MARCH 20 2019:  THE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT, a major shareholder in MTR, is ready to step in to ensure that the rail operator strikes the right balance between public and business interests …

Two subway trains collided early on Monday during a test of a new signalling system. One train driver was injured during the trial, which was closed to the public.

A software glitch has been blamed for the signalling fault that led to the collision – the first such accident in 40 years of MTR operations.  A Committee has been set up to investigate the accident …



Hong Kong leader warns rail operator MTR of need for change

Engineers inspect the wreckage of an MTR train after it collided with another during a test run inside a tunnel in Hong Kong.
Engineers inspect the wreckage of an MTR train after it collided with another during a test run inside a tunnel in Hong Kong.PHOTO: ZUMA WIRE


HONG KONG – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warned on Wednesday (March 20) that her government is prepared to intervene in the affairs of the city’s metro network operator.

It came as both her administration and MTR Corporation came under further pressure over a train crash that led to a two-day service disruption on the Tsuen Wan line between Central and Admiralty stations.

The leader told lawmakers in a Legislative Council session that when government agencies or listed companies such as the MTR, face a greater workload and calls for more transparency, cracks will show.

“So the governing boards of these public bodies need to have the ability to reflect upon and review themselves,” she said. “If it requires the government’s intervention to instil change, I am more than willing to do so.”

The government, a major shareholder in MTR, is ready to step in to ensure that the rail operator strikes the right balance between public and business interests, she added.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan told the media that the government will observe the current mechanism when deciding on the penalty, adding: “We need to look into the seriousness of the incident and appropriateness of penalty in due course.”

Mrs Lam’s warning came after MTR’s management apologised to passengers on Wednesday morning. Neither have said whether commuters will be compensated.

Two subway trains collided early on Monday during a test of a new signalling system. One train driver was injured during the trial, which was closed to the public.

A software glitch has been blamed for the signalling fault that led to the collision – the first such accident in 40 years of MTR operations.

Yesterday morning, outgoing MTR chairman Frederick Ma said during an inspection of the platform that a committee – which includes Thales, the French supplier of the system – has been set up to investigate the accident.

He vowed that the team will “conduct a thorough investigation” and “put safety above all else” before launching the new system.

Thales, in a joint venture with another French company Alstom, was awarded a €330 million (S$506 million) contract in 2015 to upgrade MTR’s signalling system.

The new system was to be rolled out in the later half of this year. But the upgrade is now expected to be delayed.


It is expected to take the committee two to three months to study the data arising from the train collision, but Thales will hand in a preliminary report this week.

Services between the two affected stations resumed after the damaged trains were removed from the accident site underground and repair work around Central station was completed.

Public confidence in Hong Kong’s usually reliable rail operator has been shaken by the accident.

The safety of the Thales system has come under scrutiny, as it was also linked to a train collision in Singapore in 2017 – even though both Thales and the Singapore authorities have said that the two accidents were different.


SOURCE:  https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/train-services-in-hong-kong-resume-mtr-vows-thorough-investigation-into-crash?fbclid=IwAR30MvgIxHWkyi3ruMazrS5O71d_X27aPvMtwllncgPJrheDD-k1ebBVYFY






THE AUTHOR of this article is John Maconochie who holds a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the University of Melbourne.

He is an experienced Engineer, Investment Fund Manager, Project Developer and Electronic Platform Pioneer!


What the Sydney Metro website doesn’t tell you – as Mr Maconochie was informed by NSW Transport metro engineers at a meeting last year – is that the “customisation” for the Sydney Metro project is a considerate downsize from the standard-sized trains Alstom provides to other cities.

*This is due to the dangerously narrow tunnels.



Related Article:   John Menadue:  Sydney Metro a Forty Billion Dollar Deception?




The Sydney Metro Northwest tunnels — death traps in the making

Updated  by 

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Gladys Berejiklian and Sydney Metro have cut dangerous corners when it comes to emergency evacuation plans, writes John Maconochie.

IN THE EVENT OF a Metro train emergency – such as derailment, fire or deliberate sabotage – what chance does a passenger have of escaping through the Metro windscreen in the dark along with hundreds of other passengers?

Now imagine this passenger was faced by another three Metro trains barrelling down train tunnels behind them, just minutes apart at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.

In 2013, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian committed the NSW Government to the construction of the Sydney Metro Northwest (formerly the North West Rail Link). The project includes two tunnels, each 15 kilometres long, running automated driverless trains from Epping station. Each metro can carry up to 1,152 passengers into the Sydney Metro’s narrow tunnels.

What would an evacuation of these tunnels look like? There are two exits for 1,100 train passengers through the front and rear metro windscreens, with no evacuation staff present.

The tunnels are so tight, their walls would be mere centimetres away from the train windows. Locked side doors and radioed evacuation instructions may engender a panic-driven crowd to crush stampede towards the only exits. That situation cannot be simulated — such tests are known to have been suspended on safety grounds.

Up to three following trains (totalling up to 3,456 passengers) could barrel along in the tunnels behind at up to 100 kilometres per hour. No-one can be “asleep at the wheel” of the driverless train. The vaunted Urbalis signalling system – which minimises the time trains are stopped at stations and regulate the four-minute interval between each speeding train – needs to work perfectly every day.

A Metro derailment, or traction motor, or even gearbox fire, in these tunnels could cause concertinaed wreckage or toxic gases.

What are the chances for 1,100 passengers, including mothers with prams, the aged and infirm, with all their shopping and travelling paraphernalia, in that scenario?

Meanwhile, passengers must remain inside the train carriages because their move onto the 0.8 metre-wide side walkaway through unlocked side doors could cause larger-sized people to be crushed inside the tight kinematic envelope space between the train and the small tunnel walls.

In the six-kilometre-long tunnel between Epping and Cherrybrook stations, no trackside ground level UK-type counterflow walkways exist for emergency and rescue workers. That would have enabled the carriage doors on both train sides to open for direct trackside/walkway passenger escape.

As for the proposed sky trainEvacuating passengers must walk along the tracks up to 13 metres above ground – day or night, in any weather – four kilometres between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill stations after exiting through the front windscreen.

The current safety measure It’s time we examined the desperate scramble to retrospectively jam implausible passenger safety into Sydney Metro’s tight tunnels. We need to take a closer look at Northwest Rapid Transit’s (NRT) detrainment safety risk assessment process and the window dressing “accreditation” from the National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR).

In June 2017, Premier Berejiklian doubled down, inexplicably authorising the same tunnel design for the Sydney Metro Stage 2 that will run underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

*This decision certainly guaranteed Sydney Metro independence from the existing Sydney Rail, because the tunnels are just too small to run their double-decker trains.

*Sydney Metro safety has been outsourced to NRT to insulate Transport for NSW from responsibility, while also blunting union opposition to driverless trains.

*Safety questions are habitually conflated with the existing and wider Epping to Chatswood Rail Link tunnels possibly in an attempt to bestow some legitimacy on the Metro’s tighter tunnels.

*Passenger evacuation safety could and should have been determined at the original design stage to avoid putting the Metro cart before the horse.

*I believe the NRSR safety accreditation isn’t enough. The NRSR is apparently being pressured to retrospectively accredit the Sydney Metro’s safety plan. Plainly, it is not an independent assessment on its merits.

So here we have a situation where the Government prioritises spending on rebuilding two footy stadiums over metro safety.

Chairman of Infrastructure AustraliaMark Birrell, noted the Government’s urgent need for ‘long-term vision’ — and without it, they’re likely to stuff up future projects such as the high-speed east coast rail.

The Sydney Metro website suggests the trains being built by Alstom for the project are the same as those ‘used in 25 cities including metros in Singapore, Barcelona and Amsterdam’ with some customisations.

*What the website doesn’t tell you – as I was informed by NSW Transport metro engineers at a meeting last year – is that the “customisation” for the Sydney Metro project is a considerate downsize from the standard-sized trains Alstom provides to other cities.

*This is due to the dangerously narrow tunnels.

NSW MP and Engineer Dr Mehreen Faruqi has persistently raised concerns about Sydney Metro, particularly the privatisation of Sydney’s transport systems and their increased likelihood of inefficiency. 

Faruqi had also suggested that the Government, by outsourcing safety, is in breach of a duty of care it owes to the public.

Sydney Metro trains cannot match aircraft U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s emergency standards that require a full evacuation of passengers and crew to be completed in under 90 seconds using half the available exits.

This Government-mandated Metro roulette is risking thousands of lives. Sydney Metro users are now condemned to 50-odd years of riding a dangerous Metro death trap.

It also reduces any possibility for any future fast rail through central Sydney.
Dwight Eisenhower ran the D-Day landings in Europe before his election as 34th U.S. President.

In a 1957 speech, Eisenhower stated that:

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction, because when you are planning for an emergency, you must start with this one thing: the very definition of “emergency” is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.”

The precise problem with Sydney Metro’s safety plan is that any incidents are assumed to happen exactly as planned.

Sydney Metro’s trains won’t always be able to be brought into stations for passengers to detrain if necessary. Complex electro-mechanical devices (such as driverless trains) don’t actually always work perfectly.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Metro website proudly proclaims:

‘… safety of customers is the number one priority.’

John Maconochie holds a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the University of Melbourne. He is an experienced engineer, investment fund manager, project developer and electronic platform pioneer.

  This article first appeared on independentaustralia.net



SOURCE:  https://railpage.com.au/news/s/the-sydney-metro-northwest-tunnels-death-traps-in-the-making?fbclid=IwAR1owOSFtn6p7izFtUZ0THWM7TregzV7w4rwwWehHKMhbz_XH1peq7tgiDU







Crunch time for Chatswood as more trains put on to ease crowding



Thousands of extra passengers will be funnelled through Chatswood station every day when a new metro line in Sydney’s north opens in May, leading authorities to increase trains on the North Shore line to avoid major overcrowding on platforms.

The Herald understands that, in a rejig of the rail timetable, Sydney Trains will run a service every three minutes on the North Shore line for a 90-minute period during the morning peak – just over half an hour longer than at present – to clear commuters switching from metro trains at Chatswood.

Passengers board a train at Chatswood station this week.
Passengers board a train at Chatswood station this week.CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT

The timetable changes are scheduled for April 29, a week before the multibillion-dollar Metro Northwest, to be run by Hong Kong’s MTR between Rouse Hill and Chatswood, is due to open.

To ease station crowding, more services are planned to start from nearby Gordon and Lindfield to ensure there is more room on trains to pick up commuters at Chatswood.

Chatswood risks becoming a pinch-point on the rail network if too many Sydney Trains services are overcrowded before they reach the station during the morning peak. About one in five services running via Chatswood originates on the Central Coast, raising the likelihood of them becoming full before they reach the interchange.

Mathew Hounsell, a researcher at the University of Technology’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, said Chatswood would be “under enormous strain” when the metro line opened.

Thousands of extra passengers will pass through Chatswood station every day when the metro line opens in May.
Thousands of extra passengers will pass through Chatswood station every day when the metro line opens in May. CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT

“Frequent Northwest [Metro] trains will significantly increase the already growing demand on Sydney Trains. Passengers will be left waiting at Chatswood for a space on a city-bound train,” he said. “The questions is how many [and] for how long?”

He estimates 7500 people entered or exited Chatswood station between 8am and 9am on an average weekday last year, making it the eighth-busiest station on Sydney’s rail network.

Mr Hounsell said significant preparation and more station staff were needed to keep Chatswood station operating reliably and safely.

Metro trains will offload and board passengers at Chatswood station every four minutes.
Metro trains will offload and board passengers at Chatswood station every four minutes.CREDIT:AAP

But Transport for NSW said in a statement that the average wait on platform one at Chatswood would be about one to two minutes for passengers travelling towards the CBD during the busiest part of the morning peak when the metro line opens.

“An average of about 600 people will gather on platform one to get the next train to the city at any point during the busiest hour of the morning peak – this is significantly less than the platform’s maximum capacity of 1000 people,” it said.

Commuters who catch the metro line to get to central Sydney from the north-west will need to get off the driverless trains at Chatswood, and walk between platforms to the double-deck trains on the North Shore line. They will also have the option to switch trains earlier at Epping, and travel on the Northern Line to the CBD via Strathfield.

The transport agency said it expected passenger loads on Sydney Trains to improve, forecasting about 20 per cent of services arriving at Chatswood in the morning peak to exceed 100 per cent capacity, compared with almost 50 per cent in March last year.

And it said Chatswood station could cater for a forecast 8 per cent increase in passengers over the next two years.

But Rail Tram and Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens said transport workers had major safety concerns about overcrowding of platforms at Chatswood when the metro line opens.

“We already know that there is extreme stress on our existing rail network, but when the metro opens, dumping all these passengers at one station is only going to make that pressure worse,” he said.

The challenge in managing crowds at Chatswood will also rise when incidents on the rail network lead to delays and platforms becoming crowded as passengers keep arriving on metro trains. They have room for 1152 passengers each and will turn up every four minutes.

Transport officials are understood to have been modelling numerous scenarios for Chatswood station, including deploying replacement buses quickly when delays occur on the rail network.

The increase in commuters travelling by metro trains, and then switching to Sydney Trains services at Chatswood, will funnel more passengers through Wynyard and Town Hall stations in central Sydney.

The two CBD stations are already congested during peak periods, and delays in disembarking or boarding passengers at Wynyard and Town Hall may impact the punctuality of trains.



SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/crunch-time-for-chatswood-as-more-trains-put-on-to-ease-crowding-20190322-p516lx.html

3 Days after NSW Election … Commuters say platforms are ‘absolutely rammed’ as Sydney’s T4 service grinds to a halt

IT would appear the Berejiklian Guvmnt focus is not where it should be at … perhaps too busy spruiking they are delivering …

DESPITE the Berejiklian Guvmnt ruling out provision of the new Train Fleet for the Illawarra Line  … Oatley and The Shire put the Libs back in?  Now three days later utter chaos on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line … doesn’t seem that they got this done!

RELATED ARTICLE:  T4 Eastern Suburbs Illawarra Line to Miss Out on New Train Fleet





Commuters say platforms are ‘absolutely rammed’ as Sydney’s T4 service grinds to a halt

Commuters are lashing out on social media saying there’s utter chaos at Sydney train stations, as services are cancelled due to track work.

MARCH 26, 2019

How do Australia’s train networks compare to one another?

Hundreds of commuters are stranded at trains stations across Sydney, saying there is confusion and chaos as services are delayed and cancelled along the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line this morning.

Irate travellers are tweeting images of their fellow passengers stood waiting in huge crowds inside stations along the busy T4 route.

One passenger told news.com.au they had been told trains were cancelled “indefinitely” and replacement bus services could take hours.

Sydney Trains is also on Twitter responding to the complaints, saying the delays were due to emergency repairs to a broken rail line at Oatley.

It is understood that one service, the 7:33am Bondi Junction to Waterfall service, was delayed by 54 minutes.

But commuters on Twitter say communication has not been good enough and have complained that train staff do not appear to know why services were cancelled.

One Sydneysider, attempting to travel to the CBD from Gymea, told news.com.au moments ago that the last train that came through from Cronulla was the 7.19am service.

“It’s still sitting outside Sutherland I think. Everything since has been cancelled, in the city bound direction. Two have come through the other way,” she said.

“The platform is absolutely rammed. People at Gymea have been told trains are cancelled indefinitely and they are arranging replacement buses but that will take ‘a few hours’.”


Other commuters have also lashed out at the slow back-up response.

“Why was there a one hour delay for replacement buses?” asked one woman on Twitter. “Being told ‘you’ll have to make your own way to the city’ is not on.”

Sydney Trains says it is working hard to “operate frequent services” and that emergency repairs to the broken rail at Oatley have now been completed.

However, it says “flow-on delays and service changes” are still impacting services.

“We appreciate your patience as we work hard to return services back to normal after broken rail at Oatley required emergency repairs this morning,” the T4 Twitter page posted.

“Please listen out for announcements and use real-time apps to check the status of your service.

“Buses are supplementing train services between Hurstville & Sutherland.”

Responding to the criticism of the bus service response, the spokesman said buses are being “contacted and organised as soon as possible”.

“They sometimes need to be sourced from several locations,this also depends on availability from the bus companies as they have services that still need to run,” he wrote. “All of these can factor into the time taken to have buses on site.”



HOW do they do it?

DON’T give a timeline that’s realistic; overstate it and with a bit of luck the job will be done early or on time

DON’T give a budget that’s realistic; overstate it and with a bit of luck the job will be done under or on budget


-how to look good without much effort

-ignore the massive blow-out in the south eastern light rail project and …

Note CAAN’s comments in bold

VOTE the Libs out …



Sydney Metro Northwest showcased as NSW election focus moves back to transport 



The Premier showing off the new trains with Transport Minister Andrew Constance

The Premier showing off the new trains with Transport Minister Andrew Constance



The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has shown off one of her Government’s flagship infrastructure projects, the Sydney Metro Northwest, in the final few days of the state election campaign.

Ms Berejiklian was joined by Transport Minister Andrew Constance and local MPs for the first ride on the new driverless train, which will run from Rouse Hill in the city’s north-west and will eventually link up with Chatswood, the CBD and the south-west.

The rail link, due to officially open in May, is the introduction of Australia’s first fully automated passenger line, which can reach a maximum speed of 90 kilometres per hour.

“This is a truly historic day, not just for NSW but for Australia,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I am quite struck for words as to how awesome it was to experience what so many commuters will in May.”

CAAN:  Gladys the expression is “stuck for words” meaning unable to think of anything to say …


The Government announced the $8.3-billion project had come in $1 billion under budget and ahead of schedule, spruiking its achievements to voters.


“The Northwest Metro rail line shows that when the NSW Liberals and Nationals make a promise, we deliver on it,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Constance said passengers would fall in love with the new Sydney Metro, where commuters from the north-west could expect to see trains stopping every two minutes along the route during peak hours.

CAAN:  It will be packed out from Rouse Hill to the CBD!  With only one third seating!

60 Km

“When they were last in office, Labor promised 12 rail lines and didn’t deliver a single one and now they want to cancel the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro upgrade, depriving Sydney’s south-west of world class metro services,” he said.

CAAN: World class Metro Services travel short distances like that of London and Paris

The Government said the entire 22-train fleet had been delivered and more than 35,000km of train testing had taken place along the route’s 13 stations.

Since 2011, the State Government has spent $58.3 billion on road and rail projects.

CAAN:  In July 2018 Ryan Park, Shadow Treasurer issued this Media Release to reveal that:

“on top of the more than $50 BILLION of publicly-owned assets already sold off by the Liberal-Nationals which includes income–generating assets such as the Land and Property Information, electricity assets and the ports … “


That the “Berejiklian Government is asking its departments to identify which assets can be sold off, as it pushes ahead with its privatisation agenda and leaves NSW with less money in the long-term.”

View:  http://www.ryanpark.com.au/berejiklian_s_plan_to_sell_off_more_public_assets


But today’s positive media announcement sits in stark contrast to other major infrastructure projects, including Sydney’s troubled Light Rail project, where the cost has blown out from $1.6 billion to $2.1 billion even before the settlement of a lawsuit with key contractor Acciona.

That’s now not expected to be completed until May 2020 and delays to the project could impact on Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith’s chances of re-election.

WestConnex is also over budget with ongoing construction causing headaches for commuters in Sydney’s innerwest.

*Labor meanwhile has said it would not proceed with the government’s proposed conversion of the existing Bankstown line for new metro trains and would also cancel the planned F6 extension, the M12 link to the new Badgerys’ Creek airport, the second Sydney Harbour crossing and the Northern Beaches Link.

If elected, it would instead fast track the new Western Sydney metro line from the CBD to Parramatta and Westmead.


SOURCE:  https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-19/sydney-metro-northwest-showcased-during-nsw-election/10915982





All aboard: first new passenger trains set to enter service in Sydney



All aboard: first new passenger trains set to enter service in Sydney



They look like one of Sydney’s existing Waratah trains, and feel and travel like one.

For passengers, about the only noticeable difference of the 24 new Waratah B-sets from the earlier versions are the orange-coloured exterior of the driver cabins and tweaks to lighting in the carriages and their electronic information displays.

Waratah trains given thumbs up by Premier

Waratah trains given thumbs up by Premier

Play video


Waratah trains given thumbs up by Premier

Victorian mosques open their doors two days after Christchurch terror

Gladys Berejiklian says 24 new Waratah Series 2 trains will come into service with full air-conditioning throughout the network, with the aging S Set trains set to be retired.


But with surging patronage stretching Sydney’s rail network, the new trains will be a welcome relief, especially for commuters in the city’s south west.

They have had to endure more than their fair share of uncomfortable trips over summer on old S-sets, dubbed “sweat sets” because of their lack of airconditioning.


The first of the new Waratah trains – designed in Australia but built in China as part of a $1.7 billion contract – will enter service on Sydney’s rail network in the next two weeks.

With five already in the country, the rollout of the new trains on the network will be sped up over the next nine months, allowing Sydney Trains to finally retire the dreaded S-sets.

The first of 24 new Waratah trains is expected to begin passenger services within the next two weeks.
The first of 24 new Waratah trains is expected to begin passenger services within the next two weeks.CREDIT:JAMES ALCOCK


Sydney Trains has had to press the S-set trains into service more often in order to put on extra weekly services rolled out as part of a new timetable in November. The S-sets have been common on the South and Inner West, Bankstown and Airport and East Hills lines.

Sydney Trains executive director Tony Eid said the main reason S-sets were pressed back into service on lines in the south west was because of the “massive growth” in demand from passengers in the north-western corridor where newer types were needed.

“The S-set is slow to respond reliably – it takes longer to open and close doors, and it doesn’t carry as many people as the other trains do. But what is important is that when these [Waratah] B-sets come into service they will go straight into the south west,” he said.

On Thursday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance rode on one of three new Waratah trains which are undergoing testing on the network.

Train driver Adam Ghamrawi at the controls of a new Waratah train at Olympic Park.
Train driver Adam Ghamrawi at the controls of a new Waratah train at Olympic Park.CREDIT:JAMES ALCOCK


While the government has an option to buy 45 extra Waratah trains, Ms Berejiklian said it would need to consider the impact a new multibillion-dollar metro rail line had on the existing network before any decision was made on a new purchase.

Ms Berejiklian said the new type of Waratah trains – each eight carriages long – was “more customer friendly”, featuring electronic information boards.

“It’s really a better version of what is already a good train,” she said.

The Waratah train types will soon comprise well over half the Sydney Trains fleet.



SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/all-aboard-first-new-passenger-trains-set-to-enter-service-in-sydney-20180712-p4zr3x.html






PERHAPS there has been far too much foreign influence in the Berejiklian Government Sydney transport system?  Leading to poor outcomes for many Sydney commuters and residents …

HOW did the Hong Kong Consortium MTR persuade the NSW LNP Government, its bureaucrats to shut down the Award-winning Chatswood to Epping line? 

-it only opened in February 2009 – two years prior to the LNP takeover in 2011

MTR is a developer and en route out to Rouse Hill apartment developments are mushrooming

-the double-deck trains are being replaced by privatised dinky Metro with only one third seating for commuters travelling 60Km+

-the tunnels were reduced in size to prevent future replacement by the heavy rail network

2018 …

-the new Waratah B-set trains designed in Australia BUILT IN CHINA; part of a $1.7B contract are in service

HOWEVER it is alleged Southern Sydney commuters – the St George and The Shire

-will never see the new Waratah trains due to infrastructure and electrical requirements; but will indefinitely rely on the ageing Tangara trains

-a major Tangara technology upgrade due for completion in 2018 has not materialised

-the project end date removed from the Transport for NSW website

IT would appear with the overdevelopment and high population GROWTH in SYDNEY’s SOUTH WEST that the new Waratah trains have been allocated to serve the south west …

DESPITE the Berejiklian Government having an option to buy 45 extra WARATAH trains

-the government would need to consider the impact of its new $MultiBillion Metro line on the existing network

-before any decision was made on a new purchase


Related Article:  First new passenger trains set to enter service in Sydney



Southern Sydney commuters will be stuck with an ageing Tangara train fleet indefinitely as the government invests in trains that can’t run on their line.

T4 Eastern Suburbs Illawarra Line to miss out on new train fleet


Photo:    Southern Sydney commuters will be stuck with an ageing Tangara train fleet indefinitely as the government invests in trains that can’t run on their line


Southern Sydney commuters will never see the State Government’s shiniest new trains on their line because local train lines cannot cope with the electrical demands of newer models.


NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told the St George Shire Standard last week T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra commuters would benefit from the introduction of 41 “brand new Waratah trains”.

“They don’t break down, they are a really great train,” Mr Constance said.

“It improves reliability and gives us the ability to optimise the service.”

Transport Minister Andrew Constance. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)


*However, Sutherland Shire and St George commuters will still be travelling on hand-me-down Tangara trains cast off by other train lines indefinitely because the local network is incapable of running the new Waratah fleet due to its infrastructure and electrical requirements.

A Transport for NSW spokesman confirmed 17 newly purchased Waratah Series 2 trains would mean Tangara trains would be allocated to the T4 Illawarra Line from elsewhere on the network.

“There are no plans to operate Waratah trains on the T4 Line,” the spokesman said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian inspecting the first new Waratah trains in Sydney in March 2018. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)


Future T4 Line upgrades flagged by Mr Constance are designed for the operation of additional Tangara trains only.

“The More Trains, More Services program will improve infrastructure on the T4 Illawarra and South Coast Line, including power supply, digital signalling and station upgrades,” the spokesman said.

“This work will increase the total number of peak services on the T4 Illawarra Line by 30 per cent, creating more room for customers.”

NSW Labor transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay. (AAP Image / Julian Andrews)


NSW Labor transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay said Mr Constance owed southern Sydney commuters an explanation.

“The minister is either ill-informed about his own portfolio, or he’s tried to mislead his own community about their train service,” Ms McKay said.

“It’s a shocking situation – he owes commuters an explanation as to why they’ve pretended they can run these new trains on the T4 Line, and a justification for the issues that have been exposed.”

Oatley state Labor candidate Lucy Mannering with NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley.


Oatley state Labor candidate Lucy Mannering said Shire and St George commuters had been badly let down by the State Government.

“The government has confirmed that T4 commuters are doomed to old trains forever,” Ms Mannering said.

The spokesman said there were operational and reliability benefits when lines are serviced by one type of train.

However, there is no indication of any plans to buy new Tangara fleets or any other kind of new train compatible with the T4 Line’s infrastructure.

The Tangara trains were introduced to the network in the late 80s.

T4 Line commuters will instead have to rely indefinitely on the ageing Tangara trains, the first of which were introduced to the network in December 1987 and the last of which in October 1995.

By contrast the oldest Waratah trains have only been in service since 2011, with the newest trains to be delivered in 2020.

*A major Tangara technology upgrade due to be completed in 2018 is also yet to materialise, with the $219.4m project’s end date removed from the Transport for NSW website.

The upgrades were designed to increase the Tangara stock’s life span by updating ageing components such as driver technology.

The last publicly available progress update was in December 2017.


SOURCE:  https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/stgeorge-shire-standard/t4-eastern-suburbs-illawarra-line-to-miss-out-on-new-train-fleet/news-story/bbde9c8049b2d140e4e54c37919c0aee






Railroads parading as metros: the long and short of Sydney rail maze


There’s a lot to be said for not making the perfect the enemy of the good. Criticism of the transport policies of Gladys Berejiklian’s government should grapple with the fact the government is doing a lot, and a lot of what it is doing will be of huge benefit to Sydney and NSW.

But sometimes the government does things that are weird, and it can be difficult not to quibble with the good.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance arrive at Westmead train station to announce an extra $3.4 billion on the Metro West if she wins this month's election.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance arrive at Westmead train station to announce an extra $3.4 billion on the Metro West if she wins this month’s election. CREDIT:AAP

This column is about the government’s confused and the confusing use of the term “metro”.

It  is building – has pretty much built – a “metro” rail line from Epping to beyond Rouse Hill. It is building another “metro” under Sydney’s harbour and central business district, from Chatswood to Sydenham. It will extend that “metro” to Bankstown. This week it said it would start construction on a line between Westmead and the CBD next year. And it has committed to a “metro” running to the airport at Badgerys Creek.


Those scare quotes are meant to suggest there is something awry with the government’s use of the term. It seems to mean a couple of things by the term metro. Mostly it means a certain type of train – one that is more light-weight than the regular Sydney Trains double-deckers. It means a single-deck train which, in Sydney’s case, will be operated without drivers.


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The government also uses the term metro as synonymous with fast. These new metro lines will be faster than the clunky old regular train services, it says.

But in other parts of the world, metro means more than just small train. Because metro trains are lighter than, well, heavier rail, they are quick to start and stop. This makes them well suited to inner-city areas where there are plenty of rail stations. And this is how they are most often used.

According to the International Association of Public Transport, the average gap between stations on a metro line is 1.2 kilometres. The average gap between metro stations in Europe is even smaller, at less than a kilometre.

As a consequence, metros tend to be less suited for longer trips. The frequency of stops makes lengthier journeys annoying. This is particularly so because metro trains often do not have many seats (less of a problem if you’re travelling shorter distances).

The station for Sydney Metro beneath Hunter Street in the city.
The station for Sydney Metro beneath Hunter Street in the city.


In this regard, metro rail is typically contrasted with suburban or commuter rail. There is no sharp line between the two types of rail system. But as a rough guide, commuter or suburban rail brings people into inner areas from the suburbs. Once in the inner city, depending on where you are in the world, you might be able to change from a commuter rail to a metro.

So you catch the Long Island Rail Road to Manhattan before transferring to the subway. You change to the Tube from one of the commuter rail lines that radiates from London. Or you hop from the Paris RER to the Métro.

Global commuter rail systems are said to have an average trip length of about 20 kilometres. This is about the length of the average trip on Sydney Trains. Sydney’s rail system is a commuter rail system.

Which gets to the meat of the issue. The government is spending tens of billions introducing metro trains to Sydney. But those trains are being set up to largely replicate Sydney’s commuter rail trips – long trips, with long gaps between stops.

The government is using metro trains to try to be all things to all people. But this can produce some weird results.

In 2024, Sydney is scheduled to have 31 metro stations and a 66km metro rail system.
In 2024, Sydney is scheduled to have 31 metro stations and a 66km metro rail system.

This week Berejiklian announced the stop locations on the proposed West Metro line between Westmead and the CBD. In the inner west, her government proposes one stop at Five Dock and another at Rozelle. There’s a 5km gap in between – almost five times more than the global average between metro stops.

Similarly, on the metro line under construction between Chatswood and Sydenham, there is a gap of about 4km between stops at Waterloo and Sydenham. Gaps between inner-city Sydney Trains stations are much smaller.

So Sydney’s heavy trains, which are slow to stop and start, will continue to stop more frequently in the inner suburbs. But the metro trains, which are well-suited to more frequent stopping and starting, will travel longer without coming to a halt.

It didn’t have to be like this. A decade ago, the Herald held an exhaustive public inquiry into Sydney’s transport system. The inquiry focused heavily on understanding the benefits and attributes of different types of rail.

Based on this understanding, the experts running the inquiry recommended expanding and adding to Sydney’s existing commuter rail network, and then later complementing the commuter network with genuine stand-alone metro lines with frequent stops.

This Coalition government’s heavy funding of rail through Sydney is undoubtedly a break from the ordinary in NSW. But it’s another question about whether the benefits will be all they could have been.

In particular, there is a good chance that the large gaps between rail stations in inner Sydney will be seen, in  decades to come, as examples of muddled thinking leading to a missed opportunity to create a city more oriented to public transport.


It sucks, it’s gridlock, it’s torture getting to work … even going to the shops … the bleedin’ obvious is the lack of “public transport” …

the Sellergate of Our Public Heavy Rail Network for a dinky Metro and Toll Road tentacles …

It’s deteriorating by day with more cars and more flying in on Visas to pay for it …



Image result for a rat chasing its tail


-psst Mark & Geoff only 1 in 3 get a seat on the Metro and with high-rise out to Rouse Hill … human crowding in a can …

Across Sydney drivers are stuck on connecting roads … it can take half an hour to get onto the highway …


Meet four commuters putting the spotlight on Sydney’s transport ahead of the NSW election




Meet the squinter, the slogger, and someone who says her commute “just sucks”.

Getting around the Harbour City can be daunting, and transport looms as a critical issue ahead of the NSW election — now less than a month away.

We joined four commuters to see what they go through every day.

Sheryl — ‘The cross towner’


Sheryl Sidery has no problems finding the words to describe her daily drive: “It sucks, it’s torture.”

And for good reason, her commute involves Sydney’s Military Road — notorious for being among the most congested in Australia.

She says it’s as bad as everybody thinks it is.

Ms Sidery works as midwife at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick and lives in Brookvale, on the northern beaches.

She aims to leave home by 7am every day, because she says getting out the door even 10 minutes later extends her trip.

That’s what happened when the ABC joined her last week.

“It’s soul destroying,” she says.

“That’s why when they offered me a permanent position, they said we’d really like you to do five days.

“I’m said I’m not sitting in the traffic for five days.

“I can’t do it. It’ll kill me.”

Instead she commutes three days.

“Physically when you get to my age, it’s bad for me to sit for an hour,” she says.

“When I get out of my car, my hips are sore.”

Two years ago, the State Government promised to build the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link as a way to reduce congestion for Northern Beaches commuters.


The Beaches Link is designed to reduce the amount of cars on the Spit Bridge and redirect them into a tunnel under Middle Harbour.

But it’s still in the planning stage and hasn’t been approved yet.

Ms Sidery does not support the project.

“I don’t think the tunnel, to add more cars, is a good idea,” she says.

“I don’t think it’s good for the environment. I don’t think it’s what we need.”

Labor has vowed not to build the project if it wins next month’s election.

Mark — ‘The slogger’

Mark Stephens knows he lives a long way away from work.


He commutes from Kellyville by bus to Macquarie Park where he lectures in theology at a private college.

“You know you’re a distance away, it’s going to take 50 minutes to get to Macquarie Park on a great run,” he says.

“But you’d prefer it that one bad thing, or even just a peak hour wouldn’t destroy your work day and mean you have to prepare for an hour and ten, an hour twenty minutes of travel time.

“That seems excessive.”

He says if he starts work at 9am, he has to be on the bus by half past seven, just in case.

It was raining when the ABC joined Mr Stephens on his journey to work last week.

He says that means the trip will “absolutely” take longer than normal, and he’s right.

It takes an hour and 25 minutes, about 15 minutes longer than usual.

The bus moves quickly when it’s using its dedicated lane on the M2, but getting there can be a grind.


In a few months there’ll be another option.

The North West Metro will open, providing a driverless turn-up-and-go train service.

“I can’t wait for it to start,” Mr Stephens says.

“The North West Metro seems to be addressing a particular need that everybody has been crying out for 30, 40, 50 years.”

That transport project alone though, won’t influence his vote.

“I don’t really see it as a partisan issue,” he says.

“I see it as an issue that needed to be done.

“The fact that the Liberal Party did it is kudos to them they get a tick for that but it doesn’t really change my sense that Labor or Liberal would be more likely to do those kind of projects in the future.”

Hayley — ‘The squinter’


Hayley Hepburn calls herself a “squinter”.

That’s a commuter who drives from the west to the east each morning and looks into the sun.

“I’ve been a squinter now for 12 years, and for the whole 12 years its been awful,” she says.

She drives from her home in Kingswood, near Penrith, to her job in medical administration at Westmead Hospital using one of Sydney’s most talked about roads, the M4.

The 30-kilometre trip rarely goes to plan.

“If you’re going to be a squinter you’ve got to make sure you leave an hour and a half to get to work every morning,” she says.

“That’s three hours a day. That’s almost half a work day getting to the place where I earn minimum wage.”

Getting from A to B

With public transport dominating discussion in both city and the regions, what are the major parties offering to keep NSW moving?
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She accepts living in Sydney comes with “some amount of congestion”, but says what she experiences is too much for someone who lives and works in the west.

“I feel like if you live in the CBD it might be the price you pay,” Ms Hepburn says.

“But I’m living in the outer western suburbs, way out west, the sticks.”

She doesn’t feel like the NSW Government has addressed congestion for western Sydney’s commuters.

“Nothing they’ve done so far has tickled my pickle,” she says.

“Yes OK, so they might have built two or three new roads, it’s not that impressive”.

She says transport infrastructure is an issue she’ll consider when she votes on March 23.

The M4 has made plenty of headlines recently.

The State Government has widened a section of the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush, as part of the WestConnex project.

It opened to traffic in mid 2017 and a toll was reintroduced, with commuters paying up to $4.56.

The rest of WestConnex will open in stages, starting this year — but it won’t help Ms Hepburn’s commute.

Geoff — ‘The happy commuter’


Geoff Martin is a “happy commuter”, and he would know, after catching Sydney’s trains for more than 30 years.

“A few times are trying,” the human resources executive says.

“But you just have to take a deep breath and remember it gets you from A to B for a reasonable cost.”

Mr Martin commutes from Dulwich Hill to the CBD every day.

The trip takes 30 minutes door-to-door, something he says is “pretty good” by Sydney standards.

“I usually just sit down, I’m crafty enough to get a seat and just do social media,” Mr Martin says.

Transport questions:

Transport has been a hot topic for people submitting questions as part of the ABC’s You Ask We Answer campaign.

Here are some examples:

  • Would Labor, if it won, continue the Metro Line project to its completion?
  • Will Labor if elected complete the Northwest Metro all the way to Bankstown or truncate it at Sydenham?
  • Why haven’t we got super fast rail to inland towns so that people can buy in say Bathurst, etc and still get to Sydney within 40 minutes?
  • Why isn’t there 24-hour public transport in Sydney like there is in every other major city in the world?


However, he also wants to see Sydney’s rail network improved.

The heavy rail Mr Martin takes to work has approval to be turned into a Metro system.

By 2024, there’ll be 66 kilometres of new Metro tracks in Sydney — something the NSW Government says will ease pressure on the current system.

“I’m really keen for the investment for the public that that goes ahead,” he says.

“Because we really do need a world-class line.”

If Labor wins on March 23, the Metro conversion in Mr Martin’s area will not happen.

“That’s a bit of a shock because I’m invested and excited for the Metro,” he says.

“Infrastructure is really important.”

Mr Martin is not sure if that difference in policy will influence his vote.

He, and the other three commuters have 29 days to decide.


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SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-24/nsw-election-sydney-transport-in-matters-of-state-spotlight/10837986





SYDNEY METRO $1.37bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded

Sydney Metro $1.37bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded



The NSW Government has selected CPB Contractors and UGL to deliver the line-wide works package for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project, Australia’s biggest public transport project.

The contract of $1.37 billion will be an unincorporated joint venture of the two CIMIC Group companies and includes major rail systems in the new twin 15km Sydney Metro tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.

Contractors will also expand the existing Sydney Metro Trains Facility at Rouse Hill to accommodate 37 new trains.

The new Sydney Metro Trains Facility South at Marrickville will also be part of the contract, as well as tunnel ventilation, mechanical and electrical system work for seven underground stations, and 11 new substations to power the Metro from Chatswood to Bankstown.

Related: Sydney Central Station’s $955m Urban Transformation

Sydney Metro

31km of underground railway track to be laid in the twin railway tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.
This is the seventh Sydney Metro City & Southwest contract to be awarded with the budget ranging between $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion.“The project combines the proven rail-sector expertise within our construction company CPB Contractors and our asset solutions provider UGL to deliver an end-to-end result, covering design, construction and commissioning of the project,” CIMIC Group chief executive Michael Wright said.

CPB Contractors is currently delivering contracts on Sydney Metro City & Southwest and Sydney Metro Northwest, WestConnex M4E and New M5.

UGL’s work includes tunnel fit-outs for the Sydney Metro Northwest and Epping to Chatswood projects.

Works are due to commence this year between Chatswood and Bankstown.

A total of 66km of railway across the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project is scheduled to be delivered by 2024.