Since the Newcastle buses are now private? are the bus timetables still done by the same people as train timetables?
Ironically, it's the private timetable doing better with bus-train connections with routes 28 and 29 connecting with Sydney-bound express trains at Broadmeadow and Cardiff.
The old government-run routes and timetables were shaped like a donut with Cardiff in the centre and never connected with trains unless by pure coincidence.
I imagine signage and routes could be improved to make buses easy to navigate, but the biggest thing for me personally is how frequent and comprehensive services are;
while trains run on consistent frequency from early morning to late at night, you are lucky to get a service when the sun is down and if you do, it's very irregular,
meaning if I catch a train somewhere, I can be reasonably sure I can catch a train home even if I get held up, if I catch a bus somewhere, I don't have this assurance so I'm better off driving to avoid an expensive Uber ride home.
The route from the CBD to Charlestown is close enough to the railway line (but you wouldn't know it due to lack of stations), it's primarily the Belmont to Charlestown corridor that can justify steel wheel on rail (but admittedly, not Swansea unless it's a through route), the Charlestown to CBD route would primarily be to connect a Belmont service to the main line and run via an employment hub,
but no need to focus on a new line until the existing ones are fixed, you said it yourself,
Adamstown is an unpopular staton, but so are all the local stations along the electrified line, since service frequently is pathetic (1 per hour on weekdays, 1 per two hours on weekends), stations are inaccessible (Adamstown is actually miles ahead just by having a pedestrian crossing out the front), poor connections with the Hunter Line, and it's not wrong to say "if anything of interest is along a rail corridor in Newcastle, there is no station there".
Interesting observation on housing prices, probably because railway stations in Sydney are extremely useful to be within walking distance of,
whereas ones in Newcastle are of little use and primarily just provide nearby residents with train noise.
In terms of what you think mid-term improvements are, we are pretty much in full agreement, Newcastle doesn't anything too extravagant considering the decentralised employment opportunities and low density.
We do need more than just 1-2 new stations though (see full list below), and I would push for 20 minutes frequencies, 30 minutes is sufficient, but 20 minutes will attract more passengers.
And if the tram goes to the hospital, would it be possible to then extend south-east to Charlestown, crossing over and interchanging with the HR line at Garden Suburb
Regarding Toronto, as much as I would want to see the line continue to original the heritage listed station, having the line terminate west of Cary St, probably would be a cost effective compromise to avoid the costs of a bridge and underpass.
Still have Blackhalls park and build a couple of road bridges over the creeks to redirect to Cary St and avoid the former LX's at Facett St and Lake St.
Agreed on having every ex-Sydney/Central Coast service running express through the metropolitan area stopping only at Fassifern, Cardiff, and Newcastle Intg, with improved local services, there is probably no need to have express services to stop at Broadmeadow (unless for regional connections) or Hamilton due to their close proximity to Newcastle Intg, just as no interurban/intercity service should be stopping at Redfern in Sydney due to it's close proximity to Central.
The one benefit of continuing to the original station though would be the ability to have a rail-ferry interchange. But first fix local services on the existing line to judge numbers and if rebuilding Toronto is justifiable, reuse the overhead from the Carlingford Line for cheap electrification, assuming a 20 minute frequency, would it be possible for the line to be entirely single track to avoid the need for points or points, duplication, or passing loops?
I don't think the government has a long term plan at all for Newcastle passgner rail system or any PT for that matter, the governments only interest for PT is in Sydney and while Sydney needs the bulk of the focus since it needs large scale projects such as the metro,
not doing anything in Newcastle is not forward thinking at all, as I mentioned, not everyone can afford to live in Sydney, but many still need to live in cities (especially families) and Newcastle should be a logical choice for another place to live being NSW's second largest city, but with no usable PT which keeps cutting cut more and more, I wonder if a 'freight' line from Fassifern to Hexham could end passenger rail in Newcastle all together.
Are you pressing 'submit' and being redirected to the log in screen? happens to me too, if I'm lucky, I can sometimes press the back button on my browser and get me post back, but this doesn't always work, so copying and pasting as you mentioned is the best way to go.
Looking into the reality and my enthusiasm, I strongly believe that people need to have a fair choice in where they live, Sydney is too expensive, so if people still need to live in a city,
Newcastle, NSW's second largest city with a 400K population, is cheaper but you will most likely need to pay a significant amount of money on car ownership,
the PT services are so bad that employers only like to hire people with cars, the problem with this is that, especially a young person with the extremely high insurance premiums, the only way to own a car is to come from a wealthy enough family who can afford to pay for all of the associated costs of your car BEFORE you are able to earn an income for yourself, come from a less wealthy family who can afford to buy your car but not pay your insurance premiums, then you are out of luck.
Anyway, onto stations;
-The Mater Hospital station (call it 'Waratah West') would also serve the employees of the hospital, and also provide a station roughly half way between Warabrook and Waratah to fill a long gap between stations and provide an interchange point for buses - that 12 bus you accident crosses over the HR lines twice and never provides an interchange due to lack of stations.
-The TAFE station (call it 'Islington') would mean Newcastle's largest two educational facilities are linked by rail, I know there are buses but consider the following scenarios:
-Someone is travelling from the north, the train flies past their destination, they get off at Hamilton and need to change for a bus, their PT trip has just been made unnecessarily long and more expensive
-Someone is travelling from the south, the alight at Hamilton and need to change for a bus, this makes their PT trip less convenient and more expensive
-Someone is doing a night course (I'm not actually sure if there is night sure courses there, but assume there is), they finish when buses are either not running or providing a very limited services, meaning they need to walk 20 minutes to Hamilton station at night
In all three scenarios, people are likely to just drive. The TAFE station shouldn't be that expensive either, since thanks to the LX, there is no need for an overbridge, allowances should still be made for one to be installed in future though in case the level crossing ever gets removed.
Regarding Cardiff station, I believe it should be moved WEST, towards Main Rd closer to the commercial area, I believe there should be another station at Garden Suburb immediately west of the Tickhole Tunnel to interchange with buses on the A37 to Charlestown and John Hunter Hospital. Cardiff Heights is a station I believe should be in between a relocated Cardiff and Garden Suburb station to half a long gap and serve an area difficult to serve by frequent buses.
hope that clears things up.
Regarding Cockle Creek and Glendale;
-At Cockle Ck, some of the new residential development has already been constructed, that large roundabout is a killer though, it pretty much means that anyone living in the new residential development won't be able to walk or cycle to the station, nor can anyone cross the road from the bus stop on the opposite ride. That roundabout really needs to be a set of traffic lights with another set of traffic lights at the entrance to the car park to solve the 'no right turn' issue you mentioned and provide safe access between the station and the bus stop.
-At Glendale, a stub road already exists which is meant to lead to a future station and road bridge to the Cardiff industrial area, there might be room to squeeze in a commuter car park but there is really no need for one here as it would be a destination station. Would be important to swap a few of those roundabouts for traffic lights though.
Roundabouts are terrible for pedestrian safety which means they are terrible for PT users safety, when it comes to stations, the most important means of access to consider is that for people walking or cycling to the station, then it's bus connections, and finally then it's commuter car parks.
Regarding the July 1 bus changes, not only is there much info on how the on demand buses work, there is completely misleading information being spread, one person asked in a comment on Newcastle Transport's facebook page if they could use their Opal card, to which they relied they could, and then they put up a video advertising the on-demand service with the caption "Grab your Opal card and give it a go", not one mention at all that the on-demand service charges a completely separate fare than normal services with no caps or transfer discounts, your opal card is essentially just a 'load&' go debit card for the on-demand service.
Quickly, a list of what new stations are needed:
-Kotara: in the commercial area, providing reliable PT access to many jobs, and linking the residential are on the northern side of the rail line which currently divides the area.
-Garden Suburb: providing interchange for buses on the A37 to John Hunter Hospital and Charlestown
-Cardiff Heights: halfving a long gap between stations and providing service to an area difficult to serve by frequent buses
-Glendale: serving a commercial area and providing reliable access PT access to many jobs.
-Argenton: serving the residential are adjacent to Glendale - might be a little too close to justify
-Islington: serving the Newcatle TAFE and surrounding areas, and halving a long gap between stations
-Waratah West: serving the Mater Hospital and surrounding areas, and halving a long gap between stations
And a list of what stations need access improvements to made usable
-Hamitlon: needs a pedestrian crossing over the busy Beaumont St, there is already one across the quiet Fern St, how does this happen?
-Broadmeadow: would benefit from a raised concourse connecting it to Lambton Rd
-Existing Kotara: south entrance needs vegetation removed and re-pavement, it's isolated and dark and people don't feel safe using it, a pedestrian link to Blackbutt Reserve 0.4m north is required
-Cardiff: needs to be moved closer to the commercial area
-Cockle Ck: roundabout needs replacing with traffic lights and another set of lights needed at the car park
-Booragul: needs a pedestrian link to the new housing development
-Sandgate: needs pedestrian access on the east side