4 carriage intercity services

 
  AndyV Station Master

I'm not sure if this is true for all lines but this relates to the Newcastle and central coast line.

Ever since the new timetable launched there are very few 8 car services on weekends anymore, and this had resulted in lots of overcrowding.

Even on Monday to Friday, outside of peak hours, many services are reduced to only 4 cars. An example is the 6:45pm Central Sydney Terminal to Wyong service that has people standing when leaving Central and gets very crowded between Strathfield and Epping (lots of people use the central coast trains to take a quicker trip to Eastwood and Epping, but that's another story), and then again after Hornsby where more people get on than get off.

I've highlighted this in complaints but I just get the standard dismissive copy and paste response. These trains should be 8 carriages given they have no free seats when running as 4 carriage trains. I encourage everyone who's been on one of these crowded 4 carriage trains to also lodge complaints to hopefully reinstate full 8 carriage trains.

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  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Re title, their are no 4 car intercity trains, intercity trains now are the XPTs, and some Xplorer services. The state government incorrectly call the V-sets, intercities, but we won't go there at the moment.

An example is the 6:45pm Central Sydney Terminal to Wyong service that has people standing when leaving Central
AndyV

That is highly likely to be an Outer Suburban Oscar (H set) if it terminates at Wyong (& yes some H-sets start from Blacktown for example, then "terminate" at Gosford or Wyong, and then "start" another trip to Newcastle), not an interurban

and gets very crowded between Strathfield and Epping (lots of people use the central coast trains to take a quicker trip to Eastwood and Epping, but that's another story), and then again after Hornsby where more people get on than get off.
AndyV

I can understand peopel using interurban trains between Central & Hornsby, as 99% of the time, their is no direct suburban train between Strathfield & Hornsby, but that is the problem, the interurban trains are being used as "suburban" services between Epping/Eastwood/Strathfield & Central. The stop at Eastwood was only added as a political stop, this stop should be scrapped from interurban runs, and if interurbans need to stop at Epping, Epping & Strathfield should be set down only (d) to Central, and pick up only from Central (u).

Haven't got time to look, but I think with some exceptions, most are scheduled as 8 car V-sets.

AndyV, a copy & paste is all you're going to get from the "Aunt Gladys & Co" clan.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I can understand peopel using interurban trains between Central & Hornsby, as 99% of the time, their is no direct suburban train between Strathfield & Hornsby, but that is the problem, the interurban trains are being used as "suburban" services between Epping/Eastwood/Strathfield & Central. The stop at Eastwood was only added as a political stop, this stop should be scrapped from interurban runs, and if interurbans need to stop at Epping, Epping & Strathfield should be set down only (d) to Central, and pick up only from Central (u).
Newcastle Express

Why do you say that the stop at Eastwood was only added as a "political" stop?  Intercity/Interurban trains have been stopping at Eastwood for decades.  I used to catch the old U-boats to Central back in the 1960's.  It is after all the largest retail/commercial centre on the Main North (larger than Epping by a wide margin) between Strathfield and Hornsby and was even larger than Hornsby in years past.  It is still a major interchange for regional bus services to Parramatta, Macquarie Park, Chatswood, Auburn and the city via the Victoria Rd corridor, although the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link has since downgraded its importance as an interchange point to Macquarie Park and Chatswood, particularly from the north, as well as cutting its suburban peak hour services by half from 8 to 4 tph which has resulted in the Epping to CBD via Strathfield services becoming the most crowded sector, until some relief was provided under the new timetable.  The prospect of a light rail link from Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Eastwood would further enhance its position as a major transport interchange.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
AndyV, a copy & paste is all you're going to get from the "Aunt Gladys & Co" clan.
Newcastle Express

Congratulations on a completely pointless post that did nothing to address the OP's concerns. You've "corrected" them on a minor terminology quibble, talked about a completely unrelated service (the OSCar services that operate via the shore, when the OP is clearly talking about 4-car Intercity trains from Sydney Terminal), then finished with "if you complain you'll just get a form letter"... which is what the OP specified in their original post has already happened.

AndyV, I would encourage you to continue your complaints, if the trains are crowded to the point that genuine coast passengers who NEED to catch that train to the point that they risk being left behind, the government will have to do something about it. I recall seeing similar complaints about the early peak hour Intercity services on the South Coast/North lines, again with 4-car OSCar trains being unsuitable for the number of people on the train.
  michael1970 Junior Train Controller

i got the 1.44pm train from woy woy to central last friday a 4 car V it was packed by the time it got to woy woy but i was very lucky to get to a seat then there was all the luggage you had to negotiate everybody mustve been headed to the airport but i caught trains on a friday afternoon from central to woy woy and they were all 4 car trains packed by the time they left central maybe they could put 8 cars on friday afternoon seeing that is the most busiest time during the week and there should be more carriages on weekends theres enough oscars sitting doing nothing at gosford maybe they should be put into service
  Johnny_Walton Railcorp Crash Test Dummy No.1

Location: Flemington Maintenance Centre
Why do you say that the stop at Eastwood was only added as a "political" stop? Intercity/Interurban trains have been stopping at Eastwood for decades. I used to catch the old U-boats to Central back in the 1960's. It is after all the largest retail/commercial centre on the Main North (larger than Epping by a wide margin) between Strathfield and Hornsby and was even larger than Hornsby in years past. It is still a major interchange for regional bus services to Parramatta, Macquarie Park, Chatswood, Auburn and the city via the Victoria Rd corridor, although the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link has since downgraded its importance as an interchange point to Macquarie Park and Chatswood, particularly from the north, as well as cutting its suburban peak hour services by half from 8 to 4 tph which has resulted in the Epping to CBD via Strathfield services becoming the most crowded sector, until some relief was provided under the new timetable. The prospect of a light rail link from Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Eastwood would further enhance its position as a major transport interchange.
Transtopic

Stopping Central Coast trains (or any Inter-Urban) inside the metropolitan boundaries will result in issues!
Personally I believe that previous Timetables where (mostly Off Peak) express services to Newcastle only stopped at Cen, Str, Epp and Hby
And the all station runs to Wyong now Newcastle would stop Cen, Str, East and Hby,
Evened out the crowding issue.

Jono.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Stopping Central Coast trains (or any Inter-Urban) inside the metropolitan boundaries will result in issues!
Personally I believe that previous Timetables where (mostly Off Peak) express services to Newcastle only stopped at Cen, Str, Epp and Hby
And the all station runs to Wyong now Newcastle would stop Cen, Str, East and Hby,
Evened out the crowding issue.

Jono.
Johnny_Walton

Under the new timetable, there are only 3 services in the morning peak from Newcastle/Central Coast which bypass Eastwood.  Unlike the previous timetable, all northbound Intercity services in the afternoon peak stop at Eastwood. It should be remembered that the stops at Eastwood and Epping (along with Strathfield and Hornsby) are for the convenience of Newcastle/Central Coast commuters wishing to access those locations and also to interchange to other bus and rail services.

Having said that, I can sympathise with Intercity commuters who object to the use of these services by suburban passengers, creating overcrowding, when alternative services are available for the latter.  As long as the Intercity services are available for suburban passengers, you can't blame them for taking advantage of the faster journey.  Perhaps the only solution is to reintroduce set down and pick up restrictions at the Sydney Trains stations which would be difficult to police.
  Piston Train Controller

It wasn't all that long ago when the V sets were able to be rostered into 2, 4, 6, 8 and at one time 10 car trains. This allowed great flexibility to cater for specific loadings and various services. Having said that they were a pain to roster but more efficiently catered for individual loads.

The V sets were eventually rostered into 4 car sets which meant only 4 and 8 car sets. Now the Oscars are the same (4 and 8 cars)
Although a 4 car Oscar has more seats than a 4 car V set, there is a perceived reluctance by passengers to allow all seats to be utilised. Window and aisle seats are preferred leaving passengers the choice to stand or manage to squeeze into whatever room is left in the middle. Oh did I mention all the bags left on the seats as well?
  Black1050 Chief Train Controller

Location: Out of the Metrop
Re title, their are no 4 car intercity trains, intercity trains now are the XPTs, and some Xplorer services. The state government incorrectly call the V-sets, intercities, but we won't go there at the moment.


That is highly likely to be an Outer Suburban Oscar (H set) if it terminates at Wyong (& yes some H-sets start from Blacktown for example, then "terminate" at Gosford or Wyong, and then "start" another trip to Newcastle), not an interurban


I can understand peopel using interurban trains between Central & Hornsby, as 99% of the time, their is no direct suburban train between Strathfield & Hornsby, but that is the problem, the interurban trains are being used as "suburban" services between Epping/Eastwood/Strathfield & Central. The stop at Eastwood was only added as a political stop, this stop should be scrapped from interurban runs, and if interurbans need to stop at Epping, Epping & Strathfield should be set down only (d) to Central, and pick up only from Central (u).

Haven't got time to look, but I think with some exceptions, most are scheduled as 8 car V-sets.

AndyV, a copy & paste is all you're going to get from the "Aunt Gladys & Co" clan.
Newcastle Express


Newcastle Express,

You're very express alright, so quick you seem to be missing most if not all the pertinent details from the OP's post...

Raichase pretty much nailed it, but I'll add a little...

You'd better tell ALL the NSW Trains crews about this "no 4 car intercity trains", cos I'm fairly sure most of Sydney Intercity, Newcastle, Gosford, Lithgow and Mount Vic depots are under the belief that they operate "intercity trains", whether they be 4 or 8 car sets...

And do please clarify for us, when OSCars are tabled to operate services from Sydney to Newcastle (last time I checked, both locations were cities), despite being a train designed and meant for "outer suburban" use is it not being used as an "intercity" service and thus an intercity train?

"Haven't got time to look, but I think with some exceptions, most are scheduled as 8 car V-sets."
- perhaps you SHOULD look...  If by "some exceptions" you mean A LOT of exceptions, then you are correct.  Otherwise you are talking out of somewhere not your mouth...

Sydney destined services during the morning peak, are nearly all 8 car services (04:29 from Newc until the 07:29), however after the morning peak finishes, they are alternate between all 4 car sets for the all stations, and 8 car sets for the limited stops services - Often with the Express being a V Set, and the All Stations being an OSCar.
In the other direction heading North, after the first train out of Sydney at 0345, the rest are 4 car sets until 0745, when they are 8 cars until 0845 when they return to 4 cars until 1415.  The Afternoon peak in both directions is similar again.  


Suffice to say, AndyV is quite correct, and quite justified to be annoyed and the poor tabling of services and sets.  He is also quite right to suggest that anyone else who is also adversely affected by the inadequate allocation of sets for tabled service, make complaints to the relevant entity.  Despite a form letter response, you can be sure that the numbers of complaints are noted and counted.  
If there are petty little twerps counting the number complaints recieved about "not enough announcements", "Too many anouncements", "Announcements too loud", train didn't stop long enough etc, you can be sure they are also counting how many complaints are received about overcrowding.  Some of these decisions maybe political, in which case, make the most of it, and make noise so you are heard and hopefully make a difference.


If you are content to say nothing, resigned to the fact that your voice won't do anything, then you deserve all the lousy service you get.  Considering I've seen a train taken out of service within hours of receiving a complaint on 131500 about graffiti in a carriage, police sent to meet a train after a 131500 complaint (crew weren't informed until after), thus I do believe the system can work if some know how to use and make the most of it.
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
If there are petty little twerps counting the number complaints recieved about "not enough announcements", "Too many anouncements", "Announcements too loud", train didn't stop long enough etc, you can be sure they are also counting how many complaints are received about overcrowding. Some of these decisions maybe political, in which case, make the most of it, and make noise so you are heard and hopefully make a difference.


If you are content to say nothing, resigned to the fact that your voice won't do anything, then you deserve all the lousy service you get. Considering I've seen a train taken out of service within hours of receiving a complaint on 131500 about graffiti in a carriage, police sent to meet a train after a 131500 complaint (crew weren't informed until after), thus I do believe the system can work if some know how to use and make the most of it.
Black1050

This isn't entirely on topic but I think its worth a mention that when I lived in Bowral until last year I made a fair bit of noise about lack of express trains to the city in peak hour. I told some of my fellow commuters who got the 6am train and had my opinion posted in the local newspaper a few times. We only had 1 train which went to the city at peak hour, the 5am train which started at Goulburn and arrived in the city at 8:15 I think. Guess what happened when the new timetable came out? A new fast train which got into the city at 8:30 Smile. I can't be sure whether the new train came directly from my petition but I'm sure it helped. If you know how to structure your complaints they will count. Be firm but don't be too aggressive (ie, don't say nsw trains are entirely smeg etc). Perhaps even say thankyou for something that has happened recently.
  nathanmurphy5 Station Master

Location: Blue Mountains
Reinforcing what Raichase stated earlier, I do believe that you should continue to raise any issues with the operator, let it be a compliant or just an awareness remark. I've heard elsewhere of similar situations where weekend Central Coast trains are full before Woy Woy, so this sounds like a critical issue that needs to be addressed by the NSW Government and/or the operator.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Re title, their are no 4 car intercity trains, intercity trains now are the XPTs, and some Xplorer services. The state government incorrectly call the V-sets, intercities, but we won't go there at the moment.
Newcastle Express

No, it is not a mistake, you just have to catch up with the current government. They purposely changed the name from "Interurban" to "Intercity". Time to move on...


AndyV, I had notice a few 4 car V Sets when I recently had to travel to Katoomba a few times, but there were not overcrowded. All the peak sets were 8 cars.

Even the Bathurst Bullet tonight was four cars (normally 2)
  Nathan1987 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mt Warrigal N.S.W
I have boarded the 3:22, 3:54 and 4:24 Central-Kiama services numerous times and they are always overcrowded being 4 cars going into peak hour. On the 4:24 which is usually the worst, it has people standing from Redfern.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No, it is not a mistake, you just have to catch up with the current government. They purposely changed the name from "Interurban" to "Intercity". Time to move on...
"Jim K"

They've been called Intercity for more than a few years, Jim.
  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

I have boarded the 3:22, 3:54 and 4:24 Central-Kiama services numerous times and they are always overcrowded being 4 cars going into peak hour. On the 4:24 which is usually the worst, it has people standing from Redfern.
Nathan1987

Do they get a seat after Sutherland? If they do, then it's not a huge problem.
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
I've been on the 6:14am Lithgow-Central 4 car train a couple of times.  When the train leaves Penrith it's already full and then the train still has to stop at Blacktown and Parramatta. After Blacktown there's barely enough space to stand.
  industrial Beginner

Do they get a seat after Sutherland? If they do, then it's not a huge problem.
stupid_girl

Yep, the 3:22, 3:54 and 4:24 departures from Central to Kiama are quite crowded, especially the 4:24, and some people have to stand until helensburgh or thirroul to get a seat, which for most of the passengers is more than half their commute. I would know because these services are my commute home from uni, but it's funny that the 1:23 train features 8 carriages... I would think the only reasoning for this is because they need some (not as much) 8 car trains for the afternoon peak hour services up to Sydney, for the people working at the industrial suburbs of Wollongong but live in Sydney, however, these trains are pretty empty from what I have seen, so perhaps they could keep the end 4 cars of the 1:23 for the 4:24 at central?

One possible reason why these trains feature only 4 cars I guess is because they do not have enough rollingstock available. The new timetable for the south coast line has seen all afternoon peak hour trains, starting from the 4:46 from central, depart from bondi junction, which was designed as a way to increase the frequency of trains for commuters from within Sydney (encouraging them to take the intercity services). Good for them, but this means that many 8 car sets run under capacity once past Sutherland, which seem like a big waste of rollingstock that could have been better employed on the earlier services (3:22, 3:54 and 4:24). In this aspect, the old timetable was way better (and easier to memorize Smile).

Rant Over
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
I had the pleasure of catching a 4 car train the other day to Lithgow... the Bathurst Bullet, and she was pretty full on the down in the evening.

Whilst my catching of Intercity trains is limited these days, I do recall in the 1990s having some crammed up 4 car Vsets leaving Penrith. But generally these were at the end of peak, well after 8am. I didn't think much has changed.
  Kurmudgeon Junior Train Controller

I was on a Newcastle train from Central last December 24 (middle of the day). There were a lot of people going away for the Christmas break, and by Strathfield it was packed; some seats were stacked with luggage with people sitting in the aisles, as it was more difficult to leave all the luggage in the aisles. It was a 4 car V set, and I overheard someone saying that service used to be 6 car pre-Oct 20.

The situation probably differed from other cases though as many people weren't going to/from work in a crowded train; most were going away for the holidays. I think that put a lot of people in a more agreeable don't-care-too-much-about-crowding mood (there was somewhat of a festive feel on board).

Of course, on a standard weekday 4 cars is probably fine for that; I just wonder why they didn't/couldn't plan for increased travel.
  5222 Station Master

The overcrowding on the evening central coast trains has been particularly bad now the Easter Show is on. Many extra people trying to get on trains at Strathfield which are standing room only ex Central.  I complained about the 6.45pm service several months ago and got a useless reply which suggested overcrowding was caused by people not spreading themselves throughout the train.  Clearly written by someone who has never been on the service in question.
  AndyV Station Master

I have also made complaints about the 6:45pm sydney to Wyong service and received the exact same response. When I pressed the issue they replied that when people realise the 6:45pm train is always full then they will choose to catch another service that is less utilised and help to evenly spread the passenger loadings based on availability!!!
Good luck to them if they think that's how it works!
One of the issues is that the new timetable in Oct last year removed some of the stops from the 7:15pm service, forcing those people into the 6:45 or 7:45pm trains which were reduced from 8 to 4 carriages at the same time!

In regards to the Easter show, I've noticed the same thing. But to their credit, some trains (1 in each direction) have been bumped up from 4 to 8 carriages for the duration of the Easter show on the Newcastle and South Coast lines (0729 Newcastle to Sydney and 2145 Sydney to Newcastle). However, apart from this 1 north service at 2145, all others after the 1815 from sydney are only 4 cars and dangerously overcrowded leaving Strathfield trying to fit everyone coming back from the Easter show onto already full trains.

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