Melbourne Airport Rail Link

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The big question in my mind is what to do about Sunshine Railway Station.  This is a very new station and when rebuilt did not include a Standard Gauge Platform.

The new design and rebuild needs to include the ability to interchange SG with BG at Sunshine.  This would provide the ability to interchange with Albury services and Ballarat and Bendigo/Echuca/Swan Hill and of course the Airport Line.  That is one benefit of the Sunshine interchange.

Will 30 minutes be too long to get from the Airport to the CBD via train?
bevans

30 mins will be ample time.

With a clear run, DOWN Ballarat's make Sunshine RIGHT NOW in 11 mins and that's with a stop at Footscray. That leaves 19 mins for the fast and unimpeded run to the airport...a shoe in Exclamation

Mike.

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  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The big question in my mind is what to do about Sunshine Railway Station.  This is a very new station and when rebuilt did not include a Standard Gauge Platform.

The new design and rebuild needs to include the ability to interchange SG with BG at Sunshine.  This would provide the ability to interchange with Albury services and Ballarat and Bendigo/Echuca/Swan Hill and of course the Airport Line.  That is one benefit of the Sunshine interchange.

Will 30 minutes be too long to get from the Airport to the CBD via train?

30 mins will be ample time.

With a clear run, DOWN Ballarat's make Sunshine RIGHT NOW in 11 mins and that's with a stop at Footscray. That leaves 19 mins for the fast and unimpeded run to the airport...a shoe in Exclamation

Mike.
The Vinelander
It should be 20 minutes, but I would always factor in another 10 min.  Because Victoria.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
What is Sunshine rebuild going to look like?

Will there be extra platforms?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
I doubt it will be HCMTs. The order of 65 is enough to serve MM1 & Melton.

Sorry, but that’s faulty logic: the order has already been expanded once and the state govt has proved with the VLos it’s more than happy to carry on with successful existing contracts rather than reinvent the wheel.

And I see no reason why suburban-style EMUs with modified seating wouldn’t be more than adequate.
potatoinmymouth
65 HCMTs is only the start. If the design works out fine (i.e unlike the Siemens) then the 10 car set extension is a sure thing and after that, additional sets will be ordered to saturate additional corridors as High Capacity Signalling is rolled out along them. Eventual Metro/suburban fleet composition is likely to be a mix of XTrap and HCMT.

It is quite likely that the Melton electrification project will be postponed in favour of building MARL and using HCMTs via the Metro Tunnel to service it. MARL now has a Federal Government funding commitment (and a bipartisan one at that) and an announced construction start of 2022. The completion date would likely neatly coincide with the opening of the Metro Tunnel. Melton has nothing like that sort of political support yet.

This would allow for MARL to be staged - an initial Sunshine to Tullamarine link is built first, then as Melton electrification is completed towards (perhaps) the mid-late 2020s an additional link between Sunshine and the CBD could be built, then later on an RFI AirTrain style regional link to Bendigo and/or Seymour.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
What is Sunshine rebuild going to look like?

Will there be extra platforms?
x31
Read the thread, second top post on P9 by Lockie will give you an idea.

You can already see the general idea if you look closely at the way Sunshine Station was rebuilt.

Now where is that Horse>Water>Drink emoticon?

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
For those who came in late here is the link to the Rail Futures Institute Air Train brochure

http://www.railfutures.org.au/2017/05/airtrain-the-airport-train-melbourne-needs/

Yes, I am well aware that this is not a Government report nor have the government committed to it's ideas as a whole but a lot of the talk coming out of Spring St around the MARL project seems to mirror those in the report.

In short a dedicated electric line (with dedicated rolling stock) running underground from Southern Cross to West Footscray then ducking under Sunshine Station with a new set of underground platforms for the purpose. After Sunshine the report has the line re-surfacing on the Down side of Albion following the existing freight corridor for a while before diverging towards the airport and heading back underground to a new station under the existing Airport terminals.

If you want to understand why the Victorian Government is so hell bent on the Albion route and what it might look like then read it. If implemented in full it would completely change the face of Regional rail in Victoria with pax from every line able to access the airport with just one change. It would separate Regional and Metro trains completely for the first time ever on the Bendigo, Shepp and Seymour lines just for a start.

It plays right into the original RRL narrative of separating Geelong and Ballarat lines from Metro services as well.

It is a visionary document to say the least but now that the Feds are onboard with $5Bn in MARL funding it is certainly not Pie in the Sky.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
It is quite likely that the Melton electrification project will be postponed in favour of building MARL and using HCMTs via the Metro Tunnel to service it. MARL now has a Federal Government funding commitment (and a bipartisan one at that) and an announced construction start of 2022. The completion date would likely neatly coincide with the opening of the Metro Tunnel. Melton has nothing like that sort of political support yet.

This would allow for MARL to be staged - an initial Sunshine to Tullamarine link is built first, then as Melton electrification is completed towards (perhaps) the mid-late 2020s an additional link between Sunshine and the CBD could be built, then later on an RFI AirTrain style regional link to Bendigo and/or Seymour.
LancedDendrite
So under this plan LdD the MARL lines would join the Sunbury line Down side of Albion and share with SBY services through the tunnel all the way to Cranbourne / Pakenham?

Would these then be effectively "normal" pax services from Sunshine > where ever they terminated on the Eastern side of Melb?

Would this in some way alleviate the need for the West Footscray turnback (I assume that is based on more pax demand on the Eastern side of the MM1 than the Western side?

BG
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
It is quite likely that the Melton electrification project will be postponed in favour of building MARL and using HCMTs via the Metro Tunnel to service it. MARL now has a Federal Government funding commitment (and a bipartisan one at that) and an announced construction start of 2022. The completion date would likely neatly coincide with the opening of the Metro Tunnel. Melton has nothing like that sort of political support yet.

This would allow for MARL to be staged - an initial Sunshine to Tullamarine link is built first, then as Melton electrification is completed towards (perhaps) the mid-late 2020s an additional link between Sunshine and the CBD could be built, then later on an RFI AirTrain style regional link to Bendigo and/or Seymour.
So under this plan LdD the MARL lines would join the Sunbury line Down side of Albion and share with SBY services through the tunnel all the way to Cranbourne / Pakenham?

Would these then be effectively "normal" pax services from Sunshine > where ever they terminated on the Eastern side of Melb?

Would this in some way alleviate the need for the West Footscray turnback (I assume that is based on more pax demand on the Eastern side of the MM1 than the Western side?

BG
BrentonGolding
I'd venture that MARL would still have dedicated platforms at Sunshine and an additional track pair (and/or a short tunnel) between Sunshine and the Albion-Jacana line. A possibility is that the dedicated MARL tracks would continue through until West Footscray as there's plenty of room on the surface for the tracks and this would allow for a bypass of Tottenham stoppers. Other than that, they'd probably share the same stopping pattern. However...

The West Footscray turnback platform could be used (with modification) to allow MARL trains to overtake stopping-all-stations services during peak hour.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

The Sparkies will provide the service to the Airport, t services will come from Southern Cross or via a suburban line with an interchange at Sunshine. This talk of running Velocities to Tulla is absolute rubbish, travellers from Bendigo, Geelong and Ballarat will have the added benefit of changing trains at Sunshine, all other country passengers change trains at Southern Cross, easy and simple. Also this nonsense of 160kmh is also crap, A six car train can carry the equivalent of 20 Skybus's, iit is all about moving the largest number of people at a reasonable travel time, 25 to 30 minutes. This is the stark reality, and people need to start getting used to it.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

The Sparkies will provide the service to the Airport, t services will come from Southern Cross or via a suburban line with an interchange at Sunshine. This talk of running Velocities to Tulla is absolute rubbish, travellers from Bendigo, Geelong and Ballarat will have the added benefit of changing trains at Sunshine, all other country passengers change trains at Southern Cross, easy and simple. Also this nonsense of 160kmh is also crap, A six car train can carry the equivalent of 20 Skybus's, iit is all about moving the largest number of people at a reasonable travel time, 25 to 30 minutes. This is the stark reality, and people need to start getting used to it.
trainbrain
You better hope the Coalition do not get in then, because their preference is via Essendon and Broadmeadows!!

Michael
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

or that the Federal LNP doesn't turn back to A(T) Abbott before about 2025, in which case the $5bn, or that part that hasn't been spent, will disappear.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
or that the Federal LNP doesn't turn back to A(T) Abbott before about 2025, in which case the $5bn, or that part that hasn't been spent, will disappear.
kitchgp
I think the Tony Abbott for PM campaign might be dead, buried and cremated Laughing

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Rereading the government press releases and trying to find gems between the lines definitely suggests it will be a Metro Tunnel job. They are careful to talk about tunnelling and “existing rail reservation” ONLY in reference to the area north of Sunshine. Dan is also at pains to talk about “integration” with the Metro Tunnel.

However, were this the case, there would be no reason to touch Sunshine at all. That is the only thing which I can’t quite stack up.

Realistically the Metro Tunnel option makes the most economic sense. It may not be great for the railfan, but it requires a minimum of headaches at Sunshine, Footscray and the city end. I genuinely cannot work out how it might be possible to add a track pair through Sunshine while leaving the Melton/WV corridor open without a bored tunnel all the way from Southern Cross or some horrendous 8-track flying junction (though of course I’d love to see the latter!)

As for the travel time, Sunshine-Melbourne Central is 20 minutes currently so 30 minutes Airport-Parkville is no problem. By all means it might need to run express Sunshine-Footscray to keep passenger loading sensible but no improvement in travel time results.

And in our wildest dreams, the MT can still offer 6tph Sunbury, 6tph Airport, 6tph WV, AND 6tph Melton comfortably. With a short turn back near South Yarra - as alluded to in the business case - 4 of those services can be dropped to leave paths for Gippsland trains in the east if needed.

You may not like it, but it’s a cheap and simple way to do what could otherwise be a VERY painful job.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

or Lazarus with a triple bypass.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Rereading the government press releases and trying to find gems between the lines definitely suggests it will be a Metro Tunnel job. They are careful to talk about tunnelling and “existing rail reservation” ONLY in reference to the area north of Sunshine. Dan is also at pains to talk about “integration” with the Metro Tunnel.

However, were this the case, there would be no reason to touch Sunshine at all. That is the only thing which I can’t quite stack up.
potatoinmymouth
I reckon LD nailed it a few posts back - done in stages with stage 1 being to use Metro Tunnel route and stage 2 being a dedicated tunnel under Sunshine station and then running via the existing reservation (but on a new pair) before ducking back underground near West Footscray and heading to a new underground station at Southern Cross.

The only bit of that I don't get is how they would handle the area from Down side of Albion to Sunshine - this section would then have Bendigo services, Sunbury Sparx, MARL services, Seymour / Shepp services and BG freights running on effectively one pair of tracks for a few hundred metres.

I think they would either need to tunnel under Sunshine / Albion as part of stage 1 or totally rework the Albion Junction section including the SG track to create a new BG track pair, it is bad enough now with Up regional trains having to cross over the Sunbury pair to access the RRL. If tunelling under Albion as well it would have to be quite deep as there is the existing Road under Rail grade separation to deal with.

BG
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Using HCMTs would probably only require 3 trains per hour on opening, increasing to 4 trains per hour in 2037 (70 million passengers).
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I doubt it will be HCMTs. The order of 65 is enough to serve MM1 & Melton.

Sorry, but that’s faulty logic: the order has already been expanded once and the state govt has proved with the VLos it’s more than happy to carry on with successful existing contracts rather than reinvent the wheel.

And I see no reason why suburban-style EMUs with modified seating wouldn’t be more than adequate.
potatoinmymouth
The 65 will be completed by 2023. By the time the Airport rail is built, the second generation of HCMTs will be ordered, the aim in the 10 year rolling stock plan is about 100 HCMTs would be ordered so the Comeng fleet can retire.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

BG, I think LD is basically on the money as well, although I would observe I can’t think of a single “staged” rail project in the sense we’re talking about here (well, I can think of one, but I’d rather not!) The only similar setup that comes to mind is the former Brumby government’s WestLink proposal, in which Stage 1 was what we now call the East-West Link and Stage 2 was from the Tulla to the Ring Rd.

In any case, the politics of it is a little beside the point.

But I reiterate what I said that I would not be surprised if a bored tunnel from South Kensington to Albion proves the cheapest option. Firstly, one tunnel=two tunnel portals, minimising the costs incurred by disruptive surface activity. Then, in no particular order, a list of headaches on the “existing reservation” between Sunshine and Footscray: Bunbury St. Mt Mistake. West Footscray Junction (imagine this with a turn back too.) Tottenham Yard (easy, you say: close most of the yard. Sure, at the East end. But at the West end, this requires demolishing the embankment and rebuilding both legs of the Triangle. ) Stony Creek (want another bridge? You’ll need to acquire property...) Sunshine road overpass (rebuilding this=massive property acquisition and disruption). Sunshine Junction (currently set up to allow future flying junction including Melton track pair. Good luck protecting that.) Anderson Rd underpass. (One of the reasons given for road-under here was the issues getting sensible grades either side of it with a rail-under solution. Now imagine trying to start a tunnel...)
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
BG, I think LD is basically on the money as well, although I would observe I can’t think of a single “staged” rail project in the sense we’re talking about here (well, I can think of one, but I’d rather not!)
potatoinmymouth
Agreed PIMM, I have tried to nut out the route too and came up with the same obstacles that you did. It would be like unscrambling an egg trying to get a new track pair at grade from Up side of Sunshine to West Footscray or beyond to the MM1 tunnel mouth.

That was why I was thinking that the MARL would initially (under LDs staged proposal above) have to use the existing SBY pair from Down Albion to SC via the MM1 tunnel and beyond.

But as stated that would create a HUGE bottleneck at Albion, maybe time to build the RRL flyover as it was supposed to have been done in the first place which would at least take Down Bendigo trains out of the picture (not sure about Up Bendigo, never quite worked out what the design was there and can't find the original design anywhere)

When they did the Anderson Rd underpass they built one bridge for the SBY pair and a separate one for the SG line both is steel, I wonder why they didn't just bridge the whole thing in one big concrete slab to enable another track through there later, I have often wondered it there is enough room between the BG and SG bridges for another single track.

Glad it's not me having to design the solution!

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Looking again at satellite for Anderson Rd I wonder if the SG bridge can in fact function as a support structure for additional concrete between the existing bridges, with room for two extra tracks.

This would explain the use of 5-track gantries on the up and down sides of the bridge, and the fact that it is actually the suburban line which curves to meet the Bendigo stub line.

It looks VERY tight but of course satellite imagery is not particularly accurate for this sort of work (or estimating the length of Ararat Yard, for that matter...)
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
This would explain the use of 5-track gantries on the up and down sides of the bridge, and the fact that it is actually the suburban line which curves to meet the Bendigo stub line.

It looks VERY tight but of course satellite imagery is not particularly accurate for this sort of work (or estimating the length of Ararat Yard, for that matter...)
potatoinmymouth
The overhead setup around Albion is very interesting as it appears at first glance when you are going past on the train that they were done with keeping access to the mill sidings there in mind.

Perhaps my eyes deceive me and it is in fact there for the Bendigo Down flyover track.

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The overhead setup around Albion is very interesting as it appears at first glance when you are going passed on the train that they were done with keeping access to the mill sidings there in mind.
BrentonGolding

What frightens me is you could be right and it is entirely possible someone insisted it be done that way, in order that the rail tractor might be retrieved in future.

Or some such silly justification.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
There were wired sidings on the southern side of the main lines which were used especially at the Sunshine end.  There were the malt sidings and the sidings to ARC.

Google using GPS is very accurate in measuring distances.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

There were wired sidings on the southern side of the main lines which were used especially at the Sunshine end. There were the malt sidings and the sidings to ARC.

Google using GPS is very accurate in measuring distances.
x31

Yes, but none of that is relevant to the overhead arrangements near Albion which were rebuilt in 2012-2014 when all the sidings involved were well and truly gone.

And, as far as accuracy is concerned, e(2.7...)=pi(3.14...)=g(9.8m/s^2) so long as we round up.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
There were wired sidings on the southern side of the main lines which were used especially at the Sunshine end.  There were the malt sidings and the sidings to ARC.

Google using GPS is very accurate in measuring distances.
x31
I would have thought that you would have given up on Google supplying you with distances after you relied upon it in your plan to rebuild Ararat yard to allow a 1200m loop.

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