Sydney Light Rail extension - first day

Greetlander

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E2D37014-129B-4759-AB92-13E4DE4DD979.jpeg 49CFE86B-4F77-4038-924F-9BAA24DDC554.jpeg The first stage of Sydney’s light rail extension opened today, putting trams back onto the streets from which they were ejected 50 years ago. This is a view on George Street next to Bridge Street Station
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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As far as I can understand it, there's no direct connection between the existing L1 line (Dulwich Hill-Central) and the new L2 (Circular Quay-Central-Randwick).
The lines cross at George St/Capitol Square (on the flat), and again at Central (grade-separated), but there are no services linking the two systems, at least for now.
When I was there last year I think I noticed a chord between the two lines at George St, but not in passenger use at the moment.
It may be the stock transfer line, as the tram depot is on the L1 route.
The new line will be very handy for tourists at Circular Quay and for reaching the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Hopefully Sydney CBD will look a bit less like a building site now, although there are several other big infrastructure projects in progress.
The L1 line mostly follows the old Sydney freight line past the port areas, while the new one is mostly on street in the CBD and suburbs.
 
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Pakenhamtrain

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As far as I can understand it, there's no direct connection between the existing L1 line (Dulwich Hill-Central) and the new L2 (Circular Quay-Central-Randwick).
The lines cross at George St/Capitol Square (on the flat), and again at Central (grade-separated), but there are no services linking the two systems, at least for now.
When I was there last year I think I noticed a chord between the two lines at George St, but not in passenger use at the moment.
It may be the stock transfer line, as the tram depot is on the L1 route.
The new line will be very handy for tourists at Circular Quay and for reaching the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Hopefully Sydney CBD will look a bit less like a building site now, although there are several other big infrastructure projects in progress.
The L1 line mostly follows the old Sydney freight line past the port areas, while the new one is mostly on street in the CBD and suburbs.
The curves at George St/Hay street allow trams to access the Lilyfield maintenance facility.
But for the most part the L1 and L2/3 are built to different standards and as such theres not going to be any interoperability.
There was an article in the SMH a couple years back about it.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw...ngers-on-inner-west-line-20170725-gxida4.html
 

LNW-GW Joint

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That's really disappointing if there can be no interworking between the two systems.
Plus another new isolated system is taking shape as the Sydney Metro project, although the electrical system is at least the same as Sydney Trains.

Having explored Sydney's transport system last year, I discovered the old tram depot at Rozelle (next to the current Jubilee Park L1 stop) has been converted into a very popular retail/foodie centre called Tramsheds, complete with a preserved tram on display.
The site of another old tram depot at Fort Macquarie near Circular Quay is now better known as Sydney Opera House.
I liked the way the contractor hoardings for the construction of these new systems often have old photographs of the local area on display.
The transformation over 100 years or so, not just of the transport system, is often amazing.
 

cle

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The metro wasn't standalone initially, but I support the conversion to metro although once beyond Chatswood, it will be far better. I'd think they could get it to St Leonards and turning there without too much hassle, which is another hub.

The issue with the light rail is that it is slow. Hopefully once locals get used to light rail on George St, they can bump some of the speeds along there. But the real issue is signal priority, which they need to continue working on. Outrageous that lights haven't been reprogrammed for this.
 

LesS

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Yes, the line down George St to Central and on to Randwick is open.
The cars are coupled sets of 5 sector Alstom X05 cars. The line operates on a "third rail" from Circular Quay to Town Hall and by overhead from there.
In theory they can interchange with the CAF Urbos 5 sector cars operating the existing line. Both lines run on 750v DC line current. There is a double track connection where the lines cross. The CAF cars would only be able to operate to Town Hall where the overhead ends.

The Alstoms "should" be able to operate as single sets on both lines. As should the CAFs. Coupled sets cannot operate on the existing line, platform lengths are too short.

The new operation is a complete crock. The running time from Circular Quay to Randwick is currently 45 - 50 minutes. The old cars discontinued in 1961 could run the trip in 26 minutes. The buses they are supposed to replace comfortably overtake them. Speed limits are too slow; traffic signals are not programmed to favour the trams. Drivers appear to be petrified of being hit by road traffic at cross streets. On a trip I made when arriving at an intersection with the traffic lights out of action the driver would not cross without specific authority.

The whole system appears to have been designed to be excessively costly and difficult to build and to fail to meet political intentions.
 

Taunton

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I was in Sydney last year and saw it under construction. Indeed it was a substantial and disruptive project right across the city. I'm not certain why tramways in some places (not all) are constructed so disruptively and by extension expensively.
The running time from Circular Quay to Randwick is currently 45 - 50 minutes. The old cars discontinued in 1961 could run the trip in 26 minutes. The buses they are supposed to replace comfortably overtake them.
A further comparison with the Edinburgh system, which similarly takes far longer to get from the city to the airport than the parallel bus. That one includes sitting tediously at stops waiting for time while the bus zooms past.

Sydney seemed to be going the way of some other places (like Kuala Lumpur or Los Angeles) where each transport investment is planned in isolation of the others, no inter-running, oddball routes, etc. Are tickets interchangeable between the tram and the established suburban electric lines on Opal without paying again? In previous years when I went there an expensive city monorail had been installed, again quite uncoordinated, which seemed to carry few or no passengers, was regarded as a joke, and has now been dismantled. The Metro in the northern suburbs could readily have been made part of the suburban rail system to much greater effect. The isolated light rail being built out in the western suburbs at Parramatta looks the same
 

LesS

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Opal cards and standard fares are applicable on both the tram network and the north west metro.

The SE tram service also waits at stops for the timetable. On Boxing Day the service was cancelled in the City section of George St because substantial shopping crowds were expected. The crowds did not happen.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I took this shot early on Sunday morning. Shows the crossover and points between the L1 (I’m standing on it) and L2 at Haymarket/George Street. Also shows the sun fighting a losing battle against bushfire haze
Nice shot, I am so sorry about the terrible bushfires that you are experiencing in NSW and Victoria, I hope they cease soonest.
 

gordonthemoron

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Having been in Sydney recently, I agree that:

1. The new trams stop at stations for too long
2. There is no coordinations with traffic lights (also applies to L1)
3. The service intervals is extremely variable, from a few minutes up to 20 minutes for no apparent reason
4. There was no reason to curtail the service on Boxing Day

Also, why does every other service terminate at Central? Since L3 isn't open yet, surely it would be better for them to terminate at Moore Park to allow L3 trams to run as far as possible
 

Addington

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That's really disappointing if there can be no interworking between the two systems.
Plus another new isolated system is taking shape as the Sydney Metro project, although the electrical system is at least the same as Sydney Trains.

Having explored Sydney's transport system last year, I discovered the old tram depot at Rozelle (next to the current Jubilee Park L1 stop) has been converted into a very popular retail/foodie centre called Tramsheds, complete with a preserved tram on display.
The site of another old tram depot at Fort Macquarie near Circular Quay is now better known as Sydney Opera House.
I liked the way the contractor hoardings for the construction of these new systems often have old photographs of the local area on display.
The transformation over 100 years or so, not just of the transport system, is often amazing.
Incompatibility is a NSW trademark. We had the original single decks. When the Sputniks were built, they were a different voltage so they were able to be MU with anything except their own. Tulloch double deck trailers had three voltages, this making some incompatable with others within their fleet.
The tunnels west of Epping arent large enough for double deckers, so only metros can operate on the North West Metro. It goes on and on!
 

LesS

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The stupidity of decisions on Sydney rail based transport knows no bounds. The driving forces are a combination of political ideology around private/public operation; ideology embracing "economic rationalism"; and very powerful rail unions.

Both the Premier and state Treasury are self avowed economic rationalists - user pays. The only 'user' they see is the passenger. All others who receive economic benefit get a free ride.

The conversion of the Bankstown line to "metro" will see the peak hour service change from 10 DD trains per hour to 15 6/8car SD trains. By my calculation the carrying capacity of the trains will reduce by 17%. How this improves the service is beyond my elementary understanding.

Both major political parties have trouble dealing with the Unions. Both have and continue to seek solutions like "automatic operation" thus eliminating employees and the Unions.

The L2/L3 tram lines should have never been built. Coupled sets will only just meet existing peak hour passenger demand on the routes. There is no room to increase capacity. Capacity might not be a problem if passengers choose to remain on the faster bus services. The long planned extension of the Eastern Suburbs rail line from Bondi Junction would have been cheaper to construct and provided an improved servicee.
 

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