Geelong metro system

 
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

It would appear to be relatively simple to implement a metro suburban network in Geelong. Looking on google maps there are existing rail corridors. Has there been any planning done towards this.

These are the different lines. The network would be something like this. But with stations.

Melbourne - Geelong - Warrnambool
Corio Independent Goods Line
Fyansford
Cunningham Pier
Queenscliff
Geelong Racecourse

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  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Okay, nice idea, but:

* The fairly frequent Vline services from Marshall to Melbourne (soon to be extended to Waurn Ponds) already provide a local service from the southern suburbs to the main Geelong station and the northern suburbs.

* The short Cunningham Pier and Fyansford lines are closed and lifted. The land is now used for other purposes.

* There is a steep single line tunnel between Geelong and South Geelong. It's adequate for current services, but a large increase in frequencies would be beyond its capacity. And it would cost squillions to duplicate.

* There is a single line bridge over the Barwon River, this would also be shockingly expensive to duplicate

* There is a shortage of railcars and when the current order for 43 new Velocities is completed, there will be enough to run current services across the state, but not enough to displace sufficient Sprinter railcars to run your proposed services.

* The more distant half of the Queenscliff line has been converted to narrow gauge and is run as a tourist railway. The section between South Geelong and Drysdale is abandoned and vacant, BUT Victoria has a policy of no new level crossings. Since many roads cross the route, it would cost hundreds of millions to build a lot of road bridges over any rebuilt line to Drysdale.

* Geelong station is on the edge of the CBD, I used to commute to Geelong by train and I had a 15 minute walk from the station to my office. Other destinations like the base hospital are a similarly long way from the railway station. So the station isn't all that friendly for people wanting to get to much of central Geelong.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I was thinking about this yesterday when looking at the Melways. It would be nice, but I don't see a huge need for it.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Geelong already has a bus system.
Besides, Cunningham Pier is within walking distance from Geelong Station.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Major constraints - which are not insuperable but are likely to be way beyond any budget - include the tunnel and river bridge. Station capacity at Geelong itself may also be an issue.

While Geelong is Victoria's second city it is nowhere near Melbourne in population and size. The bus service isn't perfect but neither is Melbourne's. However it can be upgraded far more cost-effectively than emplacing a rail metro.

Geelong station itself may not be in the most ideal situation for a majority of people. Buses penetrate the city centre rather better leaving people closer to where they wish to be.

Buses can also penetrate residential areas better than rail. It is worth noting that the new stations of Marshall and Waurn Ponds are on an existing line effectively extending the South Geelong service a short distance towards Warrnambool. No significant new building other than the stations themselves has been required as they don't take rail into otherwise unserved areas.

Based on the loadings already carried I would suggest there is a need to run both more and longer trains through to Warrnambool which would require the reinstatement of at least one loop and the provision of an additional platform at the crossing point if a time-consuming double-shunt is to be avoided.  Those are enhancements which present traffic levels suggests are cost effective.

I question the need for a heavy-rail option on many of the proposed routes. It would be far better in my opinion to consider options for taking the railway to Torquay and ideally a little beyond to service the surf coast. But it wouldn't be able to penetrate the town centre; it would have to remain outside more or less on the line of the main road or even beyond. That doesn't lend itself to being a people's popular choice of transport - if they need a car to get to the station for a relatively short ride they will mostly drive all the way.

Likewise I see no justification for a local passenger service across the "plains" line toward Ararat. Townships like Inverleigh which once had stations are still very small and would be very unlikely to sustain such a service.

There might be a case for a reopening of the Geelong - Ballarat passenger rail link which is already extensively discussed elsewhere on this site.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Probably the only 'local' service that may have some merit is Geelong to Bannockburn.
The Geelong Ballarat coach service is usually full on leaving or arriving at Geelong, and probably half of the coach seem to leave or get on at Bannockburn.

The rest of Geelongs train stations (Lara to Marshall) are already served by a frequent train service, and an extensive bus system.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Would bannockburn be enough or would you run to the next station beyond there ?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It's all going to come down to public demand for better transport links.

One would say Waurn Ponds Is / will be very well served by road and rail links.

Come to places like Newcomb and Leopold that are linked only by busy roads that run Into Geelong CBD, the residents of these communities are the one's who are going to make things happen, by making better transport links a hot political Issue.

If the people of Leopold are not Interested In a passenger train service, well they just won't get one.

The Idea of an Eastern Geelong ring road pushed by the road lobby seams to been watered down with Rossack Drive Grovedale been developed as a residential street Instead of a highway / freeway.

I can't work out why M1 Geelong ring road didn't fully bypass Waurn Ponds, Instead now we have a large dogleg In the M1 (that didn't really need to be there) great sums of money has been poured Into treading the M1 through Waurn Ponds.

A poor mans version of a bypass road Is been built to link the Surf Coast Highway to Anglesea Road/M1 freeway.

The Idea of a tunnel / bridge across Corio Bay and Port Phillip heads all seam a bit way to far fetched (all making EW Link a walk In the park)
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
The cost of a short light rail operation to Cunningham Pier (from where, if the rest were heavy rail?) would be woefully out of the budget ball-park. We are probably talking tens of millions of dollars for what? A kilometre or two? And the need for a depot and at least routine maintenance facilities. Pie meet sky.

If it were part of a Geelong-wide network then the costs can be apportioned very differently.

The population of greater Geelong is around 220,000 (2011 : 215,000 and estimated to be growing at 2500 a year). It's growing fast but not as fast as western and south-eastern Melbourne which are well over an hour from their CBD and with often rather limited public transport options. Much of Geelong is within 20 minutes' drive of its CBD and little more by bus. The economics simply don't stack up.

I am all for providing cost-effective public transport as a credible travel option but not at any price. It must be considered in the light of costs, likely benefits and anticipated patronage. A short light-rail (or indeed heavy rail) link to Cunningham Pier does not meet a major travel need that I can see.

For most busy corridors buses are likely to remain the most efficient option.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Looking at Google maps the Fyansberg line is closed but the rail easement is not used for other purposes. Cunningham Pier could be light rail.

wxtre

That track is long lifted.
It is now somewhere between Queenscliff and Drysdale.  Now in 3'6.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
The rail easement is still in place, maybe a park has been built on a section or two, but the land hasn't been alienated or built on.

HOWEVER, it was only ever a short freight line from Fyansford to North Geelong. No passengers would want to take such a route between two suburbs. The rail distance between Fyansford up to North Geelong and then south to Geelong CBD would be about twice the road distance
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Google maps showing yet again just how horribly out of date they can be.

Geelong may one day justify a light rail network, but that day is a fair way into the future. As for Heavy Rail, zero chance.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Would bannockburn be enough or would you run to the next station beyond there ?
freightgate

Bannockburn may be enough to warrant a train, but I'd operate a train from Marshall, or even run a few trains from Southern Cross during the peak periods to Bannockburn via Nth Geelong.


Lethbridge is the next station, and there probably wouldn't be enough patronage to warrant a train specifically to Lethbridge, but one station further on, Meredith, may be do-able.
I have noticed more people getting on and off the coach at Meredith than at Lethbridge, but I wouldn't go any further with a suburban train from Geelong....if you want to extend a train to a station beyond Meredith from Geelong, you may as well extend the train to Ballarat, and that is the subject of another thread here Laughing
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

The train lines would be:

Lara Line
Bannockburn Line
Fyansford Line
Waurn Ponds Line
Queenscliff Line


Extra lines would be a light rail service to Cunningham Pier
A Torquay Line and Inverleigh line in the future.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Okay thankyou QSB6.7. But the rail easement is still there. This Google map is only 4 years ago.
wxtre

There Is a pedestrian / cycle path alongside most of the former railway, I would guess that the railway easement will be preserved as a liner park (as you find In many European Cities) chances of a railway returning In the future ! very close to 0%
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

There Is a pedestrian / cycle path alongside most of the former railway, I would guess that the railway easement will be preserved as a liner park (as you find In many European Cities) chances of a railway returning In the future ! very close to 0%

I would return these train lines as mentioned above. Geelong would take the pressure of Melbourne's Urban sprawl as a viable alternative with proper modern infrastructure.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The train lines would be:

Lara Line
Bannockburn Line
Fyansford Line
Waurn Ponds Line
Queenscliff Line


Extra lines would be a light rail service to Cunningham Pier
A Torquay Line and Inverleigh line in the future.
wxtre

OK, Lara and Waurn Ponds are both on the mainline and are already well served by rail (soon to be for Waurn Ponds anyway, currently for Lara), this will be bumped up significantly when RRL is fully operational in the next 12-18 months Queenscliff

Bannockburn
on it's own does not warrant a service. However, a fully fledged Ballarat - Geelong service, stopping at Meredith, Lethbridge, Bannockburn and North Geelong could be justified, but this will not be funded. For further details on this line, there is already several threads on this topic.

Fyansford, I fail to see what purpose this line would serve. The line as it was ran from Fyansford (in Geelong's outer west) to North Geelong. There would not be a lot of takers for this sort of route. Add to that, where the Fyansford line actually terminated is not exactly a hotbed of activity. There wouldn't be much to gain out of running a minibus, let alone a train.

Queenscliff, This topic is already being discussed thoroughly in the Drysdale line thread.

In short, IT WON'T HAPPEN!!!
That is all.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I would return these train lines as mentioned above. Geelong would take the pressure of Melbourne's Urban sprawl as a viable alternative with proper modern infrastructure.
wxtre

No this is not how it works. You need to visit Spain. They tried this approach, all you end up with is large towns and cities with wonderful modern infrastrucure and no people to use it. Thinking like this is why Spain is in the toilet (economically speaking at least).
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
The line from Marshall to Lara can be pretty much considered our metro network. There may not really be any reason to go from South Geelong to North Shore by train though. Except a Cats fan might like to go from North Shore to South Geelong to the footy. (Edited)
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I would return these train lines as mentioned above. Geelong would take the pressure of Melbourne's Urban sprawl as a viable alternative with proper modern infrastructure.
wxtre

Problem the Fyansford Line would not be regarded as proper modern Infrastructure because as stated earlier It has an un useful alignment that serves no passenger generating activity centres.

The line was a purpose built goods line that serve the now demolished cement works.

A tram line along Aberdeen Street would give much bigger bang for your buck, If a passenger rail connection was required for Fyansford.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I vaguely remember a half baked Kennett promise in 92 to send the W Class Trams Down here. There is no room for Trams here in this day and age and I would oppose bringing trams back, and would oppose light rail that would not be connected to the broad gauge network.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Wonderful modern infrastrucure and no people to use it. Thinking like this is why Spain is in the toilet (economically speaking at least).
Gman_86W

Is this where brand new light rail systems are not been opened or have been closed because the local governments have no funds available In their budgets to run them and brad new rolling stock has been sold off (to cut losses)
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Are you going to fund it?

I can tell you this as a fact, not a belief but an indisputable fact. No governement, Labor or Liberal, state or federal will fund this. Not now, not in 50 years.

Again, that is a fact, please get your head around that.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Is this where brand new light rail systems are not been opened or have been closed because the local governments have no funds available In their budgets to run them and brad new rolling stock has been sold off (to cut losses)
Nightfire

That's right. They even have brand new international airports that have closed 2 or 3 years after opening because there is no longer anybody there to use them. I'm talking about airports that are completely furnished, everything down to the roller chairs behind desks in offices, literally all that's missing is the people and the planes.

It's not just airports, there are complete bussiness parks with office buildings, shops and apartment buildings that are 95% vacant. This is where this 'build it before there is demand' mentality gets you. It's not a pretty sight.
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

I can tell you this as a fact, not a belief but an indisputable fact. No governement, Labor or Liberal, state or federal will fund this. Not now, not in 50 years.

This is why Australia should be broken into smaller states. There are alot of medium sized cities in Australia that desperately need future transport planning. But State governments do not allocate funds for the second-tier cities. Cities such as Geelong, Gold Coast-Tweed, Newcastle-Maitland, Canberra-Quanbeyan, Woolongong, Hobart. All need to have transport planning because in 100 years time they will not have the infrastructure to cope. Look what they are proposing to do in Newcastle by cutting 2 kilometers of track into the CBD. This is not good planning.


In Spain I believe they have the same issues and Catalonia wants to break away and have independence. It is surprising these regional areas do not feel similar in Australia

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