Future of Canberra - Sydney service?

 
  act_railfan Station Master

The only thing I can see happening is that maybe one moss vale intercity service could be extended to Goulburn but what is more likely is that if the new trains can reduce the travel time by 15-30 minutes that there could be an extra Canberra service but that is not a guarantee.
simstrain

I'd like to know how these new trains will actually reduce travel time?

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Sydney is only first if you include the central coast but don't include Geelong as part of Melbourne. I agree that money spent on the short south would have a variety of benefits and should be persued, but I feel that investments in rolling stock specifically for the Canberra branch, or line improvement on the branch, are a bit of a waste, at least of NSW money. Any money spent there should be about 90% from ACT. If they don't want to open the chequebook, then the current service is fine. Including it in Opal is a ridiculous idea. Big money pit and would encourage wasteful transport practice.
billybaxter

Geelong is not Melbourne and neither is the Mornington Peninsula which also often gets included in Melbourne's population. The new trains aren't just happening for Canberra and are replacing the XPT's, Xplorers and Endeavours.

As I said the current service is likely to be the same although the new trains with their faster acceleration and top speed over the Xplorers might be able to shave some time off the trip. If this is possible then maybe there could be an extra service without needing any extra rolling stock.
  act_railfan Station Master

Sydney is only first if you include the central coast but don't include Geelong as part of Melbourne. I agree that money spent on the short south would have a variety of benefits and should be persued, but I feel that investments in rolling stock specifically for the Canberra branch, or line improvement on the branch, are a bit of a waste, at least of NSW money. Any money spent there should be about 90% from ACT. If they don't want to open the chequebook, then the current service is fine. Including it in Opal is a ridiculous idea. Big money pit and would encourage wasteful transport practice.

Geelong is not Melbourne and neither is the Mornington Peninsula which also often gets included in Melbourne's population. The new trains aren't just happening for Canberra and are replacing the XPT's, Xplorers and Endeavours.

As I said the current service is likely to be the same although the new trains with their faster acceleration and top speed over the Xplorers might be able to shave some time off the trip. If this is possible then maybe there could be an extra service without needing any extra rolling stock.
simstrain
yeah, I find it odd how they include the lower blue mountains and Central coast in Sydney's population but not Wollongong and the Illawarra which are roughly the same distance.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi,

Does anyone know what realistic improvements will be made to the Canberra to Sydney service in the  next five years?  

Thanks

Will, or could?
Yes, it would have been nice to hear that with the new rolling stock Can- Syd will be increased to 6 services a day (every 2-3 hours) and provide a non-booking option.

Ultimately I think it should be two tiered service
> All stops - Macarthur to Moss Vale
> Express - Campbelltown to Moss Vale and then limited stops to Goulburn and all to Canberra about 3 x per day.
> Semi Express - As above but all stops Moss Vale to Canberra 3 x day
> 1-2 late service only runs as far as Goulburn and departs Goulburn  around 5 - 5:30

There are plenty of services Macarthur to Moss Vale, it should be Moss Vale to Goulburn that gets the stops as that section has very limited service.
ssaunders
Yep, which is what I indicated.
  act_railfan Station Master

It makes me wonder,  if the Canberra Xplorer and Goulburn Endeavour should be combined as a single service?

because last time I checked the Canberra Xpl and Goulburn Endevour depart 10 mins apart at Goulburn station,  would make sense to run it as a single service.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It makes me wonder,  if the Canberra Xplorer and Goulburn Endeavour should be combined as a single service?

because last time I checked the Canberra Xpl and Goulburn Endevour depart 10 mins apart at Goulburn station,  would make sense to run it as a single service.
act_railfan
Yep, this was my point, the MV service remains as an all stopper regular interurban commuter service. Goulburn and Canberra get merged into the one outer interurban service, not alot different from Newcastle, Sth Coast and Lithgow with a regular series of services throughout the day, albeit less frequent than MV.

Between below and Sydney 1am and 6am,
Newcastle 7-8 services
Lithgow 5,
Bomaderry 2
Goulburn 1
Bathurst 1
Canberra, population 300,000 & nations capital 0,

A good place to start would be
- Departures start from 4am (arrive before peak) every 2h, running through to 8pm
- Assuming 3h 45min service, you need what 6 - 7 x 3 car sets.    

Stations between Goulburn and Moss Vale would be call stops only apart from maybe Bundanoon. ie passengers on the station must press a call button that only works 30min prior to the trains arrival which will signal the driver to stop and likewise they must inform the guard when on the train to get off. The option is doing it via app on phones mentioned by others is also a good one. The app's functionality would be geofenced so that it only works if on the actual station or train.

This provides a service frequently without the need to at 1min for every train to every station to stop for air. Perhaps know times of the day drivers may just top anyway based on history.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed
bevans

@bevans Unlike the Melbourne to Geelong route there isn't a nice flat plain to run a high speed train between Sydney and Canberra on.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed

@bevans Unlike the Melbourne to Geelong route there isn't a nice flat plain to run a high speed train between Sydney and Canberra on.
simstrain

How then will they intend to build the Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney HST?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed

@bevans Unlike the Melbourne to Geelong route there isn't a nice flat plain to run a high speed train between Sydney and Canberra on.

How then will they intend to build the Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney HST?
bevans
The proposal for the HSR was to follow the general route via the Hume and existing railway just without the number of bends.

A branch to Canberra was to come off at or near Goulburn. There would unlikely ever be a direct service from Melbourne to Canberra, rather sync'ed change at Goulburn.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed

@bevans Unlike the Melbourne to Geelong route there isn't a nice flat plain to run a high speed train between Sydney and Canberra on.

How then will they intend to build the Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney HST?
bevans

The terrain isn't as biggest problem.  The various overlapping jurisdictions have kept the service more or less as it was since the 1940s.  But the current Chinese administration could build the HSR for us without these issues.  It's just a shame we won't be able to ride it, as we'll all be in re-education camps.  /s
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed

@bevans Unlike the Melbourne to Geelong route there isn't a nice flat plain to run a high speed train between Sydney and Canberra on.

How then will they intend to build the Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney HST?
bevans

Fluffy clouds and dreams. Melbourne to Geelong could be done so easily and cheaply. Just getting out of Sydney is going to cost $50 billion unless these trains use the existing network. Then south of Macarthur is atleast another $50 billion with all of those mega bridges and tunnels that would be needed.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
In many ways the answer is contained withini https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/rail-and-the-need-for-speed

@bevans Unlike the Melbourne to Geelong route there isn't a nice flat plain to run a high speed train between Sydney and Canberra on.

How then will they intend to build the Melbourne to Canberra to Sydney HST?

Fluffy clouds and dreams. Melbourne to Geelong could be done so easily and cheaply. Just getting out of Sydney is going to cost $50 billion unless these trains use the existing network. Then south of Macarthur is atleast another $50 billion with all of those mega bridges and tunnels that would be needed.
simstrain
In other words there just ain't anywhere near as much as $100 Billion worth of value In such a project.

Correct "Fluffy clouds of dreams"
  act_railfan Station Master

Ok,  from what I've read money has been put aside from for track upgrades on the Canberra to Sydney corridor  in the near future 0-5 years.

In the 2023 the new intercity/country trains are being introduced.

So we may have to wait until 2023 for any further updates.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Ok,  from what I've read money has been put aside from for track upgrades on the Canberra to Sydney corridor  in the near future 0-5 years.

In the 2023 the new intercity/country trains are being introduced.

So we may have to wait until 2023 for any further updates.
act_railfan

I have no idea what your reading. There is a thing happening where the nsw government is looking for faster routes but I don't really see anything happening with this because of the terrain. The costs are going to be too much and there isn't any value in spending that much money for the small amount of passengers who would use passenger rail in these areas.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Ok,  from what I've read money has been put aside from for track upgrades on the Canberra to Sydney corridor  in the near future 0-5 years.

In the 2023 the new intercity/country trains are being introduced.

So we may have to wait until 2023 for any further updates.
act_railfan
Lets hope

The branch from junction near Goulburn to Canberra station is roughly 1/3 of the route and more than likely by far the cheapest per km to upgrade. ie, just one track, few stations, points, electric safe working, stations etc over reasonable and low cost terrain and adjoining properties. Also between the Fed's, the ACT and NSW govt's it shouldn't be too hard to find some $$$. Still much more than 15-20min time saving will be high cost to find.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I will agree that Goulburn to Canberra line if modernised could save 20-30 minutes in journey time by itself. It currently take 1 hour and 36 minutes and it should be quite easy to just make this a 1 hour journey the same as the car trip time. If you can save 30 minutes here and then another 15-30 minutes elsewhere along the main south then the train journey becomes short enough to make 4 services each way a day possible and maybe even 5.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that there are speed restrictions on the existing track between Joppa Junction and Canberra because of its relatively sub-standard condition. As RTT and simstrain have already intimated, it would only require a modest investment in upgrading the track to significantly improve journey times.

The upgrading of the Main South from Campbelltown to Goulburn is a different matter and electrification in combination with some critical curve easing could play a significant role in reducing the journey time even further to make it more competitive with car and coach travel.  The steep gradients are not such an issue with electrification or even modern diesel freight locomotives. It's the curvature that slows down journey times.  Electrification will boost the effectiveness of the new hybrid regional fleet.

If the journey time between Sydney and Canberra can be reduced to below 3 hours, then it would significantly improve patronage and frequency.  A frequency of a service in both directions every 2 hours between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm should be the goal.
  tazzer96 Chief Commissioner

Murrays run 11 services a day between sydney and canberra.  If the journey time can be closed to about 3 hours 30 minutes by train, then patronage would shoot through the roof because of the steel wheel effect.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

If the journey time between Sydney and Canberra can be reduced to below 3 hours, then it would significantly improve patronage and frequency.  A frequency of a service in both directions every 2 hours between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm should be goal.
Transtopic
That's easy:
  • High grade electrification electrification between Joppa and Tarago
  • Speed boards of exactly 142 kph
  • In the CAFS install a simple flux capacitor.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Ok,  from what I've read money has been put aside from for track upgrades on the Canberra to Sydney corridor  in the near future 0-5 years.

In the 2023 the new intercity/country trains are being introduced.

So we may have to wait until 2023 for any further updates.

I have no idea what your reading. There is a thing happening where the nsw government is looking for faster routes but I don't really see anything happening with this because of the terrain. The costs are going to be too much and there isn't any value in spending that much money for the small amount of passengers who would use passenger rail in these areas.
simstrain
If you run a small amount of trains, you get a small amount of passengers. We all know that if they ran 9 trains a day, they would likely carry nearly 3 x more passengers, especially if they removed the booking requirement.

The terrain is friendly for most of the CBR branch, just the tight valleys at the end. The actual track speed now isn't that bad, better train, upgraded track and you'd easily get the CBR branch sub 60min travel time.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that there are speed restrictions on the existing track between Joppa Junction and Canberra because of its relatively sub-standard condition. As RTT and simstrain have already intimated, it would only require a modest investment in upgrading the track to significantly improve journey times.

The upgrading of the Main South from Campbelltown to Goulburn is a different matter and electrification in combination with some critical curve easing could play a significant role in reducing the journey time even further to make it more competitive with car and coach travel.  The steep gradients are not such an issue with electrification or even modern diesel freight locomotives. It's the curvature that slows down journey times.  Electrification will boost the effectiveness of the new hybrid regional fleet.

If the journey time between Sydney and Canberra can be reduced to below 3 hours, then it would significantly improve patronage and frequency.  A frequency of a service in both directions every 2 hours between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm should be goal.
Transtopic
The current trip time from Goulburn is 1h 36min for 106 km, slow by any measure.

From Goulburn,
- the 57km section to Targo isn't too bad averaging 127km/h (removing 1min for station stop)
- 11km to Bungendore is painfully slow at 29km/h, yes I've checked this multiple times, but I think there is a STAFF change at either station which obviously can be improved
- 28km to Quean'ie at 62km/h and this is through the windy valleys
- 9km to CBR is 39km/h

So if we make some track improvements
- 57km to Targo, small increase to 140 km/h
- 11km to Bun, increase to 95 km/h
- 28km to Quean, increase to 100 km/h
- 9km to CBR, increase to 70km/h

Still allowing 5min for the 3 intermediate station stops, we are down to 55min, saving 40min

So the trip to Sydney is now down to 3h 30min, without factoring in any benefit north of Goulburn with the new trains, but I think any benefit would likely be off-set south of Goulburn compared to above as I may be a bit to optimistic.

I've said it before, if the money was available, I think its better to head west from Bungendore direct to Canberra Airport (terminus), huge saving in time, but yes there is some more serious real-estate to traverse. But with hybrid trains and only one track, you just bore a single tunnel that also wired and save likely another 10-15min as the new track and tunnel would be rated at 150 - 160 km/h and you save about 20-30km in distance.

EDIT, with this run time, then you could have a minimum 2h frequency Ex - CBR passing at Goulburn - Joppa JCT on the dual track. No need to have complex/costly passing on the CBR branch apart from dealing with existing freight movements.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

- 11km to Bungendore is painfully slow at 29km/h, yes I've checked this multiple times, but I think there is a STAFF change at either station which obviously can be improved
RTT_Rules

Bungendore is an unstaffed station Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
- 11km to Bungendore is painfully slow at 29km/h, yes I've checked this multiple times, but I think there is a STAFF change at either station which obviously can be improved

Bungendore is an unstaffed station Smile
djf01
safeworking, I remember the only time at one of the stops the driver went out into a shed for a bit.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

- 11km to Bungendore is painfully slow at 29km/h, yes I've checked this multiple times, but I think there is a STAFF change at either station which obviously can be improved

Bungendore is an unstaffed station Smile
safeworking, I remember the only time at one of the stops the driver went out into a shed for a bit.
RTT_Rules

I haven't taken that service in at least 6 years, and safeworking had been replaced by train orders (terminology?? IIRC) quite a few years before that.

But ... the timetable hasn't changed AFAIK.  10min saved, easily.

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