Northern Line Slowed Down For A Budget Not Speeded Up For A Heavy Rail Purpose
Victor P Taffa
Heavy Rail Is Not The Problem
Current John Whitton Bridge that opened in 1980 has piers wide enough for 4 tracks and spans only with capacity for 2 tracks.
Built with a Box Girder design the Piers have room for a 4 Box Girder Span width yet since 1980 only 2 Box Girder Span width has been laid that has left commuters stranded at Meadowbank and Rhodes Railway Stations waiting for Freight, Interstate, Interurban and Suburban Trains to be scheduled to traverse what should be a 4 Track Bridge.
Cars cannot drive on a road without lanes as Trains cannot operate without Tracks.
Northern Line that stretches from Sydney, New South Wales to Brisbane, Queensland however for commuters living between Strathfield and Hornsby has been waiting for four tracks since the Labor Party promised to quadruple the Strathfield-Hornsby Northern Line when the Ryde Tram Line was destroyed in 1949.
As the Strathfield-Hornsby Northern Line conveys Freight, Interstate, Interurban and Suburban Trains, commuters have for many decades had to play second to rail scheduling on the line as successive governments have squibbed on expenditure for new tracks and platforms.
Including John Whitton Bridge across Parramatta River the Railway Stations between Strathfield And Hornsby are as follows:
- North Strathfield
- Concord West
- John Whitton Bridge across Parramatta River
- West Ryde
- Pennant Hills
With the Thornleigh-Epping Third Track commuters will face a mish-mash of 2, 3 and 4 operating tracks on the Strathfield-Hornsby Northern Line that negatively impacts on rail services, particularly in peak hour.
Railway lines in Australia are largely owned by State Governments however the Federal Government through the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is keen to increase its share of track ownership.
Funded by the Federal Government, the Thornleigh-Epping Third Track and North Strathfield Freight Tunnel projects are expanding track capacity on State Government owned rail networks. These projects are great however the Federal Government’s grand plan is to abolish State Government’s.
Abolishing State Government’s may sound great to some however the Newcastle Railway Line has been closed illegally to suit the Federal Government vision of no State Government’s and no Branch Railways.
What is more ridiculous is that the Federal Government thinks that people are simply cattle and is funding 3 tracks and not 4 between Epping and Thornleigh.
North Strathfield Freight Tunnel avoids sets of points on the Northern Line in keeping with its ‘Alice in Wonderland’ dream of a driver less metro rail technology North West line which will not have sets of points and train carriages where people are herded in like cattle.
If the Federal Government did not think that people were nothing more than cattle, funding for 4 tracks would be provided for the John Whitton Bridge across the Parramatta River, Meadowbank.
Set of points are a mechanism that allows trains to switch from one track to another safely. Sets of points inserts flexibility into a rail network that a rigid metro rail system does not allow for.
- Metro Rail Technology has 70% standing capacity
- Heavy Rail Technology has 70% seating capacity
Rather than metro rail technology, Strathfield-Hornsby Northern Line commuters simply wants trains that turn up frequently. Trains cannot run without tracks regardless of what technology is installed.
Commuters must be Front and Centre of Decision Making always.
Heavy Rail is not the problem as the Northern Line is slowed down for a budget and not speeded up for a heavy rail purpose.