Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion
User avatar
boronia
Posts: 19418
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 7:18 pm
Favourite Vehicle: Fire engine; PD4107
Location: Sydney

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by boronia »

There used to be a couple of "on demand" shuttle bus operators offering door to door airport services in this area which would make the inconvenience of the train irrelevant.
The Sydney Classic and Antique Truck (and Bus) Show
On again June 2021
@ The Museum of Fire.

User avatar
BroadGauge
Posts: 3656
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:20 am
Favourite Vehicle: Car
Location: NSW

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by BroadGauge »

tonyp wrote:This discussion and my recent trip has led me to focus somewhat on why the main south interurban service, with its faster journey times than other lines, is so poorly patronised - about 1 million ppa, about the same as the Hunter line and about 10% of the Blue Mountains line even though the latter's catchment has about the same population as the south line's catchment (around 100,000, not including Goulburn which would give the south a higher population).
It helps for the Blue Mountains service that there is a steady flow of tourists using the line, travelling mainly to Katoomba, who at busy times of the year are numerous enough to come close to filling an 8-car V set!

There aren't many non locals who use the Southern Highlands train, though there must be a few using it for the tulip festival at Bowral that's on at the moment as both the trains I caught last Saturday were double consists again.

And also too there is the rather significant gap in the service level between those two lines, especially during peak hours and on weekends. Also too that the connecting service from Campbelltown to Sydney is not generally especially fast, unlike the western intercity services.

Especially not late at night (which on a Sunday means after 6pm!) when you have to cop a journey stopping at every single minor station between Central and Campbelltown, which takes so long that by car you would probably be somewhere near Mittagong before you've even stepped on the Endeavour! :twisted:
tonyp wrote:The other factor in its favour is that the south has direct access to the airport and a segment of population affluent enough to be regular airport users, though maybe they would be discouraged by not having any bus service to get to the station, considering the notion of leaving one's car parked at a station for several days is not an attractive one.

I'm not sure what other factors might be at play, but one obvious villain in the piece is the poor bus connections to the stations, with a major culprit in that respect being the Buslines group, not to mention TfNSW which should be making up for any failings by bus operators by ensuring that all of these interurban lines have properly serviced catchments. A bit like the NW metro situation on a larger scale. What's wrong with bus service planning in this state?
It's not the most attractive proposition but some must do it, as I've noticed when catching early or late services there always seems to be 15 or 20 cars left in the carpark at Moss Vale overnight! I'll confess to having left my car there before prior to flying off to Queensland for a couple of days ;)

I actually don't think the generally fairly wide catchment for an interurban service really lends to heavy feeder bus utilisation, although you could most likely justify town loop services connecting off peak trains at a minimum to take the load off the parking and leave those spaces for out of towners who actually do need to drive.

More people would probably be happy to leave their car at a railway carpark overnight if there was a high enough level of security to deter criminal behaviour - eg enough CCTV cameras and bright lights that would cause any such types to look for easier targets elsewhere.

Linto63
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Linto63 »

Places like Bathurst and Goulburn have a couple of train services a day, the bus networks in these regional towns primarily focus on bringing passengers into the shopping / central business districts and likewise tend to be fairly infrequent. And neither mode carry many passengers in these places.

User avatar
tonyp
Posts: 9428
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:31 pm
Location: Shoalhaven

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by tonyp »

When I suggest that buses go to the railway station, that's to meet trains. Not every service has to go there otherwise. However, town centre termini are no longer very appropriate for towns in the greater Sydney commuter belt like Bowral.

Bowral at Tulip festival time is like the Royal Easter Show nowadays. Even Mt Gibraltar turns into an ant hill. Go up there in expectation of quiet secluded views and find the whole population of SW Sydney up there having barbecues. It's certainly a different Bowral from when my parents used to live there some years ago!
Perpetually on a T3 to "I. P. Pavlova, přestup na Metro. Příští zastávka, Náměsti Míru"

User avatar
BroadGauge
Posts: 3656
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:20 am
Favourite Vehicle: Car
Location: NSW

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by BroadGauge »

tonyp wrote:towns in the greater Sydney commuter belt like Bowral.
I'd love to know why none of the bus services south of Menangle accept Opal cards, unlike the services provided in every single other area on the fringe of Sydney. I'm guessing that these services must be operated under a regional bus service contract, rather than as an outer metropolitan service like bus services all the way north to Singleton or south to Kiama are.

It seems quite bizarre that Opal is accepted for rail travel on that line all the way to Goulburn, but even as close as Picton the only way to catch a bus is to pay cash to the driver for the "country" fare!

User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
Posts: 21517
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:49 am
Location: The Shire

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Fleet Lists »

BroadGauge wrote:
tonyp wrote:towns in the greater Sydney commuter belt like Bowral.
I'd love to know why none of the bus services south of Menangle accept Opal cards, unlike the services provided in every single other area on the fringe of Sydney. I'm guessing that these services must be operated under a regional bus service contract, rather than as an outer metropolitan service like bus services all the way north to Singleton or south to Kiama are.

It seems quite bizarre that Opal is accepted for rail travel on that line all the way to Goulburn, but even as close as Picton the only way to catch a bus is to pay cash to the driver for the "country" fare!
That is certainly the reason which I agree is bizarre. There is a rumour going around that at Kiama there is a trial going on using Opal - some say it is restricted to school services - to get Opal into those areas. And there is another rumour that a similar trial is going on at Ulladulla which is well outside the Sydney border areas. Unfortunately I have been unable to get any official confirmation about these rumoured trials.
Living in the Shire.

User avatar
Campbelltown busboy
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:23 am
Location: Ruse/Campbelltown City NSW

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Campbelltown busboy »

BroadGauge wrote:I'd love to know why none of the bus services south of Menangle accept Opal cards, unlike the services provided in every single other area on the fringe of Sydney. I'm guessing that these services must be operated under a regional bus service contract, rather than as an outer metropolitan service like bus services all the way north to Singleton or south to Kiama are.
Idea number 2 from my contract review topic in the fantasy network thread from last August would make every bus contract holding operator in NSW opal complaint so this non opal complaint bus issue wouldn’t be a issue
http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewt ... 71&t=86059
1000 posts and counting
1st post Sun Aug 11 2013 8:04pm
1000th post Sun Dec 15 2019 4:30pm

User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
Posts: 21517
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:49 am
Location: The Shire

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Fleet Lists »

That would be a very major exercise. And I hope you mean compliant and not complaint.
Living in the Shire.

User avatar
tonyp
Posts: 9428
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:31 pm
Location: Shoalhaven

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by tonyp »

Opal ceases at Shellharbour on the south coast. This has been discussed in another thread somewhere, with the point being made that all bus services feeding interurban stations should be Opal enabled. This would extend out to the bus catchments of Nowra, Goulburn, Bathurst, Scone and Dungog.
Perpetually on a T3 to "I. P. Pavlova, přestup na Metro. Příští zastávka, Náměsti Míru"

User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
Posts: 21517
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:49 am
Location: The Shire

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Fleet Lists »

I think Transport for NSW is well aware of this but unfortunately it does not seem to be able to get high enough up on the priority list to get actioned.
Living in the Shire.

User avatar
Campbelltown busboy
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:23 am
Location: Ruse/Campbelltown City NSW

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Campbelltown busboy »

Fleet Lists wrote:That would be a very major exercise. And I hope you mean compliant and not complaint.
I meant compliant
1000 posts and counting
1st post Sun Aug 11 2013 8:04pm
1000th post Sun Dec 15 2019 4:30pm

Transtopic
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Transtopic »

Linto63 wrote:Opposed to or just not needed it by its customers? The only place where is has taken wires down has been on the Metropolitan Goods line between Marrickville and Enfield which had not been used since the late 1990s. If the NSW government wanted to fund the capital cost and ARTC recoup increased maintenance costs through higher access charges, I'm sure it could be done.
In case you haven't noticed, the NSW Government's current long term rail strategy proposes extension of electrification to Bomaderry, Goulburn, Bathurst and Maitland. It still may be some years away, but it will ultimately happen. I doubt if ARTC would have any say in it as it would be funded by the NSW Government, and it is after all the owner of the track. I expect that there will eventually be more direct services to Sydney Terminal from the Southern Highlands instead of the current Endeavour shuttle service to Campbelltown.

Linto63
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Linto63 »

Transtopic wrote:In case you haven't noticed, the NSW Government's current long term rail strategy proposes extension of electrification to Bomaderry, Goulburn, Bathurst and Maitland.
Electrification of these lines has featured in long term strategies for decades, doesn't mean they are being seriously considered. Would only be likely to happen if the freight operators wanted it. And while not imminent, battery and self-generating power trains will come in the next few decades.
Transtopic wrote:I doubt if ARTC would have any say in it as it would be funded by the NSW Government, and it is after all the owner of the track.
The ATRC does hold a lease on the line, so as the tenant and depending on how the contract is worded, it may have a right of veto. But being two government organisations, I'm sure they could work something out.
Transtopic wrote:I expect that there will eventually be more direct services to Sydney Terminal from the Southern Highlands instead of the current Endeavour shuttle service to Campbelltown.
Wishful thinking, there will be fewer trains once the Endeavours are replaced.
Last edited by Linto63 on Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
Posts: 21517
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:49 am
Location: The Shire

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Fleet Lists »

Why would there be fewer trains?
Living in the Shire.

Linto63
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Linto63 »

Fleet Lists wrote:Why would there be fewer trains?
Ten 3-car sets replacing fourteen 2-car sets.

Transtopic
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Transtopic »

Linto63 wrote:
Fleet Lists wrote:Why would there be fewer trains?
Ten 3-car sets replacing fourteen 2-car sets.
This discussion is getting off-topic now and really belongs on the "New Country Trains" thread.

As Daniel pointed out on that thread, the Endeavours are grossly underutilised and perhaps that's why less train sets, albeit with more cars per set was ordered. I can't seriously see services on the Southern Highlands Line being reduced, having regard to the development which is planned beyond Campbelltown such as at Wilton. Much will depend on the utilisation of the mix of the Intercity EMU fleet and the bi-mode Regional Intercity fleet once fully delivered. Extension of electrification to Bomaderry and Moss Vale as a first stage will reduce the need for the Endeavours and their new Regional replacements.

I expect that the long term plan is to operate all services on the extended Intercity electric network to Bomaderry/Nowra (and any further extensions), Goulburn, Bathurst and Newcastle/Maitland with the Intercity EMUs. During the transitional period until electrification is completed, the bi-mode Regional Intercity trains could operate these services. Services beyond the limits of the Intercity network would be operated by the new short and long distance Regional rail fleet, which would allow costs to be reduced by utilising the extended electric network from Sydney.

Services in the Hunter Region after extension of electrification to Maitland/Telarah, could involve a three tier system, with DD EMUs providing all stations suburban services from say Morisset and Telarah to Newcastle Interchange; the Hunter rail cars from Scone and Dungog and potentially the displaced bi-mode Regional Intercity trains from the Sydney region providing enhanced day return services from Tamworth and Taree to Newcastle, again utilising the benefits of electrification for part of the route.

I doubt if freight would come into the equation considering the longer distances involved.

Linto63
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Linto63 »

All based on the assumption that the electrified network will be extended, of which there is little evidence it is being seriously considered. These lines are only likely to be electrified should the price of oil increase to the extent that the freight operators push for it.

Transtopic
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Transtopic »

Linto63 wrote:All based on the assumption that the electrified network will be extended, of which there is little evidence it is being seriously considered. These lines are only likely to be electrified should the price of oil increase to the extent that the freight operators push for it.
Extension of electrification is part of the official published long term rail strategy. If it wasn't being seriously considered, then why would they bother mentioning it? The new bi-mode Regional fleet could run in tandem on the Intercity lines with the Intercity EMU fleet as electrification is progressively rolled out. The fact that the bi-mode option was adopted for the new Regional fleet suggests that the decision was made with the proposed extension of the electrified network in mind, which I think is very sensible. TfNSW said as much in its press release with regard to the adoption of the bi-modal operation of the new Regional train fleet, pointing out that utilising the electrified network will significantly reduce the use of diesel fuel and its associated emissions and reduce operating costs.

Freight isn't really the driving force for extension of electrification as it might have been in the past. It's now all about providing greater cost efficiencies for Intercity and Regional passenger services. Although in saying that, with the extension of the electrified network for passenger services, freight operators might find it more economical to purchase bi-modal locomotives when renewing their fleets. With distances of in excess of 400km between say, Maitland and Goulburn or Bathurst and Newcastle/Port Kembla, through the steeply graded terrain surrounding the Sydney Basin, it would make bi-modal operation a more attractive proposition.

Linto63
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Linto63 »

Many things are in official published long term rail strategies, doesn't mean they will happen. Electrification of the Hunter and Main South has been being suggested for decades, although there haven't been any serious proposals since the 1980s.

Much of the savings will be by the XPT and Xplorer replacements that operate under the wires for I would guess 20-30% of their journeys. While the bi-mode capability will be of limited use on Hunter and Southern services, it will be able to be used on services on the latter that extend to Central and on Bathurst services over the Blue Mountains.

Most freight trains between Broadmeadow, Lithgow and Port Kembla were electrically hauled. However in the 1990s, the National Rail Corporation decided it would operate services over these lines with diesel power throughout. FreightCorp later followed with the 86 class binned, some after only 10 years of use. Presumably this was because of how the numbers stacked up. The business case for electrification would be much stronger if the freight operators, who pay the majority of the access fees, wanted it.

User avatar
tonyp
Posts: 9428
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:31 pm
Location: Shoalhaven

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by tonyp »

Linto63 wrote:Many things are in official published long term rail strategies, doesn't mean they will happen. Electrification of the Hunter and Main South has been being suggested for decades, although there haven't been any serious proposals since the 1980s.

Much of the savings will be by the XPT and Xplorer replacements that operate under the wires for I would guess 20-30% of their journeys. While the bi-mode capability will be of limited use on Hunter and Southern services, it will be able to be used on services on the latter that extend to Central and on Bathurst services over the Blue Mountains.

Most freight trains between Broadmeadow, Lithgow and Port Kembla were electrically hauled. However in the 1990s, the National Rail Corporation decided it would operate services over these lines with diesel power throughout. FreightCorp later followed with the 86 class binned, some after only 10 years of use. Presumably this was because of how the numbers stacked up. The business case for electrification would be much stronger if the freight operators, who pay the majority of the access fees, wanted it.
Transtopic is trying to tell you that the planning strategy is for electrification for passenger services. Freight has nothing to do with it.

It's worth noting that, out of all the interurban regions around Sydney, the southern highlands (mostly Wingecarribee and Wollondilly) have the highest rate of population growth at present. It's also the region that has the highest potential for urban development, having less geographical constraints than the other regions.
Perpetually on a T3 to "I. P. Pavlova, přestup na Metro. Příští zastávka, Náměsti Míru"

Linto63
Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Linto63 »

tonyp wrote:Transtopic is trying to tell you that the planning strategy is for electrification for passenger services. Freight has nothing to do with it.
Being on a planning strategy and coming to fruition are totally different things. Transtopic appears under the impression that it is going to happen, yet there is nothing concrete to suggest it is on TfNSW's radar. Freight is very relevant. If the Hunter Valley freight operators wanted the line to be electrified and were prepared to pay increased access fees to have it, the business case would be much stronger than if just NSW TrainLink were going to use.

mandonov
Posts: 1687
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by mandonov »

Linto63 wrote:yet there is nothing concrete to suggest it is on TfNSW's radar.
There's nothing more concrete than TfNSW, in its current iteration as an organisation, including these projects out of nowhere in their most recent plan when they had never once mentioned it before. They even go to the effort of proposing the Telarah electrification for the longer term, indicating that they do have some level of forward planning that explicitly lays out how the other three are necessary sooner. It's all very much on the radar, especially now with future bi-mode rolling stock who's investment makes even more sense as some routes would be approx. 2/3 to 1/2 under wires.

I personally wouldn't bother electrifying the Southern Highlands Line past Picton. That corridor is ripe for HSR which would make electrifying the exisiting alignment mostly pointless unless freight really did matter.

User avatar
Daniel
Administrator
Posts: 7036
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:03 am
Favourite Vehicle: Mercedes-Benz O405 / CC '510'
Location: Sutherland Shire

Re: Airport Link (Sydney's Airport Train)

Post by Daniel »

Future Transport 2056 notes electrification of intercity lines to Bomaderry, Bathurst and Goulburn as a 10-20 year initiatives for investigation and the Hunter line to Telarah as a 20+ year initiative.

Post Reply

Return to “Discussion - Sydney / NSW”