Japanese fast rail expert talks up Sydney to Newcastle

 

News article: Japanese fast rail expert talks up Sydney to Newcastle

The general manager of Japan's bullet train briefs Newcastle's business community on the benefits high speed rail could have for the Hunter.

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
RTT_rules isn't talking about building HSR!  He is talking about some opportunities to make incremental improvements to the existing infrastructure for things like the existing commuter services and the existing freight services.  His whole point to me was that the Sydney to Brisbane HSR phase two proposal doesn't go up that valley - it runs further to the west, further away from population centres like Woy Woy and Gosford.

Existing services are limited in their speed (mostly) by the curvature of the line.  The curvature of the line has been pretty much fixed since the line was completed, hence line speeds haven't improved much in recent decades despite improvements in other things like the track structure.  If you want to make things go faster, you are going to have to do realignments.
donttellmywife
Yes, I don't recall HSR going up Mullet Creek or skirting the Brisbane waters water way between Woy Woy to Gosford and I higly doubt they would get it in and still call it HSR if they did. However even along Brisbane waters the railway has plenty of room to have significant curve easing to push speeds up to 120-140km/hr.

Yes and speeds have actually reduced. Both Woy Woy Tunnel and the Hawsberry bridge have been reduced from their former 115km/hr they were in the mid 80's.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I suspect you are not with me at all.

My view is that before you start worrying about making significant improvements to transit times and the like, you need to have a very solid plan for how you are going to improve cost recovery.  Otherwise, spending a dollar on improvements today is just going to lock you in to many years of further spending to cover induced demand, and the level of subsidy for inter-urban rail has already gone well beyond what could be justified from the point of view of general public benefit.

People can have their fast interurbans if they want, but they need to be prepared to pay for them.

I believe Victoria has more recently made the same mistake that NSW made about 30 years ago when it extended the coverage of heavily subsidised interurban travel.
donttellmywife
Totally agree on the cost recovery issue and this applies Australia wide.

However with NSW, Sydney outgrew the basin and Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong are now effectively part of the sprawl. The only difference with Sydney is that its surrounded by a very large defining series of National Parks and Water catchment reserves (the later of which is a Sydney'ism as few other places in Australia or world preserve the entire catchment).

Comment on Cowan Bank needing a 3rd line, yes I agree, but I just focused on Mullet Creek. If you are going to rebuild such long section like Mullet Creek you add a 3rd line to improve freight train access to Sydney. I'd also make the lines full bi-di.

On Cowan Bank, I would build an entire new bank from close to Hawksberry direct to Berowa (never crossing the M1 west to Cowan), most of which would be in a tunnel and all of which is 3 tracks. Likewise continue the 3 tracks and realignment all the way to Asquith.

The current Woy Woy to Hornsby time for an express is 37min to cover the 40km or 64km/hr.

I'm guessing the realignment and by-passing Cowan would save about 2-3km between the above stations and lifting the average speed to even 100km/hr would save 15min and overall Gosford to Central down from 80 to 65min.

Other options, Gosford to Woy Woy is 8km in 8min, so 60km/hr for an express! (11min for an all stopper 3 extra stops) yet if you drove along the route you'd be asking why with so many straight or near straight sections and only a few bends of reasonable curvature including the reverse curve nth of Koolewong.  Surely 2min is ripe for the picking here.

Where is the pay back?
If you apply this realignment all the way to Broadmeadow, maybe 40min can be pulled back and this is just to get the current 130km/hr rated stock to 130km/hr as much as possible or certainly out of the sub 80km/hr as much as possible. Current Newcastle 2.5hr express is reduced to 1.75hr. Sorry don't believe the HSR hype of 60min Sydney to Newcastle, or if so at what horrific cost and leaving the bulk of users stuck in the 1880's goat track along with the main freight route to Brisbane.

Faster trains = less trains, less braking/wear and tear, less curvature, more track capacity, more freight train access. The current timetable must be close to line saturation, more so on the Sydney end.  

20 years ago the DD sets were 10 x V set cars long on certain trains. Thats 240m of train, Now its 8 car standard car length only 160m long (although higher density). A return to 240m trains means less trains during peak and/or more capacity (extra 50% per movement) = increased productivity for the railway (= lower costs). Longer haul interurbans with limited stops in the suburban area should be the goal ie many people as possible per movement as possible as stations are cheap to extend or as common on the Central Coast, short platforms are easily managed as the people are trained.

Pull 20min out the Gosford to Central rail commute and open the window for an additional 30-50% peak capacity and you will fill the trains. Current 7 x 8 car DD, why not 6 x 12 car DD (~30% more seats).
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

He's talking about the bottom of Mullet Creek running north from the Hawkesbury, along the western side of which the rail line currently runs.  This creek is generally less than 2 metres deep, and hence has lots of Oyster leases.

If they could build embankments and bridges across shallow water 130 years ago, then they could do the same today, without a drama.  The environmental issues would be manageable - you just need to allow for tidal flow.  If it was that critical an area environmentally, then it wouldn't be full of oyster leases!
Yes thanks that is correct. You could probably improve on what they did 130 year ago without too much trouble.

Most of the creek, especially the western bank (assuming I recall my 8 years of commuting correctly) is mud flats and comes out or gets very shallow at low tides.

Additionally if you look at Google Maps, the railway easement isn't actually national Park.

The M1 (old F3) was built in National Park in the 80's without too many complaints.
RTT_Rules
130 years ago there wasn't the environmental politics involved that there is today. Even 30-40 years ago there wasn't the environmental issues there is today. Any large scale destruction of national park isn't likely to be tolerated these days. Any hsr line would have to be a tunnel the whole way. Cuttings like those on the M1 can no longer be tolerated.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

RTT_rules isn't talking about building HSR!  He is talking about some opportunities to make incremental improvements to the existing infrastructure for things like the existing commuter services and the existing freight services.  His whole point to me was that the Sydney to Brisbane HSR phase two proposal doesn't go up that valley - it runs further to the west, further away from population centres like Woy Woy and Gosford.

Existing services are limited in their speed (mostly) by the curvature of the line.  The curvature of the line has been pretty much fixed since the line was completed, hence line speeds haven't improved much in recent decades despite improvements in other things like the track structure.  If you want to make things go faster, you are going to have to do realignments.
Yes, I don't recall HSR going up Mullet Creek or skirting the Brisbane waters water way between Woy Woy to Gosford and I higly doubt they would get it in and still call it HSR if they did. However even along Brisbane waters the railway has plenty of room to have significant curve easing to push speeds up to 120-140km/hr.

Yes and speeds have actually reduced. Both Woy Woy Tunnel and the Hawsberry bridge have been reduced from their former 115km/hr they were in the mid 80's.
RTT_Rules
To be fair the Hawkesbury bridge is having a problem with a pylon that has concrete cancer and needs repairing. That is why it isn't 115km/h any more.

The lines are already full bi di from Hornsby to Gosford because of the high frequency of freight train break downs.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
130 years ago there wasn't the environmental politics involved that there is today. Even 30-40 years ago there wasn't the environmental issues there is today. Any large scale destruction of national park isn't likely to be tolerated these days. Any hsr line would have to be a tunnel the whole way. Cuttings like those on the M1 can no longer be tolerated.
simstrain
True, but do we think if the F3/M1 was to be built today they would build a tunnel? there is no option to go around.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I mistakenly thought that RTT was talking about running a hsr along the mullet creek alignment.
"simstrain"
My apologies - so did I.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I mistakenly thought that RTT was talking about running a hsr along the mullet creek alignment.
My apologies - so did I.
Valvegear
probably not a silly idea though.

1) Mullet Creek has a wide easement for the railway not part of National Park.

2) If you run north north east of Mullet Creek via new 7.5km long tunnel you come out north of Point Claire station via a short viaduct over the road and housing. I would not have thought it was this close.

3) North of Narara (next station from Gosford), you can head back into the mostly undeveloped valleys and acerages heading north.

Issue is when ever HSR parallels existing lines through narrow corridores along the likes of Mullet Creek, you need to rebuild this straight as well.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I mistakenly thought that RTT was talking about running a hsr along the mullet creek alignment.
My apologies - so did I.
probably not a silly idea though.

1) Mullet Creek has a wide easement for the railway not part of National Park.

2) If you run north north east of Mullet Creek via new 7.5km long tunnel you come out north of Point Claire station via a short viaduct over the road and housing. I would not have thought it was this close.

3) North of Narara (next station from Gosford), you can head back into the mostly undeveloped valleys and acerages heading north.

Issue is when ever HSR parallels existing lines through narrow corridores along the likes of Mullet Creek, you need to rebuild this straight as well.
RTT_Rules
See the HSR phase two report, Appendix 3A p154 for an assessment.  Unfortunately the resolution of the diagram means the detail about what is in tunnel and what is on structure (dark borders/light borders) is hard to discern.



In terms of Cowan Bank, I have read of a proposal to free up additional freight paths and reduce interurban transit time by building a lengthy tunnel from Brooklyn towards Berowra (I don't know exactly where it would daylight).  To avoid the need for additional ventilation the tunnel would only be used by electric passenger trains - freight services would continue to use the current lines.  I wouldn't be holding my breath for this though.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

130 years ago there wasn't the environmental politics involved that there is today. Even 30-40 years ago there wasn't the environmental issues there is today. Any large scale destruction of national park isn't likely to be tolerated these days. Any hsr line would have to be a tunnel the whole way. Cuttings like those on the M1 can no longer be tolerated.
True, but do we think if the F3/M1 was to be built today they would build a tunnel? there is no option to go around.
RTT_Rules

Today it would probably be tunnelled to meet environmental standards and cost a hell of a lot more. But there is also the possibility it wouldn't be done at all these days. Look at the issue the west connex is having with anti road protests.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
130 years ago there wasn't the environmental politics involved that there is today. Even 30-40 years ago there wasn't the environmental issues there is today. Any large scale destruction of national park isn't likely to be tolerated these days. Any hsr line would have to be a tunnel the whole way. Cuttings like those on the M1 can no longer be tolerated.
True, but do we think if the F3/M1 was to be built today they would build a tunnel? there is no option to go around.

Today it would probably be tunnelled to meet environmental standards and cost a hell of a lot more. But there is also the possibility it wouldn't be done at all these days. Look at the issue the west connex is having with anti road protests.
simstrain
There might be some fuss, and some additional mitigation as a consequence, but if the "F3" was built again today I'd still expect a corridor to be excised from the national park and the same style of cut and fill construction to generally be used.

NSW has added quite a few decent lengths of motorway that cut through nature reserves and the like in the last few years.  The amount of protest has been minimal, and has been more driven by "I don't want this thing running past my house" than any real concern for the environment.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
130 years ago there wasn't the environmental politics involved that there is today. Even 30-40 years ago there wasn't the environmental issues there is today. Any large scale destruction of national park isn't likely to be tolerated these days. Any hsr line would have to be a tunnel the whole way. Cuttings like those on the M1 can no longer be tolerated.
True, but do we think if the F3/M1 was to be built today they would build a tunnel? there is no option to go around.

Today it would probably be tunnelled to meet environmental standards and cost a hell of a lot more. But there is also the possibility it wouldn't be done at all these days. Look at the issue the west connex is having with anti road protests.
simstrain
I'll disagree on that, the F3/M1 replaced a 2 lane curvy night mare and main route to the North part of NSW and Qld. Its so un-straight and full of interesting alignment my dad taught me to drive on it daily for 6mths.

It would be built and in recent years a few modifications were done to fix up the original design flaws, West Connex is a different issue.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Hi donttellmywife.  I think we are on precisely the same page.  I wouldn't put a shovel in the ground until a fully developed feasibility study that included cost, revenue and demand forsecasts was able to justify any major improvement.  The difference here is we already have significant passenger demand on the service as it is today which makes the case somewhat stronger than a totally greenfields approach.  There is or should be good data available on mode split and origin and destination trip data and other key inputs that can assist in determining passenger demand abnd probably what peoples propensity is for paying for a qucker and equally importantly reliable and consistent service.   Whilst I've only driven between Sydney and Newcastle via Gosford 3 or 4 times my experience on each occasion has been to question how people are prepared to undertake those trips on a regular basis versus paying for a significantly improved public transport trip if is reliable and consistent.  At sme point a capacity upgrade is going to be needed and that to me represents doing a serious comparison on the road versus rail upgrade option and seeing which one is more viable both financially, economically etc.

The fact that Victoria chose out to develop an artificially low fares policy was a political/policy decision.   Yes you wouldn't expect people in Victoria to be paying a premium for the service level and reliability they are experiencing right now but I'd suggest with the standard of infrastructure that is rolled out in NSW people would be attracted to a service that is superior to road options and be prepared to pay more for it if it delivered on its promise.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
In terms of Cowan Bank, I have read of a proposal to free up additional freight paths and reduce interurban transit time by building a lengthy tunnel from Brooklyn towards Berowra (I don't know exactly where it would daylight).  To avoid the need for additional ventilation the tunnel would only be used by electric passenger trains - freight services would continue to use the current lines.  I wouldn't be holding my breath for this though.
donttellmywife
I have been promoting this for years. Smile

Unless you are going to bridge Cowan Creek which would probably get its fair share of protests, it would pretty remain under the M1 as there is little land between the M1 and Cowan Creek and you need to be way above sea level at this point.

The exit point to avoid bridges would be the area a few km north of Berowra.


On Google  Maps, I measured the tunnel at 10km long (13km now) and the local Berowra Primary school lists its altitude at 228m, so say 200m for the railway station. So thats 1:50 the whole way.

Freights could use the tunnel to descend and if the current route was retained for south bound freights, then you'd probably single track it and ease the curves (if that helps).

However I do have to wonder for the cost of maintaining the existing 9km route up the hill to Cowan and the extra fuel and loco energy required, a series of fans would be probably be cheaper especially as in a number of locations the surface wouldn't be that far away.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with going through the national parks for the hsr or fixing the alignment through Cowan. I would build a path that would kill 2 birds with one stone for Sydney.

If your going to need all that tunnel then why not tunnel from Central to Gosford via the northern beaches. It would provide a more direct route, avoid the national parks and provide the northern beaches with a train for the first time and probably would take 1 hour off the journey time even when only using double deck electric trains.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I wouldn't put a shovel in the ground until a fully developed feasibility study that included cost, revenue and demand forecasts was able to justify any major improvement.
"Trainplanner"
You wouldn't be allowed to pick up the shovel without OH&S first putting you through a 2 day course on how to use it.Very Happy
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with going through the national parks for the hsr or fixing the alignment through Cowan. I would build a path that would kill 2 birds with one stone for Sydney.

If your going to need all that tunnel then why not tunnel from Central to Gosford via the northern beaches. It would provide a more direct route, avoid the national parks and provide the northern beaches with a train for the first time and probably would take 1 hour off the journey time even when only using double deck electric trains.
simstrain
You don't want to use an interurban train or worse inter city to service a suburban commuter route and you certainly don't want to mix the two.

Next issue is once you get across Broken bay which requires a very deep tunnel you need to keep going until Gosford.

Overall there is alot more tunnel and its not really shorter.

From what I said before,
- You need 10km of tunnel to get from Beorwra to the river and then about. (maybe short section out of tunnel in a few places) (3 tracks)
- From just nth of the current Woy Woy tunnel and pop out at Point Claire, 7km of tunnel.
- Realign Mullet Creek (3 tracks)
- Fix the Hawsberry bridge
- 4 tracks from Straithfield to Hornsby
- Realign parts of Asquith to Berowra, mostly nth of Mt Kurangai (about 3-4km worth) (3 tracks)
- redo sections of track from Goasford to just past Ourimbah. (3 tracks)

Overall this should pull out 40 - 45 min for an express, speed up freight and increase access times.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with going through the national parks for the hsr or fixing the alignment through Cowan. I would build a path that would kill 2 birds with one stone for Sydney.

If your going to need all that tunnel then why not tunnel from Central to Gosford via the northern beaches. It would provide a more direct route, avoid the national parks and provide the northern beaches with a train for the first time and probably would take 1 hour off the journey time even when only using double deck electric trains.
You don't want to use an interurban train or worse inter city to service a suburban commuter route and you certainly don't want to mix the two.

Next issue is once you get across Broken bay which requires a very deep tunnel you need to keep going until Gosford.

Overall there is alot more tunnel and its not really shorter.

From what I said before,
- You need 10km of tunnel to get from Beorwra to the river and then about. (maybe short section out of tunnel in a few places) (3 tracks)
- From just nth of the current Woy Woy tunnel and pop out at Point Claire, 7km of tunnel.
- Realign Mullet Creek (3 tracks)
- Fix the Hawsberry bridge
- 4 tracks from Straithfield to Hornsby
- Realign parts of Asquith to Berowra, mostly nth of Mt Kurangai (about 3-4km worth) (3 tracks)
- redo sections of track from Goasford to just past Ourimbah. (3 tracks)

Overall this should pull out 40 - 45 min for an express, speed up freight and increase access times.
RTT_Rules
My intention was to skip woy woy and dig a deep tunnel all the way to Gosford so the broken bay issue isn't a problem. Between Gosford and Central I would see only 2 stops at the most and so interurburn carriages wouldn't be a huge issue. One at Waringah mall and the other at Mona Vale with buses feeding into transport interchanges at those 2 sites. With this solution a 1hour 30 minute trip is possible to Newcaslte. Especially with some curve easing between Gosford and Newcastle.

Digging a tunnel from the Hawkesbury river to Berowra will just end up with an issue just like the ecrl where certain trains can't keep using the tunnel and what is the point of doing it if freight trains can't use it. Atleast my way allows an expansion of the network and an increase of service to Newcastle and a guaranteed 1 hour reduction in trip time to Gosford. There is no way you can pull 45 minutes out of the trip with your solutions and you certainly can't increase frequency which you could with my solution. It might be more expensive but atleast by extending the network you can increase patronage.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
My intention was to skip woy woy and dig a deep tunnel all the way to Gosford so the broken bay issue isn't a problem. Between Gosford and Central I would see only 2 stops at the most and so interurburn carriages wouldn't be a huge issue. One at Waringah mall and the other at Mona Vale with buses feeding into transport interchanges at those 2 sites. With this solution a 1hour 30 minute trip is possible to Newcaslte. Especially with some curve easing between Gosford and Newcastle.

Digging a tunnel from the Hawkesbury river to Berowra will just end up with an issue just like the ecrl where certain trains can't keep using the tunnel and what is the point of doing it if freight trains can't use it. Atleast my way allows an expansion of the network and an increase of service to Newcastle and a guaranteed 1 hour reduction in trip time to Gosford. There is no way you can pull 45 minutes out of the trip with your solutions and you certainly can't increase frequency which you could with my solution. It might be more expensive but atleast by extending the network you can increase patronage.
simstrain

Hi,
A few comments
- I plotted your route on google staying under land as much as possible and its about 135km, so yes I agree 1.5hr is likely achievable. It will however be 50km long and while not impossible, this won't be cheap. Being so long and with lower number of staions, you may get away with $250m/km or $12.5B

- Stations, you will need more stations on North Beaches and looking at the route, Mossman, Curl Curl/Collaroy would be obvious and stations should not exceed 5km apart otherwise you spend too much time on the bus backtracking or using bus for local travel. However I doubt this would impact on the service from Newcastle too much. Except, I'd say your loadings from the Nth Beaches will be so large it will be like the Eastern Suburbs line and little capacity for too many other trains.

- The tunnel via Cowan would not be rollingstock limited as the average grade is no more than 1:50 (suitable for freight) and you could probably do a tad better than that the starting point is about 10-15m above sea level. As the tunnel passes a number of potential low lying areas it may have a short stint of open cut or enable easy ventilation without long shafts. If you were going to spend this sort of money, the line must be multi user and last thing we want is a HSR scenario where we have this big grand opening day and the following day the bulk of the users + freight are still stuck on something made with a pick and shovel following a goats path.

- For the cost saving of above compared to going via Palm Beach, you could throw a few billion at building a Metro branch from Nth Sydney up the Nth beaches and do more with less buses.

- If the Cowan option plus revision to Gosford and other savings can save 40min, we are below the 2hr mark.

- Final issue with long tunnels, you are limited to 160km/hr as this appears to be the max speed used by HSR in long tunnels. If you can surface, while maybe slightly longer, you could get MSR technology to pull another 50km/hr.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I know it won't be cheap but it will expand the rail systems influence and increase patronage. My intent is not to remove the L90 Bus but the other bus routes that service local areas instead from Wynyard. Instead of all those buses crossing the HB and Spit bridge I would have them connecting to Warringah mall or Mona vale/Warriewood instead.

If you do Mosman then you will most likely need a bridge across Middle Harbour. If you skip Moss Vale you can just keep the tunnel deep until Waringah Mall.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I know it won't be cheap but it will expand the rail systems influence and increase patronage. My intent is not to remove the L90 Bus but the other bus routes that service local areas instead from Wynyard. Instead of all those buses crossing the HB and Spit bridge I would have them connecting to Warringah mall or Mona vale/Warriewood instead.

If you do Mosman then you will most likely need a bridge across Middle Harbour. If you skip Moss Vale you can just keep the tunnel deep until Waringah Mall.
simstrain
Mossman would be accessed by a tunnel, if you look at teh route from the mall to Wynyard you go almost right through it. Remember you avoid going under water until you must for numerous reasons.

You need at least two stations north of the mall on the nth beaches, most likely 3 to make it attractive for Nth beach users.
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Go for it but is this the best starting route?

Canberra to Sydney?

Brisbane to NSW?

Japanese fast rail expert talks up Sydney to Newcastle
NSWGR8022
Brisbane to NSW would be a cheap build, only needs an extension from Robina to Tweed Heads!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Go for it but is this the best starting route?

Canberra to Sydney?

Brisbane to NSW?

Japanese fast rail expert talks up Sydney to Newcastle
Brisbane to NSW would be a cheap build, only needs an extension from Robina to Tweed Heads!
Hendo
Even cheaper if they start at Varsity lakes (the current southern terminus) Laughing
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I know it won't be cheap but it will expand the rail systems influence and increase patronage. My intent is not to remove the L90 Bus but the other bus routes that service local areas instead from Wynyard. Instead of all those buses crossing the HB and Spit bridge I would have them connecting to Warringah mall or Mona vale/Warriewood instead.

If you do Mosman then you will most likely need a bridge across Middle Harbour. If you skip Moss Vale you can just keep the tunnel deep until Waringah Mall.
Mossman would be accessed by a tunnel, if you look at teh route from the mall to Wynyard you go almost right through it. Remember you avoid going under water until you must for numerous reasons.

You need at least two stations north of the mall on the nth beaches, most likely 3 to make it attractive for Nth beach users.
RTT_Rules

I know, what I meant was that if you bought the train up to service Mosman then the train would have to go over middle harbour instead of under it. If you skip Mosman the tunnel can just stay under the harbour until popping out at Waringah Mall.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

I know, what I meant was that if you bought the train up to service Mosman then the train would have to go over middle harbour instead of under it. If you skip Mosman the tunnel can just stay under the harbour until popping out at Waringah Mall.
simstrain
Ok I see the the issues, its too high, http://elevationmap.net/640-military-rd-mosman-nsw-2088-australia?latlngs=(-33.82423368193872,151.23976856557624)
It runs right over the spit and Mosman in a straight line. But Mosman central is nearly 90m above the water level and hence at best the escalators would need to be about 80m deep. (I've used a station with similar issue and is worlds deepest subway station at 110m deep, personally I don't have an issue with it)

And this is what I don't like about this proposal, you by-pass much of the areas that are huge catchments for rail.

Ignore running to the Central Coast via a tunnel via Nth beaches, way too expensive for minimal benefit and not helping the 1m people of so in Mosman and Nth Beaches.

If you extend the Metro from Victoria Square via Mosman running via the Spit to get the distance to climb, you can have a deep station under Mosman with about 40-50m of escalators and a suitable technology that can take the bends and grade. You'd also have a station at Cremorne.

So Metro branch Victoria Squr, Cremorne, Mosman, Seaforth, Manly Vale, Mall, Brookvale Oval, Dee Why, Collaroy, Narabeen, Mona Vale and maybe Newport. This would move far more people and the tunnel length would be less than half the length (24km long). So potentially a more viable project.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with going through the national parks for the hsr or fixing the alignment through Cowan. I would build a path that would kill 2 birds with one stone for Sydney.

If your going to need all that tunnel then why not tunnel from Central to Gosford via the northern beaches. It would provide a more direct route, avoid the national parks and provide the northern beaches with a train for the first time and probably would take 1 hour off the journey time even when only using double deck electric trains.
simstrain
Wow.  

So to avoid a small amount of disturbance to a national park, building a few kilometres of embankment over mud flats, or maybe five kilometres of relatively straight forward tunnelling, you are proposing an engineering effort that would be up there with that required for the Channel Tunnel.

Do you think you will find the tens of thousands of users per day from the Central Coast that will be happy to pay a fare necessary to justify such an exercise?

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