Talks of potential electrification of railway line to Goulburn

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


Re: Picton growth, ivarahi, No one has no vision on this, but it has a long way to go just to break even with the Blue mountains or even be comparable to Vic DMU's numbers on Western and Eastern corridors. Electric traction will not suddenly convert cars to trains , its driven by timetable. The likely outcome will be in the future, not within next 10-15 years at least that number of tracks will increase with requirement to support more frequent services which may or maynot include O/H depending a number of factors at the time and the cost of electric traction.
A long way to go? You clearly haven't been for a drive around this area for a while...

Not only will it "break even" with the Blue Mountains, but it will dwarf the traffic load from between Blaxland and Mt Victoria. It will do that in under 20 years... Your comment illustrates how selective people have been with the facts surrounding this issue. Penrith was hicksville when it was electrified, so was Campbelltown, so was Wyong. Public transport is a growth CREATOR. Sydney is land locked and can realistically only expand south west. The sub divisions are happening now, not in 5 years or 20 years time. NOW. If you haven't seen it then I suggest you need to go for a little drive down the Appin Rd, then head towards towards Wilton, then north up Menangle Rd into Menangle, then cut across to South Camden. Then tell me that it will not "break even" with the Blue Mountains...

Electric traction will convert cars to trains if combined with a regular direct service. Want proof? Try getting a car park at Campbelltown station any work day... they aren't all locals.
ivahri
Wires doesn't magically drive growth, its frequency and modern standards. The trains the sparks to Wyong replaced were aging and made the U-boats feel super modern. Wyong extension wasn't for Wyong it was just part of the extension to Newcastle. Yes services were improved after the extension to Wyong and later beyond, but its because the govt was buying V-sets, not DMU's. It could have easily been done with DMU's although the XPL/END are fairly gutless for frequent stoppers and hills. The V/locities are much better. Remember ~60% of all Adelaide commuter rail is powered by diesel.  

Blaxland to Mt Vic is limited by terrain and sheer time from Sydney. In another time, the O/H west to Lithgow would haven been surely truncated.

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  ivahri Train Controller

Wires allow frequency, capacity and modern standards. The trifecta. Anyone who proposes that diesel hauled railcars in NSW will ever be built to deliver all three are kidding themselves. You will not see 6 Endeavor clones hooked up to provide the capacity and frequency the Main South needs. It would be a ludicrous investment.

Wriggle all you like but the reality is that most electrification extensions in the previous decades have been associated with future population growth, not pre-existing growth.

Please don't use Adelaide's system as a standard... that is like comparing an ant to an elephant. Compare us to south-east Queensland... oh but wait, that doesn't suit your argument, they got rid of diesel hauled decades ago...
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

This has to be one of the strangest threads I've ever participated in here.  Everyone appears in furious agreement.  However that isn't going to stop me biting back here.

For my part, I am not an advocate of electrification to Picton.  It's a one off incremental upgrade (of sorts), that on it's own probably isn't justified.  But unlike just about everything else suggested here, it doesn't depend on the success of another project (of equally questionable value).  Yes, it needs ARTC's support, but that is an administrative/political impediment, not a factual one.  I think it's chances of getting proposed and getting up are quite high for that reason: that is something that can be done - as distinct from should be done.

You don't build 28km of overhead for a 1hrly service plus a few extra's in peak.
RTT_Rules

NSW does.  This is the base service frequency of the Blue Mts, South Coast and Newcastle lines.

BTW, if anyone knows - or could provide a link- I'd be interested to learn the service frequency of the South Coast line prior to electrification south of Dapto.  


Your cost assumptions do not include  purchase of the EMU rollingstock for which the price difference is that great, more driven by volumes the technology.
RTT_Rules

Never said they did.  But ... an hourly EMU service to Picton needs all of one extra train, which accommodating out of a fleet of over 200 trains should not be a problem.

Beefing up the DMU service out of the current fleet *is* a problem.  In fact it's impossible.  RailCorp need to either place a special order just for this route, or rely on another - as yet unfunded and unscheduled - delivering hand me down rolling stock to meet the need.  (I think the latter that is the most likely outcome BTW).  


Yes, the days of converting a line to electric traction to stop at stations the size of chicken sheds with zero facilities and  at grade crossings are over, not just NSW. Also modern station infrastructure is such that when building greenfield, you want numbers.
RTT_Rules

Yet it's OK to buy a fleet of equivalent DMUs to provide an equivalent service without such upgrades?


I haven't driven through this area for a few years, but if I use the current satellite photos and assume some growth since, extension of the O/H to Menangle Park would likely be the current max you could justify.
RTT_Rules

I think everyone is in furious agreement on this point to.  Everyone seems to think sparking the down road to Menangle Park, building a new down platform.

But I don't think NSW has a particularly good track record on these sorts of sensible incremental infrastructure upgrade decisions, especially in Rail.  It tends to be all or nothing, a big political statement, which when implemented, is typically way over capitalised because everyone knows when the time comes for the next increment the funding won't be there.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
This has to be one of the strangest threads I've ever participated in here.  Everyone appears in furious agreement.  
 
djf01
???????
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Wires allow frequency, capacity and modern standards. The trifecta. Anyone who proposes that diesel hauled railcars in NSW will ever be built to deliver all three are kidding themselves. You will not see 6 Endeavor clones hooked up to provide the capacity and frequency the Main South needs. It would be a ludicrous investment.

Wriggle all you like but the reality is that most electrification extensions in the previous decades have been associated with future population growth, not pre-existing growth.

Please don't use Adelaide's system as a standard... that is like comparing an ant to an elephant. Compare us to south-east Queensland... oh but wait, that doesn't suit your argument, they got rid of diesel hauled decades ago...
ivahri
Sorry no
- Wires do not provide frequency, trains do
- Wires do not provide capacity, trains and track do
- Wires do not provide modern standards, trains and supporting infrastructure do. (personal experience in riding 70 year old trains under wires in Sydney)

The only thing wires provide are electrons. Please don't even bother to argue this, its simple physics

Does the main south need 6 x END's tied together? Lucky if 4 is required most of the day. Geelong survives with 6 though.

What wriggle? Electrification extensions as I mentioned before where mostly driven by 1950's to 80's freight expansion under the wires using electric traction. Expansion driven by purely passengers on IU routes is more recent.

Whats Qld got to do with it? Has the population of the Gold Coast moved to Menangle? Qld only has two interurban corridors. One being the Gold coast, so please don't derate your argument further by comparing this region to the Gold Coast. The 2nd is the Sunshine coast, again driven by freight expansion and again has the population of the Sunshine Coast moved to Menangle.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This has to be one of the strangest threads I've ever participated in here.  Everyone appears in furious agreement.  However that isn't going to stop me biting back here.

For my part, I am not an advocate of electrification to Picton.  It's a one off incremental upgrade (of sorts), that on it's own probably isn't justified.  But unlike just about everything else suggested here, it doesn't depend on the success of another project (of equally questionable value).  Yes, it needs ARTC's support, but that is an administrative/political impediment, not a factual one.  I think it's chances of getting proposed and getting up are quite high for that reason: that is something that can be done - as distinct from should be done.

You don't build 28km of overhead for a 1hrly service plus a few extra's in peak.

NSW does.  This is the base service frequency of the Blue Mts, South Coast and Newcastle lines.

BTW, if anyone knows - or could provide a link- I'd be interested to learn the service frequency of the South Coast line prior to electrification south of Dapto.  


Your cost assumptions do not include  purchase of the EMU rollingstock for which the price difference is that great, more driven by volumes the technology.
Never said they did.  But ... an hourly EMU service to Picton needs all of one extra train, which accommodating out of a fleet of over 200 trains should not be a problem.

Beefing up the DMU service out of the current fleet *is* a problem.  In fact it's impossible.  RailCorp need to either place a special order just for this route, or rely on another - as yet unfunded and unscheduled - delivering hand me down rolling stock to meet the need.  (I think the latter that is the most likely outcome BTW).  


Yes, the days of converting a line to electric traction to stop at stations the size of chicken sheds with zero facilities and  at grade crossings are over, not just NSW. Also modern station infrastructure is such that when building greenfield, you want numbers.
Yet it's OK to buy a fleet of equivalent DMUs to provide an equivalent service without such upgrades?


I haven't driven through this area for a few years, but if I use the current satellite photos and assume some growth since, extension of the O/H to Menangle Park would likely be the current max you could justify.
I think everyone is in furious agreement on this point to.  Everyone seems to think sparking the down road to Menangle Park, building a new down platform.

But I don't think NSW has a particularly good track record on these sorts of sensible incremental infrastructure upgrade decisions, especially in Rail.  It tends to be all or nothing, a big political statement, which when implemented, is typically way over capitalised because everyone knows when the time comes for the next increment the funding won't be there.
djf01
No, Most of the IU electrification was built for freight. Today most of the IU spark network has passenger numbers to justify retention and in some areas expansion.

I would suggest Railcorp don't have a spark sitting around idle wondering what use it could be. Its takes long than one hour for a spark to do a loop Central to Picton and back. So you still need a train. DMU/EMU.

DMU replacement like for like. If you are spending money on O/H, it usually means there are reasonable number of users, what is Meangle Park to Picton delivering? Is the station wall to wall bodies like parts of Sydney? So yes its acceptable to replace the aging END cars with something shiner that still an oil burner.

At a guess the line will either supplied with a new fleet of DMU's along with rest of NSW regional, or as you said a series of hand me downs from XPL fleet relocated. As the XPL/END fleet is 1992 vintage, younger than much of the spark fleet, your trains are younger and even AC 'ed than commuters in parts of Sydney where they move real numbers.

So what is actually unfunded/unscheduled? The XPT/XPL replacement discussions are happening now. The govt has stated and allocated $1B or so to do the job.

I don't think they intentionally go for the multiple billion dollar project ignoring the smaller ones, its just we don't see it as much because, well there is no fan fare. Don't forget you have legal and safety issues that once you touch a piece of aging infrastructure, they whole thing needs to be moderised to current standards. So replacing a Pedestrian LX cannot be simply done to a walk over bridge, you need a lift etc etc.    

So to do this O/H extension, a few questions
- Are both tracks bi-di?
- Would this spark extension impact on the current DMU operations? Duplicate, waste time??
- Are there sparks available?
- Can you use a Surburban Spark, the END has toilets correct? Suburban sparks don't.
- Is the platform long enough? (I checked, its likely even too short for a 4 car set)
- the sparked line will be mostly accessed across the tracks, so a bridge is required because if you build something to attrack bodies and someone gets flattened.....What would the Corona say?
- The car park needs to be extended
- Do you need a substation?
- How does it fit into the current or next timetable?

So a simple suggestion is not always so simple
  ivahri Train Controller

I am so glad that rail policy is not being driven by people so stuck in the past as some here. To advocate for like for like replacement of Endeavours to continue serving Campbelltown to Picton despite a massive increase in population just demonstrates why some rail enthusiasts have a very weak connection to reality. If visionaries like this were running commuter rail policy in NSW Sydney by now would resemble Los Angeles.

Tim Fischer despite his advancing years understands the challenge better than some here.

With that I will bow out... pointless trying to look forward when surrounded by ostriches...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I am so glad that rail policy is not being driven by people so stuck in the past as some here. To advocate for like for like replacement of Endeavours to continue serving Campbelltown to Picton despite a massive increase in population just demonstrates why some rail enthusiasts have a very weak connection to reality. If visionaries like this were running commuter rail policy in NSW Sydney by now would resemble Los Angeles.

Tim Fischer despite his advancing years understands the challenge better than some here.

With that I will bow out... pointless trying to look forward when surrounded by ostriches...
ivahri
Actually I think you will find the comments mentioned my others are more aligned with policy's by the current govt which is doing more for rail in 6 years than the last 30-40 years combined.

Vision should also be aligned with practical reality. I have a personal vision for 95% duplication with 25kVA from Macuthur to Melbourne with significant realignment and curve easing enabling a 110km/hr freighter to achieve city to city within 10h which would include MSR between Sydney and Canberra/Melbourne. Doesn't mean its practical.

The current END fleet can easily service the growing population on the South Main is bolstered by the displaced XPL sets. The current END fleet is 28 cars strong with no B cars. The XPL fleet is 23 cars with 7 x B cars. Assuming even half were handed over to the South Main, capacity would nearly be doubled and solve much of the issues that you say exist today and provide ample room for growth for a few years until a more longer term which equals more costly solution is viable for the numbers on hand.

As you said the growth is north of Picton so extra trains could be used to provide more services truncated north of Picton, which ironically had a terminating road off the main removed only a few years back.

Remember at the end of the day, people don't not catch trains because they have a diesel engine. They don't catch them because they don't run when they want them too.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I am so glad that rail policy is not being driven by people so stuck in the past as some here. To advocate for like for like replacement of Endeavours to continue serving Campbelltown to Picton despite a massive increase in population just demonstrates why some rail enthusiasts have a very weak connection to reality. If visionaries like this were running commuter rail policy in NSW Sydney by now would resemble Los Angeles.

Tim Fischer despite his advancing years understands the challenge better than some here.

With that I will bow out... pointless trying to look forward when surrounded by ostriches...
ivahri
Actually I think you will find the comments mentioned my others are more aligned with policy's by the current govt which is doing more for rail in 6 years than the last 30-40 years combined.

Vision should also be aligned with practical reality. I have a personal vision for 95% duplication with 25kVA from Macuthur to Melbourne with significant realignment and curve easing enabling a 110km/hr freighter to achieve city to city within 10h which would include MSR between Sydney and Canberra/Melbourne. Doesn't mean its practical.

The current END fleet can easily service the growing population on the South Main is bolstered by the displaced XPL sets. The current END fleet is 28 cars strong with no B cars. The XPL fleet is 23 cars with 7 x B cars. Assuming even half were handed over to the South Main, capacity would nearly be doubled and solve much of the issues that you say exist today and provide ample room for growth for a few years until a more longer term which equals more costly solution is viable for the numbers on hand.

As you said the growth is north of Picton so extra trains could be used to provide more services truncated north of Picton, which ironically had a terminating road off the main removed only a few years back.

Remember at the end of the day, people don't not catch trains because they have a diesel engine. They don't catch them because they don't run when they want them too.
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
Wires allow frequency, capacity and modern standards. The trifecta. Anyone who proposes that diesel hauled railcars in NSW will ever be built to deliver all three are kidding themselves. You will not see 6 Endeavor clones hooked up to provide the capacity and frequency the Main South needs. It would be a ludicrous investment.

Wriggle all you like but the reality is that most electrification extensions in the previous decades have been associated with future population growth, not pre-existing growth.

Please don't use Adelaide's system as a standard... that is like comparing an ant to an elephant. Compare us to south-east Queensland... oh but wait, that doesn't suit your argument, they got rid of diesel hauled decades ago...
ivahri
*Snort* What do they know of Australian railways who only know NSW railways?

Get on an airplane, fly to Melbourne and get on a train to Geelong. Or Ballarat. Or Bendigo, particularly in the peak. If you can get a seat (or standing room), you can travel in six or seven car Vlocity trains (Endeavour's younger cousins) running every 15 minutes in the peak to destinations along corridors serving Melbourne's massive urban growth fronts to the west, northwest and north, acting on some corridors like a hybrid suburban/interurban service.

The Vlocitys operate at speeds of up to 160km/h on hauls longer than those from Central to most destination in the Southern Highlands and without electrification (which may be justified one day, but not now). There, the 'trifecta' of frequency, capacity and modern standards all done with diesels. Perhaps you cherry-picked your examples (Adelaide, SEQ) because they don't suit your argument?
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
NSW has always been rather laggard in using more than one or 2 car Diesel Powered Units for some unknown reason.
The nearest they got to it was that BUD set (the Camel) that ran to Wollongong and then there was that attempt to run a multiple Unit service on the South which I think split off at a couple of junctions to service the Branch lines.

I dont understand what the frequency of service nor the number of Carriages per unit used has to do with what ever the power source is.
After living and working on the Blue Mountains, I am very well aware of the differences there are between electric and diesel traction but that only applies to those sections of line, not the whole state.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@SEMartin. Ive news. The Victorian interurban network is rubbish. The Geelong line is approaching the frequency where it should be electrically hauled. Diesel hauled services to Wyndhamvale and Melton. Ridiculous. Victoria still has a sizeable portion of rolling stock 50 years and over.

Michael
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
@SEMartin. Ive news. The Victorian interurban network is rubbish. The Geelong line is approaching the frequency where it should be electrically hauled. Diesel hauled services to Wyndhamvale and Melton. Ridiculous. Victoria still has a sizeable portion of rolling stock 50 years and over.

Michael
mejhammers1
Not news to me. I worked on/in the systems in NSW and Victoria for the best part of a decade and elsewhere in the rail industry. I know the difference between an interurban rail network being pushed to its limits (Victoria, SEQ) and one that's not really trying (Greater Sydney). Agree Geelong and the lower reaches of the Ballarat line is being forced to do two roles with the equipment and infrastructure to do one only. So is Sunshine Coast in SEQ for that matter.
  ivahri Train Controller

@SEMartin. Ive news. The Victorian interurban network is rubbish. The Geelong line is approaching the frequency where it should be electrically hauled. Diesel hauled services to Wyndhamvale and Melton. Ridiculous. Victoria still has a sizeable portion of rolling stock 50 years and over.

Michael
Not news to me. I worked on/in the systems in NSW and Victoria for the best part of a decade and elsewhere in the rail industry. I know the difference between an interurban rail network being pushed to its limits (Victoria, SEQ) and one that's not really trying (Greater Sydney). Agree Geelong and the lower reaches of the Ballarat line is being forced to do two roles with the equipment and infrastructure to do one only. So is Sunshine Coast in SEQ for that matter.
SEMartin
Yet in your previous post you argued that this approach should be followed by NSW? So instead of doing things properly and accepting that the Macarthur-Picton corridor will very soon more closely resemble the Werribee growth area, you want NSW to make the same mistake as Victoria are making.

There is economy, and there is FALSE economy. Arguing that demand doesn't exist today to justify short-sighted policy choices, when knowing that within a decade the demand will exist.... well that is why some of you would make great rail administrators. Heads up your backsides all just trying to show how clever you are and forgetting what matters most- the tax payers who pay the bills.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

For more frequent Interurban services to Sydney from Goulburn, Lithgow, Newcastle and Wollongong we need a significant amount of extra rail capacity in all directions in Sydney. This is why the current government is going down the driverless metro route. They realized that the current Sydney system is maxed out and a new modern rail system with 100% accessibility was needed instead of wasting time on the old clunker. Take the issue with the fallen tree on the north shore line yesterday afternoon causing people to miss the start of the world cup qualifier.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

For more frequent Interurban services to Sydney from Goulburn, Lithgow, Newcastle and Wollongong we need a significant amount of extra rail capacity in all directions in Sydney. This is why the current government is going down the driverless metro route. They realized that the current Sydney system is maxed out and a new modern rail system with 100% accessibility was needed instead of wasting time on the old clunker. Take the issue with the fallen tree on the north shore line yesterday afternoon causing people to miss the start of the world cup qualifier.
simstrain

Wow, what a lot of mixed metaphors (I think!)

If I read this correctly, the government is going with a driverless metro to help the people of Lithgow get to World Cup qualifiers on time?  Presumably the driverless metro not being as stupid as some puny human, and won't let anything as mundane as a tree across the tracks stop it  /s.  Smile
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
@SEMartin. Ive news. The Victorian interurban network is rubbish. The Geelong line is approaching the frequency where it should be electrically hauled. Diesel hauled services to Wyndhamvale and Melton. Ridiculous. Victoria still has a sizeable portion of rolling stock 50 years and over.

Michael
Not news to me. I worked on/in the systems in NSW and Victoria for the best part of a decade and elsewhere in the rail industry. I know the difference between an interurban rail network being pushed to its limits (Victoria, SEQ) and one that's not really trying (Greater Sydney). Agree Geelong and the lower reaches of the Ballarat line is being forced to do two roles with the equipment and infrastructure to do one only. So is Sunshine Coast in SEQ for that matter.
Yet in your previous post you argued that this approach should be followed by NSW? So instead of doing things properly and accepting that the Macarthur-Picton corridor will very soon more closely resemble the Werribee growth area, you want NSW to make the same mistake as Victoria are making.

There is economy, and there is FALSE economy. Arguing that demand doesn't exist today to justify short-sighted policy choices, when knowing that within a decade the demand will exist.... well that is why some of you would make great rail administrators. Heads up your backsides all just trying to show how clever you are and forgetting what matters most- the tax payers who pay the bills.
ivahri
Would gladly take the problems of success (Geelong/Ballarat lines) over the problems of failure (Southern Highlands line) any day @ivahri. At least the issues V/Line face force Government (Fed & State) to do something (build RRL, Ballarat rail upgrade, electrify and quad RRL, electrify to Melton, etc), compared to kicking the can down the road in the southern highlands where a rail operator provides a 'welfare' level of service and the track owner wants more paths for freight and Government is not prepared to do anything of value.
Your naivete is amusing. The people who pay the bills in rail are the Treasurer and Transport Ministers in Government (who represent the taxpayers). To get them to invest in rail, you have to do as much as you can to improve the service with the money you have, attract more passengers and use the pressure of overcrowding and capacity issues to get more money because the political pressure (by their constituents) forces them to act.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Wow, what a lot of mixed metaphors (I think!)

If I read this correctly, the government is going with a driverless metro to help the people of Lithgow get to World Cup qualifiers on time?  Presumably the driverless metro not being as stupid as some puny human, and won't let anything as mundane as a tree across the tracks stop it  /s.  Smile
djf01

The metro will mostly be underground or on skyrail so no problem with falling trees. My point on the falling tree was that the Sydney system has many points of fault where an issue with one line can cause issues with several other rail lines. The suburban and interurban lines are linked so tightly that one late train can have effects elsewhere on the network. The new and future metro systems are an opportunity to free up the current Sydney system to allow more frequent services outside of the inner core of the Sydney network.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


The metro will mostly be underground or on skyrail so no problem with falling trees.
simstrain

Interesting news for the people near the Bankstown line Smile.

That said, I understood/understand/agree with your point about the Sydney network and it's dependencies.

@RRT_RULES I don't think the idea of an increased suburban/interurban fleet using retasked Xplorers is going to work.  The current service is under provisioned now - in a high growth rate area.  And when exactly do you anticipate these X'plorers be available?  And how old will they be when they do become available?

The argument I've been trying to run here is NSW doesn't have a sufficient DMU capability now, and it can't add to that capability in the short to medium term.  NSW does have an EMU capability, and supporting fleet renewal programs.  And in their 40 year plan, they have indicated a desire for electrification expansion.  NSW couldn't expand it's DMU service (easily) even if it wanted to, which it doesn't.

This is why - IMHO, among other reasons - the natural forces as it were are are pushing towards electrification
  act_railfan Station Master

In regards to future developments on the ' Southern Highlands line'
As a Canberra resident,   a couple of weeks ago I emailed the ACT chief minister about the ACT/NSW government's plan on Improving
the Canberra-Sydney corridor.

This is the response I got the other day:


Thank you for your email, the Chief Minister has asked me to get back to you in relation to your suggestion.

The ACT Government has been working with both the NSW and the Federal Government to seek improvements to the Canberra-Sydney rail line. Recently the NSW and ACT Governments jointly submitted to the Federal Government seeking funding under the Faster Rail Prospectus.  

One of the main issues on the Canberra-Sydney rail service is the length of time taken to travel. Additional services, like extending the Cityrail service, would be beneficial but would not reduce the time taken for the journey. The time needs to come down to around 3 hours (ideally less) to be competitive with bus and air travel. This is why in the first instance the NSW and ACT Governments are looking to improve the speed of the service.

The long term goal would be to achieve a regular, fast commuter service between Sydney and Canberra, ideally with an integrated ticket system as you have suggested. This would also be beneficial to the large number of Goulburn residents who commute both to Canberra and to Sydney for work.

Regards

Martin Greenwood
Senior Adviser Office of the Chief Minister
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

In regards to future developments on the ' Southern Highlands line'
As a Canberra resident,   a couple of weeks ago I emailed the ACT chief minister about the ACT/NSW government's plan on Improving
the Canberra-Sydney corridor.

This is the response I got the other day:


Thank you for your email, the Chief Minister has asked me to get back to you in relation to your suggestion.

The ACT Government has been working with both the NSW and the Federal Government to seek improvements to the Canberra-Sydney rail line. Recently the NSW and ACT Governments jointly submitted to the Federal Government seeking funding under the Faster Rail Prospectus.  

One of the main issues on the Canberra-Sydney rail service is the length of time taken to travel. Additional services, like extending the Cityrail service, would be beneficial but would not reduce the time taken for the journey. The time needs to come down to around 3 hours (ideally less) to be competitive with bus and air travel. This is why in the first instance the NSW and ACT Governments are looking to improve the speed of the service.

The long term goal would be to achieve a regular, fast commuter service between Sydney and Canberra, ideally with an integrated ticket system as you have suggested. This would also be beneficial to the large number of Goulburn residents who commute both to Canberra and to Sydney for work.

Regards

Martin Greenwood
Senior Adviser Office of the Chief Minister
act_railfan

Has anyone got any more information on the progress of the Faster Rail Prospectus?  (https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/faster_rail/index.aspx)

There was a report in that reliable publication The Illawarra Mercury (http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5060255/plan-proposes-45-minute-rail-trip-to-sydney/)


In September the government called for proposals under the Faster Rail prospectus, which has $20 million in funding to disperse.

Eleven submissions have moved to stage two, where a detailed project proposal is required.
Illawarra Mecury


I have been unable to find a list of proposals or the list of 11 projects that have gone to Stage 2 anywhere.  But *if* this report is accurate, it seems the Chinese consortium offering to build HSR for "free", and a proposal to build MD have progressed.  There is no indication on the progress of any ACT/NSW proposal for a Sydney Canberra upgrade, other than this letter indicating a proposal was put to stage 1.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

@SEMartin. Ive news. The Victorian interurban network is rubbish. The Geelong line is approaching the frequency where it should be electrically hauled. Diesel hauled services to Wyndhamvale and Melton. Ridiculous. Victoria still has a sizeable portion of rolling stock 50 years and over.

Michael
mejhammers1
I wouldn't say its rubbish.  Its probably the best in the nation.  But I do see your point, anywhere else in the world the ballarat and geelong line would be under wires.  Tralalgon even had wires but they took them down.  Interurban services being run by 50 year old stock that was converted suburban stock.  Not even 50 year old trains that were designed to run interurban type services.  Most interurban services only running to Southern cross and not further into the city.  
Compare this to NSW where most interurban peak services are run through the CBD stations.  Off peak still remains strongly linked to centrals intercity platforms however
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

The metro will mostly be underground or on skyrail so no problem with falling trees.
Interesting news for the people near the Bankstown line Smile.

That said, I understood/understand/agree with your point about the Sydney network and it's dependencies.

@RRT_RULES I don't think the idea of an increased suburban/interurban fleet using retasked Xplorers is going to work.  The current service is under provisioned now - in a high growth rate area.  And when exactly do you anticipate these X'plorers be available?  And how old will they be when they do become available?

The argument I've been trying to run here is NSW doesn't have a sufficient DMU capability now, and it can't add to that capability in the short to medium term.  NSW does have an EMU capability, and supporting fleet renewal programs.  And in their 40 year plan, they have indicated a desire for electrification expansion.  NSW couldn't expand it's DMU service (easily) even if it wanted to, which it doesn't.

This is why - IMHO, among other reasons - the natural forces as it were are are pushing towards electrification
djf01
The question is when are the replacement XPT / XPL due to arrive? If its within 3 years then this is likely to be faster than undertaking a wiring project including buying extra trains to service the area.

IF they became available in say 2022, they will be 30 years old, the same age as the END currently servicing the line and still within their 35-40 year design life.

Yes its a stop gap, but an economic one. Maximise the usage of the XPL fleet before final retirement. As the XPL fleet will enable the MV fleet to double in number, there is obviously significant room for growth.

Your argument is based on the fact there are spare EMU's sitting around doing nothing in the upcoming timetable. Please substantiate this? If they don't they have to order more. When will this be delivered? The numbers required would be 1 four car set for every 2 car DMU currently servicing the Southern Highlands. You also need fund and manage a series of major capital projects. Wire's, signally, stations etc etc. This will take 3 years.

Expansion of the NSW electification is limited to 3 locations,
- South Coast - Not justified and would release I think only one DMU
- Hunter Line - Have other issues to deal with right now. Potentially release a number of DMU's
- Main South - Significant issue with the DS preservation of the line and may require the NSW govt to fund a 3rd track.

Electrification isn't justified to run 2-4 car sets once an hour. A few crush load 2 car trains in peak doesn't equal justification for a $1B project. The Western and Northern line was done for freight first and foremost, south coast 50:50. Even if the govt was to solve the problem by doubling the DMU fleet with brand new V/locities, the cost would be less than 10% of the O/H cost.

Electrification will come, but the timing is better suited to when the END/XPL fleet is due to be retired.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
@SEMartin. Ive news. The Victorian interurban network is rubbish. The Geelong line is approaching the frequency where it should be electrically hauled. Diesel hauled services to Wyndhamvale and Melton. Ridiculous. Victoria still has a sizeable portion of rolling stock 50 years and over.

Michael
I wouldn't say its rubbish.  Its probably the best in the nation.  But I do see your point, anywhere else in the world the ballarat and geelong line would be under wires.  Tralalgon even had wires but they took them down.  Interurban services being run by 50 year old stock that was converted suburban stock.  Not even 50 year old trains that were designed to run interurban type services.  Most interurban services only running to Southern cross and not further into the city.  
Compare this to NSW where most interurban peak services are run through the CBD stations.  Off peak still remains strongly linked to centrals intercity platforms however
tazzer96
Most Sydney IU services terminate at Central where belong.

You do not waste valuable and very expensive track capacity through city tunnels with 2-4 car sets when your suburban sparks are running into the city with 1000 people.

There are a few quirks in Vic, but they are not that far removed from the norm. Geelong not being sparked is one of them and in doing so the displaced V/locities would retire the N-class hauled services. I'm sure this will happen soon enough.

Converting Diesel to electric traction needs to also take into account what to do with the diesel rolling stock. For example in SA, 100% to electric traction would have made a large fleet of still relative modern DMU's redundant. Hence the focus on replacing the 2000 class DMU's with sparks and allowing the displaced 3000's to boost services a tad on the remaning lines and in the future the 3000 class will follow the same path.

If NSW is planning to replace the XPT and XPL fleets, then while the bulk of the XPT fleet is approaching 40 years, the XPL fleet is not even 30 years. So to replacement of both with a new fleet enables the displaced XPL's to relcoated to the South Main and Hunter to serve out the remaining 10 years or so of their life doing the commuter run and increased services. Then by 2030 it may make sense to convert to electric traction in both Hunter and MV, thus allowing the remaining Hunter cars to take over the South Coast, MV-Gouburn and Outer Hunter.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

...

This is why - IMHO, among other reasons - the natural forces as it were are are pushing towards electrification
The question is when are the replacement XPT / XPL due to arrive? If its within 3 years then this is likely to be faster than undertaking a wiring project including buying extra trains to service the area.

IF they became available in say 2022, they will be 30 years old, the same age as the END currently servicing the line and still within their 35-40 year design life.
RTT_Rules

Sounds about right.  I think the first revenue services of the XPT replacement probably won't be until 2021-23.  But ... I don't anticipate the entire order to be delivered over a 3 month period.  I think it'll be 3-4 sets a year over a 4-6 year period, progressively replacing the XPTs, X'plorers then Endeavours.  Toward the end of the project they might even be looking at replacing the Hunter Cars if it's been successful - and these services still exist of course Smile.  

But on that analysis it'll be around 2025.  If they go with electrification (still the less likely option IMHO), it will be announced 2019, come on stream 2023-24.


Yes its a stop gap, but an economic one.
RTT_Rules

I remain unconvinced that running an undersized fleet of obsolete and expensive DMUs is an economic measure.  


Your argument is based on the fact there are spare EMU's sitting around doing nothing in the upcoming timetable. Please substantiate this? If they don't they have to order more. When will this be delivered?
RTT_Rules


You don't half ask much.  Perhaps you'd like a link to the 2022 SWT?

I can give you:

There are more than 50 EMU trains sets on the pipeline - projects which have been planned, ordered and started - with no committed allocation yet, other than for "expanded services", precisely what we are talking about here.

My argument is NSW has a large EMU fleet with (more than) sufficient redundant capacity to absorb 1 extra service, as well as ongoing fleet renewal programs.  The reverse is true of it's DMU fleet.


The numbers required would be 1 four car set for every 2 car DMU currently servicing the Southern Highlands.
RTT_Rules


The way I anticipate this might work is the DMU/EMU transfer gets shifted from Campbelltown back to Picton.  The Highlands hourly shuttle goes to hourly off peak (needs 2 rather than 3 DMUs) and 30min peak (needs the current complement of 4 DMUs).  Sector 2's SWT would need one additional active EMU (two would be better) out of it's fleet/service expansion allocation.

I still think the most likely outcome is do-nothing: which will eventually see the Xplorers doing suburban duty when they are 40+ years of age, and the Wollondilly Shire get the same sort of rail service the Hills district gets now.  I just don't think this is a viable plan.  

I'm prepared to accept arguments that electrification isn't justified.  I'm inclined to agree.  But I don't think fleet management is an argument against it - it's an argument for it.

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