Sunday, May 5, 2013

Epping to Chatswood NWRL Conversion

The Trust has been asked how long it will take to convert the Epping to Chatswood tunnel to cater for the new NWRL single decker trains.  This is actually a very significant issue, and any answer from the NWRL project must be treated with caution.

The present CityRail service carrying commuters from Epping to the city via Chatswood will cease when the tunnel conversion begins.  Commuter trains on the western loop will revert back to the long route via Strathfield.  The service to Chatswood will not recommence until those new single decker trains have been fully tested and proven.  And what is the chance of that going to schedule?

The delivery delays of the CityRail Waratah double decker rolling stock have not inconvenienced commuters because the older Tangaras continue to provide the full double decker heavy rail commuter service, including between Epping and Chatswood.  It will be totally different with the NWRL when the tunnel conversion commences. 

Australia's track record in timely completion of major projects like the Waratah trains and the Collins submarines raises the prospect of long term delays for city bound commuters from Beecroft and Cheltenham, who could find themselves going via Strathfield for years.  All because of the decision to go away from using double decker trains.

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