Blue Mountains Commuters and Transport Users Association


Reference Submission to Central West Transport Needs Study

Date 6th September 2008

To Mr. Mark Birkinsaw
Transport Ideas

Dear Mark

I wish to thank you for arranging the meeting on Friday 5th July I appreciated it very much on behalf of the Association. The following is the list of Issues that we have discussed.

Track Capacity

Capacity of the Rail System to provide that track paths for services is restricted between Penrith and St Marys for both freight and passenger services This will restrict future growth of services.

The future growth of passenger services is restricted from Granville to Central CBD.

The Association has been informed that there are 3-4 track paths available after the Epping–Chatswood line is opened two paths delegated for the Richmond Line services.

In the corridor Lithgow – Penrith track capacity can be improved with refuge sidings at present two sidings are used Katoomba and Lawson but restrictive for length of freight trains the Both Way signalling has been an improvement, it would be beneficial if Both Way Signalling is used across the Mountains. This system allows increase in length of trains.

Passenger Rolling Stock

The present Passenger Intercity Fleet is over 20 years old due for refurbishment RailCorp has to inform the Community what plans are being considered. All services to Lithgow are Intercity Cars (V sets). The new Oscars are not allowed past Springwood as the Loading Gauge past Springwood prohibits wide suburban stock past this point, e.g. Tangara Sets.

There is difficulty in providing extra services as there are insufficient cars to provide extra services.

Improved Rail Service from the West

There is only one service A.M. and P.M. The Community in the West have indicated the need for an A.M. Morning Service and Return Service P.M. The Association suggests that information be obtained as to what is the most suitable arrival and departure time at Central.

The service could be provided with Coach to Lithgow or Katoomba with an adjusted timetable using the present Intercity Stops This service would have limited stops e.g 2.30 P.M. service from Sydney. The Association would agree to a limited stop pattern for 5.23 P.M Service.

We acknowledge this means using Coaches half way. This would be an interim approach.

The Association agrees that there is a need for more rail services we suggest a call for an extension of the Hunter Diesel Contract to provide rail services in the West Orange – Lithgow - Mudgee.

There has to be the supporting Infrastructure to operate these services and all services have to meet the Accessibility and Disability Act.

Freight Services

The Association supports Freight Services: there is capacity for these services especially with the provision of extra capacity Penrith-St Marys This expansion would decrease the conflicting movements between Suburban Slow Services and Fast Intercity Services.

We also are aware the Federal government is funding a study of the Maldon-Dombarton Line. We support the opening of this corridor, as it will allow coal and other freight service to access Port Kembla via Parramatta and Liverpool. There is no impediment in using passenger services and could be used for Tourist Services.

In the Blue Mountains Rail Lithgow- Penrith Corridor the track capacity can be increased with Refuge Sidings but these are restrictive for length. The use of Both Way signalling that is used between Springwood and Valley Heights is more cost effective and is able to be used with passenger services (has been used for the last few years).

The Association supports this method being installed across the Mountains.

The system assist allows longer freight trains on the Mountains.

The Association is aware of the closure of the Sand Quarry at Penrith Lakes. With this in mind the Association were mindful of the need to ensure that the Quarry at Newnes was obliged to rail their products by rail.

We have submitted to the NSW Government letters of support for Freight on Rail to Sydney Ports.

We request that consideration be given for the use of Road Railers, Petrol Tankers on Rail as per Alice Springs – Darwin Freight Services.

Our concern is the projected increase of truck traffic especially with B Doubles and the hint of B Triples on the Great Western Highway. Safety is a concern especially with trucks exceeding the 80 km per hour speed zones...

Feasibility Study of Underground to Parramatta

The Association has submitted a letter of support for the study as we wish to maintain the access to the Sydney CBD for the present Intercity and Country Link Services.

Railway Timetable Issues

RailCorp is developing a new timetable to be introduced in 2009. The Association advises all Transport User Groups to submit their concerns with the present timetable especially nominating their preferred arrival and departure time at Central Station.

Carbon Warming Footprint

The Association suggests the following:

As transport whether it be road or rail is a contributor to Global Warming the study to recommend that the passenger and freight services that are required the Carbon Foot Print of the service is the smallest achievable.

I submit this for consideration.

Yours faithfully

Paul Trevaskis