Photos – October 2018

Here are our favourite transport photos from October

The start of the new rail tunnel between Bella Vista and Epping at Bella Vista – Transport NSW Blog Collection
New Bella Vista Metro Station – Transport NSW Blog Collection
The first day of 362 operation for the 2018/19 summer – Transport NSW Blog Collection
B2, the first Waratah B set to enter service – Transport NSW Blog Collection
The new Sydney Metro Skytrain cable stayed bridge at Rouse Hill – Transport NSW Blog Collection
The new truncated 400 to Sydney Airport – Transport NSW Blog Collection
StationLink SL1 to Chatswood leaves Epping – Transport NSW Blog Collection
V40 trails V7 out of Beecroft on a Newcastle Service – Transport NSW Blog Collection

A Period of Progress

The past few weeks have been a time of great progress right across Transport in NSW. Major projects that have seen great progression of late include Newcastle and Sydney Light Rail projects as well as the Sydney Metro City and Northwest projects.

Newcastle Light Rail

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Tram Under Test on Hunter Street – Newcastle Herald

The light rail line up in Newcastle is now in full testing mode. It is the first wire-free light rail line in Australia and has now began testing using its batteries, which are recharged at each station. Currently most testing is being done at night however daytime testing is scheduled.

Sydney Light Rail

The Randwick Racecourse turnback – Transport NSW Blog Collection

The signalling centre has now been turned on and live daytime tests using the signals in the Randwick Racecourse turnback have begun whilst regular at speed tests to Lang Road continue. Further, most stations have now begun construction and track laying is nearly complete.

Sydney Metro City

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TBM Nancy at the Marrickville Tunnelling Site – Transport For NSW

Tunnelling for the Sydney Metro City project has begun. Tunnel Boring Machine Nancy is one of five TBMs that will build this project and it has recently been deployed from the Marrickville Tunnelling site, from where it will tunnel as far as Barangaroo. The other four TBMs will begin tunnelling in coming months.

Sydney Metro Northwest 

The Skytrain portion of the Metro at Rouse Hill – – Transport NSW Blog Collection

Most civil construction for Sydney Metro Northwest is now complete, with stations now in the fit out stage. The Epping to Chatswood section of the line now under conversion to allow for the automated single decker trains to operate along it.

Other Updates

The newly truncated 400 at Mascot Station, with a bus at the new 357 layover behind – Transport NSW Blog Collection
One of dozens of buses replacing trains as part of the new StationLink network – Transport NSW Blog Collection

The new train timetable introduced on September 30 seem to be less problematic than last Novembers (touch wood), with no major delays or complaints being fielded. The new bus networks in the Eastern Suburbs seem to be working relatively well and the StationLink appears to be coping with demand and traffic conditions up in Macquarie Park.

Look out for more photos of Transport in October next Wednesday as well as our Sydney’s Transport History feature into the Demise of the Sydney Tramways which will be released later this week.

Sydney’s Transport History – The Worlds Steepest Railway

Many people are surprised to hear the steepest railway in the work is right here in New South Wales. Located at Scenic World in Katoomba, the “Scenic Railway” isn’t your standard everyday train line.

The short and steep line forms one of many attractions at Scenic World in Katoomba, which also includes the worlds steepest cable car. Guests can access the line for a fee, with services every 10 minutes between 9am and 5pm.

The line was originally bulit as a freight line to haul coal and oil shale from mines on the floor of the Jamieson Valley up to the escarpment above back in 1878. From 1928, the miners began supplementing their income by operating services for passengers on weekends. This service continued until the closure of the mine in 1945.

Since then the line has operated as a tourist attraction, with multiple major refurbishments of the line being conducted. The original steam winch train used for passenger services back in 1928 was named Jessie carried 12 passengers. Jessie was replaced by the Mountain Devil, a 23 passenger electric winch trains in 1935. By 1952 these trains had been replaced by newer 28 passenger trains. Newer, larger trains were again introduced in 1974 and 1994. Most recently all the tracks and the rolling stock were replaced in early 2013. This saw the number of carriages increased to four, carrying 84 passengers.

The railway in operation today

The line is what is known as an Incline Cable Railway, which means that the trains on the line are hauled by a cable. The line has an incline of 52° or 122% on its steepest section, which is the steepest incline on any railway in the world. In the 310 metres the line travels, it loses 205 metres in elevation whilst travelling at 4m/s.

Featured Bus Route – October 2018

The featured bus route this month is Route 357 operated by State Transit. It operates between Bondi Junction and Mascot Station via Randwick, Kingsford and Eastlakes.

The 357 in service in 2011 at Sydenham Station, operating a short running to Mascot. Photo Credit – Norbert Genci (Bus Interchange )

The 357 has had an interesting history stretching back many decades and route numbers. Initially the corridor between Bondi Junction and Sydenham via Kingsford was serviced by route 358, with evidence of service from around March 1947. The service was later renumbered 367 and extended to operate between Bellevue Hill and Sydenham from July 1952. At unknown dates between 1962 and 1982 the service was truncated back to Bondi Junction, later at an unknown date between 1982 and 1997 the service was renumbered route 357.

The designation 357 had previously been used for a number of services including a Bondi Junction to Pagewood service in the 1940s and 50s and later local feeder services in Kingsgrove and Maroubra.

At least since the advent of Better Buses East in 2002, many of Route 357 services operated as short runnings between Bondi Junction and Eastlakes only, with service through to Sydenham limited to weekday peak hours. Up until April 2009, the service operated via Meeks street and Botany Street through Kingsford. With the abolition of route 359, it was rerouted to run via Avoca Street and Rainbow Street.  On 20 October 2013, the route once again had a change in route number, merging with route 418 to become a Bondi Junction to Burwood service via Sydenham under the route 418 designation. From March 2017 as part of the Light rail works, the 418 stopped serving Randwick Junction, instead operating through the back streets of Randwick.

Due to the privatisation of bus routes in the Inner West Region 6 area, many cross regional routes such as the 418 were cut in half. The 357 designation was returned for the Eastern half of the 418 between Bondi Junction and Mascot Station from 30th September 2018, with the 418 operating between Kingsford and Burwood.