but this has always annoyed me. Does anyone know the reason the Blue Mountains line only has all stops services?

Thanks Smile

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  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
fair question
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Hello everyone,

I am annoyed about the stopping pattern of the Blue Mountains Line. All other intercity lines have a number of different stopping patterns, but the Blue Mountains line is always Penrith, all to Springwood/Katoomba/Mt Victoria/Lithgow.
IT IS NOT NECESSARY.
The train does not need to stop at EVERY station.

The main problem is Katoomba station. For people continuing on to Mt Victoria or Lithgow, it makes the train way too full. When returning, after stopping at Katoomba, at least 100 people would get on. And then, to make it worse, after it has become very crowded, it stops at every station to Penrith.

Sorry for going on and on, but this has always annoyed me. Does anyone know the reason the Blue Mountains line only has all stops services?

Thanks Smile
r22s7
It's a simple case of the passenger trains on the line serving the stations on the line !
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

They are doing just to annoy you..................Very Happy
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

how selfish are those people going to katoomba, how dare they.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
That is incorrect, selected services in the weekday peaks operate limited stops between Katoomba and Emu Plains. There is also the Bathurst Bullet which is as quick as your going to get.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
The differences are:

The Central Coast warrants two trains per hour (on weekdays) so they can alternate between "Limited Stops" and "All Stations" services, fairly easy.

The South Coast line has Wollongong suburban services, so it is relatively easy to schedule a mix of "All Stations" and "Limited Stops" services, with the suburban runs connecting with the fast train.

Blue Mountains trains don't have either of these features.

I take your point about the trains being full out of Katoomba, this week they are running eight car trains, and they are standing room only out of Katoomba. Not sure of the best way to handle this though.

I'd like to see a two-tier service, all day every day, with trains every half hour out of Katoomba, maybe an hourly service originating in Mt. Vic/Lithgow, operating semi-express from Katoomba, thus giving reduced journey times for those north of Katoomba (seriously, I DO mean north, the Blue Mountains line travels west to Katoomba, then heads north to Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mt. Vic and so on), whilst there could be al all stations (to Penrith) leaving half an hour later. Having two trains per hour would spread the load, and would certainly help the station staff.

We also need to come up with a way of preventing local Sydney travellers from using the long distance trains.

Dave
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The differences are:

The Central Coast warrants two trains per hour (on weekdays) so they can alternate between "Limited Stops" and "All Stations" services, fairly easy.

The South Coast line has Wollongong suburban services, so it is relatively easy to schedule a mix of "All Stations" and "Limited Stops" services, with the suburban runs connecting with the fast train.

Blue Mountains trains don't have either of these features.

I take your point about the trains being full out of Katoomba, this week they are running eight car trains, and they are standing room only out of Katoomba. Not sure of the best way to handle this though.

I'd like to see a two-tier service, all day every day, with trains every half hour out of Katoomba, maybe an hourly service originating in Mt. Vic/Lithgow, operating semi-express from Katoomba, thus giving reduced journey times for those north of Katoomba (seriously, I DO mean north, the Blue Mountains line travels west to Katoomba, then heads north to Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mt. Vic and so on), whilst there could be al all stations (to Penrith) leaving half an hour later. Having two trains per hour would spread the load, and would certainly help the station staff.

We also need to come up with a way of preventing local Sydney travellers from using the long distance trains.

Dave
thadocta
If the intercity line was seperated from the western line between Strathfield and Granville then maybe the mountains could even have 4 trains an hour.
  Brianr Deputy Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
It is six years since I moved out of the Blue Mountains (to NZ) and probably 25 years since I regularly commuted to work by train so I had to check and as the previous poster has reported there are a number of limited stop trains in the peak. I remember the good old days when we had the Summit, the Fish and the Chips, so sad the names have gone. However, from memory, except for a tourist train that went up in the morning nearly all trains stopped all stations from Katoomba to Springwood except Linden. I was suprised to see that the limited stop trains also miss the smaller stations in the upper and mid mountains. Are there more commuters these days from Katoomba and Leura? I lived at Woodford so would have been frustrated that no fast trains stop there but as my home was almost half way to Hazelbrook. I would have probably gone there to catch a fast service?  Replying to the OP, with a train only every hour in the off peak it would be a bit much to have them missing even the smaller population stations. However a tourist train (reverse to peak) stopping only Glenbrook, Blaxland? Springwood, Faulconbridge, Hazelbrook, Lawson, Wentworth Falls then all stops would be good.
  4206 Chief Commissioner

Location: Dorrigo yard
That is incorrect, selected services in the weekday peaks operate limited stops between Katoomba and Emu Plains. There is also the Bathurst Bullet which is as quick as your going to get.
Aurora8
For example the 16:51 from Central on weekdays stops at Emu Plains,Glenbrook,Blaxland,Springwood,Hazelbrook,Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller



We also need to come up with a way of preventing local Sydney travellers from using the long distance trains.

Dave
thadocta


old thinking - they killed the rules for ticket type when the guards stoped checking tickets.

afik services will improve when the line gets new rolling stock.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Even in pre Interurban days, with few exceptions like the Night Mails, the Central West Express (pre XPT), the Fish and Chips, everything else has 'Stopped at all stations, Mt Victoria to Penrith, (Blacktown) Parramatta, Strathfield and Sydney.
Penrith was a 'Pick Up Only' on the Down for Mountain stations and 'Set Down only' from the Mountains, the same applied for Parramatta and Strathfield but eventually this was allowed to happen to the annoyance of those traveling the furthest who may have had to stand until after Penrith.

I cant see how 'New' rolling stock will alter the situation unless they run a skip stop service and wont that cause some loud protests if your stop isnt one them..........

BTW, Guards have NEVER checked tickets, that was the duty of the Barrier attendants at Central, Corridor attendants or Ticket inspectors.
The only time the Guards 'called over the Train was at Lithgow for those wanting to alight at Zig Zag, Clarence, Newnes jct/Bell when they were 'A' stops and Hartley Vale.
In the 60's, this was done in the Down direction by one of the Station Assistants at Mt Victoria who would advise the Driver and Guard of any passengers.
Now its done on the internal loudspeaker system.

The last time I traveled from Lithgow to Sydney and return I noticed from Katoomba to Penrith, every station had at least 2 persons waiting to join and 2 to alight, it was a never ending stream so you cant say that a train doesnt need to stop at any specific station.
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller


I cant see how 'New' rolling stock will alter the situation unless they run a skip stop service and wont that cause some loud protests if your stop isnt one them..........
.
gordon_s1942


AFIK the blue Mountains line is still using V sets to service the line and the OSCAR set are too wide for the line.

http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/2080774/labors-oscar-train-attack-backfires/


BTW, Guards have NEVER checked tickets, that was the duty of the Barrier attendants at Central, Corridor attendants or Ticket inspectors.

gordon_s1942


had a few guards punch my rail ticket during the 70's an early 80's also seen a few drop offs at MT Druitt station for wrong ticket type.( mountains express to the city ). but that's all in the past
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
As an old timer  traveller in the late 1940s,I journeyed often  up to Katoomba on a Friday  c5.30pm  Central steam pax with a weekender hiking club to alight at Katoomba,and headed down to Narrow Neck. The coaches  then were always  full, seating rare and one  needed to sit on bags in corridor all the way to Katoomba.now thats a joke.
By  the way the sunday night Central return  however  was a luxury with  plenty of seats.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
When they cut out Bullaburra, Lawson, Woodford, Linden, Faulco, Valley Heights, Warimoo and Lapstone I believe it cut a whole 7 minutes off the trip, but the political backlash was hard for the local member
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

When they cut out Bullaburra, Lawson, Woodford, Linden, Faulco, Valley Heights, Warimoo and Lapstone I believe it cut a whole 7 minutes off the trip, but the political backlash was hard for the local member
johnboy


The 2017 timetable will see major change which might not please everyone, but will overcome the problem of passengers that alight and board at Penrith and Emu Planes. I cannot see how anyone can complain about over crowded trains at Katoomba during the peak period when 8 car trains are used. I am often on Penrith station when the 8 car peaks arrive and most passengers alight leaving the 8 car trains almost empty. You might have a complaint on the weekends where the 4 car trains are chock a block full of tourists. That situation may be addressed shortly.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
When they cut out Bullaburra, Lawson, Woodford, Linden, Faulco, Valley Heights, Warimoo and Lapstone I believe it cut a whole 7 minutes off the trip, but the political backlash was hard for the local member


The 2017 timetable will see major change which might not please everyone, but will overcome the problem of passengers that alight and board at Penrith and Emu Planes. I cannot see how anyone can complain about over crowded trains at Katoomba during the peak period when 8 car trains are used. I am often on Penrith station when the 8 car peaks arrive and most passengers alight leaving the 8 car trains almost empty. You might have a complaint on the weekends where the 4 car trains are chock a block full of tourists. That situation may be addressed shortly.
nswtrains
I can complain when I board at Central, for my two hour trip to Katoomba (and sometimes my 2hr17min trip to Bleakheath) to find that I have to stand, only to find that the train is half empty at Penrith, when those who have alighted at or before Penrith have a train every five or ten minutes or so which they could have caught.

As for overcrowding ex-Katoomba, you should have seen it the last week, and this happens EVERY year, summer school holidays, even eight-car trains can't cope with the loads leaving Katoomba in the afternoons/evenings, station staff are out there telling people to spread along the platform, yet the (eight car) trains still leave with people standing in each and every carriage.

Not helped by the weekend timetable being used between Xmas and NYE, with a 2hr30min gap between the 2nd-last and last trains out of Katoomba (2026, followed by 2056) - with Scenic World closing at 2030.

Dave
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
The westbound train issue loading up with the "plain-dwellers" dropping off at Penrith has been a problem since I can remember (I started communting to Springwood in the 1970s). Marking in the time timeable "Pick Up Only" had little or no affect. I had never seen any railway staff fine anyone at Penrith for getting off a train that was marked for pick up only.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The only way to solve the problem is to increase the frequency and as I mentioned earlier, that means separation of BMT services from western line services between Strathfield and at least Granville. Never going to be able to stop the idiots who get off at central to catch a v set to Penrith just to save a few minutes unless the BMT trains skip Penrith.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

There is no end in sight to the congestion except here are a couple of ideas:

1. Run a bus service to the middle and upper mountains from Penrif. Kind of like a bullet bus.

Downside: User Pays, Sydney traffic

2. Introduce 16 car train. First 8 cars stop in Sydney Suburban limited stops. Then get jettisoned at Penrif. You can only get on at Central if you want to go to the Mountains. Doors on last 8 cars do not open until Penrith.

3. Introduce a 36 car train from Central. Last 8 cars stays at Penrif, second last 8 cars stay at Lithgow. The remaining cars go to Perth.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
There is no end in sight to the congestion except here are a couple of ideas:

1. Run a bus service to the middle and upper mountains from Penrif. Kind of like a bullet bus.

Downside: User Pays, Sydney traffic

2. Introduce 16 car train. First 8 cars stop in Sydney Suburban limited stops. Then get jettisoned at Penrif. You can only get on at Central if you want to go to the Mountains. Doors on last 8 cars do not open until Penrith.

3. Introduce a 36 car train from Central. Last 8 cars stays at Penrif, second last 8 cars stay at Lithgow. The remaining cars go to Perth.
ANR
No no no no no no, it has to be a 52 car train, don't forget, 8 cars go to Adelaide and onwards to Mount Gambier, whilst another 8 cars go to Darwin.

Dave
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Apart from stopping people boarding at Central who are only going as far as Penrith, the only other alternative is to increase the number of trains.
6 to 8 car sets every 30 minutes.
If you could eliminate ALL Freight service between 6am and 12 Midnight would also assist.
Some Trains dont need to go all the way to either Mt Victoria or Katoomba but could Terminate at Springwood and Lawson, but this has been tried before with varying results.

Going totally out of the Ball Park is the concept of adding a new line between Penrith and Katoomba with Bi directional running OR making both the current main lines Bidirectional.
I have often thought particularity now there are no crossing loops other than at Katoomba and Lawson, IF freight was to run, let it roll on the UP main and run the IU past on the Down.
Get rid of the freight and do the same with the Passenger service.
Let the All Stations run on the Down (West Bound) for the evening peak and the Express pass on the UP.
Of a Morning, reverse the flow, All Stations on the UP and the Express on the Down.
Look at Sydney Harbour Bridge that has 5 lanes but they have it set up to have a 3 one way and 2 the other depending on the peak flow.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Apart from stopping people boarding at Central who are only going as far as Penrith, the only other alternative is to increase the number of trains.
6 to 8 car sets every 30 minutes.
gordon_s1942
Until the new Intercity cars come into service, there aren't really any spare cars available. They're working to cover the current timetable as it is.

Let the All Stations run on the Down (West Bound) for the evening peak and the Express pass on the UP.
gordon_s1942
In theory, this could be done now with both Springwood and Katoomba bi-directional on the Up.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
There is no end in sight to the congestion except here are a couple of ideas:

1. Run a bus service to the middle and upper mountains from Penrif. Kind of like a bullet bus.

Downside: User Pays, Sydney traffic

2. Introduce 16 car train. First 8 cars stop in Sydney Suburban limited stops. Then get jettisoned at Penrif. You can only get on at Central if you want to go to the Mountains. Doors on last 8 cars do not open until Penrith.

3. Introduce a 36 car train from Central. Last 8 cars stays at Penrif, second last 8 cars stay at Lithgow. The remaining cars go to Perth.
ANR
What drug are you taking? You could be a politician.
  eddyb Chief Train Controller

Ideally I believe there should be a circular subway concourse at Parramatta where not only the north and south HSR trains would terminate but limited stop trains to areas within Wollongong, Lithgow and Gosford so the Lithgow fast subway would only stop at Penrith, Katoomba and Lithgow allowing the DD to continue to do an all stops.

All people would have to do is walk across the level concourse to whatever train they are transferring to.

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