Sydney Metro – not what it should have been

Cities all over the world are converting from single deck trains to double deck trains. Why then, is Sydney going in the other direction?

Why are the Metro tunnels going to be just too small for conventional trains? Why is the Bankstown line being downgraded from double deck to single deck?

EcoTransit, the public transport advocacy group, aren’t impressed.


Submissions on the Metro close on 27 June – see our previous post on this topic.

EcoTransit have released a flyer and a pro-forma submission with more information which you may wish to draw if you are considering preparing your own submission.

2 thoughts on “Sydney Metro – not what it should have been

  1. Clearly the author has never used the metro systems of major cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and even European cities including Paris, London and Berlin. All use single deck metro trains which travel faster and more frequently than Sydneys slow cumbersome heavy rail. The images of Hong Kings MTR during peak hour looks much like Wynyard on a weekday afternoon, though there would be another metro within minutes, and the train would take you to your destination faster.
    In can understand people reluctance to change, particularly if sydneys current system is all they have known, but websites such as this one only provide a one sided arguement.

    • Your author has travelled on several of those metros, and they are truly wonderful. But that’s not what we’re getting.

      We’re getting some of the features of a metro, but not all of them.

      A typical metro has: multiple doors, high frequency, stations close together, interconnection with other lines. But it also has lower top speed, very few seats, one deck, holds less passengers.

      What we’re getting is multiple doors, low frequency (no higher than we already get with heavy rail), stations a long way apart, no interconnection with other lines, the lower top speed, very few seats, one deck, holds less passengers.

      Metros are fantastic when used for the right job and Sydney should have more of them. But long distance commuting isn’t the right job for a metro.

      The right job for a metro is in dense areas, where you have stations close together and you are spending a lot of time stopped. In that situation, the most important thing is getting people on and off quickly, far more important than the total number of people you can carry, passenger comfort, top speed, In that situation, a metro is the right answer.

      For longer distances, where you spend most of your time moving, the benefit of the extra doors is reduced, and a more sensible balance is to take a little longer to load and unload, but carry more people, in comfort, and at higher speed.

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