Regional Rail Link for Seymour, Shepparton Line

 
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Westall is on the Dandenong line, not the Frankston line. You'd probably end up losing the traffic unless there's a Dual Gauge track to Westall... Which you'd probably want to run all the way to at least Lyndhurst so that you could serve the intermodal terminal there as well as the Dandenong Bombardier factory.

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  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Westall is on the Dandenong line, not the Frankston line. You'd probably end up losing the traffic unless there's a Dual Gauge track to Westall... Which you'd probably want to run all the way to at least Lyndhurst so that you could serve the intermodal terminal there as well as the Dandenong Bombardier factory.
LancedDendrite

What is the intermodal terminal at Lyndhurst?
  blowfish Junior Train Controller

Westall is on the Dandenong line, not the Frankston line. You'd probably end up losing the traffic unless there's a Dual Gauge track to Westall... Which you'd probably want to run all the way to at least Lyndhurst so that you could serve the intermodal terminal there as well as the Dandenong Bombardier factory.

What is the intermodal terminal at Lyndhurst?
NSWGR8022
Nexus Industrial: http://www.salta.com.au/interport/
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
You'd want to pair the Craigieburn and Upfield/Wallan lines with other lines to get through-routing happening. Under the PTV 2012 Network Development Plan they would be paired with the Frankston and Sandringham lines, respectively. Upfield-Sandringham via the Flinders St Viaduct, Craigieburn-Frankston via the Northern & Caulfield Loop tunnels. That's got the added bonus of putting the Long Island steel train onto SG, eliminating transhipment at Dynon.
LancedDendrite
Have just had a read of the doc.  Could they instead pair Frankston to Sandringham and keep the North together?  Then beans SG plans can go ahead.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Could they instead pair Frankston to Sandringham and keep the North together? Then means SG plans can go ahead.
james.au
Nice left-field thinking, but your idea presents pathing and passenger distribution problems. For one, the Craigieburn and Frankston lines are much more heavily patronised than the Sandringham and Upfield lines, so you don't get fairly balanced passenger loadings. That means you're either going to waste train capacity or turn trains into peak hour sardine cans. Sandringham and Frankston are opposites when it comes to service - the former is more like a traditional 'metro' line like a London Underground line in terms of length and travel time, so you can get away with less seats. Frankston is more like a longer distance interurban or commuter service; more seats would be needed. A single train design doesn't fit all of Melbourne's needs these days.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Could they instead pair Frankston to Sandringham and keep the North together? Then means SG plans can go ahead.
Nice left-field thinking, but your idea presents pathing and passenger distribution problems. For one, the Craigieburn and Frankston lines are much more heavily patronised than the Sandringham and Upfield lines, so you don't get fairly balanced passenger loadings. That means you're either going to waste train capacity or turn trains into peak hour sardine cans. Sandringham and Frankston are opposites when it comes to service - the former is more like a traditional 'metro' line like a London Underground line in terms of length and travel time, so you can get away with less seats. Frankston is more like a longer distance interurban or commuter service; more seats would be needed. A single train design doesn't fit all of Melbourne's needs these days.
LancedDendrite
Thanks for the local info.  Could they still link the two but instead of say running Craigieburn-Loop-Upfield-Loop-Craigieburn, could the loop be used to shuffle trains back onto Craigieburn (eg C-Loop-C-Loop-U-Loop-C) etc etc?  Some trains would be through trains C-U, where as others would be through trains.

Or, you could push to SG the Northern lines to fix up the northern problems and integrate into the NE network, and then, later when it comes to linking Frankston and Sandringham, SG those.  So each project is done for reasons that make sense and then push the next ones to happen.

Related but distantly connected question, does there remain an institutional aversion to SG in Victoria in places, with an ideological view of BG present? Or is it now largely due to funding and disruption?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Could they instead pair Frankston to Sandringham and keep the North together? Then means SG plans can go ahead.
Nice left-field thinking, but your idea presents pathing and passenger distribution problems. For one, the Craigieburn and Frankston lines are much more heavily patronised than the Sandringham and Upfield lines, so you don't get fairly balanced passenger loadings. That means you're either going to waste train capacity or turn trains into peak hour sardine cans. Sandringham and Frankston are opposites when it comes to service - the former is more like a traditional 'metro' line like a London Underground line in terms of length and travel time, so you can get away with less seats. Frankston is more like a longer distance interurban or commuter service; more seats would be needed. A single train design doesn't fit all of Melbourne's needs these days.
Related but distantly connected question, does there remain an institutional aversion to SG in Victoria in places, with an ideological view of BG present? Or is it now largely due to funding and disruption?
james.au
If it doesn't now it certainly has in the past where the BG was seen as something of an iron curtain to keep all those pesky SG operators out of contention for whatever traffic was currently or potentially available.
Even now there is a mind set to protect the BG rather than to think positively as to how SG could work in a realistic manner.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Thanks YM.

On the Metro Rail Development Plan, its interesting to note that it does not consider additional freight growth on the existing network.  It suggests that additional infrastructure will need to be built to cater for this.  I think that this is almost a flaw in the plan, at least until the lines reach capacity, as additional freight on existing infrastructure (either broad guage or if standardised) just makes better use of it.

I wonder if the protection of BG in this case is a 'sheild' if you like, for protection of the suburban network for passenger use only?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Nexus Industrial: http://www.salta.com.au/interport/
blowfish

@blowfish I have since written to Salta asking for information on the current projects. Let's see if they provide a response.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Or, you could push to SG the Northern lines to fix up the northern problems and integrate into the NE network, and then, later when it comes to linking Frankston and Sandringham, SG those.  So each project is done for reasons that make sense and then push the next ones to happen.
james.au
The cheap-and-nasty way to do it would be to just convert Upfield and Sandringham to SG, with Dual Gauge on the Flinders St Viaduct Special tracks and a flyover for Upfield trains at North Melbourne to take them onto those lines. Then take Seymour trains into Platform 1 at North Melbourne and Upfield trains into Platforms 6/7 (building 7 anew, there's space for it). Albury & Shepparton trains either run via Albion-Jacana as today or via Upfield depending on congestion on either line.

This might end up being the easiest option if there's enough momentum at V/Line and PTV to open up more paths for North-East-bound trains. Craigieburn-Frankston may not even need to go onto SG if the Port of Hastings is developed into a container port with rail access, as there is a plan for a DG/SG Cranbourne-Hastings freight line. Just build a new SG siding at Long Island and *poof* no more need to run a BG Long Island Steelie via Frankston!

Related but distantly connected question, does there remain an institutional aversion to SG in Victoria in places, with an ideological view of BG present? Or is it now largely due to funding and disruption?
james.au
PacNat had a business reason to oppose gauge conversion: in the early 2000s they owned the only BG trainset and the BG network lease, so they would be able to focus on the most profitable freight, neglect the rest of the network and not have to worry about another player coming in and eating their lunch. That made them very reticent to invest their own money into gauge conversion or even to support it occurring. I recall that they had the Bracks Government over a barrel when they were building the Regional Fast Rail project to Geelong/Ballarat/Bendigo/Traralgon.

These days I am led to believe that the view within the public service is that there should be total separation between freight services and suburban commuter services (Metro). This is because gauge conversion is seen as only needed to facilitate freight services and that gauge-converting anything else would be an unnecessary hassle.
That means that there would be no need to do any gauge conversion on existing lines - after all, why bother when freight is (eventually) going to get its own separate tracks a la the South Sydney Freight Line?

So, whilst BG is not viewed as superior to SG, it does happen to be the incumbent track gauge in the state and hence has an awful lot of inertia behind it. Personally I think that they should get on with it and institute a far more ambitious gauge conversion programme. Sadly I don't see much real (aka monetary) support from the rail industry or the government to this end.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
The only thing problematic with not going SG/DG on Craigieburn is that the Allied Mills factory at North Melbourne/Kensington will be isolated.

Re PN, its a perfect case of something not being financially viable and therefore not pursued by private enterprise.  It was probably economically viable though at the time and you could make the argument that it should have been done by government then.

The decision to separate freight and pax ops is one that is replicated in Syd, and the same theory might apply in Bris when they decide to build the SG port link connected to Inland Rail, and in Adelaide with the Torrens and other rail works.  So it makes sense its happening in Melbourne.  Not sure though who is making up the Victorian Freight Network Development Plan though!!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Given the very limited freight traffic in the Melbourne Metro and allowing for an increase in containers between outer metropolitan terminals and the Port of Melbourne there is no reason why the two traffics (passenger and freight/trip trains) cannot share tracks provided:

All trains are accurately timetabled
Everything runs to a reliable timetable (haha!)
The freight services are properly equipped with heaps of horsepower, ECP brakes, distributed power etc
There is a cultural change from top to bottom - no more it's my network, near enough, she'll be right, just finish my sandwich before we go etc etc.

The DoT did a big study just before Napthine was chucked out - it can be done but we won't do anything until Melbourne is no longer a major container port when it will be too late.

The Swiss do it all the time. Why can't we? Nobody answer this, I already know. Crying or Very sad
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
The only thing problematic with not going SG/DG on Craigieburn is that the Allied Mills factory at North Melbourne/Kensington will be isolated.
james.au
No more isolated than it is currently. If you wanted to get more grain to Allied Mills by rail then yes, gauge-converting the Craigieburn line to allow access to SG grain volumes would be a good idea. But what I was talking about was the smallest feasible gauge conversion - just Upfield-Sandringham and just for passengers, not freight.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
At the moment it has BG connection to all of the network.  With the Murray Basin, it will rely on the Bendigo and Shepparton lines that will feed it (I don't think there is grain on the others?).  If there is standardisation of the NE, thats going to leave Bendigo/Swan Hill and whilst there might be the volume, varying grain qualities each year might mean that there isn't sufficient grain to feed it. Perhaps in your idea a DG stub could be built to the mill from Tot/Nth Melbourne area and the trains can go the long way round via Jacana/Upfield.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
At the moment it has BG connection to all of the network.  With the Murray Basin, it will rely on the Bendigo and Shepparton lines that will feed it (I don't think there is grain on the others?).  If there is standardisation of the NE, thats going to leave Bendigo/Swan Hill and whilst there might be the volume, varying grain qualities each year might mean that there isn't sufficient grain to feed it. Perhaps in your idea a DG stub could be built to the mill from Tot/Nth Melbourne area and the trains can go the long way round via Jacana/Upfield.
james.au
A DG stub across the Kensington-North Melbourne flyover would suffice, although it would end up being a tad complicated to get access to the flyover from the SG at Dynon. That should be considered independent of doing anything with the gauge conversion of the Upfield + Sandringham lines, especially in light of the Murray Basin Rail Project.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Perhaps when Melbourne has a "Metro Style System" (if that ever happens), then Standardisation across the entire network could occur. Then Australia's 150+ year old gauge problem will be one major step closer to being solved and fixed. If only; if only.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Perhaps when Melbourne has a "Metro Style System" (if that ever happens), then Standardisation across the entire network could occur. Then Australia's 150+ year old gauge problem will be one major step closer to being solved and fixed. If only; if only.
reubstar6
Whole-of-network standardisation will probably never occur in Victoria, sadly. There will be a stable equilibrium between BG and SG, with a patchwork of SG freight branches and DG relief lines in Melbourne, all major V/Line commuter corridors (with the exception of Seymour) remaining BG and the remaining country freight-only lines being SG. The Metro network will probably not get any 'intrusion' from Satan's Gauge, even if something like gauge conversion of Upfield-Sandringham makes sense.
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
When the sleepers were upgraded for the VFT project, it was suggested they be dual gauge concrete, ie with extra holes for SG but the govt was adamant that sleepers have BG holes only.
Not sure if there would have been a big price increase.

Same decisionmakers who decided to make the Bendigo line single track.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Quite moronic that any government planners across this country would not be planning for a single gauge especially in Melbourne and Victoria.

We're dual gauge sleepers requested and then knocked back ?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Peter Bachelor. "Smart" meters, Myki and non-gauge convertible sleepers.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Peter Bachelor. "Smart" meters, Myki and non-gauge convertible sleepers.
don_dunstan

A succession of costly mistakes as yet unpunished.
  beanzs27 Assistant Commissioner

Coukd the Essendon flyover be used to divert Seymour trains around North Melbourne it clearly has spare room for 4 tracks?

I known that doesn't seperate most of metro from Vline but it does the busy parts. However would it clash with other Vline services into southern-cross
  712M Chief Commissioner

It can be and has been done on occasion, however it would mean trains would miss North Melbourne station. There are a handful of weekend trains to Seymour that depart from Southern Cross platform 15/16 as there are no scheduled North Melbourne stops on these days.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Could the Essendon flyover be used to divert Seymour trains around North Melbourne it clearly has spare room for 4 tracks?

I known that doesn't separate most of metro from V/line but it does the busy parts. However would it clash with other V/line services into Southern-cross
beanzs27

Don't forget the plan is for the Upfield line to be extended to Somerton...just before Craigieburn so that Seymour and Shepparton services be increased in frequency and can travel via the less crowded Upfield line to Southern Cross.

This will free up additional paths on the crowded Craigieburn line...so we won't be waiting a LONG time for this infrastructure work to occur.

Mike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Peter Bachelor. "Smart" meters, Myki and non-gauge convertible sleepers.
don_dunstan
Didn't he also single the Bendigo line too?

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