TABLE TALK

AUSTRALASIAN TIMETABLE NEWS

No. 287, July 2016 ISSN 1038-3697, RRP $4.95

Published by the Australian Timetable Association

www.austta.org.au

RAIL AND TRAM NEWS

Promises, promises: Federal election

Labor (also see pages 3-4 of June Table Talk for Perth, Adelaide and other freight):

  • $380 million for the Melbourne Metro railway;
  • $400 million for a railway to Badgerys Creek airport;
  • $800 million for Brisbane cross-river rail tunnel;
  • $50 million to complete the Maldon-Dombarton railway, NSW.

Coalition: (also see page 3 of June Table Talk): $12 million for wi-fi blackspots on NSW Central Coast line.

Greens: A dedicated $10 billion funding allocation over four years, to prioritise public transport projects such as $1bn for Sydney light rail connections, $1bn for Airport Rail in Melbourne, $500m for MAX Light Rail in Perth, $500m for the AdeLINK tram network, $82m for Hobart Light Rail, $2bn for Brisbane Cross River Rail and $400m for Canberra Light Rail stage 2. Also:

  • Establish an annual $250 million Active Transport Fund for cycling and walking infrastructure
  • Fast track high speed rail
  • Commit an additional $500 million to shift freight onto rail through new rail freight lines
  • Invest an additional $250 million in arterial road works to maximise efficient traffic flow and enable better bus services to suburban and outer-urban communities
  • Commit to $300 million in additional funding for the Black Spot road safety program
  • Accelerate the electric vehicle revolution through $201 million in infrastructure and fleet grants, and five years worth of free registration for new fully electric vehicles.

Queensland Rail CityTrain: Kippa Ring line delayed

Opening of the Petrie-Kippa Ring line has been delayed due to signalling faults. Opening had been expected on 11 July. The Queensland Minister for Transport, Stirling Hinchcliffe, says that advice from QR was that the signalling system was not safe. Three trains could not pass through Petrie station without the system crashing. The system should be able to handle 26 signalling changes at once when trains pass through Petrie but was failing after 15. The Minister blames spending cuts that the former government made to the project. It is believed that there are a number of problems with signalling, track irregularities, power supply capacity and many faults in the trains. QR will determine when the link will now open.

An independent audit of the handling of the Moreton Bay Rail Link’s signalling system will report to Mr Hinchcliffe by the end of July. The review will consider governance and contractual processes relating to the signalling system and the performance and integration of the systems during design and construction. This review will run separately to the work being undertaken by QR into the requirements of the signalling systems in order for Moreton Bay Rail Link to open. The audit will look at:

  • Any signalling system related issues, risks and/or opportunities arising from the decision in 2012 to bring the project under the auspices of the Department of Transport and Main Roads;
  • A review of the signalling system elements of the tendering and contract process;
  • Whether the role assigned to QR through contractual and/or governance documents and processes provided for appropriate involvement of the rail operator in the assurance processes relating to signalling;
  • Contract milestone payments relating to signalling, and gainshare payments, and the grounds upon which any payments have been made;
  • Performance and integration of signalling systems during design and construction, including:

    • The nature of assurance activities by the project team, QR, or other parties to monitor, test, and review signalling systems and signalling system interface/integration
    • The nature of interface/integration issues experienced between multiple signalling systems on the one network;
    • The adequacy of assurance activities, and lessons for future rail contract selection and oversight;
    • The processes by which concerns raised by QR or other parties regarding the signalling systems or signalling system integration were managed; and
    • The assurance program being implemented by QR in order to have the project commissioned.

Queensland Budget

The Queensland Budget, presented on 14 June, included the following new public transport funding:

  • $634 million over the next eight years to fund European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this would lay the foundation for the delivery of cross-river rail and would improve rail capacity and safety on the inner city rail network. It will be installed between Milton and Northgate. It will boost inner-city rail capacity by 20% and allow an extra eight trains an hour with 12,000 people through the CBD each peak period.
  • $50 million to establish a Cross River Rail Delivery Authority to oversee the final planning and delivery of this project. It will commence early works on the project, including gaining environmental impact approvals, scoping of value share opportunities and commencing appropriate procurement activities; and
  • $95 million for North Coast Line capacity improvement.

Queensland rail freight

Oakey Beef Exports in Dalby, southern Queensland, will switch its processed meat exports from road to rail.

Storms 5-6 June: NSW and Tasmania

Among the effects of the storms that lashed the east coast of Australia in early June, especially on 5-6 June, were temporary closure of Sydney Trains’ Eastern Suburbs and Cabramatta-Granville lines.

On 6 June NSW TrainLink’s 1150 up Canberra-Sydney Xplorer DMU hit a boulder near Bungendore. It was terminated at Tarago and taken out of service for repair. Consequently the 0650 Canberra to Sydney and 1208 Sydney to Canberra services were replaced by buses on the weekend of 11 and 12 June.

The entire TasRail freight network was closed on 6 June as a precautionary measure. The short and relatively busy section from Railton to Devonport reopened from 1800 on 7 June for cement trains. Elsewhere, there was heavy damage. The most serious was in the Deloraine-Kimberley area on the Western Line, severing the link between the ports of Burnie and Devonport and the remainder of the network. Other lines were also impacted:

  • A section of rail bridge over the Mersey River at Kimberley partially collapsed,
  • The ballast supporting other sections of track between Deloraine and Railton was washed away,
  • There was ballast damage between Clarendon and Evandale. Thousands of tonnes of logs washed against the Emu River Bridge at Burnie, although it is unlikely the bridge suffered serious structural damage,
  • A landslip near Rosebery closed the Melba Line servicing Tasmania’s west coast,
  • Damage to the Hobart to Conara line,
  • There were washaways on the Fingal line used to freight coal from Fingal to Cement Australia at Railton. However, because the Railton plant has a stockpile of coal on site, repairs to the Fingal track were delayed to facilitate more urgent repair works,
  • There was serious flooding at TasRail’s East Tamar workshops, affecting work for a day or two.

The South Line from Brighton to Conara re-opened on the night of 13/14 June, enabling intermodal freight services to operate. This was critical for customers such as Norske Skog, Nyrstar and Toll. Container handling operations were installed at Conara, effectively enabling freight flows to be restored along the major corridor between Brighton and Burnie.

As at mid June TasRail expected that the landslip repair on the Melba line, a particularly challenging worksite due to its steepness and narrow width and the remoteness of the location, would be completed by late June. TasRail was hopeful that repairs to a number of other sites in the north would be completed within a few days, enabling the East Tamar to Western Junction and the Western Junction to Conara Lines to re-open by midnight on Sunday 19 June. The Bell Bay and Fingal Lines were operational. Repair of the Kimberley Rail Bridge were progressing with urgency. TasRail expected this would re-open by mid to late July. The task to clear the remaining debris washed up at the Emu River Rail Bridge continued. TasRail expected this to open within a few days.

Additional train capacity has been added to the Devonport to Railton cement service at the request of this major customer.

JHR NSW CRN WTT 6 August

A new John Holland Rail NSW Country Regional Network Working Timetable will be introduced on 6 August. Changes are:

Alterations
Southern Area
2122 (PNRB 900m) -MTWTFS renumbered as 2120
2120 (PNRB 900m) -MTWTF- will depart Crisps Creek 1155, arrive Tarago 1205, depart 1210, pass Springfield 1226, arrive Joppa Junction 1250 then as tabled by ARTC
1221 (PNRB 900m) ------S will run as tabled by ARTC to pass Joppa Junction 0530, pass Springfield 0546, arrive Tarago 0602, depart 0607, arrive Crisps Creek 0611 – shunt clear, forms 2122
9837 (PNRB 850m) --T-T-S is increased in length to 900mm
8938 (PNRB 850m) S--W-F- is increased in length to 900mm

Additions
Southern Area
1223 (PNRB 500m) -MTWTF- will depart Joppa Junction 1028, pass Springfield 1044, arrive Tarago 1100, wait 2120 departure, depart 1220, arrive Crisps Creek 1225 – shunt clear, forms 2120
2122 (PNRB 500m) -MTWTF- will depart Crisps Creek 1630, arrive Tarago 1640, depart 1645, pass Springfield 1701, arrive Joppa Junction 1719 then as tabled by ARTC

Western Area
9865 (QUBE 750m) S---T-- will run as tabled to pass Hermitage 0403 (next day), arrive Wallerawang 0419, depart 0420, pass Tarana 0453, Raglan 0530, Kelso 0534, arrive Bathurst 0541, depart 0556, pass Newbridge 0654, Murrobo 0715, arrive Sealink Siding 0718 – shunt clear, forms 8964
9865 (QUBE 750m) --T---- will run as tabled to pass Hermitage 0403 (next day), arrive Wallerawang 0419, depart 0420, pass Tarana 0453, Raglan 0530, Kelso 0534, arrive Bathurst 0541, depart 0632, pass Newbridge 0730, Murrobo 0751, arrive Blayney 0755 – shunt clear, forms 8964
8964 (QUBE 750m) -M-W-F- will depart Sealink Siding 1322, pass Murrobo 1327, Newbridge 1346, Bathurst 1421, Kelso 1430, Raglan 1441, Tarana 1520, Wallerawang 1558, arrive Coxs River 1601, depart 1614, Hermitage 1632 then as tabled by Sydney Trains

Parkes Area
8922 (PNRB 660m) SMTW--- will depart Parkes 0442, arrive Parkes Jct 0447 then as tabled by ARTC
8922 (PNRB 660m) ----T-- will depart Parkes 0107, arrive Parkes Jct 0112 then as tabled by ARTC
8922 (PNRB 660m) -----FS will depart Parkes 0357, arrive Parkes Jct 0402 then as tabled by ARTC
9823 (PNRB 660m) S------ as tabled by ARTC to pass Parkes Jct 0422, terminate Parkes 0427
9823 (PNRB 660m) -MT----as tabled by ARTC to pass Parkes Jct 0347, terminate Parkes 0352
9823 (PNRB 660m) ---W--- as tabled by ARTC to pass Parkes Jct 0515, terminate Parkes 0520
9823 (PNRB 660m) ----T-- as tabled by ARTC to pass Parkes Jct 0619, terminate Parkes 0624
9823 (PNRB 660m) -----FS as tabled by ARTC to pass Parkes Jct 0340, terminate Parkes 0345
8924 (PNRB 660m) S------ will depart Parkes 1542, arrive Parkes Jct 1547 then as tabled by ARTC
8924 (PNRB 660m) -M---F- will depart Parkes 1527, arrive Parkes Jct 1532 then as tabled by ART
8924 (PNRB 660m) --T---- will depart Parkes 1457, arrive Parkes Jct 1502 then as tabled by ARTC
8924 (PNRB 660m) ---W--- will depart Parkes 1437, arrive Parkes Jct 1442 then as tabled by ARTC
8924 (PNRB 660m) ----T-- will depart Parkes 1517, arrive Parkes Jct 1522 then as tabled by ARTC
8924 (PNRB 660m) ------S will depart Parkes 1557, arrive Parkes Jct 1602 then as tabled by ARTC

Deletions
Western Area
1821 (PNRB 640m) -MT-T--
8821 (PNRB 640m) -M-W-F-
8122 (PNRB 640m) -M-W-F-
9835 (PNRB 575m) SMTWTFS
8934 (PNRB 575m) SMTWTFS
1881 (FLA 740m) --T----
8182 (FLA 740m) ---W---

Parkes Area
8922 (PNRB 660m) ------S
8924 (PNRB 640m) S------
8926 (PNRB 640m) ---WT--
8928 (PNRB 660m) -M---F-
9825 (PNRB 640m) -M----S
9825 (PNRB 640m) --T----
9827 (PNRB 660m) ---WT-S

New South Welsh Budget

The NSW Budget, presented on 21 June, included the following new public transport funding:

  • $6.2 billion towards Sydney Metro City and Southwest and $5.8 billion for Sydney Metro Northwest over the next 4 years,
  • More than $1 billion for new suburban trains for Sydney's network over the next four years This is the first major purchase for Sydney Trains since the troubled Waratah project almost a decade ago. Patronage on Sydney Trains' network is growing at about 8% a year. The new suburban trains are expected to begin to arrive at the time of a major timetable change for the rail network. That will occur before the first stage of the $20 billion-plus metro rail network opens in mid-2019. However a decision on the number of trains to be purchased and when they will be delivered will depend on the outcome of a procurement process beginning this year. The new suburban trains are unlikely to be newly designed, unlike the order made several years ago for a new intercity fleet,
  • $407 million to improve rail services, including higher frequency of trains on the Western Line and the new South West Rail Link,
  • $64 million on planning and preparatory work for the Parramatta light rail project,
  • $280 million for extra car parking at train stations, improved accessibility and upgrades to ferry wharves,
  • $208 million to upgrade and maintain grain lines in country NSW,
  • $142 million towards construction of Newcastle light rail,
  • $32.5 million to continue planning major rail projects across NSW including the Sydney Metropolitan Freight Network, Main West, Main South, Lower Hunter Freight Corridor including the Newcastle Freight bypass from Fassifern to Hexham, Northern Sydney Freight Corridor and Southern Sydney Freight Line,
  • $10.5 million (part of a $15 million pilot) for Fixing Country Rail, kick starting the full $400 million program to upgrade country rail including helping to open unused rail lines,
  • $5 million to continue rolling out the Freight Noise Action Plan to reduce rail freight noise and help improve amenity for residents living near major rail corridors, and
  • $5 million to continue improving operations at Port Botany to reduce truck turn-around times and increase the number of containers on each train.

Also see the Bus News below.

NSW rural inquiry

The NSW Parliament will inquire into transport access for seniors and disadvantaged people in rural NSW. The Committee on Community Services is looking at the availability of current transport services and what initiatives are needed to improve access. The inquiry is calling for submissions by 21 July on how the Government can improve access to transport services for seniors, people with a disability, and disadvantaged people in rural areas. It will also look at current timetabling and any potential support that can be provided to assist with the costs of private transport where public transport is unavailable. This follows recent moves to decrease staffing at NSW TrainLink stations (mainly in fact not carried out), and withdrawal of lower cost accommodation on Great Southern Rail’s Indian Pacific train.

Victoria: Regional Network Development Plan

The Victorian Government launched a Regional Network Development Plan on 30 May - the first-ever long term plan to improve public transport in regional Victoria. It will guide short, medium and long term priorities to modernise the network with more track, more train, better facilities and more services. It sets out a medium to long term plan to deliver a modern commuter-style service for the growth areas of Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Seymour and Traralgon, and service improvements to outer regional areas. It outlines a pathway to deliver:

  • a commuter-style service with a minimum 20 minute train frequency in the peak,
  • a 40 minute off-peak frequency of services to Melbourne,
  • five services, five days a week to the outer regional train lines of Warrnambool, Bairnsdale, Albury-Wodonga, Echuca, Swan Hill and Shepparton.

The Victorian government has invested $1.3 billion in the 2016/17 state budget to start many projects in the plan including:

  • More than 170 extra off-peak services, building on the 342 services added in 2015,
  • Purchase of an additional 27 VLocity carriages and stabling infrastructure,
  • Critical major maintenance to guard against deterioration of the network and improve train reliability,
  • Funding to rebuild V/Line capacity and deliver the services passengers expect and deserve,
  • Car parking, passenger facilities and customer information upgrades at over 30 regional stations/coach interchanges,
  • Development funding for the next phase of works in the Plan.

Several initiatives proposed by regional Victorians will be trialled, including running coach services directly to outer Melbourne, allowing bikes on buses in tourist areas, and introducing services to cater for seasonal travel demand in places like the Bellarine Peninsula.

V/Line: Ballarat line woes

Due to a “severe speed restriction” at Melton Weir bridge, a number of cutbacks were made to Ballarat line services from Wednesday 1 June:

  • 0518 Melbourne Southern Cross-Bacchus Marsh empty cars terminates at Melton
  • 0613 SX-Ballarat is cancelled and replaced by a bus
  • 0726 SX-Ballarat is cancelled and replaced by a bus
  • 0817 SX-Ararat terminates at Wendouree with replacement bus Ballarat-Ararat
  • 1237 SX-Bacchus Marsh terminates at Melton with replacement bus Melton-Bacchus Marsh
  • 1337 SX-Bacchus Marsh terminates at Melton with replacement bus Melton-Bacchus Marsh
  • 1437 SX-Bacchus Marsh is cancelled and replaced by a bus
  • 0709 Bacchus Marsh-Melton empty cars is cancelled
  • 1330 Bacchus Marsh-SX originates at Melton with replacement bus Bacchus Marsh-SX
  • 1228 Ararat-SX originates at Wendouree with replacement bus Ararat-SX
  • 1430 Bacchus Marsh-SX originates at Melton with replacement bus Bacchus Marsh-SX
  • 1530 Bacchus Marsh-SX is cancelled and replaced by a bus
  • 1605 Bacchus Marsh-SX empty cars is cancelled
  • 1552 Ballarat-SX is cancelled and replaced by a bus.

There are a few consequential adjustments to some train compositions.

The Rowsley crossing loop, on the down side of Bacchus Marsh, was commissioned in early June. However there are currently no crosses scheduled there. It is expected to come into regular use with an upgraded timetable from next year.

V/Line: Albury line slowdown

Commencing 26 June all V/Line trains on the Albury have been slowed down by five minutes by the insertion of recovery time at the last stage of their journeys. For down trains, there is an additional five minutes between Wodonga and Albury, now arriving Albury at 1100, 1555 and 2205. For up trains, the additional five minutes is between Franklin St and Southern Cross, arriving SX at 1035, 1640 and 2145.

V/Line: Echuca line bustitution 18-20 June

Most closedowns of lines for engineering works are programmed for weekends because that is when there are fewer trains and fewer passengers. A recent V/Line closedown had the opposite effect. A closure from North Bendigo Junction to Echuca was from Saturday 18 to Monday 20 June. However, on the Echuca line there is only one train on weekdays, but on weekends there are two each way, mainly because of tourist traffic.

Qube & V/Line: Altered freight trains

From 4 July Qube’s container trains:

  • 0505 Tues, Thurs and 0520 Sats Westgate Port Siding (Melbourne)-Tocumwal are cancelled and replaced by
  • 0001 Tues, Thurs, Sats Westgate Port Siding-Tocumwal arriving 0540
  • 1505 Tues, Thurs Tocumwal-Westgate Port Siding is cancelled and replaced by
  • 1545 Tues, Thurs Tocumwal-Westgate Port Siding arriving 2140
  • 2200 Sats Tocumwal-Westgate Port Siding is cancelled and replaced by
  • 1610 Sats Tocumwal-Westgate Port Siding arriving 2120
  • 0505 Mons, Weds, Fris Westgate Port Siding-Deniliquin via Toolamba is cancelled and replaced by
  • 0120 Mons, Weds, Fris Westgate Port Siding via Bendigo 0400-0405 arriving Deniliquin 0740
  • 1700 Mons, Weds, Fris Deniliquin-Westgate Port Siding via Bendigo is cancelled and replaced by
  • 1255 Mons, Weds, Fris Deniliquin-Westgate Port Siding via Toolamba 1645-1655 arriving 2010.

Metro Trains: Southern Cross chaos

An incident closed portion of Southern Cross station on Friday afternoon, 24 June, causing problems for Metro Trains Melbourne and, of course, travellers. Police were called to the station about 1430 after a trespasser positioned himself on a metal platform attached to a bridge. They successfully coaxed him down just before 1630. Some Metro Trains ran direct to Flinders St. Minor delays persisted into the afternoon peak. V/Line was apparently unaffected.

Melbourne: Late night boozers like public transport

Late-night travellers are increasingly using public transport to get home rather than catching taxis or walking. Patronage on the Night Network has been steadily growing since a trial started in January and trains have now overtaken walking as the most common method of getting home late at night, with cabs and driving also waning. Patronage has grown enough to justify continuing the policy, which involves an extra 300 train services, 250 tram services and 485 bus services each weekend. Train use jumped 11% soon after the system was launched, with tram use up by 9%. Taxi use dropped 8% and walking dropped 7%.

TransWA: Prospector

From 13 June 2016 the Prospector (Perth-Kalgoorlie and v.v.) picks up and sets down passengers at Toodyay.

Perth: Long wait for a tram

Plans to build the MAX light rail line to Perth's northern suburbs have been abandoned, Dean Nalder, the WA Transport Minister, confirmed on 21 June. He blamed lack of federal funding. The plan was a central element of the Government’s 2013 election promises.

Auckland developments

On 2 June ceremonial first work took place for the Auckland City Rail Link, the $NZ 2.5bn project to construct 3.4km of twin-bore tunnels up to 42m beneath the city from the current terminus at Britomart to Mount Eden. It is estimated that the Link will double peak-time usage on Auckland's rail network to 30,000 passengers. It is expected to take 5.5 years to build and will involve tunnel boring and cut-and-cover construction, two new stations at Aotea and Karangahape Road and the redevelopment of Mount Eden station. Auckland is expected to grow by up to 700,000 people in the next 30 years.

In April patronage on both the rail network and the North Shore busway increased 30% compared to a year earlier. The network now has over 20 million trips annually or just under 25% of all public transport trips, an increase of five million trips in 18 months. A decade ago it was fewer than 5 million trips and accounted for less than 10% of all trips.

Amtrak: Goodbye system timetable

Amtrak, the US long-distance passenger train operator, no longer prints its hard copy system-wide timetable book. The last one was dated 11 January 2016. Downloadable versions will still be available. Printed route-specific timetables will still be available. See https://www.amtrak.com/train-schedules-timetables

Thanks

to Tony Bailey, Scott Ferris, Victor Isaacs, Geoff Lambert, Dennis McLean, Samuel Rachdi, Len Regan, Michael Vale, www.railexpress.com.au, www.railpage.com.au, Age, Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, and Sydney Morning Herald for Rail news.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Jim Wells writes: The latest TT is just fantastic – thank you for all the work you must put into it. I know there are others involved – our gratitude needs to extend to them as well.

The Editor comments: I heartily endorse the thanks to all contributors!

RECOMMENDED READING

Recent publications by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (see www.bitre.gov.au):

Why short-haul intermodal rail services succeed (Research Report 139)

The shipping container has revolutionised freight transport over the last half-century but its success is bringing challenges, not least in landside container movements. Port-induced road traffic congestion impacts on port arteries and communities, and undermines port efficiency. Policymakers and planners seek to shift activities from roads to rail. This is a challenge, however, because most of the containers move over short distances, where trains are relatively uncompetitive. Despite that, there are instances where port–hinterland rail services exist. This report analyses the underlying necessary conditions that need to prevail for those rail services to be sustainable.

Lengthy commutes in Australia (Research report 144)

The research provides a solid evidence-base to understand who is undertaking lengthy commutes (those longer than 45 minutes one way), their prevalence and trends. It also explores whether some individuals undertake lengthy commutes for long periods or whether it tends to be temporary.

BUS NEWS

Australian Capital Territory

Without any publicity, a new edition of ACTION’s Weekday Bus book is available. It bears a front cover date which is merely “2016”. It appears to be merely a reprint of the preceding edition dated 18 May 2015, with a few minor fiddles included. Copies are available from the Australian Timetable Association’s July Distribution List.

The ACT Budget presented on 7 June included funding of:

  • A new, free Canberra City Loop bus from 4 July;
  • $10 million over two years for 20 new buses as part of the ongoing fleet replacement program;
  • $3.5 million over four years for improvements to public transport services in Weston Creek and the Molonglo region. This includes a new all-day direct service called the Weston Line providing improved connectivity between Woden, Cooleman Court in Weston and the City. To meet increasing demand, Wright will receive increased coverage and frequency and the Route 83 and Xpresso 783 services will be extended to include Coombs;
  • $1.5 million for the design and construction of a new Park and Ride facility in Wanniassa;
  • $300,000 for improvements to the Woden bus interchange;
  • $900,000 for a 12-month trial of up to three electric buses on regular on- and off-peak route services;
  • $775,000 for the design of a new bus depot in Woden to cater for growth in the bus fleet and meet the future needs of bus transport in the ACT. An amount has been provisioned for the construction component; and
  • $3 million for an integrated ticketing system for buses and light rail.

New South Wales

Sydney Buses A new fleet of double-decker buses and new public transport routes was announced by the NSW Government on 14 June ahead of the state budget. About 3800 extra weekly services will be added, as part of a $108 million investment in new buses, including 12 new or extended routes throughout Sydney. Up to 12 double-decker buses will carry passengers on key corridors, including the Rouse Hill-City service, between Blacktown and Macquarie Park and on the Liverpool-Parramatta transit, the state government announced on Tuesday. Other improvements include 12 new or extended routes such as a new cross-suburban link between the inner west and lower North Shore, all night services seven days a week for Green Square and Zetland as well as Abbotsford, Five Dock and Rouse Hill on weekends.

Western Sydney (including Hills District and South West) - more than 1350 new weekly trips, including five new or extended routes:

  • New route 605 (North Kellyville to Rouse Hill Town Centre)
  • Extended route 751 (Marsden Park to Blacktown via Colebee)
  • Extended route T72 (Blacktown to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Alex Avenue)
  • Extended route T74 (Blacktown to Riverstone via Hambledon Road)
  • Extended route 783 (Penrith to Jordan Springs).

Enhanced services on the following routes:

  • 607X (Rouse Hill to City via M2)
  • 610X/M61 (Rouse Hill and Castle Hill to City M2)
  • 611 (Blacktown to Macquarie Park via M2)
  • 615X (North Kellyville to City via M2)
  • 619 (Rouse Hill to Macquarie Park via Kellyville and M2)
  • 620X-621 (Castle Hill and Cherrybrook to Macquarie Park and City via M2)
  • 700 (Blacktown to Parramatta via Prospect)
  • 740 (Plumpton to Macquarie Park via M2)
  • 841 (Narellan to Leppington)
  • T65 (Rouse Hill to Parramatta via Westmead)
  • T80 (Liverpool to Parramatta via Bonnyrigg).

Sydney Metropolitan - more than 1950 new weekly trips, including two new routes:

  • New route 530 (Burwood to Chatswood via Five Dock, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove)
  • New route 985 (Miranda to Cronulla via Woolooware Shores).

Enhanced services on the following routes:

  • Various Northern Beaches routes between Mona Vale and the City
  • 197 (Mona Vale to Macquarie Park via Terrey Hills)
  • 270-274 (Frenchs Forest District to City)
  • 343 (Kingsford to City)
  • 370 (Leichhardt to Coogee)
  • 433 (Balmain to Railway Square via Harold Park)
  • 477 (Miranda to Rockdale via Sans Souci)
  • 506 (Macquarie University and East Ryde to City via Hunters Hill)
  • 518 (Macquarie University to City via Ryde)
  • M20 (Zetland to Wynyard via Central Station)
  • M41 (Burwood to Macquarie Park via Ryde).

New all-night services on the following routes:

  • 301 (Zetland to City via Surry Hills) – seven days
  • 438 (Abbotsford to City via Five Dock and Leichhardt) – Friday and Saturday only
  • 607X (Rouse Hill to City via M2) – Friday and Saturday only.

Lower Hunter - more than 170 new weekly trips, including two new or extended routes:

  • New route 178 (Anambah to Rutherford)
  • Extended routes 260 and 261 (Minmi and Fletcher to Jesmond and University).

Central Coast - 45 new weekly trips, including one extended route:

  • Extended route 40 (Gosford – Wyoming)
  • Enhanced services on routes 67 and 68 between Terrigal and Gosford
  • Enhanced services on route 33 between Gosford and Mangrove Mountain.

Blue Mountains - more than 30 new weekly trips on route 686 between Katoomba, Echo Point and Scenic World.

Illawarra - more than 240 new weekly trips, including two new or extended routes:

  • New route 75 (Tullimbar to Stockland Shellharbour)
  • Extended route 32 (Dapto to Brooks Reach)
  • Enhanced services on route 1 between Austinmer and Wollongong
  • Enhanced services on routes 31-33 between Wollongong and Dapto District
  • Enhanced services on route 34 between Warrawong and Wollongong.

Victoria

Melbourne: From Sunday 5 June, new timetables were introduced to improve service reliability and provide better connections to train services. Timetable changes will include minor changes to arrival and departure times by up to five minutes on weekdays and seven minutes on weekends. Affected routes are:

  • Route 200 City (Queen St) – Bulleen
  • Route 207 City - Doncaster Shopping centre via Kew Junction
  • Route 215 Caroline Springs - Highpoint SC
  • Route 216 Caroline Springs - Brighton Beach
  • Route 219 South Sunshine - Gardenvale
  • Route 220 Sunshine - Gardenvale
  • Route 223 Yarraville - Highpoint SC
  • Route 232 Altona - City (Queen Victoria Market)
  • Route 234 Garden City – City
  • Route 235 City to Fishermans Bend via Williamstown Road
  • Route 236 Garden City to Queen Victoria Market
  • Route 237 City - Fishermans Bend via Lorimer St
  • Route 246 Elsternwick – Clifton Hill
  • Route 250 La Trobe University – City (Queen St)
  • Route 251 Northland SC – City (Queen St)
  • Route 270 Box Hill – Mitcham via Blackburn North
  • Route 271 Box Hill - Ringwood via Park Orchards
  • Route 273 The Pines - Nunawading
  • Route 279 Box Hill - Doncaster SC via Middleborough Road
  • Route 280 Manningham Mover via Tunstall Square
  • Route 281 Templestowe to Deakin University via Box Hill
  • Route 282 Manningham Loop via Templestowe Village SC, Doncaster SC
  • Route 284 Doncaster Park and Ride - Box Hill via Union Road
  • Route 285 Doncaster Park and Ride – Camberwell via North Balwyn
  • Route 293 Box Hill - Greensborough via Doncaster Shopping Centre
  • Route 295 Doncaster SC - The Pines SC via Templestowe
  • Route 302 Box Hill-City via Belmore Road
  • Route 303 City-Ringwood North via Park Road
  • Route 304 City - Doncaster SC via Belmore Road and Eastern Freeway
  • Route 305 City - The Pines Shopping Centre via Eastern Freeway
  • Route 309 City - Donvale via Reynold Road (Freeway Express)
  • Route 318 City - Deep Creek
  • Route 350 City (Queen St) – La Trobe University via Eastern Freeway
  • Route 364 Ringwood – Warrandyte via Ringwood North
  • Route 370 Mitcham to Ringwood via Ringwood North
  • Route 380 Ringwood – Croydon Loop
  • Route 600 St Kilda-Southland SC
  • Route 901 Orbital Service (Frankston to Melbourne Airport)
  • Route 902 Orbital Service (Chelsea to Airport West)
  • Route 903 Orbital Service (Mordialloc to Altona)
  • Route 905 Dart Service (The Pines SC – City via Porter St)
  • Route 906 Dart Service (Warrandyte - City):
  • Route 907 Dart Service (Mitcham – City)
  • Route 908 Dart Service (The Pines - City)
  • Route 922 St Kilda-Southland via North Brighton
  • Route 923 St Kilda-Southland SC.

A new bus network for Plenty Valley

From 24 July a new bus network for Plenty Valley will be introduced. The new bus network will provide more frequent, coordinated and direct services for the local community. There will be:

  • Extended coverage into growth areas
  • A new route connecting Doreen to Diamond Creek
  • Reinstatement of a bus service between Whittlesea and Greensborough
  • Better connections to Laurimar town centre
  • Additional service to Kinglake
  • Additional services along Civic Drive improving the link between Mill Park Secondary College (Senior Campus) and South Morang station
  • More frequent, direct services between the Route 86 tram terminus to South Morang station via Plenty Road and Bush Boulevard, then continuing along The Lakes Boulevard to Mernda
  • Improved access to Hazel Glen College with the introduction of new Route 381
  • Improved access to Marymede Catholic College and Arilla Retirement Village
  • Selected trips on Route 381 will run to/from Diamond Valley College and St Helena Secondary College at school time.

Affected routes are:

  • Route 382: Whittlesea to Northland via South Morang station (New route)
  • Route 383: Palisades to University Hill (New route)
  • Route 384: Kinglake to Whittlesea via Humevale (New route)
  • Route 385: Whittlesea/Mernda North to Greensborough (New route)
  • Route 386: Mernda West to Bundoora RMIT (New route)
  • Route 387: Mernda North to Bundoora RMIT via Hawkstowe Parade (New route)
  • Route 570: Thomastown to RMIT Bundoora via Betula Avenue and Plenty Road.

New shuttle bus service for Kalkee, Geelong

Residents at the Kalkee retirement village in Belmont in Geelong will benefit from a new “shopper service” shuttle bus route between Kalkee and Belmont Village Shopping Centre. From 24 May, bus Route 49 will depart from Kalkee and travel via High St to the Belmont Village Shopping Centre. The fully accessible shopper service will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays and normal myki fares will apply for the route.

Changes to Routes 406, 411, 412 and 414 from 22 May:

  • Routes 411 and 412 rerouted via Geelong St and Sunshine Road to improve the connection to West Footscray station and improve punctuality by avoiding congestion on Geelong Road.
  • Route 414 re-routed around the Laverton Station area to operate in the same direction as other bus services (Route 400 and 417). An additional 2018 evening weekday service will depart Laverton station and will extend northbound along Bladin St and terminate on the corner of Old Geelong Road and Tarran St.
  • The Route 406 timetable changed to reflect typical traffic conditions at all times of the day and provide an improved connection with Footscray station.

Western Australia

17 July: New Perth Busport

The new Perth Busport opened on Sunday 17 July. Services no longer run from Roe St Bus Station. The following services were altered:

  • Routes 81, 82, 83, 84 and 85 reverted to their former route into the CBD, operating via Sutherland St and Wellington St in lieu of Roe St. Route 84 runs an additional trip on a Sunday evening.
  • Route 85 now runs several additional trips throughout the week, including later weeknight trips, and a new Sunday service providing improved public transport access within West Leederville.
  • Route 386 now runs as an all stops service. Route 386 limited stops services are renumbered to Route 385 to avoid confusion. Route 385 will run the same route at the same times as the limited stops Route 386.

The following changes are unrelated to the opening of Perth Busport:

  • Route 881 renumbered to Route 114.
  • Route 940 renumbered to Route 115 and operates with fewer services on Sunday evening.
  • Routes 150, 160, 170, 176, 179, 245, 250, 422, 504, 514 and 531 all have time changes.

The following routes have additional trips:

  • Route 177 additional services on Sunday evening.
  • Route 254 runs as a new two hourly service on Sundays, replacing Byford services previously provided on Route 251.
  • Route 254 has an additional weekday evening service from Armadale to Byford.
  • Route 341 has one additional afternoon trip from Morley Bus Station to Beechboro.
  • Route 415 has one additional morning peak trip from Stirling Station to Mirrabooka Bus Station and return.
  • Route 421 has one additional morning peak trip from Scarborough Beach to Stirling Station.
  • Route 525 has an additional eight trips during weekday peak, improving the frequency to every 10 minutes.
  • Route 526 has an additional trip during afternoon school peak.
  • Route 532 has two additional short trips, one replacing a withdrawn Route 522 trip.
  • Route 930 has a number of the afternoon peak services currently running between Elizabeth Quay bus station and Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre extended to Thornlie station.
  • Additional Route 930 services run on Sunday evenings.

The following routes have a reduced number of trips / shortened trips:

  • Route 251 reduced throughout the week due to poor patronage.
  • Route 252 no longer extends Saturday services to Serpentine due to poor patronage. Between Mundijong and Armadale there is no change to the number of trips running. Serpentine passengers can catch TransWA Australind services which operate to Armadale / Perth twice daily.
  • Route 423 no longer runs the 0755 trip from Karrinyup Bus Station to Stirling Station due to poor patronage. Passengers can instead catch the 0749 or 0759. The 0805 trip departing Stirling Station to Warwick Station on weekdays will depart at the earlier time of 0754. This change is to ensure an on-time arrival at Sacred Heart College.
  • Route 520 has fewer trips on a Sunday evening, however an additional trip runs for weekday peak servicing Lakelands Senior High School.
  • Route 522 has one less trip to Cockburn Central. This is replaced with an additional short-working on Route 532.

The Public Transport Authority of WA has called tenders, closing 30 June, for Karratha regional bus services.

TRANSPERTH: Timetable Guide effective 31/01/2016* Review by David Whiteford

I last reviewed a Transperth timetable guide in Table Talk 267 (Nov. 2014) and it was the issue “effective from the opening of Butler Station”. The Joondalup railway extension to Butler was opened on 21 September 2014. Since then the guide was reissued effective 1/2/2015; 9/8/2015; 11/10/2015; 22/11/2015; 31/1/2016 and 31/1/2016* (the * on a Transperth timetable usually indicates a reprint rather than a reissue, but this is not a reprint). I’ve often pondered the value of this guide with its frequent reissues and the no doubt considerable expense in its production (another will be due when the new Perth underground bus station opens – probably before this appears in print).

The guide continues to be of Transperth timetable sized stapled booklet, but now has enhanced content. It opens with a very diagrammatic rail system map with ten bus stations and two ferry terminals noted. This map had shown five coloured service areas, with timetables formerly identified by their service area, e.g. E100 for bus route 37 in the Eastern service area. The new guide of 11/10/2015 was issued for the abolition of this service area identification of timetables and also was the first to show the Ellenbrook bus transfer station on the map. The closed Belmont Park special events railway station on the Armadale line was still shown in the Butler issue, but was absent from the next issue (1/2/2015).

Next is the index of route numbers and the timetable numbers for each one. CAT buses, ferries and trains follow 3 ½ pages of bus routes.

In each review I’ve been disparaging about the suburb index and it continues to disappoint. In the Butler issue, Butler was not even shown as served by Joondalup line trains – and this was issued for the opening of the railway to Butler! Amazingly, it still does not have the label Joondalup line against it! I have also moaned about the exclusion of non-suburb name railway stations (e.g. Challis), while including institutions (e.g hospitals). The institutions last appeared in this section in the issue of 9/2015. My moan about suburbs without a named railway station (e.g. Heathridge and Jolimont) being given a railway timetable note still stands. Rail timetables do not give any reference to these suburbs.

I don’t think Transperth / PTA have read my reviews. ‘New’ suburbs – and some old ones – are still not listed in the suburb list (e.g Serpentine and Champion Lakes). However the three Mandurah area localities noted as missing in my 2014 review (Wannanup, Barragup and Dudley Park) finally make an appearance in the 31/1/2016* issue (not the original 31/1 issue). Sinagra, mentioned in my last review, appears from 9/8/2015. And Ascot finally is shown as served by TT110 as well as the circle route 200 from 22/11/2015 – yet should also be shown as served by TT109. Kewdale, however, is another ‘circle route’ suburb not noted as being served by TT200. Anyone wanting to travel to Cardup (south of Armadale and Byford) will still have difficulty getting there using TT3. It was wrong in 2014 and is still wrong. TT3 will get you to Armadale but then you’ll need TT21 for services to Cardup.

Earlier I mentioned that institutions no longer appear in the locality index. From the 11/10/2015 issue there are separate educational institution and hospital guides after the suburb, train and bus station lists. And from the 22/11/2015 issue ‘popular destinations’ and ‘shopping centre’ timetable guides appeared. These were never featured in any previous place list and can be considered a useful improvement.

New features from the issue of 11/10/2015 are alphabetical lists of train and bus stations following the suburb list. But only 37 of the 68 railway stations are listed. To be fair, its aim appears to be to show the timetables for buses servicing the stations, but when you’ve stations such as McIvor and Canning Bridge listed with no guide elsewhere as to what railway line they are on (other than trying to find them on the diagrammatic map) it seriously lessens the value of the list.

Ah well. As a timetable collector, the guide is a necessary addition to my collection. As a useful public service it’s of doubtful value and it definitely needs to be corrected and better timetable links provided. Oh – one final error to note. The limited outer-metropolitan bus extension from Bullsbrook to Muchea ceased some time ago, but Muchea is still in the suburb list, served by TT91.

I look forward to seeing the next issue soon.

Thanks

to Tony Bailey, Hilaire Fraser, Victor Isaacs, David Whiteford, Sydney Morning Herald, Transit Australia and the West Australian for Bus news.

AIR NEWS

Domestic

Jetgo will shift its Melbourne-Dubbo service from Avalon to Essendon airport from 3 July following the installation of necessary security screening facilities at Essendon. It had planned to fly from Dubbo to Melbourne Tullamarine starting in October 2015, but was unable to secure terminal space at the airport. Essendon Airport has constructed a temporary terminal to accommodate Jetgo’s services while the heritage-listed terminal undergoes a $20 million refurbishment. Currently, Essendon Airport, which is a busy charter airport, has regular public transport service from Free Spirit Airlines and Sharp Airlines to Flinders Island and Merimbula. Alliance Airlines also has charter flights from the airport. Those services do not require passenger security screening.

Jetgo’s inaugural Brisbane-Albury service took off on 20 June. This operates four times a week. Jetgo is now planning a Canberra to Gold Coast service.

International

AirAsia has cancelled its Sydney-Bali and Melbourne-Bali flights from 1 September.

Thanks to Tony Bailey Australian Aviation and the Australian for Air news.

About Table Talk

Table Talk is published monthly by the Australian Timetable Association Inc. (Registration No. A0043673H) as a journal of record covering recent timetable news items. The ATA also publishes the Times covering timetable history and analysis. Contributions are invited and are very welcome. Please send these to the appropriate Editor. ABN 74248483468.

The deadline for Table Talk is the last weekend of the month, but contributions are welcome at all times.

Editor, Rail and Tram, Air, Ferry: Victor Isaacs, abvi@iinet.net.au, 11 Blacket St Downer ACT 2602.

Editor, Bus: As an interim arrangement, please send your Bus news to abvi@iinet.net.au

Production and Mailout: Geoff and Judy Lambert.

Proofreaders: Agnes Boskovitz, David Cranney and Geoff Hassall.

Original material appearing in Table Talk may be reproduced in other publications but acknowledgement is required.

Membership of the Australian Timetable Association includes monthly copies of the Times, Table Talk, the Distribution List of timetables, and the monthly Auction catalogues. The membership fee is $60 (Adult) and $36 (Junior) pa. Membership enquiries should be directed to the Membership Officer, Len Regan, at membership@austta.org.au

Back issues of Table Talk are available on the Australian Timetable Association’s website, austta.org.au, after two months.

Table Talk Newswire is an advance monthly email of Rail news. To obtain this, ask the Rail Editor at abvi@iinet.net.au