Improvements/Extensions to Melbourne's network

 
  Doss13 Beginner

Okay, so there have been many proposals in the past with regards to possible infrastructure improvements to Melbourne's network. How long do you all believe each of the following projects would take to complete:

Melbourne Airport line

Epping North line

Doncaster line

Rowville line

Clifton Hill-Newport underground line

Melton electrification

Wyndham Vale electrification

Wallan electrification

Clyde electrification

Baxter electrification

Sunshine-Deer Park quadruplication

Mooroolbark-Lilydale duplication

Ferntree Gully-Belgrave duplication

Cranbourne line duplication (possibly same time as Clyde electrification)

Hurstbridge line duplication (remainder)

Gowrie-Upfield duplication (and Somerton link)

Altona Loop duplication (remainder)

This, I feel is the minimum of what should happen to the Melbourne network in the next 10-15 years. If there are any other suggestions to what people should think be implemented, then feel free to put forward suggestions.

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  Raleigh98 Beginner

Well 15 years is 2032, and there is no way half of what is on your list could possibly happen. These extensions are all very much justifiable and would be thoroughly beneficial, but there is very much a lack of will from the government to commit to these projects. Also, the PTV is currently mainly working on trying to replace a large portion of the older fleet (Comeng), and this will divert funds away from new lines.

The 'listed' completion date of the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel is around 2026, and PTV won't be willing to create many completely new rail lines until then (due to lack of inner city train capacity). By then, the Rowville line might commence construction following the MMRT finishes. The Melton line will probably be close to a suburban service, but it is important to note that it took over 10 years for the sunbury electrification to occur, and the melton line is an even longer distance. It's a similar story for the Wallan line.

The Doncaster line is tough to see occurring, because the area between Clifton Hill and Jolimont is terribly crowded for train space (I think that is the true reason why the original construction was canned). You'd think that the Clifton Hill-Newport line would have to happen first and if that would probably take another 10 years judging by the time taken for the first MMRT. For the same reason, the Epping North line won't be happening soon. With the Mernda extension opening in 2019, that Epping line will already be very crowded, and major upgrades would have to occur on that line first, notwithstanding the removal of the Rushall Curve.

The Airport line is one that will always be contentious, If it were to be built, there is little chance that it could be any other alignment than via Albion. It definitely could not even be considered until after the MMRT is completed in 2026. Plus, I'm at least half sure that the government has some sort of conspiracy deal with citylink that disallows them from building the Airport link for a while.

I'd expect the Clyde line to occur probably within the next 5-10 years. It's not a long extension, and the trackbed is still intact. The demand appears to be there as well. Duplication of the Cranbourne line is also foreseeable possibility.

The Baxter electrification possibly could happen, but again it would depend on the PTV's priorities, and I don't expect it's top on their list.

The rest i'd very much doubt to see any of the rest by 2050. I'd be more than happy even just to see all of the above mentioned completed and functional by this date.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
how about electrify stoney point that is suburban too!!
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@Raleigh98 I certainly do not agree as regards to the Airport line. The only reason why it is stated that it cannot be built before Melbourne Metro is Labor's insistence that it will be part of the Metro network and people from the SE suburbs getting through services. The Airport line will not be built. Melton Electrification is far more important and when that happens there simply will not be enough capacity for airport line services. If the Airport does jave rail it will be done cheaply either as a tram extension or V/Line using the old freight infrastructure.

Michael
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Bare in mind, the MMRT will not be completed until 2026, there is a slim chance any of your listed items will be touched before then. That said, here's what I suggest you could expect with each of your listed item:

Melbourne Airport line

   Not before 2026, via Sunshine is currently the preffered route owing to its ability to then connect with many regional lines. It would require its own tracks from Sunshine to the CBD. It's important to note that Melbourne Airport themselves are saying that they will require it by 2035, so they may indeed be asked to helo fund it, therefore, 2026 is probably the best outcome you can expect here, 2035 is more likely, but still optimistic.

Epping North line

   Medium term, ie:- not until after 2037 (at least 20 years away), not likely to be built before Metro 2

Doncaster line

   Highly unlikely to happen any time soon as a full heavy rail line, light rail may be possible sooner, otherwise perhaps after Metro 2, if that ever even happens

Rowville line

   Unlikeley to happen as Heavy Rail. Light rail a better chance, still not likely to happen inside the next 15 years. Was looked into by the Bailliue govt, put in the too hard/ too expensive basket.

Clifton Hill-Newport underground line

   The best case scenario is that early planning, soil testing, detailed planning and any required property acquisition is completed and funding is secured from both the private sector and the commonwealth in time for construction to start in 2026, immediately following the completion of MMRT (Metro 1). Then, it will likely take at least 12 years to build the thing. Again, I said that was the best possible outcome, knowing the way government and its beuracracies work, I wouldn't hold onto any hope that it will be done with such expediency. In summary, not likely to be finished before 2040.

Melton electrification

   Everything right now is pointing for this to happen by day 1 of MMRT being operational, so 2026. Not a given though.

Wyndham Vale electrification

   Could theoretically be done tomorrow, isn't though. Best case scenario has it happening in the next 9-10 years, same timeline as Melton.

Wallan electrification

   Not seen as urgent as Melton, Wyndham Vale, Melbourne Airport or some of the smaller projects, although with the amount of development happening around that corridor, expect it to be a pressing matter within 10-15 years. Construction to be complete within 10 - 20 years.

Clyde electrification (should read extension)
   Likeley to be the next big step for the outer South East. Along with full duplication of the Cranbourne line. won't happen before Dandenong line upgrade is finished, and the new HCMTs are put into service. Best case scenario is 10-15 years

Baxter electrification

   A bit harder to judge this one. The main push for this project is from an operational requirement rather than a passenger demand, so theoretically could happen much sooner than many others on this list, or then again, may not happen at all.

Sunshine-Deer Park quadruplication

   Would be done as part of the Melton electrification project. Would also likely include removal of level crossings at Fitzgerald Rd, Station St and Robinsons Rd. Also rebuild of the very spartan Ardeer station.

Mooroolbark-Lilydale duplication

   Not urgent, not a growth corridor.

Ferntree Gully-Belgrave duplication

   Not urgent, at best Ferntree Gully to Upper Ferntree Gully may see duplication inside the next 30 years, the rest is unlikely. Not a growth corridor

Cranbourne line duplication (possibly same time as Clyde electrification)

   See above (Clyde extension)

Hurstbridge line duplication (remainder)

   Heidelberg - Rosanna is underway now, Greensborough - Eltham is being planned, likely to be complete within the next 10 years, beyond that, not urgent, mostly rural land, not a growth corridor.

Gowrie-Upfield duplication (and Somerton link)

   Likely to be done with any extension of  electrification to Wallan, so best outcome sees it happening in maybe 10 - 15 years

Altona Loop duplication (remainder)

   Not urgent, despite what the locals think. Improvements can be made in the short term though, duplicate sections, not necisserily going to see the lot done for quite some time though.

Caulfield - Dandenong quadding

   Whilst this was not on your list, I beleive this will need to be done long before many of the things on this list. 2 express tracks and 2 local tracks (only the latter with platforms) will be needed before too long, not palletable right now with the anti- skyrail protests still carrying some weight. May be worth visiting though in say 10 years time.

This, I feel is the minimum of what should happen to the Melbourne network in the next 10-15 years. If there are any other suggestions to what people should think be implemented, then feel free to put forward suggestions.
Doss13

Yeah, see when you make statements like this you need to remind yourself that the state is not run by railfans. It has a limited supply of funds, to build all of what you have listed within the next 15 years would require massive funding cuts to important sectors like Health, Education, Policing and Corrections, and the Environment.

The reality is, even though I have listed many of the above as 10 - 15 years, I have also said that would be the best outcome. Don't hold on to any expectation that all of that will happen. If I could say one thing was certain, it would be that all of what you have listed won't be built within 20 years, that you can take to the bank.

I'm not saying there isn't merit in every single item listed, just that reality gets in the way sometimes.

how about electrify stoney point that is suburban too!!
Dangersdan707

Everything has to wait for its turn to come around, the Stony Point line is behind everything else on this list, and some others that are yet to be mentioned.

Stony Point currently gets 10 trains a day, those trains are 1 or 2 car Sprinters. Electrifying that would be unjustifiable.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Everything has to wait for its turn to come around, the Stony Point line is behind everything else on this list, and some others that are yet to be mentioned.

Stony Point currently gets 10 trains a day, those trains are 1 or 2 car Sprinters. Electrifying that would be unjustifiable.
Gman_86
Chicken and Egg though. Why would anyone use a train service which needs a connection at Frankston and comes roughly once an hour. Look at Geelong Line patronage (excluding Tarneit/Wyndham Vale) off-peak with the new 20min services. If you give people a palatable option, they will use it.

Having said that, lots of projects which are required before electrification past Hastings should even be considered.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Some projects are required for operational reasons, and for reducing the flow on effects of delays and late running.  That's why the Merri Creek bridge was duplicated, why the Heidelberg tunnel is currently being duplicated, why there's talk of duplicating Cranbourne.  Single track sections elsewhere fall into the same category, even if not in a growth corridor.

For example, you might say that Lilydale-Mooroolbark is not a growth corridor, but this ignores the fact that Lilydale station services a vast catchment area, with buses and private cars coming in from Kinglake, Castella, Toolangi, Yarra Glen, Healesville, Wandin, Silvan, Warburton and beyond.  The same is true for Hurstbridge.  Passengers coming in from those outlying places deserve a better service, not possible with the existing single track bottlenecks.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Chicken and Egg though. Why would anyone use a train service which needs a connection at Frankston and comes roughly once an hour. Look at Geelong Line patronage (excluding Tarneit/Wyndham Vale) off-peak with the new 20min services. If you give people a palatable option, they will use it.
John.Z
There's a bit more to it than just Chicken and Egg.

1st of all, comparing the Geelong line to the Stony Point line is rubbish. 1 is the mainline connecting the states 2 biggest cities, the other is a small lightly utilised branch line that's primary reasons for existance are to provide a rail connection to BHP at Long Island for their freight needs, and to provide the Phillip Island ferry with a rail connection.

Secondly, their is a lot more that could be done to improve the Stony Point line before we start stringing up wires. The current safeworking practices mean only 1 train is allowed to operate on the line at any one time. Fix that first, add a crossing loop somewhere on the Up side of Hastings, and up the frequency. Then, if the patronage goes up and that's a big IF maybe you can look at increasing it a bit more, then maybe some longer trains (that is more than 2 carriages), or maybe even some more crossing facilities. All of that would come before any electrification.

Right now, it just isn't justifiable.

And as for Chicken and Egg, that is a simple answer, of course the Egg came first. Birds (Including Chickens) evolved from other egg laying creatures. So of course the Egg came first.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

@doss I appreciate your excitement of the current rail major upgrades going on but realistically most are either Federal funded, with private partnership or leasing existing infrastructure. Some of it may never get built. The PTV network place is where most of these come from and that document is a 30 year plan, not 10-15 years. The PTV document is also very optimistic and is from 2013 and says all of it complete by 2030 (30 billion dollar plan).

Also another project considered is the High capacity signalling implementation, I have missed it on my list.

Here is the ones that should proceed 0-10 years
  • Sunshine to Deer Park Quadding
  • Melton Electrification
  • Werribee extension to Wyndham Vale
  • Duplication to Eltham is confirmed, this is as far as it should go
  • Doncaster BRT*

10-30 years
  • Somerton Link has a feasibility study currently
  • Altona loop duplication study is underway, I reckon only to duplicate the easy sections (Westona-Laverton) and (Seaholme-Altona Junction) to achieve 10-15 minute frequencies.
  • Clyde extension & duplicating most of the Cranbourne line
  • Metro 2 tunnel
  • Quadding Dandenong line
  • Belgrave and Lilydale passing loops**
  • Rowville BRT***

30 years +
  • Baxter Electrification
  • Wallan Electrification
  • Epping North rail link
  • Geelong line electrification

Projects I would recommend not done heavy rail:
*Doncaster Rail link (Not a growth corridor), alternative is a BRT, not heavy rail
**Lilydale/Belgrave duplication (also not growth corridors and at the end of the line), alternatively cheaper passing loops would do the job
***Rowville Rail link (Not a growth corridor), alternative is a BRT, not heavy rail

Anyone agree with this list?
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

while everyone is at it extend Lilydale out to Woori Yallock
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

As a left wing person I can't agree with using BRT because of Carbon emissions (even if they are hybrids, which is unlikely). Rowville is worth doing as long as the university is there. The only problem is capacity, but with Metro 1 it could be squeezed in before what I see as inevitable quadruplication of the line. In fact my dream (if money was not a factor) would be a Rowville to Airport line via Caulfield, St Kilda, Flinders Street, Southern Cross, North Docklands and Highpoint. But "Metro 3" will never happen! Anyway, if Metro 2 can be started ASAP that will unlock a ton of projects, including Doncaster, which I still see as a potential and warranted project. "Build and they will come" would be a good mentality to have. Any critical marginal seats in the area?

I can only really see extensions of electrification/existing lines and perhaps a few small duplications in the future. If the current Labor government stays in for a while I can see more being done, as Daniel Andrews has so far been a say, then implement person in regards to PT. Of course, by 2040, when Metro 2 will realistically be built, trains may not even be a thing anymore with new technologies, but I really hope that won't be the case as I'd love to ride some of these proposed lines!
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
how about taits through metro 2 I hear they used them through the city loop at one stage...Laughing
  Clyde Goodwin2 Chief Train Controller

Oh good yet another thread by another dreamer on the same topic that has been done to death approximatly 20 times now.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Oh good yet another thread by another dreamer on the same topic that has been done to death approximatly 20 times now
Clyde Goodwin2

though I agree this topic has been done to death on rp cut him some slak as he is fairly new.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

As a left wing person I can't agree with using BRT because of Carbon emissions
reubstar6
Technology has advanced since then, electric buses are the future. When the BRT are implemented it should run fully electric. Adelaide has already got an electric bus built very recently. Hopefully this means more electric buses in the future.

Not saying the rail network shouldn't get extensions, but to fill the gaps where a rail line would be difficult to implement, a effective bus network is essential. Melbourne should start adding some BRT routes to Doncaster and Rowville instead, cheaper, quicker and easier to implement, electric buses, clean and reliable. Only downsides is it won't have the same capacity as rail, but these spur lines wouldn't need it.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDsBlraITqQ
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Yes I'm sure that there are electric buses available but do you really think a government not prepared to spend the money on trains would be prepared to spend extra on electric buses? I bet you Transdev will end up owning (leasing) yet another important thing in Melbourne
  MetroFemme Assistant Commissioner

Wyndham Vale electrification should have already happened why was it blocked and not completed as a component of the RRL? Would consider loop trains running in circular motion from Newport to sunshine to deer park to Wyndham vale to Werribee to Newport in both directions connecting with buses.

Sommerton to upfield also needs to be done now providing second path and diversity. There is no cross track connections in Melbourne like Sydney.

Stony Point needs to be electfified.

Drysdale is worth considering now as growth is already a problem.

Electrification to Ballarat and surrounds.

Electrification and frequency to at least Clyde.

Airport rail link is already required. Travelled to airport last week and at 6.45am the traffic was jammed for kilometres. So much for the wasted money on the tulla upgrade. Another Daniel Andrews special.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@James974 For visionary ideals like that you need something resembling an efficient Bus Network. Melbourne does not have that. We so not even have a modern diesel bus network. There are a lot of buses that belch diesel fumes. Frequencies are so poor in some areas they might as well turn it over to Uber.

Michael
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
As a left wing person I can't agree with using BRT because of Carbon emissions
Technology has advanced since then, electric buses are the future. When the BRT are implemented it should run fully electric. Adelaide has already got an electric bus built very recently. Hopefully this means more electric buses in the future.

Not saying the rail network shouldn't get extensions, but to fill the gaps where a rail line would be difficult to implement, a effective bus network is essential. Melbourne should start adding some BRT routes to Doncaster and Rowville instead, cheaper, quicker and easier to implement, electric buses, clean and reliable. Only downsides is it won't have the same capacity as rail, but these spur lines wouldn't need it.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDsBlraITqQ
James974
BRT has several meanings. So we can only guess what is meant in the several places it is used in this thread?
I cannot understand why so many, so often here on RP go out of their way to post what would be otherwise interesting information because they are too tired to explain their jargon or acronyms.

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