In order to try and encourage some further comment on rail matters other than corona virus, which I'm tiring of, I want to add further to the earlier discussion on this thread with regard to improvements on the T4 and SCO lines.
I know how you feel. This is normally a great escape for me, but unfortunately one of the many implications of this disaster is I don't think Public Transport, but rail especially, will recover it's patronage for many decades (if ever), T3 won't be converted to Metro and even completing the CBD metro will be delays for who knows how long, years or decades maybe. There, got it all into one sentence, so we'll leave it there.
I think your idea for the Illawarra dive crossovers is sound, but there is a philosophical difference between how your segregate traffic that I think is opposed to current TfNSW thinking. It's a result in TfNSW not giving a stuff about journey times and system usability, just a desire to "simplify" stopping patterns to the point there is no timetable, and thus no-one can complain if a train is "late". They have no issue adding stops at St Peters and Erskinville to the journey time for SCO users.
I guess the conspiracy theory agenda in segregating traffic by geographic route is it allows franchising. But that is how TfNSW is heading, all trains from one destination go to X, no distinction on class (short, medium or long haul).
Your plan @Transtopic
segregates by class: longer distance SCO and Southern Trains segregated from locals, much as the Strathfield and Redfern Mains used to do many moons ago. I've seen photos of that corridor when only the suburbans and the locals had overhead.
I don't have a problem with that philosophy. But I think the success of any Sydney to Canberra system will be contingent on the route stopping at the airport - Sydney Airport, not Canberra's and the Via Sydenham route used for medium distance suburban trains to free up space for Canberra/Highlands services.
Further, I don't think it's necessary for T4 services to stop at Sydenham (the private owners of the metro might disagree), and the whole Wolli-Creek to Erskinville Jtn could be non-stop for all T4 services, which boosts overall capacity as no service needs to dwell anywhere.
There is no doubt in my mind that to achieve separation and increased services for T4 and SCO, that the latter will no longer run through to Bondi Junction, with the only alternative being to divert them to Sydney Terminal via a new crossover to the dive. This is also tied in with the current program to upgrade T4 to ATO operation - the first of the progressive rollout across the network - allowing increased frequencies and capacity.
IMHO the ATO between Wolli Creek and Erskinville Jtn was a recognition there would be a need for 24tph there, with 20 ESR/hr and 4 Sydney Terminal SCO services sharing the corridor.
The current maximum frequency on the ESR to Bondi Junction is 18tph because of the mixed skip/stop pattern between Wolli Creek and Redfern, including SCO services. In order to achieve its current maximum potential frequency of 20tph, it would need to be a single all stops pattern, including Tempe, St Peters and Erskineville. This is unlikely if SCO services continued to cross from the Local to the Main at Wolli Creek, rather than via a new crossover at Eveleigh to the dive to Sydney Terminal.
Assuming the SCO services are diverted to Sydney Terminal, then that currently leaves 14tph to Bondi Junction for T4 services from Hurstville, Cronulla and Waterfall (6tph + 6tph + 2tph). With an all stops pattern and excluding the SCO services, that allows for an additional 6tph with the current signalling for T4, or potentially 10tph with the ATO upgrade (@ 24tph). That's a 43% increase in frequency and capacity with the current signalling or 71% with the ATO upgrade, which should be more than enough to cater for T4 capacity for well into the future. The ultimate mix of frequencies on T4 for its respective sectors is open to debate, but my suggestion for what it's worth, would be 8tph ex Cronulla, 4tph ex Waterfall and 12tph ex Hurstville. The Cronulla and Waterfall services would be limited by the single track pair between Sutherland and Hurstville with a mixed stopping pattern, which also would have to cater for increased SCO services. With ATO also introduced on that sector, it could accommodate 6tph SCO express services in a mixed pattern with the T4 all stops. Ideally, the line should be quadruplicated between Hurstville and Sutherland, allowing the express trains to overtake the slower all stoppers and increase frequency and capacity in the process, similar to what now happens on the Western, Northern and East Hills Lines. However, that could be a long way off, unless their is a change in direction by the government to allocate greatly increased funding towards upgrading the existing network at the expense of further metro expansion.
Since we're all off in fantasy land, I'll post here what I was tinkering with down in Armchair Operators, *my* grand scheme for the one prosperous populous future Sydney.
Funded by cancelling the Western Metro, there are three main elements:
- Western Express - with 240m platforms
- Eastern Express - with 200m platforms
- Inner West Extension to Olympic Park and (optionally) to Rhodes
There are two Outer Suburban systems, operated by NIFs or something similar (Orange and Green). There is an S-Bahn type system over the SHB in the current format (yellow), and a short haul system via the airport (aqua) as well as the Metro (pink), which is a mix of all three. T4 ignored for simplicity.
Orange Line: Penrith and Richmond to Parramatta, then all trains express non-stop to Central in 15 min, then Wyngaroo Hall (about 18 min).
Green Line: Campbelltown & Sydney Airport 2 to Revesby, then express (also about 15 minutes non stop) to Central, St James and maybe Bridge St.
Yellow Line: Glenfield via Granvile and Hornsby via Eastwood feed into the SHB line. One of those two terminates at Nth Sydney, or maybe a new turnback at St Leonards.
Aqua Line: Olympic Park (Half Pattern, other half terminate at Homebush or proceed over new flyover to Rhodes on a segregated mostly single track sector) - City Circle - Airport - all to Reveseby.
Pink Line: The bloody metro.
HR Support routes:
Glenfield to Parramatta. A much reduced Cumberland line, a feeder for the Orange Line
Liverpool to Bankstown express. A metro feeder route
Lidcombe to Bankstown Shuttle. Another Metro feeder route
Cabramatta to Bankstown milk run.
Parramatta to Bankstown shuttle (1/4 pattern)
Hornsby to Strathfield. It's intended as a feeder for the metro at Epping, as Hornsby via Eastwood only gets a half yellow pattern.
These routes serviced by 4 car trains, or something smaller and cheaper anyway.