Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Transport Solutions - Part 2

So I thought it was about time I try and explain part 2 of my Transport Solutions. So without further delay, here it is.

Duplication of the Richmond Line

In order to support Richmond RAAF base to become Sydney's next or new Domestic airport (which leave Kingsford Smith aka Sydney Airport to become international only with some domestic services), duplication of the Richmond line from Schofields to Richmond would be required.

No with this I have thought long and hard about whether or not the train line should remain open whilst this occurs and given a report last year stated the Quakers Hill to Schofields section could have been built and completed faster if the line was to have been closed at the time, so heeding this I think full closure for the line after preparation works are completed would be necessary. Yes it would mean buses for say a year and a half, but the short term pain for long term gain is far more beneficial than anything.

Richmond Line to become the new Cumberland Line

Ok so this idea I have stated for a while now to add extra capacity ot what is already a packed and pretty much always cancelled peak hour service/line. What I propose for is say maybe 1-2 trains an hour would go into the city during peaks hours only and vice versa return from the city, but for the remainder of the time, trains running on the Richmond line would become all stations to Campbelltown and return from Richmond. This could only be done once the line is fully duplicated, although I can't see why it can't be done when the new timetable comes out in October.

Carlingford Line

The Carlingford line is almost somewhat like the Richmond line, given most of its route is single line and whilst the former NSW Labor Government did sign an agreement with the Federal Government for an upgrade of the line and extension to Epping and Parramatta (making it form the former Parramatta to Chatswood via Epping idea), its seems that this idea is now mothballed and the Carlingford line will remain as it is.

There is also an idea or plan through Parramatta city council to make this line into a light rail service that connects Westmead and Parramatta with the carling ford line being extended as a light rail service to Macquarie park and some hills areas. To me this would make sense really at the end of the, considering the line is barely used and really doesn't have good connections for commuters as well as an accessible transport interchange for people with disabilties.

Bankstown Line - become all single deck fast metro

This idea comes directly from the plan to have the Bankstown line become part of the the extended North West Metro. The line is considered a branch line and to me it would make sense in converting it to single deck trains with higher frequencies of 10-15minutes in the off peak and 2-5mins in the leak.

There would so need additional track between erskinville and St. Peter's which can be accomplished but we shall see what the over meant may choose to do with this excess land with their just released development plan.

T-way services

Tways such as the Parramatta to Liverpool, Parramatta to Rouse Hill and Blacktown are great services, but are also a problem being they do have limited capacity against a growing demand for more buses which ultimately do clog up the streets let alone also run late and are more prone to breakdowns than anything else.

My suggestion would be to convert the T-Ways into a light rail system with frequencies of services every 10 minutes in the peak and 20-25minutes in the off peak and 30mins on weekends and public holidays. The reasoning beind it is parramatta interchange is fast clogging up with buses and is almost at breaking point. Light rail also offers more frequency and more passenger numbers than one bus combined.

Monorail or light rail at Olympic Park & surrounding suburbs

With the monorail now a distant memory in the minds of Sydney spiders, my suggestion was to move the monorail to Olympic park to service not only the growing hub of commercial and residential development within the main Olympic park area/precinct but to also service newington and the developments around the Olympic park ferry terminal with Olympic park station as the main interchange to feed passengers into train services or other bus services (more so train services).

If by chance the monorail solution was not viable, a plan to have light rail service placed in the same manner but potentially linkin over to Rhodes, Homebush and Strathfield along to Parramatta, still mainly servicing the Olympic Park and Newington commercial and residential developments.

Buy new OSCars to replace remainder non air conditioned fleet

Now this is going to sound crazy, but my idea here surrounded the government buy more OSCars from UGL rail (builders of the OSCars, hunter DMU and the Tangara's) but there would be a twist in which the fleet would have no toilets nor luggage racks and be made to just be purely suburban operation only.

Why I chose this as an option comes from the issues surrounding the Waratah train Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as the builder, reliance rail (which is 50/50 partnership between EDI Rail, builder of he bungled Millenium trains and Hitachi rail systems) has still ongoing issues with delivery of the last train not due now till late 2014. This option was also chosen as the current transport minister, Gladys Berjiklian, did miss the deadline to order a further 20 sets. This does offer an opportunity to filled by an increased and somewhat changed order for more OSCar trains!

In my opinion, UGL Rail have been able to build and produce the OSCar fleet recently on budget and on time, given though it did have trouble originally, they have been able to adapt and make changes quickly to allow for speedy delivery of the new fleet compared to reliance rail/EDI Rail/hitachi Rail.

Replace all V-Set's

Whilst this option is currently happening, it's taking a little too long if you ask me. With that said, most V-sets are still from an operations standing in good condition and yes they do have the most comfy seats from what I can remember, but from an accessible point of view - besides the 4 car V train set that is the only wheelchair accessible all bar the toilet, the rest aren't and this is a huge issue.

A lot of people tend to think that just building lifts or ramps to make things more wheelchair accessible for disabled or less ables people is all that is required!!

My reply to that is FUCK NO!! The trains need to be wheelchair accessible and the V Sets don't offer this at all. Try being in a wheelchair and sitting in the freezing cold or extreme heat because you can't get into the air con area, combined with constantly having to move side to side out of the way not only of the guard or passengers to disembark on the various platform door sides - Its tiring and quite honestly fucking frustrating.

I know that it's something that is slowly being changed but thats just the problem, its taking way to long and in all honesty without real consultation!!

Fix the differences in platform heights

This is one of the bigger issues which really should go at the top of the list and this blog but I can't be bothered because I know I will be wasting my breath on it. But I the various height differences between the train and the platform is becoming bigger and quite higher, as if the platforms are either sinking of the trains are taking some serious hormones to grow taller!!

In London where the now Sydney Trains CE (chief executive) was working, did have "humps" where a very small sections of the platforms (sometimes there could be up to 3 humps at a platform) would be raised like a hump to allow wheelchairs, strollers, walkers etc, to easily get on and off tube trains without hassles and without assistance of ramps.

Now this is something Sydney SHOULD and I stress the point SHOULD be looking at because the ramps that are placed at stations when a train comes in for a wheelchair person to board or disembark is becoming a nightmare if not very unsafe because of the height differences.

But alas I have very strong believe and knowledge this won't happen because to Gladys Berjiklian, its too costly (yet she can use her credit card on wasteful things like uniforms that don't fit staff - almost 6.6 million blown on that along along with a supposed 6 million payout to Tennis Australia for the continued use of the new hop logo. Stupid *&*&$*#^^%&$*#&)

But these are just part 2 of my transport solutions and whilst I just travel on the trains and for people who work on the railways, they hate my kind, to us enthusiast my suggestions are just that - suggestions. So if you work in the railways and have lasted this long and are reading this, rolling your eyes and either swearing your brains out, sighing or wanting to comment a bitchy comment back - BRING IT ON I SAY!! Sometimes its better to have fresher eyes and perspective than a closed one I say.

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