NSW, Talks begin on rail extension
#1

LOUISE EDDY




A meeting will be held early this year to discuss a proposal that would involve the State and Federal governments working together to extend electrification of the rail line beyond Lithgow to Bathurst.
Bathurst Mayor Warren Stocks, Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin and Member for Macquarie Bob Debus have agreed to the new year meeting in the latest development in the campaign to extend the electric service.
However, Mr Martin said if the electric rail is to be extended to Bathurst the push must be based on getting freight off the road.
“On passenger figures to date it is not justified, but if it is a good system people will use it,” he said.
Mr Martin said considering the rail line was built in the 1870s, it would need a lot of upgrading.
“If we are talking about an efficient, fast transport system then we will need to look at the line,” Mr Martin said.
In the meantime Mr Martin said he will continue to push the idea of a daily return service.
Cr Stocks said extending the electric rail service from Sydney to Bathurst would open up the region to the metropolitan area, delivering huge economic benefits, including tourism opportunities.
He added that it would reduce heavy freight on the road and lead to a boom in the region.
The move also has the support of long-time rail campaigner Beryl Turnbull of the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA).
She has been campaigning for an improved rail service for the past 14 years.
Cr Stocks said the meeting with Mr Martin had been very positive.
“We will be working collectively to drive the issue forward,” he said.
“I wanted to sound Gerard out.
“He was very supportive of the concept but a lot of groundwork needs to be done.
“We need to establish a level of support from both tiers of government,” Cr Stocks said.
He said from a safety point of view, it is important to get trucks off the road.
“It's difficult to put a price on safety,” he said.
Just how electric rail would have an advantage in increasing freight over the existing diesel traction has not yet been outlined.
The electrification of the line over the Blue Mountains was completed in the late 1950s and at present the infrastructure ends just west of Bowenfels station.
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#2
Strange how the wheel goes full circle.....

I can remember years ago when they were using the 86 class electrics on the coal traffic out of Lithgow. They were taken out of service for "economic reasons" as it was supposedly cheaper to haul with diesel traction.

The 86 class were a good loco and at the time no one could understand their withdrawal from service. Their demise marked the beginning of the end for Lithgow Locomotive Depot.
#3
I really can't see any benefit in extending the electrification to Bathurst. There would certainly be a market for passenger usuage, but with the alignment, there would be very little passenger movements at intermediate locations.
#4
I don't see the need for electrifying purely for a passenger service, nor do I see how electric hauled freights will return, but at least this would be better than the sometimes proposed de-electrification beyond Mount Victoria.
#5
  I have so much confidence in this actually happening that I will give up Tanduay should a V set ever roll into Bathurst.  Have they started the Malabar line yet?

Brad
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#6
(07-Jan-2008, 05:29 PM)Timmaaayyyyyyy link Wrote:I really can't see any benefit in extending the electrification to Bathurst. There would certainly be a market for passenger usuage, but with the alignment, there would be very little passenger movements at intermediate locations.

I have to go with you general.  If this proposal is not on a *totaly* *new* *alignment* than this proposal/talk to use the words of Mark Newton is a "Load of hot cock" Also on a another note it amazes me is that how much print is given to various discussion about VFT's etc in Railway Digest when IMHO they would be better off giving printing space to discuss/ advocate rebuilding the East coast main line to US west coast standards. After all this is what the players in the industry would want as it would in the longer term reduce costs and make rail more competitive. I would be interested on hearing an insiders view on this or is it a case that I should go back on the medication again. lol
Oh What a Gasser! Rex Mossop.
#7
My 10 cents worth.

I utterly fail to see the point of extending electrification to Bathurst.  I'm actually amazed its even still open as far as Lithgow.

The only way to make electrification out that way viable would be to convert to 25KV AC, pull a Riccardo and build a base tunnel plus new alignment west of Lithgow.  Then you could have nice 200km/h+ intercity trains to Orange.

Obviously that would cost $billions and won't happen any time soon.  As for extending the 1500V DC to Bathurst and running a few V sets a day - don't be ridiculous.

The only interurban electrification extensions worth doing in NSW are  Kiama to Bomaderry (then across the river to a new station in Nowra), and possibly to Picton and Maitland if you can get around the ARTC issues.
Rail should be the backbone of our transport system. That fact that it is not is an indictment of the systematic failure of transport planning and policy in this country.
#8
Says Big Don ;-) lol
Oh What a Gasser! Rex Mossop.


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