mandonov wrote:Fascinating about the 20% drop in crowding (is that the same as patronage?) at some T1 stations. I'd imagine that's mostly from people on the Richmond Line switching at the far end, but I could also see a lot of park and riders that may have used the train to Chatswood switching to one of the metro P+R's.
This comment in this press release has had me contemplating for a while too. Presumably when they say "T1" they mean the Richmond line, as it would be unlikely that the metro would rob many commuters from the Western line. Since then I've been doing more work on my comparative journey-time tables, focussing now on the longer distances. We've seen that, over shorter to medium distances on the Perth/Sydney Metro vs Sydney Trains/other cities systems, the former two "rapid transit" systems have journey time/average speed leads over the Sydney suburban system of, typically between 5 to 10 minutes and 5 to 10 km/h over distances of around 15 and 30 km with a similar number of stations.
In line with accepted "definitions" too, the rapid transit systems by their nature are achieving this while stopping at every station while, by the time you get to the 30 km distance, the suburban systems (in other cities as well as Sydney) are having to semi-express/skip stops to achieve their journey times. Indeed, contrary to the conventional wisdom about metro-type vs suburban systems, the further the distance travelled by the rapid transit/metro system, the bigger its journey time lead, considering the added convenience of all stops. This does indeed tend to undermine some conventional thinking about the traditional (inconvenient for commuters) mix of semi-express and all-stops trains that require interchange.
In order to throw some light on the NW Sydney situation, I've boosted the coverage of the 47 km distance at which I can make some direct comparisons between systems. By this stage we are out on the urban fringes of the typical spread-out Australian large cities and there is not much housing within walking distance of stations, so commuters' choices about how they get to a station revolve more around the P+R or the feeder bus. This means, especially if driving, they have more flexibility in which station they choose to park and ride at. In this light, I think the original question is mainly answered by looking at those comparative trip times to the Sydney CBD from Riverstone vs Tallawong (both the same distance from Central, with the metro making five more stops through to Central compared to the Riverstone train). The difference is presently negligible and, when the metro line is completed into the CBD, that trip is going to be 10 minutes or more faster. I think this is going to make a significant difference to the Richmond line which will adjust more to a role of serving significant centres like Blacktown, Westmead and Parramatta rather than Sydney. I would add Burwood to that list except for that diabolical express vs all-stops factor meaning that Richmond trains bypass Burwood and subject commuters to the inconvenience of changing to an all-stops.
47 km segment (E=skipping stops train; ICE=intercity express train):
Perth-Warnbro: 9 stops, 38 mins (74 km/h)
Clarkson-Murdoch: 13 stops, 49 mins (57 km/h)
(after subtracting 2 minute stop at Perth)
Tallewong-Central: 17 stops, 50 mins (56 km/h)
(projected time after subtracting 2 minute stop at Epping)
(* note that present time between Tallawong and Central is around 60 mins with interchange at Chatswood)
Riverstone-Redfern: E 11 stops, 55 mins (51 km/h)
St Marys-Redfern: E 9 stops, 50 mins (55 km/h)
Macarthur-Central: E 15 stops, 60 mins (47 km/h)
(after subtracting 2 minute stop at Glenfield)
Thirroul-Bombo: ICE 9 stops, 48-54 mins (52-58 km/h)
Beenleigh-Varsity Lakes (49 km): ICE 5 stops, 32 mins (91 km/h)
(Bear in mind that the T1 and T8 times are to Redfern/Central only whereas the metro times are to Central so, as most city commuters would actually be riding into CBD stations, the time advantage to the metro is even greater.)
I feel that this sort of analysis does reinforce the conclusion that the double deck suburban services are at their best when they don't actually have to stop (the syndrome of the hospital without patients in "Yes Minister"). It's pretty savage for Sydney Trains when they have to miss heaps of stops to be even remotely competitive with another system that stops at every station or, in the case of Perth's Mandurah line, Sydney Trains are 10 to 15 minutes (and average up to 20 km/h) slower than a Perth train with the same number of stops.
While I accept that the double deck trains are capable of better performance (and I regularly reference the 1980s timetables when they were at their best, so I've seen what that is), I am deeply sceptical that they will ever be able to close such substantial performance gaps. A few minutes maybe, but not the whole gap. A little clue is also to be found in the last volume of John Dunn's Comeng history where one of the famous double-deck guru's last jobs was to design a double deck train for the Melbourne system (where they placed a lot of value on dwell time). John ended up designing a double deck train with three doors per side per car because he knew that a two-door train would disrupt the services if run mixed in between the three-door single deck trains. From the horse's mouth.
The other factor is that it takes some pretty long distances for a higher maximum speed to produce results, so the potential for 130 km/h doesn't actually count for much over most of the suburban system, except where expressing (that is, missing stops and inconveniencing a lot of your pax). I've uncovered this a little more in comparing the Perth system with the Sydney metro and finding that the metro performance is stacking up even better against the Perth system than I originally thought - up to a certain station spacing. So Perth's capacity for 110-130 km/h doesn't produce that much more result compared to the metro's 100 km/h when there are stops less than maybe up to 3-4 km apart. Quite obviously the trains don't get the opportunity to get up to maximum speed for long before they have to slow down again. Where the maximum speed comes more into play is on the Mandurah line where the station spacings are typically over 5 km. There are no such spacings on the Sydney suburban except between Heathcote and Waterfall and I reproduce below the tabulation I prepared for that section. I've added the average speeds in km per minute to make an accurate comparison since the distances are slightly different on each system:
6 km non-stop segment between stations:
Murdoch-Cockburn Central (6.7 km): 4 mins (100 km/h) (1.67 km/min) (speed limit 130 km/h)
Epping-Cherrybrook (6.2 km): 4 mins (93 km/h) (1.55 km/min) (speed limit 100 km/h)
Heathcote-Waterfall (5.6 km): 4-5 mins (67-84 km/h) (1.12-1.4 km/min) (speed limit 115 km/h)
Ormeau-Coomera (6.8 km): 4-5 mins (81-102 km/h) (1.36-1.7 km/min) (speed limit 140 km/h)
To come back to the original point, I think commuters are cottoning on to this issue, which explains why they would be drifting from using the Richmond line across to the metro. Journey time is far more significant for commuters than some people here are giving it credit for.
Perpetually on a T3 to "I. P. Pavlova, přestup na Metro. Příští zastávka, Náměsti Míru"