Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  8041 Junior Train Controller

Finally the truth comes out. It was never about improving Newcastles transport.  It was all about developer greed and political corruption.  It wasnt about opening up the foreshore. It was about opening money making opportunities for the big end of town.
You have been scammed people of Newcastle. Conned and fooled. The only saving grace is that they havent shut it down yet. This is the last chance to stop this stupid, greed driven waste of a good asset, an asset many cities would kill for, and make sure Newcastles rail link stays forever.

Oh and how many liberal lies will the people of Australia put up with? When will they learn?

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  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Oh & on the Watt St to Nobbys Rd (ie: The Foreshore), last year I found large signs that mentioned the word development ON The Foreshore as well. But they were quickly removed.

If I can find the photo I'll show it later.

We all know what it's about, even developer Mc$Cloy said that he is "open" about development ON the rail land.

Translated, he can't wait to get his developer mits on the rail land. Now you watch him propose high rise on it.

And here is what someone called Nathan stated on Richard Kings's Facebook site:

“The NSW government lied about development on the rail corridors, maybe icac need to look at the behind the scenes dealings with this whole issue”
  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
Oh and how many liberal lies will the people of Australia put up with? When will they learn?
8041

Lies, yes!

Liberal lies, no! Tripodi, Roozendahl etc. were as bad. They were not Liberals.

I remember writing to my local member about rumors that Joe had found a way to sell or lease rail corridors without officially closing the railways on which services had been suspended. Our member was then opposition spokesman for transport; she replied along the lines that they would not allow disposal of rail land by administrative means but that Parliament could pass an Act to close a line in the rare event that there was a need for the land. Guess that we have found that rare event.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Tim Owen says they might just put some cafes on it and no highrise.
What a crock of bullwaste.

Even if this were true, wasn't the original idea to open up access for businesses on both sides of the line.
Putting in a few more coffee shops and cafes certainly won't help the existing cafes that are there now struggling for existance.
These lying bastards just say whatever needs to be said to pull the wool over everyone's eyes
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Even if this were true, wasn't the original idea to open up access for businesses on both sides of the line.
Showtime

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/05/30/4015852.htm?site=newcastle

Here is the lie below:
In late 2012 when the Government announced the rail line was to be removed, the former Planning Minister Brad Hazzard announced that the Government had no intention of opening the space to development.

On 14 December 2012, ABC Radio News reported:
'The State Government is assuring the people of Newcastle it won't allow developers to move into the city's rail corridor, now that it's decided to cut train services into the CBD.

Planning Minister Brad Hazzard is today announcing 120-million dollars to kickstart a plan to cut heavy rail at Wickham, replacing trains with buses and building a new transport interchange
.
The State Government will also be seeking Federal Government funds as well investment from the private sector.
Hunter Street's mall will get an overhaul and there'll be eight new links to connect the city to the waterfront.


Mr Hazzard says the rail corridor will remain in public hands, " I can make it very clear, 100 per cent, that our intent it stays in public ownership for the long haul, so there's no intent whatsoever to go handing it over to developers. What we're really talking about here is a guaranteed, no doubt about it, stays in public ownership, must remain as a potential corridor".

But he was interviewed by Meryl Swanston just after the original announcement (their was NO consultation with the people whatsoever regarding the announcement), he did say that above, but Swanston asked him, and then said along the lines "If someone 'twists' his arms enough"

Someone meaning developers

Jeff Dollar$$ McCloy reply
Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy told 1233 he's open minded about the possibility of the rail corridor being developed, "I'm not too sure until I see the final plan. My mind would be open,"

Now this "greedy" developer comes out and wants Civic Station to be demolished and turned into a car park: See: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2330669/pru-goward-rubbishes-rail-conspiracy-plots-poll/?cs=305
  TomBTR Chief Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
That last story linked above seems to be urgent PR damage control from the Minister and her developer friends. No doubt they are now briefing McCloy to keep his mouth shut about his plans until the track is dug up.

If this was just about transport then the trams would be ordered, the depot built and the street tracks completed before the existing service had to stop for conversion. Any half reasonable engineer could manage this project to minimise disruption and still have the trams arrive just in time for the opening.

Of course this is not about transport, more likely that the program is being set up to get people used to the idea of making their own way to town by road, or maybe not coming at all, while minimising committed expenditure.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

I severely doubt any of us will see light rail operating in Newcastle.
After the heavy rail is truncated it will be bandied about for another couple of years and then labelled as not cost effective.
Get used to buses because that's all Newcastle will have left once they close the rail.
  tezza Chief Commissioner
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Released on a Friday night - of a long weekend - of course!

Rail reports seen as too commercially sensitive
(Newspaper title: Rail reports held close: Seen as too commercially sensitive)

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2335397/rail-reports-seen-as-too-commercially-sensitive/?cs=305

"Commercially sensitive" - yeah right Rolling Eyes
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper

“The NSW government lied about development on the rail corridors, maybe icac need to look at the behind the scenes dealings with this whole issue”
"Newcastle Express"


Here! Here!

Auckland, NZ has in the last eleven years moved its railway back into the City. I still find it hard to believe that the railway can't be placed underground.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Whats the point of putting the railway underground? It wont get you to within 100 metres of the Stockton ferry or the beach, it only gives you two stops compared to six and it wont run every 10 minutes.
The railway will runs mostly empty trains on a usually hourly basis and the multitude of buses down Hunter street can be replaced by the light railway
  brissim Chief Train Controller

Whats the point of putting the railway underground? It wont get you to within 100 metres of the Stockton ferry or the beach, it only gives you two stops compared to six and it wont run every 10 minutes.
The railway will runs mostly empty trains on a usually hourly basis and the multitude of buses down Hunter street can be replaced by the light railway
tezza

Thank you for highlighting the absurdity of what is being proposed. Forget about the pros and cons of light vs heavy rail, the real nonsense here is that the Government is proposing to spend a couple of hundred million dollars of our money to install a light rail system with 6 stops and services every 10 minutes replacing an existing bus service with at least 8 stops (between Wickham and the bus terminus) and a frequency I would suspect to be less than 10 minutes even off-peak. This is indeed great progress. Why not simply build the rail and bus interchange at Wickham and simply run shuttle buses every 10 minutes down Hunter St?

Tony
  tezza Chief Commissioner

I doubt you will ever get it, what would be the point of  shuttle buses
down Hunter street duplicating the light railway service when they can be used to increased the service frequency on their suburban bus runs. There are 27 bus routes down hunter street that will be replaced by the light railway service, your one shuttle bus would not cope. A trip into Newcastle takes on average 1 hour 15 minutes travelling around the world so you can connect with a train that takes you out in the opposite direction. Patronage on Newcastle buses is low because of this. The time to the new Wickham interchange would be about 40 minutes
  brissim Chief Train Controller

No tezza - you're the one who's not getting it. Once you have spent $100M-$200M pulling up the heavy rail and building a rail and bus interchange at Wickham, you've already achieved the main purpose of "opening up" access between Hunter St and the Foreshore. Why then spend another $200M-$300M (or whatever) on the light rail and the purchase of the trams when all you have to do is buy another 10-20 buses (at what - $0.5M(?) each = $10M) to operate the shuttle service? As you say this then frees up the existing bus fleet to increase services to the suburbs. The light rail option simply doesn't make any economic sense at all.

Tony
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Why buy 10-20 buses at half a million each for a shuttle when people can walk? It's only 2.5 km and like Sydney, Newcastle also has an obesity problem.They could do with the exercise and the heavy rail corridor can be used as a walking track. But we both know that won't happen because they are already complaining about having to walk 20m at the Wickham interchange.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Can anyone explain to me how this miracle will occur.
The rail line will be removed and millions of dollars spent on removing it and installing an interchange for buses and light rail, light rail will be built, and stations sold or demolished (calls are already there to demolish Civic station).
Why will this suddenly revitalise Newcastle's so called CBD?
I can't seem to fathom how all this wasted money will bring thronging hordes into Hunter Street and Honeysuckle Drive.
It just needs someone with a little bit on common sense to say buggar this, leave the public transport system in place and lets spend the Port money on a Stewart Avenue bridge, a Glendale interchange, and Adamstown under or over pass, and finish the Jesmond to New Lambton Heights road.
Newcastle could have all of these projects on the move for the same money that is being wasted on taking out a train line that is not really supported and replacing it with another train line that will just compound traffic issues.
In 3 or 4 years when the light rail is in, Newcastle will still have all it's same issues - no one wants to be in the CBD except on NYE or Australia Day, and none of the above stated projects will be even started.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

At last some good news on the horizon with tenders called for the
Design & Construction Contractor for the Wickham Transport Interchange Project - Registration of Interest.

The Project involves permanent termination of the rail services between Newcastle and Wickham Stations along with the associated station, stabling, turnaround and interchange facilities works. The construction component includes the following:
·         Station works (including platforms, buildings, services);
·         Stabling yard (and associated signalling, overhead wiring, power and communications); and
·         Track works to new Terminus platforms (and associated signalling, overhead wiring, power and communications).


https://tenders.nsw.gov.au/?event=public.rft.show&RFTUUID=374E3CEE-AFA4-A76A-224D2000770E027C&utm_source=newops&utm_medium=emailHTML&utm_campaign=newops-20140608-F-K
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Finally the truth comes out. It was never about improving Newcastles transport. It was all about developer greed and political corruption. It wasnt about opening up the foreshore. It was about opening money making opportunities for the big end of town.
You have been scammed people of Newcastle. Conned and fooled. The only saving grace is that they havent shut it down yet. This is the last chance to stop this stupid, greed driven waste of a good asset, an asset many cities would kill for, and make sure Newcastles rail link stays forever.

Oh and how many liberal lies will the people of Australia put up with? When will they learn?
8041

This is not a LNP thing. The Newcastle line has been under threat during the ALP term for how long? If anything it gained traction during the ALP govt. There were comments here and reports that showed the govt wouldn't let the LX and traffic light tuning to occur to reduce waiting times for traffic. Other options were also squashed. It was also shown under ALP that the cost of building the transfer station for the then high frequency bus option was more than the operational subsidy for the HR line for the next 25 years.

The developers, local Mayor and both sides of the NSW govt have been chasing the closure of the Newcastle line for years. We all knew the ROW would be redeveloped sooner or later and If anything the project was sweetened in recent years via use of LR technology to replace the bus option.

Personally I think a new main station could be built between Civic and Newcastle to replace both on Newcastle side of Civic station and submerged then sink back 1km or so to address many of the issues raised by the pro closure group yet at lower cost and reduce the cost operationally by merging two stations into one larger one.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Newcastle played host to Gladys yesterday for another attempt at State government brainwashing and early election campaigning.
Gladys said that we will only get funding for the Glendale interchange if they are re-elected with their mandate to sell the electricity transmission network and that we will not be receiving anymore than the original $350 million from the $1.7B sale of the Port of Newcastle.
It looks like most of the money from the sale of the power grid will be spent in Sydney on harbour rail tunnels and western Sydney freeways.
This is all coming from a person supposably labelled as the "Minister for the Hunter"
I would have interpreted this role as someone who represents the Hunter in State Parliament and does everything in their power to see that the Hunter gets every opportunity for funding infrastructure and improvements.
Instead it appears to me that Gladys is really representing the Liberal government in the Hunter, and in fact working against us.

Now I have to go and vote Labor
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Newcastle played host to Gladys yesterday for another attempt at State government brainwashing and early election campaigning.
Gladys said that we will only get funding for the Glendale interchange if they are re-elected with their mandate to sell the electricity transmission network and that we will not be receiving anymore than the original $350 million from the $1.7B sale of the Port of Newcastle.
It looks like most of the money from the sale of the power grid will be spent in Sydney on harbour rail tunnels and western Sydney freeways.
This is all coming from a person supposably labelled as the "Minister for the Hunter"
I would have interpreted this role as someone who represents the Hunter in State Parliament and does everything in their power to see that the Hunter gets every opportunity for funding infrastructure and improvements.
Instead it appears to me that Gladys is really representing the Liberal government in the Hunter, and in fact working against us.

Now I have to go and vote Labor
Showtime

Sydney generates 25% of the countries income (wiki) and most of the state and has about 75% of the states population so most of money will of course be spent there. Newcastle is getting its LR loop in the city (whether it wants it or not).

How much of the PoN sale will go to debt retirement that was borrowed for its series of upgrades? liek selling a house. Bank first, ATO next, other creditors then you get whats left.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

It doesn't matter if wiki says Sydney makes 25% of Australia's income, the Port of Newcastle is the biggest coal port in the world and it's here in NEWCASTLE. The sale of the transmission lines also affects Newcastle and the Hunter as the majority of the power stations are HERE and the transmission lines and substations are HERE too.
All the assets that are being disposed off have been bought and paid for by Newcastle and Hunter residents and workers.
There are no silvertail coal miners in Pitt St earning money for the state.
Sydney just sucks the guts out of the Hunter and leaves it with slim pickings.
We will be losing an effective rail system and gaining a half arsed amusement ride down Hunter Street as well as NOT getting the inmfrastructure that we do need.
If Gladys was an effective and creditable Minister she would see what needs to be done, and not just be doing what she is told to do by Macquarie St.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It doesn't matter if wiki says Sydney makes 25% of Australia's income, the Port of Newcastle is the biggest coal port in the world and it's here in NEWCASTLE. The sale of the transmission lines also affects Newcastle and the Hunter as the majority of the power stations are HERE and the transmission lines and substations are HERE too.
All the assets that are being disposed off have been bought and paid for by Newcastle and Hunter residents and workers.
There are no silvertail coal miners in Pitt St earning money for the state.
Sydney just sucks the guts out of the Hunter and leaves it with slim pickings.
We will be losing an effective rail system and gaining a half arsed amusement ride down Hunter Street as well as NOT getting the inmfrastructure that we do need.
If Gladys was an effective and creditable Minister she would see what needs to be done, and not just be doing what she is told to do by Macquarie St.
Showtime

Coal is important to the Australian economy no one will argue with this but its still a low value commodity, meaning you need to move lots of it to make anything from it. Newcastle is what 250mtpa at $100/t is $25B in exports. Sydney's banking and finance probably match that and more.  

The sale of the transmission lines has no consequence to Newcastle. Their pure existence to feed one hungry customer which ultimately pays for it, Sydney. The power stations likewise do not belong to Newcastle, they belong to the state and primaryly to feed Sydney.

One thing for sure, these assets have NOT BEEN bought and paid for by Hunter region resisdents. The state invested for the needs of local industry or in case of power, mostly for Sydney. Yes Tomago uses 940MW (more than a bucket of poo load), but likewise Tomogo pays its power bill so that means ultimately the asset was paid for by Alcan/Rio. Or you going to tell me Tomago belongs to the workers of the Hunter? I didn't hear complaints when Rio bought Alcan.

Sydney has funded Newcastle through good and bad (I lived there through the bad when jobs were hard to come by). Newcastle is part of the state of NSW, its infrastructure was funded from the state budget. The assets belong to the owner and the owner has the right to manage them as they see fit within the boundry's of their scope.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

It is the people of the Hunter and Newcastle that have had to adapt their lifestyles to having enormous open cut coal mines, disruptive underground coal mines, non stop coal truck and train transport movements, and huge tracts of land tied up for coal loaders all on their doorstep.
And no one in Sydney has to endue the increases in asthma that the local children are copping as a consequence of increased coal dust.
Most of the 132KV transmission lines run through Hunter Valley properties, not Bondi backyards.
As for Tomago, both Kurri and Tomago are/were on hotlines direct out of the stations and were paying next to nothing for their power compared to other industries.
I agree that the assets are owned by the owners but the State Liberal Party is not the owner, they are only the temporary custodians.
We the people are the owners and we should not have our assets sold out from underneath ourselves. Would you sit quitely if the local council came down to your house and said they need some more money because they are hopelessly incompetent with financial matters so they are going to sell your house to try and pay the bils they have accumulated?
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Getting the thread back on track in relation to the heavy railway truncation is this ...
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/newcastle-light-rail-and-wickham-interchange-forge-ahead

Newcastle Light Rail and Wickham Interchange forge ahead

Minister for Transport and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian today announced a major step forward for light rail in Newcastle, with a registration of interest now open to design and construct the new transport interchange at Wickham.
Speaking today in Newcastle, Ms Berejiklian said the NSW Government is wasting no time delivering this key revitalisation project for the Newcastle CBD, with a tender also awarded to prepare a Review of Environmental of Factors (REF) for the interchange.
“The Hunter region has a bright future and this Government is showing a strong commitment to its growth,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“With targeted investment by the NSW Government – boosted by the lease of the port and a once-in-a-generation long-term lease of the State’s electricity distribution and transmission businesses – the Hunter is reaping the benefits of new and improved infrastructure, including the delivery of light rail.”
Following consultation earlier this year on the route for light rail in Newcastle, the NSW Government is getting on with the job of delivering this transformational project.
Truncating the heavy rail line at Wickham and constructing a new fully-accessible transport interchange linking to light rail will help re-connect the city with the foreshore and bring jobs, residents and visitors to the Newcastle city centre.
Ms Berejiklian said the release of a registration of interest for the design and construction of Wickham today is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to start early works on the interchange by the end of the year.
“We’ve also appointed a contractor to carry out an REF for the interchange, which means the people of Newcastle will be invited to have their say during a public display from July this year.
“The REF is a great opportunity for the community to get involved and make sure we can identify any potential issues ahead of time to deliver the best possible interchange for public transport customers.
“As part of the REF process, the community will be shown more detailed information about the interchange and have the opportunity to have their questions answered by a range of planning and transport experts.”
Last month the NSW Government announced the light rail route will travel east from the new Wickham transport interchange along the existing rail corridor, before moving to Hunter Street and Scott Street and terminating at Pacific Park.
Over the next two months, the light rail project team will be carrying out traffic and geotechnical surveys above and below ground in preparation for the REF and construction of the new interchange and the light rail.
Newcastle Light Rail and Wickham Interchange forge ahead (pdf 79KB)
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It is the people of the Hunter and Newcastle that have had to adapt their lifestyles to having enormous open cut coal mines, disruptive underground coal mines, non stop coal truck and train transport movements, and huge tracts of land tied up for coal loaders all on their doorstep.
And no one in Sydney has to endue the increases in asthma that the local children are copping as a consequence of increased coal dust.
Most of the 132KV transmission lines run through Hunter Valley properties, not Bondi backyards.
As for Tomago, both Kurri and Tomago are/were on hotlines direct out of the stations and were paying next to nothing for their power compared to other industries.
I agree that the assets are owned by the owners but the State Liberal Party is not the owner, they are only the temporary custodians.
We the people are the owners and we should not have our assets sold out from underneath ourselves. Would you sit quitely if the local council came down to your house and said they need some more money because they are hopelessly incompetent with financial matters so they are going to sell your house to try and pay the bils they have accumulated?
Showtime

The population of Newcastle and hunter has been growing for some time, if you don't like the coal dust and other issues, don't move there. If you live there its like living next to an Airport, its not going to get any better, so move.

The 132kV lines (and there are higher) has to run through large parts of Sydney. You cannot run Bondi on 11kV feeder from Cowan. The HV lines run through the nth suburbs, then in the inner citie underground. The EM radiation from the lines is not constrained by the ground.

Having worked for Australian Aluminium smelters I have a fairly good idea exactly what Tomago and Kurri have/had in their power contracts. If you want to pay for a huge chunk of power, 24/7, take or pay with +99% loading factor for the next 25yrs at the HV tramission line voltage and take care of all the step down and pay the bill monthly, you too will get the same price. Yes its cheap compared to other industries, but there is a bloody good reason for it, they don't operate like other industries . The provide a low cost bankable gaurentee for which the state was able to expand its generation capacity. Kurri closed because at the 11th hour teh govt pulled the power contract (and the low metal price and old technology of Kurri meant it wasn't worth fighting for). The power price is also not next to nothing. Think hot water off-peak rates and you are in ball park.

The current state leadership is like the leadership of any publically listed business. They have the power to buy and sell. The people think they own the power stations, but the don't, NSW govt INC does. Otherwise you would have access to the power station you don't because you don't own it, you are a share holder in teh govt and the govt owns it.  Just like ths share holders of Rio don't have access to Tomago. The local council does not own my house, so its an very incorrect comparison.

You meant bills acculumated, why not critise the previous govt for generating those bills?

Why does the state need to continue to own these power stations? They need to run at a profit regardless of ownership to enable funds to replace. The state controls the price regardless of who owns. In reality the gate price for power hasn't moved much in last 10 years and if anything my Power Industry friends tell be the price is below commerically sustainable, ie the taxpayer will need to subsidise new generating capacity.

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