Rail Lines - Proposals affecting Epping residents future
Letter to the Minister:
The Epping Civic Trust has been a voice for the community of Epping and surrounds for over 40 years and has always played a positive and active part in the planning decisions for the area. In this regard the Epping Civic Trust has been an active supporter and contributor to outcomes for significant urban change in the Epping area, including local plan development, implementation and major infrastructure projects such as the M2 Motorway and the Chatswood to Epping Rail Link. The Trust is very concerned about the Government’s proposal to ‘upgrade’ the Epping to Chatswood Rail Line at this time. This line does not need an upgrade as it is near new and provides one of the most efficient rail services in the State. While the Trust fully supports the Government’s initiative to construct a new rail service to the west from Epping, it does not accept that the Epping to Chatswood section of the Hornsby to the City via Macquarie Park line needs to be included in the current project. The Trust has no objection to the work going ahead to connect the new line to the existing tunnel lines at Epping as part of the current program, but it believes that the connection should be mothballed until the Harbour tunnel is built and the North West Metro is extended to the City. The Epping Civic Trust’s position is therefore that the North West Metro be terminated at Epping until a new Harbour tunnel is constructed and the Metro can be extended to the City and beyond. The basis for the Trust objection is in summary: The conversion of the Epping to Chatswood tunnel for Metro Rail is not critical at this time and should not proceed until the Metro can be extended to the City via a new under Harbour tunnel; The conversion will be very expensive and the funds can be better spent elsewhere (funding of the Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford Light Rail comes to mind); The near new Epping to Chatswood tunnel does not need upgrading and will provide good service for many years to come in its present operational format; Chatswood station is not suitable as an interchange station; Epping Station is more than adequate to act as a hub until the Metro is extended to the City; The Trust would appreciate a prompt response to our submission so that we can keep our members informed at our General Meeting on 18 November 2014.
[28/5/2014] Double Deck Trains for NWRL would increase efficiency: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/the-hills/modern-double-decker-trains-could-increase-efficiency-of-north-west-rail-link/story-fngr8i1f-1226932902796
[8/4/2014] SMH on densification plans along NWRL: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/brad-hazzard-expected-to-reveal-highrise-plans-for-north-west-rail-link-20140407-3694h.html
[25/3/2014] Premier rationalises single deck carriages decision: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/doubledecker-trains-a-mistake-for-sydney-ofarrell-20140324-35dau.html Please support the Beecroft Cheltenham CT petition: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/no-metro-construct-the-nwrl-to-suit-a-compatible-double-decker-operation?utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
[30/1/2104] SMH: "Warnings on north-west rail link plan ignored"
Revisit Unfit for Purpose: A YouTube Video on the North West Rail Link
As part of the NSW Government's North West Rail Link project, a private company Thiess John Holland Dragados has been contracted to construct tunnels and a Services Facility at Epping. This is on the site of former office blocks between Beecroft Road and Ray Road. Residents endured demolition during November-January, and construction works commenced on 5 December, 2013. Early works in 2014 will include a shaft for access to the stub tunnels and for future tunneling, removal of pedestrian access along Beecroft Road, ingress and egress slip-lane on Beecroft Road for trucks. The site will contain a workshop, water treatment plant, site office, sedimentation ponds, and shaft/spoil area. Tunneling will start at the Cherrybrook end of our section of the line later in 2014. In March work will continue between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday; and 8am to 1pm on Saurdays. Some overnight roadworks will take place along Beecroft Road.
[22/9/13] SMH article 'Secret report casts doubt on train plan': http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/secret-report-casts-doubt-on-train-plan-20130922-2u7zg.html
[ 17/8/13] SMH article on the proposed single decker metro trains and NWR Link 'mini-tunnels'- 'Tunnel vision': http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1711813/tunnel-vision/?cs=12
[16/7/13] The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust is publicising this petition http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/no-metro-construct-the-nwrl-to-suit-a-compatible-double-decker-operation?utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition to construct the NWRL to suit a compatible double decker operation. The Epping Civic Trust recommends signing also.
Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink it is, from 1 July, 2013
Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) contract [6/6/13]
As part of the request for proposal, the NSW Government has today announced that the North West Rail Link will be delivered as a fully-automated rapid transit system.
This is an Australian-first and includes driverless trains and high-tech customer safety and security measures.
The requirement for full automation will be part of the RFP as will a series of customer service requirements which the operator will have to meet – like ensuring trains are on time, that trains and stations are clean and safe, and that customer service is paramount.
Fully-automated train technology has been in use around the world for 30 years. The technology is focused on safety and reliability. Millions of people on more than 40 rail lines in at least 14 countries travel every day on fully-automated rail systems. Features of the system will include: ·
Driverless train operations, with trains constantly monitored by a team of expert controllers at a new state-of-the-art train control centre; ·
Platform screen doors on all platforms, making loading and unloading faster and safer;·
Cooling and heating at underground stations for customer comfort;·
Multiple cameras and help points in trains and on platforms and stations, with live links to the train control centre; and·
The Police Transport Command and transport officers patrolling the new rapid transit network, the same as the rest of the rail network.
When rapid transit expands beyond Chatswood with the crossing under Sydney Harbour, this automated system will allow the operation of up to 30 trains an hour on the wider network – a massive boost to future capacity.
The two consortia have until the end of 2013 to finalise their proposals. The OTS contract will be awarded in the second half of next year.
For further information on the North West Rail Link you can go to www.northwestrail.com.au Call NWRL Community Information Line:
1800 019 989 or Visit NWRL Community Information Centre: 299 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill
(6/3/13) The North West Rail Link has reached another planning milestone. The project team has responded to more than 300 submissions made as part of the second Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) exhibition period. More than 590 people attended five community information sessions during the exhibition period for the second EIS, and more than 56,000 locals received invitations to make a submission. A Submissions Report has now been lodged with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. Click here to view the full report (under ‘Attachments & Resources’, click on ‘Submissions Reponses’).
(3/12/12) EOI called from 30 companies for the NWRL Operations, Trains and Systems contract. The contract will include includes building the eight new railway stations, supplying the
new SINGLE deck trains, installing tracks, and OPERATING the North West Rail Link. EOI details
(31/10/12) The second environmental assessment (EIS2) for the North West Rail Link roject is now on exhibition: http://www.northwestrail.com.au/
Exhibition meeting to be held on Thursday 22 November, 4pm–8pm at Epping Club, 45–47 Rawson Street, Epping.
The Trucks That Ate Epping?
By late 2014 Epping residents, particularly those living in Ray Road and those using the intersection of Carlingford with Ray and Rawson, could be impacted by construction noise 24/7 and around 140 large spoil trucks, on our busy roads - per day!
Little known revisions in August to the North West Rail link Environmental Statement after exhibition have shocked many residents and community groups as they become aware. See a scan from the limited distribution leaflet for the Epping Services Facility (ESF).
[See Diagram below– scanned from local flyer which is not available on the NWRL web site]
The North West Rail Link (NWRL) plan to use a site they purchased some months ago for $48.5m, the large white Epping Office Park complex at 4 Ray Road (see photo - between the petrol station, and a block of units) for not only facilities but also the dive tunnel for tunnelling equipment and removal of spoil.
Key problems are:
- Construction traffic (including large trucks with tunnelled rocks and earth) will be permitted to use both Beecroft and Ray Roads, and perhaps Kandy Avenue, with 140 traffic movements a day for 12 months.
- Many of these trucks will exit onto left onto Ray Road, then although not shown on the diagram are to make a right-hand turn into Carlingford Road to head west. The very busy at all times Ray Rd/Rawson St/Carlingford Rd intersection is one of the most dangerous for pedestrian injury and low speed smashes in the district. This could be up to 1 truck very 3 minutes, outside of official peak times.
- Proposed hours of work is 7am – 6pm Mon-Frid, 8am –1pm Saturdays (in a residential area)
but would move to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week after ‘noise impact management measures’ (3m high walls) are established.
issues include traffic congestion, loss of on-street parking, road damage, general levels of dust, loss of trees, and potential for run off to the LaneCove Rivervia ‘Dent’ and ‘Hazelwood’ creeks which run through the site.
The Trust committee will be seeking to meet with the NWRL Epping Place Manager, Cecilla Densham, who has already met with some business and community groups, but has held no public meeting.
Another EIS about major impacts of changes to use of Epping Station and surrounds relating to the NWRL and NSW Government planning policies is expected out at the end of the year, and the Trust will be seeking proper community consultation. 8 October, 2012
First Things First - ie. Roads First and Last!
The plan has been released for consideration by the NSW Government and is not government policy. It could be called 'Roads First and Last.'
It also proposes a motorway connection between the F3 and M2 motorways in northern Sydney to be built in the next five years.
Read more: http://www.infrastructure.nsw.gov.au/state-infrastructure-strategy.aspx and SMH review (4/10/12) at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ofarrell-sets-aside-18b-for-new-motorway-20121003-26yef.html#ixzz28Dwhu52m
Another alternative view from Ron Christie
NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan - a new approach to transport planning
This is the first time NSW will have an integrated transport plan that includes all modes of public transport, roads, freight, cycling and walking.
Comment closes on 26 October 2012. The final Master Plan will be released in late 2012.: http://draftplanreview.transport.nsw.gov.au/
'NWR Link to be privately operated - all change' at Chatswood
The 'new generation single deck trains' will run from the Rouse Hill to Chatswood offering at least 12 services an hour, or one every 5mins as part of the new plan. Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the rail link would be privately operated, saying the government would put the North West Rail Link's contract out to tender 'next Friday'. Boring work along the route is expected to start in 2014 with a total completion date in the next five to six years. "The trains operating on the North West Rail Link will be a new generation, single deck service delivering a fast, safe and reliable journey," Ms Berejiklian said.
Planning has also begun on a second harbour crossing to ease congestion and take commuters from the northwest into the city. The state government would not set a timetable for the crossing.
However, it did say commuters would be forced to change at Chatswood, walking across a platform to an inner-city train. Ms Berejiklian said the change over will take about 3mins.
In related news NSW Transport has paid $48.5 million for an office park in Beecroft Road Epping, which it will bulldoze, as part of its $8.5 billion North-West Rail Link project. The office park was offloaded by Abacus Property Group which paid $25 million for the asset in 1997. A lot of the asset’s value lay in its residential redevelopment potential. Instead the site will become the location for the North West Rail Link’s Epping Services facility.
Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)
April, 2012: NW Rail Community Information Session on Major Works EIS - Epping Club
4-8pm, Thursday 26 April - includes noise/vibration, tunneling etc.
The first Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is now on public exhibition.
It covers: Major construction works; Tunnelling; Building the 'Skytrain'; and Railway
station excavation. This EIS is on public exhibition for 48 days – from
April 4, 2012 to May 21, 2012. http://northwestrail.com.au/document/show/53
Website www.northwestrail.com.au for further information. A second statement on the design of railway stations and nearby 'infrastructure', operational rail infrastructure and signalling
systems will be released later this year. Major tunnelling work is expected to start in 2014. The government expects trains to be running on the rail link by about 2019. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydneys-next-big-thing--and-its-bigger-than-the-bridge-20120404-1wbwk.html#ixzz1r42CMMLJ
Northern Sydney Freight Corridor announced
Update 21/2: ECT has been approached regarding 'screech' issues further up the line and will be listening to views and seeking more information only at this stage.
NSW Transport Masterplan
A NSW Transport Masterplan process was announced by the Government on 30 November, 2011 - it will involve public consultation.
A discussion paper will be released in February, 2012, a draft plan will be released in the middle of next year and a final plan in November next year.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/transport-masterplan-deadline-set-20111130-1o63t.html
There will be consultation forums in 10 regions in NSW as well as in Sydney.
There is also a website: www.transportmasterplan.nsw.gov.au
In other news - PCC Lord Mayor Lorraine Wearne launched a plan for a $1m feasibility
study into a proposed $6.5b Western Sydney Light Rail Network, from Macquarie Park through Eastwood and from & Epping, all to Liverpool and Rosue Hill with Parramatta as the hub (http://northern-district-times.whereilive.com.au/news/story/1m-committed-to-rail-network-study/ NDT 23/05/12)
The North West Rail Link Project commenced
The North West Rail Link is a major priority rail project for the NSW Government. A specialised Project Team has been established within the NSW Department of Transport to coordinate and expedite work on the project.
The North West Rail Link is proposed to deliver six new stations and regular rail services over a 23 kilometre addition to the CityRail network from Epping to Rouse Hill in North West Sydney – linking the region with over 300 other CityRail stations.
The proposed 15 kilometre tunnels on the approved 2008 route between Epping and Kellyville will be the longest and deepest rail tunnels ever constructed in Sydney. Extensive design work has been done, a rail corridor identified and test drilling commenced (including in Epping). Information sessions were held in Epping in August/September.
Epping Civic Trust is a strong supporter of public transport as it aligns well with the objectives, and support BOTH the North West Rail Link AND the remaining unbuilt Parramatta-Epping portion of the Parramatta-Chatswood Line being built as soon as possible.
As put to the now Minister in a meeting in 2012, the ECT supports commencement of a Parramatta - Carlingford section as a first priority to both those lines, with a connection at Carlingford. The Trust however also has concerns over the impact the lines will have on Epping, and will seek to maximise the positive and minimise the negative.
The Trust accepted an invitation by Greg Smith MP to a 'first 'consultation' meeting with the North West Rail Link on Wednesday 28 September, 2011 at the NWRL offices at Castle Hill
A route via Carlingford was strongly put by ECT and others but this rejected by a NW Rail Link representative and the 'approved 2008' route defended.
Impact on the Parramatta line will be looked at by ECT, as well as concern over geology & noise with chosen route. Concerned residents should contact the Trust with any issues or news. ECT will be seeking further meetings with the Government and Transport for NSW.
This news page will be updated as news is to hand!
Information on the NWRL project can be found at: http://northwestrail.com.au/
Epping - Just a Rail Hub, or your community?
Ideally situated to bridge a valued life style to the demands of the future.
Sensibly merging the new with the old, balancing the esthetics of a garden suburb with cost/benefit considerations of development and maintaining our community and the natural and built environment poses numerous challenges.
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