Guest Questions – April 2017

Here at TFNSW blog we love receiving your questions and where possible, we squeeze an answer into one of our regular posts for you. But sometimes those questions, whilst relevant don’t fit into any of the regular posts scaffolds or you may have to wait ages to see a response. So we here at TFNSWBlog have decided to answer the questions we received throughout the month of April. We are hoping that provided we recive more questions, that this will become a regular feature on the last Saturday of the Month.

What are the proposed changes to the bus network between Coogee and the CBD once the light rail starts operation? Will we lose our direct service to Central? – CONCERNED 374 PASSENGERS

The changes to the bus network once the light rail opens are yet to be determined. TFNSW claims a proposed network will be announced sometime in 2018. About 2 years ago a draft of a potential network was leaked and that would suggest that the 374 would be rerouted to Edgecliff and as such you would unfortunately lose your direct bus to Central, but at this time we cannot say for certain if this is actually the case. 

What will happen to the rest of QANTASs A380 flights given they are pulling them from both the routes the fly out of Melbourne and replacing them with 787s? – ANONYMOUS 

This is not enteirly true, whilst they are pulling the a380 from QF9-10 MEL-DXB-LHR, they are not pulling it from QF93/94 MEL-LAX. In the case of the flights on the MEL-LAX route, it is QF95/96 that is getting the 787s. This service is currently operated by 747s and the aircraft used to fly this route are expected to be the next to leave the QANTAS fleet and be retired. 

In regards to what will happen to the other a380 flights, there are likely to be some changes due to the way QANTAS current schedules the a380s. The a380s currently run SYD-DXB-LHR-DXB-MEL and MEL-DXB-LHR-DXB-SYD. This will obviously be changed with the removal of the MEL-DXB-LHR segment of the schedule. This will could possibly see the retiming of QF1/2 between SYD-DXB-LHR to ensure maxiumum utislasation of the planes and also potentially the retiming of other  a380 flights. 

In addition, QANTAS has announced that there I’ll be a more regular return to the a380 on QF127/128 between SYD-HKG. The a380 currently serves this route 3 times a week in January and February but they are hinting at more regular flights throught the year. On top of this, there is also the suggestion that there may even be a380s bound for QF5/6 between SYD-SIN and QF29/30 between MEL-HKG.

Regarding the George St light rail, when will it and its various sections be completed, and how exactly will it affect traffic? – USER4206972042

The expected completion date for all works is April 2018, this includes George St. There is however the possibility that it may be later due to the unexpected finding of unideified utilities under parts of George St.

The main impact on traffic will be the complete pedestrianisation between Bathurst Street at Town Hall and Hunter Street at Wynyard, a 1 kilometre section of George Street. For the rest of George St, a single traffic lane will be maintained in each direction on the outsode of the light rail tracks. All cross traffic will be maintained along the entirety of George St.

Ferry Friday 4

This week on ferry Friday we will be talking about the new ferries currently being delivered to Sydney Ferries. The ferries were first annouced as part of Sydney’s Ferry Future in 2013.

These ferries will be built by an Australian Shipbuilder, Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd, who were chosen after an international tender process.

The first ferry, named Catherine Hamlin entered service in January 2017, with the remained of the ferries to be rolled out ove rthe rest of the year. 

These are the first new ferries since the SuperCats, deliver in 2000 for the Sydney Olympics. The current average fleet age is 25 years and these new ferries will help to reduce that. In addition, new RiverCats are believed to be in the works.


Pictured: Catherine Hamlin in testing in December 2016 at Circular Quay

Train Talk Tuesday 3

This week we will be talking about the draft timetables obtained by the ABC for the Sydney Trains network from 2018 onwards.

It must be mentioned that these are drafts created in 2014 that the ABC has been fighting in court to obtain and they are obviously out of date and has most likely been discredited by TFNSW. The ABC is still in cour trying to get newer versions of the timetable released.

These potential changes could seee services to many stations cut whilst some other areas would see a boost in services.

On of the main changes that has been talked about is the changes to the T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line services that have to change due to the closure of the ECRL for conversion to metro. 

Once the ECRL closes, accorindg to these plans, there will be an increase of services on the T1 Northern Line from 10 trains per hour to 12 trains per hour and later 15 trains pe hour once the NWRL opens. This would provide a much needed boost to services in the growing region it services. This however appears to be at the expense of the T1 North Shore Line which may see a temporary decrease in services from 20 to 18 per hour. In addition it appears that the T1 western line would be truncated at St Mary’s with half of all Penrith starters cut short. The other half will become part of the Blue Mountains Line, starting at Emu Plains in the short run, before later moving to Penrith, there will also be changes to stopping patterns of all trains, reducing conflicting movements. This could potentially increase reliability.

Another major change pertains to the south west and the T2 South Line, T3 Bankstown Line and the T5 Cumberland Line. As percently proposed, the draft timetables see all T2 South Line and T5 Cumberland Line services travel to Leppington instead of Campbelltown. However these draft proposals also suggest that half of the current Liverpool starters on the T3 Bankstown line will also travel to Leppington and that the T5 Cumberland Line would be truncated at Parramatta instaed of travelling to Schofields. This would be a significant downgrade for the line.

In addition, the draft proposes that the T2 Inner West line continues beyond it’s current Homebush terminus to Parramatta. This would likely cause the already crowded line to become even more crowded and could cause passenger displacement at inner city stations such as Newtown.

Overall, these draft timetables appear to be just that, drafts. They seem very unlikely to be implemented and rightfully so as they contain significant service cuts and increases to travel times for many commuters.


Pictured: The proposed network and frequencies for 2018 and 2019.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 3

This weeks route of the week is Route L90 from Wynyard to Palm Beach via Mosman, Brookvale, Mona Vale and Avalon.

The L90 is the longest route in the Sydney Buses network at 42 kilometres long. It service takes anywhere between 80 and 100 minutes to operate according to the timetable, occasionally taking longer due to traffic conditions.

The L90 originated in the 1940s as route 150, and from 1953 onwards route 190. In the early 1990s, a majority of 190 services were renumbered as L90, to designate that it was a limited stops service.

The route is often used by commuters travelling to work on weekdays from the upper Northern Beaches. On weekends, it is popular with people planning to visit locations such as Avalon and Palm Beach. The route is also popular for the sceneray that can be seen from the bus.

The L90 is usually operated exclusively by buses with articulated Custom Coaches CB60 EvoII Bodywork and Volvo B12B chassis. These buses are based at Brookvale and Mova Vale Depots.

Pictured: A CB60EvoII Bodied Volvo B12B operating a L90 to Palm Becah at Wynyard.

Ferry Friday 3

Today we will be looking at the upcoming wharf closures in the Sydney Ferries Network.

There are three upcoming wharf closures that will start in the next few weeks

  • Birchgrove Wharf, closing on Monday 24 April 
  • Milsons Point Wharf, closing on Thursday 27 April
  • Cockatoo Island Wharf, closing on Wednesday 10 May

Birchgrove wharf will be closed due to emergency maintenance work that needs to be completed, these works are unspecified. Services will instead depart from Balmain East Wharf, a 10 minute drive or 45 minute walk. Services will resume on Saturday 6 May

Milsons Point wharf will be closed due to an upgrade to the wharf and its facilities as part of the governments Wharf upgrade program. For approximately 6 months services will instead depart from Jeffery Street Wharf, a 5 minute walk away. 

Cockatoo Island Wharf will be closed due to an upgrade to the wharf and its facilities as part of the governments Wharf upgrade program. For approximately 5 months services will instead stop at Camber Wharf, on the opposite side of the Island a 10 minute walk away. 

Central Coach Stop Changes

There will be changes to the locations that coaches stop at Central Station, starting from Saturday 22 April.

All coaches that currently stop on Eddy Avenue will move their stop to the western forecourt next to the grand concourse.

This is due to works associated with the CBD and South East Light Rail Project

Train Talk Tuesday 2

Today we will we looking at the two Sydney Airport Stations located on Sydney Trains T2 Airport Line.

The two stations are located under the T1 international terminal and under the car park between the T2 Domestic and T3 Qantas Domestic terminal. 

The two stations and the line they are located on opened on 21 May 2000, shortly before the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The stations are operated by the Airport Link Company. These are the only two stations that are privately owned and have access fees.

Trains run every 5-10 minutes daily and travel to Town Hall and Circular Quay via Central in the Citybound direction and to Macarthur via Wolli Creek and Revesby


Pictured: A Waratah (A set) train arriving at the Domestic Station.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 2

This week’s ‘Sydney Buses Route of the Week’ is Route 400 from Bondi Junction to Burwood via Eastgardens, Sydney Airport and Rockdale. The 400 is a very long route and popular route, it carries on average 16 000 passengers a day and over 4.5 million passengers a year, the busiest in the Sydney Buses network.

The 400 was introduced on 17 July 1989 and was branded as the Metroline400. It ran every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday. Sunday services were intoduced in 1991. It was initally operated by a fleet of buses with Pressed Metal Corporation bodywork and a Mercedes Benz Chassis out of Randwick and Kingsgrove depot.

Pictured: Original 400 Timetable Cover

From 1993, Route 400 was operated by a fleet of Scania L113TRB 14.5m long buses with Ansair Orana bodywork. These buses were based out of Kingsgrove and Waverley depot. From 2007, Waverley started providing wheelchair accessible buses instead of the 14.5s.

Today the 400 is served by Kingsgrove, Port Botany, Randwick and Waverley depots. It is operated by a mix of 14.5m buses with Ansair bodywork and Scania Chassis and 12.5m buses with Custom Coaches bodywork and Mercedes Benz or Volvo Chassis or Bustech Bodywork and Scania Chassis

The 400 runs the full length of its route very 20 minutes between 5am and 11pm daily and has short running between Bondi Junction and Eastgardens every 5-8 minutes on Weekdays and 10 minutes on weekends.

The 400 is the only Sydney Buses route to serve Sydney Airport. It makes stops at the T1 International Terminal and the T3 Qantas Terminal both on the arrivals level

 

Pictured: A route 400 service operated by a bus with Bustech Bodywork and Scania Chassis

Post Updated 4 December 2019 to update information 
From 30 September 2018, Route 400 was truncated to operate between Bondi Junction and Sydney Airport only due to the sale of Kingsgrove depot and State Transit’s Inner West operations to Transit Systems. From this date a new Route 420 took over route 400 services between Eastgardens and Burwood. At this time, Port Botany 14.5s replaced Kingsgrove 14.5s in providing high capacity buses on the route.

 

Private Buses Route of the Month 1

April’s Private Route of the Month takes us to the Hills District and CDC HillsBus Route M61.

The M61 operates between Castle Hill to Queen Victoria Building via Baulkham Hills and the M2 Motorway.  M61 commenced on 20 December 2010 replacing many 610X services that duplicate its route. It initally operated to Railway Square but was curtailed to the QVB on 4 October 2015

The service runs from 6am-Midnight Sunday through Thursday and 24 Hours on Friday and Saturday. It runs every 10 minutes during peak hours, every 15 minutes off peak and every 20 minutes on weekends and at night.

The route is operated by HillsBus depots in Dural, Northmead and Seven Hills. They are operated by a mix of standard 12.5m and 14.5m buses with Volgren Bodywork and Scania Chassis and 12.5m buses with a Double Decker Bustech Bodywork.


Pictured: A HillsBus 14.5m bus with Volgren bodywork and Scalia chassis operating a M61 towards Castle Hill.

 Ferry Friday 2

Welcome to Friday. Today we will be looking at Circular Quay Ferry Terminus.

Circular Quay is Sydney’s largest ferry wharf with 5 wharfs and 10 berths numbered east to west 2a-6b. Wharves 2-5 are used exclusively by Sydney Ferries whilst Wharf 6 is used by private operators including Manly Fast Ferries and Captain Cook Cruises. 

Wharf 2 is used exclusively by F2 Taronga Zoo services, Wharf 3 is used exclusively for F1 Manly services and Wharves 4-6 are used for a variety of routes in the harbour and up the Parramatta River.

Pictured: Circular Quay Ferry Wharf from Above