Friday, June 1, 2012

New Cityrail timetable for 2013

Last month a new Cityrail timetable was promised for introduction in late 2013.  What should it contain?
  1. Increased Cumberland line services.  Only 5 per day apparently well utilised services is a bit of a waste of the infrastructure built.  It also reduces the incentive to put jobs into Parramatta.  The Epping-Chatswood link is given credit for Optus moving into the Macquarie Park area, but the lack of service on the Cumberland is somehow not thought responsible for the low growth in jobs in Parramatta
  2. Extension of the current Chatswood terminators from Hornsby via Macquarie Park somewhere.  Not reaching the city results in these trains being under utilised.
  3. Increase in Parramatta's off peak service.  4 low speed trains per hour off peak is a poor service for such a major centre, not counting Blue Mountains trains.
  4. Remove Campbelltown via Granville and have a minimum 15 minute frequency for Campbelltown via East Hills and Airport.
  5. 15 minute all day frequency for the South Line - currently this drops back to half hourly in the middle of the day weekdays and evenings.
  6. 15 minute all day frequency to Penrith.
  7. Removing city to Liverpool via Regents Park trains thanks to utilising the Lidcombe turnback.
  8. Further rationalisation of stopping patterns.
  9. Faster trains.
What is it unlikely to contain?
  1. Increased Illawarra line trains - some say that it isn't possible to increase this while freight is still operating on the 2 track between Hurstville and Sutherland.
  2. Increased Epping via North Strathfield trains, both at peak and off peak.  Increasing the peak trains would require either trimming Western Line trains or increased running into Sydney Terminal.  Increasing off peak trains seems relatively unlikely, perhaps because it would make it harder for freight to connect with Flemington.
  3. Increased trains to Berowra - these have conflicts with freight and interurbans which do not apply for Hornsby terminators.
  4. 10 minute frequency (or better) on the Inner West and Bankstown lines.
  5. Bringing back Parramatta via Bankstown trains.  These trains are a conflicting move nightmare, and it isn't entirely clear that it is so necessary to encourage those living from Berala to Erskenville to work in Parramatta as opposed to the CBD.
  6. Something to connect the Carramar to Sefton stretch to Parramatta, at least in peak.  The M91 does connect Chester Hill.  Otherwise it will be in necessary to double interchange at Birrong and Lidcombe or Cabramatta and Granville or single change at Cabramatta.
  7. Faster trains.  Witness the slow downs which have recently been announced for a couple of trains on the Newcastle line from 18 June 2012.

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