Fast Train to Bunbury

 
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Must be an election coming. This has been well studied, I was involved in the study 16 years ago.
There is no corridor to extend past Mandurah, you would have to come off at Lakelands and run round the road corridor.
There are no centres of population needing a train service before Bunbury.
Bunbury already has a train service but I would be shocked to learn of any MP's having used it.
We looked at linking to the dock lines and coming back to the original station instead of the current one.
There are communities along the existing route that people do use, is this to be withdrawn?
If you have a lkush fund to spend, why not reopen the link to Busselton, the whole corridor is intact and could be reinstated for less than $100M, a link between Mandurah/ Lakelands to Bunbury for high speed - start by adding a nought!

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Why bother with Bunbury new route is thenpeople wanted the train gone anyhow ?

Would the proposed route be quicker ?
  M636C Minister for Railways

How much would it cost to connect to the existing line at Pinjarra from Lakelands, following the M2 and Pinjarra road?

That could save quite a lot of time compared with the current trip via Armadale.

You could use dual mode trains that could run as diesel south of Lakelands and electric north of there.

You could provide a through service from Joondalup all the way to Bunbury with limited stops...

While this wouldn't be "High Speed" it would be faster and probably more popular than the present service, drawing on a wider area of service and providing stops in the Perth business district.

M636C
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Is the project proposing to run overhead to Bunbury?
  62440 Chief Commissioner

The original brief was to reduce travelling times to 2 hr then 1h 30 and 1 hr. It was pointed out that this would mean running non stop at up to 350 k/h but she still wanted stops! It was suggested that a link from Lakelands to Pinjarra was viable and would improve reliability and journey time at a moderate cost. Issues included the need to run through the tunnels so bi-mode or electric became mandatory. The turnback would be the existing at West Leedy. Line capacity was key as there was a fair amount of freight and duplication options were recommended.
I rode the train to look at timings and the key impact was the need to check tickets before boarding through a single door after passengers had left. Dwell times were up to 5 minutes at a number of stations including Brunswick, Harvey and Pinjarra.
I used to catch the Australind to get to Dunsborough via the bus connection but they ceased the connection so it became too much of a gamble. That seemed to be a deliberate ploy to run the service down as significant passenger numbers used the connections. Either my partner drove from Dunsborough to Bunbury to pick me up or I went to Mandurah to get the bus. The Westrail bus then used to stop for half an hour break but the SW bus at least used to run through. I missed sitting on the Australind with a beer or two.
The 2001 study looked at using the port connection to come back to the original station which was feasible and also looked at returning passenger trains to Margaret River (no chance), Pemberton (no reason to and prodigious civil works). Extending to Busselton was easy with reasonable cost, most of the track was intact to Capel, the corridor was still available, north side of the highway was zoned for a railway, even the old station was in the right place and next to the bus station.
However, I strongly suspect that it will only be mentioned in the lead up to elections and nothing will ever happen.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Those speeds would require overhead I see.
  X Class Locomotive Driver

I recall reading when Labor was last in power that some plan had been mooted for the Bunbury extension to branch off the Mandurah line at Cockburn Central where the line currently leaves the Kwinana Freeway median and continues to Mandurah.  The Bunbury line would continue down the Freeway median and subsequently the median of the Forrest Highway.  It's all pretty flat terrain all the way down.  And yes, extending to Margaret River was also mentioned in the same report.  We'll see.
  Yappo Station Staff

Federal Budget puts Perth-to-Bunbury fast-train investigation back on track, ABC, 6 Oct 2020

A fast train between Perth and Bunbury is back on the agenda after a Federal Government pledge, with a transport expert saying a fast-rail service will complement plans for a trackless tram between Bunbury and Busselton. Ahead of today's Budget, the Commonwealth has promised $4 million to partially fund an $8 million investigation into the Perth to Bunbury Faster Rail Corridor.
The idea of a high-speed rail service was first flagged in 2008, but no firm plans have been drawn up.
Despite promising to continue planning for high-speed rail ahead of the last election, the WA Government is yet to allocate the remainder of the funding. However, Bunbury MP Don Punch said he welcomed the Budget pledge. He said he expected the study to look at the possibility of building a second rail line to Bunbury, in addition to the existing Australind train line, but admitted a new line would be up to 20 years away.
.......
However, Professor Newman, who was involved in the start-up of the Perth-to-Mandurah train line, said he was confident the new fast train would be viable and pay for itself. "Many people said there will be no more than 600 people use that train and it will not pay for itself for centuries," he said. "Well it did pay for itself very quickly because it's carrying the equivalent of eight trains of traffic… because it's fast and it's a very attractive service."
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-06/federal-budget-funds-fast-train-from-perth-to-bunbury-study/12735844
  Yappo Station Staff

I recall reading when Labor was last in power that some plan had been mooted for the Bunbury extension to branch off the Mandurah line at Cockburn Central where the line currently leaves the Kwinana Freeway median and continues to Mandurah.  The Bunbury line would continue down the Freeway median and subsequently the median of the Forrest Highway.  It's all pretty flat terrain all the way down.  And yes, extending to Margaret River was also mentioned in the same report.  We'll see.
X Class
Running it down the Freeway/Forrest Highway median seems to be the most logical solution should the line be viable. However, would it not be easier to build it off the Mandurah line from the new Lakeside station direct to the Freeway running past Marlee reserve in the Parklands area north of Marginata rd?  

Obviously some land acquisition would be involved to create a ROW but it would save building some 30km of new line from where the line currently diverges from the freeway median.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Interesting to see my posts of 3 years ago being resurrected! Note that comments refer to a 2008 study, mine was in 2001. The connection to Busselton is mentioned. There must be an election coming! Making buses connect at Bunbury would have increased train patronage as I point out.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I recall reading when Labor was last in power that some plan had been mooted for the Bunbury extension to branch off the Mandurah line at Cockburn Central where the line currently leaves the Kwinana Freeway median and continues to Mandurah.  The Bunbury line would continue down the Freeway median and subsequently the median of the Forrest Highway.  It's all pretty flat terrain all the way down.  And yes, extending to Margaret River was also mentioned in the same report.  We'll see.
Running it down the Freeway/Forrest Highway median seems to be the most logical solution should the line be viable. However, would it not be easier to build it off the Mandurah line from the new Lakeside station direct to the Freeway running past Marlee reserve in the Parklands area north of Marginata rd?  

Obviously some land acquisition would be involved to create a ROW but it would save building some 30km of new line from where the line currently diverges from the freeway median.
Yappo
what about joining up near Woolworths where less property resumptions are required.

Follow the freeway past the interchange then under and to east of wet lands before merging.
  witzendoz Junior Train Controller

Location: Fremantle
This is starting to sound like an episode of utopia



https://youtu.be/3jl9hTIkXXc
  Yappo Station Staff

I recall reading when Labor was last in power that some plan had been mooted for the Bunbury extension to branch off the Mandurah line at Cockburn Central where the line currently leaves the Kwinana Freeway median and continues to Mandurah.  The Bunbury line would continue down the Freeway median and subsequently the median of the Forrest Highway.  It's all pretty flat terrain all the way down.  And yes, extending to Margaret River was also mentioned in the same report.  We'll see.
Running it down the Freeway/Forrest Highway median seems to be the most logical solution should the line be viable. However, would it not be easier to build it off the Mandurah line from the new Lakeside station direct to the Freeway running past Marlee reserve in the Parklands area north of Marginata rd?  

Obviously some land acquisition would be involved to create a ROW but it would save building some 30km of new line from where the line currently diverges from the freeway median.
what about joining up near Woolworths where less property resumptions are required.

Follow the freeway past the interchange then under and to east of wet lands before merging.
RTT_Rules
Agreed, that is a much better idea.
  Yappo Station Staff

Interesting to see my posts of 3 years ago being resurrected! Note that comments refer to a 2008 study, mine was in 2001. The connection to Busselton is mentioned. There must be an election coming! Making buses connect at Bunbury would have increased train patronage as I point out.
62440
It did seem the most suitable thread..... What are you general thoughts on the viability of such a proposal with a potential 20 year timeframe?

Greater Bunbury has grown from 48k in Y2000 to 75k currently and projected to be 100k by 2030. Add in the Busselton corridor which is currently 40+k growing to 55k by 2026 and that is a total pop of well over 150k by 2030 which could easily be 200k-230k by 2040. Thus, nearly quarter of a million pop catchment by the 20 year time frame.

Assuming the service is 90 mins, spending 1-1.5 billion for a 60 min timesaving is a big ask when arguably funds should be allocated for other transport projects elsewhere. However, it does fit within the Regional Development priorities of both the Feds and WA govts and would assist the sustainable growth of the SW. Prof Newman appears very confident that the numbers stack up.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Interesting to see my posts of 3 years ago being resurrected! Note that comments refer to a 2008 study, mine was in 2001. The connection to Busselton is mentioned. There must be an election coming! Making buses connect at Bunbury would have increased train patronage as I point out.
It did seem the most suitable thread..... What are you general thoughts on the viability of such a proposal with a potential 20 year timeframe?

Greater Bunbury has grown from 48k in Y2000 to 75k currently and projected to be 100k by 2030. Add in the Busselton corridor which is currently 40+k growing to 55k by 2026 and that is a total pop of well over 150k by 2030 which could easily be 200k-230k by 2040. Thus, nearly quarter of a million pop catchment by the 20 year time frame.

Assuming the service is 90 mins, spending 1-1.5 billion for a 60 min timesaving is a big ask when arguably funds should be allocated for other transport projects elsewhere. However, it does fit within the Regional Development priorities of both the Feds and WA govts and would assist the sustainable growth of the SW. Prof Newman appears very confident that the numbers stack up.
Yappo
What is or the $1.5B for?

Could be progress upgrades.

Connection Lakeside to Pinjarra, around 25km, mostly single track, no OH as new trains are diesel is the initial big ticket item. But cuts ~25min of Bunbury to Perth and trip down to around 2h, around $150-250m. With two sets, the timetable should have option or 3-4 return trips a day.

Then progressive upgrades from there over time as needed and politically acceptable.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Take as a given that going via Armadale is out, I have been on the Australind which was a couple of minutes late and missed its path and crawled all the way behind the stopper. Take as a given that you run to Lakelands on the Mandurah line then either build a new line to Pinjarra and upgrade the existing or build a new line along the highway median with a target 160 km/h on either option. There are still freight services to consider on the existing so duplication is needed also grade separation. Trains would need to run through the tunnels in Perth so would need to be bi-mode switching at Lakelands or Pinjarra. You need a turnback but West Leederville is available.Then you have to decide about Pinjarra to Byford. It won't take long to burn through a billion!
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I know It would cost an arm and a leg, but the line should be extended Southwards from Mandurah Railway Station (to avoid having messy little short stubs In the network)

Mandurah Is Western Australia's second largest City and Bunbury Is WA's third.

As If you rebuild Old Coast Road to accommodate at railway (that could see Suburban services extended as far as Dawesville) or you go East of Lake Peel using the Forrest Highway easement.

Following the Forrest Highway Southwards a railway would encounter localities like Australind and Eaton.

An Ideal location for a Bunbury Railway Station Terminal, likely remains a sticking point (It could be as close to the CBD as Koombana Drive / Casuarina Drive)

The railway layout around East Bunbury / Vittoria could be altered to permit the existing diesel Australind service (via Harvey) to still connect Bunbury with Armadale (or what becomes the Southern Suburban terminus)  

Picton to the current Bunbury Railway Terminal would be closed.

Any future passenger rail service to Busselton would turn back at a new Bunbury terminal and than head South (via the Harbour line to Picton)

There Is very little population beyond Busselton and the former railway was little more than a timber haulage tramway.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
As If you rebuild Old Coast Road to accommodate at railway (that could see Suburban services extended as far as Dawesville) or you go East of Lake Peel using the Forrest Highway easement.
Nightfire
How much traffic passenger traffic we talking? As this is 20km through flat land suburbia, $$$$$$. The line would need to be built as a viaduct or nearly sunken most of the whole way. The first high cost item is Allnutt Street, there doesn't appear to be any foresight to extend.

Following the Forrest Highway Southwards a railway would encounter localities like Australind and Eaton
Nightfire

Thats 60km of Greenfield railway to Australind with no traffic in the middle.

An Ideal location for a Bunbury Railway Station Terminal, likely remains a sticking point (It could be as close to the CBD as Koombana Drive / Casuarina Drive)
Nightfire
My comment with this is why? The city centre is far away from the geographic centre of Bunbury and a station in the above location would increase traffic congestion right on the headland tip although I understand why you suggested this. Maybe locals feels differently.

The above combined all seems very high cost.

Connection from Lakeside to Pinjarra and progressive upgrade of the line south. Lower cost, multiple user benefit, can be done over time. A line along the coast needs over 60km of track before getting to the next ticket holder. Everything has to be done at once.

The line through the southern suburbs of Mandurah, I see the benefit but its also high cost and how many would use are a few questions. But the line could be extended as an extension of Mandurah with the Bunbury train still going via Pinjarra as this extension would be mostly justified by local traffic anyway.

Interesting.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
As If you rebuild Old Coast Road to accommodate at railway (that could see Suburban services extended as far as Dawesville) or you go East of Lake Peel using the Forrest Highway easement.
How much traffic passenger traffic we talking? As this is 20km through flat land suburbia, $$$$$$. The line would need to be built as a viaduct or nearly sunken most of the whole way. The first high cost item is Allnutt Street, there doesn't appear to be any foresight to extend.

Following the Forrest Highway Southwards a railway would encounter localities like Australind and Eaton

Thats 60km of Greenfield railway to Australind with no traffic in the middle.

An Ideal location for a Bunbury Railway Station Terminal, likely remains a sticking point (It could be as close to the CBD as Koombana Drive / Casuarina Drive)
My comment with this is why? The city centre is far away from the geographic centre of Bunbury and a station in the above location would increase traffic congestion right on the headland tip although I understand why you suggested this. Maybe locals feels differently.

The above combined all seems very high cost.

Connection from Lakeside to Pinjarra and progressive upgrade of the line south. Lower cost, multiple user benefit, can be done over time. A line along the coast needs over 60km of track before getting to the next ticket holder. Everything has to be done at once.

The line through the southern suburbs of Mandurah, I see the benefit but its also high cost and how many would use are a few questions. But the line could be extended as an extension of Mandurah with the Bunbury train still going via Pinjarra as this extension would be mostly justified by local traffic anyway.

Interesting.
RTT_Rules
All valid points

I traveled the Australind train service a few years ago and found the service rather hopeless (ran more like a School bus) the train even missed a station stop and stopped and backed up to the next level crossing to let a passenger off.
The train was routinely outpaced for road traffic on parallel roads.  

The South West line Is designed and set up for freight trains (for the local Alumina processing Industry) the freight trains are frequent but slow moving, high speed trains wouldn't mix that well with them (without Incurring costly curfews)    

60 km's of empty landscape could be a feature of the passenger line to Bunbury, for Instance If the track was rated at 200 km/h, that 60 km's could be soaked up In 20 minutes.

Most of Bunbury's attractions (Tourist, Accommodation, Business, Government Services) are located around the CBD Headland and Koombana Bay area, the rest of Greater Bunbury Is mostly Urban Spall.

A second Railway Station located around Bunbury East / Vittoria could accommodate park n ride commuters (keeping their cars out of the CBD)

It all depends on how much money the WA Government wants to throw at such a rail passenger scheme, one thing Is for sure Is that population will continue to grow In the South West Coastal region.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
All valid points

I traveled the Australind train service a few years ago and found the service rather hopeless (ran more like a School bus) the train even missed a station stop and stopped and backed up to the next level crossing to let a passenger off.
The train was routinely outpaced for road traffic on parallel roads.  

The South West line Is designed and set up for freight trains (for the local Alumina processing Industry) the freight trains are frequent but slow moving, high speed trains wouldn't mix that well with them (without Incurring costly curfews)    

60 km's of empty landscape could be a feature of the passenger line to Bunbury, for Instance If the track was rated at 200 km/h, that 60 km's could be soaked up In 20 minutes.

Most of Bunbury's attractions (Tourist, Accommodation, Business, Government Services) are located around the CBD Headland and Koombana Bay area, the rest of Greater Bunbury Is mostly Urban Spall.

A second Railway Station located around Bunbury East / Vittoria could accommodate park n ride commuters (keeping their cars out of the CBD)

It all depends on how much money the WA Government wants to throw at such a rail passenger scheme, one thing Is for sure Is that population will continue to grow In the South West Coastal region.
Nightfire

Its WA, things are flexible, miss a stop, back up or use the LX.

As nice as it sounds, no one is going to fund a 160-200km/h greenfield railway across 60km of nothing to a population of 30-35,000.

As for location of station, thats all good but who are most of the people using the train? Surely a connecting bus doing a loop around town as per Gympie in Qld is more value adding. Not sure many people from Perth will be in a need to use the govt office in Bunbury, most is online anyway.

Two stations on two separate branches?

Bunbury will grow based on industry, not because of a high prices railway. The train is to provide an option to get to Perth, yes its used by some commuters but how many billion of tax payers money to encourage people to commute 150km/day to a city in a region of low cost land prices?

Progress upgrades as deemed viable would still seem the better and more practical way to grow. Lakeside to Pinjarra, easy 20-25min saved in one go, assuming no issue for DMU to go through tunnels or suitable other option.


The current freight trains are slow because that's all the funding they need to get the job done. The ~100km distance isn't huge so going faster doesn't achieve alot more.

Google maps says the 97km drive via a road following the same route is 69min average speed of 83km/h.

The current Australind timetable shows Pinjarra to Bunbury at 70 - 74min (depending on the direction) for a distance of 94km, so that's an average speed of 76 - 80km/h with up to 5 intermediate stops, so the train's top end speed must be at least 90 - 100 km/h and its holding that for sometime. Not too shabby. QR manages to keep the RTT up to 120 (used to be 150) km/h sharing tracks with 26t/axle coal trains. So maybe part duplication to help prevent congestion and enable more services.


Interesting discussion.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Considering freight tonnages at either end of the Southwestern line are now sitting between 22-million and 25-million gross tonnes/annum and Aurizon's new found commitment to zero carbon locomotive technology - a loose consortium between Aurizon, ARC and the state government could electrify the existing line south from Armadale for less than $300-million. Add in conventional narrow gauge tilt train technology running at 160km/h to 200km/h with Automatic Train Protection and Bunbury could have frequent "fast rail" at a fraction of the proposed high speed line cost.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Considering freight tonnages at either end of the Southwestern line are now sitting between 22-million and 25-million gross tonnes/annum and Aurizon's new found commitment to zero carbon locomotive technology - a loose consortium between Aurizon, ARC and the state government could electrify the existing line south from Armadale for less than $300-million. Add in conventional narrow gauge tilt train technology running at 160km/h to 200km/h with Automatic Train Protection and Bunbury could have frequent "fast rail" at a fraction of the proposed high speed line cost.
Sulla1
Good idea, but the issue with running via Armadale is that it always be slow with far more stations, the ability to move quickly along the (shorter) Armadale line must be more time restricting. No way you will get above 130km/h until Aramadale heading south. For the rest of the trip 120-130km/h is probably the best that could be expected and the benefit of 160-200km/h running is not worth the cost for the distance.

Where as the Mandurah Line is far more modern line, built to 130km/h running from the start with less than 10 stations in the sections the Bunbury train would use even if you had to stop at some of these stations, the impact is minor compared to Aramdale.  Then you have 20km connection to Pinjarra and roughly 94km from there, so all up ~115km of OH required + ~20km of track.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
The overhead for freight trains is an interesting idea. I have wondered for years how effective electric trains to Worsley would be (different line) with so much power generated on the way down the hill with dynamic braking, how much power would need to be input for the complete trip?

I personally am not convinced taking the Australind to the old station is anything more then something nice for the local populations to whine about. It would only suit tourists, the surrounding populations are Dalyellup, Eaton, Treendale etc, miles away from Bunbury, and that is where the growth is unless Bunbury starts doing high rise or land reclamation.

We should be thankful for getting a new train, 15 years ago we almost had none.

The Australind is one of the most popular TransWA services if I recall correctly. Currently running with 2 cars last I saw it. Trains are great, until it’s you who has to pay for them.
  Yappo Station Staff

All valid points

I traveled the Australind train service a few years ago and found the service rather hopeless (ran more like a School bus) the train even missed a station stop and stopped and backed up to the next level crossing to let a passenger off.
The train was routinely outpaced for road traffic on parallel roads.  

The South West line Is designed and set up for freight trains (for the local Alumina processing Industry) the freight trains are frequent but slow moving, high speed trains wouldn't mix that well with them (without Incurring costly curfews)    

60 km's of empty landscape could be a feature of the passenger line to Bunbury, for Instance If the track was rated at 200 km/h, that 60 km's could be soaked up In 20 minutes.

Most of Bunbury's attractions (Tourist, Accommodation, Business, Government Services) are located around the CBD Headland and Koombana Bay area, the rest of Greater Bunbury Is mostly Urban Spall.

A second Railway Station located around Bunbury East / Vittoria could accommodate park n ride commuters (keeping their cars out of the CBD)

It all depends on how much money the WA Government wants to throw at such a rail passenger scheme, one thing Is for sure Is that population will continue to grow In the South West Coastal region.

Its WA, things are flexible, miss a stop, back up or use the LX.

As nice as it sounds, no one is going to fund a 160-200km/h greenfield railway across 60km of nothing to a population of 30-35,000.

As for location of station, thats all good but who are most of the people using the train? Surely a connecting bus doing a loop around town as per Gympie in Qld is more value adding. Not sure many people from Perth will be in a need to use the govt office in Bunbury, most is online anyway.

Two stations on two separate branches?

Bunbury will grow based on industry, not because of a high prices railway. The train is to provide an option to get to Perth, yes its used by some commuters but how many billion of tax payers money to encourage people to commute 150km/day to a city in a region of low cost land prices?

Progress upgrades as deemed viable would still seem the better and more practical way to grow. Lakeside to Pinjarra, easy 20-25min saved in one go, assuming no issue for DMU to go through tunnels or suitable other option.

The current freight trains are slow because that's all the funding they need to get the job done. The ~100km distance isn't huge so going faster doesn't achieve alot more.

Google maps says the 97km drive via a road following the same route is 69min average speed of 83km/h.

The current Australind timetable shows Pinjarra to Bunbury at 70 - 74min (depending on the direction) for a distance of 94km, so that's an average speed of 76 - 80km/h with up to 5 intermediate stops, so the train's top end speed must be at least 90 - 100 km/h and its holding that for sometime. Not too shabby. QR manages to keep the RTT up to 120 (used to be 150) km/h sharing tracks with 26t/axle coal trains. So maybe part duplication to help prevent congestion and enable more services.

Interesting discussion.
RTT_Rules
Yes, two stations on two separate lines would be a most undesirable outcome.

Regarding population, you really need to double that number. The current Greater Bunbury population is 75k according to the ABS and is expected to pass 100k by 2031. The Busselton corridor is expected to be 55k by 2026. That gives a total catchment pop of over 150k by 2030 and well north of 200k by 2040.

That's a very sufficient pop base to justify the investment for growth in the SW and to achieve the import aim of reducing the number of vehicle journeys by a small %. I agree with your idea of connecting Lakeside to Pinjarra and saving 20-25min with some extra passing loops is good value for money. However, that still makes the service 2hr+ when a 90-100 min service would be ideal.

Let's cast a view a little more into the future. Perth's pop is expected to grow to between 3.6m - 4.2m by 2050. The Greater Bunbury to Busselton catchment could easily be approaching 275k-300k by 2050 which would justify significant investment to offer faster and extra services.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, two stations on two separate lines would be a most undesirable outcome.

Regarding population, you really need to double that number. The current Greater Bunbury population is 75k according to the ABS and is expected to pass 100k by 2031. The Busselton corridor is expected to be 55k by 2026. That gives a total catchment pop of over 150k by 2030 and well north of 200k by 2040.

That's a very sufficient pop base to justify the investment for growth in the SW and to achieve the import aim of reducing the number of vehicle journeys by a small %. I agree with your idea of connecting Lakeside to Pinjarra and saving 20-25min with some extra passing loops is good value for money. However, that still makes the service 2hr+ when a 90-100 min service would be ideal.

Let's cast a view a little more into the future. Perth's pop is expected to grow to between 3.6m - 4.2m by 2050. The Greater Bunbury to Busselton catchment could easily be approaching 275k-300k by 2050 which would justify significant investment to offer faster and extra services.
Yappo
Population numbers seem a bit ambitious but anyway is what it is.

Back to the proposal. My concept was to target 2h as a starter and juts slightly longer than the car option using the Lakeside Pinjarra connection and installation of passing lanes more than loops. I think there are only 4 or 5 between Pinjarra and Port junction anyway, just extend this to 10 km and addition improvement in track quality through the loop to 140km/h with potentially other improvements elsewhere, but need to dig a bit deeper to work out where the slow sections are.

+140km/h will be difficult to sustain on the Mandurah line with the current traffic so really there is limited benefit of looking at +160km/h NG rail technical south of Mandurah and realistically the current fleet of 140km/h capable trains is probably more than enough for the distance and population and will achieve this if the stops are few and track is 140km/h capable most of the way.

All this can be progressive, done over a reasonable period of time with that one connection to Lakeside.

The route to the port and close to the CBD will add to travel time as this will be slow.

I'll play with the numbers some more to see if 90min is practically achievable.

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