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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:40 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Sydney Rail Passenger Volumes Fall

Rail passenger numbers fall by half a million in two years
Jonathan Pearlman
03 May 2005
The Sydney Morning Herald

The number of people travelling by train has been steadily declining for the past two years, CityRail figures show.

The State Opposition said the decline indicated people were choosing to travel by car because trains are late, dirty and unsafe.

"There is no doubt over the last four years people have simply been walking out on the train system," the Opposition transport spokesman, Peter Debnam, said yesterday.

"They know the trains are often late, they won't get them to work on time, they won't get them home on time, they are frequently dirty and the train system remains a crime hot spot."

The figures, published on CityRail's website, showed there were about 21.06 million passenger journeys in and around Sydney in February. This was 150,000 fewer than in February last year and about 530,000 fewer than in 2003.

But a spokeswoman for RailCorp, Helen Willoughby, said the decline was caused by external factors such as hosting the Olympics and job levels.

"If you look at the 10-year pattern of train patronage it goes up and down all the time," she said.

"Leading up to the Olympics patronage rose but when employment levels in the CBD dropped it fell."

Ms Willoughby said customer surveys showed passengers were more concerned about reliability than safety or cleanliness.

The Transport Minister, John Watkins, said the new timetable and new carriages would lead to a rise in passenger numbers.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:12 AM   #2
Tancred
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They just dont' get it.
I don't really care if the train is not the cleanest. What I hate is the 30min service on many lines during the day and on every line at the weekend.

Getting to work I spend 25 minutes actually on the trains trains I catch and a further 20-25 minutes *waiting*. It's a little worse on the way home.

Regular trains are the way to get people to use them
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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:18 AM   #3
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^
no kidding. Service every half hour is crap.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:42 AM   #4
Syd-Hk
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the rail system is crap the government really isnt doing that much....
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:44 AM   #5
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It was bound to happen.

Mismanagement and the lack of infrastructure upgrade have realy taken their toll.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 06:34 AM   #6
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The buried report that predicted transport disarray
Joseph Kerr
1 June 2005
The Sydney Morning Herald

COUNTDOWN TO CRISIS, CAMPAIGN FOR SYDNEY, A HERALD PROJECT

A 2001 study laid out what CityRail needed, writes Joseph Kerr.

Four years ago the state's top rail official, Ron Christie, warned that Sydney's rail network faced "strangulation" and "operational paralysis" because of a lack of essential maintenance and infrastructure spending in recent years.

He called for $20 billion in essential maintenance by 2011 and up to $30 billion in spending on new additions to the CityRail network by 2020, and said a new underground railway through the CBD was essential by early next decade.

"My overall finding is that the system is not capable of consistently attaining public expectations because key infrastructure has not been adequately maintained, particularly over the last four years," he wrote in 2001.

"The inner city lines will all be saturated [by between 2011 and 2015] or so, and there will be a need for a new, alternative route through the CBD, from Eveleigh to St Leonards," wrote Mr Christie, widely credited for delivering Sydney's flawless transport system during the 2000 Olympics after being given extensive powers over rail.

"This project is regarded as being of the highest priority. Without it, the metropolitan rail system will face strangulation and progressive operational collapse," he wrote.

Key stations like Town Hall were operating at "saturation capacity", with 180,000 passengers converging on the CBD during the morning peak, he wrote, while the Harbour Bridge needed another set of train lines within 10 years to avoid a network meltdown.

Since promoted by the Government to head the advisory board of the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator, Mr Christie said the CityRail system was approaching gridlock and was facing "extreme day-to-day sensitivity ... to even the most minor of disruptive incidents."

That analysis, reported by the Herald in February 2002, proved prescient, coming ahead of last year's run of network failures prompted by ailing infrastructure, driver shortages and the fallout from the 2003 Waterfall crash.

The Government has already cut services in the hope of making the remaining trains run more reliably, and will do so again in September when it introduces a new timetable.

Mr Christie predicted the problems would only grow as Sydney's reliance on its rail network developed. He expected about 40 per cent more people, or 400 million passengers a year, would be using the system by 2021.

He also revealed the scale of the problems facing the CityRail fleet, as some trains in the network in 2001 were commissioned in the early 1960s. The Government has moved to buy 498 new carriages to replace the oldest trains on the fleet over thenext five years at a costof $1.5 billion.

But the Government baulked at the large expansion of the network called for by Mr Christie. The then transport minister, Carl Scully, declared that the new city underground line could wait until about 2020.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 08:44 AM   #7
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******* depressing. This whole issue makes me feel ashamed.

"Carl Scully, declared that the new city underground line could wait until about 2020."
This guy needs a ******* bullet, but of course, he knows more about the issue than the head rail advisor official... ugh!
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Old June 1st, 2005, 10:09 AM   #8
nick_taylor
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Sydney's average weekday rail usage is around 55,000? Thats quite shocking. How does that compare to the other cities in Australia?
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Old June 1st, 2005, 10:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick-taylor
Sydney's average weekday rail usage is around 55,000? Thats quite shocking.
Where does that figure come from? It's closer to 750,000.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 10:37 AM   #10
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I thought it hovered around 950,000.

But it is sad that the Sydney train network is in such a mess, The whole system needs to be redesigned, It needs to be designed to be overhauled over the next decade, Slow and steady, The system shouldn't be so damn centralised, It should be more flexible and versatile.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 11:28 AM   #11
sirhc8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cee_em_bee
I thought it hovered around 950,000.
Yeah, that's probably right for weekdays.
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