All The Excuses Under The Sun Not To Build Railway & Tramway Lines

All The Excuses Under The Sun Not To Build Railway & Tramway Lines

Your Railways: Our Future

Victor P Taffa

The opponents of Railway and Tramway Construction make more noise than the sound of a Train or Tram running along their Tracks.

Even going back to 1917 when The Single Track Transcontinental Line was built by then Prime Minister Billy Hughes was there hostility and on the issue of Conscription Billy Hughes was forced out of the Labor Party.



Railway opponents even forced the 100 year wait for the Alice Springs-Darwin Railway to end at Palmerston and NOT with a new Railway Station in the Darwin CBD. Similarly Interstate Trains that go to South Australia have to stop at Keswick and NOT Adelaide.

The Transcontinental Line runs from Sydney-Perth across the Nullarbor Plains and has one of the Straightest Sections of Railway Line in the World.

John Bradfield Planned Second City Circle Railway c.1920's

John Bradfield Planned Second City Circle Railway c.1920’s









Eastern Suburbs Line:

The Eastern Suburbs Line in Sydney was first planned in 1879 and took 100 years to open. Then New South Wales Labor Premier Neville Wran opened the Line in 1979 and is still a half-completed Line that in 1947 was intended to go to Kingsford and Mascot Airport.

Northern Supplement To Sydney Morning Herald 10 October 1985

Northern Supplement To Sydney Morning Herald 10 October 1985












Granville Rail Disaster:

The Granville Rail Disaster that occurred on 18 January 1977 was according to the Coroner’s Investigation caused by the rundown condition of the ‘Permanent Way’ (The Tracks) whereby the ‘Leading Bogies’ (The Wheels) came off the Tracks because The Track ‘Fish Plates’ (Track Fasteners) had worn out and the Tracks spread apart which forced the 46 Class Electric Locomotive to Jump off the Tracks and plough into the Staunchions of the Bold Street at Granville. 83 People were killed and 211 were injured in Australia’s Worst Rail Disaster. The Deck of the Bold Street Bridge contained concrete at a heavier thickness than required and ultimately claimed more lives. The Driver received death threats and was completely cleared by the Coroner of any wrongdoing. The Disaster interrupted the Rail Network as it took 2 full days to lift the Bold Street Bridge off the Timber Carriages.



Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu

Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu












NSW Police:

The NSW Police and Eastwood Police in particular should not oppose Victor P Taffa for wanting to expand and make OUR Railways safer for everyone. The NSW Police should lay blame at both major Political Parties over many decades for NOT doing anything to avoid Rail Disasters such as the Granville, Coalcliff and Waterfall Disasters. Rail Disasters are manmade and NOT made by an act of God.

Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan

Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan












Detailed Overview Report:

In January 2001 Editor Victor P Taffa wrote the Detailed Overview Report and associated Maps for Railway Expansion in Sydney that went on-line in February 2009 in As contained in the Detailed Overview Report are various reasons that people give to oppose Railway Construction in Sydney and the same reasons can be simply repeated verbatim in every other State and Territory throughout Australia against Railway and Tramway Construction. The repetitive bleating across different States and Territories is boring to say the least.

When constructed people will choose to use a new Railway or Tramway Line and those that do NOT wish to use them are NOT having a gun held against their heads in what is supposed to be a democracy to use the new Railway or Tramway Line.

Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder

Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder









Some of the reasons given to oppose new Railway and Tramway Lines are as follows:

“No one catches Trains”

No less than 920,000 commuters use Sydney’s Rail Network on a normal weekday. An expanded rail network enables existing services to improve. Had the rail network expanded gradually over the last 85 years, then the task ahead would not be so big.

“Car sales will fall”

The Sydney Metropolitan Area is larger than some Countries in Europe. People will always use a motor car for leisure purposes. An expanded rail network will move commuters, not stop people from purchasing a car.

“Private bus companies will go out of business”

The expansion of the rail network will expand the patronage of public transport generally. New rail lines will require the introduction of new bus and tram (light rail) routes. Some existing bus routes will cease to exist or be altered. Other routes will remain unchanged. Employees of private bus companies will be busier than ever with more commuters to serve.

“There is no need for light rail as well as trains”

Trams (Light rail) as with buses are needed. All three modes of transport need to harmoniously co-exist so as to provide a professional, modern transport network.

“We can just build light rail everywhere”

The current Rail Network needs to expand if only to relieve congestion on existing lines and increase current services. The current rail network is at capacity. Expansion of other transport modes at the expense of the rail network will not improve the capacity of the rail network to meet the increasing level of patronage.

“The RTA does not want any more rail lines constructed”

The construction of new rail lines will ensure that the massive Sydney Road Network will flow more freely. The maintenance and upkeep of our existing roads along with intersection improvements and road bridge widening would not diminish the need to construct new rail lines.

“What we need is a good straight Bus Service”

Newly constructed rail lines means less peak hour congestion, which allows for improved bus scheduling. The expansion of the rail network will ease peak hour congestion more effectively than merely creating new bus routes because buses compete with the car for road space, which the railway does not do.

“Toll revenues will collapse with the construction of new Rail Lines”

The same hysteria raged regarding the future financial viability of inner-city clubs prior to the opening of the Star City casino. These early fears were unfounded and the same situation would apply with the construction of new rail lines.

“New Rail Lines can’t be built because no government will pay compensation to the motorway companies for lost revenue”

Prohibitive contract clauses between governments and motorway companies are surely in breach of the Trade Practices Act and the Commonwealth Constitution and if ever challenged in the High Court would possibly be struck out. The Commonwealth Constitution also provides for the construction of Railways.

“To build more rail lines you would have to buy all the houses”

Most new rail lines would be built underground.

“A new Rail Line will mean wall-to-wall towers of home units and destroy the village atmosphere of our suburb”

New legislation needs to be passed by the NSW Parliament to separate railway construction from urban planning.

“Sitting in peak hour traffic gives me time to read the paper”

If a survey was ever done on anyone who ever enjoyed sitting in peak hour traffic congestion, it is likely not one person would ever admit to it.

“There may be a need to build a new rail line over there, but not in my neighbourhood”

The same arguments against the need for the construction of more than one rail line are the same arguments used when the Sydney Tramway Network was dismantled line-by-line over a 30-year period from the 1930’s till 1961. The gradual closure of lines was a deliberate plan that occurred against the support of the public. The Watson’s Bay Tram Line was even forced to re-open after public protests and was one of the few tram lines that returned a profit to the Government.

“I don’t want a Rail Line underneath my house”

New railway lines do not affect property values in an adverse manner and nor are there structural problems in the construction phase that would affect existing properties. Noise of trains below homes are barely audible.

“The noise of Trains underneath my home will become unbearable”

New underground railway lines are at least 20 metres below the foundations of homes and tunnels can be lined with insulation to further address residents concerns. If you were to stand in George Street Sydney and try to listen to the movement of trains below, it is very difficult to hear them or feel any vibrations.

“The value of my home will fall with a Railway under my home”

During the environmental impact study phase there may be some negative impact on Property prices in an area, however this impact will turn into a positive effect once a new underground railway line becomes operational. The concerns that some residents affected by the construction of the Epping-Chatswood Railway have is understandable however over time those property prices will increase significantly once the railway becomes operational. High voltage power lines that currently go over properties in other parts of Sydney adversely affect their value over a longer time span than the construction phase of an underground railway does.

“Why not just build all the new Railway Lines under the roads”

Above or below ground railway lines require different routes to roads. The deeper you build an underground railway adds to the cost of construction. Road travel patterns and railway travel patterns are also very different. Beneath the roads are the water and electrical infrastructure requirements and realigning these utilities will be very expensive.

“I like my Suburban Rail service above ground”

Had the rail network continued to expand, new lines would have been built above ground. The fact is that Sydney has expanded without concern to expanding the rail network. It is without doubt far cheaper to build above ground as opposed to underground railways. To continue to delay the construction of new railway lines only ensures the escalation of construction costs. The benefits of underground railways are that the rails do not expand in the heat. Track movement is reduced which results in less wear and tear on the bogies and thus provides a safer journey for commuters. Underground rail lines below large areas of bushland allow for safer public access particularly when major bushfires are raging above. Underground rail also provides for more reliable services during wet weather, as rail lines and signalling equipment is kept dry.

“Railway Lines should simply be built in coordination with Urban Planning”

New suburbs have continually been planned and built without a Railway line being even considered let alone constructed. This situation has been allowed to continue for many decades and by simply building more tollroads will only worsen the chronic traffic congestion. Even in 2009 the Oran Park Raceway has been closed and will be turned into a housing complex without even the faintest notion of a new Railway line being built.

“They won’t build more rail lines as the Western Sydney Orbital will solve all the problems.”

Motorists will by-pass the toll and continue to add to congested Western Sydney arterial and residential streets. Also the M2 Motorway was to be the answer to end traffic congestion. The Orbital road network needs to be completed; however the expansion of the rail network is badly needed. Commuter traffic needs to be largely transferred onto an expanded rail network. People will always need a good road network to travel on. There will always be a need to provide upkeep for the existing road network.

“It won’t be safe driving trains to all these new places”

Driver/Guard safety is always of paramount importance and every single driver and guard should currently have a two-way radio and all driver and guard cabins should be airconditioned and surveyed with close circuit cameras. Beyond these measures, the Police Minister should ensure law and order is maintained throughout New South Wales. The Nightrider bus network would be extended to include new rail lines as they opened. Technology also exists to have trains driven without a driver. The travelling public is not comfortable with the idea that trains can be operated without drivers. Furthermore, modern aircraft can be flown on automatic pilot and yet there is still a Captain and a Co-Pilot in control.

“Metro is the way to go, more modern and efficient”

Metro Rail is designed to be driverless and with no guards. Metro is very effective in cities that is very densely populated. Australia has a population of only 22 Million and Sydney has approximately 5 Million. In comparison, London alone has a population of roughly 10 Million. Metro is designed to have carriages with minimal seating. The London Underground covers an area that is approximately from our Sydney CBD to Strathfield. Metro Rail is of a Branch Line Configuration. The Sydney RailCorp Network has interconnecting Lines that allows for a better service. The City Circle, Bankstown and East Hills all used to be Branch Line configuration and were extended to make for a better and reliable service.

“Metro is faster”

Japan has had the ‘Bullet Train’ since the 1960’s and travels at speeds of 450 km km/h. This is a Heavy Rail service.

“More trains means more level crossings”

Many new rail lines will be constructed underground and any new above ground lines will have grade separations.

“Too many intersecting rail junctions lead to accidents”

Strathfield and Central currently have Rail Grade separations and more of these are required.

“You don’t need more railway lines, merely more cycle ways”

Bicycle riding is a very good recreational, weekend pursuit, which can lead to Olympic Medal Glory. However, bicycles are not the only answer to our chronic peak hour traffic congestion. Railways provide the best answer to solving or easing Peak Hour traffic congestion.

“Vandals would run rampant on all those new stations”

All new underground railway stations would be locked after the last train each night and would have state of the art security cameras throughout the station.

“I’m not keen on big monstrous Station Entrances on every street corner”

All new underground stations would be similar in design with a different colour scheme associated to the colour of the line on the commuter map. The street design would be as that of Town Hall station, with only stair and lift entrances visible on the street level.

“New Railway lines should be branch lines as more trains can provide for a faster service”

New Railway Lines should be built as through services. The cost of building a branch line is not cheap and by building a line that connects to other lines, extended services can thus operate. Also a through line can operate terminating services whereas a branch line cannot provide both.

“Large Shopping Malls will go out of business if we build all these railways”

New Railway lines will bring in new shoppers to these malls because for those who do not drive a car, it will give people a choice of travel that does not exist now.

“McDonald’s will go out of business with all these new railways”

Roads in Peak Hour will not become void of traffic with the construction of a new Railway. New Railway Lines will also provide for new business opportunities to commence that otherwise would not occur.

“Railway Bonds mean the Banks will go Broke”

Railway bonds are another means of investment that allows for whole communities to have a feeling of ownership of a new Railway line. If people do not wish to invest in Railway bonds, then they do not have to. Railway bonds would have the guarantee of the New South Wales Treasury.

“Bus drivers prefer long routes and all these new Railway lines will mean is shorter Bus Routes”

The construction of new Railway lines will require new train drivers and there will be a great opportunity for bus drivers to drive trains.

Editor Victor P Taffa has been  Taxi Driver in Sydney. The most profitable times of the day occurred with many short trips and not long trips. Shorter more frequent journeys led to less ‘Down Time’ and a greater chance to make money.

Railway and Tramway Expansion will NOT mean the end of the world as we now know it. The hysteria and abuse that Victor P Taffa has endured will be Victoria’s Gain.

Editor Victor P Taffa at the 2004 Ryde Local Government Elections suffered a reduction in voter support because of the malicious lies spread against the construction of the Epping-Chatswood Railway. The Parramatta-Chatswood Railway was cut back to Epping-Chatswood in 1998 by then Labor Transport Minister Michael Costa and the campaign of lies was of a local, bi-partisan nature.

The chance to start a new career and a new life in Victoria with a Government who genuinely wants Railway and Tramway Construction is something worth doing.

The Dead Hand of Socialism has never had a place in the life of Victor P Taffa and to be subjected to years of Ridicule, Humiliation , Independent Financial Starvation and enforced Psychiatric Hospitalisation because of support for Railway and Tramway Construction is something that officials in New South Wales should NOT be allowed to get away with.

Going to Victoria with a new career and a new life is the only way which Victor P Taffa will be able to regain Sanity.