Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review of NWRL Meeting 29 April

About 130 people attended the meeting last Monday, at which EcoTransit showed their excellent video and gave an impressive talk about the apparent contradictions in the State Government's plan to go for single decker trains on the NWRL, not just from Rouse Hill to Epping, but also from Epping to Chatswood, rendering that key commuter rail unusable by the main commuter double decker trains. 

Many serious questions were raised but no answers were available.  Greg Smith MP gave a good explanation of the financial problems facing the State Government, as inherited from the previous government.  He explained why this had forced the new Government to go for a privately funded project.  He promised to convey the feelings of the meeting back to cabinet, but gave no hint that he thought the decision might be reversed.

It has been implied that the narrower tunnels, 6m instead of 7m for CityRail double decker trains, would be cheaper, but against that saving must be added the cost of special maintenance facilities for the single decker trains, and the cost of converting the Epping to Chatswood tunnel.

Concerns were raised about safety, including the consequence of massive crowding on the Chatswood CityRail platforms as all the commuters from the north west pile into Chatswood on the NWRL metro trains and struggle to board the already-full main line double decker trains coming south from Hornsby and the north.

This blog will post more on this topic as further information becomes available.

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