South Coast Railway Improvements

 
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
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
So the same crew operates the trip between Wollongong and Bomaderry? I thought it would have been two separate crews given the two different traction types (electric and diesel), that clears some things up, if it's truly as simple as you and RTT say it is then there is probably no point in electrifying the line just yet. I didn't know that minor maintenance service was carried out in Wollongong either, how often does the Endeavour need to run to Everleigh?

Skipping stops between Wollongong and Kiama would speed up the express service to Sydney, by how much I'm not sure though, the new intercity fleet is fitted out for longer journeys and wouldn't fit it becoming a local train, D-sets should run Central, Sydenham, Wolli, Sutherland, Helensburgh, Thirroul, Wollongong, Dapto, Oak Flats, Kiama, and the T-sets (or whatever suburban stock) should provide frequent local shuttles between Stanwell Park-Port Kembla, and Kiama-Wollongong.

I'm a little confused what you thought I opposed on the Short North (Newcastle), I wanted frequent local shuttle stopping all stops Fassi-Newy with additonal intermediate stops, and Sydney express services running as expresses.

I'm sure everyone is in favour of removing those bends south of Waterfall, the questions is what is the best way to do it without an expensive Thirroul-Waterfall tunnel.


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.
RTT_Rules
Like I set to a6et, if it's that simple, then there is probably no point in electrification, I just figured it would save money in the longterm no longer needing DMU's down south for a short stretch of line.
If electrification did happen, wouldn't station upgrades just be platform extensions? duplication is where the headache would come with the mandatory lifts.

If the new trains are hybrids, take advantage and run to Wollongong dock platforms, but I don't see the point in retiring Endeavours (and Xplorers) just yet when they are perfectly fine and not life expired (like the V-Sets and XPTs).


What would you say the best way to upgrade the north end is? looking at a map, the curves don't become too problematic until the Stanwell Park viaduct, I've heard the old alignment was straighter but too steep for freight trains, would it be possible to restore the old alignment for sparks and keep the current one for freight?

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There is about 10 stops Wollongong to Kiama, even if you missed all that's 5 - 8 min saved and half the stations you wouldn't skip.

I get the feeling we want to run a shuttle from Wollongong because it has Dock platforms. Because the 'gong station isn't an island, its actually messy and the Dock plats are of limited use in people management. An terminating train from south needs can access the Dock, but then needs to shunt back to the other dock to collect and depart. The best design I saw was Germany where the Dock was in the middle of a island platform. 2 car DMU arrive, 3-4m cross platform change into arriving spark train or VV on other side.

The old alignment was much straighter, you can see the old tunnels of different maps, it is almost direct. They changed it because loaded steamers like bends on steep hills. Today you have loaded coalies and grains trains going down grade, empties going up. Not sure if inter-modal and sparks with plenty of grunt. So its almost a none issue.

Upgrade to stations often incurs breaking any "grandfathering" of the existing design. So $1000 = $1M as DAA rules etc come into play.
  a6et Minister for Railways

There is about 10 stops Wollongong to Kiama, even if you missed all that's 5 - 8 min saved and half the stations you wouldn't skip.

I get the feeling we want to run a shuttle from Wollongong because it has Dock platforms. Because the 'gong station isn't an island, its actually messy and the Dock plats are of limited use in people management. An terminating train from south needs can access the Dock, but then needs to shunt back to the other dock to collect and depart. The best design I saw was Germany where the Dock was in the middle of a island platform. 2 car DMU arrive, 3-4m cross platform change into arriving spark train or VV on other side.

The old alignment was much straighter, you can see the old tunnels of different maps, it is almost direct. They changed it because loaded steamers like bends on steep hills. Today you have loaded coalies and grains trains going down grade, empties going up. Not sure if inter-modal and sparks with plenty of grunt. So its almost a none issue.

Upgrade to stations often incurs breaking any "grandfathering" of the existing design. So $1000 = $1M as DAA rules etc come into play.
RTT_Rules
The big aspect with the old alignment, which included the old Otford tunnel was the grade not so much as the aspect that steamers like bends on steep grades but even on the current alignment there is a shortish section that was called mugs flat as the grade leveled out, and was often used to stop the train and blow up steam and water before proceeding.

The new alignment pretty much followed other lines in the aspect of as train loads increased, it meant double heading, the new alignment allowed for the increase in tonage with both single and double heading. The old alignments and tunnels also created problems for the crews but also passengers when trains were double headed as far as Waterfall, Otford tunnel caused a lot of problems for passengers in such cases, likewise for the crew on the 2nd engine.

With few trains these days even having anything akin to a branch line diesel which on a triple header on the up they were not allowed into the up look at Hurstville unless the departure end of the loop was clear for them an signals showing clear, rather they were left on the up main to the W/gong end of the station for other services, notably the Cronulla trains to go first. Reason for that working was that the branchliners could not hold the train on the grade with the engine brakes only used, to stand the train on the air generally meant a runaway was more than likely as the load pushed the engines and they had trouble charging the train brakes.

As for the use of docks, unless there were TT/s that provided for a common arrival/departure off the same platform it would mean taking up two tracks for the crossover operation to get to/from the docks. In fact they were primarilly in use for down services where a change of trains for the Mountain or beyond Unanderra as a connecting service. The up dock really did not exist as the area there was part of the old loco depot.

The current Kiama connections actually is the best option for that line as is generally found with island platforms. Wollongong only has a pedestrian overpass at the Sydney end of the platform which takes some time to cross if it was still used for connecting services.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The big aspect with the old alignment, which included the old Otford tunnel was the grade not so much as the aspect that steamers like bends on steep grades but even on the current alignment there is a shortish section that was called mugs flat as the grade leveled out, and was often used to stop the train and blow up steam and water before proceeding.

The new alignment pretty much followed other lines in the aspect of as train loads increased, it meant double heading, the new alignment allowed for the increase in tonage with both single and double heading. The old alignments and tunnels also created problems for the crews but also passengers when trains were double headed as far as Waterfall, Otford tunnel caused a lot of problems for passengers in such cases, likewise for the crew on the 2nd engine.

With few trains these days even having anything akin to a branch line diesel which on a triple header on the up they were not allowed into the up look at Hurstville unless the departure end of the loop was clear for them an signals showing clear, rather they were left on the up main to the W/gong end of the station for other services, notably the Cronulla trains to go first. Reason for that working was that the branchliners could not hold the train on the grade with the engine brakes only used, to stand the train on the air generally meant a runaway was more than likely as the load pushed the engines and they had trouble charging the train brakes.

As for the use of docks, unless there were TT/s that provided for a common arrival/departure off the same platform it would mean taking up two tracks for the crossover operation to get to/from the docks. In fact they were primarilly in use for down services where a change of trains for the Mountain or beyond Unanderra as a connecting service. The up dock really did not exist as the area there was part of the old loco depot.

The current Kiama connections actually is the best option for that line as is generally found with island platforms. Wollongong only has a pedestrian overpass at the Sydney end of the platform which takes some time to cross if it was still used for connecting services.
a6et
Thanks
Today, I think the best option is to replicate the route of the old tunnels, if the old tunnels themselves cannot be reopened for rail traffic. Hell one track would be enough for the sparks as the travel time is relatively short with a passing loop at Helensburgh. Cheap and quick fix to removing about 15min in travel time.

A new line would connect somewhere between Scarborough and Stanwell Park. A few of the older lightly used stations would be by-passed, however the road distance to Helensburgh is only a few minutes so minor inconvenience to a small number of people, major saving to greater Wollongong.

Freights can keep the old line or use the new at night when no pax.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

When I said run the spark to where ever the duplication ends I should have made it clear that I didn't mean to where it ends currently. I personally would like to see the line duplicated to Shell Harbour at the very least although looking on google earth there seems to be provision to achieve it to Minnamurra. Maybe this might seem excessive.

The new bi mode trains provide the option of electrifying to Bomaderry without having to make modifications to handle DD electric rolling stock to the tunnels or platforms. Order the extra short trains without the diesel motor and boost services to more then one an hour in off peak for this area.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
When I said run the spark to where ever the duplication ends I should have made it clear that I didn't mean to where it ends currently. I personally would like to see the line duplicated to Shell Harbour at the very least although looking on google earth there seems to be provision to achieve it to Minnamurra. Maybe this might seem excessive.

The new bi mode trains provide the option of electrifying to Bomaderry without having to make modifications to handle DD electric rolling stock to the tunnels or platforms. Order the extra short trains without the diesel motor and boost services to more then one an hour in off peak for this area.
simstrain
Yes, somewhat excessive.

Its what 40km of track required, at least two stations that need duplicating and the proposed terminus station needs a major rebuild to include a cross platform change plus storage shunt neck. Its probably cheaper just to continue the dual track on to Kiama.  All for what 1 train every 30min? Meanwhile we have single track on 15min timetables in suburban lines.

Keep the END cars, add a 2nd set, build the passing loop, increase all peak services south of the "gong" to 30min, 60min during day and evening and spend the money fixing the tunnels and curves at the other end. Then with faster running to Sydney there maybe more demand for the more southern services.
  a6et Minister for Railways

When I said run the spark to where ever the duplication ends I should have made it clear that I didn't mean to where it ends currently. I personally would like to see the line duplicated to Shell Harbour at the very least although looking on google earth there seems to be provision to achieve it to Minnamurra. Maybe this might seem excessive.

The new bi mode trains provide the option of electrifying to Bomaderry without having to make modifications to handle DD electric rolling stock to the tunnels or platforms. Order the extra short trains without the diesel motor and boost services to more then one an hour in off peak for this area.
simstrain
The duplication from the Gong to Shellharbour is a must, for me the best option is to do the whole lot in one hit rather than station by station, just a personal view as it means each section has its priority rating in the track being completed. Distance between Oak Flats and Shellharbour is a hindrance to a point but I notice the old tunnel has gone and a new station called Shellharbour junction is in operation, & wonder what affect that has on the old Dunmore/Shellharbour station.

Going from Dunmore though, will create more cost than the other sections owing to the Minnimura ck bridge needing duplication, two new bridges over roads in Kiama between Tunnel and station.  The big question though would be the tunnel between Bombo and Kiama, it would be a huge cost to bore out for two lines, but being shortish and the Bombo Loop has been extended to end near the tidal pond bridge provides for a pretty short run though.

I doubt the residents above the tunnel would be too fussed regarding bore machines underneath, and what cost?

To really gain max benefit into the future though, planning needs to be done to extend to Bomaderry though. The need for duplication is hindered by the tunnels between Kiama and the Hill above Werri Beach, but once out of there no reason why duplication cannot be done.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

I took a quick look at the South Coast timetable.
Wollongong to Central Station express is 88 minutes.
Thirroul to Sutherland with 1 stop is currently 45 minutes.
Theoretically you could build a 16km tunnel from Coledale to just south of Waterfall.
The straightened out length from Thirroul to Sutherland would be approx 36km.
At average speed of 100km/h, it would take 22 minutes.
This would obviously be a saving of 23 minutes.

A multi billion dollar 16km tunnel to save 23 minutes?
Not going to happen.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I took a quick look at the South Coast timetable.
Wollongong to Central Station express is 88 minutes.
Thirroul to Sutherland with 1 stop is currently 45 minutes.
Theoretically you could build a 16km tunnel from Coledale to just south of Waterfall.
The straightened out length from Thirroul to Sutherland would be approx 36km.
At average speed of 100km/h, it would take 22 minutes.
This would obviously be a saving of 23 minutes.

A multi billion dollar 16km tunnel to save 23 minutes?
Not going to happen.
tom9876543
Probably reduce the length to 10-12km, but still pricey.

23min per train for say 30 return services a day = 23h a day of train operation, basically remove 1 maybe 2 set at least from the current pool and yet maintain same number of services and likely have a significant boost in ridership.

If built as a single lane tunnel with a passing lane at Helensburgh you can reduce costs and still deliver a major benefit including a 20min timetable. Probably $2-2.5B.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I took a quick look at the South Coast timetable.
Wollongong to Central Station express is 88 minutes.
Thirroul to Sutherland with 1 stop is currently 45 minutes.
Theoretically you could build a 16km tunnel from Coledale to just south of Waterfall.
The straightened out length from Thirroul to Sutherland would be approx 36km.
At average speed of 100km/h, it would take 22 minutes.
This would obviously be a saving of 23 minutes.

A multi billion dollar 16km tunnel to save 23 minutes?
Not going to happen.
tom9876543

No one single measure is worth doing for the time it saves on it's own.  But they are cumulative, which is why they should be part of a package.

For example, there is no point building a dead straight HR line if you're just going to run OSCARs on it.  Equally, there is no point buying a fleet of TGVs to run them through the Otford bends.

IMHO if the problems is attacked piecemeal, then the Gvt could spend $20b on the line and achieve nothing.  But they could spend $2-3b and have a 60min service from Shellharbour to Sydney.  (Whether that's a justifiable option in a post COVID world is another matter)

The point is you can't just dismiss a project because on it's own the benefits are too small.  It's like @sims arguing trains capable of 160kph are a waste because the none of the perway is rated that fast.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I never argued that trains that can do 160km/h are a waste of money. I said there is nowhere they are going to get to that speed in Sydney and a recent reply from transport NSW confirmed this. There might be some areas outside of Sydney but nowhere in Sydney.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I never argued that trains that can do 160km/h are a waste of money. I said there is nowhere they are going to get to that speed in Sydney and a recent reply from transport NSW confirmed this. There might be some areas outside of Sydney but nowhere in Sydney.
"simstrain"


The only future for the South Coast line is to fix the bends. Unless this is resolved the rest is basically almost pointless.

Fix the bends and then upgrade the track to Wollongong to get faster speeds (140 -160). Welcome to the 21st century!
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
An interesting development.  As you're on the spot tonyp, how many sets of the new Regional intercity fleet (3 cars) would be required to achieve this service frequency between Bomaderry and Kiama as outlined with the infrastructure upgrades?

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/kiama-to-bomaderry-project
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Yes, somewhat excessive.

Its what 40km of track required, at least two stations that need duplicating and the proposed terminus station needs a major rebuild to include a cross platform change plus storage shunt neck. Its probably cheaper just to continue the dual track on to Kiama.  All for what 1 train every 30min? Meanwhile we have single track on 15min timetables in suburban lines.

Keep the END cars, add a 2nd set, build the passing loop, increase all peak services south of the "gong" to 30min, 60min during day and evening and spend the money fixing the tunnels and curves at the other end. Then with faster running to Sydney there maybe more demand for the more southern services.
RTT_Rules

The other solution is to put some new passing loops / stations / platforms at Kembla Grange, Penrose (between Dapto and Albion Park), Oak Flats, Minnamurra, Kiam Downs, Bombo, Gerringong and Berry.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The only future for the South Coast line is to fix the bends. Unless this is resolved the rest is basically almost pointless.

Fix the bends and then upgrade the track to Wollongong to get faster speeds (140 -160). Welcome to the 21st century!
RTT_Rules

That would be ideal but if you think duplicating from Unanderra to Shellharbour station is expensive then what makes you think building a new tunnel won't be. A 25km tunnel or thereabouts. Would Gladys ever build such a thing for the DD network? Maybe if it was Metro.
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
There is about 10 stops Wollongong to Kiama, even if you missed all that's 5 - 8 min saved and half the stations you wouldn't skip.

I get the feeling we want to run a shuttle from Wollongong because it has Dock platforms. Because the 'gong station isn't an island, its actually messy and the Dock plats are of limited use in people management. An terminating train from south needs can access the Dock, but then needs to shunt back to the other dock to collect and depart. The best design I saw was Germany where the Dock was in the middle of a island platform. 2 car DMU arrive, 3-4m cross platform change into arriving spark train or VV on other side.

The old alignment was much straighter, you can see the old tunnels of different maps, it is almost direct. They changed it because loaded steamers like bends on steep hills. Today you have loaded coalies and grains trains going down grade, empties going up. Not sure if inter-modal and sparks with plenty of grunt. So its almost a none issue.

Upgrade to stations often incurs breaking any "grandfathering" of the existing design. So $1000 = $1M as DAA rules etc come into play.
RTT_Rules
The ideal timetable would be: Central, Sydenham, Wolli, Sutherland, Thirroul, Wollongong, Dapto, Oak Flats, Kiama, not sure what the exact time saved would be but it's all incremental time savings, no one thing is going to save you half hour, but small incremental changes will, as what @djf01 has said.
It would also allow D-Sets to do what they are designed to do and have suburban stock run all stop shuttles between Kiama- Thirroul, and Port Kembla-Stanwell Park

If only that German example was used at Revesby station (awful interchange), back to Wollongong, Kiama is the best interchange for reasons mentioned, but running to the Wollongong dock platforms would improve connectivity from Bomaderry.

Back in 2007 platforms were extended at Wickham and Civic, how much have DAA regulations changed since then? I know the platform at Adamstown was extended not long after lifts were installed, but I'm not sure if the two are related moves (no 10 carriage train should be stopping at Adamstown to begin with, it should be served by small suburban stock).
It would be more ideal if DAA regulations required an accessible station ever x km's as opposed to requiring every station to be accessible, they should know that a station without lifts is better than no station at all, this is probably the reason newer suburban lines are built with stations miles apart (with never enough parking) since stations are so expensive to build.

A new line would connect somewhere between Scarborough and Stanwell Park. A few of the older lightly used stations would be by-passed, however the road distance to Helensburgh is only a few minutes so minor inconvenience to a small number of people, major saving to greater Wollongong.
RTT_Rules
I doubt there would be any need to bypass stations, the stations were still served by the old alignment, although possible some in slightly different locations, most notable Stanwell Park which I heard use to be where Lawrence Hargrave Drive runs now.
Having the station located here again would probably increase patronage when combined with increased service frequency since the station would be more easily accessed compared to it's current location at the top of the hill.

All for what 1 train every 30min? Meanwhile we have single track on 15min timetables in suburban lines.
RTT_Rules
Where? the only single track suburban line is the Richmond branch as far as I know, which runs on a 30min timetable.


IMHO if the problems is attacked piecemeal, then the Gvt could spend $20b on the line and achieve nothing. But they could spend $2-3b and have a 60min service from Shellharbour to Sydney. (Whether that's a justifiable option in a post COVID world is another matter)
djf01
Might be justifiable in a post-Covid world as people might want to move out of Sydney but need to commute to a job they already have,
BUT it won't give Wollongong/Shellharbour residents new access to the Sydney labour market pre-Covid or post-Covid unless regulations are placed on employers, this is because employers don't like to hire people commuting from another city when they can hire locals, and in many cases, the applications of intercity commuters are often automatically rejected by software on the basis of address.
While regulations are needed regardless, and intercity rail needs speeding up, the best thing to do is create local labour markers and improve local public transport services.


The other solution is to put some new passing loops / stations / platforms at Kembla Grange, Penrose (between Dapto and Albion Park), Oak Flats, Minnamurra, Kiam Downs, Bombo, Gerringong and Berry.
simstrain
Might as well duplicate as it saves on the cost of junctions, in terms of new stations, I would nominate Figtree, Berkeley, Brownsville, Penrose (wonder how signage would differentiate it from the station on the Southern Highlands line), Yallah (which once did have a station until 1974), and Kiama Downs,
this would increase the need for a separate Sydney express and local shuttle.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The only future for the South Coast line is to fix the bends. Unless this is resolved the rest is basically almost pointless.

Fix the bends and then upgrade the track to Wollongong to get faster speeds (140 -160). Welcome to the 21st century!
RTT_Rules


That would be ideal but if you think duplicating from Unanderra to Shellharbour station is expensive then what makes you think building a new tunnel won't be. A 25km tunnel or thereabouts. Would Gladys ever build such a thing for the DD network? Maybe if it was Metro.
"simstrain"


A series of single track tunnels to connect Waterfall with the line south of the bends is around 12-13km. This would carry mostly full commuter trains and reasonable capacity out of peak and could likely justify $2-3B of investment.

Duplicating the section you refer to has carries much lower passenger levels to mostly small communities and does nothing to improve the overall south coast service to most users. Single tracks can successful handle 15-20min timetables, this line is barely 1h currently and its not single track causing this.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't know why, but the edit option in RP often don't come up so I'm just quoting Ethan below

"The ideal timetable would be: Central, Sydenham, Wolli, Sutherland, Thirroul, Wollongong, Dapto, Oak Flats, Kiama, not sure what the exact time saved would be but it's all incremental time savings, no one thing is going to save you half hour, but small incremental changes will, as what @djf01 has said.

It would also allow D-Sets to do what they are designed to do and have suburban stock run all stop shuttles between Kiama- Thirroul, and Port Kembla-Stanwell Park

If only that German example was used at Revesby station (awful interchange), back to Wollongong, Kiama is the best interchange for reasons mentioned, but running to the Wollongong dock platforms would improve connectivity from Bomaderry.

It would be more ideal if DAA regulations required an accessible station ever x km's as opposed to requiring every station to be accessible, they should know that a station without lifts is better than no station at all, this is probably the reason newer suburban lines are built with stations miles apart (with never enough parking) since stations are so expensive to build."

Why do we need a express to a small number of people? Express to the Gong, I understand, but from there on all stopper

The best thing to do with the Wollongong dock platforms is to fill them in so we stop feeling the need to use what is a very awkward arrangement. Revesby is far superior to Wollongong. Undadarra (barely), Dapto or Kiama are far superior connection stations.

I agree not every regional station should be DAA.

"I doubt there would be any need to bypass stations, the stations were still served by the old alignment, although possible some in slightly different locations, most notable Stanwell Park which I heard use to be where Lawrence Hargrave Drive runs now.
Having the station located here again would probably increase patronage when combined with increased service frequency since the station would be more easily accessed compared to it's current location at the top of the hill."

If a new direct tunnel is built the existing line stations nth of Stanwell Park apart from Helenburgh will be demolished as not required and impractical to service. Helenburgh is a short drive from most of their communities as the line tend to do a loop around them. You don't run trains that combined barely fill a bus with the daily traffic. Currently the line goes that way, so why not. If the line is diverted, no!

"Where? the only single track suburban line is the Richmond branch as far as I know, which runs on a 30min timetable"

There is more to life than Sydney, but OP line has a single platform terminus.

Munich runs 15min timetable to their airport on single track for last 5-10km. Brisbane is similar and the Sunshine coast line is also single track for much of the way. Then we have Melbourne.


All four of Sydney's interurban lines need major upgraded and modernisation of alignment. The South Coast line is by far the worst but ironically has huge potential for population growth and cheap housing and isn't that far from Sydney Central. Hence with an average speed of I think around 50km/h, I would start here and use as a test case of what benefits could be realised by a $3-4B investment over 3-4 years.
- Build the tunnel as discussed, yes it can be single track apart from Helensburgh station.
- Leave the existing line, also fix up some other issues nth of Wollongong station to get faster running.
- Consider duplication to Dapto.
- Quad sections in the suburban area to increase capacity nth of Sutherland.

Leave everything south of Dapto as is apart from already announced upgrades.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I agree that a non DDA station is better than no station.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


IMHO if the problems is attacked piecemeal, then the Gvt could spend $20b on the line and achieve nothing. But they could spend $2-3b and have a 60min service from Shellharbour to Sydney. (Whether that's a justifiable option in a post COVID world is another matter)
Might be justifiable in a post-Covid world as people might want to move out of Sydney but need to commute to a job they already have,
BUT it won't give Wollongong/Shellharbour residents new access to the Sydney labour market pre-Covid or post-Covid unless regulations are placed on employers, this is because employers don't like to hire people commuting from another city when they can hire locals, and in many cases, the applications of intercity commuters are often automatically rejected by software on the basis of address.
While regulations are needed regardless, and intercity rail needs speeding up, the best thing to do is create local labour markers and improve local public transport services.
Ethan1395

There might not be a Sydney labour market post COVID.

I would not be surprised that most on-site work ends up in large self-contained business parks, accessible only by road.  In which case, commuter railways will become an anachronism, and we might as well be arguing about updating the port facilities for the Sydney-Wollongong passenger steamship.

Don't get me wrong, the idea appals me, but ATM it looks like the best thing that could be done is to build a freeway from Bulli to Campbelltown & the new airport.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

...
Don't get me wrong, the idea appals me, but ATM it looks like the best thing that could be done is to build a freeway from Bulli to Campbelltown & the new airport.
djf01
Post COVID, we might be lucky to have just one airport, let alone 2 !!
  The Inevitable Looney Station Staff

...
Don't get me wrong, the idea appals me, but ATM it looks like the best thing that could be done is to build a freeway from Bulli to Campbelltown & the new airport.
Post COVID, we might be lucky to have just one airport, let alone 2 !!
djf01
Or duplicate and complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.  Quad Glenfield to Macarthur and run Sydney-Wollongong services stopping at Domestic, International, Wolli Creek, Revesby, Glenfield, Campbelltown, Macarthur, Wilton, Unanderra, Wollongong.  It would provide links to the Greater Western Sydney region, the airport, and take freight off the roads, take some freight off the Illawarra suburban lines, provide freight links from Port Kembla to Western Sydney etc.

It would give more benefits than a base tunnel under Helensburgh.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
An interesting development.  As you're on the spot tonyp, how many sets of the new Regional intercity fleet (3 cars) would be required to achieve this service frequency between Bomaderry and Kiama as outlined with the infrastructure upgrades?

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/kiama-to-bomaderry-project
Transtopic
For what they're talking about here, I guess two sets.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
An interesting development.  As you're on the spot tonyp, how many sets of the new Regional intercity fleet (3 cars) would be required to achieve this service frequency between Bomaderry and Kiama as outlined with the infrastructure upgrades?

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/kiama-to-bomaderry-project
For what they're talking about here, I guess two sets.
tonyp
That was my thought too.  I also overlooked the fact that a new platform is proposed at Bomaderry to allow one set to arrive and another depart which would obviously mean two sets operating, particularly to maintain a 30 minute frequency in the peak.  It begs the question, how will the rest of the Regional Intercity sets be allocated?  It doesn't seem to allow much room for any to be allocated to the Hunter Line, when there are likely to be six sets for the SHL and two sets for the Bathurst Bullet.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
...
Don't get me wrong, the idea appals me, but ATM it looks like the best thing that could be done is to build a freeway from Bulli to Campbelltown & the new airport.
Post COVID, we might be lucky to have just one airport, let alone 2 !!
djf01
Or duplicate and complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.  Quad Glenfield to Macarthur and run Sydney-Wollongong services stopping at Domestic, International, Wolli Creek, Revesby, Glenfield, Campbelltown, Macarthur, Wilton, Unanderra, Wollongong.  It would provide links to the Greater Western Sydney region, the airport, and take freight off the roads, take some freight off the Illawarra suburban lines, provide freight links from Port Kembla to Western Sydney etc.

It would give more benefits than a base tunnel under Helensburgh.
"The Inevitable Looney"


Is there any freight traffic for M-D link? Wasn't this the reason it was stopped?

The passenger traffic volumes via M-D would be insignificant.

How many passengers per day from the south coast need to go to the airport, regardless of airport? Surely changing trains if sufficient for the small numbers that need to. Running City, Mascot, Glenfield then via Leppington to Western Airport provides a fast simple connection at Wolli Creek for both airports.

Freight upgrades are a separate issue that are funded completely separately so no impact on proposed tunnel.

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