Why can't Vline trains depart at the same platform at Southern Cross each time?

  beanzs27 Assistant Commissioner

For example why couldn't all Seymour trains depart platform 1&2, Bendigo 3&4, Ballarat 5&6 and Geelong 7&8. Similar to how Merto trains depart the same platforms at Southern Cross.

Would make it easier when arriving at Southern Cross to know that if I'm going to Bendigo I only have to go to platform 3 or 4 rather than having to find out.

Is this practical?

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  ab123 Chief Train Controller

Not really. For example if a Traralgon arrival forms a Bendigo, to get to from platform 14 to 4, at the moment it would have to go to either Kensington or Essendon to get to platform 4. There are many other factors as well.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
What about when RRL opens? Would it be possible to have all Geelong and Gippsland trains using platforms 15/16?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

After RRL is open and complete it should be possible to depart trains largely from a set group of platforms for each line Group .

Arriving trains is not so easy as a Ballarat or Bendigo arrival may well form a Geelong departure.  But for departures YES set platforms of departure should be possible after RRL and far more passenger friendly .
  beanzs27 Assistant Commissioner

Arrival platform is not that important as departure platform from Southern Cross.
  712M Chief Commissioner

Traralgon departures on weekends (especially footy and race days) can be very unpredictable. On weekdays all trains depart from 13, but on a weekend they can depart from 8B or 8 South so V/Line can save on dead running to Kensington to turn around, but they can also be seen departing from 12 as well as the usual 13. V/Line usually play an announcement to advise of platform changes when boarding commences, but if one rocks up on platform 13 a few minutes before departure time only to find that their train isn't on the board, it's a very long run to 8 South which results in pax missing their service.

Hopefully when 15/16 comes on line this will see all Gippsland trains depart from there as well as all DMU Geelong trains. I noticed that the signage has been altered on the platforms to indicate 15A, 15B, 16A and 16B which would suggest that trains will be able to shunt "on top" of each other.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
As always the operations are managed to suit the railway and not the passenger.  It happens almost anywhere in the world.  There are valid operational reasons why trains cannot always use the same platform for the same service group but in most cases it's possible with a little thought to use the same small grouping of platforms.

Clearly all SG trains must use 1 or 2 which means everything to Albury or Sydney and the occasional train to Adelaide.  It may be possible to have all Seymour and Shepparton trains also using 1, 2 (or 3 if necessary) which places them in the same part of the station.  To maintain some flexibility platforms 3 - 7, which are all more or less in the same part of the station served by the same approach routes, could be used for the Bendigo and Ballarat lines with 8 acting as relief capacity.  The new platforms 15 and 16 would cope with most Geelong and Gippsland line departures but perhaps not all.  

Rolling stock utilisation is at a premium and for many years to come VLP will still require the services of loco-hauled sets which also therefore have to be run round in dock platforms or have a second locomotive provided for the outbound service.  Dudley Street will continue to be used for cleaning and servicing with a myriad shunt moves required between its numerous sidings and shed roads and the several country platforms of the station.  It may not be practicable to get sets from Dudley Street over to 15 or 16 meaning some Gippsland trips might need to depart from 8 or Geelong trains from 1-8.  Track capacity, including conflicts with Metro services, may mean there are times when it isn't possible to bring a train into the ideal platform for its next departure.

There should however be no reason why grouping of platforms to service patterns cannot be worked towards even if it means your train might be on 6 at one time and on 4 at another.  But any given departure should always leave from the same platform under normal circ