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Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby tonyp » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:49 am

Branding, colour schemes etc are things that chronically get changed over the years as systems evolve and change. I think at this start-up stage of the metro it's important that it doesn't have the inferior and less modern suburban system taking kudos off its back, nor should the metro be diminished by association with the suburban system. After the systems become more established and future development of the metro starts to take shape, this can (and no doubt will) be reviewed in the future, particularly as I think the Sydney metro is going to blur and sit astride the S-Bahn/U-Bahn distinctions, very much like the Perth system. But, like Perth, you can't really associate it with a slow and outdated, American-style double-deck commuter railway like Sydney's suburbans. Even Perth's system I'd call an S-Bahn rather than "suburban" because it has more in common with equivalents in Europe and is quite different from Sydney's suburban rail.

In the long term, I'd hope that the metro system would spread further through Sydney's suburbs, including replacing some more of Sydney's suburban operations and the double-deck operation would be pushed to the outer edge areas like Campbelltown and Penrith, at which point it can be merged as one entity with the interurban system.

If they're going to use these alpabetical identifiers, I think it's a bit of a disaster using L for light rail as everybody knows them as trams and this mode should actually have the T identifier (apart from the fact that I'd prefer pictograms). For trains this would leave M for metro, I'd suggest S for suburban and maybe I for interurban, or intercity as they prefer to call it (even though intercity is typically applied to services to other regional and interstate cities and the term is misused in NSW). At some later point, S and I can be merged under some other letter (if they still have that system of identifiers by then!).
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby Linto63 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:48 am

matthewg wrote:Actually, TfL largely has branded everything together - buses are operated by a dozen different companies. TfL dictates that they be all red. You only know who is the bus operator if you are the sort of person who looks at the ID panel under the driver's window (which is on the offside anyway, so as a prospective passenger you can't see that.)
Which is how it is in Adelaide and Perth and in time will be in Sydney and Melbourne. Will also be in SE Queensland, but for some reason Brisbane Transport seems to not be coming to the party.

matthewg wrote:When TfL look over control of what is now 'London Overground', they rebranded it to look very similar to London Underground. The company that actually runs the trains for TfL is buried in the fine print on the side of the train.
When the British rail network was privatised 20 years ago, operators were free to brand as they saw fit. With some franchises having changed hands a couple of times now, the penny has finally dropped on the frivolity of rebranding, with non generic trading names and liveries specified as franchises are renewed that will require only the replacement of small 'operated by ABC Limited' stick ons in the future.
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby matthewg » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:14 am

Linto63 wrote:
matthewg wrote:When TfL look over control of what is now 'London Overground', they rebranded it to look very similar to London Underground. The company that actually runs the trains for TfL is buried in the fine print on the side of the train.
When the British rail network was privatised 20 years ago, operators were free to brand as they saw fit. With some franchises having changed hands a couple of times now, the penny has finally dropped on the frivolity of rebranding, with non generic trading names and liveries specified as franchises are renewed that will require only the replacement of small 'operated by ABC Limited' stick ons in the future.



Only London and I think one or two other large cities managed to get a 'city' branding - and they argued that since London was allowed to do it, they should too. It took them 20 years of fighting to get it.

The 'mainline' trains are still branded by operator - and every 7 to 10 years when the franchise changes, the trains (and the staff uniforms) change colour.
I've now ridden the 'Voyager' DEMU trains under 3 different operators with 3 different exterior colour schemes. Doesn't matter whose name is on the train, they still can't get the airconditioning to work properly :-)

I suspect the public have 'wised up' to it by now. The train companies haven't. I guess their marketing people feel it's important to 'project the brand' or something. If they didn't keep rebranding the trains, the senior execs might start wondering what they even have a marketing department for.
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby Linto63 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:12 pm

All the UK franchises are receiving generic trading names and branding as they come up for renewal, e.g. Abellio Greater Anglia became Greater Anglia, First Great Western became Great Western Railway and First TransPennine Express became TransPennine Express despite the incumbents retaining them when retendered. Agree the travelling public couldn't give a monkeys about what colour a train is painted.

Much like in Sydney, for all the restructures and rebrandings from NSWGR, to PTC, SRA, CityRail and now Sydney Trains, has it made the slightest bit of difference to the end user? Unlikely given that each time it is the same people operating the same trains over the same infrastructure. Just that our political leaders think a lick of paint will wash away all of the sins of the past. :roll: That said many organisations in the private sector also think this.
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby Route243 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Also I think any new lines, if they get built, would be based on the Metro template.

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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby tonyp » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:55 am

Route243 wrote:Also I think any new lines, if they get built, would be based on the Metro template.

I would be saying (hoping) that they should be built on the Perth template which is an S-Bahn/Metro synthesis. It's certainly important that they move away from the double-deck model for most suburban services and focus on speed and intensity of service instead - which delivers far more capacity without sacrificing too much seating per hour. This is the principle underpinning both the Perth and Sydney Metro systems. Double deck should be pulled back to the suburban edges and interurban.
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby Route243 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:27 pm

tonyp wrote:
Route243 wrote:Also I think any new lines, if they get built, would be based on the Metro template.

I would be saying (hoping) that they should be built on the Perth template which is an S-Bahn/Metro synthesis. It's certainly important that they move away from the double-deck model for most suburban services and focus on speed and intensity of service instead - which delivers far more capacity without sacrificing too much seating per hour. This is the principle underpinning both the Perth and Sydney Metro systems. Double deck should be pulled back to the suburban edges and interurban.

You don't advocate the total removal of double decker trains from Sydney?

There are many people who are precious of them

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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the

Postby tonyp » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:45 pm

Route243 wrote:You don't advocate the total removal of double decker trains from Sydney?

There are many people who are precious of them

There sure are!

No, I think they should be pulled back to the long-distance/long journey-time corridors: Campbelltown (to southern highlands hopefully one day if electrified), south coast, Penrith/mountains, Central Coast to Newcastle. Seating for the rest of the suburban area should be calculated on ensuring enough trains per hour (with faster journey times) that there isn't too much of a net loss of seats per hour.
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby Linto63 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:16 pm

The current Waratahs still have 25+ years on their lease agreements and would imagine it will be something similar for the additional 24 due next year, so double deckers will be with us for a long time to come.
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby ryanair01 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:04 pm

I personally think it is probably worth keeping a different name because it will be first proper high frequency metro route Australia has ever had and is therefore quite a different service to what people are used to. The nearest we get is probably the Eastern Suburbs Line, plus the through route city circle in Sydney and Melbourne and Bowen Hill - Roma St in Brisbane, but they're not quite an MTR or New York Subway.

However to make it clear it is part of a wider network there should be a consistent brand (like London's roundel) which I think the Transport NSW and Opal brands meet.

Just my 10c :wink:
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Re: Simplifying Sydney's trains - drop the "Metro" brand?

Postby tonyp » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:38 am

Linto63 wrote:The current Waratahs still have 25+ years on their lease agreements and would imagine it will be something similar for the additional 24 due next year, so double deckers will be with us for a long time to come.

Yes, of course I wouldn't be advocating a sudden death approach. I think that over the years they'd be working at separating and improving lines and changing gradually on a line by line basis.
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