TECHNICIAN’s CONTROL ROOM ERROR CAUSES METRO TRAINS TO SHUT DOWN

Technician’s control room error causes metro trains to shut down

Matt O'Sullivan
By Matt O’Sullivan

July 29, 2019

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A shutdown of Sydney’s new metro rail line on Monday morning was caused by a technician inexplicably breaking the glass on a fire suppression system, triggering gas to be pumped into a control room and forcing its evacuation.

The “serious incident” at 9.20am caused delays for thousands of commuters for the next 90 minutes, forcing stations along the $7.3 billion Metro Northwest line to be evacuated and replacement buses put on to eventually transfer passengers to their destinations.

At the time, 17 driverless trains were running along the 36-kilometre line in both directions between Rouse Hill and Chatswood. Two of the trains were stuck in tunnels for about 15 minutes before they were moved on to stations where passengers could get off and catch buses.

The control centre at Rouse Hill was evacuated on Monday morning.
The control centre at Rouse Hill was evacuated on Monday morning. CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

Transport officials initially blamed the shutdown on a “communications system issue”.

But Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the incident was due to “human error”, caused by a technician in the metro line’s control room at Rouse Hill in the city’s north west breaking the glass on a fire suppressant system.

“In breaking the glass, gas was released through the control centre, which led to an evacuation. Because of the very nature of the gas released, it meant there was no oxygen to ensure that people were safe inside the centre,” he said.

Firefighters arrived quickly on the scene. No fire or smoke was detected

The metro line was shut down for about 90 minutes on Monday morning.
The metro line was shut down for about 90 minutes on Monday morning.CREDIT:YIANNI ASPRADAKIS

Transport systems around the world including Sydney’s have mechanisms in place for critical areas which, in the event of a fire, result in oxygen being sucked out of rooms to suppress flames and protect equipment. Staff are evacuated before their safety is placed at risk.

Mr Constance said he expected the private operator of the metro line to “look closely at this” incident, and details about why the technician activated the suppression system.

“We will always take key lessons out of incidents like this,” he said.

The control centre for the trains is housed in buildings adjacent to a large stabling yard for the line’s fully automated trains at Rouse Hill. Up to 30 people typically work in the control centre.

Two of the driverless trains were stuck in tunnels for about 15 minutes.
Two of the driverless trains were stuck in tunnels for about 15 minutes.CREDIT:YIANNI ASPRADAKIS

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the system worked “exactly as it was planned and designed”, citing the evacuation of the operations control centre, and the stopping of trains to ensure “that everyone was safe”.

“[It is] important we learn some lessons out of this and the metro operator is certainly looking at that. But the back-up system did come into play and we were able to stand up the system,” he said.

Within an hour of the alarm, a decision was made to shift to the back-up system to allow a gradual recovery of services on the metro rail line.

The delays coincided with the first day of major changes to the bus network in Sydney’s north west, which has linked more bus routes to stations along the metro line but come at the cost of a number of services to the central city including the 610 from Rouse Hill to the CBD.

Mr Constance said the government would continue to monitor the response of commuters to the changes, but cited a drop of up to 25 per cent in patronage on some buses to the CBD as evidence people were switching their travel patterns to use the new metro trains.

“You can’t change services without upsetting someone. At the same time, it’s about the greater good to benefit the majority of people,” he said.

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Matt O'Sullivan
Matt O’Sullivan

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Guilty plea in London exposes LEIGHTONS, an Australian company for alleged corruption

WILL this add to the Berejiklian Government woes not only from the DEFECTIVE APARTMENT BUILDING CRISIS (85% DEFECTIVE ON COMPLETION: REPORTS) … but it would appear that Leightons (now CIMIC) was under bribery investigation while building the Metro and WestConnex?   Yet they won the tenders anyway!

The OTS contract was awarded – reported on 16 September 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced that Sydney’s brand new rapid transit trains will run every four minutes on the North West Rail Link …

https://www.sydneymetro.info/article/ots-contract-awarded

Sydney Metro $1.37Bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded

The contract of $1.37 billion will be an unincorporated joint venture of the two CIMIC Group companies (formerly Leightons) and includes …

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2018/11/27/4732/

A Dairy Farm in North Richmond is to make way for Housing!

The Metro rail link is privately owned by the Hong Kong Consortium MTR, apartment developers (60% shareholding), China’s CCCC owns what was Australia’s John Holland Group and UGL Rail, a division of United Group Limited (CIMIC formerly Leightons).  The NSW Government sold off the Epping to Chatswood public heavy rail link to this Consortium!

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2018/09/25/2117/

AND …

Questions to be answered over Leightons Involvement in WestConnex

http://www.altmedia.net.au/questions-to-be-answered-over-leightons-involvement-in-westconnex/114897

  • ANALYSIS

Guilty plea in London exposes Australian company for alleged corruption

By Nick McKenzieRichard Baker and Michael Bachelard

July 22, 2019

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A missing piece from Australia’s longest-running corporate bribery jigsaw has fallen into place, with a guilty plea in a London court proving what the Australian Federal Police have not that Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings bribed its way to a billion-dollar contract in Iraq.

Basil Al Jarah: 'The Captain'.
Basil Al Jarah: ‘The Captain’.

The guilty plea by a bagman who called himself “The Captain”, but whose real name is Basil Al Jarah, raises a host of questions for Australian authorities, not least the failure to charge a single former Leighton executive with bribery.

The plea also reveals that Leighton’s corruption started earlier and continued longer than previously thought: from 2010 to late 2013.

The UK case also raises the prospect that Unaoil insiders, including Al Jarah, are finally co-operating with authorities.

If so, it could mean further investigation into the former Leighton executives who hired or dealt with Unaoil.

Al Jarah has pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay bribes to Iraqi officials on behalf of Leighton between August 2010 and December 2013. This means the conspiracy continued for almost two years after federal police began their probe into the very same bribery.

In other words, Leighton’s British bagman was still engaged in a corruption conspiracy on behalf of the Australian firm 22 months after it had professed publicly to taking action to stop his corruption by alerting police and conducting an internal probe.

When Al Jarah began his corrupt acts for Leighton’s Singapore subsidiary in August 2010, Wal King was the parent company’s CEO, a role he would hold until January 2011. There is no suggestion Mr King knew of the corruption that occurred on his watch as the company’s top manager. But other top executives were warned.

In November 2010, acting CEO David Stewart made what is among the more infamous handwritten memos in corporate Australian history.

Mr Stewart recorded a purported statement by another senior manager, David Savage, that the company that employed Al Jarah, Unaoil, was paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes for Leighton in Iraq in order to secure it a massive contract to construct an oil pipeline.

Former Leighton executive Russell Waugh.
Former Leighton executive Russell Waugh.CREDIT:PETER BRAIG

Mr Stewart failed to report this statement to police, although company lawyers stumbled upon it months later and referred it to the AFP.

*The AFP began its investigation into Leighton in February 2012. It is still running.

The genesis of the guilty plea in London on Friday was 2016 revelations in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald about Al Jarah’s employer, Unaoil.

In addition to Leighton, Unaoil worked for the biggest oil industry companies in the world, including Rolls Royce, Hyundai and Halliburton.

The Age and Herald analysed hundreds of thousands of leaked Unaoil emails — many written in code — then reported in March 2016 how Unaoil had acted as a global bagman for dozens of major companies.

Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani, the men behind Unaoil.
Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani, the men behind Unaoil.

The stories prompted investigations by the UK Serious Fraud Office, the FBI, Swiss, French and Italian authorities, but was also subject to attacks via the owners of Unaoil, the wealthy Ahsani family of Monaco.

The Ahsani’s lawyer, Sydney solicitor Rebekah Giles, attacked the reporting that exposed Unaoil’s corruption as unfounded and unjust.

Unaoil found an ally in The Australian, which ran sympathetic pieces for the Ahsani family in which they pushed claims the leaked data didn’t expose corruption but rather had been stolen by someone to blackmail the company.

RELATED ARTICLE

Peter Gregg at the Downing Centre Court in Sydney earlier this year.
CRIME

Businessman Peter Gregg found guilty of falsifying records

The publicity campaign by Unaoil was no more than a smokescreen for its own corruption. Unaoil could threaten and thunder — at one point one journalist from The Australian reported that a threatened lawsuit against The Age and Herald could cost the newspaper $100 million.

But the bribery campaign it had waged for multinationals across the globe was comprehensively captured in Unaoil’s own emails.

The emails described million-dollar bribes as “holidays”, gave corrupt politicians and bagmen code names like “the doctor” and “Mr Lighthouse” and complained about greedy officials who wanted bigger bribes.

The emails also exposed how Leighton’s billion-dollar-plus Iraq contracts were won via graft.

The expose has already triggered industrial behemoths Rolls Royce and TechnipFMC to settle Unaoil related investigations run by US or UK agencies by paying hundreds of millions of dollars.

There are ongoing investigations around the world into multinationals, as well as ongoing prosecutions of executives.

Last week, US defence giant Honeywell disclosed its relationship with Unaoil has led to it facing a corruption probe by American investigators.

RELATED ARTICLE

Unaoil's Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani.
INVESTIGATION

Rolls-Royce fined $1.1b after Fairfax Unaoil expose

Unaoil’s Iraq manager Basil Al Jarah was the first key figure to plead guilty to conspiring to pay bribes. Court files name his alleged co-conspirators as the three members of the Ahsani family who managed Unaoil – Ata and his sons Cyrus and Saman.

The Serious Fraud Office recently dropped criminal investigations against the Ahsanis, but the investigation into Unaoil, the company, continues. The FBI in the United States also continues its own investigation into the company and the Ahsani family.

The Ahsanis have consistently denied any wrongdoing, although they haven’t issued a statement for months.

Basil Al Jarah: 'The Captain'.

Nick McKenzie

Nick McKenzie is an investigative reporter for The Age. He’s won seven Walkley awards and covers politics, business, foreign affairs and defence, human rights issues, the criminal justice system and social affairs.

Richard Baker

Richard Baker is a multi-award winning investigative reporter for The Age.

Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard is The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s foreign editor and the investigations editor at The Age. He has worked in Canberra, Melbourne and Jakarta as Indonesia correspondent. He has written two books and won multiple awards for journalism, including the Gold Walkley in 2017.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/guilty-plea-in-london-exposes-australian-company-for-alleged-corruption-20190721-p52972.html?fbclid=IwAR0RQvzpzgKNKNqB-VcRr_1grKCXQHeOKvhDx2mc8HkIMq3dRR2jIViJdb0#comments

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THE TOP STOPS ALONG THE NEW METRO NORTHWEST LINE

IT always was about development … to deliver another 11 thousand holes in the wall …

The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line IT

  • The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line

The new rail line runs from the lower north shore suburb of Chatswood. Photo: Peter RaeIn partnership with

The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line

OWEN THOMSON

JUL 4, 2019

When Sydney’s Metro Northwest officially opened to customers in late May, it did more than simply represent the opening stage of a comprehensive transport initiative.

Starting at Chatswood and terminating at Tallawong, the ambitious $8.3 billion undertaking also marks a new era of direct rail access to some of the city’s lesser-known parts.

As Australia’s largest public transport project, the Metro now offers a turn-up-and-go rail service to outer suburbs including North Ryde, Epping, Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Kellyville, and Rouse Hill.

The mayor of The Hills Shire, Michelle Byrne, says the possibilities offered by the new line will markedly transform the area for residents and visitors alike.

DSC_4758_n2sau8
The newly opened Hills Showground Station in Castle Hill. Photo: Peter Rae

“You can already see changes happening in response to the Metro around the new stations,” Dr Byrne says. “Work has begun at Castle Towers to incorporate a major link between Castle Hill Station and the ground level of the shopping centre.

“And we’re creating a plan for the Castle Hill Showground that will transform it into a vibrant hub serving residents near Showground Station and the broader community.”

Then there’s the long list of attractions set to be delivered by the project’s associated Metro Northwest Places Program – an initiative that aims to create well-connected and vibrant places for people along the line to live, work, shop and play.

“The Metro Northwest Places Program will deliver up to 11,000 new homes, parks and public open spaces, and community facilities from Tallawong to Epping over the next 10 to 20-years,” says Scott Gregg, executive general manager of projects for the NSW Government’s land and property development organisation, Landcom.

The Langston Epping_Retail2
The Langston will bring 470 new apartments to Epping. Render: The Langston

“These are transit-oriented developments where communities are built around modern transport, recreation and retail centres,” he says. “The new communities that will grow along the Metro Northwest rail line will enjoy high-quality public open spaces, parks, cycling connections, walking paths, play spaces and sporting grounds that are easily accessible to all.

“These public spaces will serve to support everyone enjoying these new communities – from the residents that will call these places home, to the people working in and around the new employment hubs that will grow along the Metro Northwest rail line.”

Infrastructure improvements resulting from the transport project are already generating many knock-on benefits, rendering suburbs along the route even more attractive to property developers and buyers alike.

The Langston is a case in point. Located just a stone’s throw from the newly renovated Epping station and 18 kilometres north-west of Sydney, this under-construction 470-apartment development combines high-density living with vibrant public spaces.

The Langston Epping_Balcony2
Residents of The Langston will have easy access to the new Metro line. Render: The Langston

Conceived as a landmark residential offering, The Langston will also incorporate retail outlets and cafes, thereby creating a vibrant central thoroughfare with paved walkways and landscaped gardens.

“People see the intrinsic value that infrastructure projects add to property, and with one of the best infrastructure projects in Sydney having just opened right on our doorstep, The Langston has a prime position,” says Tim Rees, senior director of CBRE, Residential.

“You’ve got views to the city and retail downstairs and you’re 100 metres from the Metro line and a couple of stops away from Chatswood. The new line is definitely creating a charge of owner-occupiers looking for that connectivity into the city.”

With the Sydney real estate market bereft of urgency, Rees says buyers are now taking three-to-six months to make purchasing decisions.

“Not only are they looking for value, but also the quality and the best position,” he explains. “So, you’re finding that triple A-located projects like ours are getting buyers in this market.

“It’s not just about transport. It’s also about proximity to retail, schools, parks and lifestyle features.”

SOURCE: https://www.domain.com.au/news/the-top-stops-along-the-new-metro-northwest-line-855721/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=link-newsfeed&utm_campaign=c-nsw-content-newdevs-thelangston&fbclid=IwAR1WwX3AQeOpYCPfObUIV5IJEJflkK7Ri0CZXJvjoQUmCtZi4fgVWvvC1II

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DUO OUT TO DERAIL METRO OVER TUNNEL

 

 

Duo out to derail metro over tunnel

George Altomonte and Opera Australia are pursuing Sydney Metro for compensation. Illustration: John Shakespeare
George Altomonte and Opera Australia are pursuing Sydney Metro for compensation. Illustration: John ShakespeareCREDIT:

 

 

At this rate, it’ll soon be hard to find someone who hasn’t started legal proceedings against one of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s transport bureaucracies.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Andrew Constance agreed to fork out $576 million to settle claims made against his department by light rail builders ALTRAC and Acciona.

Then there’s the $400 million claimed by businesses along the light rail route who are alleging that project delays brought them financial ruin.

But here’s an unlikely duo who have decided to try to cash in — this time not against the light rail but against Sydney Metro: Opera Australia boss Rory Jeffes and wealthy car dealer George Altomonte.

Both are irate that the Valuer-General decided neither had the right to any cash in return for tunnelling under their properties.

Opera Australia’s claims are connected to its Alexandria warehouse which has allegedly been damaged during construction of the metro, which this week received the green light to begin boring under Sydney Harbour.

Opera Australia has engaged Tim Hale SC as part of its legal action.

On the other side of the water, in St Leonards, lays Altomonte’s site.

Altomonte, who has a lucrative sideline in horse breeding at his Corumbene Stud, has hired barrister Janet McKelvey, a legal advisor for Lendlease during its development of Barangaroo.

 

 

George Altomonte and Opera Australia are pursuing Sydney Metro for compensation. Illustration: John Shakespeare

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/duo-out-to-derail-metro-over-tunnel-20190627-p5220u.html

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BILLIONS IN SAVINGS PROPOSED FOR STATE’s TRANSPORT AS COSTS SOAR

 

AS said before all these infrastructure projects come at a price.

On ABC online there’s an article about Constance floating the idea that fares sometime in the future will be like a Netflix a/c

Is all of this about softening us up for:

-a sell off of transport infrastructure
-ensuring a potential buyer is future proofed by giving them a permanent like cash flow, the ‘subscriber’ having to opt out to stop payments coming from a bank a/c

 

Billions in savings proposed for state’s transport as costs soar

 

 

Raising public transport fares, selling or redeveloping hundreds of state-owned properties and overhauling road levies and taxes are among measures being considered to secure $7 billion in annual savings by the end of next decade to avoid a blow-out in NSW’s transport costs.

A Transport for NSW “reform program” prepared for the state’s Cabinet and obtained by the Herald using freedom of information laws also reveals the agency is proposing ways to cut up to $1.9 billion a year from staff costs within 10 years.

The “sensitive” documents, dated March this year, lay out the stark choices to be confronted by transport authorities and the state government: more money than ever is being spent on transport services, but what the government recoups from fares and other charges is not keeping pace.

The cost to the government of transport services is surging.
The cost to the government of transport services is surging.CREDIT:PETER RAE

 

They show Transport for NSW wants to continue to increase service levels, but is also under pressure to find billions in savings over the longer term.

 

The documents warn that, “without action”, the annual “subsidy” from the government to cover the cost of transport will surge from $5.8 billion last year to $9.6 billion in 2028.

 

By 2028, the amount agencies collect from fares and other charges is expected to cover just 27 per cent of the overall cost of services, compared with 32 per cent last year. “Rising costs and stagnant revenues are projected to require greater government subsidy,” the documents say.

Selling or redeveloping hundreds of state-owned properties are among measures being considered to secure $7 billion in annual savings by the end of next decade.
Selling or redeveloping hundreds of state-owned properties are among measures being considered to secure $7 billion in annual savings by the end of next decade.CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the agency had talked to the Berejiklian government about the financial pressures but he emphasised no policy decisions had been made.

“This is sharing with them thoughts and opportunities,” he said.

“In terms of any major policy decision, we’ll have to do that on its merits and I’ll do that in consultation with the ministers and Premier.”

Transport Minister Andrew Constance declined to say what proposals from the transport agency the government was likely to adopt but said commuters were his number-one priority and he expected improvements to frontline customer services.

Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples.
Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

The documents reveal that transport officials estimate up to $2.1 billion could be saved annually by 2028 from “reform” of road levies and taxes, changes to benefits and concessions for public transport and tiered pricing to reflect a “more equitable user-pays framework”.

A further $2.3 billion boost to Transport’s finances within the next decade could be realised from selling, rezoning, developing or improving about 350 properties “with strong commercial potential”, and from licensing the use of advertising space, intellectual property and data.

And up to $1.9 billion in savings each year by 2028 could come from a renewal of its 28,000-strong workforce “while holding the headcount largely steady at 2018 levels, embracing new skills, new technology and improving customer service and cost recovery”.

The documents do not detail what the proposed measures, such as reform of road levies or changes to public transport concessions, would entail.

Mr Staples said the agency would be taking the lead of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on fares, which is considering an overhaul of Opal ticketing for public transport.

“We’ll wait until the IPART work has been done,” he said.

“It is a case of saying to government, if you’ve got financial pressures, and you’re seeking more revenue, here are options available to you to consider.”

Mr Staples said a large proportion of Transport’s workforce would retire or leave over the next decade but the fact it would retain present staffing numbers indicated that “we’ll have more service delivery” as the transport network expands. “We’ll have more assets to maintain but we’re trying to do that with a similar headcount and that delivers us savings,” he said.

In highlighting the financial pressures, the documents describe Transport’s central functions as “inefficient and duplicative”.

They also warn that “significant gains in customer satisfaction are plateauing” as a focus on specific modes, such as trains or buses, limits Transport’s ability to “meet shifting customer expectations”.

The challenges are underscored by forecasts that passenger trips on the rail network will surge by 21 per cent over the next three years.

Transport for NSW hired consultants from BCG several months ago to conduct a four-week review of a new model for the state’s lead transport agency and those that fall under its umbrella such as Sydney Trains and Roads and Maritime Services.

reorganisation has since resulted in RMS losing its status as a standalone agency, and its functions and staff are being folded into new divisions of Transport for NSW.

The documents also identified about $1 billion in annual savings by 2028 from consolidating Transport’s buying power to achieve “better goods and services at lower costs”, and creating an integrated transport network by taking advantage of new modes, digital systems and data.

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/billions-in-savings-proposed-for-state-s-transport-as-costs-soar-20190528-p51rv1.html

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AUSTRALIA’s NEW RAIL PROJECTS TO DELIVER $28Bn + IN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT: CBRE

 

HOW WONDERFUL SYDNEY!  But did you figure what will come with it?

 

MTR staff working to get the derailed trail back upright. Photo: Handout

MTR staff working to get the derailed trail back upright. Photo: Unlike the Sydney Metro NorthWest the tunnel appears wide; Engineers have raised warning about the narrow Sydney NorthWest Metro tunnel posing risk to life in the event of a crash or fire!

The Wings, a residential project by Sun Hung Kai Properties' above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Photo: Edward Wong

The Wings, a residential project by Sun Hung Kai Properties’ above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Photo: Edward Wong

 

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We invite you to view our Website for numerous reports on what lays behind the new infrastructure of the SYDNEY METRO … it’s all about more development … with a World-wide market for Deve-lopers … their Oyster!

IS the Hong Kong Consortium MTR seeking a like opportunity across Sydney as in Hong Kong?

The LNP Policies remain facilitating this … with the FIRB Ruling allowing developers to sell overseas, and the Real Estate Gatekeepers have been exempted from Anti-Money Laundering Rules in 2018!

Previously with the NSW LNP the foundation for the Sydney Metro was sealed! As early as 2012 developers were able to buy access to a Minister … known as the Dark Lord and the Call of Cthulhu.  A Pro Developer Group known as the “Housing Supply Association” was launched by the Minister …

The Office of Strategic Lands administers the functions of the Corporation  … the Minister for Planning is incorporated as the Corporation!

The Sydney Metro Bill for High Rise passed in the Legislative Council … an extract from Dr Mehreen Faruqi.  She said, “This is neither a holistic approach to transport planning, nor is this value capture.

This is simply a ticket to massive overdevelopment where there are no measures or protections in place for established communities around these proposed metro stations.

Their absolute disregard for communities and democratic planning is galling.

This Government is ripping up the perfectly functional Sydenham to Bankstown rail line, which is publicly owned and operated, to build a metro and hand it over to private operators.”

NOW the Sydney Metro a property developer that happens to run trains … under the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018

SYDNEY … we have been warned that the Metro is a death trap with narrow tunnels … view report from John Menadue!

There’s more … SEARCH for:

-Compulsory Acquisition & Land Amalgamation

-The Office of Strategic Lands

-The Sydney Metro Privatised for Development

 

Proposed rail projects are expected to boost real estate development by more than $28 billion over the next decadePhoto: Peter Rae

Australia’s new rail projects will deliver $28b+ in property development: CBRE

SYDNEY METRO: TECHNICAL GLITCH DELAYS COMMUTERS ON NEW METRO

WHAT price a life?  Is there such a thing as a completely bug-free computer system?  Anywhere?

Oh, and Skip the first carriage …

COST Saving … employ Drivers … cost benefit …

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Technical glitch delays commuters on Sydney’s new metro

 

 

Several incidents bedevilled Sydney’s new North West Metro on Wednesday including a breakdown, a failure of live transport data and incorrect announcements that train doors were closing on a moving train.

The most severe hiccup on the metro’s fourth day of operations occurred when a driverless train stopped moving between Epping and Cherrybrook after it lost communication with the network’s control system at about 12.50pm.

Driving a driverless train: A customer journey coordinator (left) took control of the train and drove it to Cherrybrook.
Driving a driverless train: A customer journey coordinator (left) took control of the train and drove it to Cherrybrook.

A customer journey coordinator (a driver?) on board took control of the train and drove it to Cherrybrook.

When the train arrived at Cherrybrook, the doors initially failed to open, Nine News reported, but customers were eventually able to disembark and the faulty train was taken back to the depot at 1.14pm for testing.

 

A replacement train was dispatched about 20 minutes later, but a Transport for NSW spokesman said there were some delays as a result of the incident.

 

Frustrated commuters posted images of packed platforms and crowded trains as a result of the day’s issues.

Gaurav Piya@gauravpiya

Picture from Chatswood station and we are now stuck at North Ryde for last 5 mins

See Gaurav Piya’s other Tweets

Passengers on another train travelling between Epping and Macquarie University heard a repeated announcement instructing them to “please stand back from the closing doors” while the train was in motion.

Commuters attempting to cope with the disordered metro system were given little information as live transport information went down in the afternoon.

Garry Narkle due to leave prison

Sydney commuters face delays after technical glitch on Metro

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0:20

Sydney commuters face delays after technical glitch on Metro

Passengers were delayed by 20 minutes when doors on the new Metro line wouldn’t open.

 

Both station train arrival screens and transport apps showed no real time data for late-running trains.

When the data was available, commuters reported on social media that trains were running at intervals of up to about 30 minutes.

A Transport for NSW spokesman said at about 5pm the network was expected to have recovered in time for the afternoon peak.

The incidents were a far cry from the smooth operations the new metro enjoyed on its first few days, when it handled a greater than expected number of passengers without obvious strain.

The new Sydney Metro on its first day, before Wednesday's disruptions.
The new Sydney Metro on its first day, before Wednesday’s disruptions.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

 

Nick is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/metro-train-20190529-p51sis.html

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CITYRAIL GROWTH ‘BLOCKED’ BY METRO: 2009!

ON one side were the Olympic Planners proposing to improve CityRail to deliver 50 per cent more rail capacity across suburban Sydney …

AND on the other side the self-described ‘Guerilla Group’ of senior bureaucrats who at 2009 were working for the ‘Metro Authority’ and wanted to build Metros worth more than $20B … to create a new transport system to smash CityRail’s workforce …

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CAAN Photo:  Metro line outside Rouse Hill to Tallawong

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CityRail growth ‘blocked’ by metro

 

A report by the consultants Connell Wagner, dated November 2007 but never published by the Government, recommended preserving the Pitt Street corridor so CityRail could build a CBD relief line connecting Redfern and Chatswood by way of a second harbour crossing.

This would ease congestion at the dangerously overcrowded Town Hall station.

Full transport coverage New metro lines under the city could be built without blocking this vital route, but the Government – unknowingly, say rail planners – has allowed the Sydney Metro Authority to claim the Pitt Street corridor for itself, in a move they fear will forever prevent CityRail growing to meet demand from Sydney’s western suburbs.

The report, obtained by the Herald, identifies the Sussex Street corridor as the ”preferred north-south alignment” for a metro, with stations at north Barangaroo, Wynyard, Sussex Street and Haymarket/Central.

It says a metro along the Pitt Street corridor would be ”feasible” but does not recommend it as a solution to CityRail’s congestion crisis.

The decision to ignore the recommendations highlights a three-year struggle between rail factions within the bureaucracy.

On one side are the ”Olympic planners”, who successfully planned rail transport for the Olympics. They proposed improving the CityRail system by completing the ”rail clearways program”.

They also recommended extending the CityRail network with the 2005 Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program, or MREP, by building south-west and north-west rail links, and – later – a “capacity-enabling line” through the CBD to the North Shore and the Chatswood-Epping line. This ”enabling line” would deliver 50 per cent more rail capacity across suburban Sydney.

*On the other side is the self-described ”guerilla group”, a team of senior bureaucrats formerly from the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury and the Ministry of Transport, some of whom now work for the Metro Authority.

*The ”guerillas” want to build metros worth more than $20 billion – including the $5.3 billion, seven-kilometre CBD Metroto create a new transport system to smash CityRail’s workforce.

A spokesman for the Metro Authority said the Connell Wagner report ”predates detailed planning for a metro network”.

He said forcing the metro to use the western CBD corridor would prevent the construction of a metro line to north-western Sydney. He added: ”The Pitt Street rail corridor is considered the best option for the development of a future metro network.”

He insisted that both the Pitt Street and western corridors could provide relief at Town Hall.

*But top rail planners, examining the metro’s environment assessment for the Herald, believe the CBD Metro will not ”deliver vital capacity relief for Town Hall station by easing the pressure on the north shore-bound services”, as its website claims.

*Under the MREP, commuters from the Campbelltown and Eastern Suburbs lines could change trains for the job-rich north shore and Macquarie Park areas using new platforms at Central or at an expanded Martin Place interchangebut only if the Pitt Street corridor was linked to the Epping-Chatswood line.

*If the CBD Metro forces CityRail into the western CBD corridor, a key rail planner warned: “These interchanging passengers would be unable to change onto the new line and Town Hall congestion will worsen, which is likely to breach safety standards.”

If the metro occupied the western CBD corridor, as the Connell Wagner report recommended, it could serve the growth area of Barangaroo and allow CityRail to both expand and relieve congestion.

It would also allow a much-needed east-west metro, with interchanges at congestion-free CityRail stations, to cross the city – another option also blocked by the metro plan.

 

2009:  To make a submission to the inquiry write to: Long-Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, GPO Box 249, Sydney 2001, or email submissions@transportpublicinquiry.com.au, by 6pm on Thursday.

 

 

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CAAN Photo:  Outside Rouse Hill Station May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CityRail growth ‘blocked’ by metro

THE State Government’s decision to push ahead with a metro under the centre of Sydney ignores the recommendations of top engineers, who urged that a corridor beneath the city be reserved for CityRail expansion.

A report by the consultants Connell Wagner, dated November 2007 but never published by the Government, recommended preserving the Pitt Street corridor so CityRail could build a CBD relief line connecting Redfern and Chatswood by way of a second harbour crossing. This would ease congestion at the dangerously overcrowded Town Hall station. Full transport coverage New metro lines under the city could be built without blocking this vital route, but the Government – unknowingly, say rail planners – has allowed the Sydney Metro Authority to claim the Pitt Street corridor for itself, in a move they fear will forever prevent CityRail growing to meet demand from Sydney’s western suburbs.

Full transport coverage

The report, obtained by the Herald, identifies the Sussex Street corridor as the ”preferred north-south alignment” for a metro, with stations at north Barangaroo, Wynyard, Sussex Street and Haymarket/Central.

It says a metro along the Pitt Street corridor would be ”feasible” but does not recommend it as a solution to CityRail’s congestion crisis.

The decision to ignore the recommendations highlights a three-year struggle between rail factions within the bureaucracy.

On one side are the ”Olympic planners”, who successfully planned rail transport for the Olympics. They proposed improving the CityRail system by completing the ”rail clearways program”.

They also recommended extending the CityRail network with the 2005 Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program, or MREP, by building south-west and north-west rail links, and – later – a “capacity-enabling line” through the CBD to the North Shore and the Chatswood-Epping line. This ”enabling line” would deliver 50 per cent more rail capacity across suburban Sydney.

On the other side is the self-described ”guerilla group”, a team of senior bureaucrats formerly from the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury and the Ministry of Transport, some of whom now work for the Metro Authority.

The ”guerillas” want to build metros worth more than $20 billion – including the $5.3 billion, seven-kilometre CBD Metro – to create a new transport system to smash CityRail’s workforce.

A spokesman for the Metro Authority said the Connell Wagner report ”predates detailed planning for a metro network”.

He said forcing the metro to use the western CBD corridor would prevent the construction of a metro line to north-western Sydney. He added: ”The Pitt Street rail corridor is considered the best option for the development of a future metro network.”

He insisted that both the Pitt Street and western corridors could provide relief at Town Hall.

But top rail planners, examining the metro’s environment assessment for the Herald, believe the CBD Metro will not ”deliver vital capacity relief for Town Hall station by easing the pressure on the north shore-bound services”, as its website claims.

Under the MREP, commuters from the Campbelltown and Eastern Suburbs lines could change trains for the job-rich north shore and Macquarie Park areas using new platforms at Central or at an expanded Martin Place interchange – but only if the Pitt Street corridor was linked to the Epping-Chatswood line.

If the CBD Metro forces CityRail into the western CBD corridor, a key rail planner warned: “These interchanging passengers would be unable to change onto the new line and Town Hall congestion will worsen, which is likely to breach safety standards.”

If the metro occupied the western CBD corridor, as the Connell Wagner report recommended, it could serve the growth area of Barangaroo and allow CityRail to both expand and relieve congestion. It would also allow a much-needed east-west metro, with interchanges at congestion-free CityRail stations, to cross the city – another option also blocked by the metro plan.

 

2009:  To make a submission to the inquiry write to: Long-Term Public Transport Plan for Sydney, GPO Box 249, Sydney 2001, or email submissions@transportpublicinquiry.com.au, by 6pm on Thursday.

EXISTING RAIL SYSTEM SHOULDN’T BE FORGOTTEN IN RUSH TO SHINY NEW TRAIN LINES

 

 

WITH Sydney’s suburban rail network which will continue to carry the bulk of the city’s rail commuters for decades to come … and under acute pressure from surging patronage … it’s success is as important, if not more, for much of the travelling public than new metro lines … it is imperative that the metro lines are integrated into the existing rail network … that results in improved services overall …

 

 

 

  • ANALYSIS

Existing Rail system shouldn’t be forgotten in rush to shiny new train lines

 

If the first two days are any guide, Sydney’s travelling public has spoken – they want more frequent and reliable train services.

A staggering 140,000 people travelled on a new 36-kilometre metro line between Chatswood and Rouse Hill in the city’s north west on the opening day on Sunday, forcing the *private operator* to quickly put on more trains to clear crowds.

A day later, 21,000 commuters chose to hop on driverless trains on the $7.3 billion Metro Northwest line in the first five hours, significantly higher than the 15,000 to 17,000 forecast.

Passengers on a metro train on Monday morning.
Passengers on a metro train on Monday morning.CREDIT:PETER RAE

 

It left wide smiles on the faces of Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her closest transport advisers such as Rodd Staples, the NSW Transport Secretary and architect of the metro project.

The new line finally offers an option to many people in the north west who have long relied on their cars or buses to get around.

*But it does not alleviate many of the increasing stresses on the existing heavy rail network, nor parts of the city starved of public transport options.

With a fast-growing population, the public’s response to the new line will embolden the Premier to accelerate ambitious plans for a mostly underground metro train line between the central city and Parramatta known as Sydney Metro West.

Sydney's existing heavy rail network is under pressure from strong growth in patronage.
Sydney’s existing heavy rail network is under pressure from strong growth in patronage. CREDIT:PETER RAE

 

Yet it is important that the existing heavy rail system is not forgotten in the rush for shiny new train lines. Sydney Trains’ suburban rail network, some of which is about 160 years old, will carry the bulk of the city’s rail commuters for decades to come.

It is under acute pressure from surging patronage, and will need all the care – and funding – it can get.

And its success is as important, if not more, for much of the travelling public than new metro lines.

With the city’s next metro line due to open by 2024, it is imperative that it and those that follow are integrated into the existing rail network in a way that results in improved services overall.

Commuters want a quick and reliable public transport system. Favouring one form of rail service over another will not achieve that outcome.

 

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CAAN Photo:  Rouse Hill Metro Station platform Sunday 26 May 2019

 

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/existing-rail-system-shouldn-t-be-forgotten-in-rush-to-shiny-new-train-lines-20190527-p51rhs.html

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