Interesting thoughts, its entirely possible that the inner west connection cant be done and they cant quite get 24 tph with the DD but I am not sure how either of us can know that with the info available. It would be guesswork. Although arent all these ideas about deferring the second crossing? I think where we disagree is that you believe that like the previous Government, the current Government still dont want to build the second crossing despite it now being official policy. I dont agree, they want to build it and they seem to be indicating it would be around the price that they are shelling out for the NWRL, partly because the push for SD trains is also based on making a Second Harbour crossing going under the harbour "more" affordable. The affordable part is where I have my issues and I really think they need to look at other options aswell as the under harbour path.
I'm sure they *want* to build the 2nd crossing too. But they certainly don't want to pay for it!
Interesting comments about Western Sydney. But my take on the WEX is it's an agenda item comming from the bottom up rather than the top down. I doubt it has anything to do with the voters in Western Sydney. The Master Plan doesn't have a WEX, and a lack of new services to the true west (not those psuedo westies up in the NW hills ) is a hallmark of the plan.
You have to remember that by the time a decision needs to be made to fund the current official plan, we'll likely be into the 3rd term of an O'Farrel (or more likely someone else) government. The political landscape will no doubt be very different, and that government will be faced with choices over which of it's voters to be distributing largess too.
I don't think SD has anything to do with a desire to make the second crossing cheaper per say. It's a number of things really, and while cost is at the heart of these, this agenda pre-dates the second crossing being part of the Lib's policy. I think a lot of the NWRL agenda is making the project a viable privately owned and operated entity.
For me, the heart of the problem in NSW is our government institutions are incapable of dealing with appropriately planning these large infrastructure projects, irrespective of the flavour of the politicians at the top.
The second harbour crossing has been an article of faith in NSW since Bradfield put those redundant rail lines across the harbour 80 years ago. My issue is not so much how unlikely to be built for affordability reasons, it's that it *will* (eventually) be built but turn out to be a boondoggle like the Airport line - at the expense of providing the public transport scaffolding on which to build the future city.