Sydney to Newcastle in 25 minutes

This is a proposal for a Sydney - Newcastle high speed Maglev Monorail.

Travel time is likely to be about 25 minutes, compared to 2.5 hours now by the existing train service.

Trains would travel below 200 km/h in urban areas but up to 500 km/h in the country.

Transrapid Maglev is ideally suited for this task due to its ability to be mounted on pillars to cover undulating terrain and congested urban areas. Close to Sydney a tunnel is needed to connect to Sydney's Wynyard station and the proposed Melbourne - Sydney Maglev.

Approximate Route within 10 km

The approximate route of the proposed 150 km Sydney - Newcastle Maglev is shown below.

While the road distance is about 150 km this can be reduced with some straightening.

View Sydney-Newcastle Maglev (approx only) in a larger map
Approximate route of the Sydney - Newcastle Maglev.

Maglev Route Details

Sydney Maglev Tunnel

This runs for 17 km from south of the M5 East Freeway portal to north of St. Leonard Station with one maglev underground station linked to the existing Wynyard Station. This allows maglev trains to run at below 120 km/h into the Sydney CBD from the north or south. Trains from Newcastle could continue to Melbourne via the Melbourne - Sydney Maglev.

St. Leonard Station to Mt Kuring-gai

In this 23.5 km section the maglev is built on pillars above the rail line and would travel below 250 km/h to reduce noise emissions. Stations are provided at Chatswood and Hornsby.

Mt Kuring-gai to Newcastle

The maglev track would largely follows the Pacific Highway to Tarro Station near Newcastle allowing the line to be extended north to Brisbane at some point. (Alternatively the maglev could run directly into Newcastle but this would create a dead-end reducing the possibility of extending the line northwards.)


Maglev Stations and Operation

Shanghai maglev station
A Shanghai maglev station.

Stations are suggested at the following locations. These stations should be built to accommodate trains of up to ten carriages which requires the platforms to be 260 meters long.

  1. Sydney (Wynyard). Interchange with all Sydney train services.
  2. Chatswood. Interchange with inner north shore train and bus services.
  3. Hornsby. Interchange with outer northern suburbs train and bus services.
  4. Newcastle. Interchange with train line and busses running into central Newcastle.
Shanghai maglev station
Shanghai Maglev Trains at Longyang Station ( )

Maglev Operation

We suggest all trains should stop at Chatswood & Hornsby to simplify operation. In this section the maglev would run fairly slowly (under 200 km/h) anyway to reduce noise emissions and due to some tight bends so running express has marginal benefits.

Maglev Station Layout

The proposed stations have three platforms each like those shown above. Passengers enter trains via the central platform boarding whichever train comes first. Departing passengers leave via whichever edge platform their train arrives next to. Exit side doors open first to allow passengers to start clearing the carriages on one side before passengers start boarding from the other side.


Maglev Trains

Transrapid TR09 Interior
Transrapid TR09 interior. Note the 3.7 meter wide carriages.

Initially trains could consist of just two end carriages. As passenger load increases up to eight central carriages can be added to create a train up to 10 carriages long. With a mixture of first and second class seating a ten-carriage train would carry about 900 passengers.

Maglev trains are fully automated. We would place the train operator in a central cabin allowing passengers to choose seats at the front of the train if they wished. Another option is to have the first and last carriages used for light freight and baggage.


Maglev Capital Cost

The initial capital cost would be about $6 billion for the dual-track, two stations and four six-carriage trains. The trains could be expanded to ten carriages later and service intervals can be reduced as demand increases. This excludes any land aquisition costs which can be minimized by mostly using the Pacific Highway and rail reservation. Note that costs for Wynyard to Chatswood are covered in the Melbourne - Sydney Maglev costing including those two stations.

Sydney Rail Map

Expand this map to see how the maglev stations (coloured in red) at Wynyard, Chatswood and Hornsby would connect to the existing rail network.

CityRail DayTripper map (Click to expand).