L2 and L3 times
  Richard Youl

For anyone interested in actual times, I was in Sydney last week and from the previous Thursday and ran my video camera during 10 separate single trips on these lines (5 returns).

The timetabled running time for both is 33 minutes while Arthur Perry advised that the former Sydney Tramway allowed 12 minutes from Circular Quay to Rawson Place (Haymarket) via Pitt and Castlereagh Streets. L2 L3 also are timetabled at 12 minutes to Haymarket.

TOTAL (start to stop). CQ - Railway

31:25. 11:43
34:51. 12:16
36:00. 12:54. (Delayed after catching the tram in front at Wynyard.)
34:17. 13:48
34:20. 13:05
33:40. 12:11
34:43. 13:25
36:31. 12:00
34:27. 12:37

After one trip to Randwick, I caught an early afternoon bus to circular Quay from the bus stop along the shopping street from the tram terminus. The service ran fairly directly to the tram reservation where it shared some of the tramline before heading off for Oxford, Liverpool and Elizabeth Streets. I ran the camera as a stopwatch and the running time was 27 minutes BUT I was astonished to find that the bus terminus was at least 100 m short of Bridge Street and to reach circular Quay it is necessary to also walk all the way down the rather steep Hill of Phillip Street which still ends some distance from the tram terminus and ferry wharves. So your decision upon mode of transport would be based purely on your city destination/starting point. There is no point catching one mode if your destination is much closer to the other mode.

To some degree, the lines seem to be used by two lots of passengers, those riding anywhere between Circular Quay and Central (Chalmers St), and those riding between Central and the outer termini. Of course plenty of people rode through Central as well.

Traffic light priority in general was very good with just a few failure locations mentioned later. One feature I did like was that occasionally if two trams were approaching a cross street from opposite directions, the first one there may be held up for 10 or 15 seconds and then a ‘double cross’ took place which is better than what may otherwise happen in Gold Coast or Canberra where the first tram may ‘steal’ the T light cycle from the second tram which sometimes sits and watches as the other tram comes and goes.

Crossing Pitt Street is definitely a failure, my observations backed up by a tram driver who told me the T light comes at a certain part of the traffic light cycle so it’s potluck as to whether your delay there is short or quite long.

I have not done detailed comparisons elsewhere yet, but it looks like Bligh Street is another failure with no tram priority. Priority at Hay Street where the L1 crosses also seems a bit erratic considering it only caters for trams and pedestrians. Cleveland Street at Moore Park has debatable priority as does Alison Road where it joins Anzac Parade and Dacey Ave. Gardiners Road at Kingsford also seems to have little tram priority. High St leading to the L2 Terminus is full of silly failures considering the minor nature of cross streets at traffic lights including entrances to a hospital there.

Nevertheless apart from these grumbles, I feel the two lines are running quite efficiently and it would be difficult to prune more than a couple of minutes off current running times. At least daytime, the 20 km/h limit from Wynyard to Townhall I feel is warranted but debatable from Town Hall to Haymarket where currently road beautification works are taking place with sections fenced off for workmen safety.