Suburban Rail Loop (Election promise)

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
This message obviously came from that 'higher plane' you exist on...Smile

Mike.

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The year is 2050

The tunnelling is two decades behind schedule

The SRL thread is now 950 pages long

The RP servers have long succumbed to the sheer weight of the discussion and their still-smoking remains have been purchased by Google as an experiment in cloud supercomputing


ZH, who has not been seen for 15 years, logs on

A mighty scream of rage is heard from Cheltenham to Werribee

Somewhere, on a crowded and dirty 901 bus, someone mutters something about the Box Hill sinkhole
  chomper Junior Train Controller

The year is 2050

The tunnelling is two decades behind schedule

The SRL thread is now 950 pages long

The RP servers have long succumbed to the sheer weight of the discussion and their still-smoking remains have been purchased by Google as an experiment in cloud supercomputing


ZH, who has not been seen for 15 years, logs on

A mighty scream of rage is heard from Cheltenham to Werribee

Somewhere, on a crowded and dirty 901 bus, someone mutters something about the Box Hill sinkhole
potatoinmymouth
If that isn't a screenplay in the making, I don't know what is Laughing
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The plot thickens. Standard Gauge?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The plot thickens. Standard Gauge?
Carnot
Interesting, didn't see any mention of standard gauge there but not impossible I guess if its a complete stand-alone system.

My feeling is that its simply too ambitious and won't get off the ground - they've already blown the budget for the St Kilda Road/Swanston Street metro by quite a large factor and the VIC government already has an $800,000,000 budgetary deficit; that's in the face of declining GST revenues with falling consumption and the glory days of stamp duty now gone. At some stage state and Commonwealth expenditure is going to have to be cut and cut hard; there's just too much debt being accumulated too quickly.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

The plot thickens. Standard Gauge?
Interesting, didn't see any mention of standard gauge there but not impossible I guess if its a complete stand-alone system.

My feeling is that its simply too ambitious and won't get off the ground - they've already blown the budget for the St Kilda Road/Swanston Street metro by quite a large factor and the VIC government already has an $800,000,000 budgetary deficit; that's in the face of declining GST revenues with falling consumption and the glory days of stamp duty now gone. At some stage state and Commonwealth expenditure is going to have to be cut and cut hard; there's just too much debt being accumulated too quickly.
don_dunstan
Id never though i would say this in a million years @don_dunstan but I totally agree.

This is a vanity project that will burden the state finances for years to come without actually solving anything. Absolute waste of money that can be spent on improving existing transit and building Melbourne Metro 2 a far more pressing project. If people want to travel between Sandringham to Dandenong, etc, etc improve the Bus network in those areas or just bloody well drive.

Michael
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Matching media release:

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-dedicated-trains-for-standalone-suburban-rail-loop/

Seems to suggest light metro or similar.
potatoinmymouth
Also they seem to have left the door open for driver-less being entirely separate. I still think the best option would have been to use the Frankston-Ringwood alignment - it would have been much cheaper as the alignment is already there running down Eastlink and it would have also had more redundancy as Melbourne continues to grow south and east in that area. The routes that they are picking make sense in terms of linking the major activity centres together but the expense of 30-40k m of bored tunnels through that part of Melbourne is going to be absolutely astronomical.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Don, I don’t disagree the budget is heading for trouble, and Dan has set himself a big task with profiles in both Melbourne papers and the Australian yesterday where he committed to three more surpluses. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is the one project they’ll protect ahead of everything else. When you’ve built a political brand on “delivering”, you have to make sure you always have something you can point to. The bigger the better.

Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. But come hell or high water the hi-vis army will be hitting the ground in Box Hill in 2022.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Don, I don’t disagree the budget is heading for trouble, and Dan has set himself a big task with profiles in both Melbourne papers and the Australian yesterday where he committed to three more surpluses. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is the one project they’ll protect ahead of everything else. When you’ve built a political brand on “delivering”, you have to make sure you always have something you can point to. The bigger the better.

Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. But come hell or high water the hi-vis army will be hitting the ground in Box Hill in 2022.
potatoinmymouth
I don't think you can discount what a grand scale political win this has been for Labor in Melbourne's East, where the first part of SRL will be built. Against a statewide swing of 4.8% to the ALP in the 2018 election, along and around the SRL route from Box Hill to Cheltenham they had:

Box Hill - 7.8% swing - ALP Gain
Ringwood - 7.9% swing - ALP Gain
Burwood - 6.5% swing - ALP Gain
Mount Waverley - 6.8% swing - ALP Gain
Oakleigh - 7.6% swing - ALP Retain
Forest Hill - 3.7% swing - LIB Retain (on a 1.2% margin)

So of the 9 seats Labor took from the Libs last election, 4 were basically along the route of the tunnels, with two more not far away (Bayswater and Hawthorn).  It has been an incredible exercise in smashing their way in to their opponents heartland and building an electoral beachhead.  If they've started digging by... oh wait: November 2022, just in time for the next election, then the smart money says they hold their newly won over constituents and lock out the Libs for at least another 8 years.

Given the levers of power, how much of your state's money would your average politician pour into a popular infrastructure project to hamstring your political opponents for years?

Billions?

Laughing
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Matching media release:

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-dedicated-trains-for-standalone-suburban-rail-loop/

Seems to suggest light metro or similar.
Also they seem to have left the door open for driver-less being entirely separate. I still think the best option would have been to use the Frankston-Ringwood alignment - it would have been much cheaper as the alignment is already there running down Eastlink and it would have also had more redundancy as Melbourne continues to grow south and east in that area. The routes that they are picking make sense in terms of linking the major activity centres together but the expense of 30-40k m of bored tunnels through that part of Melbourne is going to be absolutely astronomical.
don_dunstan
oh gawd @don  there is a reason this thread is now 27 pages.
It's resurrecting and thought bubbling old ideas, you and @ZH would get on famously.

If you actually traveled the Ringwood to Frankston route, you might possibly catch the 901 bus that near enough does exactly what you suggest. Fairly regular but mediocre patronage.    

Joining activity centres with high patron needs is what the SRL is addressing. Frankston/Dandenong have some orbital demand in Eastern suburbs, but Ringwood doesn't cut it like Waverley/Box Hill.

cheers
JOhn
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Matching media release:

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-dedicated-trains-for-standalone-suburban-rail-loop/

Seems to suggest light metro or similar.
Also they seem to have left the door open for driver-less being entirely separate. I still think the best option would have been to use the Frankston-Ringwood alignment - it would have been much cheaper as the alignment is already there running down Eastlink and it would have also had more redundancy as Melbourne continues to grow south and east in that area. The routes that they are picking make sense in terms of linking the major activity centres together but the expense of 30-40k m of bored tunnels through that part of Melbourne is going to be absolutely astronomical.
oh gawd @don  there is a reason this thread is now 27 pages.
It's resurrecting and thought bubbling old ideas, you and @ZH would get on famously.

If you actually traveled the Ringwood to Frankston route, you might possibly catch the 901 bus that near enough does exactly what you suggest. Fairly regular but mediocre patronage.    

Joining activity centres with high patron needs is what the SRL is addressing. Frankston/Dandenong have some orbital demand in Eastern suburbs, but Ringwood doesn't cut it like Waverley/Box Hill.

cheers
JOhn
justarider
An existing above-ground route versus a bored tunnel... NEWSFLASH, the money is running out and the buzz word for the next five or ten years will be AUSTERITY. I know there's apparently electoral reasons why the ALP thinks Cheltenham-Monash-Box Hill will work for them but the sheer expense or such long stretches of tunnel as per Sydney Metro will add many billions versus an above-ground route where the land is already purchased. If the purpose of the exercise is to link the radial lines then that will do the job in the east anyway. Why over-engineer the thing to buggery?
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
"money is running out".  Only if you don't sell bonds at historically low-interest rates that are payable over 10, 20 or 30 years... Rolling Eyes
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

"money is running out".  Only if you don't sell bonds at historically low-interest rates that are payable over 10, 20 or 30 years... Rolling Eyes
tayser
Fed/State Bonds for infrastructure spend should be seriously considered. Rates are so low, meaning it's cheap money, plus the country needs a boom so it doesn't become stagnate (well more than it is currently)
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Whether or not this project is a top priority is questionable. Only projects with equivalent scale as this project with higher priority is the Metro 2 project. Other projects include simple extensions out to Baxter or Wollert. There are also electrification projects which may happen. But these projects don't significantly impact densifying/increasing job growth in the middle areas and suburbs of Melbourne. That's why the SRL is a really unique project.

Bus reform and tram upgrades can be done with or without a suburban rail loop. It's not dependent on SRL since these investments can be done immediately. SRL is more of a long term ambition project that will set us up in the future.

While we start building an equivalent Epping to Chatswood rail link. And everyone is wondering how unaffordable and will have little patronage and no impact on helping out the existing rail network. I really don't get why so many people are worried the money is going to run out.

Epping-Chatswood rail link linked universities and economic hubs along the route and guess what it did. It gave momentum to the Northwest rail link. Which then gave it momentum to continue towards the city and southwest. That's 3 stages of construction and it gives you Sydney Metro.

I wonder how much in total that did cost. Would that figure be in the 50 billion dollar range? If so, Sydney has already been ahead of Melbourne building there orbital railway. (it's a U-shape right now, but you get the idea, it could potentially connect as an orbital)

Oh yeah, the difference is NSW has been progressively building up the sections of railways, seemingly turning out to make out a really long metro line. While Victoria announced it all at once, but the idea was always to progressively build it.

Instead of thinking of a 50 billion dollar SRL. Think of it like the Chatswood-Epping link ~3 billion dollars (but a little more cause longer length, more stations, new trains and stabling). Will cost around the ~10 billion dollar mark. And maybe they build the next section Box hill - Reservior (which in Sydney they have Epping-Parramatta link which may not happen). That's the idea though it's upon future governments whether they want to build those missing links.

The 1969 freeway plan didn't get all built at once didn't it, silly people, it is progressively been built over time, with some sections canceled entirely. Over-time it'll seem to make more economic sense to build the loop as time goes by. I'm likely to see Metro 2 complete in it's entirety before SRL, trust me on that.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
"money is running out".  Only if you don't sell bonds at historically low-interest rates that are payable over 10, 20 or 30 years... Rolling Eyes
tayser
If only they funded it that efficiently...
Fed/State Bonds for infrastructure spend should be seriously considered. Rates are so low, meaning it's cheap money, plus the country needs a boom so it doesn't become stagnate (well more than it is currently)
JohnZ
So get as big-a-bang for buck as possible and build the routes that are completely shovel-ready - also Frankston-Ringwood would have heaps of room for a levy on improved value on top of rates and taxing developers along the corridor. It's all the rage in the United States.

Anyway, I will again argue for a cheaper more-outer urban link in Melbourne - why not use the corridor already set aside completely above-ground and basically shovel-ready?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
...

The 1969 freeway plan didn't get all built at once didn't it, silly people, it is progressively been built over time, with some sections canceled entirely. Over-time it'll seem to make more economic sense to build the loop as time goes by. I'm likely to see Metro 2 complete in it's entirety before SRL, trust me on that.
True Believers
I once found a copy of the document released by the Bolte government at a public library but I've never been able to find it on the internet. The idea was an outer radial network with a connecting train line down Wellington Road meeting (what is now) Eastlink. Trams would ultimately be preserved going against the decision by the last major system in Australia (Brisbane) to abandon operations; express trains from one side of Melbourne to the other; the Doncaster (Eastern) freeway would have a train line in the median; the City Loop was already in advanced planning. Of course there were dozens of new freeways as in the Adelaide MATS plan but in terms of setting aside future rail routes it was quite ahead of its time.

Metro 2 could have great merit; they could get better use out of the Clifton Hill/Western group with a cross-city link in that direction, probably a much better idea than a suburban ring service in my opinion. Could leave the door open for direct services to Tullamarine from Werribee and Geelong in the future too, who knows.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Dandenong-Frankston will be built as part of a new Caulfield-Dandenong-Pakenham rail line for freight/VLine, so that Western Port can be taken off the frankston line.

It's too far out to be useful for most people.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
don_dunstan
So get as big-a-bang for buck as possible and build the routes that are completely shovel-ready - also Frankston-Ringwood would have heaps of room for a levy on improved value on top of rates and taxing developers along the corridor. It's all the rage in the United States.

Anyway, I will again argue for a cheaper more-outer urban link in Melbourne - why not use the corridor already set aside completely above-ground and basically shovel-ready?
we're obviously going to over 28 pages on this nonsense.

relying on 50 year old lines drawn on a map doesn't get us very far. Things didn't turn out as expected.

True the Eastern Freeway was constructed with a railway reservation in mind. About 25 meters gap.
Eastlink Tollway did not make this provision. It is NOT set aside. About 8-10 meters between the safety rails, nowhere near enough for 2 fast trains.

And you want to remove the emergency service crossings. A reason the toll way has an excellent safety record, it was deigned that way.

Space is even tighter for the underpass bridges, road to bridge centre support is less than 3m. About 12 would need complete rebuild to remove those pillars. Ouch there goes another billion.
Then there's the bridges that go over. Another 12 of these to somehow squeeze rail lines.

Then of course there is absolutely no room for station platforms.
But the freeway is about 8 meters below the train level. Lots of weird engineering to make the connection.


These stations would be at the thriving activity centres of Heatherdale, Yarraman, Kananook.  - never heard of them ? - not surprised most Melbourne residents are vague also.
Didn't have to find an odd one for the Glen Waverley line, there isn't one at all out that far.

But the real kicker of ignorance is your statement about improved value.
So you are going to levy Melbourne Water (a govt dept), for the improved value of their parks that a train line will bring.
There is a reason for all that green on the map. It's not undeveloped just waiting for industrial and housing - it's PARKLAND. Beyond that it's nearly all built upon already.

"Shovel ready". Yeah I know what is being shoveled.

cheers
John
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
An existing above-ground route versus a bored tunnel... NEWSFLASH, the money is running out and the buzz word for the next five or ten years will be AUSTERITY. I know there's apparently electoral reasons why the ALP thinks Cheltenham-Monash-Box Hill will work for them but the sheer expense or such long stretches of tunnel as per Sydney Metro will add many billions versus an above-ground route where the land is already purchased. If the purpose of the exercise is to link the radial lines then that will do the job in the east anyway. Why over-engineer the thing to buggery?
don_dunstan
NEWSFLASH. Catching the existing priority route bus is even cheaper.

The govt might technically own the land, but has been leased out long term. Tunnels however, the govt has absolute sovereignty under the surface.

cheers
John
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Interesting, didn't see any mention of standard gauge there but not impossible I guess if its a complete stand-alone system.

My feeling is that its simply too ambitious and won't get off the ground - they've already blown the budget for the St Kilda Road/Swanston Street metro by quite a large factor and the VIC government already has an $800,000,000 budgetary deficit; that's in the face of declining GST revenues with falling consumption and the glory days of stamp duty now gone. At some stage state and Commonwealth expenditure is going to have to be cut and cut hard; there's just too much debt being accumulated too quickly.
don_dunstan

Your comments are so far off the mark as to be somewhat ludicrous.

The media release says it all AND unlike recent conservative governments the Andrews government has NOT broken even one public transport promise and has invested beyond the initial budget allocation in others.

I don't mind in the least if you proclaim that I'm an Andrews government supporter due to its PT initiatives because you'd be correct.

The Andrews government is in no danger of losing its AAA credit rating unlike SA which, being somewhat in the doldrums still has its Aa1 rating.

Oh and Stamp Duty and Land tax revenues in Victoria are well UP on the recent dip and are forecast to be likely to continue that trajectory.

The Victorian government whilst retaining its surplus is also borrowing at locked in record low interest rates to continue its infrastructure investment

Any more doom and gloom to send in this direction Question

Mike.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

SRL is a 30-year project, alright cool. I know Melbourne has difficult geological conditions compared with Sydney. But all of us saying it's too expensive and all that to get 60kms of the tunnel and 30 km of surface rail in place.

If you have seen what Sydney has built over the past 30 years in terms of major rail project you would see it can be done over time.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lXDpxmRB1_QAAWqMCvLPT95RkBq6x9ph&usp=sharing

Totals to about 57km of tunnels and 7km of elevated rail. 2000 Airport rail tunnel. 2008 Chatswood rail link. 2019 Northwest rail link. 2025 City and Southwest rail link.

Melbourne in that period did just small electrification/duplication projects, some grade separations, 2015 opened regional rail link.

It can be done, it's now just the matter the best way it can be achieved with the best outcomes and efficiency with the project. Going for a light metro driverless train approach is heading in the right direction and hopefully, they take the most efficient rail route too.

Stabling will be interesting to see what they do there since it's fully segregated using Westall is ruled out. Maybe somewhere between Cheltenham and Clayton, there is room to build the stabling there, who knows?
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
....
Stabling will be interesting to see what they do there since it's fully segregated using Westall is ruled out. Maybe somewhere between Cheltenham and Clayton, there is room to build the stabling there, who knows?
True Believers
I wouldn't be so quick to write off Westall.

The Govt press statement says "dedicated" and "separate". That is a lot different in meaning to "fully segregated".

Cheltenham station will be a dead end. (sorry couldn't resist). An exit tunnel out that way would equally be a route to nowhere.

Forget about the SG furphy. Whoever builds those trains will be at Ballarat, Newport, Dandenong or East Pakenham.
All BG, and should gives us a truly competitive tender.

Whenever the SRL train needs maintenance, they will need to emerge from the tunnel and go to one of those sites mentioned.
For stabling, Westall is in prime position for 2 of those, and be on the surface network for all/any others
Plus Westall's maintenence role will probably cease with the roll out of HCMT. Another role would be good use of the facility.

PS: driver-less trains are a fair bet, but that doesn't inhibit manual control as required.
Current technology all you need is a lap-top and USB plug.

cheers
John
  John E Locomotive Fireman

....
Stabling will be interesting to see what they do there since it's fully segregated using Westall is ruled out. Maybe somewhere between Cheltenham and Clayton, there is room to build the stabling there, who knows?
I wouldn't be so quick to write off Westall.

The Govt press statement says "dedicated" and "separate". That is a lot different in meaning to "fully segregated".

Cheltenham station will be a dead end. (sorry couldn't resist). An exit tunnel out that way would equally be a route to nowhere.

Forget about the SG furphy. Whoever builds those trains will be at Ballarat, Newport, Dandenong or East Pakenham.
All BG, and should gives us a truly competitive tender.

Whenever the SRL train needs maintenance, they will need to emerge from the tunnel and go to one of those sites mentioned.
For stabling, Westall is in prime position for 2 of those, and be on the surface network for all/any others
Plus Westall's maintenence role will probably cease with the roll out of HCMT. Another role would be good use of the facility.

PS: driver-less trains are a fair bet, but that doesn't inhibit manual control as required.
Current technology all you need is a lap-top and USB plug.

cheers
John
justarider

Lots of questions still -how does this integrate with the planned Melbourne Airport Rail Link? The press release talked about small trains with 4 or 5 carriages that can be built without having to retrofit technology into the existing network. Hopefully they can future proof stations to allow for longer trains when required but this is doubtful. Surely longer trains are not much slower than smaller trains.

This makes me doubt that the new trains can use the Sunbury line (and MM1) or a new tunnel at Sunshine, which is odd as the Govt have consistently said the Airport Rail Link is part of the Suburban Rail Loop. If so does this rule out an Airport Rail link that is direct to the city (MM1 or Southern Cross tunnel)? Surely they won't be quadding Sunshine to the Airport? Changing at Sunshine for all users won't be popular.

Would the SRL use a different type of signalling and power system that isn't compatible with the rest of the network? It would be smart planning if it is somehow compatible.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner


Lots of questions still -how does this integrate with the planned Melbourne Airport Rail Link? The press release talked about small trains with 4 or 5 carriages that can be built without having to retrofit technology into the existing network. Hopefully they can future proof stations to allow for longer trains when required but this is doubtful. Surely longer trains are not much slower than smaller trains.

This makes me doubt that the new trains can use the Sunbury line (and MM1) or a new tunnel at Sunshine, which is odd as the Govt have consistently said the Airport Rail Link is part of the Suburban Rail Loop. If so does this rule out an Airport Rail link that is direct to the city (MM1 or Southern Cross tunnel)? Surely they won't be quadding Sunshine to the Airport? Changing at Sunshine for all users won't be popular.

Would the SRL use a different type of signalling and power system that isn't compatible with the rest of the network? It would be smart planning if it is somehow compatible.
John E
Airport Rail should be VLine from SXS to Seymour and Bendigo via Airport and/or a tunnel from West (née North) Melbourne via Marribynong (through routed from the east, like Hurstbridge or Glen Waverley but that's for another discussion).

Instead, it will be the SRL, take the MM1 from the CBD to Sunshine and change to the SRL.

Look at all the maps the Gov is producing. Ignore the spin, it's there in plain-sight, no one (except the Private Consortium backed by the Feds) is proposing a direct SXS to Airport rail line.

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