CBD capacity: Why not just add another two tracks to the Flinders Street - Southern Cross viaduct and create a second cross city group?

 
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

I was looking through the plans for the defunct Melbourne Metro and the new Melbourne Link plan that has replaced it and despairing that we now have to start a whole new round of planning and studies before we come close to getting anymore track capacity in Melbourne. I also read something about a Café being built at platform 11 at Flinders Street, which I am sure is desperately needed...

Getting back to the core problem that the Metro is designed to solve...basically the need for two extra tracks through the CBD area, surely the lowest risk, quickest to build and cheapest solution to removing the networks biggest bottleneck is to expand the Flinders Street viaduct.

For those who know more about the finer issues of scheduling trains, why wouldn't simply expanding...or building a new viaduct between Flinders Street and Southern Cross with an additional track pair running into platforms 10 & 11 via the new platforms 15 & 16 at Southern Cross be an equally valid solution to the capacity problems? Platforms 15 & 16 for the Regional Rail Link could be replaced with two further platforms 17 & 18.

In terms of operations, this would allow the Sunbury (and future Melton lines) to run direct through to Frankston via platforms 8 & 9 and Laverton, Werribee and Williamstown to terminate at 10 & 11. Sandringham would still terminate at 13.

This would remove Sunbury from the Northern loop and Frankston from the Caulfield loop. Two huge bottlenecks removed there and no tunnels required.

It seems so obvious there MUST be a flaw in this plan. Oh and it also has the benefit of keeping the Pakenham and Cranbourne line trains in the full City Loop, which the Melbourne Rail Link would not and Frankston trains would also still run through Flinders Street...

Thoughts?

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  stu1818 Junior Train Controller

Location: Longwarry, Victoria
Platforms 15 & 16 for the Regional Rail Link could be replaced with two further platforms 17 & 18.

platforms 17 and 18 would be on the existing road that runs alongside 16 at the moment
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

platforms 17 and 18 would be on the existing road that runs alongside 16 at the moment
stu1818

Minor issue compared to prospect of building a tunnel several kilometres long.
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
I've just had a quick look at Rod Eddington's East-West Rail Link Report and in 2008 he thought it'd take 4-5 years to build the viaduct which would help deliver an extra 16 train per hour, compared to 2-3 years to through route the Burnley and Northen Loops which would allow 20 more trains per hour.

The Eddingtunnel would take 9-10 years for 44 extra trains per hour.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Getting back to the core problem that the Metro is designed to solve...basically the need for two extra tracks through the CBD area, surely the lowest risk, quickest to build and cheapest solution to removing the networks biggest bottleneck is to expand the Flinders Street viaduct.
Mr. Lane

No immediate room. The aquarium would be a major problem as it extends between Flinders St and the river, wrapping around the existing viaducts. The other issues would be the old exhibition centre at the corner of Spencer St and Flinders St. I'm sure you could add another viaduct if you really pressed, but it would not be cheap or easy.

There would also be the small problem of public opinion over building over more of the parks lining the Yarra bank. I doubt the MCC would agree to such a proposal. There are already groups wishing to remove the viaducts entirely to open up a connection between the Yarra and the city.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Especially as they have allowed building on the north side of the viaduct almost up to the railway (relatively recently too!!).
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
No immediate room. The aquarium would be a major problem as it extends between Flinders St and the river, wrapping around the existing viaducts. The other issues would be the old exhibition centre at the corner of Spencer St and Flinders St. I'm sure you could add another viaduct if you really pressed, but it would not be cheap or easy.

There would also be the small problem of public opinion over building over more of the parks lining the Yarra bank. I doubt the MCC would agree to such a proposal. There are already groups wishing to remove the viaducts entirely to open up a connection between the Yarra and the city.
historian

I believe that when the Aquarium was last extended, provision for extra tracks/& viaduct was built into the design.  I'm sure I've spotted the lowered roof line in the building and I think it lies in between the existing viaducts.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
The aquarium does allow for track amplification.

As explained from the Eddington report, the benefits of the cross city tunnel are far more than two extra tracks - it would have allowed for modal shift from the St Kilda Road tram corridor, which there hasn't been any other solution that I've seen to deal with it. Unfortunately, this was ruined by the Liberals and their dodgy tunnel...
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
I thought the idea was to build it on the south side and have it going over the Aquarium, but I'm not sure how they'd deal with the Banana Alley Vaults, or the section that passes over the Yarra.
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

Looking at the Google maps I see a number of pinch points both south and north of the existing viaducts.  

What about above?

Could a two-track second deck be built above the southern viaduct?
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

Minor issue compared to prospect of building a tunnel several kilometres long.
Mr. Lane

You are right.  The road (Wurungeri Way) has an enormous median strip that could take the south-bound lanes. The bottleneck would be the supports to the Collins street bridge.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The Aquarium was only designed to allow one more viaduct track (freight).

Similarly any more than that and you're also into the Yarra turning basin and Crowne Plaza, and even with one there are major issues at Queensbridge and the Spencer St/Flinder St intersection.

And even if you resolve all that, you haven't really created any additional capacity.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Spam.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Preferred alignment metro tunnel/link. This is a combination between the Eddington Plan and the new Melbourne Rail Link proposal and the Doncaster line proposal.. I have also added an extra station called Victoria Market.It connects the Frankston line to Morang line.
wxtre

I saw your plan in the other thread. If building this, I can't see why one wouldn't just build the original Metro.

The problem with all of these tunnelling plans is that they wont start for years and wont be finished for even more years. Realistically the metro rail tunnel is 10-12 years away even if the ALP gets on with it right away after the next election (and it is looking like they will win).

I seriously doubt that there is commitment from the ALP to actually do it now...so this is why I am seeking an above ground alternative. If Eddington says this will make a 16 train per hour improvement in around 3-5 years, it's a definite option. None of the obstacles mentioned are even close to the engineering complexity of the Metro tunnel. I also believe that the Libs wont build their alternative.

The Northern-Burnley group through route plan I was never aware of. I will need to get a hold of this report.

I have no doubt that more through routing combined with moving block signalling is where PTV is going to go with all of this.  Yes I know signalling has its own issues on mixed use lines with level crossings, but this is probably why there is a big push on to get rid of them on the busy lines.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Well why cant we be like Chinese cities or Moscow or London or Sydney or any other modern city that has no issue with tunneling.

In Chinese cities they add a new underground subway line every year. The Moscow metro is expanding by almost 150 kilometers in 2012-2020. There are 24 tunnel boring machines working in Moscow at present. In Sydney they are building the North West Rail Link, 15 km of twin tunnels will be built from to Epping to Bella Vista. In London they are building Crossrail 42 km of new tunnels. And in Melbourne we find it difficult to build one subway line/station since the 1970's. Why can all of these other cities complete these projects quickly and build a proper underground transport system but we cannot? It helps when governments actually complete projects in less than 5 years so people can actually use them and are not dead.
wxtre

Oh I agree! But that is a separate issue, which has been done over so many times on this forum. I wouldn't use Sydney as an example of great planning though...they have has plan after stalled plan for years.

The fact is for various reasons the will for expensive rail projects does not really exist in Australia in general, so I put forward a cheapo option that is more politically palatable.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Well why cant we be like Chinese cities or Moscow or London or Sydney or any other modern city that has no issue with tunneling.

In Chinese cities they add a new underground subway line every year. The Moscow metro is expanding by almost 150 kilometers in 2012-2020. There are 24 tunnel boring machines working in Moscow at present. In Sydney they are building the North West Rail Link, 15 km of twin tunnels will be built from to Epping to Bella Vista. In London they are building Crossrail 42 km of new tunnels. And in Melbourne we find it difficult to build one subway line/station since the 1970's. Why can all of these other cities complete these projects quickly and build a proper underground transport system but we cannot? It helps when governments actually complete projects in less than 5 years so people can actually use them and are not dead.
wxtre

Sydney is not a good example. That North West Link has been shelved numerous times. Victoria is notoriously penny pinching as regards to its Public Transport projects. In London, Crossrail is being funded by Central Government on behalf of Transport for London. Here in Australia The Abbot Coalition Govt has refused to fund any Public Transport. There is no way that the State can fund the Metro Rail link by itself. Why Melbourne cannot build a proper underground transport system? Firstly we simply do not have the engineering expertise that is required for mega projects such as this. Can you really see the Vic Govt paying millions to import such expertise? Secondly because Victoria will not pay for a TBM which costs about $20 Million a piece. Vic insists that the Cut and Cover method is used, a 19th Century method of tunneling in which no advance nation uses nowadays. I get pretty irate when Mr Napthine talks about the disruption of Swanston Street and likening it to the Berlin Wall and London digs all these tunnels during the Olympics and the Royal Wedding all with minimal disruption.
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

Sydney is not best example but it is the closest to Melbourne and comparisons are inevitable. In Sydney they are importing from France four tunnel-boring machines. Melbourne is falling behind as Australias premiere city because of our inaction.





It is annoying Daniel Andrews is no different I am afraid. The politicians obviously live in a bubble and have no idea how other cities are progressing. Melbourne is going to become a second rate city if they do not make the investments instead of delaying these projects. Considering all of the high-rise buildings as well it is naive to believe that we do not need to invest in rail because the city will not cope with congestion.
wxtre

This is all very well and probably very true but whilst we have an apathetic public towards public transport the pollies of all denominations will continue to do what's best for their own political futures. Simples
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

The loop has expansion room for 2 new tunnels. Why not build them, and have every line use the loop into the city. (Except Clifton Hill Group which runs Jolimonet - Flinders, and Sandringham Line)

Northen Loop: Watergardens, Broadmeadows, Upfield
Northern Loop 2: Werribee, Willamstown

Clifton Hill Loop: Epping, Hurstbridge, City Circle

Caufield Loop: Pakenham, Cranbourne
Burnely Loop: Lilydale, Belgrave

Richmond Loop: Glen Waverly, Alamaien, Frankston
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
If any city planners are listening which I doubt it.
wxtre

I believe they're laughing.

The loop has expansion room for 2 new tunnels.
bomberwarm

Citation needed.

I guess they're in the top secret sub basement, with the shrine to Bolte and all the mice in wheels which power the system.

The loop is a failure.  We don't need more of them.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

I believe they're laughing.


Citation needed.

I guess they're in the top secret sub basement, with the shrine to Bolte and all the mice in wheels which power the system.

The loop is a failure. We don't need more of them.
ZH836301

It's only a failure when you timetable one train every two minutes but the signalling system does not allow it.

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