Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

PS: the order appears to be for 6 trams:
https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/caf-to-supply-newcastle-trams

Perhaps they'll hide one on the IWLR (change the wheels)?

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  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Kitchgp & piston, the scheduled proposed total travel time is get this & are you sitting down? 17 minutes - ONE way!
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Kitchgp & piston, the scheduled proposed total travel time is get this & are you sitting down? 17 minutes - ONE way!
"Newcastle Express"


Adjust my figures accordingly. Will 6 trams be enough? Gold Coast's and Canberra's light rails are approximately 12 km long, ie 4 times longer than Newcastle, and use or will use fleets of 14 trams with similar headways. Pro rata, Newcastle would need 24 trams to do the same (economies of scale might reduce that to 22). It's hard to calculate but you would likely need about 18 extra drivers.

On my previous, probably yearly, visits to Newcastle I have occasionally caught the train between Newcastle and Hamilton. Time constraints on the last recent visit meant I could only glimpse what is going on at Wickham. Anyway on my next visit I'll remember to bring my walking shoes for sunny-day trips and a copy of War & Peace for rainy-day ones.


PS: Is it time to move this thread to the Trams and Light Rail forum (tram being the operative word)?
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
17 minutes to get into town!
They should hang onto the corridor and run a few express jobs, people will cycle and drive instead.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Let's try posting this again.

Junction Box, sounds like you almost fell off you chair when you saw 17 minutes.

Yep, 17 minutes - ONE way!
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Let's try posting this again.

Junction Box, sounds like you almost fell off you chair when you saw 17 minutes.

Yep, 17 minutes - ONE way!
Newcastle Express
Try 10 minutes. It's not 17.
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
Let's try posting this again.

Junction Box, sounds like you almost fell off you chair when you saw 17 minutes.

Yep, 17 minutes - ONE way!
Try 10 minutes. It's not 17.
Northern Flyer
Are you forgetting there are 4 stops along the way ? No way it can travel 2.7Kms at an average of 13.5Km/h , stopping at 4 stations all in 10 minutes. 17 minutes sounds about right...but I wouldn't be surprised if it is more around 20mins
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Let's try posting this again.

Junction Box, sounds like you almost fell off you chair when you saw 17 minutes.

Yep, 17 minutes - ONE way!
Try 10 minutes. It's not 17.
Are you forgetting there are 4 stops along the way ? No way it can travel 2.7Kms at an average of 13.5Km/h , stopping at 4 stations all in 10 minutes. 17 minutes sounds about right...but I wouldn't be surprised if it is more around 20mins
Xavier
It is a straight line on a former rail corridor. I think 13.5km/h and 10 minutes would be quite easy to achieve. Maybe longer if there is a significant crowd but on regular use 10 minutes should be easy to achieve.

Dulwich Hill to Taverners hill station on the IWLR is about the same length if not longer and it has 5 stops and takes 9 minutes for comparison.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Are they even using the former rail corridor?   If they aren't, I can see where 17 minutes comes from.   If they reused the former rail corridor, 10 minutes should be considered a slow trip.   less than 3km, 4 stations, a light rail vehicle should be able to get up to 80kph before it needs to stop at the next station. 8 minutes should be the goal.
  Just The Tip Junior Train Controller

Location: Danger zone
Let's try posting this again.

Junction Box, sounds like you almost fell off you chair when you saw 17 minutes.

Yep, 17 minutes - ONE way!
Try 10 minutes. It's not 17.
Are you forgetting there are 4 stops along the way ? No way it can travel 2.7Kms at an average of 13.5Km/h , stopping at 4 stations all in 10 minutes. 17 minutes sounds about right...but I wouldn't be surprised if it is more around 20mins
Xavier
Where is your accurate map of the route? Where is your information of the operations planned? Where is your mathematical formula? Where are your facts?

You are all getting excited over somebody's estimate. Thats right, a guess!
Nothing new for this forum.
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
Let's try posting this again.

Junction Box, sounds like you almost fell off you chair when you saw 17 minutes.

Yep, 17 minutes - ONE way!
Try 10 minutes. It's not 17.
Are you forgetting there are 4 stops along the way ? No way it can travel 2.7Kms at an average of 13.5Km/h , stopping at 4 stations all in 10 minutes. 17 minutes sounds about right...but I wouldn't be surprised if it is more around 20mins
It is a straight line on a former rail corridor. I think 13.5km/h and 10 minutes would be quite easy to achieve. Maybe longer if there is a significant crowd but on regular use 10 minutes should be easy to achieve.

Dulwich Hill to Taverners hill station on the IWLR is about the same length if not longer and it has 5 stops and takes 9 minutes for comparison.
simstrain
Incorrect....the light rail route runs mostly along Hunter and Scott St. It runs approx 800m along the old rail corridor from the interchange before turning into Hunter St at Worth Place and continues until it reaches the terminus at Pacific Park via Scott St.

http://imgur.com/a/cBnkY

(Yes it says 'preferred light rail alignment' in the caption for that picture, but is also the final alignment. This is just the first one I found when googling it)

I agree if it stayed on the old rail corridor it would probably be able to do it easily in 10min....but seeing as though it will be travelling along the main street in Newcastle with traffic lights and stops along the way, 17 mins seems more realistic.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Trip times aren't mentioned as one of the benefits of the light rail on the Revitalising Newcastle website. Compared to Canberra's equivalent, the site is vague and sloppy. You have to dig deep or got to other sites to find basic details. For example, the site mentions 'services every 7.5 minutes during peak hour' and 'a capacity to move 1200 people per hour' From what I can glean from other sites, the trams will have a capacity of 150 pass. Every 7.5 mins equals 8 trams per hour, hence 1200 pass/hr. However this is only one direction. There will be 8 counter-balancing tram movements in the other direction; 8 down and 8 up. It is extremely unlikely that passengers will board a tram, travel to one terminus, then the other and alight at their point of embarkation. Capacity should be listed as 2400 pass/hr.

Given the trams have a capacity of 150 pass, what happens when a train or trains arrive at the interchange, between tram departures, with, say, 200 pass? Do 50 of them have to wait another 7.5 mins in peak or 10 - 15 mins off-peak? As this system is primarily for transporting pass to and from the interchange, a rigid timetable seems inadequate. A dynamic timetable determined by the actual train arrival and departure times should be considered. It would require a fair bit of study and planning but it may be feasible. It may also require the ability to terminate 2 trams side-by-side at each end. Presumably, with the current changes, this will exist at Wickham. Adjusted times can be displayed on phone apps or station displays in real time.

Not having made any multi-modal trips in Newcastle, how will fares be charged? Will the fare be the same for a train/tram trip as the equivalent old train trip (in today's prices)? Will the 'light rail' be part of the Fare Free Bus Zone?  Will the 'light rail' generate any revenue? Can you carry bikes on it? What was the thinking behind originally having the rails raised 10cm above the roadway?

Another listed benefit on the 'light rail' website is: ' Opal ticketing to provide ease and convenience for customers'. That one has me floored.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

Trip times aren't mentioned as one of the benefits of the light rail on the Revitalising Newcastle website. Compared to Canberra's equivalent, the site is vague and sloppy. You have to dig deep or got to other sites to find basic details. For example, the site mentions 'services every 7.5 minutes during peak hour' and 'a capacity to move 1200 people per hour' From what I can glean from other sites, the trams will have a capacity of 150 pass. Every 7.5 mins equals 8 trams per hour, hence 1200 pass/hr. However this is only one direction. There will be 8 counter-balancing tram movements in the other direction; 8 down and 8 up. It is extremely unlikely that passengers will board a tram, travel to one terminus, then the other and alight at their point of embarkation. Capacity should be listed as 2400 pass/hr.

Given the trams have a capacity of 150 pass, what happens when a train or trains arrive at the interchange, between tram departures, with, say, 200 pass? Do 50 of them have to wait another 7.5 mins in peak or 10 - 15 mins off-peak? As this system is primarily for transporting pass to and from the interchange, a rigid timetable seems inadequate. A dynamic timetable determined by the actual train arrival and departure times should be considered. It would require a fair bit of study and planning but it may be feasible. It may also require the ability to terminate 2 trams side-by-side at each end. Presumably, with the current changes, this will exist at Wickham. Adjusted times can be displayed on phone apps or station displays in real time.

Not having made any multi-modal trips in Newcastle, how will fares be charged? Will the fare be the same for a train/tram trip as the equivalent old train trip (in today's prices)? Will the 'light rail' be part of the Fare Free Bus Zone?  Will the 'light rail' generate any revenue? Can you carry bikes on it? What was the thinking behind originally having the rails raised 10cm above the roadway?

Another listed benefit on the 'light rail' website is: ' Opal ticketing to provide ease and convenience for customers'. That one has me floored.
kitchgp
Gee Kitch, don't you know you can't ask the State government questions like that!
It makes then look stupid when they don't have the answers.
But I do expect Northern Flyer to post a reply and defend the undefendable real soon with some more factoids to amuse and confuse us!
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

As an outsider, one thing I would like to know is how the LR service could be viable when it appears that the heavy rail patronage has declined significantly since the truncation?  Where else is the additional patronage going to come from?  The other issue that has been conveniently ignored is the continued congestion at the Stewart Ave crossing which the truncation was supposed to resolve.

If the truncation and replacement with a LR system has widespread support, then I would expect the Coalition will win back some of the Hunter based seats at the next election.  That will be the true test.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

I would think the adjacent crossing roads, such as Hunter Street, are the cause of the congestion and will continue to be.  If you assume that Stewart Avenue and Hunter Street get equal priority and there are no amber or turn lights, then Stewart Avenue can only have a green light 50% of the time. I doubt the railway gates were closed for 30 mins in every hour.

The boom gates (not railway type) used on the Port Melbourne light rail are closed for less than 45 seconds for the passage of a tram, usually C class (length 23m). Newcastle's proposed 7.5 min headway equates to 16 movements an hour, meaning the gates would be closed for a total of 12 mins per hour, ie 20% of the time. Even a 6 min headway works out to 25% of the time. Synchronising gate closure with intersection  traffic lights shouldn't be too difficult.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Travel time... EIS mentions 12 minutes including stops. The 17 comes from an inclusion of average time waiting for the tram.

"5.1.7 Light rail travel time
With proposal operation, the travel time from Wickham Transport Interchange to Pacific Park, including an estimate for boarding and alighting activity at the intermediate stops, is estimated at 12 minutes. An average waiting time for random or uncoordinated arrivals at the light rail stop at either terminus of the line is one-half of the headway or five minutes. Therefore, the total average time for a light rail customer to travel from the Wickham Transport Interchange to Pacific Park including waiting and walking time at Wickham is estimated to be about 17 minutes"
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

Trip times aren't mentioned as one of the benefits of the light rail on the Revitalising Newcastle website. Compared to Canberra's equivalent, the site is vague and sloppy. You have to dig deep or got to other sites to find basic details. For example, the site mentions 'services every 7.5 minutes during peak hour' and 'a capacity to move 1200 people per hour' From what I can glean from other sites, the trams will have a capacity of 150 pass. Every 7.5 mins equals 8 trams per hour, hence 1200 pass/hr. However this is only one direction. There will be 8 counter-balancing tram movements in the other direction; 8 down and 8 up. It is extremely unlikely that passengers will board a tram, travel to one terminus, then the other and alight at their point of embarkation. Capacity should be listed as 2400 pass/hr.

Given the trams have a capacity of 150 pass, what happens when a train or trains arrive at the interchange, between tram departures, with, say, 200 pass? Do 50 of them have to wait another 7.5 mins in peak or 10 - 15 mins off-peak? As this system is primarily for transporting pass to and from the interchange, a rigid timetable seems inadequate. A dynamic timetable determined by the actual train arrival and departure times should be considered. It would require a fair bit of study and planning but it may be feasible. It may also require the ability to terminate 2 trams side-by-side at each end. Presumably, with the current changes, this will exist at Wickham. Adjusted times can be displayed on phone apps or station displays in real time.

Not having made any multi-modal trips in Newcastle, how will fares be charged? Will the fare be the same for a train/tram trip as the equivalent old train trip (in today's prices)? Will the 'light rail' be part of the Fare Free Bus Zone?  Will the 'light rail' generate any revenue? Can you carry bikes on it? What was the thinking behind originally having the rails raised 10cm above the roadway?

Another listed benefit on the 'light rail' website is: ' Opal ticketing to provide ease and convenience for customers'. That one has me floored.
Gee Kitch, don't you know you can't ask the State government questions like that!
It makes then look stupid when they don't have the answers.
But I do expect Northern Flyer to post a reply and defend the undefendable real soon with some more factoids to amuse and confuse us!
Showtime
I prefer real facts, not your alternative facts.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

I prefer real facts, not your alternative facts.
Northern Flyer
Come on NF, you can do better that that! You're normally so enlightening
  LesS Train Controller

Location: Behind the Camera
On a recent visit to the Hunter I found myself with a couple of hours free so I took the 110 bus into "downtown" Newcastle to bring myself up to date with the situation.

Passengers on the 110 bus no longer touch on or off with their Opal cards.

The absence of people in the Mall and surrounding streets is noticeable. Shops are largely deserted of life except for staff. This was in the middle of the day. From Watt St all the way to Beaumont St there are more commercial an business premises empty than are occupied and trading.

In many locations long established businesses have changed ownership. The old owners have seen the downturn in trade and sold out before it is too late. It is clear that closure of the rail line is slowly strangling trade to a standstill. It should not be long before many of the vacant premises begin to be boarded up.

18 months ago there appeared to be a growing market in the Mall for boutique coffee shops. Many of these have now closed and those remaining are reducing their hours of business.

Construction of the Wickham Interchange has progressed to the point where the building line can be clearly determined. It is like a Fowlhouse without outside walls.

Those calling for the closure of the rail line claimed that it separated Hunter St from the riverfront. With the line gone the view and access to the river is less than it was 2 years ago. The construction of more medium high rise buildings between the railway ROW and the river has closed off Hunter St more than ever.

Construction activity east of Beaumont St is very low. The claims that there is a boom are not evident. The only crane to be seen is at the Wickham Fowlhouse construction site.

Based on the last 2 years we should expect to see continued strangulation of business east of Beaumont St, with even less reason for anybody to want or need to go there. When the Wickham Fowlhouse opens I expect that Hamilton Station will be closed and demolished. Most of the bus routes which terminate at the old station will probably terminate at the Fowlhouse forcing passengers onto the trams and paying a fare for the privalege.
  billybaxter Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
Your account was informative until you became obsessed with your 'Fowlhouse' observation. Then it just became a cranky rant. Pity.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

I don't see how using building nicknames diminishes the report in any way. A lot of major buildings acquire nicknames, eg Jeff's Shed, Green Latrine, Gherkin, Bird's Nest. In regard to the report, the loss of David Jones didn't help the Mall's case.

I'm sure when this project is completed there will be glowing reports of passenger figures; without any reference to the cost of building and running it or any comparison with what existed before. When Melbourne's Port Melbourne and St Kilda and Adelaide's Glenelg light rails were converted from heavy rail, there were significant savings to offset the costs.  Each of the Melbourne lines completely replaced a suburban line with the consequent saving in trains (probably a total of 8 -10 for both), train crews, station staff, etc. Adelaide replaced two heavy rail lines with one light rail and converted from steam to electric. In Newcastle's case the heavy rail line has only been shortened, keeping 80+% cost of running the heavy rail plus the cost of running the light rail. There has only been a saving in some station staff and a short section of track and overhead.

One of the possible extension options listed is to Mayfield, in which case they seem to have designed in a hurdle. The tram terminus is shown on the western side of the interchange meaning  the terminus will have to be relocated to the eastern side or a flyover built to cross the rail line between Wickham and Hamilton. (I wouldn't even consider the Pacific Highway.) More possible unnecessary expense as a result of only having a vague plan. Gives one the impression that this will remain a 'nucleus' for quite some time.

PS: You never know, the architect may have kept chooks
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
The tram terminus is shown on the western side of the interchange meaning  the terminus will have to be relocated to the eastern side or a flyover built to cross the rail line between Wickham and Hamilton. (I wouldn't even consider the Pacific Highway.)
kitchgp
I do not believe this to be the case. Unless the design plans have changed dramatically over the past few months, the light rail terminus is on the Southern side of the interchange with the Heavy Rail terminating on the Western side. The light rail then crosses Hannell St (site of the old gates) and continues along the old corridor before turning onto Hunter St at Worth Place.

Screenshot of the interchange from the flyover vid posted on youtube a few months ago by TfNSW:

http://i.imgur.com/DGWUZYi.jpg
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

It always amazes me when one of the reasons for the truncation and elimination of the heavy rail was "to open up the foreshore and make it more accessible"
This is a steamy crock if I ever heard one.

Only 50% of the foreshore was ever "blocked" by the rail meaning the entire length from Watt Street to Nobbys beach was unencumbered by rail.
The foreshore was readily accessible to pedestrians via overpasses whilst vehicles and pedestrians had access at Stewart Aveneue, Watt Street and Merewether Street.

Can you name a city anywhere in the world with a ground level rail system that does not form some type of barrier?
Yet the rest of the world is able to function with rail lines but Newcastle is "special" and can't live if it is cut off from the "other side"

It just doesn't add up to waste millions of dollars on this half baked project!!!
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
It always amazes me when one of the reasons for the truncation and elimination of the heavy rail was "to open up the foreshore and make it more accessible"
This is a steamy crock if I ever heard one.

Only 50% of the foreshore was ever "blocked" by the rail meaning the entire length from Watt Street to Nobbys beach was unencumbered by rail.
The foreshore was readily accessible to pedestrians via overpasses whilst vehicles and pedestrians had access at Stewart Aveneue, Watt Street and Merewether Street.

Can you name a city anywhere in the world with a ground level rail system that does not form some type of barrier?
Yet the rest of the world is able to function with rail lines but Newcastle is "special" and can't live if it is cut off from the "other side"

It just doesn't add up to waste millions of dollars on this half baked project!!!
Showtime
Not to mention that Hunter St is going to be utter chaos over the next couple of years while it is being constructed. They have already advised local businesses that the construction is going to take place "block by block" with each block being closed up to 14 weeks at a time, as opposed to closing each side of the street at a time, existing  bus services will be rerouted up King St & Honeysuckle Drive.

If they would have just utilised the entire length of the old corridor this would be avoided. I feel for the local businesses along the route who will either go out of business or have to relocate during this period.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

I do not believe this to be the case. Unless the design plans have changed dramatically over the past few months, the light rail terminus is on the Southern side of the interchange with the Heavy Rail terminating on the Western side. The light rail then crosses Hannell St (site of the old gates) and continues along the old corridor before turning onto Hunter St at Worth Place.

Screenshot of the interchange from the flyover vid posted on youtube a few months ago by TfNSW:

http://i.imgur.com/DGWUZYi.jpg
"Xavier"



The graphic shows the terminus on the west side (south-west might be more accurate). The shadows indicate this. The tram is crossing Stewart Avenue heading south-east.  Mayfield is to the north-east.

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