Advantages and Disadvantages of Sydney Metro

 
  Ethan1395 Train Controller

Location: An OSCar H Set
I've been discussing with Sydney Metro on a news topic lately, I am very much against the Sydney Metro while others see the benefits of a brand new system.

There are both advantages and disadvantages relating to the Sydney Metro, I currently see the following:

ADVANTAGES:
  • Clean - Sydney Metro is expected to be cleaner than current system due to design, materials used, etc.
  • Reliable - Building the Metro as a standalone line could potentially see its reliability over 99% compared to low 90's for the existing network.
  • Frequent - 'turn up and go' of frequency's less than 10 minutes depending on time of day.
  • Service Area - Travels through multiple employment zones such as Macquarie Park and Chastwood.
  • Needed Lines - Provides a much needed line to the Northwest Hills District and provides a much needed second harbour crossing.
  • Low Dwell Times - Carriage design means a much lower dwell time at stations than the existing trains on the existing network.


DISADVANTAGES:
  • Negative Economic Impact - if more existing lines are reclaimed and converted to metro, large numbers of railway staff could be out of a job in the long term, with almost one third of Australian youth unemployed, and almost a further 1/200 homeless, the economic impact of putting a large amount of people out of work could be disastrous.
  • Lack Of Seats - the Sydney metro carriages achieve their low dwell time by increasing floor space for standing room, and having minimal longitudinal seating.
  • Unsuitable Rolling Stock and Unsuitable For Sydney - the disadvantages of the lack of seating are further emphasised by the fact that the North West Rail Link is not a metro line, it's a long suburban line with metro rolling stock. Tallawong, the terminus of the line is around 40km from the Sydney CBD and travel times between there and Martin Place are 48 minutes, that is a long time to be standing (although it is important to remember that not everyone will be travelling to the city. Metro systems around the world serve a smaller, but denser area than Sydney, and the trips are shorter with a higher tolerance for standing, Sydney's rail lines serve a larger, less dense area, so seating is more important. NOTE: It is important to remember that not all Metro passengers will travel to the city so there is the chance that seating may not be an issue, but there is still the chance that it will be an issue.
  • Terminates Prematurely - the northwest terminus of the line is at Tallawong, Rouse Hill, near the existing Schofields Station, extending the line to Schofields would have been better to allow for interchange. Likewise the southwest terminus at Bankstown may lead to more inefficient shuttle services on the existing network to service stations between Bankstown, Liverpool, and Lidcombe.
  • Inconvenient Shutdowns - the Epping to Chastwood Rail Link (ECRL) will be shut down for half a year to be converted, in a few more years, the Bankstown line faces the same fate, extending the existing network instead of building a separate metro line would have avoided this.
  • Incompatible - the Sydney Metro is completely incompatible with the existing network, meaning that trains can't be rerouted through the converted lines during trackwork, which means less cases of 'trains run via x' and more cases of 'buses replace trains'.
  • Extending the Existing Network could have had Some off the Same Advantages - the needed lines could have been achieved through extending the existing network, and improved frequencys could have been achieved through upgraded track infrastructure and signalling.
  • Public Transport Is Less Useful For Other Purposes - although most train commuters use the services for commuting to work or study, public transport also exists as a lifeline for those who can't or choose not to drive, the seating configuration of the metro could potentially make an uncomfortable journey for someone who catches the train to the shops to do the groceries. This may encourage more people to drive instead of use public transport.


What are some other advantages and disadvantages of the Metro and how can they be resolved, and is a metro rapid transit system or improving and extending the existing established network more suitable?

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Now to show you were you are wrong and right.

DISADVANTAGES:
  • Negative Economic Impact - if more existing lines are reclaimed and converted to metro, large numbers of railway staff could be out of a job in the long term, with almost one third of Australian youth unemployed, and almost a further 1/200 homeless, the economic impact of putting a large amount of people out of work could be disastrous.


  • Lack Of Seats - the Sydney metro carriages achieve their low dwell time by increasing floor space for standing room, and having minimal longitudinal seating.

You make it sound like there will be no seats at all. People already stand for a similar amount of time as the 48 minutes on current trains. Most standing time length on metro will be significantly less at about 25 minutes and not the entire 48 minute journey as you make it sound.

  • Unsuitable Rolling Stock and Unsuitable For Sydney - the disadvantages of the lack of seating are further emphasised by the fact that the North West Rail Link is not a metro line, it's a long suburban line with metro rolling stock. Tallawong, the terminus of the line is around 40km from the Sydney CBD and travel times between there and Martin Place are 48 minutes, that is a long time to be standing (although it is important to remember that not everyone will be travelling to the city. Metro systems around the world serve a smaller, but denser area than Sydney, and the trips are shorter with a higher tolerance for standing, Sydney's rail lines serve a larger, less dense area, so seating is more important. NOTE: It is important to remember that not all Metro passengers will travel to the city so there is the chance that seating may not be an issue, but there is still the chance that it will be an issue.

The frequency of services means that nobody will be standing at Tallawong at either the end or start of the service. You don't know how suitable the service will be because no single rail line in Sydney has ever been capable of the frequency the new service will provide. Service is metro in name only and is actually a rapid transit system.

  • Terminates Prematurely - the northwest terminus of the line is at Tallawong, Rouse Hill, near the existing Schofields Station, extending the line to Schofields would have been better to allow for interchange. Likewise the southwest terminus at Bankstown may lead to more inefficient shuttle services on the existing network to service stations between Bankstown, Liverpool, and Lidcombe.

Extending the line is still possible in the future to Schofields. I will agree the bankstown end of the metro is a huge issue as it is basically a huge middle finger to people who live beyond bankstown on the T3 line.

  • Inconvenient Shutdowns - the Epping to Chastwood Rail Link (ECRL) will be shut down for half a year to be converted, in a few more years, the Bankstown line faces the same fate, extending the existing network instead of building a separate metro line would have avoided this.

For a few short months the line will be converted and so this is no reason to not build the metro.

  • Incompatible - the Sydney Metro is completely incompatible with the existing network, meaning that trains can't be rerouted through the converted lines during trackwork, which means less cases of 'trains run via x' and more cases of 'buses replace trains'.

This is a useless argument. Where would the train re route along this line even if it was a Sydney trains service. post metro conversion the north shore line will be maxing out and the reason why the sydney trains service needs so much trackwork is because it handles freight and heavier DD rolling stock that the metro won't have to deal with. The metro is a much simpler rail line that will have significantly fewer points of failure.

  • Extending the Existing Network could have had Some off the Same Advantages - the needed lines could have been achieved through extending the existing network, and improved frequency could have been achieved through upgraded track infrastructure and signalling.

No it wouldn't have. The Sydney trains network will forever be hamstrung by town hall station and the other inner city stations. Signalling isn't the issue with the Sydney network it is platform congestion in peak hour and multiple stopping patterns to multiple destinations.

  • Public Transport Is Less Useful For Other Purposes - although most train commuters use the services for commuting to work or study, public transport also exists as a lifeline for those who can't or choose not to drive, the seating configuration of the metro could potentially make an uncomfortable journey for someone who catches the train to the shops to do the groceries. This may encourage more people to drive instead of use public transport.

The north west doesn't have a train line and so how is this even remotely a disadvantage. It sounds more like an excuse.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I've been discussing with Sydney Metro on a news topic lately, I am very much against the Sydney Metro while others see the benefits of a brand new system.

There are both advantages and disadvantages relating to the Sydney Metro, I currently see the following:

ADVANTAGES:
  • Clean - Sydney Metro is expected to be cleaner than current system due to design, materials used, etc.
  • Reliable - Building the Metro as a standalone line could potentially see its reliability over 99% compared to low 90's for the existing network.
  • Frequent - 'turn up and go' of frequency's less than 10 minutes depending on time of day.
  • Service Area - Travels through multiple employment zones such as Macquarie Park and Chastwood.
  • Needed Lines - Provides a much needed line to the Northwest Hills District and provides a much needed second harbour crossing.
  • Low Dwell Times - Carriage design means a much lower dwell time at stations than the existing trains on the existing network.


DISADVANTAGES:
  • Negative Economic Impact - if more existing lines are reclaimed and converted to metro, large numbers of railway staff could be out of a job in the long term, with almost one third of Australian youth unemployed, and almost a further 1/200 homeless, the economic impact of putting a large amount of people out of work could be disastrous.
  • Lack Of Seats - the Sydney metro carriages achieve their low dwell time by increasing floor space for standing room, and having minimal longitudinal seating.
  • Unsuitable Rolling Stock and Unsuitable For Sydney - the disadvantages of the lack of seating are further emphasised by the fact that the North West Rail Link is not a metro line, it's a long suburban line with metro rolling stock. Tallawong, the terminus of the line is around 40km from the Sydney CBD and travel times between there and Martin Place are 48 minutes, that is a long time to be standing (although it is important to remember that not everyone will be travelling to the city. Metro systems around the world serve a smaller, but denser area than Sydney, and the trips are shorter with a higher tolerance for standing, Sydney's rail lines serve a larger, less dense area, so seating is more important. NOTE: It is important to remember that not all Metro passengers will travel to the city so there is the chance that seating may not be an issue, but there is still the chance that it will be an issue.
  • Terminates Prematurely - the northwest terminus of the line is at Tallawong, Rouse Hill, near the existing Schofields Station, extending the line to Schofields would have been better to allow for interchange. Likewise the southwest terminus at Bankstown may lead to more inefficient shuttle services on the existing network to service stations between Bankstown, Liverpool, and Lidcombe.
  • Inconvenient Shutdowns - the Epping to Chastwood Rail Link (ECRL) will be shut down for half a year to be converted, in a few more years, the Bankstown line faces the same fate, extending the existing network instead of building a separate metro line would have avoided this.
  • Incompatible - the Sydney Metro is completely incompatible with the existing network, meaning that trains can't be rerouted through the converted lines during trackwork, which means less cases of 'trains run via x' and more cases of 'buses replace trains'.
  • Extending the Existing Network could have had Some off the Same Advantages - the needed lines could have been achieved through extending the existing network, and improved frequencys could have been achieved through upgraded track infrastructure and signalling.
  • Public Transport Is Less Useful For Other Purposes - although most train commuters use the services for commuting to work or study, public transport also exists as a lifeline for those who can't or choose not to drive, the seating configuration of the metro could potentially make an uncomfortable journey for someone who catches the train to the shops to do the groceries. This may encourage more people to drive instead of use public transport.


What are some other advantages and disadvantages of the Metro and how can they be resolved, and is a metro rapid transit system or improving and extending the existing established network more suitable?
Ethan1395
If you are going to quote me, you should at least reference. Smile

A few points
- The ability to run trains by other lines is a dying practice in peak and generally avoided for numerous reasons.

- Its not the wrong train, similar is used in numerous cities, including Vancouver where their Skytrains run up to 30km from city taking 40-41 min. Time wise similar to NW Metro. But in reality the NW Metro is expected to have nearly 100% turn over of pax by the time its reaches the city so the average commuter distance is relatively short

- Shutdown is a pain, but not a reason to not do the project, are we not sick of short term planning?

- Its incompatibility is likely going to be its strength. Not affected by other services.

- Yes, the line should be extended to Scofields and somewhere between Liverpool and Regents Park.

- Your ongoing signaling comments have no factual backing and been discounted internally by Sydney Trains

- "Negative Economic Impact", sorry this is a joke! Complete opposite. How many jobs created now in construction and going forward in operation? Making commuting from NW regions of Sydney more viable.

- Almost no-one catches the train with grooceiers and if you do, you would most likely do it off-peak when seating is more available and you can always put the bag on the floor between your legs in the unlikely event you are standing. Managed by millions around the world.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.
tom9876543

Not a disadvantage since the metro rolling stock can handle 1/20. The metro system doesn't need to be consistent with the existing network.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.

Not a disadvantage since the metro rolling stock can handle 1/20. The metro system doesn't need to be consistent with the existing network.
simstrain
The main advantage of making the tunnels smaller for the different trains is that it now removes almost any hangups from the legacy network. No more backwards compatible. What can today's technology offer and lets go with it. Hence steeper grades that DD's cannot do saves having to go the long way round.
  LividMilkTea Beginner

Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.

Not a disadvantage since the metro rolling stock can handle 1/20. The metro system doesn't need to be consistent with the existing network.
The main advantage of making the tunnels smaller for the different trains is that it now removes almost any hangups from the legacy network. No more backwards compatible. What can today's technology offer and lets go with it. Hence steeper grades that DD's cannot do saves having to go the long way round.
RTT_Rules
Based on the last bit about steeper grades, it could have been possible for them to build a shortcut underground to Chatswood, build new underground platforms and continue on to the city, leaving the preserved land for quadruplication to North Sydney available for use in decades to come. Cost and necessity, however, is a different story.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.

Not a disadvantage since the metro rolling stock can handle 1/20. The metro system doesn't need to be consistent with the existing network.
simstrain

I've managed to obtain exclusive footage of the Metro Prototype flying up those 1:20 grades:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ZRFLXrHsM  Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.

Not a disadvantage since the metro rolling stock can handle 1/20. The metro system doesn't need to be consistent with the existing network.

I've managed to obtain exclusive footage of the Metro Prototype flying up those 1:20 grades:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ZRFLXrHsM  Smile
djf01
One early Sat I'll take my level meter onto the Dubai Metro to see what the grades are because if they are not 1:20-25 in some locations I'll eat my hat. The bloody thing goes up over roads then dips under power lines. If you stand at the front at times it feels like you are looking at a gentle rollercoaster track, not to mention the grades into and out of the creek tunnels.
  Sonofagunzel Chief Commissioner

Ski tube video needs the Dr Who theme.
  stupid_girl Assistant Commissioner

Disadvantages

If my memory is correct, i read on Railpage that the ruling gradient on the Sydney Metro will be 1/20.
The ruling gradient should be 1/30, so it is consistent with existing network.

Not a disadvantage since the metro rolling stock can handle 1/20. The metro system doesn't need to be consistent with the existing network.

I've managed to obtain exclusive footage of the Metro Prototype flying up those 1:20 grades:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ZRFLXrHsM  Smile
One early Sat I'll take my level meter onto the Dubai Metro to see what the grades are because if they are not 1:20-25 in some locations I'll eat my hat. The bloody thing goes up over roads then dips under power lines. If you stand at the front at times it feels like you are looking at a gentle rollercoaster track, not to mention the grades into and out of the creek tunnels.
RTT_Rules
Maybe you can try Incheon Subway Line 2 next time.Twisted Evil
http://blog.naver.com/storyphoto/viewer.jsp?src=https%3A%2F%2Fblogfiles.pstatic.net%2F20150715_136%2Fbjm6_1436941262556xnw6t_JPEG%2F%25C0%25CE%25C3%25B51.JPG
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Skitube: 40 kph uphill, 20 kph downhill
Small matter of rack in the middle of the track.
  C3765 Train Controller

They should definitely reconsider converting the Bankstown line to metro operation. The line already has existing services provided by Sydney Trains and with the introduction of the B Sets, by the second half of 2019 all trains should be air conditioned. There is a train every 10-15 minutes during off peak and a train every 5-10 minutes during peak at key stations such as Bankstown and Campsie. Also to ease the congestion around the city circle, Bankstown line trains can simply terminate at Redfern or Central instead of diverting it to the North West Metro. Either way passengers will have to change trains to get to stations around the city circle and other lines. It is a complete waste of money and time to convert the existing line to metro standards. The money and time should instead be used to speed up the construction of the metro line to Westmead which is an expansion of the rail network.
  tazzer96 Chief Commissioner

What happens if the bankstown line conversion means there are less passengers that are required to change services.  You are operating under the assumption that all bankstown line passengers use city circle stations.   Currently town hall station is well beyond capacity so you want passengers to be avoiding there.  

Bankstown line trains cannot terminate at central very easily, and certainly not without disrupting other services.  You also get to the advantage of being able to drastically speed up an all stops service.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The only quick fix to getting the Bankstown lie, or any other for that matter off the city circle congestion and free up slots for other services is to use the unfinished platforms of Redfern and Central and finish thr sexup.

This could all be done in 2.5 yrs and rhen later ectend to St James and Wynyard. However others have said the spare platforms are not fit for use so not an option.

Terminating anywhere else will be a disastor.

Meanwhile the Bankstown Metro will provide a step change in improvement for the line up to Bankstown. Users will certainly be better off post Metro.
  C3765 Train Controller

T3 Bankstown line trains could terminate at Central Platforms 20 and 21 and have T8 Airport and South Lines use Platforms 22 and 23 or have the Bankstown line trains terminate at Redfern Platforms 7 and 8.

If the trains terminate at Central they can change for the T1, T2, T4 and T8 Lines + Intercity and Regional services.

If they terminate at Redfern they can still change for the T1, T2 and T4 lines.

And the Metro could terminate at Sydenham to help ease the congestion at existing stations in the CBD.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
T3 Bankstown line trains could terminate at Central Platforms 20 and 21 and have T8 Airport and South Lines use Platforms 22 and 23 or have the Bankstown line trains terminate at Redfern Platforms 7 and 8.

If the trains terminate at Central they can change for the T1, T2, T4 and T8 Lines + Intercity and Regional services.

If they terminate at Redfern they can still change for the T1, T2 and T4 lines.

And the Metro could terminate at Sydenham to help ease the congestion at existing stations in the CBD.
C3765
I don't think there's much point of advocating that T3 Bankstown Line trains should terminate at Central platforms 20 and 21, as it's almost a fait accompli now that it will be converted to metro.  It would be more logical for the Airport Line to terminate at platforms 22 and 23, which has previously been investigated, but nothing further ensued.  

If ever resurrected, it should be viewed as an interim measure, with a longer term goal of diverting the line to the St James unused centre platforms, where it could either terminate or link up with the existing City Circle or both.  Platforms 20 and 21 at Central should be used exclusively for T8 services via Sydenham, without any merging, unless at St James with the Airport Line.  

I can't see any point in terminating trains, in whatever mode, at either Redfern or Sydenham.  In the latter instance, terminating the metro from the CBD is an option if an incoming Labor government somehow manages to cancel the Bankstown Line conversion to metro, but that opens up another can of worms as the metro will be taking over the existing Bankstown Line Sydenham platforms.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

as an outsider looking in , I think not having the Metro utilizing the same loading gauge as the rest of the Sydney Suburban is a bad idea , purely because it makes any future line alterations problematic, as it restricts the potential to re arrange existing lines to suit new traffic flows.

Additionally, the existing loading gauge, even using only single deck trains, will be wider than the proposed Metro Line trains, and therefore potentially carry more passengers.

To an extent, there is logic in trying to have at least the Peak Hour trains run to a standard pattern , but I have always thought that one of Sydney's advantages is the ability to run alternate routing if need be , and most junctions appear to have sufficient reservation room to accomodate additional junction remodelling if needs be.

As it is very difficult to predict what traffic patterns Sydney will require 40 years hence , making provision for flexible future operation is preferable to deliberately implementing a deliberately incompatible system.

The fact that Sydney / Newcastle has managed to achieve three incompatible tram systems as part of a deliberate strategy is a criminal waste of NSW taxpayers money , and almost unprecedented . ( I truly hope no one can demonstrate otherwise. )

Regards, Radioman.
  chootchoot Beginner

The government's saying that if Metro Southwest to Bankstown were to be cancelled then this would happen:

T8 Airport & South Line: up to 48 fewer services across the peaks;
T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line and South Coast Line: up to 108 fewer services across the peaks;  
T2 Inner West & Leppington Line: up to 72 fewer services across the peaks;
T3 Bankstown Line: up to 72 fewer services across the peaks; and
T1 Western Line and Blue Mountains Line: up to 72 fewer services across the peaks


Really? What's the T1 Western Line and Blue Mountains line got to do with T3 Bankstown Line or the City Circle?
Also is it not actually less trains than currently, rather the inability for more in future?
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
All I will say is, despite all the rhetoric, complete metrofication of the Sydney Trains' network is a fantasy.  It will never happen.  The sooner the government, of whatever political persuasion, accepts that fact we can get on with the need to upgrade and extend the existing Sydney Trains' DD network in tandem with new metro lines servicing inner city areas not currently serviced by rail.  Converting existing lines to metro should no longer be considered as an option and metros have no place in outer suburban regions, including the new Badgerys Creek Airport.

The obvious solution to releasing capacity on the City Circle, which many fail to acknowledge, would be to divert the Airport Line by either terminating it at Central or extending it on a new path into the CBD such as the unused platforms at St James, where it would interchange via cross platform transfer with the City Circle.

It was a previous Liberal government who stuffed this up in the first place, by introducing the privatised Airport Line linked into the City Circle, without any thought of how in would impact on future network capacity. This is an undeniable fact.  In the end, it proved to be an utter failure and we're still paying the price.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The skitube has 12.5% incline at it's steepest which is 1:8 and not 1:20 by the way.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
All I will say is, despite all the rhetoric, complete metrofication of the Sydney Trains' network is a fantasy.  It will never happen.  The sooner the government, of whatever political persuasion, accepts that fact we can get on with the need to upgrade and extend the existing Sydney Trains' DD network in tandem with new metro lines servicing inner city areas not currently serviced by rail.  Converting existing lines to metro should no longer be considered as an option and metros have no place in outer suburban regions, including the new Badgerys Creek Airport.

The obvious solution to releasing capacity on the City Circle, which many fail to acknowledge, would be to divert the Airport Line by either terminating it at Central or extending it on a new path into the CBD such as the unused platforms at St James, where it would interchange via cross platform transfer with the City Circle.

It was a previous Liberal government who stuffed this up in the first place, by introducing the privatised Airport Line linked into the City Circle, without any thought of how in would impact on future network capacity. This is an undeniable fact.  In the end, it proved to be an utter failure and we're still paying the price.
Transtopic
I'm not against conversion where the outcome is a better result which mostly will happen with the NW and Syd-bankstown Metro's with the exception that at both ends the Metro should extend to both Schofields and Liverpool to close the loop so to speak on that problem.

The airport line extension to St James as you suggest, one of the more commonsense options available to the govt and a quick fix to improving city circle capacity beyond removal of the Bankstown line. However the current platforms used at Central and completely inadequate for airport trains (too narrow, poor access with luggage), if the unused platforms could do a better job, then use them instead.

The down side to the above is still the limitations on the inner west between Redfern and Lidcombe, this bottle neck needs a major fix and unfortunately the Western Metro or even Western Express line previously proposed doesn't address this. The inner stations from Macdonald town to Ashfield needs to be on its own line and I suspect with the limitations in plat then either a pair of twin tunnels for DD standard with no stations to constrain costs or put the Inner West into its own Metro line, progressively pushing further west to Homebush and allow the surface stations to be closed and track realigned to a higher speed rating.    

The previous Lib govt built the airport line, the privatisation was just the stations and I think mostly successful project with the usual 20 year hind sight exceptions.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hello All,

as an outsider looking in , I think not having the Metro utilizing the same loading gauge as the rest of the Sydney Suburban is a bad idea , purely because it makes any future line alterations problematic, as it restricts the potential to re arrange existing lines to suit new traffic flows.

Additionally, the existing loading gauge, even using only single deck trains, will be wider than the proposed Metro Line trains, and therefore potentially carry more passengers.

To an extent, there is logic in trying to have at least the Peak Hour trains run to a standard pattern , but I have always thought that one of Sydney's advantages is the ability to run alternate routing if need be , and most junctions appear to have sufficient reservation room to accomodate additional junction remodelling if needs be.

As it is very difficult to predict what traffic patterns Sydney will require 40 years hence , making provision for flexible future operation is preferable to deliberately implementing a deliberately incompatible system.

The fact that Sydney / Newcastle has managed to achieve three incompatible tram systems as part of a deliberate strategy is a criminal waste of NSW taxpayers money , and almost unprecedented . ( I truly hope no one can demonstrate otherwise. )

Regards, Radioman.
Radioman
The so called benefit or running alternative routes is only practical when you are running a low density traffic railway. These days in peak especially these options no longer exist. For example, if there was blockage of the line at Eastwood in peak, there is no way additional main line traffic could be diverted via the ECRL into the NSL.  People would simply change trains at Epping.

If you look at large scale much older networks, there is very little reshuffling of lines. Even many of our bus routes pretty much follow the same path the trams they replaced followed. In sydney most of the reshuffling of the rail routes over the years has been due to congestion or network expansion, ie factoring in the construction of the ECRL, Airport line, East Hills extension and Bondi Junction lines. The complete Metro project is not a "add on", rather its a 100% replacement from the NW side through the city to the SW.

Additionally the worst thing you can do do any heavily used line Metro or Suburban, is add a branch. This is where Sydney's network is running into bottle necks left right and centre. Built in the days of light to medium traffic density using high density trains only becoming heavy traffic density in the inner city core. However now the heavy traffic density is spreading out into the 'burbs, ie Chatswood to Granville etc. The inner core and some branches need additional trackage and the corridors are not wider to allow for this anymore, therefore they need to go underground and its not just a few km through the city, its 25-30km.

The future for Sydney and it will follow for Melbourne with Metro tunnel and even Brisbane is following this path with its CRR is 100% dedicated pathways for major lines running from middle suburbia on one side through city, no junctions or mixing of lines to the other side with continuous stopping pattern running sub 4-5min frequencies in peak and sub 10min off-peak.

For me I think the Metro should be seen as Sydney evolving from a sleepy very CBD focused small city with a low-med density railway into a major metropolis with numerous satellite cities in what was once the 'burbs. Hence its rail system needs to keep up and if we look at all similar cities with populations of +5m, what they have and are building more of is
- longterm dedicated Metro style lines
- Mostly no junctions or branches and if so only on outer part of lines, not inner.
- fixed stopping pattern
- automation with platform doors
- single deck
- 3-4 doors per car
- head-ways of sub 3min in peak
- Moving 20,000 - 30,000/h people in each direction

The classic example of how bad the Sydney system has grown into is the Bankstown line itself. Multiple stopping patterns trying to make at least two different services fit into one line which then feeds into another line and then crosses over another and then into the tunnels, 125-150% train capacity in peak, yet the line itself is well underuterlised, but yet not one more train can fit. This on a network which costs a fortune for each extension, a history of project delays and over runs and despite the high density trains and congestion moving more people in peak than Mel, Brisbane and Adelaide combined, cost the taxpayer 70c in the dollar to travel at not much better than snails pace and you need to have access to a timetable to use efficiently. Both the customers and taxpayer deserve better!
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I'm not against conversion where the outcome is a better result which mostly will happen with the NW and Syd-bankstown Metro's with the exception that at both ends the Metro should extend to both Schofields and Liverpool to close the loop so to speak on that problem.

The airport line extension to St James as you suggest, one of the more commonsense options available to the govt and a quick fix to improving city circle capacity beyond removal of the Bankstown line. However the current platforms used at Central and completely inadequate for airport trains (too narrow, poor access with luggage), if the unused platforms could do a better job, then use them instead.

The down side to the above is still the limitations on the inner west between Redfern and Lidcombe, this bottle neck needs a major fix and unfortunately the Western Metro or even Western Express line previously proposed doesn't address this. The inner stations from Macdonald town to Ashfield needs to be on its own line and I suspect with the limitations in plat then either a pair of twin tunnels for DD standard with no stations to constrain costs or put the Inner West into its own Metro line, progressively pushing further west to Homebush and allow the surface stations to be closed and track realigned to a higher speed rating.    

The previous Lib govt built the airport line, the privatisation was just the stations and I think mostly successful project with the usual 20 year hind sight exceptions.
RTT_Rules
With uncertainty about who will win the next State Election, it's difficult to predict how the Sydney rail network will evolve.

If the Liberals win, then it's likely to maintain the status quo, with a focus on metro expansion to address the current network deficiencies.  However, if Labor wins, then it's a whole new ball game.  They have already committed to cancelling the Bankstown Line metro conversion if practicable and in addition, extend the SWRL to Western Sydney Airport in preference to the North/South metro link from St Marys.

Labor has committed to Metro West and in addition a $3billion upgrade of the existing Sydney Trains network, with a focus on the Western Line corridor, something which the current government has ignored.  While the current government has made great play about ordering more trains and upgrading signalling to allow for more frequent services, it is stretching the existing network to its limits, with an anathema to committing any funds to extend it further or upgrade with track amplifications.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Until recently RTT the bankstown line was one stopping pattern to Birrong. It wasn't until this new timetable that it had multiple stopping patterns since it was a stop at every station line before then. The T3 could have been ramped up since it only really had 8 services an hour in peak which were split nicely both sides of the city circle.

The main trunk line and specifically the T2 section is the main problem where the sydney trains networks multiple stopping patterns and merging lines causes issues. The main trunk lines have T1, multiple T2, T9, blue mountains, central coast and newcastle services.

While I have no issue with the metro the bankstown line was not the line to run the metro on since it does nothing to solve the congestion issues which is the main western trunk line. Metro west will not solve those issues either. The only way is the cbd relief that eventually turns west and follows the Victoria road corridor.

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