15 August 2013

Sydney Rail Network Coming to Canberra?

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Begin rant……

I discovered last week just how wide the Sydney City Rail Network is.

The network now extends as far as Dungog and Scone (ie North of Newcastle), Bathurst to the West, Goulburn to the South West and Bomaderry (Nowra) to the South.

A quick look at Google Maps indicates (admittedly road) distances of 440km (Goulburn to Dungog), 419km (Bomaderry to Scone), 333km (Bomaderry to Bathurst). Scone to Central is 271km. Goulburn to Central is 193km. Queanbeyan to Central is 297km. Admittedly some of the Sydney Network services are partly, for the time being, serviced by buses.

The interesting part of all of this is that this means that passengers can travel between two points anywhere
on this network for $8.40 ($2.50 if you’re a pensioner).

An economy train fare from Canberra to Central is the best part of $40 (and then you have to pay up to $8.40 to go anywhere else on the network).

Everyone is running around arguing about a fast train network that will never happen in our lifetime

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Why not have the heavy-rail line extended and have stations at Queanbeyan, Fyshwick and then underground stations at Manuka, Kingston & Parliamentary triangle, then Civic. Then in the future, extend the heavy rail through to Gungahlin. People can catch a train direct from Gungahlin through to Sydney. Especially when you have high density housing through Queanbeyan, it makes sense to build an urban rail link from there.

There’s a market of 3 million or so in Sydney that Canberra can encourage to make day trips if there are proper rail facilities. People out of town want to get in to a centralised location. Not a station halfway into the city that leaves you stranded. It’s one of the biggest flaws in the ACT economy.

The light-rail proposal is more ideological than being an adequate transport system to meet the needs of Canberra.

There can also be heavy rail through to Tuggeranong and Gungahlin too. Heavy rail is the most suitable option, given that Canberra doesn’t have the high-density urban footprints that you have in Europe. The land area of Canberra and its suburbs is closer to the size of greater London. I think light-rail just isn’t adequate enough.

how is charging about the third of the cost of a flight, holding us to ransom? the ACT and NSW governments both have an interest, so maybe the ACT should be throwing some money at improving the service.


OP the network has officially stretched that far for a good 20 years or so so not sure why you say it now extends…

Though I do find it funny you found out last week, because on the 1st July 2013 Cityrail (and Countrylink) ceased to exist. They now have Sydney Trains which more or less covers what most would consider the suburban boundaries of Sydney, vis Berowra in the north, Richmond in the north west, Emu Plains in the west, Macarthur in the south west and Waterfall in the south. They also have NSW Train Link, which covers everything else in NSW including what was Countrylink and the parts of Cityrail outside of Sydney.

It will be interesting to see if the ticket prices for some of the routes you mention change with this ‘separation’.

So Canberra to Central takes 3 hours 15 min by bus and about 4 hours 30 min by train. Very disappointing!

I’ve had the misfortune of catching city rail from Goulburn, it’s city rail bench seats, not countrylink coach seats, and all the total deadshit teenage students travelling from town to town with their skateboards talking s*** loudly, playing music loudly, bullying, etc, along with the houso’s travelling with screaming babies.

I’d rather pay extra for countrylink.

I am a big fan of driving to Goulburn, catch the train to wherever I need to be in Sydney and then train it back to Goulburn.

It is not speedy by any means but a welcome break from constantly driving up that stupid highway.

I was in the middle of writing this when it accidentally locked me out and seems to have posted.

I was going to add that, ignoring travel and connection times, it is now cheaper to train to Goulburn ($11.30) and then connect to the Sydney network from there. Sadly, Murrays’ and Greyhound’s cheapest fares to Goulburn are $21 and $28 respectively. Depending upon fuel consumption it might even be cheaper to park and ride from Goulburn (perhaps $15 to $20 in fuel, although I don’t know how secure your car would be) or perhaps carpool with someone else going near Goulburn.

As for the fast train point that was cut off above:
1/ most of us will never see it in our life time;
2/ as long as the fast train is planned to run to Canberra on a spur line instead of the main Sydney to Melbourne line, it will never be a decent service and Canberra will continue to be held to ransom by the NSW Government;
3/ some people are proposing a fortune be spent tunneling the fast train into the city. (If the rail must run near the Hume money would be much better spent diverting the main line to a station in North Canberra then head North to Yass. If the airport want the rail so badly they could pay for their own spur line (or light(ish) rail) from the Airport to North Canberra.

Meanwhile we can’t even get a mediocre speed train service that gets us to Sydney in less than three hours for much less than $40.

Rawhide Kid Part31:43 pm 15 Aug 13

basketcase said :

Regular outing for pensioners, four in a car to catch the 7:15 train from Goulburn. Catch the 3:45 back from Central. Drive back to Canberra. All for $2.50

Plus the cost in fuel to Goulburn and back.

Regular outing for pensioners, four in a car to catch the 7:15 train from Goulburn. Catch the 3:45 back from Central. Drive back to Canberra. All for $2.50

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