Rail link to Doncaster

 
  Goose13 Station Master

Location: Having a sook about Southern cross's western wall
In regards to the Busway does anyone know how much merit this response on the north east links question portal holds?

"Q: There have been multiple answers as well as a small passage in the community engagement report for AUG - OCT 2017 that claim the project will not preclude potential Doncaster heavy rail in the future. Will/have there be any design provisions made with the Doncaster Busway such that it, or other parts of the Eastern Freeway may be transitioned to a heavy rail line in 15-20 years if potential patronage ever justifies the cost? (grade issues notwithstanding) Or is the non-preclusion merely stating that another corridor or tunnel option could always be procured for Doncaster heavy rail; If ever justified. Or is this something we will have to wait for the ESS for an answer on? Thanks!
Tom asked  14 days ago

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the question. The busway is being designed in a way that would make a transition to rail possible in the future should this be found to be a more viable option.

The busway would also not preclude other public transport projects, or corridors in the area from being considered and assessed for feasibility.

The North East Link team"

It surprises me they would not be spruiking this even just a little. (Other than to maybe avoid renewed calls for a rail line.)

(from https://jointheconversation.northeastlink.vic.gov.au/ask-a-question)

Sponsored advertisement

  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

In regards to the Busway does anyone know how much merit this response on the north east links question portal holds?

"Q: There have been multiple answers as well as a small passage in the community engagement report for AUG - OCT 2017 that claim the project will not preclude potential Doncaster heavy rail in the future. Will/have there be any design provisions made with the Doncaster Busway such that it, or other parts of the Eastern Freeway may be transitioned to a heavy rail line in 15-20 years if potential patronage ever justifies the cost? (grade issues notwithstanding) Or is the non-preclusion merely stating that another corridor or tunnel option could always be procured for Doncaster heavy rail; If ever justified. Or is this something we will have to wait for the ESS for an answer on? Thanks!
Tom asked  14 days ago

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the question. The busway is being designed in a way that would make a transition to rail possible in the future should this be found to be a more viable option.

The busway would also not preclude other public transport projects, or corridors in the area from being considered and assessed for feasibility.

The North East Link team"

It surprises me they would not be spruiking this even just a little. (Other than to maybe avoid renewed calls for a rail line.)

(from https://jointheconversation.northeastlink.vic.gov.au/ask-a-question)
Goose13

It's not at all their concern, they are building a road. Its the governments responsibility to manage rail line expectations. Which with the SRL I would say they have killed it.
  Goose13 Station Master

Location: Having a sook about Southern cross's western wall
It is interesting that they have responded in the way they have given that though. I would have expected something specifically about the various feasibility studies or SRL in response.

~(edit) If it is relatively inexpensive for them to design the Busway with possibly far future transition in mind I don't see a reason not too, although that may well be far more difficult to do than I believe it to be.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

The NE Link will cost 16.5 Billion
So that’s 15.9 Billion for the road and 600 Million for the bussway

There’s also 1.75 Billion to build the road and 3 Billion locked away for the EW Link, that can be redirected

Rail line will cost around 2.5-3 Billion to build, Stations at Kew, Kew East (Bulleen Rd), Balwyn North and Doncaster Shoppingtown as we have discussed

That federal cash would pay for it and leave a bit left over along with the 600 Million directed towards the bussway and 1.75 Billion in fed money that can go towards NE Link.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The NE Link will cost 16.5 Billion
So that’s 15.9 Billion for the road and 600 Million for the bussway

There’s also 1.75 Billion to build the road and 3 Billion locked away for the EW Link, that can be redirected

Rail line will cost around 2.5-3 Billion to build, Stations at Kew, Kew East (Bulleen Rd), Balwyn North and Doncaster Shoppingtown as we have discussed

That federal cash would pay for it and leave a bit left over along with the 600 Million directed towards the bussway and 1.75 Billion in fed money that can go towards NE Link.
ptvcommuter
They are not going to build your beloved railway line proposal. time you build a bridge and get over It !

The current State Government has so many future transport projects promised, that they are oozing out of their ears.
Their plan on funding all of them Is a bit shaky (hoping there will be future rivers of gold coming In to Government coffers)

The Federal Government Is rather cash strapped and struggling to balance their budget.
  chomper Junior Train Controller

The North East link is my biggest criticism of the Andrews Government. I thought that they had finally realised that building new toll-roads has little or no positive effect on traffic. $16 billion - there's the western section of Metro 2.
I've got nothing against periodically upgrading suburban roads, especially in the outer suburbs, but adding new freeways to a city which already has one of the world's most comprehensive freeway networks doesn't seem right.
Hopefully, in say twenty year's time, rail will be a lot more attractive (or road will be significantly more unattractive) than today which will improve public perception of rail here.
reubstar6

The Ring Road needed to be completed, I just don't agree to the option they've chosen (or the funding model). Had it connected up with Eastlink east of the tunnels, it would have been a far more effective solution.

Public perception (and acceptance) of rail is at an all time high if patronage numbers are anything to go by. Had the rail network kept expanding through the latter half of the 20th century in the manner that it had been up to 1930, the rail network would have obviated the need for almost all of the freeways we have today. If Uncle Dan keeps at the PT rebuild in the form of rail, he might be the one cutting the ribbon at the SRL opening hahahaha.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

@ptvcommuter

Unfortunately it’s time to move on.

Study after study has show that the line will draw most of its patronage from the Ringwood Group and will not encourage enough new users to justify the cost. Until the Ringwood Group is at complete saturation it was never feasible.

The SRL has killed any chance of it now. Directly connecting into Box Hill or Clayton for city services.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It seems very doubtful there will be any room left for a rail line after the project is complete.

This description of the busway implies the median strip has been retained for a rail line:
Starting at Doncaster Park and Ride, the busway would:
  • Run in dedicated lanes on the northern side of the Eastern Freeway towards the city
  • Connect with a proposed new Park and Ride next to Bulleen Road to improve local access to fast, reliable bus services. Local services would also be able to get on and off the busway at Thompsons Road
  • At Chandler Highway, the busway would split and run on the outside edges of the Eastern Freeway to connect into the existing bus lanes on Hoddle Street.
https://northeastlink.vic.gov.au/project/doncaster-busway


However if you look at the ‘Early Design Schematics  and Artist Impressions’ for the NE Link the schematic on Page 3 shows a median strip west of Bulleen Road whereas the artist impression on Page 40 doesn’t show a median strip east of Chandler Highway.
https://northeastlink.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/328465/EarlyDesignSchematicsAndArtistImpressions-Sept-2018.pdf

The width of the lanes in the busway will probably need to be wider than normal as the buses will have a closing speed of 200 km/h and there will need to be space to accommodate breakdowns. As it is at the moment the median strip only runs as far as Bulleen Road anyway, so a rail line would require a far bit of tunnelling and land acquisition no matter what happens.
  chomper Junior Train Controller

Buses at 200km/h???
  Goose13 Station Master

Location: Having a sook about Southern cross's western wall
Closing speed, so buses at 100 km/h each way. Though you would hope they would do a proper concrete barrier between the two bus lanes rather than what has been shown in the mock-ups.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Agreed, which takes more space and complicates blockages due breakdowns.
  chomper Junior Train Controller

Govco obviously realises there is a need for far better PT in the Doncaster area, otherwise the busway wouldn't even be a talking point.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

this blog gets more eirder by the day, buses will never be doing 100kmh in the metro area, let alone any busway. I drive them for a living and a lot of people on this forum are full of smeg to even propose such nonsense. Get over it and crap on about something else.
  Goose13 Station Master

Location: Having a sook about Southern cross's western wall
Exactly these speeds are ludicrous, its not like they currently drive on the eastern freeway at 100 km/h like all other traffic...... oh wait, hang on a second.......
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Catch any of the Route 905, 906, 907 or, at times, 908 buses. It's their 'bread and butter'. There are others.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Well if anyone remembers. The Doncaster Rail study looked at 3 options.

A local stopping all station service, a rapid express service + Metro 2 or the orbital link. Not all 3 built at once.

It preferred the rapid express + metro 2 option. Also I noted that they said decoupling the Mernda line would need to happen anyways in the future as patronage growth exceeds the maximum capacity even with HCS and capacity improvements on the Clifton Hill group.

The current government doesn't want to build just a small section of the orbital loop, so in terms of patronage would be higher than shown by the Doncaster rail study team. Since the government preferences the orbital link, this means the other options will not go ahead.

Although this section of the Orbital loop is not the first stages, so it is still unknown whether it would ever happen.

Anyways at 4-6 billion dollars just to get the rail line to Doncaster park and ride, seems to be not much value for money for servicing just a small portion of Melbourne.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LROxxYDrgmI&t=0s&list=PLHIvsxgJ17w555xfwIiX5FjmNjbJ1OS6w&index=274
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The Ring Road needed to be completed, I just don't agree to the option they've chosen (or the funding model). Had it connected up with Eastlink east of the tunnels, it would have been a far more effective solution.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
chomper


As has been pointed out by numerous others, this was probably the worst option. It’s turned NE Link into a Greensborough – City freeway rather than filling in the missing link between the Ring Road and Eastlink. However one suspects that Eastlink’s current owner would have been pedalling furiously in the background. The other options would have bypassed its tunnels with the consequential significant loss of revenue. It wants full tunnels, even if they are clogged with traffic. Another casualty of privatisation.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Yes 100km/h is good until you get to hoddle st
Will only work if there are dedicated bus lanes the whole way into the city similar to Brisbane, no sharing traffic with cars at all

Rowville isn’t a huge growth area, similar to Doncaster but apparently it certainly doesn’t deserve a bussway, it is getting most likely heavy rail.

Both are needed that’s for sure. Doncaster Rail would carry around 70,000 people per day and take thousands of cars off the eastern fwy traffic sewer.

It won’t take passengers from the Ringwood lines, that’s a myth. It would be used by people in areas such as warrandyte and donvale of which the majority use cars to get to work.

Let’s just remember the people in charge of the feasibility study, the liberals. Their proven track record is poor in this state and they have been proven to be pro road. They would rather people clog up the eastern fwy because we prefer to drive to work and we want to do that whilst traveling on grade separated roads and through the majestic east west link.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
If the Doncaster line was built in the 1960's, the Eastern Freeway wouldn't be at capacity in the peak periods even today.
chomper
Citation needed.


The Ring Road needed to be completed, I just don't agree to the option they've chosen (or the funding model). Had it connected up with Eastlink east of the tunnels, it would have been a far more effective solution.
chomper

Why?  Significant cost increase for minimal benefit.

he Greensborough Rd/Bulleen Rd alignment was completely logical - it's just been highly overengineered.


Had the rail network kept expanding through the latter half of the 20th century in the manner that it had been up to 1930, the rail network would have obviated the need for almost all of the freeways we have today
chomper

Which ones? Semis trundling down two lane suburban roads would be lovely.


As has been pointed out by numerous others, this was probably the worst option. It’s turned NE Link into a Greensborough – City freeway rather than filling in the missing link between the Ring Road and Eastlink.
kitchgp

With only two lanes to/from city vs three to/from Eastlink, I think not.


Both are needed that’s for sure. Doncaster Rail would carry around 70,000 people per day and take thousands of cars off the eastern fwy traffic sewer.

It won’t take passengers from the Ringwood lines, that’s a myth. It would be used by people in areas such as warrandyte and donvale of which the majority use cars to get to work.
ptvcommuter

You have no idea.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
OK maybe the freeways would be required, but they wouldn't need to be 12 lanes wide, would they?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

With only two lanes to/from city vs three to/from Eastlink, I think not.
ZH836301

The two-lane connection from NEL to the westbound Eastern Freeway is intended to constrain merge volumes onto the Eastern. It can't be read as a prediction of peak flow.

The rest I agree with in principle: the arterial road network of 1968 was not up to today's transport task had it not been augmented. However, there is little question we went overboard on freeway construction by world standards, and yet there are still significant real and perceived congestion issues today.

A more consistent expansion of the suburban passenger rail network would have reduced private passenger vehicle volumes, which would have had significant benefits for road freight.
  chomper Junior Train Controller


The Ring Road needed to be completed, I just don't agree to the option they've chosen (or the funding model). Had it connected up with Eastlink east of the tunnels, it would have been a far more effective solution.
chomper

Why?  Significant cost increase for minimal benefit.

he Greensborough Rd/Bulleen Rd alignment was completely logical - it's just been highly overengineered.


Had the rail network kept expanding through the latter half of the 20th century in the manner that it had been up to 1930, the rail network would have obviated the need for almost all of the freeways we have today
chomper

Which ones? Semis trundling down two lane suburban roads would be lovely.


The NEL was the worst possible option. The amount of traffic it would dump onto the Eastern Freeway is obvious by the fact that the plans call for the freeway to be 12 lanes. Had it run from Eastlink before the tunnels to the current Ring Road terminus it would not require any work on the Eastern and it would leave the centre median available for a heavy rail solution.

As for your semis trundling down suburban roads, had rail remained the carrier of choice for all long haul freight (with trucks only for the last mile), there would have been no Francis Streets. But that's a failure for another discussion.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The NEL was the worst possible option. The amount of traffic it would dump onto the Eastern Freeway is obvious by the fact that the plans call for the freeway to be 12 lanes. Had it run from Eastlink before the tunnels to the current Ring Road terminus it would not require any work on the Eastern and it would leave the centre median available for a heavy rail solution.

As for your semis trundling down suburban roads, had rail remained the carrier of choice for all long haul freight (with trucks only for the last mile), there would have been no Francis Streets. But that's a failure for another discussion.
chomper

It's a myth that rail ever was or could be the "carrier of choice" for the low volumes and short distances of freight available in Victoria. For the first part of the railways' existence in this state they were valuable to the freight task simply because there was no other method of reliable overland transport. By the 1940s (probably even earlier) it was clear that road transport was at least as reliable as rail, if not more so, with the advent of better road construction and more powerful trucks. Moreover, it can be seen from VR Annual Reports of this era that the Commissioners were well aware that road transport was economically competitive as well. The only reason rail remained well-used for small volume freight over the next 30 or so years was a combination of direct regulation and rail subsidy.

At several points through the 70s and 80s, ideological decisions were taken to remove these incentives to use rail. You can argue black and blue about whether this was a sensible idea, but it had very much the desired effect of killing off unprofitable (in the traditional sense) freight rail, to the point where Freight Australia turned a profit shortly after taking over V/Line Freight.

The only way rail will again be used in any large-scale manner for the kind of small-volume freight that is the major contributor to "trucks on suburban streets" is by reintroducing subsidies and direct regulation. Again, this would be an ideological decision prioritising social and environmental benefits, but it would also have to be economically justifiable by reducing congestion. Certainly there is no real appetite for this kind of thing at the moment from either side of politics.

Returning closer to the scope of this discussion, the NEL business case assessed freight rail investment as an alternative. The specific projects envisaged were additional freight capacity through Craigieburn and intermodal freight terminals, and a spur line from the Hurstbridge line to LaTrobe NEIC. It is profoundly obvious that this option was not meant to succeed, given it was costed at $60-$75 BILLION (yes, really) with operational costs of $2 billion p/a. Yes, really. V/Line currently maintains 3200km of track and runs passenger services on a $600m budget, and the road lobby would have you believe running a couple of intermodals would cost three times that.

What's quite amusing is that despite this absurdity the rail investment was comfortably the second-best outcome of the options presented, and, given that the business case was never intended to make a finding against the NEL, we can assume a sensible freight rail investment would probably have obviated the need for the project altogether.

And the take-home lesson? They didn't even consider Doncaster rail, probably because it's a boondoggle.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The two-lane connection from NEL to the westbound Eastern Freeway is intended to constrain merge volumes onto the Eastern. It can't be read as a prediction of peak flow.
potatoinmymouth
Such flows will not impact on the ability of the freeway to function in its intended role as an orbital link.

A more consistent expansion of the suburban passenger rail network would have reduced private passenger vehicle volumes, which would have had significant benefits for road freight.
potatoinmymouth
The network is fairly extensive, it's the frequencies and inner city intensiveness that are inferior.



The NEL was the worst possible option. The amount of traffic it would dump onto the Eastern Freeway is obvious by the fact that the plans call for the freeway to be 12 lanes. Had it run from Eastlink before the tunnels to the current Ring Road terminus it would not require any work on the Eastern and it would leave the centre median available for a heavy rail solution.
chomper

Had it run from Eastlink it would still exist only as a long-term proposal on paper, since an underground freeway of that length would be prohibitively expensive.  The combination tunnel/trench of the northern section combined with the surface section to the east essentially running in parallel to the Eastern is far more economical, hence why that is what is being constructed.

That said, the project is heavily overengineered, in particular for the northern section, where:

*Despite access requirements along Bulleen Rd primarily limited to the sporting fields of elite private schools, the road is being maintained as is, with tunnelling beginning immediately from the freeway with renderings indicating almost the entire industrial zone in Bulleen being demolished to allow for portals at Manningham Rd.  Substantial cost savings could have resulted by initially constructed the freeway at surface from the Eastern Fwy, diving instead near the former drive-in site (south of the industrial area) with land resumptions reduced considerably to just the nearby residential area and a few locations in the industrial area to allow for some expansion of existing road reservations.

*With the new freeway providing a link between Grimshaw St and Lower Plenty Rd, the Greensborough Hwy should revert to a local access road for residents in Macleod, however this is not implemented properly resulting in a duplication of routes.  Watsonia Rd is sufficient for local access to Grimshaw St (and the greater north), and given the proximity of Yallambie Rd, the overpass at Blamey Rd is superfluous, as is the inclusion of direct access to Elder Rd, with the transmission line alignment offering a reasonable alternative to the main concern of providing access to rail parking from the east.  

*The interchange at Lower Plenty Rd is convoluted, failing to be crafted in a manner conducive to what should be its primary purpose, facilitating movement to the industrial areas below Latrobe Uni from the south (movements from the north have the option of Plenty Rd), appearing to be placed haphazardly with no regard to connectivity.  Instead, after deciding on an east-west backbone to better connect Lower Plenty Rd with the Ruthven St level crossing, be it Erskine Rd with the Martin Lane reservation, or Brassy Ave at Rosanna Rd, the interchange should have linked into this spine from to/from the south, with the interchange to/from the north properly blended with Greensborough Rd to form a single intersection at Lower Plenty Rd (rather than the light-addled mess indicated).

Though possibly excessive, but at least future-proof, the eastern section still has a few noticeable flaws.  For example, exiting from the express lanes at Blackburn Rd would require two changes in a little over 1.5km, and it would also be preferable if Thompsons Rd passed over/under Bulleen Rd.  Whilst it is possible some traffic will use the link to access the city, against the primary goal of the project, behaviour that often presents itself with bypass routes, it cannot be helped as such traffic already clogs this route and will be self limiting given capacity at the Eastern terminus.  The design cannot be claimed to be encouraging of it, as there are only two lanes to provide for this, along with the western ramp onto the Eastern Fwy appearing suggestive of a metered junction (similar to the Bolte Bridge to Burnley Tunnel),


As for your semis trundling down suburban roads, had rail remained the carrier of choice for all long haul freight (with trucks only for the last mile), there would have been no Francis Streets. But that's a failure for another discussion.
chomper

Most trucks on our city's roads aren't long haul freight - they're distribution from warehouse to customer.

Rail is not economical for such trips and without freeways you would have been left with semis trundling down Sydney Rd, Brunswick Rd, Doncaster Rd, etc.  Regions that use rail heavily such as Europe still implement quality road networks - proper infrastructure spending does not dictate a limitation in choice between the two, for the simple fact that they serve divergent needs.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Why are we still talking about this? The suburban rail link proposal makes Doncaster rail irrelevant.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Edith, Nightfire, reubstar6

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.