Newcastle Rail Line: Announcements

 
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Assuming that none of the political parties will ever stump up the funds to extend the Amusement Ride, sorry I mean Light Rail, to westward areas of the city, then I think I can come up with a better design than what we will be getting at the interchange end of things.

This fiasco, sorry I mean Light Rail, is still going to cause major traffic congestion as it crosses Stewart Avenue at the annoying slow speed of around 5 km/h in either direction meaning we have gained nothing at all except the same congestion we had to start with.

My idea would to have been to build the Archaic Tram, sorry Light Rail terminal across the road on the eastern side of Stewart Avenue and have it linked to the Heavy Rail terminus via an underpass with travellators effortlessly conveying passengers as used in airports.
This would remove all blockages of Stewart Avenue and still allow an easy transfer for passengers alighting from the real trains and wishing to partake themselves of a very short journey on the fantasy train, sorry Light Rail. It also would blend in better with the proposed bus interchange on the eastern side.

Whilst I am online I will also give you my one and only experience of the new Terminus, which incidentally I can sum up as a crap experience.
My wife and I decided to take our 5yo grandson on his first railway experience and a visit to the Museum to see the Dinosaur Exhibition so we left the car at Cardiff and commuted to Wickham or pseudo Newcastle as it is. This part worked reasonably well as upon arrival we were herded out of the terminal and down the street to catch a 110 bus which we then alighted from at Honeysuckle close to the Museum.

After viewing the exhibition it was now lunch time but the Museum only has a coffee bar type of refreshment available so walked back to Honeysuckle to find something a bit more suited to kids but that wasn't possible so we all had icecream for lunch. We then waited, and waited, and then waited some more for a 110 bus to come by. While waiting at least 3 empty buses went past all displaying "not in service" signs which was a bit annoying. Eventually we decided we would like to go home on that particular day so we started walking back to Wickham. After 100 metres we discovered that 5 year old's don't like walking and found they are better suited to sitting on someone else's shoulders when the journey is several kilometres long, much to my disappointment and arthritic joints. We never saw another bus so we just trudged it out to the terminal.

Once there I discovered that there were no signs to say what train would be arriving/leaving at what platforms. There was signs displaying this info but they were halfway down each platform which meant walking down and taking potluck on getting it right. Being a Gunzel I thought I was pretty smart in regard to this and seeing as how I wanted to go to Cardiff then this train would be on platform 1 because it was the most logical place for it to be so it could travel straight out of the station and veer left towards Broadmeadow and not foul the triangle at Woodville Junction.  Wrong, wrong and wrong again. After walking down platform 1 I found a Maitland train sitting there so I retraced my steps to the opposing platform to find the Sydney train waiting at this platform, waiting being the imperative word as we  spent close to an hour doing this before it would make a move.

How crazy is that arrangement? Firstly no notification of what train goes where until you have nearly walked there anyway, and who in their peanut size brain came up with the plan to have the Sydney bound trains crossing the Maitland bound tracks, and the Maitland bound trains crossing the Sydney bound tracks, when neither of them needed to cross at all.

Whilst enduring our extended visit to the terminal we decided to supplement our ice cream lunch with something more substantial from the terminal takeaway shop. As anticipated, this didn't go very well either so we selected some chocolate bars and had a discussion with the friendly lady working their on the shortcomings of the shop and terminal. She said business was not very good as there was no parking anywhere so no one was commuting from there at all. She told us she had to park her car in a very dark back street in Wickham, and was very scared each time she had to walk back to it at the end of trading.

Eventually the Gods had decided we had suffered enough with our visit to Newcastle and the train, a real full size one, trundled off merrily dropping us of fully exhausted at Cardiff as the sun went down and us vowing that we will never use public transport again.
Nice story but the 110 bus does not run from Honeysuckle to the interchange so it is hardly surprising that you didn't see one. They run every 10 minutes along King Street. I find that when I take a PT trip with a small family, I tend to plan ahead for such things.
Well Northern Flyer, what bus was I on then and what bus was I waiting for to pick me up at Honeysuckle if it wasn't the 110?
I was expecting it to arrive and then we would complete the loop of the City but it just didn't come. The only buses going past for an hour were ones that were not in service


With Newcastle Interchange opening on 15 October, the route for the temporary shuttle bus service (110) from Hamilton Station to Newcastle Station will change to enable buses to pick-up and drop-off customers on Stewart Avenue, directly in front of the interchange.

From the interchange, the 110 will continue along Hannell Street before turning into Honeysuckle Drive and continuing along Wharf Road to Customs House. There will be stops on Honeysuckle Drive, Wharf Road, Watt Street and King Street.

The shuttle bus service (110) map is available here,

For more information on Newcastle Interchange visit Revitalising Newcastle


Taken from transport Newcastle website
Showtime
So you just stood there and did nothing. No 'phone call to enquire what was going on?

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  Northern Flyer Train Controller



This fiasco, sorry I mean Light Rail, is still going to cause major traffic congestion as it crosses Stewart Avenue at the annoying slow speed of around 5 km/h in either direction meaning we have gained nothing at all except the same congestion we had to start with.

My idea would to have been to build the Archaic Tram, sorry Light Rail terminal across the road on the eastern side of Stewart Avenue and have it linked to the Heavy Rail terminus via an underpass with travellators effortlessly conveying passengers as used in airports.
This would remove all blockages of Stewart Avenue and still allow an easy transfer for passengers alighting from the real trains and wishing to partake themselves of a very short journey on the fantasy train, sorry Light Rail. It also would blend in better with the proposed bus interchange on the eastern side.

Showtime
That is nonsense. The total red time for the tram to cross will be a fraction of the total red time when boom gates were in place. The big advantage is that the Traffic Control Signals for the light rail will be coordinated with the TCS on either side at Honeysuckle Drive and Hunter Street by SCATTS. Put simply, when the lights are green on Hunter Street, the Light Rail will get a green light. The interchange as designed will be one of the most convenient around with a very short level work under cover. Much easier than alighting your train at Cardiff.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

So you just stood there and did nothing. No 'phone call to enquire what was going on?
nswtrains

If you get to the stage of having to make a phone call it would be quicker to walk to Newcastle Interchange. It’s not going to make the buses come quicker.

The boom gates on Melbourne’s Route 109 light rail only take about 30 secs to run through a full cycle, ie
Traffic lights from green to amber for 4 secs (the requirement for 60 kph zones)
Traffic lights amber to red
Booms lower
Tram passes
Booms raise (the delay seems a tad excessive)
Traffic lights red to green

If you fast forward to 7:50 min on this video you’ll see the Bridge Street, Port Melbourne gates in operation (looking north):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4OIX_eCk3M
(There are shots of two trams crossing at Ingles Street, Port Melbourne gates at about 7:00 min on the video.)

The whole video however highlights what could have been had the heavy rail right-of-way been used (Route 109 being the route of Australia’s first railway, apologies Port Arthur, et al).
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

So you just stood there and did nothing. No 'phone call to enquire what was going on?

If you get to the stage of having to make a phone call it would be quicker to walk to Newcastle Interchange. It’s not going to make the buses come quicker.

The boom gates on Melbourne’s Route 109 light rail only take about 30 secs to run through a full cycle, ie
Traffic lights from green to amber for 4 secs (the requirement for 60 kph zones)
Traffic lights amber to red
Booms lower
Tram passes
Booms raise (the delay seems a tad excessive)
Traffic lights red to green

If you fast forward to 7:50 min on this video you’ll see the Bridge Street, Port Melbourne gates in operation (looking north):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4OIX_eCk3M
(There are shots of two trams crossing at Ingles Street, Port Melbourne gates at about 7:00 min on the video.)

The whole video however highlights what could have been had the heavy rail right-of-way been used (Route 109 being the route of Australia’s first railway, apologies Port Arthur, et al).
kitchgp
No boom gates in Newcastle, just Traffic Control Signals. The examples from Melbourne are just like Newcastle, part on old corridor, part on streets.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

So you just stood there and did nothing. No 'phone call to enquire what was going on?

If you get to the stage of having to make a phone call it would be quicker to walk to Newcastle Interchange. It’s not going to make the buses come quicker.

The boom gates on Melbourne’s Route 109 light rail only take about 30 secs to run through a full cycle, ie
Traffic lights from green to amber for 4 secs (the requirement for 60 kph zones)
Traffic lights amber to red
Booms lower
Tram passes
Booms raise (the delay seems a tad excessive)
Traffic lights red to green

If you fast forward to 7:50 min on this video you’ll see the Bridge Street, Port Melbourne gates in operation (looking north):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4OIX_eCk3M
(There are shots of two trams crossing at Ingles Street, Port Melbourne gates at about 7:00 min on the video.)

The whole video however highlights what could have been had the heavy rail right-of-way been used (Route 109 being the route of Australia’s first railway, apologies Port Arthur, et al).
kitchgp
So if you chose not to make a simple 'phone call then its entirely your problem. We are living in the 21st century. What no cell 'phone?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

So if you chose not to make a simple 'phone call then its entirely your problem. We are living in the 21st century. What no cell 'phone?
nswtrains
Given the distance involved, it would be quicker to walk rather than wait in a phone queue. Won’t make the bus arrive any earlier.



………. The examples from Melbourne are just like Newcastle, part on old corridor, part on streets.
Northern Flyer
The entire 3 km route is in the old rail corridor.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Not all of the 3km rail corridor was used in Melbourne, 870m of it was truncated back to Clarendon Street Junction and diverted to street running for 900m to Southern Cross Station
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The 3 km light rail runs entirely in the old rail corridor, which was 4 km long. The light rail doesn't run the first 800 m or so in the old rail corridor then switch to Bay Street for the remainder of the journey to Port Melbourne, a la Newcastle.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

The 3 km light rail runs entirely in the old rail corridor, which was 4 km long. The light rail doesn't run the first 800 m or so in the old rail corridor then switch to Bay Street for the remainder of the journey to Port Melbourne, a la Newcastle.
kitchgp
Your original quote was "The whole video however highlights what could have been had the heavy rail right-of-way been used (Route 109 being the route of Australia’s first railway, apologies Port Arthur, et al).", suggesting that Newcastle should be like

I merely pointed out that Newcastle is a mixture of street running and corridor running just like Port Melbourne (street running at one end) and St Kilda (street running at both ends). In both Melbourne examples, the heavy rail corridor was abandoned at the northern end and re purposed for public space, very similar to what is happening in Newcastle.
  LesS Train Controller

Location: Behind the Camera
That section of the old Port Melbourne line from the Yarra River to the commencement of the old right of way; particularly that on the northern side of Clarendon Street; has been repurposed as part of the Crown Casino and Hotel.

The travelling time from Port Melbourne to either Elizabeth St or Swanston St in the city on route 109 trams is more than double that by the old rail line.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

That section of the old Port Melbourne line from the Yarra River to the commencement of the old right of way; particularly that on the northern side of Clarendon Street; has been repurposed as part of the Crown Casino and Hotel.

The travelling time from Port Melbourne to either Elizabeth St or Swanston St in the city on route 109 trams is more than double that by the old rail line.
LesS
As well as time taken you might also take into account if the light rail is more convenient for more passengers and the frequency of service.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

That section of the old Port Melbourne line from the Yarra River to the commencement of the old right of way; particularly that on the northern side of Clarendon Street; has been repurposed as part of the Crown Casino and Hotel.

The travelling time from Port Melbourne to either Elizabeth St or Swanston St in the city on route 109 trams is more than double that by the old rail line.
LesS
It depends where you are heading. You are correct if it is Flinders Street Station but that is not the only destination for users. PT is not all about how quickly you can get from platform to platform unless you are a train buff.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

So if you chose not to make a simple 'phone call then its entirely your problem. We are living in the 21st century. What no cell 'phone?


Given the distance involved, it would be quicker to walk rather than wait in a phone queue. Won’t make the bus arrive any earlier.



kitchgp


Could have also checked the train timetable online as the shuttle buses leave from the Interchange after a train arrival, if there were no buses for an hour then there were no train arrivals at the interchange for an hour. The bus timetables are also displayed at the bus stops, someone needs Specsavers. No one else in Newcastle has a problem getting around
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

So if you chose not to make a simple 'phone call then its entirely your problem. We are living in the 21st century. What no cell 'phone?


Given the distance involved, it would be quicker to walk rather than wait in a phone queue. Won’t make the bus arrive any earlier.





Could have also checked the train timetable online as the shuttle buses leave from the Interchange after a train arrival, if there were no buses for an hour then there were no train arrivals at the interchange for an hour. The bus timetables are also displayed at the bus stops, someone needs Specsavers. No one else in Newcastle has a problem getting around
tezza
Thank you for your insulting comments. You really are a piece of work. Why are you on this forum, just to troll?
I clearly read the timetable whilst waiting at Honeysuckle and all the buses that came were "not in service".
It was obvious that the system was not working on that day and probably every other day as well, but why would I want to try it again. I expect that I am not the only person in Newcastle that has a problem getting around as evidenced by the number of protest meetings over the  poor performance of the new contractor. I now have no need to venture into that wasteland known as Newcastle as people like you have destroyed the transport system and the parking.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

So if you chose not to make a simple 'phone call then its entirely your problem. We are living in the 21st century. What no cell 'phone?


Given the distance involved, it would be quicker to walk rather than wait in a phone queue. Won’t make the bus arrive any earlier.





Could have also checked the train timetable online as the shuttle buses leave from the Interchange after a train arrival, if there were no buses for an hour then there were no train arrivals at the interchange for an hour. The bus timetables are also displayed at the bus stops, someone needs Specsavers. No one else in Newcastle has a problem getting around
Thank you for your insulting comments. You really are a piece of work. Why are you on this forum, just to troll?
I clearly read the timetable whilst waiting at Honeysuckle and all the buses that came were "not in service".
It was obvious that the system was not working on that day and probably every other day as well, but why would I want to try it again. I expect that I am not the only person in Newcastle that has a problem getting around as evidenced by the number of protest meetings over the  poor performance of the new contractor. I now have no need to venture into that wasteland known as Newcastle as people like you have destroyed the transport system and the parking
I'm on this forum because i enjoy watching you make a complete twat of yourself repeatedly over and over again.
Ha, there's been one protest meeting concerning the buses held at the Belmont 16 footers Yacht Club organised by the usual suspects, the Newcastle Branch of the Labor Party and Newcastle Trades Hall Council. "Not in Service" because the bus routes commence at Queens Wharf and not at Honeysuckle you knucklehead, so they are going to drive straight past you. The city was chockers full of people today and the buses were running just fine, theyre not going to miss your $20 while you're sulking at home, it is only you that has a problem, learn to read a timetable.
  Been_Benuane Junior Train Controller

Newcastle has actually repeated a mistake already made and learned-from all over the world 50-60 years ago: Moving the railway from the middle of the City.
It's obvious that getting rid of the rail line into Newcastle was at the behest of shabby property developers who want to build on the corridor and ASAP. We all know that the moaning about the old rail line "cutting off the waterfront" was a crock of effluent.

And of course they wanted that line gone ASAP; there was no consideration of merely putting the rail corridor into a trench and then even making that trench a cut-and-cover tunnel (which would've been about the same price as this dopey tramline). And it's telling that they didn't wait until the tramline was operational before removing the rail corridor. Seems like such a wasted opportunity given the various old freight lines that run throughout the grater Newcastle Metropolitian area.

Well I guess we can move on and let Newcastle live with its mistake born from ignorance and naivety the wheels are already in motion. After-all Novocastrians did vote for this Jeff McCloy scumbag. Construction of the tramway is killing off Hunter street's commerce & foot traffic and even putting a smell of sewerage through the CBD. I'm not expecting the tramway to be anything except a failure and that Newcastle and/or the state of NSW may have to end-up spending an awful lot more to correct this in the future...
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

You're going to get a right Royal telling off with that sort of language. Brace yourself
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
The state of Hunter street is a total sham pile of dirt with talk of bailing out business owners, hindsight is a wonderful thing
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
And it's telling that they didn't wait until the tramline was operational before removing the rail corridor.
Been_Benuane

I don't know why this same point keeps being trotted out....there are a number of reasons they could not do this :

i) The light Rail stop / Interchange sit right on top of where the old track used to be.
ii) The Light Rail maintenance facility will be situated at the location of the old Wickham station.
iii) The light rail partially runs along the old corridor before turning into Worth Place.

Please enlighten us to how the light rail infrastructure could have been constructed with the heavy rail line in place ?
  TomBTR Train Controller

Location: near Sydney
And it's telling that they didn't wait until the tramline was operational before removing the rail corridor.
Been_Benuane

I don't know why this same point keeps being trotted out....there are a number of reasons they could not do this :

i) The light Rail stop / Interchange sit right on top of where the old track used to be.
ii) The Light Rail maintenance facility will be situated at the location of the old Wickham station.
iii) The light rail partially runs along the old corridor before turning into Worth Place.

Please enlighten us to how the light rail infrastructure could have been constructed with the heavy rail line in place ?
"Xavier"


Well they could have built the street section (street track is often slow to build) and kept the railway in operation until the track at the Hamilton end was needed for conversion. It might not have been as extreme as the Japanese approach of "prepare for a year, convert overnight" but a half-year outage like the Epping-Chatswood conversion would have been possible.
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
And it's telling that they didn't wait until the tramline was operational before removing the rail corridor.

I don't know why this same point keeps being trotted out....there are a number of reasons they could not do this :

i) The light Rail stop / Interchange sit right on top of where the old track used to be.
ii) The Light Rail maintenance facility will be situated at the location of the old Wickham station.
iii) The light rail partially runs along the old corridor before turning into Worth Place.

Please enlighten us to how the light rail infrastructure could have been constructed with the heavy rail line in place ?


Well they could have built the street section (street track is often slow to build) and kept the railway in operation until the track at the Hamilton end was needed for conversion. It might not have been as extreme as the Japanese approach of "prepare for a year, convert overnight" but a half-year outage like the Epping-Chatswood conversion would have been possible.
TomBTR

Either way, the light and heavy lines would never have been able to be operated simultaneously as Been_Benuane was suggesting they should have.  

With your proposal all that would have done is drag out the project even longer and probably at a greater cost.

ie Once the Hunter St section is completed, we would have had to to wait for the heavy rail line between worth place and Wickham to be removed, interchange and light rail track to Worth Place to be built before the tram could be even tested let alone operational. We would have been lucky to see it running by 2021
  Been_Benuane Junior Train Controller

The light rail did not absolutely have to be routed along any section of the old heavy rail corridor.
And as TomBTR has stated; the heavy rail did not need to close until enough of the tramway along Hunter St was built anyway. The claim this this would create an even longer delay makes no logical sense. There has been no construction of the tramway beyond the intersection with Auckland St let alone for any depot for the trams at Wickham so exactly how could have the trains not been kept running until the construction reached the point where it met the heavy rail?
Although I shouldn’t be surprised as it made no logical sense to remove the heavy rail nor build a tramway to begin with.

I suspect this Xavier is merely strawmanning and/or cherry-picking.
  Xavier Station Master

Location: Newcastle, AU
The light rail did not absolutely have to be routed along any section of the old heavy rail corridor.
And as TomBTR has stated; the heavy rail did not need to close until enough of the tramway along Hunter St was built anyway. The claim this this would create an even longer delay makes no logical sense. There has been no construction of the tramway beyond the intersection with Auckland St let alone for any depot for the trams at Wickham so exactly how could have the trains not been kept running until the construction reached the point where it met the heavy rail?
Although I shouldn’t be surprised as it made no logical sense to remove the heavy rail nor build a tramway to begin with.

I suspect this Xavier is merely strawmanning and/or cherry-picking.
Been_Benuane

Sorry for repeating, but even if they had waited until the LR contruction met the rail line...we would then have to wait for the tracks and overheads to be removed between Worth Pl and Wickham, interchange be built before the light rail could even see the light of day.

As it stands, the LR civil works are scheduled to be completed by September this year. The trams will then be on the tracks testing ready for operation in 2019. How does delaying the construction of the Interchange NOT delay the project as a whole ?

I am not 100% in favour of the removal of the Rail line either but we have to accept it and move on. Not strawmanning at all...I am directly addressing the points you are making.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

There has been no construction of the tramway beyond the intersection with Auckland St let alone for any depot for the trams at Wickham
Been_Benuane
You might want to go and take a closer look sometime, out of the 1400m length from Auckland Street to Pacific Park there is only about 600m of light rail left to lay with the majority of that east of Perkins Street. The erection of the steelwork for the depot shed commenced today, they've been constructing the foundations a few months now.

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