Well I have had a quick look at a few lines of the October 2013 timetable and I don't think its looking good.
One area they have had a go at is the North Shore line. Currently the up morning peak on the Shore ex Hornsby to the City most of the trains are running all stops with the exceptions mainly being the trains ex the Central coast. The same applies to the Down peak ex Central to Hornsby.
In October 2013 it will be a complete mish mash of skip stoppers with no all stations train to the City on offer in the morning peak. While this might sound better and quicker by a minute or two, it will involve utter confusion for people going to intermediate stops.
The last morning peak all stations from Hornsby to the City leaves Hornsby at 6.56am, then the skip stop parade commences. After this train has gone a passenger from either Wahroonga or Warrawee intending to go to either Killara or Roseville will not get another "all stations" train ex Hornsby till 8.41am. So for a journey from Wahroonga to Killara an all stations running time of 11 minutes will blow out to 21 minutes (for six stations) due to a change in trains required at Gordon with a wait of ten minutes. Now I realise this is not going to effect hundreds of people, but these are traps that people won't be aware of and after being use to all stations trains currently they are going to be a lot of complaints Wait and see. And of course the poor commuter has to repeat the same changes going home. So they cop an extra 20 minutes a day travelling time. So the minutes a few save is being added on to others.
The frequency of trains through the Down Shore between Central and Chatswood is a train every three minutes in the morning peak. When everything is coming together this may work but as soon as an incident occurs its will be a recipe for disaster just like when the overhead was brought down in North Sydney tunnel recently.
Some terminating trains at Hornsby are only three minutes apart on the Down Shore. This means after the train comes to a stand and the people have alighted, the guard then has to walk through his train both upstairs and downstairs in under three minutes and return to his cabin. This is assuming station staff have helped out and checked 4 cars as well. This is gong to be tight, but will continue the practice of "No trains shall enter Hornsby on the Down Shore on a full clear road"
Any how I am sticking my head on the block and giving this timetable a short life span. For those of you who can remember and most won't please Google "18th May 1975 CityRail timetable"
The first entry should relate to an excellent article by Geoff Lambert fully analysing what went wrong with this timetable. It lasted a glorious "8 weeks" Yes you heard right 8 weeks. The write up was contained in "The Times" journal of the Australian Association of Timetable Collectors. Issue 223 Vol19.10. This article is in depth and has a similar theme to the October one. It was a comedy of errors and should be recommended reading for all wannabe timetablers.
This is just the Shore line I picked on and there are other lines with similar issues. I never had any complaints re the current timetable except for the extended dwell times which could have been tightened up.
I'll recall this posting later this year and see how well its all going!!!