Turnbull Government makes $600m South Yarra railway station ultimatum

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 25 Oct 2016 10:24
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Two comments from me:

1. The Assistant Treasurer's seat just happens to include South Yarra being Higgins.

2. The Andrew's Government has again allowed politics to drive the agenda. Polls on the site show 80% of people think the station should be included and so do I.

What a shame this important project has been marred by politics detracting from what should be a game changer for people using rail around this city.

At least Turnbull is coming to the table. That RAT Abbott refused to fund anything but his own dinner parties.

Turnbull Government makes $600m South Yarra railway station ultimatum

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  steve195 Train Controller

Such petty political rubbish. If the $1bn price tag is to be believed then the state sill winds up $400m worse off under this proposal.


Chapel Street Precinct Association president John Lotton said an estimated 30,000 people passed through the station every day, despite the State Government’s estimate of closer to 24,000. “South Yarra station (is) the second busiest train station in Victoria, after Flinders Street station, in the mornings,” he said.
Somebody
That is some quality cherry-picking there.


Those commuter comments are pretty LOL-worthy though:
We can only hope it could lead to a lowering of ticket prices
Somebody

Question

As an aside, the station concourse could definitely use an upgrade. It is pretty cramped.

Caulfield will also need an upgrade as part of Melbourne Metro; there is no way the current set up will be able to cope with even more people changing trains.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Steve I read your comments with interest. I agree there could be a $400m difference if the numbers are to be believed, however how much is being spent on the refurbishment of Flinders Street. $400m over 40 years is not a lot of money when you consider the perceived benefits. The state wastes more money on consultants.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I agree with the first three of Bevans points and sort of understand where he is coming from with his rather catty fourth point.

But now that the Greens have knocked the Liberals off in the state seat of Prahran, what is the new local MP saying?

Is he/she:
- Remaining silent and not bothering with the issue.
- Remaining silent and actively hoping that the issue goes away.
- Backing the state government because when it comes to a Labour v. Liberal stoush, Greens almost always back Labour
- Actively advocating for their constituents who would quite like the project to have platforms in the Prahran electorate?
  steve195 Train Controller

Steve I read your comments with interest.  I agree there could be a $400m difference if the numbers are to be believed, however how much is being spent on the refurbishment of Flinders Street.  $400m over 40 years is not a lot of money when you consider the perceived benefits.  The state wastes more money on consultants.
bevans
I think the Flinders Street refurbishment is $100m. Not sure what relevance that has to South Yarra though.

I agree that it doesn't seem like a lot of money, but remember that our taxes pay for the full $1bn not just $400m Laughing
According to the MM business case, including South Yarra has an incremental BCR of 0.2! So I don't think the benefits are as great as they seem.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

I agree that it doesn't seem like a lot of money, but remember that our taxes pay for the full $1bn not just $400m Laughing
According to the MM business case, including South Yarra has an incremental BCR of 0.2! So I don't think the benefits are as great as they seem.
steve195

Thanks Steve my point is we atre prepared to maintain a building for $100m but are not at this stage prepared to integrate two systems at South Yarra for the benefit of passengers into the next 40 years for $400m.

I agree the ALP has the BCR low.

Sometimes it is not all about the cost but the convenience and future social benefit.
  steve195 Train Controller

Here is the PM contradicting the story earlier today:

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, just on a project in Melbourne, why should the South Yarra station be included in the Melbourne Metro project?

PRIME MINISTER: I have read that report. It is not correct. The position with the Melbourne Metro is that we offered the Victorian Government $10 million to assist in the planning, further planning, and design of that project. And they rejected it. So they have said they don't need any money from the Federal Government for the Melbourne Metro.

MINISTER FLETCHER: That's right. We also offered them $857 million under the asset recycling initiative. Again, they've said they don't want that.

PRIME MINISTER: So we've offered money for Melbourne Metro. They've declined it. We've not stipulated any particular route or alignment at all.
Somebody

Hmmmmm
  kapow Junior Train Controller

But now that the Greens have knocked the Liberals off in the state seat of Prahran, what is the new local MP saying? Is he/she: - Remaining silent and not bothering with the issue. - Remaining silent and actively hoping that the issue goes away. - Backing the state government because when it comes to a Labour v. Liberal stoush, Greens almost always back Labour - Actively advocating for their constituents who would quite like the project to have platforms in the Prahran electorate?
Bogong
Sam Hibbins the Greens MP for the seat is for the interchange http://www.samhibbins.com/upgrade_south_yarra_station
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Thanks Kapow. But Hibbins is hardly making a big deal of it, I doubt anyone could have a lower profile on the subject.

Which is bonkers. Prahran is a very marginal seat and this is a golden opportunity for the local MP to advocate for a local issue and get it widely covered by the media. In short it's the sort of gift that most politicians dream of. So why isn't Hibbins saying a thing about it apart from a vague comment on a website that was probably written by a staffer?

I wonder if perhaps the Green Party preselected a total nuftie, not expecting to win the seat and now they have it, their candidate has lost interest?
  OzFrog Locomotive Driver

Location: Melbourne
I live in South Yarra and I can tell you that Sam Hibbins is currently pushing for the present SY Station to be upgraded. He previously advocated for the full station interchange with MM but has since (mysteriously) pulled back and is now going for the station upgrade.
  slowcoach Junior Train Controller

I'm a bit perplexed on the terminology used by politicians and the media. What are the physical differences between Station Interchange and Station Upgrade?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I'm a bit perplexed on the terminology used by politicians and the media. What are the physical differences between Station Interchange and Station Upgrade?
slowcoach

An interchange means you can change from one line to another. It could also mean a mode change, such as from train to tram or bus.

An upgrade is just an upgrade of the facilities at the station.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I'm a bit perplexed on the terminology used by politicians and the media. What are the physical differences between Station Interchange and Station Upgrade?
slowcoach
Station Interchange - Two new platforms are build adjacent to the station to serve the Cranbourne/Pakenham lines on the Melbourne Metro route, which will currently bypass the station. The new platforms would have to be located underground somewhere under Toorak Road to the west of the existing station, and presumably link to the existing station. Having an underground station here would mean the tunnel portals would have to be further away from South Yarra station to allow the track depth underground to be at the right height, requiring extensive earthworks and excavations.

The Business Case for the Melbourne Metro highlights this has a very low cost benefit analysis, meaning that the number of people who would benefit from using the new station does not justify spending the estimated price for building it.

Station Upgrade - Independent of the Melbourne Metro project, the station is refurbished, updated. Essentially a maintenance blitz of work to increase the standard. Might include platform extensions, resurfacing, new Information Displays. Maybe new entrances if the scope is there for them.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner


2. The Andrew's Government has again allowed politics to drive the agenda. Polls on the site show 80% of people think the station should be included and so do I.

What a shame this important project has been marred by politics detracting from what should be a game changer for people using rail around this city.

At least Turnbull is coming to the table.  That RAT Abbott refused to fund anything but his own dinner parties.

"bevans"


This is not a political decision by the Andrews government but a sound financial one. Building an interchange only saves a relative few passengers the need to make an extra interchange, ie those travelling to or from the Dandenong  line to South Yarra or the Brighton line. Interchanges can be better effected at Caulfield, approx 50m between Platform 1 and Platform 3 or Platform 2 and Platform 4. The Melbourne Metro Rail Project site indicates the track will pass at least 100m south of South Yarra, which, combined with the difficulties discussed above, means the distance between platforms will be 200m or more. Apart from the unjustifiable $750M+ cost, it also means that probably 40% of the passengers passing through the South Yarra area, those travelling on the Dandenong line to Domain or the CBD, will be making an unnecessary stop at South Yarra.

One suggestion to increase capacity between South Yarra and Flinders Street during peak periods is to provide terminating facilities at Platforms 5 and 6 at South Yarra. Presumably there will be little traffic, V/Line & freight, on the local lines when Dandenong trains travel via the Melbourne Metro Tunnel. Installing a leading and a trailing crossover at both the up and down ends of the platforms also allows through trains to pass any terminating train. Terminating say 6 trains an hour from the North Melbourne lines during peak period, ie one every 10 mins, gives a capacity greater than12,000 pass in each direction during a two-hour peak (1000+ pass train capacity x 6 trains per hour x 2 hours). Given a country loop can be built from scratch for $10M or so, I would think the cost would be less than $10M.

This project was initiated by the current state government without funding, initially, from the federal government. The previous state LNP government proposed the scenic route via Fishermans Bend to Southern Cross (which would probably still be on the backburner), changing Southern Cross's name back to Spencer Street (remember that one) and deleted critical flyovers from the RRL, transferring the savings  to roads. Hardly a good track record (pun intended) when it comes to major rail projects.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well, Kitchgp leaves us in no doubt about which political team he/she supports.

Now there's nothing wrong with political "brand loyalty", but when a person adopts a mocking tone for everything the other team did and praises all that their own team proposes, not many people will view their thoughts as neutral and objective, especially when they are so partisan that they read like they were written by a ministerial staffer.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Well, Kitchgp leaves us in no doubt about which political team he/she supports.
"Bogong"
Absolute twaddle. Take your blinkers off and just read a well reasoned piece of writing. it had one sting in the tail about the Libs and that's all, yet you want to highlight that, and disregard everything else that kitchgp wrote. There's very little doubt about whose side you're on, and you're throwing stones whilst living in a glass house.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia





This project was initiated by the current state government without funding, initially, from the federal government. The previous state LNP government proposed the scenic route via Fishermans Bend to Southern Cross (which would probably still be on the backburner), changing Southern Cross's name back to Spencer Street (remember that one) and deleted critical flyovers from the RRL, transferring the savings  to roads. Hardly a good track record (pun intended) when it comes to major rail projects.
kitchgp

Thank you for your reply it is well thought through.

I must admit I had not considered the Caulfield option for changing trains and this may in itself be useful, but what it would not do is allow South Yarra passengers to access the Metro Tunnel service from South Yarra which is something I believe they should be able to do.

I take your point on the Previous Liberal Government and I agree with you.  RRL was shortchanged by these fools with valuable money being  poured into a road near Ballarat without the business case and in a loss making way.  Why would anyone fool want to strip the money away from a project where not all the benefits were in the end delivered.

Speaking to a friend of mine who catches the train daily from Wyndamvale why a 3rd platform was not installed and the extension of Metro Trains to that station is a constant source of angst for the people who use that station.  There are also long gaps in the timetable in peak hour also causing overcrowding and lessening the value of the service.

The libs should be refrained from ever being involved in any infrastructure planning in this state when you consider the filthy contracts regarding East West link although I am now starting to think the Andrew's government may be repeating the mess with proposed western distributor only designed for large trucks which should never have been allowed near the city of Melbourne.

Back to South Yarra, the area would benefit by having access to Metro Rail tunnel services.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Well, Kitchgp leaves us in no doubt about which political team he/she supports.

Now there's nothing wrong with political "brand loyalty", but when a person adopts a mocking tone for everything the other team did and praises all that their own team proposes, not many people will view their thoughts as neutral and objective, especially when they are so partisan that they read like they were written by a ministerial staffer.
Bogong

Well...the previous lot...read the Baillieu/Napthine administration did finance the construction of the yet to be regularly utilised Parwan Loop, and new stations at Epsom and Talbot...Wink
  doyle Assistant Commissioner

And they reallocated funds from the regional rail to the western highway upgrade funny that
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Well, Kitchgp leaves us in no doubt about which political team he/she supports.

Now there's nothing wrong with political "brand loyalty", but when a person adopts a mocking tone for everything the other team did and praises all that their own team proposes, not many people will view their thoughts as neutral and objective, especially when they are so partisan that they read like they were written by a ministerial staffer.
Bogong
Bogong, Just stop! Kitchgp has written a very detailed post and you choose to ignore most of it and reply with a pointless political dig. There is nothing more annoying then receiving such a patronising reply. You come across as a most sycophantic Coalition supporter whilst protesting your political neutrality. Please do not take us for mugs Bogong, you love the Coalition just admit it, and that is fine. However, the Coalition deserves all the criticism thrown at it, I and others have mentioned their failings as regards to PT ad-nauseam and you have come up with very little to counter those arguments.

Michael
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Well, Kitchgp leaves us in no doubt about which political team he/she supports.

Now there's nothing wrong with political "brand loyalty", but when a person adopts a mocking tone for everything the other team did and praises all that their own team proposes, not many people will view their thoughts as neutral and objective, especially when they are so partisan that they read like they were written by a ministerial staffer.

Well...the previous lot...read the Baillieu/Napthine administration did finance the construction of the yet to be regularly utilised Parwan Loop, and new stations at Epsom and Talbot...Wink
The Vinelander
Pretty sure it was Rowsley Loop, not Parwan Loop...
  Toby Esterhase Station Master

The only politics here are those being played by Kelly O'Dwyer and Matthew Guy. (Since when does anyone take seriously the objections of credulous local traders? They're always unadulterated smeg: I still remember those in Acland Street claiming that the tram terminus works there would result in "thousands" of jobs being lost. If they had their way nothing would happen anywhere ever.) In her defence, South Yarra's in her (federal) electorate (I suspect that's why she seems to be 'freelancing'). As for him, if he wants to spend up to $1B just to win one measly state electorate back from the Greens then it's his funeral.
As others have pointed out above, the BCR for adding South Yarra to Melbourne Metro is woefully low. Doubtless the reasons include the following:
1. South Yarra station already has a very frequent service.
2. South Yarra will still have a very frequent service once Melbourne Metro's built.
3. In fact, South Yarra will have an even better service once Melbourne Metro's built because the project scope includes turning platform 2 into a terminating platform (and platform 3 into a through platform for down Sandringham trains) so that those trains from the Werribee / Laverton / Williamstown lines which can't run through all the way to Brighton Beach / Sandringham can be turned around there (rather than at Flinders Street): passengers will be able to board *empty* trains to the City rather than trying to squeeze into those from the Frankston line.
4. Building a proper interchange - one that doesn't require passengers to emerge on to Toorak Road and cross it, like that contemplated in Napthine's brainfart of a "Melbourne Rail Link" - is actually quite difficult there. Just think for a minute about the structure of South Yarra station and the surrounding topography.
5. There's also the *huge* amount of property acquisition required, whichever way you try it. (So much that any objection to it can't just be written off as NIMBY.) The eastern portal is planned to be nearby, which means the platforms can't be deep and will have to built by cut-and-cover or something similar. But if you try to push the eastern portal further out to allow for deeper platforms, you have to basically knock down The Jam Factory.
Honestly, some people here seem to think that planning a new rail line (or station) is as simple as drawing a line on a map.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

kitchgp made a very good point.... people who want to change at Sth Yarra can do so at Caulfield.
The cost of the Metro South Yarra station would only benefit a small number of people, while slowing down all passengers on the Metro trains.
So IMHO the Metro Sth Yarra station should NOT be built.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The only possible practical advantage of providing westbound Melbourne Metro Tunnel access for South Yarra passengers is travel to Domain, a journey of one stop. The 58 (nee 8) tram can cover these trips adequately, as it does now. (I'm ambivalent about the re-routing via Toorak Road West, but, from the point of view of this argument, it will make the journey a bit quicker.) For example, if you live in Caroline Street it is far quicker to walk down to Toorak Road, catch the tram a few stops to St Kilda Road (and the southern end of Domain) then walk or catch another tram to your destination than it would be to walk all the way to South Yarra, catch a train one stop to Domain, then walk or catch a tram down St Kilda Road. The situation won't change for travel to the CBD. You will still be able to catch a Sandringham line train direct to Flinders Street via one stop at Richmond, versus to CBD South via one-stop at Domain, or a Frankston line train direct to Melbourne Central via two stops at Richmond and Parliament, versus to CBD North via two stops at Domain and CBD South.

Paradoxically the passengers disadvantaged by no interchange at South Yarra, compared to existing arrangements, are those travelling from South Yarra or the Sandringham line to stations east of Caulfield on the Dandenong line. It introduces an extra interchange. If travelling from South Yarra you need to change at Caulfield, versus direct at the moment ,and if travelling from the Sandringham line you need to change at South Yarra and Caulfield, versus only changing at South Yarra. This could be minimised by scheduling Sandringham trains to arrive at South Yarra 2 mins (or whatever the average time for an interchange is) before a Frankston-bound train arrives and scheduling the Frankston train to arrive at Caulfield 2 mins before a Dandenong-bound train arrives and vice versa, at least in off-peak hours. Given the relatively few passengers involved, I think this is wildly optimistic and won't happen.

Extra peak hour capacity from South Yarra to the CBD can be provided by providing extra services on the Sandringham line, as suggested by Tony Morton of the Public Transport Users Association in The Age this week, or extending services from Flinders Street to terminate at South Yarra, as suggested above. If you accept that capacity on the rest of the Sandringham line is adequate, running extra services on this line is effectively running empty trains from South Yarra to Sandringham and back. If extra capacity is required south of South Yarra then this might be the preferable option, provided the trains weren't full by the time they arrived at South Yarra. The cost could be reduced by terminating some services at Elsternwick, if better crossovers, better signalling and, perhaps, a third platform were installed, or at Brighton Beach. The extending services from Flinders Street option provides direct access to North Melbourne and the line from which the services originated from, eg Williamstown. Either one of these options would be relatively cheap.
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
The only possible practical advantage of providing westbound Melbourne Metro Tunnel access for South Yarra passengers is travel to Domain, a journey of one stop. The 58 (nee 8) tram can cover these trips adequately, as it does now. (I'm ambivalent about the re-routing via Toorak Road West, but, from the point of view of this argument, it will make the journey a bit quicker.) For example, if you live in Caroline Street it is far quicker to walk down to Toorak Road, catch the tram a few stops to St Kilda Road (and the southern end of Domain) then walk or catch another tram to your destination than it would be to walk all the way to South Yarra, catch a train one stop to Domain, then walk or catch a tram down St Kilda Road. The situation won't change for travel to the CBD. You will still be able to catch a Sandringham line train direct to Flinders Street via one stop at Richmond, versus to CBD South via one-stop at Domain, or a Frankston line train direct to Melbourne Central via two stops at Richmond and Parliament, versus to CBD North via two stops at Domain and CBD South.

Paradoxically the passengers disadvantaged by no interchange at South Yarra, compared to existing arrangements, are those travelling from South Yarra or the Sandringham line to stations east of Caulfield on the Dandenong line. It introduces an extra interchange. If travelling from South Yarra you need to change at Caulfield, versus direct at the moment ,and if travelling from the Sandringham line you need to change at South Yarra and Caulfield, versus only changing at South Yarra. This could be minimised by scheduling Sandringham trains to arrive at South Yarra 2 mins (or whatever the average time for an interchange is) before a Frankston-bound train arrives and scheduling the Frankston train to arrive at Caulfield 2 mins before a Dandenong-bound train arrives and vice versa, at least in off-peak hours. Given the relatively few passengers involved, I think this is wildly optimistic and won't happen.

Extra peak hour capacity from South Yarra to the CBD can be provided by providing extra services on the Sandringham line, as suggested by Tony Morton of the Public Transport Users Association in The Age this week, or extending services from Flinders Street to terminate at South Yarra, as suggested above. If you accept that capacity on the rest of the Sandringham line is adequate, running extra services on this line is effectively running empty trains from South Yarra to Sandringham and back. If extra capacity is required south of South Yarra then this might be the preferable option, provided the trains weren't full by the time they arrived at South Yarra. The cost could be reduced by terminating some services at Elsternwick, if better crossovers, better signalling and, perhaps, a third platform were installed, or at Brighton Beach. The extending services from Flinders Street option provides direct access to North Melbourne and the line from which the services originated from, eg Williamstown. Either one of these options would be relatively cheap.
kitchgp
       On the subject of interchanging with Melb Metro ; I understand that both Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations will be linked to Melbourne Metro so passengers will be able to easily transfer across lines at either of these locations if they need to do so .

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