Melb Metro Rail Tunnel: The right lines, the right stations?

 
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Absolutely urban development is part of the agenda here!   Smile  Developing a new suburb close to the CBD - where people will be one stop from Parkville, two stops to Melbourne Central, three stops from Flinders Street, four stops to St. Kilda Road and one stop to Footscray - wow!  Smile  This is great for public transport - gives you massive opportunities to get more people onto public transport that you wouldn't necessarily get if you put the station elsewhere.

Also helps with construction incidentally - you need to start drilling somewhere!  Smile

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What trains would run on the new proposed tunnel route ?

Sunbury/Sunshine Suburban trains ?

If so will some still go via the City Loop

Why terminate the line a Domain ? and not go the extra 2 km's to South Yarra station where passengers from Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston/Sandringham lines could connect with the new line ?
  OJ Junior Train Controller

Put simply, do you put a station into an area that is already served by two other stations to allow for connections, or do you put the station in a new area where there is the potential to grow the market. You weigh up the the benefits of both approaches and make a decision.
"Revenue"


Revenue in this situation it is not an either/or proposition. Macaulay has nearly the same potential for redevelopment that Arden has (they are to all intents the same area). The industrial areas between Newmarket and North Melbourne are all part of the same area in terms of potential - Similar to Cremorne/Church st in Richmond.

The point here, is it is not about an area that is served, because at 1.5km distance between Macaulay and North Melbourne, the central point of this developable area is only around 7 or 8 minutes walk to a station at the most.

Therefore the benefit of Arden is a slightly shorter walk to and from the station, but with no direct connectivity to the rest of the network. Inner city development should also be about connections to a site for providing workplaces. Therefore 3 stations connecting 4 different directions of traffic would provide a much better outcome than 1 station connecting 2.

Also, in the examples you gave, you didn't mention the severely reduced connectivity for people transferring at North Melbourne between the Craigieburn/Upfield corridors and the Sydenham/Melton. In a 2 minute system a change at Footscray would not be such an issue, but this has the potential to ADD significant time to some journeys - something a Macaulay/Sth Kensington station wouldn't have.

These IMO these downsides far outway the benefit of slightly less walking time between development areas around North Melbourne. Particularly where so much overlap occurs.
  fullofrubbish Assistant Commissioner

Location: Brunswick
Put simply, do you put a station into an area that is already served by two other stations to allow for connections, or do you put the station in a new area where there is the potential to grow the market. You weigh up the the benefits of both approaches and make a decision.
"Revenue"


Revenue in this situation it is not an either/or proposition. Macaulay has nearly the same potential for redevelopment that Arden has (they are to all intents the same area). The industrial areas between Newmarket and North Melbourne are all part of the same area in terms of potential - Similar to Cremorne/Church st in Richmond.

The point here, is it is not about an area that is served, because at 1.5km distance between Macaulay and North Melbourne, the central point of this developable area is only around 7 or 8 minutes walk to a station at the most.

Therefore the benefit of Arden is a slightly shorter walk to and from the station, but with no direct connectivity to the rest of the network. Inner city development should also be about connections to a site for providing workplaces. Therefore 3 stations connecting 4 different directions of traffic would provide a much better outcome than 1 station connecting 2.

Also, in the examples you gave, you didn't mention the severely reduced connectivity for people transferring at North Melbourne between the Craigieburn/Upfield corridors and the Sydenham/Melton. In a 2 minute system a change at Footscray would not be such an issue, but this has the potential to ADD significant time to some journeys - something a Macaulay/Sth Kensington station wouldn't have.

These IMO these downsides far outway the benefit of slightly less walking time between development areas around North Melbourne. Particularly where so much overlap occurs.
"OJ"


I'm with OJ. It has to be about quick, easy and efficient connections. If Craigieburn line passengers only connection points to the new Metro are at Footscray, two changes would be required (Footscray and North Melbourne), or Flinders St/Melb Central (which means more passenger volumes to/from Cragieburn are still sitting on valuable City Loop/Flinders St paths when they could be freeing up paths by connecting to Metro at NME to get to destinations like Parkville or St Kilda Rd).

Have extension of tram networks been considered to go along with North Melbourne redevelopment? You mention the role of the 19 trumps any Upfield connections to Parkville, which I agree with living in Brunswick myself. What about extending the route 75 north along Spencer St up into Abbortsford St to run onto West Maryibnong? This would completely open up new options along the Western longitude of the CBD. The current 57 from Elizabeth St could cross over Abbortsford St, take a new route up Maculay Road and terminate at Macaulay station.
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

Nightfire terminating at Domain is only stage 1, stage 2 continues on to Caufield.

If the points redeveloping North Melbourne, I hope they don't repeat Docklands and make sure to expand the trams.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Nightfire terminating at Domain is only stage 1, stage 2 continues on to Caufield.
"LamontCranston"


I know that
But It seems odd the terminate the line at Domain when South Yarra Is only 2 km's away.

I guess there Is route 8 tram
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
For me, the most annoying thing about the new line is that there are existing transport options that could be improved to provide the required service.

Repeatedly we are being told that only new infrastructure will be able to provide the service required - yet the similar amount of money spent upgrading existing networks would provide a much better outcome.

For a large portion of the route, you are simply following existing transport links - Mainly trams but some buses too.

Throw a few billion at the Metro network to fix some of the inner city bottle necks, throw a billion or two fixing the trams on st kilda road (and Swanston St), and throw a few hundred million at the buses to provide a more frequent and later (weekend too!) service, and problem solved.

Big ticket items look great in the press, but actually getting in and fixing the problem would be cheaper and more effective.

One of the best statistic I have ever read to compare Australian networks to European networks is the simple 'density' of networks. Europe has 3 times the density - in other words, network connections and transport options - that Australia does.

A big new train line doesn't fix this, just like a freeway, it simply shifts the problem to a new location.

Fix the problem by treating the problem, not ignoring it!
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
repost from SSC.

my submission (extra comments on their website)

Broadly I agree with the proposed alignments & stations, I think this is the single most important transport project in Victoria and I understand that this is only phase 1 of a 2 phase rail tunnel which will eventually connect with the Caulfield group.

This is a sensible "phasing" approach, however my main criticism is that Phase 1 stops short of really making a difference to tram congestion on St. Kilda Road and does not take full advantage of the development opportunity in the whole corridor.  

At the very least I believe Phase 1 should terminate at St. Kilda junction with 2 more stations firstly at the intersection of Commercial Road and St. Kilda Road and under St. Kilda Junction itself.

St. Kilda Road & Commercial Road is nearby a large patronage generator: The Alfred.  Not to mention it passes by an already robust medium density residential area to the east, but also the many offices and residences on St. Kilda Road itself - there is a large scope to continue intensifying development around this intersection and a 500-750m radius of the station.  Of most interest would be the ability to terminate the #72 tram right at the station, thus channeling all traffic on this tram directly into the station for the quicker journey to the city and terminating the #72 at this Commercial Road station would allow the route to the east of St. Kilda road to have its service frequency significantly increased making the tram more attractive to people living and working further eastward on Commercial Road.  Frequency can be increased overnight (when the station opens that is!) as the trams wouldn't need to make the journey to Melbourne University where it currently terminates - a win win, high frequency trams on Commercial Road and higher capacity on St. Kilda Road.

St. Kilda Junction.  The #16 tram currently is overloaded with tourist traffic headed toward St. Kilda from the city and although St. Kilda junction is still a good 1km from the main part of St. Kilda which draws the crowds, like at Commercial Road, terminating tram routes at the station and channeling the traffic in and out of the new stations allows more people to be moved more efficiently and allows tram route frequencies to significantly increased owing to the reduced journey length (if keeping the same number of trams on the route).  There is an even larger scope for intensifying development around St. Kilda junction station than at Commercial Road (not that this should be discounted at Commercial Road) and scope to terminate the #16 tram at St. Kilda junction station, as well as the Dandenong Road #5 and #64 trams.

Locating the Domain Station to the north of Park Street ensures a larger catchment of South Melbourne, the Shrine  and the Botanic gardens patronage would be catered for and it would ensure that there is a more attractive (from a train operational viewpoint) distance between the Domain and Commercial Road stations.

The #3, #64, #8 and #6 trams should remain running as tram routes on St. Kilda Road to Melbourne University to keep the surface presence on the route.  And all terminating tram routes as mentioned above should have their frequencies increased to cater for the larger amount of connecting traffic.

A further 2.5km of tunnels and two more stations will cost more - undoubtedly, however I believe it better addresses the issues with St. Kilda Road's tram congestion, better serves visitors to Melbourne, better serves the existing working population, better serves the existing residents, provides a far more heavy rail connection to the Alfred (and not to mention provides a more convenient access method to The Alfred from the west and north of Melbourne and also provides a fast cross town link between the major biomedical precinct in Parkville with this satellite biomedical precinct in Prahran) and most of all it will intensify development around St. Kilda Road.  And a heavy rail line is exactly what is needed to move the corridor to a proper fully-fledged high density corridor - like the justification for the Arden station, there is enormous scope to develop these areas.
  Robbb01 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Shhhh!
Honestly...my opinion.

Kensington and Macualy would be great interchange points, but they are too close, and more denser development WONT WORK because of City link's presence. The stations will have pathetic patronage.

If people want to interchange from the Sydenham line to the Craigieburn or Upfield, they can either walk to Arden (only a few hundred metres,) or in the future, im sure a tramline will connect the 2 stations. Catching a train to Melbourne Central and interchanging shouldn't take long anyway.

Arden will release massive potential for a gateway to the northern and western suburbs, as Saint Vincents Plaza and Southbank act as gateways to the east and south. In the future, with tram extensions to the area, it could become a very dense area.

I also believe Domain is a suitable location for now...
Fixing up the northern group is priority, and then we can start on the Caulfield Group.
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

What sort of provisions does this have for future upgrades?
I mean suppose they did get around to the Doncaster railway some time in the next century Rolling Eyes, could a connection be built from Clifton Hill to this tunnel (presumably underground) which the three railways would alternate between using I guess - or would it be full?
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
Tayser - in you submission you said ---
The #3, #64, #8 and #6 trams should remain running as tram routes on St. Kilda Road to Melbourne University

Just for good order, did you mean at this point to say #67?  You had mentioned terminating #64 at the Junction.

In thinking about trams, another option would be for one of the existing routes to run via Kingsway to terminate in William St.  The current William St service (just one route) is pretty sparce and doesn't encourage workers at that end of the city to use it to connect to their St Kilda Rd services (and vice versa).    Yarra Trams experimented with running the #5 service to William St for a few days some time back (maybe during one of the Grand Prix?  ...not sure), but it was pretty unpopular.  But with the option of transferring to a metro, the idea might be more acceptable.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
msilsby, you're right. It does duplicate current infrastructure, but just upgrading the trams and buses isn't going to get you more inner-city heavy rail capacity is it! Wink
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
Look, I agree with the argument that there needs additional capacity on the St Kilda Road/Swanston street corridor, but I disagree that there needs to be $5 Billion + heavy rail corridor that simply follows the alignment of an existing light rail/tram corridor.

At the moment we have this corridor serviced by 1975 (and onwards) built trams that operate along track/alignment that was built in a different era.

Imagine, if you will, 5 or 7 car trams operating at a 5 minute frequency both along st kilda road and to St Kilda.

In Paris I rode on a 7 car tram that was coupled to another 7 car tram. The capacity would have to be 2/3rds of a 6 car train, and it operated along a corridor that was being serviced more frequently than a train could every operate (I remember standing behind the driver and seeing the tram in front of us).

Lets bring this corridor into the 21st century (and for that matter, the entire light rail/tram network) and operate nothing short of 5 car trams.

$5 billion spent on Melbournes tram network would not only allow significant track upgrades, but would allow replacement of the entire fleet as well as the construction of the required 2 or 3 depots to handle the additional rolling stock.

$5 Billion spent on a heavy rail tunnel that goes to Domain (or even St Kilda Junction) is not good transport planning. Good transport planning is looking at the transport needs and providing the best solution that not just best meets the requirements, but best utilises the resources (read: Money) available.

In other words, Upgrade, before Build New.
  Speed Minister for Railways

What sort of provisions does this have for ...a connection be built from Clifton Hill to this tunnel (presumably underground) which the three railways would alternate between using
"LamontCranston"
The Eddingtunnel is about building extra track that trains servicing Caulfield and Footscray can use, thus removing contention and bottlenecks. Sharing those tracks with the Clifton Hill group would have the opposite effect in causing chaos by introducing contention that wasn't there before.

If there were a Clifton Hill to Newport via Montague Street tunnel built, it should be entirely separate from the other existing tracks once it submerged.

The increased population in Melbourne's north-west and the calls / rumours for an airport line, together with the existing population base in the south-east means that it could be worthwhile to allow for quadruplicate broad-gauge line. I'm sure that someone's already suggested that Eddingtunnel should have a standard-gauge freight line somewhere in this thread too.

Why terminate the line at Domain and not go the extra 2 km's to South Yarra station
"Nightfire"
If you go through to Caulfield, you remove a bottleneck up from Caulfield. If you go from South Yarra, there's contention for pathways between Caulfield and South Yarra.

That contention will be a problem even if you only run the tunnel from Domain Interchange to South Yarra as a "temporary" measure (I'm imputing something with those inverted commas rather than quoting verbatim).
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

In other words, Upgrade, before Build New.


Yes, indeed.

Stop the Nero fiddling whilst Rome burns.
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
If you go through to Caulfield, you remove a bottleneck up from Caulfield.

Isn't the real bottleneck just at Caulfield?    Surely if you had proper infrastructure there (flyover/under), then you could use the existing lines to/from South Yarra more effectively, one as a fast line, and one as a stopping line.    Building a metro all the way to Caulfield seems a "gold-plated" way of solving issues at this point.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Isn't the real bottleneck just at Caulfield? Surely if you had proper infrastructure there (flyover/under), then you could use the existing lines to/from South Yarra more effectively, one as a fast line, and one as a stopping line. Building a metro all the way to Caulfield seems a "gold-plated" way of solving issues at this point


Patronage has doubled on the metropolitan train network in less than ten years. When you consider how long a project like this takes to build, then it becomes clear that having six tracks from Caulfield to the city is really no less than what is required to cope with future demand. Don't look at demand now - look at demand ten or fifteen years from now.

Big ticket items look great in the press, but actually getting in and fixing the problem would be cheaper and more effective.


Given the time required to get funding for and build such a project, and given the patronage growth that is forecast, I think that any short term measures (and sure, there are some) buy you time, but only enough time to build the project.

Revenue in this situation it is not an either/or proposition. Macaulay has nearly the same potential for redevelopment that Arden has (they are to all intents the same area). The industrial areas between Newmarket and North Melbourne are all part of the same area in terms of potential - Similar to Cremorne/Church st in Richmond.


The project team looked at this, and also looked at the issue of constructability, and came to another conclusion.

There was a massive amount of work done on looking at the alignment and I think they got it right.
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
I'll start by saying that at current, Smart Passengers Inc. does not have an official response to the tunnel proposal, and the following is my personal opinion.

With that in mind, like many others I would like to see the Metro rail tunnel run from Footscray to Kensington, then rejoin the official alignment around Parkville.

I accept that the gradient from Kensington station to Moonee Ponds Creek makes interchange with both locations difficult if not impossble - I think that's what Revenue meant when he mentioned "constructability" above. I don't know where to look to find official values for the depth of the creek, but when I last visited the area a few years back, the gradient left a lasting impression.

However, given that the proposed new suburban near Arden Station is within walking distance of North Melbourne station, and it has a tram nearby, I don't think that station is really needed. Further, eventually it is likely that the Upfield Line will be rerouted south of Jewell station, and there are a plethora of proposals online detailing this option. Once that happens, Macaulay station will probably cease to exist, so any attempts to develop an interchange there are moot.

So I wonder, would an interchange at Kensington station only, be viable if the railway were dropped below Macaulay Road at that location? I understand that doing so would cost us the heritage signal box and railway station, and the flour mills. But the latter can be moved to a new location, (possibly Tottenham which will eliminate inner-city train reversals,) and my opinion in regards to heritage is that when there is no alternative, the future must take precedance over the past and to that end heritage must be abolished to make way for progress.

Kensington would be fairly easy to grade-separate. If we assume that the station were to be moved south so that it is central beneath Macaulay Road, that gives us 610 metres from the edge of the Racecourse Road bridge at Newmarket, in which to drop 3+10 metres. That gives a gradient of 610/13 = 1:45 or 2.13%.

Assuming that the flour mills can be moved, the only hole in my alternative plan is the flyover from Kensington to North Melbourne's platforms 5 and 6; I can't find any gradient diagrams for that section of track, so I have no way of knowing how that would be affected.

As for the rest of the route, from Parkville to Domain, I can see the benefits and I generally agree with the alignment; I note that the *.pdf maps indicate that a short section beyond Domain station will be tunnelled, as a starting point for the remaining tunnel to Caulfield.

The only thing I dislike is the placement of Domain station; personally I would place it approximately 300 metres further north, so that it has proper interchange with the Domain tram stop and junction; on the other hand that 300 metres may be accounted for by station depth and resulting escelator length?

Again, I will emphasise that the above is the personal opinion of David J. Stosser, and not the official opinion of Smart Passengers Inc. or any other groups I am associated with.

Incidentally, the grade separation and upgrade of Kensington Station ties in nicely with some of my other proposals, including a reroute of the Craigieburn line from Essendon to Kensington exclusive, via Mount Alexander Road.
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
Revenue says
Patronage has doubled on the metropolitan train network in less than ten years. When you consider how long a project like this takes to build, then it becomes clear that having six tracks from Caulfield to the city is really no less than what is required to cope with future demand. Don't look at demand now - look at demand ten or fifteen years from now.

Hard to disagree - except are 6 tracks to Caulfield really a higher priority than a 3rd line from Caulfield to Dandenong?   Or to Clifton Hill?   Or are these also part of the "plan", just that we haven't been told yet?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Hard to disagree - except are 6 tracks to Caulfield really a higher priority than a 3rd line from Caulfield to Dandenong?   Or to Clifton Hill?   Or are these also part of the "plan", just that we haven't been told yet?
"gxh"


An extension of the Northern proposed underground line to Clifton Hill from Parkville would be a welcome addition.

This could take some pressure off Jolimont/Clifton Hill section. It would also mean trains from the Northern group could run to Melbourne Uni (direct to Parkville from Clifton Hill) cutting significant time off the current route via Flinders Street and then a tramto the Uni.

I do also wonder about any potential advantages the now defunct inner circle railway could have provided northern suburbs passengers?

Regards
Brian
  Speed Minister for Railways

The Eddingtunnel arrangement as proposed sets down Northern Group passengers at Melbourne University. (Once continued to Caulfield it will also allow passengers from there to travel directly to Parkville.)

Do you mean, "trains from the Clifton Hill Group could run to Melbourne Uni"?
  gobillino Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
As I understand it, the third track caulfield-springvale and metro stg 2 form the final two stages in the govts 6 stage rail plan. So both are considered to be of similar priority. Although I do recall hearing somewhere that metro 2 had to precede springvale triplication. Someone else might be able to clarify why...?

Clifton Hill to the northern metro might relieve pressure on the CH group, but then would put pressure back on the performance of the eddington tunnel. CH = 2 lines, Edd tunnel = 2 lines ultimately (sunbury and Melton). And the tunnel is based around through routing to Pakenham and Cranbourne. Would you through route a CH line through or terminate in the Cbd (and how would you turn it around?)
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

I accept that the gradient from Kensington station to Moonee Ponds Creek makes interchange with both locations difficult if not impossble - I think that's what Revenue meant when he mentioned "constructability" above.


I'm not close enough to the project to comment on gradient issues. The constructability point was in relation to the station. When you build tunnels you need to start in a concrete box (eg. build a box, point the drilling machines towards the wall and go for it).

I understand that Arden is designed to be the box. In otherwords the box they build for the drilling is also the box they use for the station after it is all done. It means building the station is much cheaper.

Hard to disagree - except are 6 tracks to Caulfield really a higher priority than a 3rd line from Caulfield to Dandenong? Or to Clifton Hill? Or are these also part of the "plan", just that we haven't been told yet?


Yes, they are a higher priority. No one is saying that extra tracks from Caulfield to Dandenong or to Clifton Hill aren't a good idea - but the priority is to get more tracks into the core of the network.
  Speed Minister for Railways

Hard to disagree - except are 6 tracks to Caulfield really a higher priority than a 3rd line from Caulfield to Dandenong? ... are these also part of the "plan", just that we haven't been told yet?
"gxh"
Triplication was announced but then deferred until the Eddingtunnel was constructed through to Caulfield.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
I believe Museum was the box for the MURL project, yeah?

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