High speed rail an 'economic game changer' for Wagga, Labor leader Albanese says

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 14 Sep 2020 11:59
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There is no freight curfew between Sydney and Melbourne and the moorebank intermodal is open and has some decent sized clients like Target.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There is no freight curfew between Sydney and Melbourne and the moorebank intermodal is open and has some decent sized clients like Target.
simstrain
Yes, there will be very little if any change in the traffic south out of Sydney and what small amounts are lost to the Inland will likely be recovered due to less congestion at peak (freight) times.

The big change is traffic north. Last I heard the Syd - Brisbane component of rail traffic into Brisbane was very low, something like 10% or lower due to a combination of factors including the curfew and congestion at peak times. Most of the traffic to Brisbane is from Mel or points west going via Sydney with much of this going via Parkes post Inland. The Mel traffic will get a faster run to Brisbane and expected to double.

The question is with the bulk of the BNE traffic via Sydney removed from the NSW NCL which is the bulk of the freight on the line, how much will be recovered due to open slots and capacity on current services?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Not only that but if you only have to push a 600 metre train instead of 1500 metres then you could probably get away with only a single loco although there maybe a stipulation to have 2. If you do have to use 2 loco's then they will probably less stressed as well. The other thing is that Sydney to Brisbane traffic could head south to connect with the north bound melbourne to brisbane traffic and vice versa. I'm not saying this will be the case just that it becomes a possibility and so you still could get similar traffic as now between Sydney and Melbourne.

Qube with it's multiple intermodal / logistics centres in Sydney are also more likely to continue running to Sydney. PN with it's inland hub at Parkes and SCT are more likely to use the inland.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Not only that but if you only have to push a 600 metre train instead of 1500 metres then you could probably get away with only a single loco although there maybe a stipulation to have 2. If you do have to use 2 loco's then they will probably less stressed as well. The other thing is that Sydney to Brisbane traffic could head south to connect with the north bound melbourne to brisbane traffic and vice versa. I'm not saying this will be the case just that it becomes a possibility and so you still could get similar traffic as now between Sydney and Melbourne.

Qube with it's multiple intermodal / logistics centres in Sydney are also more likely to continue running to Sydney. PN with it's inland hub at Parkes and SCT are more likely to use the inland.
simstrain
I don't understand the logic that suggests Sydney to Brisbane freight will head south (and west) to connect with northbound Melbourne to Brisbane traffic (presumably at Parkes), when there is a more direct and faster route via the North Coast Line. It doesn't make sense.  I find it hard to believe that the bulk of freight traffic is between Melbourne and Brisbane, with Sydney to Brisbane traffic and vice versa being only a minor component.  I think that the suggestion that freight forwarders to and from Sydney will use Inland Rail is grossly over-hyped.

The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program which has been partly completed on the Northern Line between North Strathfield and Hornsby has allowed a significant increase in freight traffic.  The next stage which is now subject to a finalisation of the business case, will complete quadruplication of the Northern Line between North Strathfield and Epping and triplication between Epping and Hornsby on the heavier grades in the Down direction.  This will allow for even more freight paths and possibly the elimination of the current freight curfew in peak hours.  It is expected to be completed within the next decade.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Not only that but if you only have to push a 600 metre train instead of 1500 metres then you could probably get away with only a single loco although there maybe a stipulation to have 2. If you do have to use 2 loco's then they will probably less stressed as well. The other thing is that Sydney to Brisbane traffic could head south to connect with the north bound melbourne to brisbane traffic and vice versa. I'm not saying this will be the case just that it becomes a possibility and so you still could get similar traffic as now between Sydney and Melbourne.

Qube with it's multiple intermodal / logistics centres in Sydney are also more likely to continue running to Sydney. PN with it's inland hub at Parkes and SCT are more likely to use the inland.
I don't understand the logic that suggests Sydney to Brisbane freight will head south (and west) to connect with northbound Melbourne to Brisbane traffic (presumably at Parkes), when there is a more direct and faster route via the North Coast Line. It doesn't make sense.  I find it hard to believe that the bulk of freight traffic is between Melbourne and Brisbane, with Sydney to Brisbane traffic and vice versa being only a minor component.  I think that the suggestion that freight forwarders to and from Sydney will use Inland Rail is grossly over-hyped.

The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program which has been partly completed on the Northern Line between North Strathfield and Hornsby has allowed a significant increase in freight traffic.  The next stage which is now subject to a finalisation of the business case, will complete quadruplication of the Northern Line between North Strathfield and Epping and triplication between Epping and Hornsby on the heavier grades in the Down direction.  This will allow for even more freight paths and possibly the elimination of the current freight curfew in peak hours.  It is expected to be completed within the next decade.
Transtopic
Traffic from Sydney to Brisbane will only head of the NCL, a 700 - 800km deviation for what is a 950km route just doesn't make it sense.

Just because Qube is there doesn't mean they won't change if it works for them.

"I find it hard to believe that the bulk of freight traffic is between Melbourne and Brisbane, with Sydney to Brisbane traffic and vice versa being only a minor component."

Its true!

Freight forwarders for Mel- Bne traffic will switch to a faster and likely cheaper route and the original forecasts were that currently rail has 30% of the traffic flow and this could rise to 55-60% via the Inland, so you won't get this growth on the NCL as otherwise it would be there now.

Hopefully the NSFL not only saves the current freight but encourages more.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I was thinking along the lines of time rather then distance and I did say it was a possibility and not necessarily what will happen. If the time taken is shorter then it can become a viable option to take that path rather then the north coast. Improvements to the north coast line would obviously negate this issue.

The northern sydney freight corridor was just a name that Sydney trains used to get the feds to fund a rail project in Sydney that is more about improving passenger rail services then it is for any increase in freight movement. The interstate rail freight numbers before the pandemic were no better after the opening of the freight corridor.

What it does allow is to move intercity and limited stop services around all stoppers. Stage 2 will make this even more so and will not remove the freight curfews once introduced. In fact it is more likely that we will see your 160km/h D sets and new regional train on here after these upgrades are completed.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I was thinking along the lines of time rather then distance and I did say it was a possibility and not necessarily what will happen. If the time taken is shorter then it can become a viable option to take that path rather then the north coast. Improvements to the north coast line would obviously negate this issue.

The northern sydney freight corridor was just a name that Sydney trains used to get the feds to fund a rail project in Sydney that is more about improving passenger rail services then it is for any increase in freight movement. The interstate rail freight numbers before the pandemic were no better after the opening of the freight corridor.

What it does allow is to move intercity and limited stop services around all stoppers. Stage 2 will make this even more so and will not remove the freight curfews once introduced. In fact it is more likely that we will see your 160km/h D sets and new regional train on here after these upgrades are completed.
simstrain
800km is 10h by freight train via the south line and Inland, the curfew isn't 10h long. However time is one aspect, paying nearly double the cost is another and therefore if time is an issue, meet Mr Truck!
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I was thinking along the lines of time rather then distance and I did say it was a possibility and not necessarily what will happen. If the time taken is shorter then it can become a viable option to take that path rather then the north coast. Improvements to the north coast line would obviously negate this issue.

The northern sydney freight corridor was just a name that Sydney trains used to get the feds to fund a rail project in Sydney that is more about improving passenger rail services then it is for any increase in freight movement. The interstate rail freight numbers before the pandemic were no better after the opening of the freight corridor.

What it does allow is to move intercity and limited stop services around all stoppers. Stage 2 will make this even more so and will not remove the freight curfews once introduced. In fact it is more likely that we will see your 160km/h D sets and new regional train on here after these upgrades are completed.
800km is 10h by freight train via the south line and Inland, the curfew isn't 10h long. However time is one aspect, paying nearly double the cost is another and therefore if time is an issue, meet Mr Truck!
RTT_Rules

I was thinking to a rail yard 450km's north at Junee rather then Melbourne.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

I was thinking to a rail yard 450km's north at Junee rather then Melbourne.
simstrain
If you head south 400km, then turn west and then head north to Brisbane, then logic states that the extra distance is around 800km more.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


I was thinking to a rail yard 450km's north at Junee rather then Melbourne.
If you head south 400km, then turn west and then head north to Brisbane, then logic states that the extra distance is around 800km more.
RTT_Rules
Distance wise yes you are correct but what about time wise. XPT is over 13 hours let alone freight and with freight you have to take in to account the 3-4 hour curfews plus delays and congestion. It might take more distance but the time is probably very similar. I'm also not suggesting this will be the case just that it is a possibility.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

I was thinking to a rail yard 450km's north at Junee rather then Melbourne.If you head south 400km, then turn west and then head north to Brisbane, then logic states that the extra distance is around 800km more.
Distance wise yes you are correct but what about time wise. XPT is over 13 hours let alone freight and with freight you have to take in to account the 3-4 hour curfews plus delays and congestion. It might take more distance but the time is probably very similar. I'm also not suggesting this will be the case just that it is a possibility.
simstrain
Lets be clear.

No one is going to pay the cost to put something on rail for another 8 hours travelling time. If the freight can wait, ie cost sensitive and not time sensitive) for the window to the NCL to open, it will if not (ie time sensitive) it will be headed up the Pacific Highway.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The northern sydney freight corridor was just a name that Sydney trains used to get the feds to fund a rail project in Sydney that is more about improving passenger rail services then it is for any increase in freight movement. The interstate rail freight numbers before the pandemic were no better after the opening of the freight corridor.
simstrain
That's total bulls**t.  Where on earth did you get that idea from?

It's called the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program for a reason and why the Feds are jointly funding it with the NSW Government.  The first stage, which was the Third Track from Epping to Thornleigh on the 1 in 40 grades, has almost doubled the freight capacity on the line as Northern Line Suburban and Intercity passenger services can overtake the slower freight trains on the steep grades.  The Third Track, which is electrified, is also used by Intercity and Regional services to overtake all stations Suburban services.  Coal trains from Lithgow to Newcastle and return, usually hauled by 4 x 82 class locos, are now a regular feature on the line together with an increase in intermodal traffic to and from Northern NSW and Brisbane.  I watch them every day and can hear them through the night.

Stage 2, which will complete quadruplication between North Strathfield and Epping and extend the Third Track from Thornleigh to Hornsby, will allow for a further increase in freight traffic.  The eventual quadruplication between Epping and Hornsby is a longer term goal.

Rather than being the driving motivation for this project, passenger traffic is merely a beneficiary in a much shorter time-frame than would otherwise be the case.
  Totoro Locomotive Fireman

I am desperately hoping for some eventual progress on NSFC Stage 2. I suspect it will be the only way we get more passenger services at Rhodes.. Seems like a relatively straightforward project too. Fingers crossed..
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

That's total bulls**t.  Where on earth did you get that idea from?

It's called the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program for a reason and why the Feds are jointly funding it with the NSW Government.  The first stage, which was the Third Track from Epping to Thornleigh on the 1 in 40 grades, has almost doubled the freight capacity on the line as Northern Line Suburban and Intercity passenger services can overtake the slower freight trains on the steep grades.  The Third Track, which is electrified, is also used by Intercity and Regional services to overtake all stations Suburban services.  Coal trains from Lithgow to Newcastle and return, usually hauled by 4 x 82 class locos, are now a regular feature on the line together with an increase in intermodal traffic to and from Northern NSW and Brisbane.  I watch them every day and can hear them through the night.

Stage 2, which will complete quadruplication between North Strathfield and Epping and extend the Third Track from Thornleigh to Hornsby, will allow for a further increase in freight traffic.  The eventual quadruplication between Epping and Hornsby is a longer term goal.

Rather than being the driving motivation for this project, passenger traffic is merely a beneficiary in a much shorter time-frame than would otherwise be the case.
Transtopic

The same curfews are still in place and the same amount of trains are operating. It hasn't doubled anything because you still have the same capacity north of thornleigh. What it has done is provide a passing lane in case a freight train breaks down and you can run more intercity trains because there are more places to pass the all stoppers. Coal trains were regular features before the third track.

Remember that Tony Abbott was PM at the commencement of construction and if it had the name epping to thornleigh extra passenger line what do you think he would have done to the federal funding. If it was supposed to be a freight line then why wasn't the ARTC given the job to build the line like they were with the SSFL. The answer is that the name was to allow a continuation of federal funding of a Sydney trains expansion post an Abbott election win under the guise of a freight corridor (not a freight line).
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I am desperately hoping for some eventual progress on NSFC Stage 2. I suspect it will be the only way we get more passenger services at Rhodes.. Seems like a relatively straightforward project too. Fingers crossed..
Totoro

It won't help one bit for Rhodes. The T9 northern lines restrictions have nothing to do with the actual northern line. The T9's restrictions come purely from sharing with T1 services between Strathfield and the CBD.
  Totoro Locomotive Fireman

@simstrain

Perhaps I’m wrong, but surely a 4th track will help alleviate some of the issues of having to share the T9 tracks with express services from Newcastle (not to mention freight)?

If there are few slots going over the bridge, then surely more T9 services could be terminated at Central instead? Especially once platforms 13/14 are reinstated.
  DCook Chief Train Controller

Location: The standard state
Any quadruplication from North Strathfield to Epping will need to end before Epping Station.

The current layout of Epping station prevents any possible plans of a full 4 track line between Strathfield and Hornsby without completely changing the footprint of the station and the local area.

When Epping was rebuilt in 2004-2007 they really should have modified the layout to accommodate 4 tracks while everything else was demolished, now they will need to demolish most of the new station buildings to allow for quadruplication.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Any quadruplication from North Strathfield to Epping will need to end before Epping Station.

The current layout of Epping station prevents any possible plans of a full 4 track line between Strathfield and Hornsby without completely changing the footprint of the station and the local area.

When Epping was rebuilt in 2004-2007 they really should have modified the layout to accommodate 4 tracks while everything else was demolished, now they will need to demolish most of the new station buildings to allow for quadruplication.
"DCook"


Definitely one of those projects that should have been done alot differently.

If and when the times comes for Quad,
- Shave back Plat2 on southern end (Bridge side) to allow for 3 tracks on the western side
- Demolish the north bound plat 3
- Allows two western tracks to be express.

However the obvious issue is thats now how the rest works so likely just rebuild a new platform north of the existing one to have the two islands off-set. Of course a very long walk and yes issues with Metro access and the list probably goes on.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney

The same curfews are still in place and the same amount of trains are operating. It hasn't doubled anything because you still have the same capacity north of thornleigh. What it has done is provide a passing lane in case a freight train breaks down and you can run more intercity trains because there are more places to pass the all stoppers. Coal trains were regular features before the third track.

Remember that Tony Abbott was PM at the commencement of construction and if it had the name epping to thornleigh extra passenger line what do you think he would have done to the federal funding. If it was supposed to be a freight line then why wasn't the ARTC given the job to build the line like they were with the SSFL. The answer is that the name was to allow a continuation of federal funding of a Sydney trains expansion post an Abbott election win under the guise of a freight corridor (not a freight line).
simstrain
It's a nice conspiracy theory sims, but there is no evidence to back up your claim.   You're just making this up.

The current curfews may still be in place, but the whole point of the NSFC program was to increase the number of freight paths throughout the day, and initially at least, to eventually remove the curfew which was one of the stated benefits for freight forwarders.  How do you know that the same number of freight trains are still operating?

I've never heard of it being referred to as the "epping to thornleigh extra passenger line".  The Third Track was designed to allow passenger trains to overtake the slower freight trains on the steep 1 in 40 grades and to hold 1,500m freight trains at Thornleigh when necessary.  It's also used by Intercity and Regional trains.  The easier grades from Thornleigh to Hornsby on the existing line were considered to be adequate until about 2028, when its extension would be warranted.  This is now part of Stage 2, along with quadruplication between Rhodes and West Ryde.  It's always been about increasing freight capacity on the whole of the Northern Line from North Strathfield to Broadmeadow and passenger services have also benefited.  The program also included other projects like the North Strathfield Rail Underpass, the Gosford Passing Loops and the Hexham Freight Loop.

The ARTC completed the Hexham Freight Loop, because that track is under its control.  The other projects, including the Third Track, are under the control of TfNSW and its entities.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

The same curfews are still in place and the same amount of trains are operating. It hasn't doubled anything because you still have the same capacity north of thornleigh. What it has done is provide a passing lane in case a freight train breaks down and you can run more intercity trains because there are more places to pass the all stoppers. Coal trains were regular features before the third track.

Remember that Tony Abbott was PM at the commencement of construction and if it had the name epping to thornleigh extra passenger line what do you think he would have done to the federal funding. If it was supposed to be a freight line then why wasn't the ARTC given the job to build the line like they were with the SSFL. The answer is that the name was to allow a continuation of federal funding of a Sydney trains expansion post an Abbott election win under the guise of a freight corridor (not a freight line).
simstrain
It's a nice conspiracy theory sims, but there is no evidence to back up your claim.   You're just making this up.

The current curfews may still be in place, but the whole point of the NSFC program was to increase the number of freight paths throughout the day, and initially at least, to eventually remove the curfew which was one of the stated benefits for freight forwarders.  How do you know that the same number of freight trains are still operating?

I've never heard of it being referred to as the "epping to thornleigh extra passenger line".  The Third Track was designed to allow passenger trains to overtake the slower freight trains on the steep 1 in 40 grades and to hold 1,500m freight trains at Thornleigh when necessary.  It's also used by Intercity and Regional trains.  The easier grades from Thornleigh to Hornsby on the existing line were considered to be adequate until about 2028, when its extension would be warranted.  This is now part of Stage 2, along with quadruplication between Rhodes and West Ryde.  It's always been about increasing freight capacity on the whole of the Northern Line from North Strathfield to Broadmeadow and passenger services have also benefited.  The program also included other projects like the North Strathfield Rail Underpass, the Gosford Passing Loops and the Hexham Freight Loop.

The ARTC completed the Hexham Freight Loop, because that track is under its control.  The other projects, including the Third Track, are under the control of TfNSW and its entities.
"Transtopic"


Seems very freight focused

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/northern-sydney-freight-corridor-program

Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program
Reviewed 3 Aug 2018
Project overview

The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program will improve freight train capacity and reliability between Strathfield and Broadmeadow.
Key benefits;
- increases capacity for interstate freight trains, allowing rail to compete more with road transport
- improves reliability of passenger services on the Main North Line
- removes the most serious bottleneck on the East Coast rail corridor that connects Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The Northern Sydney Freight Corridor (NFSC) Program will improve the capacity and reliability of freight trains between Strathfield and Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

Transporting freight by rail has less impact on the environment and can reduce road congestion. The NSFC will remove more than 200,000 heavy vehicle road trips per year within 15 years. It will also reduce diesel use by almost 40 million litres and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes each year.

A joint Australian and NSW Government initiative, the program is made up of four key projects:

Epping to Thornleigh Third Track – completed 2016
Gosford Passing Loops – completed 2015
North Strathfield Rail Underpass – completed 2015
Hexham Freight Loop – completed 2012
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
@simstrain

Perhaps I’m wrong, but surely a 4th track will help alleviate some of the issues of having to share the T9 tracks with express services from Newcastle (not to mention freight)?

If there are few slots going over the bridge, then surely more T9 services could be terminated at Central instead? Especially once platforms 13/14 are reinstated.
Totoro
Yes, that is a possibility.  The Suburban tracks across the bridge for T1 and T9 services are already operating at their maximum capacity of 20tph in the peak (16tph T1 & 4tph T9), with the 4tph semi-express T9 peak hour services terminating/starting at Central.  I think that there are currently 12tph operating on the Main tracks from Strathfield to Sydney Terminal (4tph T9 + 4tph CCN and 4tph BM) so there would appear to be spare capacity there for more trains to terminate at Central.  Some T1 services could also be diverted to Sydney Terminal, allowing more T9 services to cross the bridge on the Suburban tracks.  Capacity across the bridge will probably increase to 24tph after ATO is implemented and the metro line through the CBD opens, taking pressure off the interchange congestion at Central and Town Hall.  Bear in mind that South Coast Intercity services will also terminate at Central, rather than continuing to Bondi Junction, once the 10 car NIF (D sets) begin operation.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Any quadruplication from North Strathfield to Epping will need to end before Epping Station.

The current layout of Epping station prevents any possible plans of a full 4 track line between Strathfield and Hornsby without completely changing the footprint of the station and the local area.

When Epping was rebuilt in 2004-2007 they really should have modified the layout to accommodate 4 tracks while everything else was demolished, now they will need to demolish most of the new station buildings to allow for quadruplication.


Definitely one of those projects that should have been done alot differently.

If and when the times comes for Quad,
- Shave back Plat2 on southern end (Bridge side) to allow for 3 tracks on the western side
- Demolish the north bound plat 3
- Allows two western tracks to be express.

However the obvious issue is thats now how the rest works so likely just rebuild a new platform north of the existing one to have the two islands off-set. Of course a very long walk and yes issues with Metro access and the list probably goes on.
RTT_Rules
I agree that things could have been done a lot differently going back to the initial Epping to Chatswood Rail Link.

It's always been a long-term goal to quadruplicate the track from Strathfield to Hornsby and the current quad section from West Ryde merges to 3 tracks immediately south of Epping Station, with the centre track (platform 2) being bi-directional as well as a terminating platform when the turnback north of the station is not used.

I live in Epping, so I'm very familiar with the station layout and its environs.  The rail corridor is extremely narrow at the station location with no room to expand and I have racked my brain to figure out how a fourth track could be accommodated within the existing platform configuration.  Since the construction of the ECRL, the connecting escalators and stairs between the overhead concourse, the surface platforms and the underground ECRL (metro) platforms concourse are virtually locked in, with little room to move to allow for reconfiguration of the surface platforms to accommodate a fourth track.  To complicate things further, I believe that the original station building on platforms 1/2 is heritage listed.  I can't see how it could work without a complete station rebuild, which would be extremely disruptive.

With regard to your suggestion of shaving back platform 2, that would most likely impact on the station heritage building and if platform 3 was demolished, allowing for two express tracks, that would be impracticable.  All express Suburban and CCN Intercity trains will need to continue to stop at Epping to interchange with the metro line to allow commuters to go to the Macquarie Park stations or T9 stations between Epping and Strathfield.  Two surface platforms wouldn't be enough.  There is also the problem with having the western track pair as express tracks (Up and Down), when the track pairs on the quad sections are Up/Up and Down/Down.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Any quadruplication from North Strathfield to Epping will need to end before Epping Station.

The current layout of Epping station prevents any possible plans of a full 4 track line between Strathfield and Hornsby without completely changing the footprint of the station and the local area.

When Epping was rebuilt in 2004-2007 they really should have modified the layout to accommodate 4 tracks while everything else was demolished, now they will need to demolish most of the new station buildings to allow for quadruplication.


Definitely one of those projects that should have been done alot differently.

If and when the times comes for Quad,
- Shave back Plat2 on southern end (Bridge side) to allow for 3 tracks on the western side
- Demolish the north bound plat 3
- Allows two western tracks to be express.

However the obvious issue is thats now how the rest works so likely just rebuild a new platform north of the existing one to have the two islands off-set. Of course a very long walk and yes issues with Metro access and the list probably goes on.
I agree that things could have been done a lot differently going back to the initial Epping to Chatswood Rail Link.

It's always been a long-term goal to quadruplicate the track from Strathfield to Hornsby and the current quad section from West Ryde merges to 3 tracks immediately south of Epping Station, with the centre track (platform 2) being bi-directional as well as a terminating platform when the turnback north of the station is not used.

I live in Epping, so I'm very familiar with the station layout and its environs.  The rail corridor is extremely narrow at the station location with no room to expand and I have racked my brain to figure out how a fourth track could be accommodated within the existing platform configuration.  Since the construction of the ECRL, the connecting escalators and stairs between the overhead concourse, the surface platforms and the underground ECRL (metro) platforms concourse are virtually locked in, with little room to move to allow for reconfiguration of the surface platforms to accommodate a fourth track.  To complicate things further, I believe that the original station building on platforms 1/2 is heritage listed.  I can't see how it could work without a complete station rebuild, which would be extremely disruptive.

With regard to your suggestion of shaving back platform 2, that would most likely impact on the station heritage building and if platform 3 was demolished, allowing for two express tracks, that would be impracticable.  All express Suburban and CCN Intercity trains will need to continue to stop at Epping to interchange with the metro line to allow commuters to go to the Macquarie Park stations or T9 stations between Epping and Strathfield.  Two surface platforms wouldn't be enough.  There is also the problem with having the western track pair as express tracks (Up and Down), when the track pairs on the quad sections are Up/Up and Down/Down.
Transtopic
There are options that could work, wont be cheap though, no matter how its done.  Looking at the situation by means of Google maps, which are dated 12/3/2018 there are options possible.

Currently Platform 3 is fenced off and narrows quite a degree on the Northern half of that platform, being a stop for Northern trains, its relatively busy and all down trains go through or stop there, the further narrowing of the whole platform would not really affect the vast majority of users.

Given the track between 2 & 3 platform at the Northern end is also relatively wide and can be brought across to a new alignment with the narrower #3 platform, would help the northern end, rather than the fence along the Eastern side of the platform put it on the Western side as it would provide a safety as no longer can passengers get close to the edge as freight trains go through.  How often is the turn back siding used these days since metro came in? if its not used greatly then the up line could utilise that section.  When one looks at the amount of space that is available on that end where the track is set as it is now, what reason prevents the track from being realigned.

I have travelled down to Sydney on many times on I/U's including peak times, dare I say mostly in peak hour morning services and while there are largish numbers of people to get on the trains, to go to Strathfield and then Central, its not as bad since Eastwood was knocked out as an I/U stop as well.  Given all that

Without wanting to see the heritage building go, with cutting back the embankment on the eastern side where 1 platform is, cut the platform short of the building with the station extended by the same distance at the northern end. Likewise a narrowing of Platforms 1 & 2 along with the southern end of Platform 3 could readilly make the space needed available.  

Last part needed perhaps would be a cutting back of the Eastern side embankment if there is still not enough space, but extending the #1 platform coping to compensate would help, even if the pedestrian walkway out on the street was needed to be narrowed.
  DCook Chief Train Controller

Location: The standard state
There are 3 state heritage listed buildings at Epping Station, those being the platform 1/2 building (c1900), the platform 3 retaining wall (c1900) and the Epping road bridge (this may have been deregistered). All of these combined with the road arrangement remove any quadruplication possibilities

I think the easiest and cheapest solution would be to quadruplicate from North Strathfield to Eastwood entirely, bring it back to 3 lines before Epping, then return to 4 lines after the M2 bridge and continue the quadruplication from there to Hornsby
  DCook Chief Train Controller

Location: The standard state
Any quadruplication from North Strathfield to Epping will need to end before Epping Station.

The current layout of Epping station prevents any possible plans of a full 4 track line between Strathfield and Hornsby without completely changing the footprint of the station and the local area.

When Epping was rebuilt in 2004-2007 they really should have modified the layout to accommodate 4 tracks while everything else was demolished, now they will need to demolish most of the new station buildings to allow for quadruplication.


Definitely one of those projects that should have been done alot differently.

If and when the times comes for Quad,
- Shave back Plat2 on southern end (Bridge side) to allow for 3 tracks on the western side
- Demolish the north bound plat 3
- Allows two western tracks to be express.

However the obvious issue is thats now how the rest works so likely just rebuild a new platform north of the existing one to have the two islands off-set. Of course a very long walk and yes issues with Metro access and the list probably goes on.
I agree that things could have been done a lot differently going back to the initial Epping to Chatswood Rail Link.

It's always been a long-term goal to quadruplicate the track from Strathfield to Hornsby and the current quad section from West Ryde merges to 3 tracks immediately south of Epping Station, with the centre track (platform 2) being bi-directional as well as a terminating platform when the turnback north of the station is not used.

I live in Epping, so I'm very familiar with the station layout and its environs.  The rail corridor is extremely narrow at the station location with no room to expand and I have racked my brain to figure out how a fourth track could be accommodated within the existing platform configuration.  Since the construction of the ECRL, the connecting escalators and stairs between the overhead concourse, the surface platforms and the underground ECRL (metro) platforms concourse are virtually locked in, with little room to move to allow for reconfiguration of the surface platforms to accommodate a fourth track.  To complicate things further, I believe that the original station building on platforms 1/2 is heritage listed.  I can't see how it could work without a complete station rebuild, which would be extremely disruptive.

With regard to your suggestion of shaving back platform 2, that would most likely impact on the station heritage building and if platform 3 was demolished, allowing for two express tracks, that would be impracticable.  All express Suburban and CCN Intercity trains will need to continue to stop at Epping to interchange with the metro line to allow commuters to go to the Macquarie Park stations or T9 stations between Epping and Strathfield.  Two surface platforms wouldn't be enough.  There is also the problem with having the western track pair as express tracks (Up and Down), when the track pairs on the quad sections are Up/Up and Down/Down.
There are options that could work, wont be cheap though, no matter how its done.  Looking at the situation by means of Google maps, which are dated 12/3/2018 there are options possible.

Currently Platform 3 is fenced off and narrows quite a degree on the Northern half of that platform, being a stop for Northern trains, its relatively busy and all down trains go through or stop there, the further narrowing of the whole platform would not really affect the vast majority of users.

Given the track between 2 & 3 platform at the Northern end is also relatively wide and can be brought across to a new alignment with the narrower #3 platform, would help the northern end, rather than the fence along the Eastern side of the platform put it on the Western side as it would provide a safety as no longer can passengers get close to the edge as freight trains go through.  How often is the turn back siding used these days since metro came in? if its not used greatly then the up line could utilise that section.  When one looks at the amount of space that is available on that end where the track is set as it is now, what reason prevents the track from being realigned.

I have travelled down to Sydney on many times on I/U's including peak times, dare I say mostly in peak hour morning services and while there are largish numbers of people to get on the trains, to go to Strathfield and then Central, its not as bad since Eastwood was knocked out as an I/U stop as well.  Given all that

Without wanting to see the heritage building go, with cutting back the embankment on the eastern side where 1 platform is, cut the platform short of the building with the station extended by the same distance at the northern end. Likewise a narrowing of Platforms 1 & 2 along with the southern end of Platform 3 could readilly make the space needed available.  

Last part needed perhaps would be a cutting back of the Eastern side embankment if there is still not enough space, but extending the #1 platform coping to compensate would help, even if the pedestrian walkway out on the street was needed to be narrowed.
a6et
Most of your ideas would have worked if more thought had been given to the 2004-2009 upgrade, this destroyed most possibilities for quadruplication.

Any quadruplication on the western side is out of question, Beecroft road is way too busy and there is no space to change the alignment, the retaining wall on the Beecroft road side is also heritage listed
The current formation of the tracks and platforms on the western side is quite odd, the fenced off side of P3 runs parallel to the bi-direction suburban track (P2) for roughly 5 metres, then veers right to move with the P2 curve. This design also removes most possibilities of quadruplication.

Quadruplication is only possible on the eastern side, one way would be to shift Langston place to the right by 5 or so metres, demolishing the shops on the eastern side to make way, then shaving off all of the area where Langston place used to be and building a new track with a single platform there, then extending the concourse to suit the upgrade. However, this would cost millions and would destroy several local businesses.

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