Northern Sydney Freight Corridor (NSFC)

 
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Actually the concrete piers the new bridge spans sit on were built in the 1960s and it wasn’t until 1980 spans were floated onto piers to replace original bridge. Certainly wouldn’t see such forward thinking these days to allow for 4 tracks crossing parramatta river.
Just to add to that and my earlier comment, the existing spans on the eastern side of the John Whitton Bridge currently accommodate the Main Line tracks.  When the spans are installed on the western side as part of the quadruplication, the current Up Main will be slewed to the Down Main across the bridge and the Up Relief will take over the Up Main track.  Conversely in the Down direction, the current Main will run across the new span together with the Relief Line.

Past rail planners and governments had shown a lot of foresight in allowing for future track amplifications, such as for the Northern, Western and North Shore Lines.
Transtopic
I always thought that the track centres on the JW Bridge are quite narrow and wider stock cannot pass whilst on the bridge. Were the piers as built intended for 2 or 4 tracks?

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  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Actually the concrete piers the new bridge spans sit on were built in the 1960s and it wasn’t until 1980 spans were floated onto piers to replace original bridge. Certainly wouldn’t see such forward thinking these days to allow for 4 tracks crossing parramatta river.
Just to add to that and my earlier comment, the existing spans on the eastern side of the John Whitton Bridge currently accommodate the Main Line tracks.  When the spans are installed on the western side as part of the quadruplication, the current Up Main will be slewed to the Down Main across the bridge and the Up Relief will take over the Up Main track.  Conversely in the Down direction, the current Main will run across the new span together with the Relief Line.

Past rail planners and governments had shown a lot of foresight in allowing for future track amplifications, such as for the Northern, Western and North Shore Lines.
I always thought that the track centres on the JW Bridge are quite narrow and wider stock cannot pass whilst on the bridge. Were the piers as built intended for 2 or 4 tracks?
nswtrains
Built for 4 tracks.  The western side spans will accommodate the other 2 tracks.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Just to add to that and my earlier comment, the existing spans on the eastern side of the John Whitton Bridge currently accommodate the Main Line tracks.  When the spans are installed on the western side as part of the quadruplication, the current Up Main will be slewed to the Down Main across the bridge and the Up Relief will take over the Up Main track.  Conversely in the Down direction, the current Main will run across the new span together with the Relief Line.

Past rail planners and governments had shown a lot of foresight in allowing for future track amplifications, such as for the Northern, Western and North Shore Lines.
Transtopic

There are no spans on the eastern side of the john whitton bridge. The new bridge and the ability to expand to 4 tracks is on the western side of the john whitton bridge.

A third track should be a no brainer from rhodes to west ryde.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
I think the newer bridge is named the “John Whitton Bridge”, in this context, Transtopics comments make sense.

The old bridge was built when Whitton was in charge, so can also be called a “John Whitton bridge”
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think the newer bridge is named the “John Whitton Bridge”, in this context, Transtopics comments make sense.

The old bridge was built when Whitton was in charge, so can also be called a “John Whitton bridge”
arctic

I have only ever known the old bridge to have been called the john whitton bridge. As far as I am aware the new bridge has no name.
  michaelgm Deputy Commissioner
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

I think the newer bridge is named the “John Whitton Bridge”, in this context, Transtopics comments make sense.

The old bridge was built when Whitton was in charge, so can also be called a “John Whitton bridge”

I have only ever known the old bridge to have been called the john whitton bridge. As far as I am aware the new bridge has no name.
simstrain
The 'new' bridge is the Whitton bridge; the old one was always referred to as the Meadowbank bridge. Whitton designed many bridges in many styles, they are not all known as Whitton bridges.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

A third track should be a no brainer from rhodes to west ryde.
simstrain
Well it will actually be a third AND fourth track which will complete quadruplication between Strathfield and Epping.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Speaking of doing a Hornsby-Strathfield quad, I actually wonder what are/would be the speed limits on the outer lines? What are the current speed limits on the down relief/3rd track? 80km/h? If the line is to get quad and the express passenger trains, such as intercity and regional are to use it between freight services, it would be preferable if it would allow for 115km/h running line the main/middle lines do through some sections.

Also further to that, would there be any real benefit gained to triplicate/quad the line further to Berowra in the future? I guess this could remove the suburban trains out of the way from intercity and regional trains all the way through the corridor and give further options for freight running.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Speaking of doing a Hornsby-Strathfield quad, I actually wonder what are/would be the speed limits on the outer lines? What are the current speed limits on the down relief/3rd track? 80km/h? If the line is to get quad and the express passenger trains, such as intercity and regional are to use it between freight services, it would be preferable if it would allow for 115km/h running line the main/middle lines do through some sections.

Also further to that, would there be any real benefit gained to triplicate/quad the line further to Berowra in the future? I guess this could remove the suburban trains out of the way from intercity and regional trains all the way through the corridor and give further options for freight running.
SydneyCider
The speed limits vary considerably depending on where the Main and Suburban/Relief tracks merge or diverge.  The maximum speed limit on the Third Track (Down Relief) is 115km/h for a relatively short distance between Pennant Hills and Thornleigh before it merges with the adjoining Down Main (X75).  The Down Main has a similar limit in this location.  From West Ryde to Pennant Hills, the Down Main and Down Relief lines generally have similar speed limits, which can vary between 70 and 95km/h.  It's obviously a lot slower through the winding section between Beecroft and Pennant Hills.  Fast Intercity and Regional trains already use the Third Track BTW.  In the Up direction, the maximum speed limit of 115km/h is on the Main between West Ryde and North Strathfield with some sections of 95-100km/h.

The second stage of the NSFC program will complete the Third Track (Down) from Rhodes to Hornsby as well as the Fourth Track (Up) from Epping to Rhodes, in effect completing the full quad from Strathfield to Epping and triplication from Epping to Hornsby.  There's no proposal at this stage to complete the final quad section from Hornsby to Epping, although it could be part of a future stage.

Once full quadruplication is completed I would expect that the Main and Suburban/Relief tracks would have similar speed limits.  I can see no reason why the very conservative speed limits between North Strathfield and West Ryde, which is almost dead straight, couldn't be increased to 130km/h for Suburban and Intercity and 150km/h for Regional (XPT) services.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Not to deviate from the topic too much, but on speeds, has there been any mention how fast the new Intercity trains will be able to go? What type of "comfortable"/sustained top speeds would they be capable of? 140 - 150km/h perhaps?
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Not to deviate from the topic too much, but on speeds, has there been any mention how fast the new Intercity trains will be able to go? What type of "comfortable"/sustained top speeds would they be capable of? 140 - 150km/h perhaps?
SydneyCider
I believe that they will be capable of 160km/h, although the actual service speeds will probably be a lot less, at least until some of the Intercity Lines are straightened out and speed limits are upgraded generally.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

To be honest overall I find it somewhat surprising that this stretch of track (Strathfield/Hornsby, or at the very least Strathfield/Epping) has yet to get the full quad given the numerous freight, regional, intercity and suburban services. I could totally see a limited stops suburban stopping at something like Epping, Eastwood, West Ryde, Rhodes, Strathfield, Burwood, Redfern, Central. Rhodes has had huge development and has a shopping center. Epping continues to grow in importance as an interchange. I saw a comment someone had made expressing concern about the amount of space left between the dive and main up at North Strathfield to re-instate the relief/outer up so that regional/intercity trains can use it to get to Strathfield un-interrupted by suburbans which can use the existing main up. Below are a few photos courtesy of highplans68 on flickr. I'm guessing they'd have to turn the Pomeroy Street Bridge to a single span if possible? because one of the supports would no doubt block the re-in statement of the up relief.

Photo from July 1990, purely for nostalgia purposes and to see the old Pomeroy St Bridge
https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/8317345011/

c. 2011 before work began (credit T G for this shot)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/squeakaz/5600166708/

May 2014. Construction Work
https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/14276419542/

April 2015. Just before dive opened
https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/17065096857/

April 2015. Another view of dive
https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/17084980560/

June 2018. View of dive as it is today
https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/28656162018/
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

To be honest overall I find it somewhat surprising that this stretch of track (Strathfield/Hornsby, or at the very least Strathfield/Epping) has yet to get the full quad given the numerous freight, regional, intercity and suburban services. I could totally see a limited stops suburban stopping at something like Epping, Eastwood, West Ryde, Rhodes, Strathfield, Burwood, Redfern, Central. Rhodes has had huge development and has a shopping center. Epping continues to grow in importance as an interchange. I saw a comment someone had made expressing concern about the amount of space left between the dive and main up at North Strathfield to re-instate the relief/outer up so that regional/intercity trains can use it to get to Strathfield un-interrupted by suburbans which can use the existing main up. Below are a few photos courtesy of highplans68 on flickr. I'm guessing they'd have to turn the Pomeroy Street Bridge to a single span if possible? because one of the supports would no doubt block the re-in statement of the up relief.
SydneyCider
The stretch of track between Strathfield and Epping will get the full quad, as well as triplication from Epping to Hornsby, with completion of Stage 2 of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor program.  It's programmed to be completed within the next decade.

Limited stop peak hour services from Hornsby to Sydney Terminal will be implemented following the shutdown of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link for metro conversion in a couple of weeks, running all stops to Eastwood, then West Ryde, Meadowbank, Rhodes, Strathfield and Central.  In the off-peak, it will be all stations to Burwood, Redfern, Central and through the CBD to the North Shore.  

Space has been reserved for reinstatement of the Up Suburban/Relief Line through North Strathfield to Strathfield, although constructing an additional platform is unlikely.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Just came across this. It's actually dated 21 December 2018 and is to do with the NSFC Stage 2, namely extension of the down relief/3rd track from Thornleigh to Hornsby.

https://www.slattery.com.au/portfolio/thornleigh-to-hornsby-third-track-nsw/

It notes that Slattery has been engaged by Transport for NSW to prepare the cost estimation for the construction of a dedicated freight line between Thornleigh and Hornsby which forms part of Stage 2 of the NSFC. The Slattery team has delivered first principles estimation for these services to Transport for NSW.

Interesting that they noted this as part of Stage 2. This I assume would mean that the Rhodes - West Ryde quad would be Stage 3.


Regardless, hopefully this will go ahead and it will further chip away at the Strathfield - Hornsby quad. If this does get done and approved/completed it will give 2 Down lines from North Strathfield Junction to (and including) Rhodes, then from just after West Ryde all the way right through to Hornsby (or almost Asquith), not withstanding the whole 3 platform thing at Epping.

I've noticed that more regional and intercity services have been using the down relief/3rd track from West Ryde to Thornleigh lately, or seems that way. Once the Thornleigh to Hornsby link is completed, they will surely use it even more and will give even more opportunities for freight services.

Would be great if it was considered to re-instate that up relief line from North Strathfield to the junction, it would then give 2 separate Up tracks from just after Rhodes right through to Strathfield station into platform 1 (via the up relief) and platform 5 (via up main/fly over)
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Just came across this. It's actually dated 21 December 2018 and is to do with the NSFC Stage 2, namely extension of the down relief/3rd track from Thornleigh to Hornsby.

https://www.slattery.com.au/portfolio/thornleigh-to-hornsby-third-track-nsw/

It notes that Slattery has been engaged by Transport for NSW to prepare the cost estimation for the construction of a dedicated freight line between Thornleigh and Hornsby which forms part of Stage 2 of the NSFC. The Slattery team has delivered first principles estimation for these services to Transport for NSW.

Interesting that they noted this as part of Stage 2. This I assume would mean that the Rhodes - West Ryde quad would be Stage 3.


Regardless, hopefully this will go ahead and it will further chip away at the Strathfield - Hornsby quad. If this does get done and approved/completed it will give 2 Down lines from North Strathfield Junction to (and including) Rhodes, then from just after West Ryde all the way right through to Hornsby (or almost Asquith), not withstanding the whole 3 platform thing at Epping.

I've noticed that more regional and intercity services have been using the down relief/3rd track from West Ryde to Thornleigh lately, or seems that way. Once the Thornleigh to Hornsby link is completed, they will surely use it even more and will give even more opportunities for freight services.

Would be great if it was considered to re-instate that up relief line from North Strathfield to the junction, it would then give 2 separate Up tracks from just after Rhodes right through to Strathfield station into platform 1 (via the up relief) and platform 5 (via up main/fly over)
SydneyCider
Firstly, completion of the quad between Rhodes and West Ryde is part of Stage 2 of the NSFC program.  It would be constructed in tandem with the extension of the Third Track from Thornleigh to Hornsby.  Although not specifically mentioned, I would expect that the Up Relief (Suburban) track would be reinstated through North Strathfield (for which space has been reserved) to beyond the junction of the flyover to platform 5 at Strathfield, allowing full separation between the Main and Suburban tracks.  Although it's unlikely that an additional platform would be constructed at North Strathfield, it would continue to have access to platforms 1 and 2 at Strathfield.  However, it may have to be financed by Sydney Trains, as it doesn't involve the freight line. This shouldn't be a major expense as it's over a relatively short distance of track, which is mostly already in place, and would significantly enhance the separation of all stations and express services on the Northern Line.  

From my observation, most Regional, Intercity and Freight services already use the Third Track from West Ryde to Thornleigh, with some exceptions for Intercity services.  I've also noticed that since the closure of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Line for metro conversion, pm peak hour semi-express services from Sydney Terminal to Hornsby use the Third Track from West Ryde to Epping, overtaking the Epping all stops service, then continue on the Main Line to Hornsby, instead of the Third Track for obvious reasons, because Beecroft and Normanhurst don't have platforms on the Third Track.  Whether this will change in the future remains to be seen.

The future quadruplication through Epping is an interesting conundrum.  The limited width of the surface rail corridor at Epping makes it almost impossible to add a fourth track and platform.  It would involve a complete rebuild of the station and track, if in fact feasible.  Add to that the complication of aligning with the existing access to the underground metro platforms.  I'd be interested to know if anyone has a possible solution.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Came across this - Published in February 2012 - The NSFC Scoping Phase Completion Report (PDF)

https://www.containerterminalpolicyinnsw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/NSFC-Scoping_Phase_Completion_Report-February-2012.pdf

Later in this document there's a number of interesting proposals that would allow for faster passenger trains such as a tunnel from Epping to Hawkesbury River for passenger trains with freight trains having more the free run of the top side line from Epping to Hawkesbury River.

Some of the "future" stages identified are those that have been discussed in this thread to allow full quad between Strathfield and Hornsby. (page 37 / 46 of the doc). Of Note.

2. Rhodes to West Ryde 3rd Track
- This will probably happen in conjunction with Rhodes to West Ryde 4th Track given the bridge works and track alignments required. Probably Stage 2

3. Thornleigh to Hornsby 3rd Track
- This seems to be confirmed as part of Stage 2. In conjunction with above point will give 2 full lines from Strathfield to almost Asquith.

4. Thornleigh to Hornsby 4th Track
- Probably a future Stage. Maybe Stage 3? Rhodes to West Ryde quad should happen before this one

5. Hornsby Bypass
- Will be interesting to see what they perhaps mean by that and how they handle the Hornsby issue to cater/work with 2 UP lines

6. Berowra to Hawkesbury River 3rd Track
- Probably far off, if it happens at all. No doubt it would be of huge benefit for freight climbing the steep gradients to Cowan and get them out of the way of passenger trains.

8. Duplication to Flemington Markets
- Interesting one. The 5th bi-direction track on the northern side near Loftus Cres was done in the mid 1990's I believe? Having this duplicated would open more chance for freight movements not to interfere with each other, also, passenger services to/from Central Coast/Newcastle and Olympic Park could use this (and I believe they do with the Nth Strathfield dive during Easter Show)

9. Strathfield Junction Passenger Underpass
- This is the one which you brought up Transtopic. This would be ideal so that passenger trains departing platform 3 and 6 could go onto the Northern Line without crossing conflicts. There is certainly space for a small dive/tunnel for trains intercity/regional trains departing Platform 3 and track to come along the other side of the fly over (where some goods/storage sidings are) and meet up with the down relief/3rd track, while suburbans departing Platform 6 use the Flyer Over and come onto the down main as they currently do. However, would this project really benefit freight services or more strictly passenger services only? So would this need to be perhaps funded by Sydney Trains?

10. Concord West to West Ryde 4th Track
- Probably Stage 2 project with the 3rd track and John Whitton bridge Works

11. Epping Turnback Modifications
- Interesting to see how this is handled

12. Epping to Pennant Hills 4th Track
- Probably a later Stage, perhaps in conjunction with No 4 "Thornleigh to Hornsby 4th Track"?

13. Hornsby to Berowra 3rd Track Bi-Directional
- I assume this would be a continuation of the down relief/3rd track which would be signaled for bi-directional use, similar to the situation around North Strathfield/Concord West prior to the dive being used.

14. Wyong Passing Loop


No mention of the re-reinstatement of the Up Relief/4th track at North Strathfield to the Junction, however, this would hopefully happen around the time of the West Ryde - Rhodes Quad as it would greatly benefit passenger trains heading to the city. As you said, this project only really benefits passenger trains and can't be justified as something for freight.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

number 2 is much more likely then number 10 SydneyCider. Number 2 is quite easy but number 10 is a massive project. Number 3 is again more likely then number 4.

Number 8 and 9 are extremely unlikely and number 9 is not possible unless it starts much further to the east of strathfield station. There is no need what so ever to build an underground tunnel from platform 6 since no trains that goes in to platform 6 heads to the northern line. Platform 5 traffic is for the northern line over the flyover and platform 6 is for western line trains. Only intercity and regional trains cross from platform 3 on to the northern line causes any problems with on coming traffic.

Only one of numbers 5 and 6 will be built. If the hornsby bypass is built there is no need for a third track and you would only build the third track if the bypass was not an option.

Epping has a turnback and so nothing is going to happen there since there isn't any room.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

number 2 is much more likely then number 10 SydneyCider. Number 2 is quite easy but number 10 is a massive project. Number 3 is again more likely then number 4.

Number 8 and 9 are extremely unlikely and number 9 is not possible unless it starts much further to the east of strathfield station. There is no need what so ever to build an underground tunnel from platform 6 since no trains that goes in to platform 6 heads to the northern line. Platform 5 traffic is for the northern line over the flyover and platform 6 is for western line trains. Only intercity and regional trains cross from platform 3 on to the northern line causes any problems with on coming traffic.

Only one of numbers 5 and 6 will be built. If the hornsby bypass is built there is no need for a third track and you would only build the third track if the bypass was not an option.

Epping has a turnback and so nothing is going to happen there since there isn't any room.
simstrain
No 2 is in fact completing the quad between Rhodes and West Ryde in the Up and Down directions across the John Whitton Bridge.  There is no proposal for an additional "fourth" track from Rhodes to Concord West.  The existing freight line branching from the Up Main south of Rhodes Station IS the fourth track.  The fourth track from West Ryde will merely connect with the existing freight line which will also service Intercity and Regional trains to Strathfield as it currently does from Epping.  There is no need for a further track.  The freight line branches from what would be a fourth track through North Strathfield to the underpass to Homebush.

No 8 (duplicating the freight line from North Strathfield Junction through Homebush) would still be possible as a long term option if the increase in freight traffic warranted it.  There is room for a Down freight line to the west of the existing underpass line, which would connect with the Down Suburban (Relief) line beyond the underpass.  It may require an additional bridge across Parramatta Rd. It would also require some re-alignment of tracks, which isn't a major issue.

With regard to No 9, there appears to be some misunderstanding about what has previously been proposed.  Northern Line suburban trains to Hornsby already use platform 6 at Strathfield, where they diverge to the flyover to North Strathfield.  It  connects in turn with both the Northern Main and Suburban tracks at North Strathfield Junction.  There is no conflict with the Western Line and this operation will continue.

Although details of the previously proposed underpass of the Northern Line at Strathfield were never made public, I suspect it involved an underpass from the Northern Main branch flat junction from Strathfield platform 3 under the suburban flyover servicing platforms 5 and 6.  It would then run through the existing storage sidings to the west of the flyover to connect with the Down Suburban tracks at North Strathfield Junction.  It wouldn't be a major expense and IMO should be a priority in upgrading the existing network.  This would then allow for complete separation and parallel operation of suburban and Intercity/Regional services, without any crossing conflicts.  The centre Northern Line track pair via the flyover would cater for suburban all stations services to Epping and Hornsby and the outer track pair for peak hour suburban express, Intercity and Regional services, as well as freight from North Strathfield.  Perhaps the designations of the lines should be switched, with the outer track pair becoming the Mains and the inner track pair the Suburbans.

Regarding No 5 (Hornsby Bypass), I'm not quite sure what that means. The extension of the Third Track from Thornleigh to the existing Third Track through platform 5 at Hornsby will achieve this.  Whether an extension of the Third Track beyond its current junction with the Northern Main before Asquith remains to be seen.  A fourth track in the Up direction from Hornsby to Epping is a long term project and it may necessitate a further re-configuration of tracks and platforms through Hornsby Station.

With regard to the above, there is room to re-configure the track layout north of Epping Station to accommodate a fourth track, although I'm still perplexed at how a fourth track could fit within the narrow rail corridor through the station, without major rebuilding.  To the north of Epping station, the Up dive from the Northern Line to the former ECRL, now metro, has been de-commissioned. The Down dive has been retained to allow access for maintenance vehicles to the metro line.  With the Up dive no longer being needed, there is no reason why it couldn't be filled in and a potentially widened rail corridor utilised to relocate the terminating road between the Up and Down suburban tracks, eliminating crossing conflicts.  This is based on the assumption that an additional track will be provided through Epping Station between platforms 2 and 3 (how I'm not sure), creating two island platforms.  The new track would become platform 3 (Up Main) and the existing platform 3 would become platform 4 (Up Suburban), although as I mentioned earlier, the designations should be switched to reflect the actual hierarchy of service provided.  The ECRL underground platforms are numbered 5 and 6, which suggests that there is a plan to add an additional surface platform (currently 1 to 3).
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

my numbers were referring to how sydneycider numbered his post. there is only 3 tracks at rhodes and it is highly unlikely a fourth will be added.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

my numbers were referring to how sydneycider numbered his post. there is only 3 tracks at rhodes and it is highly unlikely a fourth will be added.
simstrain
SydneyCider in his No 2 post also referred to completion of the 4th track from West Ryde to Rhodes as part of Stage 2 in tandem with the 3rd track extension.  I understand that this is the scope of the Stage 2 NSFC program and why wouldn't it be, when it will complete the full quad from Strathfield to Epping (subject to also rehabilitating the short distance of track of the existing Up Relief "out of use"  line through North Strathfield to beyond the flyover to Strathfield platforms 5 & 6)?

The 3rd track extension from Rhodes to West Ryde will necessitate the installation of the beams, which will accommodate 2 tracks, on the existing piers on the western side of the John Whitton Bridge across the Parramatta River.  It would therefore make sense to complete the missing links between Rhodes and West Ryde for both the 3rd and 4th tracks at the same time to achieve full quadruplication.  SC's No 10 post, although mentioning Concord West instead of Rhodes, was virtually just repeating his No 2 post.

The basic earthworks between Rhodes and West Ryde for quadruplication, including a potentially widened John Whitton Bridge,  were completed decades ago.  Although Rhodes Station currently has only 3 tracks, the existing platform 1 can have its eastern face rebuilt to accommodate the 4th (Up) track.  It would then become the new platform 1 like Concord West, with two island platforms, and the other platforms renumbered accordingly.  It may require the relocation of the existing lift to the current platform 1, but that's not a major issue in the scheme of things.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I know but I was correcting him on that not happening. There is only 3 tracks at rhodes and only room for 3 tracks between rhodes and west ryde. Not only that but the inland is going to take some freight traffic away from Sydney and so there is no real need to do any more then add a third track for freight trains going up the hill.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

I don't agree sims.  There is clearly room for a 4th track (UP) between West Ryde and Rhodes, including over the John Whitton Bridge, once the new spans are constructed on the existing piers.  Regardless of the Inland Rail, there will still be a large volume of freight tragic passing through Sydney to and from the North Coast and North West, not to mention the coal traffic from Lithgow to Newcastle. It doesn't all originate in Brisbane.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
And I'm sure this road would be wired so X's and Urbans can get past the suburban trains .
It's basically all win . Adding any track capacity in the metrop is clearly a bonus .
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

It would be wired like the 3rd track, the existing 4th track between Epping and West Ryde and the new freight line.  It would greatly improve operational efficiency with the full quad between Epping and Strathfield separating all stations suburban services from Intercity, Regional and Freight services.

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