October 2013 Timetable

 
  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

Presumably this is to ensure Newcastle V set seats are available for Newcastle bound PAX, not PAX bound for Hornsby.
djf01
Why should Newcastle bound PAX have seats available for the whole ride?

If you have ever board the train, you should know that they are pretty much guaranteed a seat from Hornsby northward. They, at worst, only need to stand for the first 35 minutes, ie. a small proportion of their entire journey.

A lot of passengers have to stand more than 35 minutes in Cityrail network and their standing time is much larger proportion of their entire journey!

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  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

I new I should have checked.  As it turns out I couldn't nut out/find the code meanings anyway.  

I think the point of the new timetable is to funnel all the city bound PAX onto the Shore Up platform in the AM peak with turn-up-and-go frequencies, and get them away from the interurbans.  So a suburban on platform 3 would be a mistake.  To use platform 1 you create an opposing movement against the Down Shore, so in that context I think it makes sense not to stop this train at Hornsby.

I do think this service is a bit of a cynical exercise as it's allowed the claim "frequency on the lower main north has gone from 4tph to 6tph", which is a technically true but still a rather thing claim
djf01
One main purpose of extra 2tph on lower main north is to relieve the load of intercity services at Epping and Eastwood, and for intercity services to skip West Ryde.

I don't see any incentive for passengers to give up the intercity services at Hornsby, especially when these trains will no longer stop at West Ryde and be allowed to depart Strathfield early.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
According to the draft, it is a final draft. Wonder how the first version differs?
"Newcastle Express"
There are rumblings that it's "final", not final.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
If you did look more closely, you should see that it passes Hornsby ahead of the ex-Gosford service but make a lengthy stop at Thornleigh for the ex-Gosford service to pass by.

Would any rational passenger board this train in lieu of the ex-Central Coast service?

Although I disagree that it should serve Hornsby, I think it should pick up passengers when it stop at Thornleigh.
stupid_girl
I did notice that and I didn't think it was that relevant.  Perhaps you work at Rhodes or are heading to Meadowbank TAFE.

I have no idea what the advantage of doing it in this way is versus just coming out of the yard 6 minutes later, but I would guess they have some reason.

Picking up passengers at Thornleigh would be something, yes, particularly for the purposes I mention above.  I'd like to add Pennant Hills too although that changes downstream timings so might not be doable.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Why should Newcastle bound PAX have seats available for the whole ride?

If you have ever board the train, you should know that they are pretty much guaranteed a seat from Hornsby northward. They, at worst, only need to stand for the first 35 minutes, ie. a small proportion of their entire journey.

A lot of passengers have to stand more than 35 minutes in Cityrail network and their standing time is much larger proportion of their entire journey!
stupid_girl
Because AFAIK it's the Newcastle and Central Coast trains have higher loadings than local trains.  Rather that put on more coast trains at the expense of locals, they have added more local trains and tweeked the timetable to encourage suburban passengers to use the suburban trains provided for them.
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
Because AFAIK it's the Newcastle and Central Coast trains have higher loadings than local trains.
"djf01"


From what I can see, Northern gets higher peak loadings than Newcastle (CC via Shore are excluded from Newcastle services).
Northern AM average load 143%, maximum 172%
Newcastle AM average load 108%, maximum 120%

Northern PM average load 99%, maximum 131%
Newcastle PM average load 94%, maximum 104%

http://www.cityrail.info/about/our_performance/#
  Piston Train Controller

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!!!
  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

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"
Piston
I think the new North Shore Line timetable is perfectly fine.

The number of passengers from Wahroonga/Warrawee to Killara/Lindfield/Roseville would be minimal because the latter stations are not major destinations.
This is a much lesser problem than Kogarah, which is a destination for many people.
  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

I did notice that and I didn't think it was that relevant.  Perhaps you work at Rhodes or are heading to Meadowbank TAFE.

I have no idea what the advantage of doing it in this way is versus just coming out of the yard 6 minutes later, but I would guess they have some reason.

Picking up passengers at Thornleigh would be something, yes, particularly for the purposes I mention above.  I'd like to add Pennant Hills too although that changes downstream timings so might not be doable.
simonl
If you work at Rhodes or are heading to Meadowbank TAFE, then take the ex-Gosford service and make a cross-platform transfer at Epping.

An obvious advantage of doing it in this way versus just coming out of the yard 6 minutes later is to minimize flow on delay.
Currently, it is not unusual for ex-Gosford service to be running late at Hornsby.
The normal practice is to hold the following MQP service at stabling until the ex-Gosford service departs.

In your plan, you have to hold the following MQP service at stabling until both the ex-Gosford service and the new Central via Strathfield service depart. If the MQP service is delayed, it creates flow on delay on lower North Shore, which will be running at 3 minute interval and have little recovery margin.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Piston, skip stop on the Shore is perfectly fine!  Indeed, perhaps even more (all) of the inbound AM peak Central Coast trains should run that way to prevent congestion on the Northern Line.


If you work at Rhodes or are heading to Meadowbank TAFE, then take the ex-Gosford service and make a cross-platform transfer at Epping.

An obvious advantage of doing it in this way versus just coming out of the yard 6 minutes later is to minimize flow on delay.
Currently, it is not unusual for ex-Gosford service to be running late at Hornsby.
The normal practice is to hold the following MQP service at stabling until the ex-Gosford service departs.

In your plan, you have to hold the following MQP service at stabling until both the ex-Gosford service and the new Central via Strathfield service depart. If the MQP service is delayed, it creates flow on delay on lower North Shore, which will be running at 3 minute interval and have little recovery margin.
stupid_girl

Yeah, ok I can see that.  BTW, none of the via MQP trains come out of the yard from the 6:26am ex-HBY train until the end of the AM peak.  They all start on platform 4 (down main), until the 8:56am.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner



Because AFAIK it's the Newcastle and Central Coast trains have higher loadings than local trains.
djf01

From what I can see, Northern gets higher peak loadings than Newcastle (CC via Shore are excluded from Newcastle services).
Northern AM average load 143%, maximum 172%
Newcastle AM average load 108%, maximum 120%

Northern PM average load 99%, maximum 131%
Newcastle PM average load 94%, maximum 104%

http://www.cityrail.info/about/our_performance/#
bowralcommuter


Not quite what I meant, even though it is what I wrote.

Coast trains have a higher loadings than locals on the North Shore line.  And clearly a substantial number of PAX use the interurbans from Hornsby to get to the city.  It'd be interesting to know how many of those change to get back to the suburbans at Central.

But I think the way the proposed timetable addresses this issue is with more Shore trains with better spacing and less of a run time differential depending on where they come from.  The goal would appear to be to get Hornsby PAX off the interurbans and onto the new Shore services.  

It looks to me that the two Epping-Sydney Terminal are a toe in the water for running the northern line into Central.  6tph on the lower main north is something that is obviously required but can't be done without sacrificing western line slots.  This issue is, understandably, left largely unaddressed by the proposed timetable - other than these two (half) trains into Central of course.
  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

Not quite what I meant, even though it is what I wrote.

Coast trains have a higher loadings than locals on the North Shore line.  And clearly a substantial number of PAX use the interurbans from Hornsby to get to the city.  It'd be interesting to know how many of those change to get back to the suburbans at Central.

But I think the way the proposed timetable addresses this issue is with more Shore trains with better spacing and less of a run time differential depending on where they come from.  The goal would appear to be to get Hornsby PAX off the interurbans and onto the new Shore services.  

It looks to me that the two Epping-Sydney Terminal are a toe in the water for running the northern line into Central.  6tph on the lower main north is something that is obviously required but can't be done without sacrificing western line slots.  This issue is, understandably, left largely unaddressed by the proposed timetable - other than these two (half) trains into Central of course.
djf01
Regular passengers boarding intercity services would already have remembered the timetable for those services. Better spacing on North Shore has little meaning to them.

Also, there is no significant change to the run time differential.
North Shoe services will have about 3 less stops.
Intercity services will skip West Ryde and be allowed to depart Strathfield early.
The net effect is both trains will reach Central a little bit faster.
The differential is maintained.

I don't see any intention to get Hornsby passengers off intercity services.
  Rails Chief Commissioner

Not quite what I meant, even though it is what I wrote.

Coast trains have a higher loadings than locals on the North Shore line.  And clearly a substantial number of PAX use the interurbans from Hornsby to get to the city.  It'd be interesting to know how many of those change to get back to the suburbans at Central.

But I think the way the proposed timetable addresses this issue is with more Shore trains with better spacing and less of a run time differential depending on where they come from.  The goal would appear to be to get Hornsby PAX off the interurbans and onto the new Shore services.  

It looks to me that the two Epping-Sydney Terminal are a toe in the water for running the northern line into Central.  6tph on the lower main north is something that is obviously required but can't be done without sacrificing western line slots.  This issue is, understandably, left largely unaddressed by the proposed timetable - other than these two (half) trains into Central of course.
djf01
I think you are right to an extent, with these new trains having an express "pattern" they seem to want to lessen the passenger numbers from the North Shore line on those Central Coast via Shore services, probably not at Hornsby but at Turramurra, Pymble and Gordon. My understanding was that Pymble being part of the Coast Service was because it had an employment centre (which has been killed off by the success of Macquarie Park) but that may be incorrect.

I used to catch these Coast services and I can tell you that in the AM you that these were not full at Hornsby, they get packed at the stations between here and Gordon despite a relatively quick service following these trains. In the PM even more shore passengers were using these trains, I was surprised how empty these trains would be by the time they got to Turramurra. The other thing I found interesting was how many passengers seemed to get on the Coast via Shore services and then exit at the stations between North Sydney and Chatswood, I would hope that 19 TPH between Wynyard and Chatswood would fix this. I do wonder if the Coast via shore trains will now be quite underutilised.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The other thing I found interesting was how many passengers seemed to get on the Coast via Shore services and then exit at the stations between North Sydney and Chatswood, I would hope that 19 TPH between Wynyard and Chatswood would fix this.
"Rails"
In PM peak, all trains call at all stations between Nth Sydney and Chatswood; all trains are thus equal to passengers on this section, and so I'm much more inclined to think they're on board because it happened to be the first train. If it's a large number of passengers are doing this, I rather think it's because of high patronage; considering that the increase in frequency on the Lower North Shore is marginal at best, I cannot see how patronage can be seen to even out across all services. Short-haul patronage on the Central Coast via Gordon services will continue, perhaps with a very slight decrease; if it's the first train, passengers for all stations to Chatswood will still board them.

I do wonder if the Coast via shore trains will now be quite underutilised.
"Rails"
If they are, it'd be a great excuse to cut them.
  Rails Chief Commissioner

In PM peak, all trains call at all stations between Nth Sydney and Chatswood; all trains are thus equal to passengers on this section, and so I'm much more inclined to think they're on board because it happened to be the first train. If it's a large number of passengers are doing this, I rather think it's because of high patronage; considering that the increase in frequency on the Lower North Shore is marginal at best, I cannot see how patronage can be seen to even out across all services. Short-haul patronage on the Central Coast via Gordon services will continue, perhaps with a very slight decrease; if it's the first train, passengers for all stations to Chatswood will still board them.

If they are, it'd be a great excuse to cut them.
Watson374
Well picked up, at least I know that someone is reading my posts Smile Correct, I had indeed forgotten that in the PM all trains are all stops to Chatswood in that section of the network. I had assumed on these Coast trains it was turn up and go passengers which seem to be very common on the whole North Shore line but why the numbers seemed a bit higher on these trains I dont know if there was any reason behind it, I am wondering if its the time they run through the major stations? Anyway, you are again correct, this kind of usage of these services is unlikely to change.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Well picked up, at least I know that someone is reading my posts Smile Correct, I had indeed forgotten that in the PM all trains are all stops to Chatswood in that section of the network. I had assumed on these Coast trains it was turn up and go passengers which seem to be very common on the whole North Shore line but why the numbers seemed a bit higher on these trains I dont know if there was any reason behind it, I am wondering if its the time they run through the major stations? Anyway, you are again correct, this kind of usage of these services is unlikely to change.
Rails
AFAIK in the current timetable (not the proposed one) there is a significant gap in peak PM DOWN Nth Shore service prior to the Central coast service (presumably to make space for it to run semi-express) which results in there being a 10-15min gap between services for most PAX prior to the Coast service.  

The new timetable gets rid of this anomaly.

And yes Rails, your observations are born out by the usage statistics.  Via Shore trains are the least loaded central coast trains at Hornsby, but the the most loaded Shore train by Nth Sydney.

I'm not saying for one second this new timetable is the answer to all the issues - there is only so much than can be done with timetabling - but I think they've made a pretty fair stab at it.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
In PM peak, all trains call at all stations between Nth Sydney and Chatswood; all trains are thus equal to passengers on this section, and so I'm much more inclined to think they're on board because it happened to be the first train. If it's a large number of passengers are doing this, I rather think it's because of high patronage; considering that the increase in frequency on the Lower North Shore is marginal at best, I cannot see how patronage can be seen to even out across all services. Short-haul patronage on the Central Coast via Gordon services will continue, perhaps with a very slight decrease; if it's the first train, passengers for all stations to Chatswood will still board them.
Watson374

The problem with that is that the PM peak Shore trains are net collectors until St Leonards and sometimes Chatswood.  Coast trains aren't an exception to this.


If they are, it'd be a great excuse to cut them.
Watson374

I think that would be an awful decision.  Particularly in the AM peak these trains exist for (a) valid technical reasons (b) to provide a single seat to the lower north shore employment destinations.  They also help to utilise the Sydney Harbour Bridge tracks which would otherwise be underutilised.


AFAIK in the current timetable (not the proposed one) there is a significant gap in peak PM DOWN Nth Shore service prior to the Central coast service (presumably to make space for it to run semi-express) which results in there being a 10-15min gap between services for most PAX prior to the Coast service.  

The new timetable gets rid of this anomaly.
djf01

Yes, with the 17:08 there's a 10 minute gap for Gordon, Pymble, Turramurra and Hornsby and a 6 minute gap for Waverton-Chatswood.



And yes Rails, your observations are born out by the usage statistics.  Via Shore trains are the least loaded central coast trains at Hornsby, but the the most loaded Shore train by Nth Sydney.

I'm not saying for one second this new timetable is the answer to all the issues - there is only so much than can be done with timetabling - but I think they've made a pretty fair stab at it.
djf01

I don't see a huge difference in the loads at Hornsby.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The problem with that is that the PM peak Shore trains are net collectors until St Leonards and sometimes Chatswood. Coast trains aren't an exception to this.
"simonl"
It's also a valid way to travel to Gordon, Pymble, Turramurra and Hornsby. It's dual-function in a way.

I think that would be an awful decision.  Particularly in the AM peak these trains exist for (a) valid technical reasons (b) to provide a single seat to the lower north shore employment destinations.  They also help to utilise the Sydney Harbour Bridge tracks which would otherwise be underutilised.
"simonl"
True that.
  Kamz Assistant Commissioner

the weekend morning service from Bathurst will make an a stop at Bell.

No change for Tarana and Rydal. Will continue to be serviced by the Dubbo XPT.
  Rails Chief Commissioner

AFAIK in the current timetable (not the proposed one) there is a significant gap in peak PM DOWN Nth Shore service prior to the Central coast service (presumably to make space for it to run semi-express) which results in there being a 10-15min gap between services for most PAX prior to the Coast service.  

The new timetable gets rid of this anomaly.

And yes Rails, your observations are born out by the usage statistics.  Via Shore trains are the least loaded central coast trains at Hornsby, but the the most loaded Shore train by Nth Sydney.

I'm not saying for one second this new timetable is the answer to all the issues - there is only so much than can be done with timetabling - but I think they've made a pretty fair stab at it.
djf01
Ah, that explains it, thankyou.

I agree with you that I think they have made a real effort with this timetable to fix some serious issues, in the end its not going to be perfect without some serious infrastructure improvements to the network. Having said that (and I know most will not agree), I still believe that the Central Coast via Shore trains should not exist. Despite having used these trains myself, I believe that this service could be provided by more frequent services into ST and a change at Hornsby to access the North Shore via very frequent Hornsby services. Passenger numbers would not change. I think this would make the services on the North Shore and Western lines more efficient and seemed to be the way they were going before the revised timetable was released. My guess is that politics got in the way.

However I also think that you may be on to something when you say that they want to move as many Main North line passengers to the North Shore line as possible, makes it easier when the SD NWRL/ ECRL comes online.
  belfordrocks South Coast G Set

Where can I find the "leaked" proposed new timetable?
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
Where can I find the "leaked" proposed new timetable?
belfordrocks
Refer to page 4 of this thread.
  clrks Locomotive Fireman

Any more news on this?

It should be around two months until the new timetable is put into place and yet there doesn't seem to be much communication with the public. Even if they don't want consultation with the public (e.g. with the complaining about Kogarah) I would think it would be better that the public can see what changes will happen soon.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
If they release it now, it's not too late - and that's the idea. I'm inclined to think that the timetable will not be released until September, and by then there is little choice but to railroad it through.

...and if it flunks, it flunks. Not like the PTC didn't have a timetable epic fail back in the day.
  darcyj Chief Train Controller

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"
Piston

I could fix that problem, although not instantly.  Build a turnback platform at Asquith, on the eastern side and south of the existing P1.  Extend the relief line as far as the station, but the R becomes the DM, the DM becomes the UM, and the UM becomes the R.  Multiple options for use of these three tracks would be available, but in particular, enabling a free road for trains to run Down from Hornsby P2 to Asquith BP.

This would move the checking of the train to Asquith, so that the train does not block the road at Hornsby.  Much smaller number of passengers to egress at Asquith and even if a passenger does get missed under a seat or something they will not be conveyed to the Yard, because the train's next revenue run starts from there.  Advantages include a small increase in service for Asquith station.  Would only be used where there is a tight margin to the following train on the Down Shore, so for example 116C arriving Hornsby 08:15, would dwell only one minute and would terminate at the Asquith turnback platform at 08:19.  Depart Asquith at 08:27 as 116D, and depart Hornsby at 08:31 as presently shown on the timetable.  165C is the service which follows it on the Down Shore, and it would arrive at P2 four minutes after 116C has left instead of only two minutes.  (It departs as 165D from that platform at 08:27.)

Okay, so this is a major construction job, but if there is a genuine problem with trains arriving close together at Hornsby on the Down Shire and delays being caused by clearing out the train, then it makes absolute sense to make an alternative.

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