Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
Action for Public Transport has sent the following letter to the NSW Minister for Transport:
Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP
Minister for Transport
You would be aware of the current debate about the diameter of the proposed tunnels for the North West Rail Link (NWRL), and the complaint that the diameter is too small to accept existing RailCorp double-deck rollingstock.
We fully understand that there are many other parameters affecting the ability of the new railway to accept existing rollingstock. We also acknowledge that there would be significant future costs for converting any railway from single- to double-deck, or vice versa.
Nevertheless, we are strongly in favour of building the NWRL to the existing double-deck loading gauge and gradient standards, for the following reasons -
(a) The NWRL is a long way from the Sydney CBD, where the benefits of "rapid transit" may best be realised.
(b) It has long distances between stations (average 3 km), suited to "suburban" railway operation at some future date.
(c) Changes in Sydney's long term planning guidelines, coupled with anticipated funding problems, reduce the likelihood of the "rapid transit" NWRL ever being extended to pass through the Sydney CBD.
(d) The number of future options for the evolution of the rail network is significantly increased with larger-bore tunnels.
(e) The incremental cost of increasing the NWRL tunnel diameter to suit double-deck stock is minimal if done before construction starts.
On balance, we strongly recommend that you direct that the NWRL railway be designed so that it does not prevent the future use of the current RailCorp double-deck rollingstock.
Action for Public Transport (NSW) Inc.
PO Box K606, Haymarket, NSW, 1240.
15 March 2013.
STOP PRESS: the Minister's reply can be seen here.