|Connecting Campbell Street trams to the Pitt/ Castlereagh Street loop|
Inbound tram services
Campbell Street westbound west of Elizabeth Street is just a rat-run for vehicles that choose not to use Eddy Avenue or Hunt Street to reach Pitt Street or George Street. It would be closed to vehicular traffic other than trams east of Pitt Street and buses to the west.
|Campbell into Castlereagh thence Central Station|
|Campbell at Elizabeth Street|
Because the rails do not obey the keep to the right rule there would be inbound stops at Taylor Square and say Harmony Park. There would be no right turn from Campbell Street into Elizabeth Street just a left turn. Vehicles including buses would use Hunt Street to make this turn - there are no destinations between Campbell and Goulburn Streets.
In a previous post "Managing congestion with the Oyster (aka Opal) Card" I outlined how the Opal Card can mitigate congestion in George Street bus lanes north of Market Street in the few hours of a week day when this is a problem. This is the case even if there are no tram tracks to the north of the CBD. With the Pitt/Castlereagh Streets tram loop restored there is a fourth terminus in the CBD for Parramatta Road and City Road bus services. Buses can terminate at Campbell Street, making a left turn from Pitt Street. Passengers can transfer to Loop, southeastern Suburbs and Lilyfield Line trams by crossing Campbell Street to a stop in Pitt Street. Buses terminating here cross the Lilyfield rails coming and going but they do not cross tram tracks a mind-numbing five times while running on empty after dumping their passengers in Pitt Street, as proposed by TfNSW. This terminus does not offer opportunities for buses to lay over and would mainly be used during the AM peak. The cost on the Opal Card would be the same as for a service to Randle Street. With the Opal Card commuters can change to a service to the appropriate destination at any stop in Parramatta Road or King Street as pointed out in the previous post.
Most tram services from the Lilyfield Line would continue to the north of the CBD but there would be the usual choice of destinations to Central Station. Off-peak services would stop at Central on the way north.
The Loop tram services add additional capacity to transport services to the CBD and do not degrade any existing bus service. They make Sydney CBD transport future-proof.
Outbound tram services
The outbound tram rails are through the "Golf House" building and the building behind it as outlined in my letter to the Minister and submission to the EIS. There would be a stop here then the next stop would be at Bourke Street. The trams would enter Foster Street at a higher level and Foster Street would be closed to traffic between here and Campbell Street. The air rights above this stop could be flogged off at a later date.
|The Golf House|
|Foster Street at rear of Golf House|
|Blackburn Street - closed at end|
The tram services from the southeastern suburbs to the northern CBD would actually be faster than existing Elizabeth Street bus services even without priority signalling, being a more direct route with less queuing at intersections. Tram movements would be in parallel with bus movements and vehicular movements and controlled by the SCATS system.
The plot thickens
The main reason for the Pitt/Castlereagh Street tram Loop is to reduce localised congestion on the City Circle trains, something the George Street tram alignment conspicuously fails to achieve - it does absolutely nothing to reduce this congestion. It has been demonstrated that a competently designed tram system for the southeastern suburbs can compete successfully with bus services without crippling them with deliberately generated congestion in crucial traffic arteries or forced termination of services.
I will discuss the Flinders Street end in another post.