Graphic Insight this month takes a look at the number of passenger rail routes in suburban areas which radiate from each of Australia’s State capital cities.
The graph plots the number of different passenger rail routes on the vertical axis against the distance from the main city station on the horizontal axis. For each of the five largest cities there is one line plotted; each point on these lines indicates the number of different passenger rail routes which exist at that particular distance (by rail) from the city.
The data is taken from the various public timetables of the State rail operators current at January 1997. The distance of stations is not always included in Public timetables these days, so many of the distances have been taken from historic timetables or maps published by these operators or their predecessors. The distances are measured from Sydney Central, Melbourne Spencer Street, Brisbane Roma Street, Adelaide and Perth stations. The interstate Standard Gauge lines which run through the suburbs of Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are included in these figures, but the Brisbane Exhibition loop line is not.
Melbourne significantly outpaces all other cities, with a peak of 17 separate routes at 14km from Spencer Street. Sydney has surprisingly few routes considering its relative size, in fact between 10 and 12km, Sydney’s 5 routes ranks it below all cities except Perth Of course the service frequency on Sydney lines is generally higher than in other cities. Interestingly, Sydney reaches its peak number of routes between 26 and 28km from Central, much further out than other cities where the number of routes starts to fall away after 13 or 16km from downtown.
A future Graphic Insight will look at a similar analysis of rail routes through country areas of each state at distances greater than 50km from the capital cities.
Return to THE TIMES overview page