Graphic Insight this month takes a look at the number of passenger rail routes in which radiate from each of Australia’s State capital cities into country areas of those States. 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.
Interstate routes are included here, and State borders play no part in the calculations, thus the route South from Brisbane to Sydney is included in the number of routes out of Brisbane although most of it is in NSW, similarly even though there is no route in Victoria more than 516km from Melbourne (Serviceton via Cressy), the two interstate routes are shown beyond the borders. Also of note is that the cutoff point of 1000km is fairly arbitrary, and beyond there there are further data points particularly in Queensland where there are connecting trains which extend to beyond 2000km from Brisbane.
For a more detailed depiction of the number of routes in the zone up to 50km from each of the Cities, see Graphic Insight in the April 1997 edition of "The Times"
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