Single-decks for Sydney


LFA153 ?

There were some interesting comments from Barry O’Farrell today at a press conference in Sydney’s north-west, about how double-decker trains should not have been introduced to Sydney. These comments emerge in relation to the building of a train line in the area that will be unable to accommodate double-decker trains and therefore likely result in a change over to single-decker trains running on Sydney’s lines.

Can you believe that our beloved ‘Tin Cans’ (Silver double-decker S-Sets) were introduced in 1972 and the government still insists on using them? It’s shocking to even realise that the Waratah trains are many years old now when the majority of my line were still Tangaras and ‘Tin Cans’ just a few years ago.

Debates, more or less

While it’s not exactly proven (as far as I know) that single-trains carry more passengers, the fact that they travel more quickly and can allow passengers to disembark more quickly is a definite plus in my book. As the article refers to, the stairs on double-deck trains can be unwieldy and take up time when passengers get on/off.

If trains ran more frequently, I would not even mind standing for the journey if I were able to reach my destination quicker. Yet at the same time, you have to wonder if Sydney’s rail infrastructure can take it — I watch the concrete sleepers on the rails bob up and down worryingly as a train roars over it.

Of course, there are those that oppose these decisions as usual.

[T]he insistence on building the North West Rail Link with smaller tunnels is controversial. The Beecroft-Cheltenham Civic Trust, for instance, is planning a public meeting for Tuesday morning to protest against the decision.

I was with them rallying for protection of valuable indigenous trees in my area from being simply cut down, however the freight line is a good idea when it will save the (further) degradation of commuter tracks, especially since the current ones sound like they will give way every time a freight train rumbles across it. My parents often wonder when will be the day that there is a derailing in the area. If this new approach will bring better waiting times, I’m willing to see how this will go ahead.

Closer to home

It is reported that in Paris they run their double-decker services at 24 trains an hour. I’m still curious as to the exact reasons our train system cannot run trains frequently, perhaps it has to do with the eventual gridlock in the city from all the trains converging on the one point. Score 1 for bad design.

Although I have my own reservations about the taking of tips from London (being the unknowledgeable git I am), single-deck trains were quite a treat in Hong Kong and quite easy to manage. That and screen doors make such a big difference to transportation. At least building a new train line for Sydney is much more productive than installing yet another motorway.