Australia: Sydney commuters to get 1000 more train services

September 17, 2013


Australia: Sydney commuters to get 1000 more train services

Waratah trains

Jacob Saulwick
Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney train users will have access to about 1000 extra train services a week under a new timetable to begin next month, the state government announced on Tuesday.

But the new timetable fails to meet a number of election promises made by Premier Barry O’Farrell and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

The timetable will include about 600 new express services a week, Ms Berejiklian said, as well as 230 extra peak services that arrive in the city between 6am and 10am and leave from 3pm to 7pm. There will be 100 extra peak services that arrive between 6am and 9am and leave the city between 4pm and 6pm.

The timetable will start on October 20 and Ms Berejiklian said it represented the biggest timetable “rewrite” in a generation.

Leaked versions of the draft timetable published earlier this year by Fairfax Media showed smaller stations in the Blue Mountains, on the central coast and on the south coast would lose services under the new timetable as more trains ran on express patterns. The hub of Kogarah would also suffer significant service cuts.

But Ms Berejiklian, releasing the timetable at Parramatta station with Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins, said most people would benefit overall.

“The new timetable makes the best possible use of our infrastructure and rolling stock and will deliver more services, new express services and shorter travel times for many customers travelling longer distances,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“There are also improved stopping patterns to reduce congestion and more consistent departure times, meaning customers at busier stations won’t need a timetable and platforms will be less crowded.

“We know a lot of commuters are working longer hours, so service frequency for people heading out of the city has been extended later into the evening and similarly in the morning.”

But the timetable fails to match up with a number of election commitments. For instance, Ms Berejiklian promised six extra daily express services between the central coast and the city, including a service between the central coast and Macquarie University. This service is not in the new timetable.

Ms Berejiklian also promised travel time savings of 15 minutes on express services between Campbelltown and Central compared to existing multi-stop services – the new timetable does not appear to include the 15-minute saving.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Ms Berejiklian would not answer questions directly on whether she had broken election promises. She said instead that she was very proud of the timetable and commuters across Sydney would benefit from it.

The minister’s press release said there would be 145 extra services a week to and from Sydney Airport and increased connections to hubs including Parramatta (430 extra services a week), Strathfield (305), North Sydney (226), Hurstville (154), Epping (135), Macquarie Park (104), Chatswood (96), Bankstown (63) and Penrith (34).

In general, the timetable attempts to introduce more express services for commuters from outer suburbs and more regular and predictable stopping patterns.

But this means significant changes for commuters at a number of smaller stations and some larger stations.

Kogarah Station, near St George Hospital and a number of high schools, is a big loser. Commuters from Sutherland, Waterfall and Cronulla will no longer be able to travel on direct trains to Kogarah. They will have to change at Hurstville, whence there will be a train every 10 minutes to Kogarah.
Video: New Sydney commuter trains



Transport Sydney Trains
On 1 July 2013, Sydney Trains replaced CityRail as the provider of metropolitan train services for Sydney.

Intercity services from the Sydney CBD that were also formerly operated by CityRail are now run by the new NSW TrainLink, who also operates Regional services to destinations around NSW and Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. Regional services were previously operated by CountryLink.


New train timetable – starts Sunday 20 October 2013

The NSW Government has carried out the biggest rewrite of the train timetable in a generation to get more out of the network for customers.

The new timetable includes more than 1000 additional services a week.

Customers who travel longer distances from outer suburban and intercity areas will notice fewer stops and reduced journey times in many instances.

Customers will notice train services are more consistent and evenly spaced, with many stations receiving clock-face services, for example, trains which come every 10 or 15 minutes.

Some stations closer to the CBD will receive ‘turn-up-and-go’ services, with trains leaving every three to four minutes in peak times.

The new timetable moves the network closer to the three tier model outlined in Sydney’s Rail Future.

The timetable is simpler, with fewer stopping patterns. This means customers can expect more consistent service times, particularly in peak periods.

City Rail


Transport Sydney Trains

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