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NSW technology upgrade to improve trains and services for Australians

An announcement made by the New South Wales Government highlighted on the improvements that will happen on their train lines. The technology upgrades are expected to bring more trains and services on the T4 Illawarra line and T8 Airport line.

A budget of A$880 million from the NSW Budget 2018 will be invested on technology that will modernise the Sydney Trains network.

Improvements on the T8 line will bring a potential increase of 80% as 8 more services per hour during peak periods on the T8 Airport Line will be added at the International, Domestic, Mascot and Green Square stations. This will allow trains to arrive every 4 minutes on average, during the morning peak times, instead of the usual 6 minutes. Extra services from Revesby will also be added.

Improvements on the T4 line from Illawarra Cronulla will increase by 30% in capacity since 5 more trains will be added per hour during peak periods.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the current rail network is complex and relies on old technologies, which limits the number of services that can be provided.

“That is why we are making significant investments to improve rail infrastructure and ensure we can continue to meet the growing demand for rail services,” Ms Berejiklian said.

She added, “The T4 Illawarra Line and T8 Airport Line are the first beneficiaries of these signalling upgrades, which will be rolled out across the network, significantly boosting capacity and reliability for all train customers.”

The upgrades on both the T8 Airport line and the T4 Illawarra line are part of the More Trains, More Services program. Over the next 10 years, this program will transform Sydney’s busiest train lines with more services through digital systems, infrastructure upgrades, and more new trains.

Currently, Sydney’s train network carries more than half of all public transport customers. As Sydney grows, there will be more demand for services. New train technology is needed to upgrade this rail network to meet the needs of this modern city.

This project aims to provide the citizens with the following key benefits:

(1)    Reduction of wait times and less crowding for long distance customer since more services will be provided.

(2)    Faster travel times for more customers as more opportunities for express trains are created with improved digital train control technology and upgraded rail infrastructure.

(3)    Improved reliability and reduction of customer impacts from incidents with a simplified rail network.

(4)    Services for turn up and go customers who no longer need a timetable throughout the day.

(5)    Enhanced connection and integration with other modes of transport.

(6)    Digital systems and upgraded track infrastructure that will increase freight capacity.

The More Trains, More Services program will upgrade the network with advanced digitalised train control systems. Digital Systems will simplify and modernise technology and multiple trackside infrastructure without any disruption to customers.

Moreover, the technology will eventually lead to low operating costs and improved communication, thereby allowing real-time information.

Services are coming online gradually starting from the early 2020s in upgrades that will be delivered in stages. As of present, the delivery of stages are categorised into 3: Stage 1 delivery, Stage 2 delivery, and Future delivery.

For stage 1 delivery, it is expected that there will be infrastructure upgrades and new trains. Also, extra train services are expected in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Moreover, Sydney Metro Northwest integration is anticipated.

For stage 2 delivery, the development of the digital system is expected. More infrastructure upgrades and new trains are also projected. Furthermore, customers from the T4, T8 and South Coast lines are anticipating improvements to be felt.

For future delivery, these are to be expected: introduction of the digital system; infrastructure upgrades and new trains; extra services for T1, T4, T8 and South Coast line customers; and Sydney Metro City and Southwest integration.

Image Credit: Transport for NSW, New South Wales Government

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