Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cityrail timetable proposals in recent news - Part 3

An official video shows that the second phase of this plan involves:
  1. A new harbour crossing, connecting to the Metro Pitt alignment.
  2. Metro connecting to the Bankstown line and part of the Illawarra line.
  3. Removal of Campbelltown via Sydenham. 
  4. No increased capacity for the Western, South or North lines beyond what is possible now.
  5. Some Western line trains to take the slower path around the city circle.
Almost every aspect of this plan is daft.
  1. Sending metro trains down the Illawarra line to Hurstville means that some Railcorp passengers will be taken away from the Eastern Suburbs Railway, to be replaced by no one.
  2. Overtaking manoeuvres will no longer be possible.  All trains will likely need to run with the same stopping pattern, presumably Redfern, Sydenham, Wolli Creek, Rockdale, Kogarah, Hurstville and then all stations to Waterfall or Cronulla.  A capacity reducing skip stop is also possible.  It will be exceedingly difficult to operate the South Coast trains with only one pair of tracks the whole distance.
  3. Removing the Bankstown line from the city circle removes what is the only swing player between the Town Hall and Museum legs.  This will not be helpful.
  4. Removing Campbelltown via Sydenham will result in slower journeys and be less competitive with road transport, particularly with the planned M5 widening.  I do not think that additional frequency through the Airport line adds nearly as much value.
  5. Additional Western line paths into the city circle requires them to either add a conflicting move at Macdonaldtown or traverse Strathfield platforms 7 and 8.  The latter will increase journey times, the former would reduce reliability.  There is a good reason why every inquiry has recommended a new CBD path, to prevent such trades from being made.  This new path is being done in such a way as most of the benefit which should be realised is completely wasted.  You might as well run in to the Wynyard platform 1 and 2 dead end as the trams used to.
If a crossing under the harbour is to be done, it really should increase capacity for the other side of Central.  This plan does not achieve that at all.  It wastes some of the presently available capacity.

I hope that we hear nothing further about this plan.

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