South Coast Railway Improvements

 
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

...
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 !!
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.


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.
RTT_Rules
Despite the spin, I'd suggest the main driver for the proposed Toolijooa passing loop is freight. If a doubling of passenger train paths is the desired outcome, this could be achieved most cost effectively by installing 2 sets of motorized points at Berry and 1 at Kiama.
       Constraints within the mill and on the network further north, mean it is likely that the new loop will be used as a staging point. With intermediate crossovers, the new loop could still be used with as a crossing location for DMUs.

Sponsored advertisement

  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I agree that a non DDA station is better than no station.
route14

No it isn't. Every new station needs to be DDA compliant.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.  
The Inevitable Looney

This won't happen. This line was designed for electric loco use and not diesels.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.  

This won't happen. This line was designed for electric loco use and not diesels.
simstrain
Designed in 1980's with only a tiny fraction of the ROW cleared and formed and part of one bridge built. There is no reason the revised project couldn't proceed today with diesel.
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
I agree that a non DDA station is better than no station.

No it isn't. Every new station needs to be DDA compliant.
simstrain
By legislation, yes.  By need, not necessarily.  Millions of dollars "in case"  it is required.
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.  

This won't happen. This line was designed for electric loco use and not diesels.
Designed in 1980's with only a tiny fraction of the ROW cleared and formed and part of one bridge built. There is no reason the revised project couldn't proceed today with diesel.
RTT_Rules
What a thoughtless statement! You have no idea at all.  Stick to playing games with your mobile/tablet.

No, the project would need to be completely redesigned and recosted for diesel motive power.  Locomotives and crews would suffer oxygen starvation when operating loaded or unloaded trains upgrade through the single bore tunnel from Dombarton to Maldon.  Trailing locos would shut down, crews could lose consciousness.

Bottom line - Freight haulage by diesel electric on the currently scoped Dombarton to Maldon project is not feasible.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

By legislation, yes.  By need, not necessarily.  Millions of dollars "in case"  it is required.
c3526blue

Wrong. Wheelchair uses are people as well. I'm sick and tired of hearing this argument about not needing it. Of course it needs it and disabled have a right to go to every station able bodied people can go. So get over it and stop talking about hindering the development of disabled access.

This is one area that none of you on here can come close to my experience on. My whole life I have had to deal with access for my father and uncles who are disabled. Not only that with my own back problems I would prefer to have a lift then a set of stairs to use. It is also so much easier for mothers with prams.

Every station needs a lift. There ain't no if's or buts.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Despite the spin, I'd suggest the main driver for the proposed Toolijooa passing loop is freight. If a doubling of passenger train paths is the desired outcome, this could be achieved most cost effectively by installing 2 sets of motorized points at Berry and 1 at Kiama.
       Constraints within the mill and on the network further north, mean it is likely that the new loop will be used as a staging point. With intermediate crossovers, the new loop could still be used with as a crossing location for DMUs.
You are correct. The continuing existence of the line is down to Manildra. Without that, it would have been closed and the passenger traffic handled by bus. Manildra is also the reason it won't be electrified. They won't accept any disruption to their operation from the extensive possession needed to lower and electrify the Omega tunnels. The best hope for a future better service is these new electro-diesel trains and the potential for through running without that wait at Kiama.

On the subject of disability access I'm with you Simstrain. That's required by law and is non-negotiable. It's also worth pointing out that disability is more than wheelchairs. It's estimated that some 20% of the population has some form of mobility impairment. That covers a whole range of issues including eyesight and elderly or infirm people who are unable to use stairs. Some people need to move on from stale old arguments. Many people would not be aware of the enormous relief that the metro has brought for rail users with mobility issues. The issue is the ability for unassisted stepless access all the way from the street to onboard the train and then inside the train. You can add air travellers with suitcases to that too!

On the subject of which, a hypothetical solution, yet not so far fetched.... The future rail plan includes a metro line via KSA and Rockdale to Miranda. The metro is characterised by high average speeds, similar to those of the Perth trains. Now, the only way you're going to reliably straighten out those curves south of Waterfall is to head for solid rock east of the scree slopes and mine workings and that will be right at the edge of the sea around Coalcliff. The road has adopted this solution, but above the surface. The railway would be tunnelled. The distance to Wollongong from Sydney if the Miranda metro line were extended there would be 70 km (10 km shorter than the south coast rail line), the same as the length of the Mandurah line in Perth. It would be a virtually straight line, express from Miranda to Thirroul, then University of Wollongong, then Wollongong.

The Mandurah trip takes 50 minutes with ten intermediate stops. I estimate this Wollongong metro would take the same time, with slightly less stops. Fifty minutes to Wollongong from Sydney is robustly less than any alternative proposal to date. In fact it's so quick, you could simply run those electro-diesels from Bomaderry to Wollongong/Thirroul only and change trains to a very fast and frequent service (potentially every two to four minutes). You could still extend the Waterfall train services (apart from freight of course) down the old line to connect the towns between Waterfall and Wollongong, but the big issue for those from UOW southwards to Nowra - and probably most of the patronage demand - is the trip to Sydney.

I'll now await the reaction, particularly from Transtopic Smile
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
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
They should order such trains for Wollongong and Newcastle suburban services, and also for Olympic Park services, these services do not need DD rolling stock - oh how I cringe when I see an 8 carriage Waratah on Lidcombe Platform 0 (and then also need to cram into a crowded 4 carriage Cumberland service the next day).

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 [b]@djf01[/b] 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.


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

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.

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!

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.
RTT_Rules
What were timetables like in the South Coast before, I have childhood memories of catching a V-Set from Corrimal to Kiama and return, obviously this is not possible anymore as there are almost no direct trains between those two stations as the former is only served by suburban locals - was this train I remember catching a local service which just happened to be a V-set? that's not impossible since I saw an old video of a V-set running a Newcastle suburban service (terminating in the old Toronto platform at Fassifern).
I have also seen pictures of suburban stock at Dapto and Kiama, was there once a separate express and local on the line? or did trains from Sydney never go to Kiama with that stretch of line only being served by local trains? or was someone crazy enough to run a suburban silver set from Sydney to Kiama?

I briefly mentioned Revesby because it's the station that could do with a single track dual platform terminus in the middle, weekday timetables make it irrelevant with a ridiculous 12 minute transfer time, weekend timetables give a 0 minute transfer time, that's fine going from platform 1 to 2 or 3 to 4, not so much if going from 1 to 3 or 4 to 2 - all this leads to an awful interchange.
Although the single platform would only work if they could figure out a way to not use two tracks at a time when terminating trains.

Not even every suburban station needs to be DAA, although they should be, if it comes down to liftless station vs no station, the same principle applies, I suspect part of the reason why stations are so far apart on the North and South west rail links (with a flawed focus on park and ride instead of walkablity) is because stations cost so much to build).
Most of the stations on the South Coast line may have even been built originally as suburban stations, but due to Sydney-centric transportation, they are classified as regional or intercity stations.

Regarding stations north of Stanwell Park, Stanwell Park itself would be rebuilt in it's original location since it's justifiable, Ottford you couldn't justify serving on a new alignment but I think it's actually on the old alignment so closure is not necessary, and Helensburgh would once again be rebuilt in it's original location - so probably no station closures necessary unless the new alignment branches off before Coalcliff.

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
I doubt that will happen, the Spanish Flu never caused anything like that, if anything there will be a greater demand for public transport as people will have less money and all of a sudden one family owning 4 to 5 cars will no longer be practical.

By legislation, yes.  By need, not necessarily.  Millions of dollars "in case"  it is required.
Wrong. Wheelchair uses are people as well. I'm sick and tired of hearing this argument about not needing it. Of course it needs it and disabled have a right to go to every station able bodied people can go. So get over it and stop talking about hindering the development of disabled access.

This is one area that none of you on here can come close to my experience on. My whole life I have had to deal with access for my father and uncles who are disabled. Not only that with my own back problems I would prefer to have a lift then a set of stairs to use. It is also so much easier for mothers with prams.

Every station needs a lift. There ain't no if's or buts.
simstrain
I agree every station needs a lift, I have a grandmother in a wheelchair who is also unable to get in and out of cars, I myself have carried many crazy things on trains and buses prior to getting my licence, and there have been times I have been exhausted and grunted climbing the stairs,
BUT when it comes down to choosing between a station with no lift, or no station at all, what do you choose?

People who don't/can't drive are also people too, and I suspect (although happy to be proven wrong) that new stations requiring lifts by law is partially the reason that stations on newer lines are built so far apart with a focus on park and ride, completely screwing over people who don't/can't drive and half defeating the purpose of public transport (since a car is a pre-requisite to using it) and even screwing over people who do drive but start work at 9:00pm or later when the station car park is completely full.

Sure one can catch a bus to station, but that doubles travel time, and may not even be an option depending on the time someone needs to travel.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I would prefer no station at all then a new station with no lift. There should be buses that fill in the gaps to the stations and so take a bus to the station instead of driving. The costs of the lifts is nothing at all to do with why stations are built further apart. The problem with modern station costs especially those new metro stations is nothing to do with lifts but the extravagance of the modern new station built by this current government.

Schofields in Sydney and Shell Harbour station on the south coast are the newest non metro stations built and look at them. The cost of the lifts is not why those stations are so expensive. Birrong is currently getting an upgrade although I'm not sure how much that will cost but I believe it will be significantly cheaper then those 2 stations.
  WimbledonW Train Controller

Location: Sydney
What is gradient through Dombarton tunnel?
How long is it?
Is it diesel friendly?
Ideally it should be nearly level, just sloping enough to drain water from it.
Remember Cascade tunnel in USA! Built too steep and had to be replaced, and more.
If necessary move the junction up the hill to flatten the grade.
The diesels should be working at minimum power  to keep fumes as low as possible.
Diesels can work flat out on the 1 in 30 grade in the open outside the tunnel.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney

On the subject of which, a hypothetical solution, yet not so far fetched.... The future rail plan includes a metro line via KSA and Rockdale to Miranda. The metro is characterised by high average speeds, similar to those of the Perth trains. Now, the only way you're going to reliably straighten out those curves south of Waterfall is to head for solid rock east of the scree slopes and mine workings and that will be right at the edge of the sea around Coalcliff. The road has adopted this solution, but above the surface. The railway would be tunnelled. The distance to Wollongong from Sydney if the Miranda metro line were extended there would be 70 km (10 km shorter than the south coast rail line), the same as the length of the Mandurah line in Perth. It would be a virtually straight line, express from Miranda to Thirroul, then University of Wollongong, then Wollongong.

The Mandurah trip takes 50 minutes with ten intermediate stops. I estimate this Wollongong metro would take the same time, with slightly less stops. Fifty minutes to Wollongong from Sydney is robustly less than any alternative proposal to date. In fact it's so quick, you could simply run those electro-diesels from Bomaderry to Wollongong/Thirroul only and change trains to a very fast and frequent service (potentially every two to four minutes). You could still extend the Waterfall train services (apart from freight of course) down the old line to connect the towns between Waterfall and Wollongong, but the big issue for those from UOW southwards to Nowra - and probably most of the patronage demand - is the trip to Sydney.

I'll now await the reaction, particularly from Transtopic Smile
tonyp
Yes, you're quite correct Tony, it is a hypothetical solution and it's also far fetched.  Why on earth would you duplicate the existing SCO Line with a metro, presumably underground, when there are far more cost effective solutions to improve the line?  It would be a total misallocation of resources.

I know it's your hobby horse of how much faster a rapid transit service (call it metro or whatever) is than the current system, but you continually neglect to acknowledge that the new Sydney Trains and Intercity rolling stock has similar capability to the metro trains in both acceleration/deceleration performance and maximum speed, but hasn't been able to fully utilise it.  The progressive introduction of ATO across the network together with track upgrades will enable existing trains to fully utilise their specified capability.  You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater to achieve significant improvements.

Somehow, I don't think SCO commuters would warm to the concept of a train service with far fewer seats for longer distance journeys, even if it may be marginally faster and it's not cost effective to run more metro trains just to match the number of seats on a DD service.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Somehow, I don't think SCO commuters would warm to the concept of a train service with far fewer seats for longer distance journeys, even if it may be marginally faster and it's not cost effective to run more metro trains just to match the number of seats on a DD service.
As I've said many times before, seating comfort is a factor of journey time, not distance. We're not talking about long distance journeys, we're talking about long journey time journeys.

How do you know what south coast commuters would think? From Wollongong they presently spend 90 minutes on the train, often standing all the way (and will probably more so on the NIFs that have less seats). If you offered them trains with less seats but more frequently and taking only 50 minutes, do you seriously think they would knock that back just for the sake of upholding a traditional theory of how train services should be structured?

Wollongong is effectively now part of the greater Sydney conurbation and needs to be fully integrated into its commuter systems. The steadily growing greater Wollongong population is now approaching 300,000, with a further 100,000 in Shoalhaven contributing to the commuting population. Due to the poor journey time performance of the railway, the transport solution for the region is becoming consolidated as a car-based one. This is not going to have any chance of being challenged by a rail journey longer than 1 hour to Wollongong and 2 hours to Nowra at the absolute outside. So if anybody has an alternative cost-effective answer to this, go ahead. This is the bottom line for any discussion about the rail.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Somehow, I don't think SCO commuters would warm to the concept of a train service with far fewer seats for longer distance journeys, even if it may be marginally faster and it's not cost effective to run more metro trains just to match the number of seats on a DD service.
As I've said many times before, seating comfort is a factor of journey time, not distance. We're not talking about long distance journeys, we're talking about long journey time journeys.

How do you know what south coast commuters would think? From Wollongong they presently spend 90 minutes on the train, often standing all the way (and will probably more so on the NIFs that have less seats). If you offered them trains with less seats but more frequently and taking only 50 minutes, do you seriously think they would knock that back just for the sake of upholding a traditional theory of how train services should be structured?

Wollongong is effectively now part of the greater Sydney conurbation and needs to be fully integrated into its commuter systems. The steadily growing greater Wollongong population is now approaching 300,000, with a further 100,000 in Shoalhaven contributing to the commuting population. Due to the poor journey time performance of the railway, the transport solution for the region is becoming consolidated as a car-based one. This is not going to have any chance of being challenged by a rail journey longer than 1 hour to Wollongong and 2 hours to Nowra at the absolute outside. So if anybody has an alternative cost-effective answer to this, go ahead. This is the bottom line for any discussion about the rail.
tonyp
Some years back my wife & I had a shortish holiday in Hong Kong, we flew in to the airport and caught a metro style train into the city where there was an interchange, from memory the journey was around 30 minutes in a train that had what we would deem as normal seating, at the interchange we had a short walk to a normal metro type service that had large boards showing the various lines from this connection, all of those what I call normal metro's with mostly standing room owing to the side saddle seating ran on shorter lines around the various areas of Hong Kong.

The interchange worked well and our metro service to HK Island and to the location of our hotel was quick and quite good. On our second day we did a tour that was close to the China border but on the way, we saw another train that was the same as the airport service heading out of Hong Kong to a place called Butterfly Beach, that journey would be much longer than the airport short section but uses the same type of trains, and all had drivers, and a conductor/guard for the doors at each stop.

The aspect that I see in this debate is how the current state government is pushing their theories as to what should have whether or not its the best option. Like the second line to Butterfly Beach, which is a large U shaped journey that provides a regular service to several communities, that in certain respects resembles the Sydney -- Cronulla line, only the HK one is longer and it goes under a high mountain through a tunnel. Once on the other side of the mountains there is a lot of densely populated areas along most of the line, this is something that does not apply in this country, owing to state and population needs.

What is the cost of building the new metro proposal of yours? If I read correctly it proposes a line from the Illawarra line that would go across Botany Bay, by tunnel I presume, connect to a station on the Cronulla line and then go direct to Thiroul, ((correct me where I am wrong)) that provides for a non stop service which sounds great and sure the passengers many of whom would have to stand for most of the way for close to an hour or more, akin to a sardine can one would think.  Again at what cost and likely a great supporter of this proposal would come from the current state government and transport minister whose dream is to have no crews on any trains in the suburban/interurban area.

The option that would allow for the old alignment to be resurected would cost far less and provide for a TT to be not much longer than your proposal and far cheaper at that, but it certainly would not be cheap either, although it could well be staged construction, firstly from Waterfall to Helensburgh.  The next project would be the most expensive but in the main a pretty much straight run from Helensburgh to north of Wombarah then connect to the main line.

The best option would be to build a new station at Helensburgh on the Eastern side of the existing station with a lift connection between the two stations, allows for passengers to change to a connecting all stations services between there and Thiroul.

Cost is always a hindrance to new projects, but bein able to utilise as much of the existing infrastructure would make a lot of difference.

While each of the various governments have financial constraints owing to the current virus problems, such planning and commencement of these projects through to completion will create a lot of short and long term jobs and open up a lot more areas for residences.
  Cubologist Station Staff

What is gradient through Dombarton tunnel?
How long is it?
Is it diesel friendly?
Ideally it should be nearly level, just sloping enough to drain water from it.
Remember Cascade tunnel in USA! Built too steep and had to be replaced, and more.
If necessary move the junction up the hill to flatten the grade.
The diesels should be working at minimum power  to keep fumes as low as possible.
Diesels can work flat out on the 1 in 30 grade in the open outside the tunnel.
WimbledonW
1:30 gradient and 4km long.
Not practically diesel friendly (look at Ulan #3), intended for electric locomotives
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
What is the cost of building the new metro proposal of yours? If I read correctly it proposes a line from the Illawarra line that would go across Botany Bay, by tunnel I presume, connect to a station on the Cronulla line and then go direct to Thiroul, ((correct me where I am wrong)) that provides for a non stop service which sounds great and sure the passengers many of whom would have to stand for most of the way for close to an hour or more, akin to a sardine can one would think.  Again at what cost and likely a great supporter of this proposal would come from the current state government and transport minister whose dream is to have no crews on any trains in the suburban/interurban area.

The option that would allow for the old alignment to be resurected would cost far less and provide for a TT to be not much longer than your proposal and far cheaper at that, but it certainly would not be cheap either, although it could well be staged construction, firstly from Waterfall to Helensburgh.  The next project would be the most expensive but in the main a pretty much straight run from Helensburgh to north of Wombarah then connect to the main line.

The best option would be to build a new station at Helensburgh on the Eastern side of the existing station with a lift connection between the two stations, allows for passengers to change to a connecting all stations services between there and Thiroul.

Cost is always a hindrance to new projects, but bein able to utilise as much of the existing infrastructure would make a lot of difference.

While each of the various governments have financial constraints owing to the current virus problems, such planning and commencement of these projects through to completion will create a lot of short and long term jobs and open up a lot more areas for residences.
a6et
In the Sydney Future Rail Plan, there is already a metro line from the city via the airport to Rockdale and then straight down to Miranda where it terminates (see map below). My suggestion is to continue this line virtually in a straight line south to Wollongong, with stations at Thirroul, University of Wollongong and Wollongong. The line would be fairly deep underground at the coastal edge around Coalcliff but an underground station might be possible at Stanwell Park. The relative lack of stations means that it's mainly a simple tunnel bore which would reduce the cost substantially. I'm not talking about replacing the existing line which would remain for freight and local passenger connections to Waterfall (though buses may be able to handle the latter too).

I'm talking about a journey of about 50 minutes, not an hour or more. This service would also enable many more trains per hour which means more seats per hour, which would offset the loss of seats on a simple train per train calculation. If somebody had to stand the whole way, 50 minutes is a hell of a lot better than 90 minutes. Anyway, I'm just throwing this into the discussion pool as an example of what's possible. I'm open to any other suggestion that brings the south coast journey time under 2 hours. Any longer than that, frankly it's not worth considering.

Edit: I'd add two issues to the above that are very attractive propositions for south coast commuters. One is that a direct line via the airport (rather than having to change at Wolli Ck) would be greatly valued on the south coast. The other is that Westfield Miranda is often cited on the south coast as the nearest Sydney shopping centre where "you can get the things you can't get in Wollongong". There is a lot of both interaction and population movement between The Shire and the south coast and that direct line would be a magnet. Changing to a branch line to the Shire or to the Airport on top of an already slower journey is a turnoff - better to just drive. Sutherland and Wolli Creek are off the line of demand.


  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.  

This won't happen. This line was designed for electric loco use and not diesels.
Designed in 1980's with only a tiny fraction of the ROW cleared and formed and part of one bridge built. There is no reason the revised project couldn't proceed today with diesel.
What a thoughtless statement! You have no idea at all.  Stick to playing games with your mobile/tablet.

No, the project would need to be completely redesigned and recosted for diesel motive power.  Locomotives and crews would suffer oxygen starvation when operating loaded or unloaded trains upgrade through the single bore tunnel from Dombarton to Maldon.  Trailing locos would shut down, crews could lose consciousness.

Bottom line - Freight haulage by diesel electric on the currently scoped Dombarton to Maldon project is not feasible.
c3526blue
So, have you been in the Otira tunnel (previously converted from spark to diesel after 80 years of electric traction), have you spoken to the drivers that operate diesels on many daily loaded coalies on a facing grade of 1:33 7.5 km long which also operates a daily return passenger service with observation cars??? This tunnel makes makes the proposed tunnel on the D-M line look like drive through garage.

Fortunately I have so to bring some commonsense back to the subject without poorly thought out assumptions. Yes the line can be built as per the original alignment and grades with changes to the way the tunnel ventilation system works, all for a fraction of the price of building 30km of specialised over head for a nation that runs only diesel SG trains.

Bottom line - it can be done, the project was again revisited during the Howard years and completed re-costed for diesel only operation, I believe the project cost was around $600M to start from the partly finished works and open the line. I'm sure if you go to Google you will find the study.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
By legislation, yes.  By need, not necessarily.  Millions of dollars "in case"  it is required.

Wrong. Wheelchair uses are people as well. I'm sick and tired of hearing this argument about not needing it. Of course it needs it and disabled have a right to go to every station able bodied people can go. So get over it and stop talking about hindering the development of disabled access.

This is one area that none of you on here can come close to my experience on. My whole life I have had to deal with access for my father and uncles who are disabled. Not only that with my own back problems I would prefer to have a lift then a set of stairs to use. It is also so much easier for mothers with prams.

Every station needs a lift. There ain't no if's or buts.
simstrain
Not quite, you cannot justify $1m's of infrastructure for stations that handle only small numbers per day.

Yes, very suburban station should be DAA, but expectations that platforms at stations with less than say 100 people per day no. Other criteria would also include proximity to other stations. For example Tascott station on the Central coast is less than 1km from the larger Point Claire station.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I would prefer no station at all then a new station with no lift. There should be buses that fill in the gaps to the stations and so take a bus to the station instead of driving. The costs of the lifts is nothing at all to do with why stations are built further apart. The problem with modern station costs especially those new metro stations is nothing to do with lifts but the extravagance of the modern new station built by this current government.

Schofields in Sydney and Shell Harbour station on the south coast are the newest non metro stations built and look at them. The cost of the lifts is not why those stations are so expensive. Birrong is currently getting an upgrade although I'm not sure how much that will cost but I believe it will be significantly cheaper then those 2 stations.
simstrain
So what you are saying is 80-90% of the population has to suffer due to the minority? Most of which are not work commuters.

Buses are less mobility friendly than trains unless built as such.

Side by side platforms needs 2 lifts plus a bridge, non of this will happen for less than $5-10m plus ongoing maintenance. Those other stations were built for large numbers of users.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Not quite, you cannot justify $1m's of infrastructure for stations that handle only small numbers per day.

Yes, very suburban station should be DAA, but expectations that platforms at stations with less than say 100 people per day no. Other criteria would also include proximity to other stations. For example Tascott station on the Central coast is less than 1km from the larger Point Claire station.
RTT_Rules
You can't build a non-compliant station by law nowadays. No compliance, no station. That's the end of the story. I would add to the discussion, however, that not every station might need a lift. Single track side platforms, for example, may already have level access or may only need a ramp.

As things stand, commuter buses nowadays are more accessible than Sydney suburban/interurban train services. Provided the condition of the stop is OK, you can wheel straight onto a bus via the bus's own ramp. On suburban and interurban trains you need staff to bring a separate ramp to assist. The metro is a different story - fully compliant.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
What is gradient through Dombarton tunnel?
How long is it?
Is it diesel friendly?
Ideally it should be nearly level, just sloping enough to drain water from it.
Remember Cascade tunnel in USA! Built too steep and had to be replaced, and more.
If necessary move the junction up the hill to flatten the grade.
The diesels should be working at minimum power  to keep fumes as low as possible.
Diesels can work flat out on the 1 in 30 grade in the open outside the tunnel.
1:30 gradient and 4km long.
Not practically diesel friendly (look at Ulan #3), intended for electric locomotives
Cubologist
It can be, there are options.
  WimbledonW Train Controller

Location: Sydney
What is gradient through Dombarton tunnel?
How long is it?
Is it diesel friendly?
Ideally it should be nearly level, just sloping enough to drain water from it.
Remember Cascade tunnel in USA! Built too steep and had to be replaced, and more.
If necessary move the junction up the hill towards Summit Tank to flatten the grade in the tunnel.
The diesels should be working at minimum power  to keep fumes as low as possible.
Diesels can work flat out on the 1 in 30 grade in the open outside the tunnel.
1:30 gradient and 4km long.
Not practically diesel friendly (look at Ulan #3), intended for electric locomotives
It can be, there are options.
RTT_Rules
Which end of the tunnel is higher, the Maldon end or the Unanderra end?

How far below the surface is the tunnel? This would affect the provision of ventilation shafts ?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
What is gradient through Dombarton tunnel?
How long is it?
Is it diesel friendly?
Ideally it should be nearly level, just sloping enough to drain water from it.
Remember Cascade tunnel in USA! Built too steep and had to be replaced, and more.
If necessary move the junction up the hill towards Summit Tank to flatten the grade in the tunnel.
The diesels should be working at minimum power  to keep fumes as low as possible.
Diesels can work flat out on the 1 in 30 grade in the open outside the tunnel.
1:30 gradient and 4km long.
Not practically diesel friendly (look at Ulan #3), intended for electric locomotives
It can be, there are options.
Which end of the tunnel is higher, the Maldon end or the Unanderra end?

How far below the surface is the tunnel? This would affect the provision of ventilation shafts ?
WimbledonW
I'm only assuming, but don't know that the Maldon end is higher being the line is headed to the sea.

Height isn't an issue for ventilation shafts, the mining industry are experts at installing much deeper ventilation shafts than this much deeper than what this hill will be and the hill in NZ above the Otira is very big to look at.

Otira if I recall the door is closed behind the train going up hill. and the draft is applied from near the door. So the train is basically driving into a head wind. 5 engines, but not big as SG in Oz. Drivers carry gas masks and trained to use them and all the drivers (there are 2, one for the train and one for the two banking locos due to the grade in the tunnel which get cut off at the  station just out of the tunnel), ride in the lead cab which is gas sealed. I am not aware of the fire rescue plan. If the Maldon tunnel was completed these days you may likely require a parallel escape tunnel, although if the line isn't regularly used by pax trains, maybe not????

In UK, we hired a canal boat and went through a tunnel 4km long. Same principle. The fans were above the entrance, as all the boats went into the tunnel the doors closed behind us and we spent the next 45min driving in the dark (apart from boat lights) into a head wind through a tunnel so short that I couldn't safely stand up in the back of the boat, I had to sit and steer the til. (we were reminded by the tunnel operator a guy was killed by the changing roof height) and it was only 0.5m or so wider than the boat so it bounced off the sides, alot. We were the 2nd boat, so I could only just get a minor smell of fumes from boat in front, very very minor. I think the limit is 4 boats at a time for this reason. Only PPE was life-jackets to be worn by all, because even though at adult can stand in the canal, they life jacket is orange so easily see with lights if you fall out.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
The Dombarton tunnel falls about 40 metres from west to east. The tunnel is somewhere between 4-5 km long from memory.

Sounds like somebody else has also been through Harecastle canal tunnel in UK. After a while you're halucinating and thinking you're going uphill. Best holiday though.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

So what you are saying is 80-90% of the population has to suffer due to the minority? Most of which are not work commuters.

Buses are less mobility friendly than trains unless built as such.

Side by side platforms needs 2 lifts plus a bridge, non of this will happen for less than $5-10m plus ongoing maintenance. Those other stations were built for large numbers of users.
RTT_Rules

Correct. If disabled persons can't access the new station it should never get built. To assume that most disabled persons are not work commuters is the sort of discrimination disabled people deal with all the time.

All buses in Sydney have wheelchair access and are no less or more mobility friendly then the Sydney train system. If anything they are better because the buses can kneel to make it easier to get on and off. This is not possible on Sydney trains which means there is still quite a steep ramp to get on to a train at platforms. Metro obviously doesn't suffer from this issue.

$5-10 million (not that the lifts actually cost that much) is not really that much when you consider how much those new stations cost to build overall. All stations are built to handle large numbers of users and it isn't just those who are fully disabled that benefit. Elderly, people with prams, temporarily disabled (broken leg or someone on crutches) all benefit from having the lifts in place.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: