Ferry Friday 13

Today we will be looking at the HarbourCat ferries. They were the first of two classes of ferries delivered under the Carr state government with Carl Scully as Transport Minister.

The ferries operate on the F3 Parramatta River and F4 Darling Harbour lines.

They were based on the design of the RiverCats however are slightly shorter with a lower capacity and less displacement. These modifications allow the ferries to travel futher up Parramatta River at lower tides than the RiverCats. This led to a reduction in cancellations of ferry services to Parramatta at low tide from 1 in every 2.5 days to one in every 25 on average. 

There are 2 HarbourCat ferries that were both delivered in 1998 and carried on the tradition of being named after Aussie sports stars from the RiverCats. They were named Anne Sargeant and Pam Burridge.

They have a passenger capacity of 150 passengers, a top speed of 22 knots, a length of 29.6 metres and a displacement of 35 tones.

Train Talk Tuesday 12

This week we have a major update for the Sydney Metro City and South West project.

The contract for Tunnels, Staions and Excavation (TSE) has been awarded to John Holland CPB Contractors Ghella Joint Venture, which signifies the beginning of major construction for Stage 2 of Sydney Metro.

The TSE contractor is responsible for establishing the two main dives sites – Chatswood and Marrickville – which will be where the four tunnel boring machines commence their journey beneath Sydney, with a fifth specialised TBM starting from Barangaroo for the Harbour crossing. Once demolition of existing buildings has been completed, excavation of the six future stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo Martin Place, Pitt Street and Waterloo will commence.

To reduce the impact on the local community and local businesses, crushed rock will be removed by barges for the excavation work that takes place at Blues Point, Barangaroo and under Sydney Harbour – reducing impacts to the road network and cutting truck movements

Photo Courtesty of Acciona Australia

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 12

This week our route of week request is from Josh Q and Madi W. It is the 470. It runs from Lilyfield to City Martin Place via Annandale, Forest Lodge, Broadway and Railway Square. 

The 470 began operation in the 1950s during the closure of Sydney’s tram network, duplicating much of the old Lilyfield tram route. Before October 2015, the service operated to City Ciruclar Quay along George Street through the city, however due to Light rail construction, the route was redirected to operate northbound via Elizabeth Street and Southbound via Castlereagh Street and was also truncated to City Martin Place.

The 470 operates daily between 5am and Midnight. The service runs every 5-8 minutes during peak hour, 15 minutes off peak Monday- Saturday, 20 minutes on Sunday and every half hour after 8pm. It takes between 30-45 minutes to opertate the route from end to end.

The route is operated by Leichhardt Depot using a variety of standard 12.5m buses with Mercedes Benz chassis and Custom Coaches bodywork and Articulated buses with Volvo chassis and Volgren bodywork.

Guest Question June

When will my requests, the 288, 294, 289 be Route of the Week? – ZACH A.

Look out for them in upcoming routes of the week, there is currently a slight backlog though due to the overwhelming demand for everyones favourite route to be featured, so it might not be till October for all of the routes to be featured. Despite the backlog, we are still accepting requests for route of the week, but we encourage them to be private routes.

What do you think of the new double decker buses we’ll be getting? – CAROL M.

I think they are good for long range routes such as the 607x, L90, M61, etc where the bus is travelling 20+ kms without stopping. Double Deckers are not suited to suburban running where passengers are getting on and off every 500 metres, for which bendy buses are better.

When will the new growth buses services from the budget be introduced? – ALEX M.

The route shown in the plan are simply the routes that are guaranteed to receive timetable upgrades this year. The exact dates of implementation is likely yet to be decided.

Can we request buses for the Private Routes or other modes of transport (train, ferry) – ANONYMOUS

Of course, we greatly encourage that our readers request their favourite routes regardless of mode or operator, this includes private buses. One upside to requesting a differnt mode to Sydney Buses is you wont ahve to wait as long as the backlogs are non-existent.

Why do some services not stop outside school despite being scheduled to do so? – WILL P.

This is a major issue, some services may no be stopping as they are already overcrowded or the divers don’t believe all intending passengers will fit. In other instances, it may be that the driver just forgot to stop.

What are charter buses? – ROGIER W.

Charter Buses are buses that have been hired out to somebody for private use. Occasionally STA drivers will us a Charter desto when dead running to distinguish them from regular route services.

Ferry Friday 12

This week for ferry Friday we are giving you a quick network update. The series on the types of ferries will return next week.

From this Monday 26th June ferry services to King Street Wharf will cease and services will instead operate to the new Barangaroo Wharf, where work is understood to be nearly complete with some minor work continuing this weekend.

In addition to this timetable changes will occur for the F3 Parramatta River Line and F4 Darling Harbour Line. Extra F3 services will be added during weekday mornings nd evening peak to allow better capacity and services on Sundays will now run till 9:30pm instead of 7pm. F4 services will receive minor timetable changes to reflect the changes to the wharves used.

Qantas 787 Naming Competition Winners

Today Qantas announced the winners of the naming competiton for its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. It announced them via a Facebook livestream in which an artist drew each of the Aussie Icons that the planes will be named after. Qantas recieved over 60 000 suggestions in the first stage and 45 000 votes in the second stage of the competition. The order in which the planes will be named is expected to be revealed at a later date.

The final names (in no particular order).

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Boomerang
  • Skippy
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • Uluru
  • Great Southern Land
  • Quokka
  • Dreamtime

Train Talk Tuesday 11

Welcome to another Tuesday of Train Talk. This week, we will be looking at the money given to our train network in today’s NSW budget. The 9.8 billion dollars pledged to rail our network in this year’s budget will be spent on both new rolling stock and new network. However not all of this money is being slept this year, with the funding anncounments for Sydney Metro City and Southwest actually being a four year commitment.

New Trains

  • $658 million on new upgraded Waratah style trains
  • $253 million on new intercity trains
  • $25 million for investigative studies for new XPTs

New Network

  • $4 billion for Sydney Metro Northwest
  • $4.9 billion for Sydney Metro City and Southwest
Waratah Train like the ones being ordered

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 11

This week request comes from Zach A and Oscar H. It is for route 292. It operates between Marsfield and City Erskine Strett via Macquarie Univeristy, Macquarie Park, North Ryde and Lane Cove. 

Before 2015, the 292 used to run to City QVB. In October 2015, the route was re-directed to operate to and from King Street Wharf. In June 2016, the route was once again re-directed to City Erskine Street to help better service the new nearby Barangaroo development and reduce congestion at King Street Wharf.

It operates daily between 6am and Midnight with a half-hourly service on weekdays and hourly service on weekends. The route has a large variation in travel time depending on time of day, with services taking between 42 and 68 minutes to complete the route.

Route 292 services are operated by Willoughby Depot using buses with a Ansair, Bustech or Custom Coaches bodywork and Scania Chassis. 

Private Buses Route of the Month 3

This month our private bus route of the month is the 270 operated by Forest Coachlines. It operates between Terry Hills and City QVB via Forestville, Frenchs Forest and Austlink

It initally began operation on 27 July 1992 as a weekday peak hour only services, created thanks to the Passenger Transport Act of 1990 which allowed suburaban operators the first contact regions in which they could create innovative routes and services. From then the 270 expanded to provide a full time frequent service due to numerous timetable upgrades. Since 2010 other new routes such as the 271 which services more areas and L70 which operates a faster service have taken over many 270 services to help better serve customer needs.
Today the route route runs every 30 minutes between 6am – 9pm Monday to Saturday and hourly between 7am – 8pm on Sunday.  It takes between 48-68 minutes to run the route from end to end. 

It is serviced by a fleet of buses with Volvo or Mercedes Benz Chassis and Custom Coaches bodywork out of Forest Coachlines Terry Hills depot.

Ferry Friday 11

This week for ferry Friday we are looking at the Freshwater class ferries. They operate solely on the F1 Manly line between Circular Quay and Manly. 

There are 4 Freshwater class ferries bulit between 1982 and 1988 by the State Dockyard. They are all named after a beavhbin Sydney’s Northern beaches, the first being Freshwater in 1982 followed by Queenscliff in 1983 and Narrabean in 1984 with Collaroy arriving in 1988. 

The ferries have a capacity of 1100 across 2 decks and use 6 crew. There ferries are 70m long and have a displacement of 1100 tons.