Long-term Strategic Plan for Rail

Greater Sydney metropolitan region

Overview report

June 2001

An 89-page overview report Long-term Strategic Plan for Rail prepared by Ron Christie when Co-ordinator-General of Rail in June 2001 was suppressed by the New South Wales Government and did not surface until a leaked copy was extensively reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 25-27 February 2002. The report pressed for a huge expansion of Sydney's railways, arguing that travel around the metropolis would become very awkward otherwise (other arguments, such as air pollution and safety, were also advanced).

The Government's response to the publication was to say the report was only a "shopping list" of possible projects.

Following pressure from the cross-bench of the NSW Legislative Council, the report was officially released in May 2002.

The full report with all maps and diagrams etc. can be downloaded from here.

The text is extracted below.


Letter to the Minister
1.   Introduction
     Rail planning inputs
     Changes in priorities
     This overview report
2.   Current passenger and freight rail operations and constraints
     2.1 CityRail operations
          The constraints on CityRail's capacity
          The breaking down of "sectorisation"
          Mixtures of service patterns
          Other operating constraints
          Service reliability and on-time running performance
     2.2 Freight operations
     2.3 Rail infrastructure maintenance and reliability
     2.4 Safety
3.   The factors shaping future rail transport in the greater metropolitan region
     3.1 Future passenger demand
          Growth along the rail corridors
4.   The next ten years
     4.1 Service levels and objectives
     4.2 Strategies
          In the next year:
          Progressively over the rest of the decade:
     4.3 Alternatives
          Diversions to other modes?
          More passengers per train?
          Communications-based signalling?
          Pricing demand management?
          Changes in land uses?
     4.4 Corridor patronage growth forecasts and service and infrastructure responses
          Illawarra line and Eastern Suburbs Railway
          South Coast line
          East Hills line
          Bankstown line
          South and Inner West lines
          West lines
          Blue Mountains
          Main North and Central Coast lines
          North Shore line
          Separation of services
     4.5 The vital need to add new capacity through the CBD
     4.6 Station, bus-rail interchange and car park upgradings
     4.7 Fire and life safety upgrades in the underground system
     4.8 Electrical capacity upgrades
     4.9 Modernisation of signalling and train control systems
          Monitoring of "dark territories"
          Immediate network control improvements
          Modernisation of signalling infrastructure
          Modernisation of signal control systems
     4.10 Other rail and station infrastructure maintenance strategies
5.   Beyond 2010: Overcoming the critical inner city constraint and implementing a longer term vision
     Extending the rail system's "reach"
     A staged approach in choosing the best public transport mode
     A long-term framework
     Principles for viable operation of the longer-term rail system
6.   CityRail rolling stock requirements
     6.1 Extra rolling stock for patronage growth
     6.2 Replacement of the existing CityRail fleets
     6.3 Rolling stock maintenance and cleaning
          Maintenance expenditure requirements
          Location and upgrading of train maintenance facilities
7.   Overview of projects and timeframes