Fischer: don’t close rail line

 

News article: Fischer: don’t close rail line

Politician turned author Tim Fischer has spoken against the truncation of the Hunter rail line at Wickham during a book signing tour at Kurri Kurri and Singleton.

  X Class Junior Train Controller


Politician turned author Tim Fischer has spoken against the truncation of the Hunter rail line at Wickham during a book signing tour at Kurri Kurri and Singleton.



“I do think they should use common sense and remove the overhead [wires] and switch to light rail so that Hunter trains can still run to Newcastle station,” the rail aficionado said. “I have studied many cities around the world and have never found one that has ripped up a rail corridor in their CBD.”

"Fischer: don’t close rail line"


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  X Class Junior Train Controller

Has Tim Fischer ever visited Bunbury (Western Australia)?  When the "Australind" passenger train was updated in 1987, a new terminus was also put in place, about 3kms short of the old station.  The old station is still standing (in the heart of Bunbury's CBD) and is used as the central terminal for the local bus service.  Sure, the "Australind" only runs twice daily to Perth and back, but it is an inconvenience for those passengers who wish to travel into the city centre to have to transfer to a connecting transit bus only to be shuttled to the old station.  I realise that Bunbury isn't exactly a bustling metropolis, but I feel that this was a very poor town planning decision nonetheless.  I'm with Tim Fischer on this one - please Newcastle planners, don't repeat Bunbury's mistake.  The effects would be felt far greater in Newcastle than in Bunbury.
  Dave46 Station Master

You've only got to look across "The Ditch" to Auckland for an example similar to Newcastle.   Trains originally went to the foot of Queen Street, the main street.  In 1930 they built the Auckland Railway Station somewhat out of town, linked by light rail (then called a tram) .  So forcing train most train commuters to change modes of transport for their journey downtown.  Some seventy years or so later, at great expense, a new station was constructed at Britomart, virtually at the former location,  with tunnels leading into it.  If this ill-conceived idea to remove the line in Newcastle goes ahead, will it be 70 years before they get their trains back?   Perhaps with an HST with a half hour journey to Sydney?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

It'll be the same old same old at Newcastle. They'll pull the line out and then spend the next thirty years trying to put it back.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
And Sale in Victoria.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
And Sale in Victoria.
TheBlacksmith
Sale's old station was closed and replaced by the existing station to remove the need the reverse the loco hauled Gippslander passenger train (and to divert through goods trains off the lightly built Traralgon - Heyfield line, that led to closure of that route)
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Fisher's plan still requires a terminus away from the existing Newcastle Station.

Bunbury: And they have regretted the decision, and are now talking, want to put their CBD railway back.

Auckland: Similar set up to Newcastle
I can't find the link now, but the official document states that after Auckland removed the CBD rail line, numbers of people in the CBD decreased. Auckland put their CBD railway back at great expense. Putting it back caused a growth of both people, and investment, and now in the process of extending their CBD railway in some form of loop.

Newcastle (in reply to Sulla1):
Trouble is that developers are after the rail land, & they can't wait till they get their greedy developer mits on it. The rail land is valuable real estate to them.
Surely this photo (rats, why can't I find them when I need them? It's the photo that shows looking towards Newcastle Station & Custom's House, looking towards the old Royal Newcastle Hospital (PS: And surely the old Royal Newcastle Hospital site proves what the developers are after.)

Edit: Found it: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7449/9416615968_fccc84863b_h.jpg

And if people don't believe that developers see this rail land as valuable real estate, see this Street View: http://goo.gl/maps/0PlFe

And I will the following links tell if the line and Newcastle Station is used or not:

Photos:
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
“I do think they should use common sense and remove the overhead [wires] and switch to light rail so that Hunter trains can still run to Newcastle station,” the rail aficionado said. “I have studied many cities around the world and have never found one that has ripped up a rail corridor in their CBD.”
A poorly-informed person

Just how does he think light rail vehicles are powered?  Fairy juice???

I'm preaching to the converted here but we know that the sensible option is to retain things as they are.  The issue at hand is to persuade the politicians of this.
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
Just how does he think light rail vehicles are powered?  Fairy juice???
Gwiwer
Maybe he was thinking of a modern light rail system that does not require overhead wiring, such as ground level switched contact or INNORAIL. I believe they are an advanced form of third rail system where the conductor rail is only energised during the presence of a train. However, last time I checked there were not many applications of this technology; if Newcastle does have its trains replaced with trams they probably will utilise overhead wiring (I hope not, but I guess it would be slightly better than nothing).

The only trams Newcastle should be getting are for street routes such as those that were replaced by buses 60 years ago.



I'm preaching to the converted here but we know that the sensible option is to retain things as they are. The issue at hand is to persuade the politicians of this.
Gwiwer
It seems the only way to do this would be for the people of Newcastle to hit the streets and scare them out of closing the line. Alas, cannot see it happening; at least not to the extent required.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

I cant really see massed support happening to save the Newcastle branch line.
Over many months of campaigning, the "Save Our Rail" group only managed to acquire 10 000 or so signatures on a petition to deliver to the NSW parlaiment, so that makes it at least 250 000 or more from the area that didnt sign.
  hunslet1915 Chief Train Controller

The best example is Perth to Freemantle in W.A.   Ten years or so after the line was closed, it was reconstructed and re-opened.
  X Class Junior Train Controller

The best example is Perth to Freemantle in W.A.   Ten years or so after the line was closed, it was reconstructed and re-opened.
hunslet1915
Fremantle line was only closed for about 4 years and was still in place and used by freight trains so reconstruction wasn't needed, though the stations needed sprucing up.  The line was then electrified about 8 years after reopening.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

X Class (About Bunbury CBD)
X Class, what was the effect on the Bunbury CBD of terminating the trains outside their CBD?
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I cant really see massed support happening to save the Newcastle branch line.
Over many months of campaigning, the "Save Our Rail" group only managed to acquire 10 000 or so signatures on a petition to deliver to the NSW parlaiment, so that makes it at least 250 000 or more from the area that didnt sign.
"tezza"



Precisely. At the end of the day, it is about the figures that are delivered in the executive summaries sent to politicians. It is not about how keen people are. After all, remember what Sir Humphrey said:

Things don't happen just because Prime Ministers are very keen on them! Neville Chamberlain was very keen on peace!
"Sir Humphrey Appleby"
  X Class Junior Train Controller

X Class (About Bunbury CBD)
X Class, what was the effect on the Bunbury CBD of terminating the trains outside their CBD?
Newcastle Express
Not being a Bunbury local (I live at the other end of the line in Perth), I can't really comment on how the Bunbury CBD has been effected or if the locals are cursing the town planners for what I believe to be a poor planning decision.  The freight yards were removed from the old station precinct some time before the passenger facilities were moved.  I can understand the desire to relocate the former, freeing up land around the CBD for locals and visitors to enjoy, making the waterfront much more accessible.   It also reduced waiting times for motorists at level crossings when slow freight and shunting movements apparently kept some boom gates down for substantial amounts of time.  Sure the railway may have acted as a division near the CBD and a shopping centre has been erected close to the old station, encroaching slightly on the old railway reserve.  However, if the railway had remained, plans surely could have been made to place new developments above the railway (as is the case in Cairns, and indeed in Perth) without causing inconvenience to the travelling public who don't have access to private transport upon reaching their destination.  

Any Bunbury people care to comment?

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