- arrived by car before 12, roughly 600 bay carpark at least 110% full and we also parked out of a designated spot.
- elevated station has appearance that they di expect large numbers, but otherwise clean and modern. Its placement is away from anything and walk up traffic would be limited.
- about 20 waiting for train, we had 7min wait and stop at front door. On the train it was lightly loaded but not empty. By Epping it was reasonably loaded, but not more than seats. Overall numbers didnt change a great deal through to Chatswood.
- unlike Dubai metro, there was no one but us looking out the front window.
- arrival to Chatswood, quick cross platform change to waiting NSL train. It would appear in order to ensure no large numbers on the platform the govt has smartly linked the two timetables. Certainly no complaints and a model of how to do other services.
- the trains are not pretty to look at but clearly functional. Has that typical automation feel where it often brakes then accelerates at various locations, where as a manual driven train is more smooth.
- return was via CC train 3:50pm to Epping, certainly better than going vis NSL.
- Waiting at Epping (4:30pm), the Metro arrived packed, but most standing pax alighted, I'd say heading into NW the train was 120% of seating capacity.
- arrival to Kellyville the station carpark was still +90% full. Interesting observations was a number of cars parked empty in kiss'n'ride spots, person (mostly women in office garb and heeks) from train walks up and hops in drivers seat. Those cars were not there when we arrived at midday. Thinking partners must be dropping cars off earlier.
Overall, it's a metro throughout. Function over beauty and will get the job done. Larger station spacing is typical 21st century approach to reduce travel time. Its quick between stations and assumes designed to achieve max speed ASAP. The long straight tunnels are certainly different and you dont see often.
On it's own it will be an odd ball on the network and it's TRUE capability pointless and should have otherwise been left DD. Extension the city had to always happen and will certainly improve it.
The locals tell me "why doesn't it connect with the Richmond line so we can get to Paramatta". I said it before, the Epping to Paramatta line is a huge missed opportunity, hence the extension to Schfields needs to be sooner rather than later.
The very obvious difference in loading between Epping and Chatswood is something I think that will need future thought on how to best resolve. Some trains truncated to Epping or potential future extension of a 2nd branch to Hornsby or Paramatta.
For the people of Bankstown line, compared to what they have now, the metro conversion will leave them better off, no doubt. For the people west of Bankstown on the Y, the current plan isn't acceptable longterm.