Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Not rubbish at all, Saturday or Sunday timetable the performance was still dismal. Would you explain why all streets and carparks were packed to capacity with parked cars, the buses were full with the foreshore and surrounding street filled with walkers. The trains were hardly used at all because they dont offer a frequent service to cellebrations or festivals . It is definately time for the heavy rail to go.
tezza

tezza, that sounds like the Newcastle I visited on Australia Day. The place was packed and the estimate of 40,000 people could have been close to the mark. I took special notice of the trains and they were lucky to roll in with 10 passengers.

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  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

These are not my photos, but I have been given permission to use them.
Descriptions for each as shown

It took around 3 minutes or so for all the passengers to get off the trains, similar how long it took to get unload all the passenger in some of my videos.

1.
[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5492/12187876795_3f405a53ac.jpg[/img]

2.
[img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2844/12188307224_39dd9d8b58_n.jpg[/img]

3.
[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5482/12188302874_400426cd2f_n.jpg[/img]
  tezza Chief Commissioner

You have one train early in the morning that maybe could match the capacity of one light railway service, now where are the other trains every 10 minutes during the day to equal the light railway?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
You have one train early in the morning that maybe could match the capacity of one light railway service, now where are the other trains every 10 minutes during the day to equal the light railway?
tezza

What?  Newcastle receives 8 car V sets.  There's no way you could fit the capacity of an 8 car V set on a light rail vehicle.

The capacity of a two car Hunter set is about the same as a typical light rail vehicle!

It is ridiculous to use a capacity increase as justification for the light rail system - the existing system has plenty of spare capacity (and could quite easily be expanded still - with more multiple unit operation on the Hunter line).  Even if you decided to truncate the line, the required capacity can be easily provided using street buses.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

These are not my photos, but I have been given permission to use them.
Descriptions for each as shown

It took around 3 minutes or so for all the passengers to get off the trains, similar how long it took to get unload all the passenger in some of my videos.

1.
[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5492/12187876795_3f405a53ac.jpg[/img]

2.
[img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2844/12188307224_39dd9d8b58_n.jpg[/img]

3.
[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5482/12188302874_400426cd2f_n.jpg[/img]
Newcastle Express

You might need to do better than that. Two photos with, maybe, 20 people in each shot. A photo of Watt Street with a few people that could have come from the bus terminal in Scott Street, or from anywhere else for that matter. There is nothing there to say that a light rail shuttle won't easily cope with distributing people from Wickham to the eastern parts of the CBD.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
You might need to do better than that. Two photos with, maybe, 20 people in each shot. A photo of Watt Street with a few people that could have come from the bus terminal in Scott Street, or from anywhere else for that matter. There is nothing there to say that a light rail shuttle won't easily cope with distributing people from Wickham to the eastern parts of the CBD.
Northern Flyer

My take was that the photos were posted in response to statements from you and tezza that no one caught the train.

How a light rail shuttle may or may not cope is not the same thing.  

But if your assertion was true - that no one caught the train to the Australia day celebrations - then that doesn't really provide support for construction of the light rail service either - because for that role it offers no material benefit over the current service.  It is almost certainly at a net disadvantage, given the demographic centre of the region and the need to change modes (i.e. the reasonable assumption that in future most users would need to change modes and the proportion of users collected along the light rail route is likely to be inconsequential - and there will be a net time penalty for that mode change).

Separately, the interface between high capacity vehicles and smaller capacity vehicles is a real issue for the design of the hybrid mode system, if you ever think there is going to be a material number of people changing from one mode to another.  "Solutions" are possible (service bunching, or accepting a higher average time penalty for mode change), but it silly to pretend the issue doesn't exist.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

My take was that the photos were posted in response to statements from you and tezza that no one caught the train.

How a light rail shuttle may or may not cope is not the same thing.

But if your assertion was true - that no one caught the train to the Australia day celebrations - then that doesn't really provide support for construction of the light rail service either - because for that role it offers no material benefit over the current service. It is almost certainly at a net disadvantage, given the demographic centre of the region and the need to change modes (i.e. the reasonable assumption that in future most users would need to change modes and the proportion of users collected along the light rail route is likely to be inconsequential - and there will be a net time penalty for that mode change).

Separately, the interface between high capacity vehicles and smaller capacity vehicles is a real issue for the design of the hybrid mode system, if you ever think there is going to be a material number of people changing from one mode to another. "Solutions" are possible (service bunching, or accepting a higher average time penalty for mode change), but it silly to pretend the issue doesn't exist.
donttellmywife

OK, perhaps he should have said "not many people" caught the train. The fact is that some claim that you need heavy rail for these big events (40,000) when you would be lucky to get 40 people on a 8 Car V Set.

The prime reason for the heavy rail removal is not transport, although light rail done properly will do that. It is about improving movement within the CBD and connection between the new and old parts of the city. That is, it is primarily urban renewal, not adding a few extra passengers to the current dismally low PT usage.

The question on changing mode is not capacity, it is actual usage. Average usage past Wickham is only around 25 per train. Even in peak periods it is only around 40. That is hardly going to be a problem in a single level interchange.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The prime reason for the heavy rail removal is not transport, although light rail done properly will do that. It is about improving movement within the CBD and connection between the new and old parts of the city. That is, it is primarily urban renewal, not adding a few extra passengers to the current dismally low PT usage.

The question on changing mode is not capacity, it is actual usage. Average usage past Wickham is only around 25 per train. Even in peak periods it is only around 40. That is hardly going to be a problem in a single level interchange.
Northern Flyer


If there isn't going to be material patronage on the light rail - then why is it being proposed?  The argument that patronage doesn't justify heavy rail is pretty much equally applicable against light rail - given the journey characteristics of the region.

This then comes back to my point, that spending hundreds of millions of dollars of state government money on urban renewal of part of a suburb, without any material benefits for the region in general, is a gross waste of resources.

(That 40 per train represents the average over the entire peak period - approximately 700 journeys between 06:00 and 09:30, during which there are say 17 services.  There is still considerable variation within that time period between services.  The nature of the physical interchange itself is not consequential - more how to go managing the distinct surges in demand associated with the arrival of the handful of peak services, in such a way that you have a net improvement in the transport outcome for the majority of users.  You'd hope after incrementally spending perhaps $200 million (based on the unit cost of the Gold Coast system) more in order to put light rail in that you had an improved system, wouldn't you?)
  tezza Chief Commissioner

The "Save Our Rail" minority whinge group are at it again in the Newcastle Herald, skip the story and head straight for the interesting comments.

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2064294/save-our-rail-reveals-political-ambitions/?cs=305
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

If there isn't going to be material patronage on the light rail - then why is it being proposed? The argument that patronage doesn't justify heavy rail is pretty much equally applicable against light rail - given the journey characteristics of the region.

This then comes back to my point, that spending hundreds of millions of dollars of state government money on urban renewal of part of a suburb, without any material benefits for the region in general, is a gross waste of resources.

(That 40 per train represents the average over the entire peak period - approximately 700 journeys between 06:00 and 09:30, during which there are say 17 services. There is still considerable variation within that time period between services. The nature of the physical interchange itself is not consequential - more how to go managing the distinct surges in demand associated with the arrival of the handful of peak services, in such a way that you have a net improvement in the transport outcome for the majority of users. You'd hope after incrementally spending perhaps $200 million (based on the unit cost of the Gold Coast system) more in order to put light rail in that you had an improved system, wouldn't you?)
donttellmywife

The fact is that a bus link would deal with the passengers east of Wickham many times over. The Light Rail is the cherry on top due to politics and the windfall from the sale of Newcastle Port. Patronage on all forms of PT will improve with the removal of the heavy railway barrier. At the moment, we have the situation where large parts of the city are a long walk from bus stops despite being 100m as the crow flies. The last step in the PT chain (the ability to walk easily to your destination) is broke.

Light Rail done properly will allow people to be taken closer to their destination, the bus stops will be accessible to more people. Better still, the light rail has to only be extended south or west to pick up a very large part of those heading to the CBD. It fits better into the urban form of the city, particularly one that is dead flat. They are not flooding into Newcastle from Maitland or Gosford, despite hysterical claims by the rail enthusiasts.

I agree that 40 people per train is an average, but what is the peak loading? I would suspect it is under 100 which makes a light rail train more than capable of doing the job. The point is, you can't go and use the CAPACITY of a V Set as an argument for not having Light Rail.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Patronage on all forms of PT will improve with the removal of the heavy railway barrier.
Northern Flyer

That assertion (which must assume details around the public transport system that will exist post truncation, that have yet to be announced) isn't consistent with the modelling done on behalf of Transport NSW in 2010.  That study didn't consider light rail, but it did consider high frequency "bus loop" style operations.  

Given most options featured multiple loops, this style of operation would have greater areal coverage and hence shorter final stop to destination distances than the current heavy rail service, or a characteristic light rail solution for that matter.  Despite this, total public transport share for trips to work was still expected to decrease.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Northern Flyer, in reply to Australia, the majority of trains were full of passengers.

And don't forget that extra non-passenger trains also had to travel on the Newcastle Rail Line on Australia Day.

PS: You shouldn't really be quoting pictures.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Community group "railroaded" into action
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2069493/opinion-community-group-railroaded-into-action/?cs=308

And the property council of Australia can't wait to get their greedy mits on the rail land:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-07/newcastle-ripe-for-investment3a-property-council/5244528
  tezza Chief Commissioner

To rbetter relflect a more accurate account of Australia Day patronage on the trains Newcastle  Express might like to rephrase his previous comments to..
"Not many people were using the trains all day as witness by the thousands spread along the harbour foreshore denied easy access to Hunter Street and the aouthern parts of the city."
There has been more in the Newcastle Herald today , follow the libk...

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2079511/premier-puts-rail-switch-on-the-line-poll/?cs=305#disqus_thread
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

That again is incorrect, the rail line was only brought up once. You can't trust the herald stories about this issue.
As I stated before, the majority of trains were full.

Also both NBN & the Herald have a habit of waiting for the majority of the passengers to get off the trains, then fil

The moderators of that paper actually allow lies to be approved for those that comment, for example GregsaNovocastian & co.

I do not know how many people are in either Save Our Rail (SOR) or the Hunter Transport Alliance (HTA) (who support something different from Save Our Rail). But what I do know, is that moderators of that paper allow lies to be approved for example claiming that SOR only has two members.

When the line was mentioned, it was a person at the back, I think he was a Catholic, and brought up some non rail infrastructure, but then mentioned his support of keeping the rail line. And when he mentioned about the rail line, the majority of the audience cheered and clapped.

Robyn Parker then said well go on to different subjects, as if she was trying ban questions on the rail line

After that what I did notice is that Robyn Parker was looking at both the SOR representative, and the HTA representative, but Parker made sure that they were not going get a chance to ask questions, in other words, deliberately avoided questions from both groups. I note also that the SOR rep, she was one of the first people to put up her hand.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Northern Flyer, in reply to Australia, the majority of trains were full of passengers.

And don't forget that extra non-passenger trains also had to travel on the Newcastle Rail Line on Australia Day.

PS: You shouldn't really be quoting pictures.
Newcastle Express

"Full"?? Are you saying the V-Sets came in with 800 passengers. I think not. The point is, were there any trains that would require a second tram to meet a train at Wickham? I think the answer is clearly no. I saw two Maitland trains arrive, maybe 30 on each and an Oscar with about the same. Yes, it is above the average weekday loading, but not enough to trouble a bus.

The fact is that the LRT proposal will work with massive spare capacity for one off events. Unless you have actual numbers to show otherwise. Save Our Rail are not helping themselves by exaggerated claims. They talk about having tens of thousands of supporters, even majority support in the Hunter (half of 600,000 people), yet when the NSW Premier and Cabinet turned up in Maitland they managed 6 protestors - http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/2079055/railway-warning-premier-a-fan-of-light-rail/?cs=171 Sadly they would have seen this as having an impact. The reality is that the Premier would have laughed at the lack of support.

Unfortunately, their hysterical claims and inability to deal with real numbers means that there is now no rational group fighting for the retention of rail to Newcastle Station.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Community group "railroaded" into action
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2069493/opinion-community-group-railroaded-into-action/?cs=308

And the property council of Australia can't wait to get their greedy mits on the rail land:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-07/newcastle-ripe-for-investment3a-property-council/5244528
Newcastle Express

How do you get a story about the Property Council talking up the city as being evidence that they want to build on the corridor?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Their were more than 6 SOR protesters and their supporters. And I have my own photos/videos.
  kg3000 Locomotive Driver

Their were more than 6 SOR protesters and their supporters. And I have my own photos/videos.
Newcastle Express


Interesting, please tell me how the fact there were probably 10 people, not 6 makes more of an 'impact'?

I know for a fact that plans have already begun to close the line, broadmeadow is getting a car park removed for a 4th platform, and the line will be closed for some time starting from later this year.

A couple of whiny old people, (who mind you took up every seat on a 4 car V set about 8 months ago from sydney to newcastle with stupid picket fences and huge suitcases) are irelevant and need to get over the glory days of BHP and heavy industry in the Hunter. those days are long gone and they're not coming back.

And wow, a train was full on Australia day... so? I frequent newcastle and i never get off at the terminus... i usually get off at wickham or broadmeadow, as does everyone else.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

And wow, a train was full on Australia day... so?
kg3000

Taken on different days.

,


http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHyNc8vaYfcDTTxv-spRwyLwLh3IIWn83
  kg3000 Locomotive Driver

CSB... why don't you have a 24/7 live stream of each platform instead?
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Taken on different days.

,


http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHyNc8vaYfcDTTxv-spRwyLwLh3IIWn83
Newcastle Express

I am at a loss as to what these photos actually show. Do any of them have more than 20 people getting off a train? Every year an actual head count is done and they consistently show that the usage is very low. In fact, Newcastle Station has dropped 20% between 2011 and 2012. You can take as many photos as you like, but the thing that matters is the actual headcounts and they don't help the argument that light rail won't cope with the volumes. The 2012 numbers at Newcastle was only 1070 for a weekday spread over about 90 trains. That's a very low loading no matter how you look at it.

The point is that there may be good arguments to keep heavy rail, but kidding yourself that trains are running full is not going to help the cause.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

In an important motion last night, Newcastle City Council voted to support the NURS including light rail. The relevant part of the motion being:-

"Council supported a Lord Mayoral Minute about the future prosperity of the city by
•partnering with NSW Government to delivery the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy
•working with UrbanGrowth NSW to deliver the Hunter Street Mall revitalisation project
•supporting investment of proceeds from the sale of the Port of Newcastle in a transport interchange, light rail and removal of heavy rail."

http://www.revitalisingnewcastle.com.au/


The motion passed 7 to 6 with support from the Liberals and Independents. It was rejected by the ALP and Greens who continue to support retention of the heavy railway.""
  tezza Chief Commissioner
  allambee Chief Train Controller

There was a invitation only industry briefing yesterday.
You would have thought these same companies would have learnt their lesson with quoting which went no where - Coborra coal, Balmain metro etc etc.
Tendering on NSW infrastructure work doesn't come cheap, the NSW Government is very onerous and they like to milk the market of free construction estimates.
At least some of these contractors BD departments will get 6-12mths worth of tendering work + business class trips overseas (for some) to visit suppliers and JV partners.
The logic that light rail will revitalize this area is ridiculous. Letting Westfield build a mall in that area would probably be the best solution, but I'm sure if Westfield wanted to build a mall in that area, they would be arguing for the retention of heavy rail.
I hardly think that someone who purchases an apartment in this new development zone will use public transport.

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