A meet and greet of high-profile officials from Transport for NSW, the NSW Government, the Federal Government, Private Investors and Private Corporations contributing to NSW’s Infrastructure and facilitation for Sydney’s growth onto the world stage. Aviation development (a key interest on this blog) here in Sydney requires growth in population and economic activity, and development blueprints alongside facilitating transport growth will pave the way for it. A special thanks for attendees/speakers:
-Michael Kilgariff (Managing Director at Australian Logistics Council)
-Craig van der Laan (Chief Executive Officer, Barangaroo Delivery Authority)
-Rob Stokes (Minister for Planning)
-Tom Gellibrand (Deputy Project Director Rapid Transit Integration at North West Rail Link (Transport for NSW))
-Jamie Briggs (Federal Member for Mayo at Australian Parliament)
-Jim Betts (CEO at Infrastructure NSW)
-Dennis Cliche (Chief Executive Officer at WestConnex Delivery Authority)
-Simon Pagett (Head of Urban Renewal at Urban Growth, NSW)
-Gladys Berejiklian (NSW Treasurer / Minister for Industrial Relations)
With being related to with acquired knowledge from experience in planning/development, environmental economics and operations/scheduling studies, personal suggestions for the Northwest Rail Link after the NSW Major Projects Conference (SYDNEY 24-25/11/15) were made as follows. These are oriented around least development costs, least development and engineering inputs, and highest output and returns on investment for the government and private operators:
CURRENT SYDNEY METRO PROPOSAL
- The EIS for the metro shouldn’t be hindered by expansion. A shuttle (despite inefficiencies in interchanges) is required from Chatswood to Cudgegong Rd
- In agreement with Dr Garry Glazebrook on the NWRL, that this line’s business case to cross the harbour is dependent on getting buses off the Harbour Bridge, and getting passengers quickly and efficiently onto the Metro. Ideally on the other side of the Warringah Freeway (Military Road)?
- If it’s all in for the state government on Barangaroo’s development, a station should firm up from the option as required.
- The only justification for routing the metro to the University of Sydney is if there is an interchange at Newtown and Parramatta Rd, along with if there is an O/D catchment beyond the university, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (due to limited development capability). With Waterloo bound for major redevelopment as the heartland of South Sydney, is also suitable for the metro (despite longer distance) contingent serving the Alexandria Industrial Estate, and placing some bus routings pulled from the SELR route onto Elizabeth Street (Waterloo) for Eastern-Suburbs bound services (and inner western services if route selected). Requires geographic-diversification from Green Square station.
- More Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line trains need to stop at Sydenham. The 4 track corridor for freighter trains and double-deck passenger services need to be retained. This is done by Metro train lines surfacing parallel to the Sydenham corridor, north of platform 1&2 of Sydenham station.
- The NSW TrainLink maintenance (XPT/Xplorer locomotives) base at Sydenham needs to be kept undisturbed.
- Illawarra Line services can now expand 4 track services on service-dedicated corridors. This may require developing Wolli Creek station for 2 more platforms (and track alterations with it) IF NEEDED. This would allow T4 services to go from 20 services per hour to 26-36 (give or take according to capacity intended from East Hills Line to City via Sydenham corridor). Added services need to be stopping St Peters and Erskineville.
- Total capacity on the East Hills line (via Airport/Sydenham), and all Illawarra service additions bound for City Circle would add up to 20 services an hour. With 2 free platforms at Central (for terminating services dedication given minor track alterations), total capacity on those 2 lines for Central via Redfern (Platforms 7/8/9/10) goes up to 28 (given 4 turnarounds per hour per platform at Central).
- Initial reports on a terminating base/stabling-yard at Sydenham, or extension to Hurstville could interfere with freight and passenger networks. All traffic would need to continue onwards to the Bankstown Line, with turnaround-dedicated platforms where of highest demand (ideally a 1/2-track turnoff at Campsie at frequencies wherever business case and demand facilitates)
- Bankstown stabling-yard constrained by space (1 track with constrained MRO facilities, or 2 without it). Considerations to go further.
SYDNEY METRO EXTENSION PROPOSAL
- Current studies rotate around extending the Bankstown tracks to Liverpool via Sydney Airport. On current Bankstown Line tracks, the major works will severely interrupt freight-rail outreach, freedom of traffic for the heavy rail network, and severely hinder network recovery capabilities mutually. Proposal via Bankstown Airport, Condell Park and Moorebank would require extensive tunnelling, major works at Bankstown and surfacing destination (between Cabramatta and Liverpool). The Moorebank Intermodal Freight Terminal (to be discussed later) would only make it worse.
- Congestion on the Western Line beyond breaking point, with fares and congestion tipping to business case of the Toll Road WestConnex (as commuters take to the road). Highly criticized by the public, government advisory bodies, professional consultancies, professionals in the transport field, advocate groups, and most importantly voters. Also Liverpool passengers would be given a 10 minutes reduction time in travel, but any development of more stations along the line could reduce that to almost 0 (not to mention also the overcrowding problem the South Line faces not being solved, but rather only channelled in a different direction.
- An alternative independently produced (cost and development-wise) is to run the Metro through to Birrong, underground to Lidcombe via Regents Park (or over ground at expense of stations Sefton to Carramar losing direct city services), and a maintenance/stabling yard expansion for Metro at current facility in Rookwood. If underground, the previous Inner Western Line can resume with direct services between Carramar, Sefton and the city
- After this, the rail could run on ground or tunnel where required to Strathfield by either following the current Main Western Line via Flemington and Homebush. Option to run through Sydney Olympic Park as dedicated corridor (only if major development for commercial/residential precinct materializes).
- From Strathfield, the Metro will replace Inner Western Suburbs trains (currently starts/terminates at Homebush, with capacity on 2 tracks capped at 8-10 trains per hour), follow parallel to the Main Western Line (underground, serving Burwood, Croydon, Ashfield, Summer Hill, Lewisham (and possible light rail interchange), Petersham, Stanmore and possibly Newtown (with tracking flexibility contingent on demand). If done, the tracks could run to Central via Newton, University of Sydney and Parramatta Rd and create an orbital Sydney Metro (with capacity for 15 trains per hour each branch line track of the orbitals (give or take depending on demand and service terminations).
- Implications of this is enormous, with rapid limited stops South Line, Western Line, Northern Line and Intercity (north & west) capacity lifted from 48 trains per hour (with stopping pattern limitations dragging to 40) TO 60 trains per hour (with ability to drastically increase capacity on Western Lines, Northern Lines and Intercity Services. The Inner West will also be ready for expansive development thanks to train service upto (capacity of) every 4 minutes each way as oppose to today’s 15 minutes. Hinders need for WestConnex. Speeds up train speeds and mitigates delays. NOTE: Ashfield and Newtown overground stations resume operations, with a service hike of 12 trains to upto 35 trains an hour.
- The Liverpool Council’s bid for the metro should be replaced by filling the abundance of slots the East Hills line and dedicated K2Rq quadruplication. With a new single track branching between the South Line to the East Hills line (tracking Liverpool, Holsworthy-Revesby (option), Sydenham, Redfern, Central), passengers could enjoy commute times from the current 50mins to as low as 35mins.
FREIGHTER RAIL PROPOSALS
- With the above mentioned, the entire Sydney Trains network frees up significantly, with ability to tackle key congestion areas head-on, and facilitate growth across Sydney. The above also respects dedicated freight corridors which immensely contributes to the NSW economy.
- The St Mary’s intermodal will be congested to run along tracks already at capacity throughout the entire day. With clearance/distance times delaying trains and hindering upto 5 passenger trains per freight train per hour per track, surplus congestion associated to terminating/shunting/car-management interactions to live undedicated train lines could cost passenger rail transportation capacity during pivotal times, or vice versa impact volumes of goods capable for transport to and from the St Marys Intermodal
- With Moorebank also off the cards, The Liverpool council urged Badgerys Creek. Placing an intermodal hub at Badgerys Creek (thanks to high investment on roads alongside preserved rail corridors), would be ideal thanks for cross-beta aviation-freight growth feeding airport development, strong economic and GDP contributions from the industrialized precinct, and induced growth, significance and decentralized jobs creation in South Western Sydney. With today’s rail tracks ideal for freight trains on the SWRL, a preserved rail corridor from Port Botany to the Southern Highlands via Enfield and Liverpool, and the growing significance for linkage and proximity to Port Kembla, Canberra, Melbourne and regional NSW, the South Western region offers the most ideal intermodal hub with the highest capacity to offer, and the highest flexibility. And with a proposed line to St Marys from the South West Rail link, it also relieves congestion on the Main Western Line which requires growth, and allows to directly serve more regions across inland NSW. Current development across the Northern Line and Newcastle/Hunter Line would also allow steady growth and flow through to Northern NSW, Brisbane and Queensland.
- T1: More trains from Penrith/Blacktown/Schofields/Richmond to the City and to Hornsby (upto 20/h), with rest onto East Hills and Illawarra. Space for more NSW TrainLink services to Springwood/Mt-Victoria/Lithgow/Gosford/Wyong/Hamilton (and beyond) to Central
- T2: More services from Macarthur/SWRL/Revesby/Liverpool via East Hills line Central (terminating upto 8 shared with T4) to City to Macarthur/Liverpool/SWRL via South Line (with possibility for Inner Western Line from Lidcombe to Liverpool via Regents Park). Also more direct NSW TrainLink services from Moss-Vale/Goulburn (and beyond) services to Central.
- T4: Increase in capacity offered from Waterfall/Cronulla/Hurstville to Central (shares upto 8 with T2), to City to Bondi Junction (upto 20/h) OR excess onto City Circle and onto T2 or return to T4. More direct services from Port-Kembla/Kiama to Central
- T5: Sharp increase in capacity and services along the corridor thanks to freed up space between Glenfield and Merrylands along with Harris Park to Schofields.
- T6: Possible direct services to Central and to Hornsby (based on demand and development proposals).
- T7: Same abundant capacity (with reduced capability for direct City services). Can be developed as part of Metro.