State government announces combined rail, bus river tunnel

 

News article: State government announces combined rail, bus river tunnel

The state government says its replacement for the Cross River Rail system is a “once in a generation” and “city defining” project.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The state government says its replacement for the Cross River Rail system is a “once in a generation” and “city defining” project.



The LNP has announced a $5 billion dollar combined bus/train tunnel, merging Cross River Rail with Brisbane City Council's Suburbs 2 City bus plan.



The 5.4 kilometre Brisbane Underground tunnel will run from Dutton Park in the south, past new stations at Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street, to Victoria Park in the north.
State government announces combined rail, bus river tunnel


View the full story

Could this approach work on the proposed Melbourne east west link?  COuld we combine the road tunnel with a rail tunnel ?  Any advantages?

Regards
Brian

Sponsored advertisement

  Carnot Minister for Railways

If it was purely a publicly funded and run project - I can't see why not.  A good way to link in one of the NE lines into the Upfield line at Royal Park or a Metro tunnel?  Makes a future Doncaster line workable wrt capacity?

BUT, if it's a privately run/tolled project, then I doubt it would happen due to perceived competition from Public Transport using that infrastructure... (sound familiar?)

One for lawyers/contract negotiators!
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Why would you do it?

Isn't there already a surface corridor roughly along the alignment of the proposed road tunnel?  Why wouldn't you re-use that?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Why would you do it?

Isn't there already a surface corridor roughly along the alignment of the proposed road tunnel?  Why wouldn't you re-use that?
donttellmywife
Simple - NIMBYs would get upset with overhead wiring, train noise etc in their neighborhood.

The Brisbane proposal (going by renders) is a two lane busway in the top half, double track rail-line below.  Not really anything like East-West which is 2x 3-lane tunnels running parallel to each other (similar to Melba/Mullum Mullum tunnels at Ringwood) with no room for a railway:
http://www.linkingmelbourne.vic.gov.au/pages/rosetta-download-pages.asp?file=lma-fs-011-tunnels-factsheet.pdf
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I don't see the point of having a busway In the same tunnel / same route as a double track passenger railway ?

The double track railway would have enormous passenger carrying capacity.

The plan seams a very high cost option, with the need for a deck for the upper level, plus the fume ventilation required for the buses (unless trolley buses are to be used)
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I don't see the point of having a busway In the same tunnel / same route as a double track passenger railway ?

The double track railway would have enormous passenger carrying capacity.

The plan seams a very high cost option, with the need for a deck for the upper level, plus the fume ventilation required for the buses (unless trolley buses are to be used)
Nightfire
The buses and the trains are ultimately not servicing the same areas - they are just sharing the same infrastructure for the part of their journey through the Brisbane CBD.  

The logic behind the option is that it is cheaper to put them in a shared tunnel than it is to provide two completely separate tunnels.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I don't see the point of having a busway In the same tunnel / same route as a double track passenger railway ?

The double track railway would have enormous passenger carrying capacity.

The plan seams a very high cost option, with the need for a deck for the upper level, plus the fume ventilation required for the buses (unless trolley buses are to be used)
Nightfire

After reading the article a second time I tend to agree.  The idea of using more efficient trains to carry passengers should outweigh the need to provide any buses on the same route. Bus interchange investment might have been a better way to address the "perceived" issue.

Regards
Brian
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The buses and the trains are ultimately not servicing the same areas - they are just sharing the same infrastructure for the part of their journey through the Brisbane CBD.  

The logic behind the option is that it is cheaper to put them in a shared tunnel than it is to provide two completely separate tunnels.
donttellmywife
The question has to be asked, why Is a new busway route needed through the CBD ? When there Is already one !

Building twin single track railway tunnels would have to be much cheaper then a bilevel mega tunnel.

Busway passengers could change at Park Road or Gabba and ride a train to the CBD (are Brisbane passengers reluctant to change mode ?)
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The question has to be asked, why Is a new busway route needed through the CBD ? When there Is already one !

Building twin single track railway tunnels would have to be much cheaper then a bilevel mega tunnel.

Busway passengers could change at Park Road or Gabba and ride a train to the CBD (are Brisbane passengers reluctant to change mode ?)
Nightfire
All passengers are reluctant to change mode, to some extent.  What's reasonable, given implications for things like capacity, cost, travel time, etc., is the issue.

The presence of existing busway routes (or whatever) through the CBD (along different alignments...) doesn't mean that there isn't a reasonable case for additional links.  ("Why is a new rail line needed through the Melbourne CBD when there already is one?"  "Why is a new rail harbour crossing needed in Sydney when there already is one?")

The proposed rail link is primarily to provide extra through-city capacity for services that are relatively long-run in nature.  It is far from ideal to go dumping large amounts of interchange traffic onto these long run services at a point that is relatively close to the final destination of that interchange traffic.  Given the nature of the peak traffic flows that would require that the rail services be underutilised along the majority of their inbound run length (to use the morning peak as an example), so that spare capacity is available for the significant amount of interchange traffic.

There are alternatives, such as providing a separate or substitute short run rail link or whatever across that part of the river and through the CBD, but those alternatives come with their own costs, advantages and disadvantages.  I don't think the case is anywhere near as clear as you or bevans make out.

As a concept (i.e. not dealing with detail) I think the proposal has merit.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Thanks to the decision to begin building busways in 1998 instead of a previously funded light rail system, Brisbane has become very bus focussed. Buses move more people in the South East than trains now and considerably more money has been spent on new busways than new railways in the last decade. Inner city and mid distance commutes are now dominated by busway commuters, so even though rail has the mass transit advantage it is not the preferred mode for large swathes of the Brisbane commuter market. The only reason rail was included in this project is because the Merivale Bridge is approaching saturation and a new rail crossing is needed, not because rail can do a better job than buses...Brisbane will be stuck with the 1998 busway decision for decades to come now and heavy rail will continue playing second fiddle.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Brisbane was very bus focussed, more so than now I'd say, for many decades before 1998.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Brisbane was very bus focussed, more so than now I'd say, for many decades before 1998.
donttellmywife
Sure, but the successful implementation of light rail in 1998 almost certainly would have turned the 'Bus Focus' around. About $7-billion has been spent on busways since then...spending that on light rail or heavy rail would have created a very different Brisbane than the one we have now. Even cities like Houston abandoned busway concepts in favour of light rail during the same period, but Brisbane forged ahead, and that will be the legacy I believe the South East will be living with for a very long time, and why they have to build a double deck bus tunnel now.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
It has been too long since I was reasonably familiar with the public transport networks in Brisbane, so some (if not all) of this is just me talking out my hat, but my impression of the light rail proposals in the late nineties and the network of busways that has subsequently been constructed is that, in part, they are serving different transport markets.  

The light rail routes were more to upgrade specific routes that had reasonably high traffic levels within the route - the logic being that light rail was (perhaps - they were also seen as a means for urban renewal, rather than as a means for transport) a more efficient manner of delivering a certain service capacity along that route.  Consistent with that, most of the proposed light rail routes that I've seen were fairly local to the CBD and inner suburbs in nature.

My perception of the busways is that they perform a role that is more similar to an express train - not so much driven by traffic within the route, but more by the need to get passengers (or perhaps just buses, given the way things were set up) from beyond one end of the route to the other end of the route.  Consistent with that, the busways tend to or are planned to (there are exceptions) end way out in the burbs, and some of the buses then go and play on the normal road network.

There's considerable (if not complete) overlap between the markets and between the technologies that you can use to serve them effectively - it's not black and white, one is not necessarily better than the other, often modes are complementary, the distinction between "heaviness" of rail is rather arbitrary, etc.  I just want to point out a distinction in role between the busway and light rail proposals that you mention.  

If you keep that distinction and increase capacity further, then I think light rail becomes superseded by the short stop metro style train service, and busways morph into long stop heavy rail with feeder buses to the relatively distant stations (which is what others in this thread have suggested - but I don't think the context is right here).  If you said "spend 7 billion on heavy rail then things might be different" I'd be more inclined to agree with you, but realistically $7 billion buys squat amounts of new build heavy rail in a topographically challenging, reasonably dense urban environment without any pre-reserved corridors.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans, Nightfire

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.