Length of Melbourne's Train Network

 
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Question....

Sorry - can't get my question to post. I can't even edit it into this post.....Houston we are experiencing technical difficulties - please stand by.

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  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Just curious as to how Melbourne's electrified train network compares with others from around the world. One of the problem is that you can measure in terms of track kilometres (eg. double track equals two, quad track equals four) or you can measure in terms of route kilometres.



http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurethe-worlds-longest-metro-and-subway-systems-4144725/



This link puts the NYC subway at 368 route kms and London Underground at 402 route kms.



This link puts Melbourne at 372 route kms:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railways_in_Melbourne



Add on 8kms from Mernda and that would put us at 380 route kms - definitely ahead of NYC but behind London.



Obviously vastly different frequencies - and very few single track sections in London and NYC.



But does that seem broadly correct?



Of course this link puts total track at 869kms - which might put us ahead of London:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Trains_Melbourne



So is it appropriate to say that if London has around 402kms, then assuming double track, then that's about 804kms - which would put them behind Melbourne in terms of length of track (as opposed to route kms). Melbourne's sections of triple track make up for the seconds of single track, and then some. Of course NYC would then beat Melbourne due to the large number of express track sections in NYC.



Or to put it another way - is the following statement true: "Melbourne's suburban train network has more route kilometres than the NYC subway, and has more track kilometres than the London Underground"



Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
For most comparisons I think that route kilometres is probably the most 'useful' although there is a place for track kilometres especially for maintenance materials and costings etc.

One problem seems to be the often unexplained, yet selective, use of one or other figure by politicians and spin doctors (one and the same ?) to support a particular point of view or argument. The classic example of this sort of spin were the (now superseded) claims by the Victorian Government that they were buying xx new suburban trains which turned out to be 3 car 'trains' when the population at large assumed 6 car 'trains' that were in almost 100% use at the time.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Nothing wrong with trying to put investment in the best possible light as long as it isn't misleading. It is worth thinking about how to best present investment - many networks talk in terms of carriages. So rather than saying 65 new trains, they would say 455 carriages.

However, Melbourne's train network is large - and growing - and it's worth reminding people of that. The question is how best to explain it - what's a good metaphor or comparison to explain it?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What about London's overground Urban rail system.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Nothing wrong with trying to put investment in the best possible light as long as it isn't misleading. It is worth thinking about how to best present investment - many networks talk in terms of carriages. So rather than saying 65 new trains, they would say 455 carriages.

However, Melbourne's train network is large - and growing - and it's worth reminding people of that. The question is how best to explain it - what's a good metaphor or comparison to explain it?
Revenue
Route km, number of stations but I can't see anything much more honest than route km.

I agree that honest people would say '65 new 7 car trains' or perhaps '455 new carriages'. Following the precedent set by the former Victorian spin to a ridiculous extent, I admit, they would say '455 new trains' failing to mention 'each of one carriage'.............
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Just curious as to how Melbourne's electrified train network compares with others from around the world. One of the problem is that you can measure in terms of track kilometres (eg. double track equals two, quad track equals four) or you can measure in terms of route kilometres.



http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurethe-worlds-longest-metro-and-subway-systems-4144725/



This link puts the NYC subway at 368 route kms and London Underground at 402 route kms.



This link puts Melbourne at 372 route kms:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railways_in_Melbourne



Add on 8kms from Mernda and that would put us at 380 route kms - definitely ahead of NYC but behind London.



Obviously vastly different frequencies - and very few single track sections in London and NYC.



But does that seem broadly correct?



Of course this link puts total track at 869kms - which might put us ahead of London:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Trains_Melbourne



So is it appropriate to say that if London has around 402kms, then assuming double track, then that's about 804kms - which would put them behind Melbourne in terms of length of track (as opposed to route kms). Melbourne's sections of triple track make up for the seconds of single track, and then some. Of course NYC would then beat Melbourne due to the large number of express track sections in NYC.



Or to put it another way - is the following statement true: "Melbourne's suburban train network has more route kilometres than the NYC subway, and has more track kilometres than the London Underground"



Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.
Revenue
Remember Revenue, London has three distinct heavy rail networks plus the DLR. It has London Overground 167 kms and National Rail which would probably add up to another 300 to 400 km especially South of the River.

Michael
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Comparing melbournes route length compared to the london underground is pointless.   Compare it to their suburban networks of the London Overground and National rail commuter routes such as thameslink.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Completely agree.

If the Metro Trains Melbourne system must be compared to London, it must be against the length of National Rail routes (including London Overground, which is a Train Operating Company on the National Rail network) carrying suburban/commuter services.

The comparison the OP made with New York is even further off, because a comparison against the NYC Subway is not only incorrect but also incomplete without also including the PATH and SIRTR routes. In any case, the direct equivalent for Metro Trains Melbourne is the combined total of the routes on the Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Railroad and New Jersey Transit systems.

But do these penis size comparisons really matter? What's important is that any given rail network does a good job of serving the city it is in, not some other city where it isn't.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Just curious as to how Melbourne's electrified train network compares with others from around the world. One of the problem is that you can measure in terms of track kilometres (eg. double track equals two, quad track equals four) or you can measure in terms of route kilometres.



http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurethe-worlds-longest-metro-and-subway-systems-4144725/



This link puts the NYC subway at 368 route kms and London Underground at 402 route kms.



This link puts Melbourne at 372 route kms:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railways_in_Melbourne



Add on 8kms from Mernda and that would put us at 380 route kms - definitely ahead of NYC but behind London.



Obviously vastly different frequencies - and very few single track sections in London and NYC.



But does that seem broadly correct?



Of course this link puts total track at 869kms - which might put us ahead of London:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Trains_Melbourne



So is it appropriate to say that if London has around 402kms, then assuming double track, then that's about 804kms - which would put them behind Melbourne in terms of length of track (as opposed to route kms). Melbourne's sections of triple track make up for the seconds of single track, and then some. Of course NYC would then beat Melbourne due to the large number of express track sections in NYC.



Or to put it another way - is the following statement true: "Melbourne's suburban train network has more route kilometres than the NYC subway, and has more track kilometres than the London Underground"



Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.
Revenue
Why not say that about Sydney's system which is far and away more complex than Melbourne's

Michael
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Why not say that about Sydney's system which is far and away more complex than Melbourne's

Michael
mejhammers1
Because it's a Melburnian who is asking people to stroke his fragile ego, not a Sydney gunzel?
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Why not say that about Sydney's system which is far and away more complex than Melbourne's

Michael
Because it's a Melburnian who is asking people to stroke his fragile ego, not a Sydney gunzel?
justapassenger
I am a Melburnian, who recognises the fact that the Melbourne system whilst extensive is fairly simple. The Melbourne system is a toy train set compared to Sydney's.

Michael
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The initial post wasn’t about who is the biggest; the comparisons were made to highlight that by overseas standards Melbourne Metro is quite a large network (comparing individual networks within a city, not all the networks in the city).

…………………………………………………….
Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.
Revenue


Sydney is irrelevant.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

The initial post wasn’t about who is the biggest; the comparisons were made to highlight that by overseas standards Melbourne Metro is quite a large network (comparing individual networks within a city, not all the networks in the city).

…………………………………………………….
Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.


Sydney is irrelevant.
kitchgp
Why is Sydney Irrelevant? Your Point?

Michael
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Sydney is not overseas. You can start a similar thread, eg ‘Sydney versus London, NY, Paris, Moscow, Mumbai’, in the Sydney Suburban forum if you wish.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Sydney is not overseas. You can start a similar thread, eg ‘Sydney versus London, NY, Paris, Moscow, Mumbai’, in the Sydney Suburban forum if you wish.
kitchgp
I do not wish to get into semantics, but the thread is Length of Melbourne's Train Network. Anyway, is the poster trying to make excuses as to why the Melbourne Rail Network is bordering on crap and blaming it on oh it is so extensive. Our network is nowhere near the complexity of NY or London or even Sydney.


Michael
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The initial post wasn’t about who is the biggest; the comparisons were made to highlight that by overseas standards Melbourne Metro is quite a large network (comparing individual networks within a city, not all the networks in the city).
kitchgp
That might have been the aim, but what it actually proved is simply that you can get any result you want in a statistical comparison if you cherry pick the appropriate statistics.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The initial post wasn’t about who is the biggest; the comparisons were made to highlight that by overseas standards Melbourne Metro is quite a large network (comparing individual networks within a city, not all the networks in the city).

…………………………………………………….
Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.


Sydney is irrelevant.
Why is Sydney Irrelevant? Your Point?

Michael
mejhammers1
The post is called "length of Melbourne network" and its intention in the original post was to compare it with cities outside Australia with expansive rail networks. Nothing to do with Sydney at all.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

The initial post wasn’t about who is the biggest; the comparisons were made to highlight that by overseas standards Melbourne Metro is quite a large network (comparing individual networks within a city, not all the networks in the city).

…………………………………………………….
Why is this important? I think it's important for people to realise that Melbourne's train network is actually very large by international standards - and that the scope of investment to keep it running and upgrade it is significant. I think too often Melbournians have thought of themselves as living in a small city - whereas by European or American standards we are actually in a very large city. We don't seem to have some good 'rules of thumb' to help people remember that.


Sydney is irrelevant.
Why is Sydney Irrelevant? Your Point?

Michael
The post is called "length of Melbourne network" and its intention in the original post was to compare it with cities outside Australia with expansive rail networks. Nothing to do with Sydney at all.
James974
The point I am making is Melbourne is not unique in having a large expansive system in Australia. Sydney's is also and is far more complex than Melbourne's. As you want to compare to major cities around the world then here goes.

Melbourne's system is very simple compared to London and NY. It is like Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane in that it is a number of branches going into one central hub, just on a larger scale. London and NY certainly do not have the amount of single track corridors that we in Melbourne has.

Michael
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Well never mind.

There are some other cities like Melbourne's rail network.
Chicago and Moscow both have radial rail networks. But as you said they are rare to see when the network is huge.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

You've all made good points - yes if you want to talk about the total size of the transport system in various cities then you'd have to include things like PATH, NJ Transit, Long Island RR, etc. when looking at NYC.  But that wasn't quite my question.

Melbourne's train network is larger than many people think. So the question remains - what's a good way to explain that to regular people (not train nerds) how extensive the Melbourne train network is? Thats why I was comparing it with the NY Subway and London Underground - two cities that many Australians have visited. The difficulty with comparing with Sydney is that for a fair comparrion you'd need to compare the size of the interurban V/Line network, and the electrified network. Is just saying the number of kilometers the best way? Is it comparing the number of stations? (which I think puts us ahead of Sydney).

So - what's a good way of explaining how large the train network is that makes it seem important? And therefore worthy of more investment.
On a side note - has anyone here ever travelled on every train line in Melbourne in a single day? How did you calculate the route? How did you survive?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Refer to the number of passengers carried by rail per year and the modal share of personal transport which goes by rail. That way you can get a more useful assessment of how important the system is to the city where it is located, rather than comparing raw totals which fail to consider the size and population of the city.

According to state government stats posted on Wikipedia, rail in Melbourne carried 201 million trips in 2008 which constituted a 7.5% modal share of passenger trips.

If you are to pick one network in each of those other cities to compare it with, it has to be the mainline heavy rail network which is actually equivalent to the type of services offered in Melbourne.  For London that means comparing with the suburban/commuter services on National Rail, and the combination of Metro-North/LIRR/NJT (it is one contiguous network with multiple operators) for New York.

Melbourne's heavy rail system is also one network with multiple operators just like National Rail and heavy rail in NYC. There used to be the Bayside and Hillside rail franchises, and even now those franchises are run by the same operator there is still V/Line calling at selected suburban stations.

You can't compare the New York Subway or London Underground with the heavy rail system in Melbourne, other than to note that Melbourne does not have a true metro system. The City Loop is not a metro system, it is a short section of heavy rail in tunnel leading to inner city stations just like the Thameslink core or the tunnels that lead into the major heavy rail terminals of NYC.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
On a side note - has anyone here ever travelled on every train line in Melbourne in a single day? How did you calculate the route? How did you survive?
Revenue
There are a couple of old threads on this.  Don't wake them up, just have a look:

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11302514.htm

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11351708.htm
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Again - kind of missing the point.  The objective here is to get people in Melbourne to think "hey, the train network is actually pretty extensive" - which is something that people might either take for granted or not realise. This isn't from a transport perspective, or a planning perspective - it's about trying to make it relatable to regular people.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

On a side note - has anyone here ever travelled on every train line in Melbourne in a single day? How did you calculate the route? How did you survive?
There are a couple of old threads on this.  Don't wake them up, just have a look:

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11302514.htm

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11351708.htm
Lad_Porter
Thank you very much  Smile

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