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11 July, 2006

steam was faster than today's electric train

Steam train 100 years ago vs today's electric train: According to official timetables, steam train was faster!

Steam vs Electric train

Steam trains were slow and noisy, but it was faster than today's electric train, according to last night's 7News.

Technology has improved, and it's electric train is said to be faster than stream train. But in reality? other way round. It took 46 minutes from Penrith to Sydney back in 1905. It takes 49 minutes today to travel the same distance.

CityRail said there are more stations today, but today's service only makes one stop at Parramatta.

The technology 100 years ago was actually faster than today's, and, the train fare was recently increased by 2.9 per cent on 2 July.

CityRail map with Penrith and Sydney (Central) highlighted.
penrith_sydney.jpg

picture of steam train was taken from http://www.ctrc.org.

Blowing steam up Sydney's slow trains (7News, 10 July 2006):

Sydney commuters battling CityRail timetables might do better if they could travel back in time.
A 7News investigation has discovered getting home by train on the western line was quicker in the days of steam.

According to timetables from 1905, a steam train took 46 minutes, with today's trains taking 49 minutes.

CityRail boss Vince Graham is a regular on today's trains and he does not seem to mind how long it takes but others do.

"After 20 years travelling on this service, it's actually gotten slower," one commuter said.

"We're stopping more and I spend over five hours a day traveling," another said.

Transport minister John Watkins said comparing steam to electric is not quite fair because there are more stations and more passengers these days to slow things down.

"We're carrying hundreds of millions of passengers a year," he said.

"That wasn't the case 60, 80 or 100 years ago."

The steam trains were non-stop, but today's service only makes one stop at Parramatta.

Posted by Antony on 11 July 2006 9:56 AM | newstalk

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comments
I am a great steam train fan, being old enough to remember when they were the only way to get to Wollongong by rail. Loved them. And yes, it's true, not that they were faster, but that the timetable was more efficient. And hey: steam, not stream. ;-)
Posted by Neil on 14 July 2006 2:21 PM.
Thanks for the correction.
Posted by Antony Shen [TypeKey Profile Page] on 14 July 2006 3:36 PM.
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