Also x 2 (While its still fresh in my head) - between Footscray and Sunshine, what's going to happen at Middle Footscray when the platforms get lengthened for HCMT 2.0 (the 10 car version - whenever they're needed in future)? I ask that because it's a 'bulge' island platform with not a lot of space at either end to extend for 10 car trains and might be worth rebuilding as part of MARL works if it goes down MM1 - even just rebuilt it straight away for 10 cars (220m) and straighten out the track so there can be a speed increase.
Sunshine-Footscray SAS journeys take 9 minutes
at present, express journeys take 6 minutes
. Track speed is 80kph for the entire length (comparison: RRL track from the first curve out of Sunshine to West Footscray is 130kph and then 80kph to last curve into Footscray which is 70kph - the journey for that takes 5 minutes
Boosting Sunshine - West Footscray metro track speed to 100kph would be beneficial for SAS and express services (probably shave 30 seconds or so off the express journey).
So for operational patterns, at Footscray toward Sunshine:
Trains to the south-east have the same stopping pattern: Express Anzac to Caulfield, stop all stations to Dandenong (or terminate at Westall) then stop all stations along the Pakenham or Cranbourne branch.
Trains to the north-west have 4 different patterns (the focus of this post):A
. From the south-east - Caulfield - ANZAC - Town Hall - State Library - Parkville - North Melbourne ("MM1 city stations") - Footscray - Middle Footscray - West Footscray - Tottenham - Sunshine - Albion - then all stations to Watergardens.B
. MM1 city stations - Footscray - *** - *** - *** - Sunshine - Albion - then all stations to SunburyC
. MM1 city stations - Footscray - *** - *** - *** - Sunshine - AirportD
. MM1 city stations - Footscray - Middle Footscray - West Footscray.
and so on.
A pattern (SAS to Watergardens) is 6 minutes ahead of the first express in the 10 minute block and the D (SAS to terminate at West Footscray) is 4 minutes ahead of the first express in the 10 minute block.
When the C pattern departs Footscray, the A pattern is just near or at Tottenham and the D pattern has already pulled off the mainline into the terminating point at West Footscray. By the time A pattern (SAS to Watergardens) departs Sunshine, the C pattern (Airport express) is around Tottenham.
In off-peak / weekend, trains toward Footscray-Sunshine should just be spaced 5 minutes apart (consistency throughout the city as far as Footscray).
From Sunshine toward the city:
The 'slots' for West Footscray originating services would be depart West Footscray at the same time as C departs Sunshine (the A pattern would have just passed West Footscray and prob be at Middle Footscray by then).