Labor’s Railway Promise Celebrates 70 Years Of Not Being Delivered

Labor’s Railway Promise Celebrates 70 Years Of Not Being Delivered

Labor’s Answer Is A Few New Wooden Seats At North Strathfield Railway Station

Victor P Taffa

In 1949 Labor promised 4 Tracks and 4 Platforms on the Hornsby-Strathfield Northern Line. 70 Years later and commuters are still waiting.

After 70 Years please do not give people the excuse that there is no money to build the 4 Tracks and 4 Platforms or that patronage is too low as not to warrant it.

Poor excuses about why the Hornsby-Strathfield Northern Line cannot have 4 Tracks and 4 Platforms.

Labor promised 4 Tracks and Platforms on the Hornsby-Strathfield Northern Line in 1949 when they destroyed the Ryde Tram Line which was Sydney’s second longest Tram Line.

North Strathfield Railway Station needs and deserves more than just a few new wooden seats that gives the appearance of a heritage station.

 

Platform Height Difference

North Strathfield Railway Station currently has a significant difference in height of platforms to carriage doors.

It is not a case of Metro on 1 or all of the lines. Platform Height Increase Program needs to focus on the heights of platforms to carriage doors for easy access across the Heavy Rail Network in Sydney.

Clearly Metro Rail is not the answer. Platform Height Increase Program requires funding to more than a few railway stations on the Bankstown Line.

North Strathfield Railway Station needs to be Twin Island 4 Platforms with Higher Level Platforms and Lifts just like Concord West Railway Station.

If ever there were an example of Federal and State Railway Bureaucrats not cooperating with each other this is it.

Getting rid of one tier of Government is not the answer as Bureaucrats will always defend their patch not matter what happens.

It is the Federal Government who is ramming Metro Rail down our throats in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane at the expense of much needed Heavy Rail improvements.

Federal Labor in Government did this as much as the Federal Liberals in Government who are doing it now.

 

North Strathfield Freight Tunnel And Concord West Railway Station

Federal Government paid for and built the North Strathfield Freight Tunnel on the Northern Sydney Freight Line. Problem is that the Northern Sydney Freight Line is part of the Northern Line in the Sydney Heavy Rail Network administered by the New South Wales Government.

As Freight Trains have a curfew to operate under the North Strathfield Freight Tunnel project restored a short section of track and turned Concord West into a Twin Island 4 Platform Railway Station.

At the same time the fourth city bound track at North Strathfield was ripped up and the Federal Government refused to install sets of points under the Pomeroy Street North Strathfield overpass.

Sets of Points from the North Strathfield Pomeroy Street Overpass could have connected the fourth city bound track up to Strathfield Platforms 1 & 3.

4 Tracks between Strathfield and Hornsby would go a long way to improving rail curfew conditions as Freight Trains head to Hornsby and then further north.

Railway Bureaucrats seems to think that all commuters are simply freight. Instead of building 2 extra tracks on the Northern and Southern Sydney Freight Lines they only build 1 extra track. What you end up with is a 3 Track corridor when the Rail Corridor should be 4 Tracks.

This is false economy as you end up worsening the Rail Freight curfew and not improving operations of Freight or Passenger Trains.

Railway Tracks are to Roads as Lanes are for cars.

Concord West Railway Station is on the boundary of Strathfield and Drummoyne State Electorates whereas North Strathfield Railway Station is solely within the Strathfield State Electorate.

State Member for Strathfield Jodi McKay installed new wooden seats that gives the appearance of a heritage station and ignored the significant height gap of the platform much to the detriment of all commuters.

 

Strathfield-Hornsby Northern Line Railway Stations

Railway Stations between Strathfield and Hornsby are as follows:

  • Strathfield
  • North Strathfield (3 Platforms)
  • Concord West (4 Platforms)
  • Rhodes (3 Platforms)
  • John Whitton Bridge across Parramatta River (2 Tracks)
  • Meadowbank (2 Platforms)
  • West Ryde (3 Platforms)
  • Denistone (4 Platforms)
  • Eastwood (4 Platforms)
  • Epping
  • Cheltenham
  • Beecroft
  • Pennant Hills
  • Thornleigh
  • Normanhurst
  • Hornsby

 

Rebuilding North Strathfield Railway Station

Rebuilding North Strathfield Railway Station is easy.

Northern Line can continue to operate trains while North Strathfield Railway Station is rebuilt. Buses would replace trains for North Strathfield passengers for the duration of the works.

Side Platform 3 would be demolished and second north bound track moved over in a western direction.

Then new city bound track is re-installed with sets of points under the Pomeroy Street Overpass which also allows for trains to continue running while Railway Station is rebuilt.

Brick Building on Platforms 1 & 2 would be moved as what happened at Chatswood Railway Station.

New Island Platforms and Track Trench are then built.

Both new Island Platforms would start closer to Pomeroy Street Overpass so lifts can enable commuters’ access to platforms. New Lifts at Southern End of the Station would also be installed.

Lifts at both ends of the station puts the commuters Front and Centre for convenience and increased patronage at the station would pay for installation of lifts and station rebuild.

NSW John Whitton Bridge Piers and Abutment Designed For 4 Tracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Whitton Bridge across Parramatta River

John Whitton Bridge spanning the Parramatta River between Rhodes and Meadowbank opened in 1980 and is the second railway bridge in this location.

No one is talking about re-commissioning the old bridge however the second bridge has Piers for 4 Tracks and Spans for 2 Tracks.

John Whitton Bridge handles Freight, Interstate, Interurban and Suburban Trains and a lack of 4 Tracks across the river is simply a bottle neck that rail schedulers overcomes by slowing down trains and making our railways worse.

2 extra Spans is what is required.

Governments Labor and Liberal are to blame for this rail bottle neck.

 

Road Overpass at Meadowbank Railway Station with Platforms below on right hand side accessed by lifts from a wider overpass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Railways owns the land where the sand stone at the southern end of Meadowbank and West Ryde Stations is required to be cutback. This is an easy problem to solve and a minor cost involved in the overall scheme of things.

Roads Department cut back sand stone on the Pacific Highway in the centre of the road and was able to achieve this due to better lobbying for funding.

 

4 Platforms for West Ryde, Meadowbank and Rhodes Railway Stations

4 Tracks on the John Whitton Bridge enables West Ryde, Meadowbank and Rhodes Railway Stations to have 4 Platforms.

Rhodes has 3 Platforms and trains are delayed because the John Whitton Bridge only has 2 Tracks.

Land is available to have 4 platforms at West Ryde, Meadowbank and Rhodes Railway Stations.

This would then connect up at Denistone Railway Station where there is 4 Tracks and 4 Platforms currently in place.

Getting 4 Tracks and 4 Platforms from Denistone to Strathfield is easy once the John Whitton Bridge has been widened to 4 Tracks.

As Member for Ryde Victor Dominello is aware a wider road overpass at Meadowbank enables installation of lifts from wider road overpass to platforms.

As with North Strathfield Railway Station by having lifts at both ends of Meadowbank Station increases patronage that in turn pays for installation and maintenance of the additional lifts.

Victor Dominello supports increased Car Parking at West Ryde and Eastwood Railway Stations which will increase patronage and go towards paying for line improvements.

North Strathfield Rail Overpass With Decommissioned Track On Left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parramatta Road Rail Overpass at North Strathfield

Parramatta Road Rail Overpass at North Strathfield has room for an additional track and connected to tracks running to Strathfield Platforms 1 & 3 and to new North Strathfield Platforms.

 

Poor Excuses

One of the excuses often heard about the Northern Line and 4 Tracks is lack of patronage to justify expenditure. This is a nonsense argument.

Northern Line carries Freight, Interstate, Interurban and Suburban Trains.

Freight Trains carries Freight that is of value. Interstate, Interurban and Suburban Trains all carry fare paying passengers.

Poor excuses about why the Hornsby-Strathfield Northern Line cannot have 4 Tracks and 4 Platforms.

Labor promised 4 Tracks and Platforms on the Hornsby-Strathfield Northern Line in 1949 when they destroyed the Ryde Tram Line which was Sydney’s second longest Tram Line.

After 70 Years these poor excuses are wearing a bit thin.

 

Transport Budget

Transport Budget needs to have 75% for Works and Planning and 25% for wages.

Roads Department manages to sell its case for increased funding all the time.

This is not a matter of people not driving a car. This is a matter of Transport Budget increasing and then having 75% for Works and Planning and 25% for wages of Budget.

In this way the things that the Railways need and passengers ask for can be built.

Currently the Railways work within a small budget that then largely goes towards anything but Railway works and planning.

Previous Articles

Previously articles have been published about North Strathfield Railway Station in The Southern Thunderer.

Captions:

Photo of North Strathfield Railway Station taken on 4 June 2015 by Editor Victor P Taffa showing room for restoration of city bound track running from a set of points located under the Pomeroy Street Overpass and Twin Island 4 Platforms.

After 70 Years of waiting commuters deserves better than this nonsense.