Future of Canberra - Sydney service?

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

- 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
Definitely unsafe to drive a train when you're busting.

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  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
safeworking, I remember the only time at one of the stops the driver went out into a shed for a bit.
Definitely unsafe to drive a train when you're busting.
justapassenger
True, had a car accident due to impatience with a full bladder.

Anyway, I think its a electric staff hut? This was about 5 or 6 years ago?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

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.

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

diesel electric rather then diesel hydraulic and they have a 160km/h top speed. They will accelerate faster out of stations and have shorter braking distances. They will probably corner better as well. Between Campbelltown and Moss Vale this could easily equate to a 15 minute saving. Between Moss Vale and Goulburn that could equate to another 10 minutes.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I don't want to sound like @sims with "it can't be done", but IMHO a lot of people are looking at opportunities to improve the Canberra service with excessive optimism.

The new CAFs won't have substantially better performance than the Endeavours on the route.
The route is so slow, shaving over an hour of the transit time means it is *still* highly uncompetitive with driving.  
The CAFS are a min 3 car set, so a more frequent 2 car train service won't happen (or if it does, not for long)
The route itself is seriously problematic.  The Main South from Menangle to Cambelltown has 70+ curves, most 400m radius (Picton's 300 deg curve is 300m), and that largely sets the top speed.  Joppa to Canberra is laid with lightish (I forget what weight) rail and steel sleepers.  This sets the 140kph limit on the rare straight bits.  Sections of the route are built to "temporary" standard.  It's pretty clear from a look at the map that the ridge on the Kowen Forrest was clearly intended to have a tunnel.  The curves are all 240m radius, or 12 chains - IIRC the minimum allowable in the early 1900s.  Similarly with the Tarago bends, and the Molongolo canyon.  The line was built to a budget.

The issue with straightening the route here - beyond the cost - is the rail line by definition forms the NSW ACT border.  Re-route the line an inch north and it creates a constitutional crisis.  South of the line is the Defence Dept HQ, with it's various layered security perimeters.  Move the line south an inch and you create a national security crisis.  There is the other problem the line serves the ACT (sort of), who don't vote for or pay for the service (but AFAIK they do contribute to the Fed Highway.

Basically, it's all "too hard".  But equally, the political jurisdictional quirks mean it's too hard to scrap also, and it doesn't cost *that* much (roughly $20mil subsidy a year).
  grog Train Controller

This page has a vague mention of a new alignment from Menangle to Yerrinbool (no date or money attached though): https://caportal.com.au/tfnsw/tiip/pipeline
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't want to sound like @sims with "it can't be done", but IMHO a lot of people are looking at opportunities to improve the Canberra service with excessive optimism.

The new CAFs won't have substantially better performance than the Endeavours on the route.
The route is so slow, shaving over an hour of the transit time means it is *still* highly uncompetitive with driving.  
The CAFS are a min 3 car set, so a more frequent 2 car train service won't happen (or if it does, not for long)
The route itself is seriously problematic.  The Main South from Menangle to Cambelltown has 70+ curves, most 400m radius (Picton's 300 deg curve is 300m), and that largely sets the top speed.  Joppa to Canberra is laid with lightish (I forget what weight) rail and steel sleepers.  This sets the 140kph limit on the rare straight bits.  Sections of the route are built to "temporary" standard.  It's pretty clear from a look at the map that the ridge on the Kowen Forrest was clearly intended to have a tunnel.  The curves are all 240m radius, or 12 chains - IIRC the minimum allowable in the early 1900s.  Similarly with the Tarago bends, and the Molongolo canyon.  The line was built to a budget.

The issue with straightening the route here - beyond the cost - is the rail line by definition forms the NSW ACT border.  Re-route the line an inch north and it creates a constitutional crisis.  South of the line is the Defence Dept HQ, with it's various layered security perimeters.  Move the line south an inch and you create a national security crisis.  There is the other problem the line serves the ACT (sort of), who don't vote for or pay for the service (but AFAIK they do contribute to the Fed Highway.

Basically, it's all "too hard".  But equally, the political jurisdictional quirks mean it's too hard to scrap also, and it doesn't cost *that* much (roughly $20mil subsidy a year).
djf01
Even a top speed of 140km/h limit by steel sleepers and what ever rail is fine, no need to be targetting higher, just raise it to all this standard and you have sub 40min.

The advantage of improving a railway alignment dug by hand is that even a backhoe to make a big difference for low cost. North of Queanbyan there is a slow speed cross over being used as part of the main line because the closed line to the south is still there. This adds to time for the Canberra trains. Rip the old line out and re aligned the Canberra branch such that it has no impact on travel time. There is so much simple stuff that can be done to save a minute here and there its not funny including the safeworking delay I mentioned previously.

The border is no longer defined as the position of the physical railway, its plotted. You can move the railway without needing the high court or the army.

The ACT govt is all about Green, it wouldn't take much for them to get on board, also only the last 10km is actually in the ACT. The ideal solution would be for the Feds to get on board as the line is technically part of the interstate and we are not talking huge sums, few hundred million would sort out the CBR branch very quickly because its single track and mostly in cheap farm land. The Molongolo canyon is the only place that will chew up some serious money and the diversion through the hlll rather around the forest.

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