South Coast Railway Improvements

 
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

TfNSW have confirmed on many separate occasions that the entire regional fleet (including Endeavours) will be retired and
replaced with the new fleet, I suggest you read up on the official documents issued by TfNSW if you are in doubt of that fact.
Two official sources
https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/regional-rail
https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/media-releases/contracts-signed-for-126-billion-regional-rail-fleet

You are incorrect in your statement that there will be 9 trains to replace the Endeavours, there will be 10 long regional trains (XPT replacement), 9 short regional trains (XPL replacement) and 10 short intercity trains (END replacement).

Please read official government documents before stating points to ensure that your information is correct, in this case it is not

Regards, Daniel
DCook

Even still that is 4 trains short of what is needed to replace the Endeavours. With only 9 Xplorer replacements the government is probably short 1 x Xplorer replacement as well. So they are still short by 5 trains.

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  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

With only 9 Xplorer replacements the government is probably short 1 x Xplorer replacement as well.
simstrain
The 3 car "short regional trains" are not exclusively XPL replacements. For example, the Regional Rail project drafts had a 3 car set to replace the Grafton XPT, and a 6 car set for Armidale.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

I picked my wife up last night at Victoria St station, train was running late from NCLE and she said an announcement was made that one of the trains had failed and needed mechanical work, so replacement used. Interestingly this is at a time when the Scone & Dungog services were cancelled and replaced by buses owing to a 5 day track maintenance on the coal road to Moree trains.
.
With those outer suburban (my term) services replaced by buses, there is still a tightness in the schedules should one set fail while others not in service are undergoing servicing at the BMD centre.
a6et
With the exception of the Service ex Newcastle 2024 hours to Singleton, due 2128 hours, all Down services to Singleton, Muswellbrook, and Scone, were planned to run to Maitland and Terminate.

Therefore, during the Evening Peak all of the required Sets would be in use.

Even if Sets are not required, due to a Possession, then those Sets will remain out of Service.

If a particular Service fails or does not run, due to a Defective set or other disruption, it has been the practice to Cancel the service, with Passengers waiting for the next Service.
If there's no further Service Tabled to run, then alternative Transport should be provided.

In Sydney, some sets are Rostered on as "Stand by", and can be pressed into Service if required.
In Newcastle, there are no "Stand by" sets.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Transtopic there is only 9 short distance endeavour replacements. There are currently 14 Endeavour sets at the moment and so I'm not sure how 9 short distance sets are supposed to cover all the services run by 14 Endeavour sets.
Yup, I do not believe the XPL/END fleet will be withdrawn, down sized maybe, but not withdrawn and while they are not end of life you'd be mad not to use them.
TfNSW have confirmed on many separate occasions that the entire regional fleet (including Endeavours) will be retired and
replaced with the new fleet, I suggest you read up on the official documents issued by TfNSW if you are in doubt of that fact.
Two official sources
https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/regional-rail
https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/media-releases/contracts-signed-for-126-billion-regional-rail-fleet

You are incorrect in your statement that there will be 9 trains to replace the Endeavours, there will be 10 long regional trains (XPT replacement), 9 short regional trains (XPL replacement) and 10 short intercity trains (END replacement).

Please read official government documents before stating points to ensure that your information is correct, in this case it is not

Regards, Daniel
DCook
Yes I agree.  The government has been unequivocal in this regard.

After studying the timetables, I have tried to approximately estimate the number of sets (not cars) required to operate the current services.  I may not be completely accurate, but this is what I came up with.

By my estimation, there are 9 END sets, excluding the Hunter Line, (1 SCO, 6 SHL, 2 Bathurst Bullet).  With only 10 new Regional Intercity sets (3 cars instead of 2) to replace the END sets, with 1 spare for maintenance purposes, it seems unlikely that any would be used on the Hunter Line.  It also brings into question the feasibility of running through services to Sydney, apart from the existing Bathurst Bullets and Goulburn services, as there wouldn't be enough sets.

I have also estimated that there are 5 XPL sets (2 Canberra, 2 Armidale/Moree, 1 Griffith/Broken Hill) to run the current services and 8 XPT sets (2 Melbourne, 2 Brisbane, 1 Casino, 2 Grafton, 1 Dubbo).  The Dubbo XPT is likely to be replaced by the new Short Regional set, with a possible additional daily service.

While the new Regional Intercity sets seems to be a bit tight, there appears to be more than enough Short (9) and Long (10) Regional sets to cover existing services with room for additional services.  If I've missed anything, please feel free to respond.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

This is a breakdown of what is currently running with the Fleet, and then a possible breakdown with the New Fleet.

Currently, the Weekday Timetable  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  With New Fleet running
calls for the following Rosters:

2car Endeavour sets:-  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Regional Intercity
South Coast: . 1 x 2car set  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 3car
South Line: .  . 6 x 2car sets .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  6 x 3car
Hunter Line:    2 x 2car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 3car (less Maintenance required)
Western Line:  2 x 2car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .  . 1 x 3car
    Maintenance and exchange of sets (provided by Bathurst Bullet) .  .  .  .  . . 1 x 3car

2car Hunter Sets:-
Hunter Line: 5 sets (plus 2 sets for Maintenance cycle)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  6 sets (1 set less for Maintenance cycle)

Xplorer Cars:-  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . . Short Regional
Canberra service:  . 2 x 3car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2 x 3car
Griffith service:  .  . 1 x 2car set  (Wednesday return Thursday)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 3car
Armidale service:  .  2 x 4car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2 x 3car
Moree service:  .  . . 2 x 2car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2 x 3car
Broken Hill service: 1 x 3car set  (Monday return Tuesday)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 3car
     Maintenance and exchange of sets (provided by a Dubbo service)  .  .  .  . . 1 x 3car

XPT sets required for Timetable equate to 8 sets:-  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Long Regional
1/  Sydney to Casino service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
2/  From Casino (overnight) to Sydney, then to Brisbane (overnight) service  . .  .  . 1 x 6car
3/  From Brisbane (daytime) to Sydney  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
4/  Sydney to Melbourne (daytime) service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
5/  From Melbourne (overnight), then to Grafton (daytime) service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 6car
6/  From Grafton to Sydney, then to Melbourne (overnight) service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 6car
7/  From Melbourne (daytime) to Sydney  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
8/  Dubbo service - daily return  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .  1 x 6car
     Maintenance and exchange of sets (provided by a Dubbo service) .  .  .  .  .  .  . . 2 x 6car


For the South Coast, 1 x 3car set would prohibit through running of Services between Sydney and Bomaderry.

7 Hunter sets for 7 Rosters, without any other sets in the Hunter, may prove difficult to maintain current level of Service.

Short Regional combinations maybe difficult to change without reducing current capacity.
For example, Armidale has reduced capacity, but Moree has an increased capacity.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
This is a breakdown of what is currently running with the Fleet, and then a possible breakdown with the New Fleet.

Currently, the Weekday Timetable  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  With New Fleet running
calls for the following Rosters:

2car Endeavour sets:-  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Regional Intercity
South Coast: . 1 x 2car set  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 3car
South Line: .  . 6 x 2car sets .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  6 x 3car
Hunter Line:    2 x 2car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 3car (less Maintenance required)
Western Line:  2 x 2car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .  . 1 x 3car
    Maintenance and exchange of sets (provided by Bathurst Bullet) .  .  .  .  . . 1 x 3car

2car Hunter Sets:-
Hunter Line: 5 sets (plus 2 sets for Maintenance cycle)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  6 sets (1 set less for Maintenance cycle)

Xplorer Cars:-  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . . Short Regional
Canberra service:  . 2 x 3car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2 x 3car
Griffith service:  .  . 1 x 2car set  (Wednesday return Thursday)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 3car
Armidale service:  .  2 x 4car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2 x 3car
Moree service:  .  . . 2 x 2car sets  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2 x 3car
Broken Hill service: 1 x 3car set  (Monday return Tuesday)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 3car
     Maintenance and exchange of sets (provided by a Dubbo service)  .  .  .  . . 1 x 3car

XPT sets required for Timetable equate to 8 sets:-  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  Long Regional
1/  Sydney to Casino service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
2/  From Casino (overnight) to Sydney, then to Brisbane (overnight) service  . .  .  . 1 x 6car
3/  From Brisbane (daytime) to Sydney  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
4/  Sydney to Melbourne (daytime) service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
5/  From Melbourne (overnight), then to Grafton (daytime) service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 6car
6/  From Grafton to Sydney, then to Melbourne (overnight) service  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 1 x 6car
7/  From Melbourne (daytime) to Sydney  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1 x 6car
8/  Dubbo service - daily return  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . .  1 x 6car
     Maintenance and exchange of sets (provided by a Dubbo service) .  .  .  .  .  .  . . 2 x 6car


For the South Coast, 1 x 3car set would prohibit through running of Services between Sydney and Bomaderry.

7 Hunter sets for 7 Rosters, without any other sets in the Hunter, may prove difficult to maintain current level of Service.

Short Regional combinations maybe difficult to change without reducing current capacity.
For example, Armidale has reduced capacity, but Moree has an increased capacity.
scott4570
Thanks for that Scott.  I have added to my earlier remarks prior to your post and it seems that I wasn't that far off.

I still think that the Dubbo service should be provided by 2 daily Short Regional sets (3 cars) rather than a single daily Long Regional set (6 cars), although I understand that this would be the only way the Long Regional sets could get to the Dubbo Maintenance Centre without dead running.  It would mean that the Long Regional sets requiring major maintenance wouldn't be able to provide an immediate return service to Sydney, so another set would have to be provided for that service.  This isn't going to happen on a daily basis, so perhaps the Long Regional set could replace a Short Regional set when a scheduled maintenance trip is required.  I've never agreed with the location of the major maintenance centre in Dubbo as it's too far off the beaten track and it would have been better in say Goulburn, where all classes of the Regional train fleet will operate on a regular basis.

Running through Regional Intercity services to Sydney on the SHL, apart from the existing Goulburn service, may also be problematic.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Why did you list 2 x 2 car endeavour sets being replaced with only 1 x 3 car set on the hunter line? Are NSW trainlink more confident in the reliability of the hunter sets to only need 1 set for backup.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
What is being overlooked in this discussion in terms of capacity is that a lot of the "rail" traffic between Bomaderry and Kiama is being carried by buses. I haven't tried to analyse numbers but on observation I think it could be around a third of the traffic.

The best way to travel between Nowra and Wollongong or Sydney is by car and, with progressive completion of the motorway, this is getting better and better. This saves about a third of the journey time. Its slowness is the worst enemy of the south coast line (yes Shoalhaven is part of the south coast region). Not only the general slowness of the trains, but also the wait at Kiama. The whole line is in a diabolical situation and no new train type is going to solve that. A certain amount of the clientele doesn't have a choice but to use the train, but for the majority of potential clientele, the best thing they could do to attract people out of cars when the motorway is complete is to run a coach service between Nowra and Sydney.

This is the brutal truth about the line. It's frustrating because, although much talk is expended on the subject of the curves between Coledale and Waterfall, in fact that only accounts for about 20% of the line length. Most of the line (between Sydney and Waterfall and Coledale and Nowra) is pretty close to straight and with no gradient challenges for electric trains, yet the trains amble along these sections like Browns Cows. Throwing new trains at the line isn't going to solve the infrastructure/operational issues. The best that might be achieved for the southern end is that the new CAF trains might hopefully enable through running to Sydney (rather like the old  South Coast Daylight Express), avoiding the wait at Kiama and expressing north of Kiama, leaving the intermediate station servicing to the electrics.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think some of that could be resolved by duplicating the line TonyP. For instance I am just looking up a service to Kiama that is taking 14 minutes to get from Dapto to Albion Park. This suggests to me it was held up by a train running in the opposite direction on single line track. The other thing is that unlike the car or coach the train has quite a lot of stops between wollongong and kiama. 9 stops and when you combine that with single line track there is a possibility to speed up the trip as you suggested.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Why did you list 2 x 2 car endeavour sets being replaced with only 1 x 3 car set on the hunter line? Are NSW trainlink more confident in the reliability of the hunter sets to only need 1 set for backup.
simstrain
With New Trains today, the maintenance is less. A set can go 7 days without seeing a Maintenance Centre.

However, there's always the possibility that a set will fail in traffic and require a period of Repair.
It's stretching the limited resources.
It maybe a case of re-configuring the Timetable, to have 2 sets in Maintenance or Repair, but that may render a reduction in the Service level.

As mentioned in earlier Posts, did they order enough, or is there a case to retain the best of the Endeavour sets ?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Why did you list 2 x 2 car endeavour sets being replaced with only 1 x 3 car set on the hunter line? Are NSW trainlink more confident in the reliability of the hunter sets to only need 1 set for backup.
With New Trains today, the maintenance is less. A set can go 7 days without seeing a Maintenance Centre.

However, there's always the possibility that a set will fail in traffic and require a period of Repair.
It's stretching the limited resources.
It maybe a case of re-configuring the Timetable, to have 2 sets in Maintenance or Repair, but that may render a reduction in the Service level.

As mentioned in earlier Posts, did they order enough, or is there a case to retain the best of the Endeavour sets ?
scott4570

It's pretty clear the new fleet is a like for like replacement order.  There is no scope for extra services, and the prospect that some services might need to be cut - or at least re-organised - to accommodate off-shore maintenance at the Dubbo sheltered workshop.

The Toolijooa crossing loop project stinks to high heaven, given they have 1 DMU allocated to the route and it can't sustain an hourly service between Kiama and Tijiana.  

One thing the could do - perhaps on "temporarily" in the lead up to the next election - is operate one of the "spare" new 6 car sets out of Bomaderry.  It's a 6 hours round trip, so two a day, as an addition to the usual commuter services.  It's be an up-market alternative to the OSCAR/D set for commuters from the Illawarra - with higher fares but a buffet and even social distancing.  During the day it could operate as the restored South Coast Daylight Express.  Even @tonyp would recognise that as a better service than now.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
The Toolijooa crossing loop project stinks to high heaven, given they have 1 DMU allocated to the route and it can't sustain an hourly service between Kiama and Tijiana.  

One thing the could do - perhaps on "temporarily" in the lead up to the next election - is operate one of the "spare" new 6 car sets out of Bomaderry.  It's a 6 hours round trip, so two a day, as an addition to the usual commuter services.  It's be an up-market alternative to the OSCAR/D set for commuters from the Illawarra - with higher fares but a buffet and even social distancing.  During the day it could operate as the restored South Coast Daylight Express.  Even @tonyp would recognise that as a better service than now.
Personally I would require a lounge car with bar Wink

I think the Toolijooa passing track has more to do with the Manildra trains. There are afaik three a day and these would be an obstacle to running a more disciplined passenger service. They should be able to run an hourly service with one train. They almost do at certain times of the day. The Endeavour just needs to be run with more oomph to get that half hour turnaround.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The Toolijooa crossing loop project stinks to high heaven, given they have 1 DMU allocated to the route and it can't sustain an hourly service between Kiama and Tijiana.  

One thing the could do - perhaps on "temporarily" in the lead up to the next election - is operate one of the "spare" new 6 car sets out of Bomaderry.  It's a 6 hours round trip, so two a day, as an addition to the usual commuter services.  It's be an up-market alternative to the OSCAR/D set for commuters from the Illawarra - with higher fares but a buffet and even social distancing.  During the day it could operate as the restored South Coast Daylight Express.  Even @tonyp would recognise that as a better service than now.
Personally I would require a lounge car with bar Wink

I think the Toolijooa passing track has more to do with the Manildra trains. There are afaik three a day and these would be an obstacle to running a more disciplined passenger service. They should be able to run an hourly service with one train. They almost do at certain times of the day. The Endeavour just needs to be run with more oomph to get that half hour turnaround.
tonyp

I think the issue with a clock face 60 min service is Kiama - Syd have two different schedules, fast & slow.  Departures & arrivals at Sydney are clock face (sort of, they get jostled around a bit during the peak), so departures/arrives at Kiama can be every 70/50 min apart.  But IMHO they just operate it with as few DMU services as they can get away with, so it's effectively a 2hr frequency supplemented by busses.

Manildra and Toolijooa?  I didn't realise their trains were 4km long.  Toolijooa does allow for a 30min Kiama/Nowra (I can't spell Bomaderry) service by operating as a passing lane, not loop.  But I can't envisage any circumstance it might be used in the next 10 years (other than as an election stunt).  

To avoid depressing myself I've avoided looking up by who and when the impacted adjacent properties were acquired.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think the passing loop would allow more then 1 service every 2 hours and at toolijooa it is straight and could probably fit within the existing alignment without having to buy an extra property.
I don't know why they didn't complete the loop at berry so that they don't have to reverse a train into a siding to make way for a freight train as well.
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
Just electrify the whole line, it will save time and money in the long term future
If they can set aside funds for this upgrade then why can't funds go towards electrification?
DCook
Agreed, steamline the service, free up d̶i̶e̶s̶e̶l̶ hybrid trains for the Southern Highlands, displaced South Coast crew could be used to improve local services which would both improve local public transport and supplement new express services between Wollongong and Kiama.


I think some of that could be resolved by duplicating the line TonyP. For instance I am just looking up a service to Kiama that is taking 14 minutes to get from Dapto to Albion Park. This suggests to me it was held up by a train running in the opposite direction on single line track. The other thing is that unlike the car or coach the train has quite a lot of stops between wollongong and kiama. 9 stops and when you combine that with single line track there is a possibility to speed up the trip as you suggested.
simstrain
Agreed and I'm surprised this line has been single track for this long, although 14 minutes from Dapto to Albion Park is not that bad when you consider it is only 12 minutes by car, but improvements can be made.

I also don't understand why this long stretch of line (36.24km between Wollongong and Kiama) is always an all stations service, probably because of single track but if and when that issue is resolved, would it be possible to see express services running: Central, Wolli, Hurstville, Sutherland, Thirroul, Wollongong, Dapto, Oak Flats, Kiama, Bomaderry (if electrified).

Sames goes for the Blue Mountains Line for that matter, it's the second busiest interurban line, but express services are minimal.

The joker in the mix is the 7 x hunter rail cars. Are they enough to cover the hunter line completely?
simstrain
They are not, there are one or two Endeavours running in the Hunter, and I don't understand why more Hunter Railcars weren't built to completely cover the line at the time, it probably would have lowered costs by only needing to maintain one type of DMU in Newcastle.
Although we were lucky there were any built at all to be honest, they just had to get rid of the 620/720 class, if the Hunter line was strictly only for local services (ie: did not carry freight and regional services) then the line would have closed completely.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

For what reason is their to skip stations. If you skip stations then your not picking up passengers and given the limited amount of kiama services as it is there is no reason to skip these stations. That trip between Dapto and Albion park is only 7 minutes if it doesn't have to wait for a train in the opposite direction and duplicating the line from Wollongong to shell harbour would help reduce the travel time more then skipping stations.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Spending $50-60m to spark the South coast line doesn't make sense considering the volumes of people that are moved. 2 x DMU will provide suitable redundancy and service for years to come.

The bends south of Waterfall need to be removed and would have a far greater financial and social benefit
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
For what reason is their to skip stations. If you skip stations then your not picking up passengers and given the limited amount of kiama services as it is there is no reason to skip these stations. That trip between Dapto and Albion park is only 7 minutes if it doesn't have to wait for a train in the opposite direction and duplicating the line from Wollongong to shell harbour would help reduce the travel time more then skipping stations.
simstrain
Skipping these stations (and filling them in with a local service) would speed up the trip, especially when you consider the amount of local stops and the need for extra ones at around Figtree, Berkeley, Yallah, and Kiama Downs,
duplicating the line would be the most significant help, but a two-tier service like on other lines would also be beneficial.


Spending $50-60m to spark the South coast line doesn't make sense considering the volumes of people that are moved. 2 x DMU will provide suitable redundancy and service for years to come.

The bends south of Waterfall need to be removed and would have a far greater financial and social benefit
RTT_Rules
Electrifying the line would streamline operations, and remove the need to store DMU's down south and transfer them to Sydney for maintenance,

although since the line is not currently being electrified, would dual-mode operation allow Bomaderry services to run all the way to the dock platforms in Wollongong?

Bends between Waterfall and Thirroul definitely need removing, with the ones between Stanwell Park, Helensburgh, and Waterfall being the most problematic, but what is the best way to do it without a long expensive tunnel?

The greatest social benefit would probable come from local employment and improved local services (especially in a post-Covid would where I can see communities benefiting from being more independent) but that's no reason to call off other improvements.
  a6et Minister for Railways

For what reason is their to skip stations. If you skip stations then your not picking up passengers and given the limited amount of kiama services as it is there is no reason to skip these stations. That trip between Dapto and Albion park is only 7 minutes if it doesn't have to wait for a train in the opposite direction and duplicating the line from Wollongong to shell harbour would help reduce the travel time more then skipping stations.
Skipping these stations (and filling them in with a local service) would speed up the trip, especially when you consider the amount of local stops and the need for extra ones at around Figtree, Berkeley, Yallah, and Kiama Downs,
duplicating the line would be the most significant help, but a two-tier service like on other lines would also be beneficial.


Spending $50-60m to spark the South coast line doesn't make sense considering the volumes of people that are moved. 2 x DMU will provide suitable redundancy and service for years to come.

The bends south of Waterfall need to be removed and would have a far greater financial and social benefit
Electrifying the line would streamline operations, and remove the need to store DMU's down south and transfer them to Sydney for maintenance,

although since the line is not currently being electrified, would dual-mode operation allow Bomaderry services to run all the way to the dock platforms in Wollongong?

Bends between Waterfall and Thirroul definitely need removing, with the ones between Stanwell Park, Helensburgh, and Waterfall being the most problematic, but what is the best way to do it without a long expensive tunnel?

The greatest social benefit would probable come from local employment and improved local services (especially in a post-Covid would where I can see communities benefiting from being more independent) but that's no reason to call off other improvements.
Ethan1395
In your earlier post you mention that electrification to Bomaderry could mean doing away with the crews from Kiama South, where do you think the crews are based, and why would you believe they are based at Kiama or Bomaderry? Have you thought that the services are change over working with Wollongong crews that take the sparks to Kiama, and then change over with the train from Bomaderry and they do a trip down there and back and do the same on return.  Another aspect is that minor maintenance servicing is carried out at Wollongong as well.

The aspect of skipping stations between Dapto and Kiama, saves how many minutes? the other aspect is what point in skipping them and have another service that stops at them, you are pretty much advocating something for the Illa line that you opposed on the Short North.

No one that I know of that talks about the winding track south of Waterfall are all in favour of their elimination, the best part is that the new sections could very well be carried out without any interuption to existing services.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Just electrify the whole line, it will save time and money in the long term future
If they can set aside funds for this upgrade then why can't funds go towards electrification?
Agreed, steamline the service, free up d̶i̶e̶s̶e̶l̶ hybrid trains for the Southern Highlands, displaced South Coast crew could be used to improve local services which would both improve local public transport and supplement new express services between Wollongong and Kiama.


I think some of that could be resolved by duplicating the line TonyP. For instance I am just looking up a service to Kiama that is taking 14 minutes to get from Dapto to Albion Park. This suggests to me it was held up by a train running in the opposite direction on single line track. The other thing is that unlike the car or coach the train has quite a lot of stops between wollongong and kiama. 9 stops and when you combine that with single line track there is a possibility to speed up the trip as you suggested.
Agreed and I'm surprised this line has been single track for this long, although 14 minutes from Dapto to Albion Park is not that bad when you consider it is only 12 minutes by car, but improvements can be made.

I also don't understand why this long stretch of line (36.24km between Wollongong and Kiama) is always an all stations service, probably because of single track but if and when that issue is resolved, would it be possible to see express services running: Central, Wolli, Hurstville, Sutherland, Thirroul, Wollongong, Dapto, Oak Flats, Kiama, Bomaderry (if electrified).

Sames goes for the Blue Mountains Line for that matter, it's the second busiest interurban line, but express services are minimal.

The joker in the mix is the 7 x hunter rail cars. Are they enough to cover the hunter line completely?
They are not, there are one or two Endeavours running in the Hunter, and I don't understand why more Hunter Railcars weren't built to completely cover the line at the time, it probably would have lowered costs by only needing to maintain one type of DMU in Newcastle.
Although we were lucky there were any built at all to be honest, they just had to get rid of the 620/720 class, if the Hunter line was strictly only for local services (ie: did not carry freight and regional services) then the line would have closed completely.
Ethan1395
There is one Endeavour in the Hunter fleet, primarily for the Scone services.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Agreed, steamline the service
Ethan1395
Love to see that!
  a6et Minister for Railways

I think the passing loop would allow more then 1 service every 2 hours and at toolijooa it is straight and could probably fit within the existing alignment without having to buy an extra property.
I don't know why they didn't complete the loop at berry so that they don't have to reverse a train into a siding to make way for a freight train as well.
simstrain
There's more than enough room within the existing Alignment to accommodate a passing loop, which could be built pretty much from the old now done away with Fern St level crossing, and to the Tooliigooa Rd bridge, further if needed, but from that point to Berry there are several level crossings and a couple of bridges that would need replacing.

Having a passing lane of that length could accommodate more than one train if future demand deems it viable.  I would also suggest given the numbers that do travel by rail these days, and even pockie stations such as Oak Flats now has a reasonable sized car park on the Eastern side, that a duplication of the line at least as far from Unanderra to Shellharbour would not be a waste for the future.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


Spending $50-60m to spark the South coast line doesn't make sense considering the volumes of people that are moved. 2 x DMU will provide suitable redundancy and service for years to come.

The bends south of Waterfall need to be removed and would have a far greater financial and social benefit
Electrifying the line would streamline operations, and remove the need to store DMU's down south and transfer them to Sydney for maintenance,

although since the line is not currently being electrified, would dual-mode operation allow Bomaderry services to run all the way to the dock platforms in Wollongong?

Bends between Waterfall and Thirroul definitely need removing, with the ones between Stanwell Park, Helensburgh, and Waterfall being the most problematic, but what is the best way to do it without a long expensive tunnel?

The greatest social benefit would probable come from local employment and improved local services (especially in a post-Covid would where I can see communities benefiting from being more independent) but that's no reason to call off other improvements.
Ethan1395
Line is already simple.
Longer spark arrives at Kiama, smaller DMU departs for Bomaderry, same in reverse.

If you spark the line, the other stations need to be all extended, which will incur the mandatory upgrade in other aspects as well as spending $50M+ on over head.

If the new trains are hy-brid's, then yes great, but that means you are buying a most costly long hybrid to spend most of its time under the wire to run just a short distance of diesel, you would need a large fleet of these just to make a 60min timetable and then you are again running long trains over a short section where you just need a small train.

This where its cheaper to have a high capacity spark do what a high capacity spark does best and a small DMU do what it does best and ask the small number of connecting customers to stretch their legs for a few minutes.    

Running to Sydney once a week for a Service is not a huge drama, if you have two sets down the south, easily timetabled.

Now with all the money saved, use this money to help fund much needed upgrades to the north end of the line.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

These new trains are hybrids are they are not long trains RTT. It shouldn't be that costly to buy the 4 extra sets I suggested to fully cover the 14 Endeavours currently operating. The Bomaderry shuttle could then be extended to Wollongong and the DD's cut back to whereever the duplication ends
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
These new trains are hybrids are they are not long trains RTT. It shouldn't be that costly to buy the 4 extra sets I suggested to fully cover the 14 Endeavours currently operating. The Bomaderry shuttle could then be extended to Wollongong and the DD's cut back to whereever the duplication ends
simstrain
The duplication ends at Unanderra, 2 stops south Wollongong, although the track work looks plausible and station is island (but no storage yard although likely won't need one being so close to Wollongong, does it have the other crew requirements? However Unandeera is not the southern end of suburban sprawl so why stop there. Dapto is likely better.

Kiama has everything that is needed now and it works. Personally I would not have funded the O/H south of Dapto in 2001 and just increased the DMU fleet, which should have happened when the Hunter's were purchased, ordering 2-3 2 car sets for Dapto to Bomaderry.

So now, the option is to terminate the sparks at Dapto and fund enough sets to run a 1hrly service to link with the spark (~60km is under wire), you will need 3-4 hybrids.

So to save more money, why not just retain 2 x 2 END cars for the south coast running shuttle to Kiama? No Capital outlay.

Alternatively, run all sparks to Wollongong / Port Kembla and hybrid runs from Wollongong, although this makes it a messy arrangement if the sparks cannot be timed to only use the platform the hybrid is using the dock.

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