Monday, April 23, 2012


Build it and they will come, the saying goes. That is what they used to do with train and tram lines. They were extended out into undeveloped suburban areas and hey presto, development happened. While I was thinking of the early 20th century, there is a more recent example, London's Docklands and the DLR, Docklands Light Rail.

Parts of it and some stations were in no man's land in the disused docks area land and what happened? Development expanded out from the DLR. It became a victim of its own success and has been extended and upgraded many times since it opened in 1987.

It really does look like a new light rail may be built in Sydney, right through the centre of the city. The question the authorities need to be asking themselves now is what they are going to do when it turns out to far busy than expectations, which is what happened with the DLR.

Yesterday in greater Melbourne two new railway stations opened and a extension to an existing railway line with a new station opened. The extension which takes three minutes to travel along cost around half a billion dollars, a mine boggling figure and viewed suspiciously by many. But this is the cost of building through existing areas, even though the new line followed a disused old railway line.

Rail corridors need to be a part of all housing developments in the mega growth outer areas. Even in the above with an existing old corridor, the government vacillated for years about it, when it was clearly needed and work on extending the line even further needs to begin post haste.

Our State Transport Minister has recently said that people wanted roads for their cars in the past and now they want trains. So get to it Minister.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    We cannot help but applaud any scheme, almost regardless of cost, which places a priority on public transport over the private motor car. We continue to be at a loss to understand why our own government, which plays lip service to 'green' issues, continues with schemes which entail more road building and widening.

  2. I wouldn't hold my breath you know how slow these people are to catch on even when its staring them right in the face :-).

  3. If a person lives in an outer suburb and wants to travel to a different outer suburb, I can see why a car might be necessary. But to go to the centre of town by car is an insanity!

    I would put the State Transport Minister in gaol, on bread and water for the rest of his life, if he spent money on cars and roads near the centre of town. We need more trams and trains, more reliable, faster, cleaner, roomier. And more public transport to regional centres, to make up for Kennett's destruction.

  4. JayLa, if you mean the UK gov, they do seem to be investing heavily in TlF, although very overdue. Traffic congestion has become so bad here that it is obvious to all that public transport needs to improve.

    Yeah, I know Windsmoke. Quite depressing.

    Hels, Sundays are now the days when I notice bad congestion going into the city, while trams just glide past and trains empty their loads at the stations. I don't get some people's mindsets at all about travelling into the city. Our country and regional services are very poor, especially travel time. I have half a post written about it.

  5. I agree that we all need more and better public transport. Traffic congestion is terrible, although not so bad here In Adelaide I've heard. but there are an awful lot of cars about. Even Sundays, which used to be quiet, now you can sit at a bus stop and there isn't a single minute where cars aren't going by. Doesn't anyone ever stay home anymore?

  6. Exactly River, no one (except me) stays home anymore!
    I'm sure they add a few extra zeros on the end so millions become billions. Disgusting.

  7. Agree with with what you and 'JaLa' said. Trains need to be the priority, not more roads.

  8. It's pretty good there hey Kath?

  9. Re: the cost, this should help clarify things:

  10. Thanks Daniel. I had read that but only retained a little of it, which I guess is why I didn't I handed it over to many viewing the figure suspiciously. If people had some idea of what is involved in such projects, they may well be less suspicious.