Beneficial yes, but what about the single track section between Geelong and South Geelong. Yes, I know there’s the tunnel but we have already turned a single track tunnel into a double track one with the Rosanna Duplication Project. A project for another day, when bottleneck congestion becomes an Issue
It still leaves a bottleneck, may be not as severe but a bottleneck on the Waurn Ponds/Geelong Line.
Well there is at least a study being done look at a future duplication btw South Geelong and Geelong. But yeah the government hasn't have unlimited money to spend on gold plating every project.
If it turns out it's feasible duplicated the Geelong rail corridor further it will. But the current duplication works will mean the Waurn Ponds service can comfortably run at a 20 minute frequency which will be a huge benefit to the current 40 minute situation for Deakin uni students.
And yes I know, I daily commute to Deakin Uni using the V-line train, and yes it gets delayed a bit from the single track even at the 40 minute frequency and with a passing loop mid-way. Surprisingly sometimes it's easier to get into Deakin getting off South Geelong and getting the bus from there, as you know it alternates btw the South Geelong and Waurn Ponds service every 20 minutes.
The single line section Geelong - South Geelong is not a priority as it is only 3 minutes running time , Once the South Geelong section is fully dupicated said to be 2022/23 then your Down trains can arrive pretty reliably at Geelong to take their single track 3 minute path through the tunnel. Ditto on the Up with double track provided VLP allow adequate turnaround time at Waurn Ponds.
One can easily get 10 trains an hour through the single track tunnel once you have double track on both sides.
What is not helping currently in operating the current timetable is that :
- VLP persist in timetabling trains Southern Cross via Nth Melbourne flyover to depart Footscray in 7 minutes, when it takes actually 9 minutes , so every Down tarin is 2 late at Geelong by default. (7 minutes only achievable from platforms 15/16)
- VLP timetabling trains 2 mins behind each other on RRL when the signalling is set up for min 3 min headways .
- Thirdly a silly "Nanny State" 40kmh SR for DMU through tunnel when 50 kmh should be achievable .
- Owing to many SPADS at Marshall there are severe SR,s permanently imposed on both the Up & Down and also on the Up from Reserve Rd lx into Marshall . Presumably with the duplication and provision of three position signalling and Intermediate autos these SR,s will then dissapear .
Over 120 passenger trains pass through the tunnel on Weekdays, and whilst the use of the single line section beyond South Geelong is very intense and tightly timetabled, it works remarkably well thanks to Signallers at Centrol always on the ball, and smart signal box work by the guys at South Geelong .
So Broadford frame gone, North Geelong "C" neraly gone , leaves South Geelong as one of few remaining mechanical interlockings on the country passenger network . (IIRC Wallan & Kilmore East are still mechanical interlockings also ?)