Joondalup and Mandurah lines - plans for expansion

 
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

A study was carried out 10 years ago on the potential improvements to the service to Bunbury using the existing line or a new line. The Minister wanted the ultimate to be one hour Perth Bunbury. 186km. Stopping at intermediate stations. Yeah right.
Suggested alternatives included using the Mandurah line to Lakelands, then following the new freeway median, finally using the existing trackbed round the port to come into the old central station. Another option was connecting Lakelands to Pinjarra. The same report suggested reopening Picton to Busselton with a later extension to Dunsborough and Margaret River.
I suspect you would be struggling to find a copy of the report.
"62440"


I have read the full report before, but only have access to the (very) short discussion paper right now. There are also a couple of Hansard snippets which are interesting. This was from 7th May 2002:
RAILWAYS, BUNBURY-BUSSELTON LINE, COST TO REBUILD
1705. Mr Masters to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

(1) Has an estimate been prepared of the capital cost of rebuilding the Bunbury to Busselton rail line and, if

yes, what is the estimated cost?

(2) Has an estimate been prepared of the additional train passengers that might use a re-opened Bunbury to

Busselton line, including business and tourist travel and, if yes, what are the estimated passenger

numbers?

Ms MacTIERNAN replied:

(1) An estimate of the capital cost of rebuilding the Bunbury to Busselton rail line has been prepared as part

of the Engineering/Operational Analysis for the South West Passenger Rail Study. Two scenarios were

considered:-

a) A rail line that would enable a journey time of approximately 45 minutes between Bunbury

and Busselton would cost an estimated $25 million.

b) A rail line that would enable a journey time of approximately 30 minutes between Bunbury

and Busselton would cost an estimated $40 million.

2. An estimate has not yet been prepared of the additional train passengers that might use a reopened line.

This will be considered in the final stage of the South West Passenger Rail Study which is expected to

be completed later this year.
"Hansard"



And this from the 12th November 2002:
RAILWAYS, INTEGRATED RAIL TRANSPORT PLANNING REPORT
25. Mr J.L. Bradshaw to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

(1) When will the South West Advisory Group release it’s report for the Integrated Rail Transport Planning

compiled by the South West Passenger Rail Working Group?

(2) Has a market research survey been completed for the future of the Australind Train Service and when

will the report be released for public comment?

(3) Has an Engineering Study been completed for the future of the Australind Train Service?

(4) When will this study be released for public comment?

(5) How many organisations or representative bodies residing or operating out of Bunbury are there on the

South West Passenger Rail Study Working Group?

(6) When the South West Passenger Rail Working Group was set up it was envisaged that the study would

be completed by the September 2001 quarter, will the Minister advise what the expected completion

time is?

Ms A.J. MacTIERNAN replied:

1. It is intended that a report incorporating all the analysis undertaken for the study will be released for

public comment this year. Before thee report can be finalised, a significant component of analysis

regarding costs and benefits has to be undertaken.

2. The market research has been completed. It is intended that the findings will be incorporated into a

report to be released for public comment later this year.

3. A study of engineering and operational issues has been undertaken.

4. It is intended that the findings of engineering and operational study will be incorporated into the report

to be released later this year.

5. There are four organisations residing or operating out of Bunbury that are represented on a steering

committee of nine. These are the City of Bunbury, the South West Development Commission and the

Bunbury offices of Department for Planning and Infrastructure and Main Roads WA. Other members of

the committee are the Shires of Busselton and Bridgetown-Greenbushes, the Peel Development

Commission, the Western Australian Government Railways Commission and the Perth office of the

Department for Planning and Infrastructure.

6. The technical analysis which will be completed later this year will form the basis of a public

consultation process.
"Hansard"


The discussion paper mentioned that the cost for the line from Bunbury to Margaret River would be approximately $140m in addition to the Perth-Bunbury line. The cost from Bunbury to Manjimup was estimated at the same price. The discussion paper went on to mention that the required level of patronage on each extension would need to be in the region of 529,000 to 590,000 persons per year to make it affordable, but I am wondering if the extra benefits to freight traffic (especially the Manjimup line) were taken into account.

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  62440 Chief Commissioner

Hansard stuff very interesting to me, thanks Bulbous.
Plan B could have 9 car trains from Mandurah to Cockburn then via the Kenwick route to Cannington and Perth upper level. Significant issues at all stations including how do you get into the platform at Mandurah and deal with the gaps at Rockingham.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
Just putting this out there...

The cost of extending platforms to accommodate nine cars would be better spent running additional services, including upgrading signalling to headways down to 2 minutes when required. Furthermore, if the cost of labour is prohibitive in running 30tph, the funds would be better spent implementing driverless train control. 

I think the bigger issue, rather than 9 cars, is how the inner sections of the Mandurah & Joondalup lines will be quadruplicated to handle express services. Without extra tracks, you either sacrifice express services for additional frequency and therefore capacity, or you sacrifice capacity to save a few minutes.
  WAGR_trains Assistant Commissioner

Just putting this out there...

The cost of extending platforms to accommodate nine cars would be better spent running additional services, including upgrading signalling to headways down to 2 minutes when required. Furthermore, if the cost of labour is prohibitive in running 30tph, the funds would be better spent implementing driverless train control. 

I think the bigger issue, rather than 9 cars, is how the inner sections of the Mandurah & Joondalup lines will be quadruplicated to handle express services. Without extra tracks, you either sacrifice express services for additional frequency and therefore capacity, or you sacrifice capacity to save a few minutes.
"drwaddles"


No plans to extend all the platforms to 9 cars, only a few in the interum, but eventually Yes.

Cant quadruple track, no need, and no room.

Running nine cars sets is a cheaper option than running  six car sets. Only real cost is the extra train, still only have one driver, but increase capacity of the service.

The headway on the signals is at 2mins now (or very close to it) , but can be reduced in some areas to "speed up section times". The Joondalup line is having mods done now to signalling and communications to improve in this area.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
Cant quadruple track, no need, and no room.
"WAGR_trains"


At the moment there isn't but when you need extra capacity, express trains have to go unless there's extra tracks.

I personally (as opposed to as a transport planner) have no problem with this as I choose not to live in Rockingham or Clarkson and work in the CBD, so I really don't care if there's express trains or not. All stoppers suit me fine. However, the political reality is that lines of that length will demand express services. 

Running nine cars sets is a cheaper option than running six car sets. Only real cost is the extra train, still only have one driver, but increase capacity of the service.
"WAGR_trains"


Well, yes, but frequency > daylight > longer trains. Maybe not for the operator, as it costs them, but for the users - i.e. who the system is serving - the more frequent the trains are the better. 

In any case, the work required for 9 car trains is substantial and therefore it does become a question of whether it is a better outcome to spend millions lengthening platforms or whether to up the frequency instead. 

Don't get me wrong, it is prudent to provide relatively low cost future-proofing like they are doing at Aubin Grove, but the works required in the underground are too expensive and technically complex to ever be justified in my opinion. 
  LL10194 Station Master

Location: Perth

@ 62440 - Your early response seems to be the most thorough regarding future station locations on the existing Mandurah line. Do you know of a publicly available source or is it from your own general professional experience?

@ WAGR_trains - You seem to be the only person to stick your neck out and suggest that there has been some real planning for nine-car sets on the Joodalup & Mandurah lines. (Or should I say the only person other than Troy Buswell?) Can you elaborate? Your comment in the EMU thread suggested that you possibly know more.

And @ everyone - I think all of us on this forum would rather see more frequent services before possible long term expansion to nine-car sets. We can take that as read. But the fact that Aubin Grove has been announced as having a 230m platform remains intriguing. Does anyone know if the same is planned for the three stations on the Joondalup line extension to Yanchep?

  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:

And @ everyone - I think all of us on this forum would rather see more frequent services before possible long term expansion to nine-car sets. We can take that as read. But the fact that Aubin Grove has been announced as having a 230m platform remains intriguing. Does anyone know if the same is planned for the three stations on the Joondalup line extension to Yanchep?

"LL10194"


Can't speak for Alkimos and Eglinton, but this is from the Consultants Brief for the Yanchep station project definition report:

9.2 Platform Type
230m long platforms on tangent track with the configuration to be determined (i.e. either margin or island) in consultation with the PTA and to suit the PTA’s track design.
"PTA"
  Northmetro Junior Train Controller

Does anyone know what was specified for Butler station?

Could be 6 car with no consideration of extension, 6 car capable of extension or 9 car.

Will need enough 9 car stations to provide passengers to fill a train (both sides of the river) before we actually see anything longer than 6 cars - many years away, I'm sure.

Two intermediate steps to quadruple track, I suspect
- timetable change to provide trains that skip different stations (have a look at the new timetable for Midland line to see what I mean).
- bidirectional third track for use in peak direction only - no need to provide platforms at all stations - could possibly run Cockburn-Canning Bridge & Leederville-Whitfords. Trains against the peak will have to follow each other so no express services opposite to peak flow. A bit like a rail version of Adelaide's expressways.

But eventually most larger cities add extra tracks for express services from outer suburbs - combination of speed and extra capacity.

Interesting to see how the city centre would be dealt with. Moving block signalling could squeeze a bit more capacity out of dual track through the tunnels. With a bit of tightening up of station dwell times, headways of 2m30s might be possible. Compared to current service, this would give
+20% if all current trains were 6 cars (=120%)
+100% with reduced headway timetable (still 6 cars) (=240%)
+50% with 9 car trains (=360%)
So don't expect any new rail tunnels to parallel the existing for a long time yet
  62440 Chief Commissioner

This is from the current tender, no mention of 9 cars or 230m or suggestion of same

The Perth urban rail development Supplementary Masterplan (2002), produced by the Department of planning and infrastructure, anticipated that a station would be required in the future at the Kwinana freeway / Russell road interchange. Accordingly, when the Mandurah Line was Constructed, the width between the tracks at this location was widened to allow room for a 150m island platform.
Subsequent town planning and transport reseArch has confirmed the need to build this station, sooner rather than later. The latest updated population forecasts for Western Australia show AN increase of around 400,000 people by 2026. Part of that increase is expected within suburbs south of Cockburn Central. That will put additional pressure on existing stations south of Cockburn that are already performing well above original forecasts. These suburbs include Aubin Grove, Atwell, Hammond Park, Mandogalup, and Wandi.
The station will provide some relief to Cockburn Central station, as some 30% of Cockburn Central’s current parking demand is from the area that is within the catchment of the new station. However because there is unsatisfied latent demand for parking at Cockburn Central, it is important to maintain the existing car parking capacity there. The Construction of this station will therefore satisfy some future passenger demand that would have put even more pressure on Cockburn Central station. The redistribution of parking supply will create a more balanced transport network, by reducing immediate pressure for parking at Cockburn Central station.


  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
This is from the current tender, no mention of 9 cars or 230m or suggestion of same

The Perth urban rail development Supplementary Masterplan (2002), produced by the Department of planning and infrastructure, anticipated that a station would be required in the future at the Kwinana freeway / Russell road interchange. Accordingly, when the Mandurah Line was Constructed, the width between the tracks at this location was widened to allow room for a 150m island platform.

Snip

"62440"


But again, directly below it in Book 4 (Consultants Brief):

2.1 Station Function Brief
From a functional perspective, the need is primarily as a large park and ride station with a minor bus interchange, with ultimate parking for up to 2,000 cars. There is substantial undeveloped land in the in the north west quadrant of the Kwinana Freeway / Russell Road Freeway interchange bounded by the Freeway, Russell Road and Lauderdale Drive, the purchase of which the Government is now negotiating.

The most likely platform arrangement will be a central island platform, 10.5 metres wide and up to 230 metres in length.
"PTA"
  62440 Chief Commissioner


@ 62440 - Your early response seems to be the most thorough regarding future station locations on the existing Mandurah line. Do you know of a publicly available source or is it from your own general professional experience?

"LL10194"

Most of this is available in the Masterplans. The Liberals had a Masterplan via Kenwick, which was replaced by AMcT for the direct route which eliminated Rockingham Central in a later version. For the bit after the Narrows look for the PCRAC report (Perth Central Rail Advisory Committee) which should be in the public domain in the initial and revised versions.
  thewaratahtrain Chief Train Controller

It would make more sense to increase the frequency of six car single sets (sydney have opted for 8 car double decker single sets) the government would be better off doing something similar then spending more on purchasing nine car sets and extending 70+ platforms that's if the whole network will be done, having longer trains means less trains coupled and more frequent services, they would be better off buying at least 40 six car trains and 50 four car single sets and extend the remaining platforms to support six car sets, building only one 230m platform just shows how much the libs have their heads buried in the sand when it comes to public transport.
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
Moore river would be an excellent extension that would be a nice trip actually, I don't think we still currently need nine car trains just yet but definitely in the future we will.
"thewaratahtrain"

I'm sure it would be pleasant, but could a 25km line be justified to acreage blocks of non-commuters. Any suggestions where to go? Woodridge, Guilderton, Gabbadah?
Two Rocks would be the only realistic extension, only 7-8km further on.

Perth Underground cannot be extended north as a vicious curve starts right off the platform, south you are building a cavern under high rise, it will not happen
Esplanade ditto swap south and north.
Rockingham has sharp curves at each end now and cannot be extended.
No station on either line has been future proofed for 9 cars

A 9 car service would need them all extending. Definitely in the future we won't.

It took long enough for Grant St and Loch St to be done to allow 4 cars on Freo.

There was a review of alternatives into Perth looking at coming along the freeway to Parliament and into the main station or the tunnel option as it is now. The freeway option would have allowed 9 cars. The Minister chose the tunnel.
"62440"


9 cars? Get 6 running constantly on all lines first (Thornlie/Armadale DESPERATELY NEEDS 6 car sets!) then we can consider upping it to 9!
  hack404 Station Master

All the platforms need to be of 9 car length - That would include the underground stations and yes that would take plenty of $$$ due to narrow minded planning!
"1213Driver"


Planners don't determine budget allocations.
  thewaratahtrain Chief Train Controller

Moore River can still be justified but as a TransWA service, it's not just the armadale/thornlie lines that need 6 car sets but all of them, it's starting to get pathetic now.   
  Northmetro Junior Train Controller

Interestingly, some very large cities seem to manage demand with 6 car trains (Singapore, Paris, Toronto to name a few). The signalling capability exists to reduce headways substantially from traditional fixed block systems. We have many trains that are still quite new. So let's take what we've got to the limit before we start to redesign the trains and/or stations

- all existing north-south trains 6 cars
- more trains on existing signalling
- upgrade signalling to allow more trains

And the northern and southern corridors pull in lots of park and ride passengers from far afield, so perhaps we need a new (inland) route in the north in the longer term, and upgrade Armadale capacity in the south  to manage capacity.

Extending 6 car to other lines could be staged - Armadale/Thornlie first (more A sets for Midland-Freo).
  1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

wasnt there talk a couple of years ago about extending the mandurah line through to bunbury?

"wn514"


There was talks of extending it to Bunbury, some reason failed through.... doesnt seem possible now unless they decide to tear up Mandurah Road adjendant to Mandurah station.
"AvonLink"


No problem going to Bunbury - A junction at some point beyond Rockingham, if not continuing down the Freeway from Anketell, with every second or third train alternating to either branch would work well enough.
"1213Driver"


I think duplicating the freight line with a spur line to Mandurah would be a more sensible option. It would improve both freight and passenger train efficency all in one. Since building a dedicated passenger line might not be feasable for at least another few decades , it would make more sense to utalize and upgrade the freight line for high speed rail service.
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station

wasnt there talk a couple of years ago about extending the mandurah line through to bunbury?

"wn514"


There was talks of extending it to Bunbury, some reason failed through.... doesnt seem possible now unless they decide to tear up Mandurah Road adjendant to Mandurah station.
"AvonLink"


No problem going to Bunbury - A junction at some point beyond Rockingham, if not continuing down the Freeway from Anketell, with every second or third train alternating to either branch would work well enough.
"1213Driver"


I think duplicating the freight line with a spur line to Mandurah would be a more sensible option. It would improve both freight and passenger train efficency all in one. Since building a dedicated passenger line might not be feasable for at least another few decades , it would make more sense to utalize and upgrade the freight line for high speed rail service.
"1978Prime"
Don't forget that in order for transperth trains to run to bunbury the line would need to be electrified (Including passing points). Plus they would need to install toilets on the trains (Unless the freight line is upgraded to HIGH speed (250+ Km/h) operation or a dedicated dual electric high speed line is built from mandurah to bunbury to cut travel time from the current 2.5 hours  (TransWA Australind) to an hour or so due to OH&S legislation) as well as allow the consumption of food and drink onboard the service (Again, OH&S). It's just not worth it when the Australind already covers that area
  Wool Stores Locomotive Fireman

Location: Perth
Here's something I found during my studies. It's a concept drawing of the Karnup/Golden Bay/Paganoni Rd Station...



Also, I've been told that the B-series are unable to run on the Midland line due to their pantographs being too short. Supposedly there was an incident where they ran a B-series set out to Midland when they first received them and the contact shoe literally fell off the pantograph because the catenary was too high.
  1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

wasnt there talk a couple of years ago about extending the mandurah line through to bunbury?

"wn514"


There was talks of extending it to Bunbury, some reason failed through.... doesnt seem possible now unless they decide to tear up Mandurah Road adjendant to Mandurah station.
"AvonLink"


No problem going to Bunbury - A junction at some point beyond Rockingham, if not continuing down the Freeway from Anketell, with every second or third train alternating to either branch would work well enough.
"1213Driver"


I think duplicating the freight line with a spur line to Mandurah would be a more sensible option. It would improve both freight and passenger train efficency all in one. Since building a dedicated passenger line might not be feasable for at least another few decades , it would make more sense to utalize and upgrade the freight line for high speed rail service.
"1978Prime"
Don't forget that in order for transperth trains to run to bunbury the line would need to be electrified (Including passing points). Plus they would need to install toilets on the trains (Unless the freight line is upgraded to HIGH speed (250+ Km/h) operation or a dedicated dual electric high speed line is built from mandurah to bunbury to cut travel time from the current 2.5 hours (TransWA Australind) to an hour or so due to OH&S legislation) as well as allow the consumption of food and drink onboard the service (Again, OH&S). It's just not worth it when the Australind already covers that area
"doggie015"



I don't mean running electric trains down there or necessarily 250 km/phr trains, but diesel trains that run a similar speeds to the prospector. That combined with a dual track should speed up the journey time. That could be a short to medium term option until the population gets big enough to justify a dedicated track which might not be for a few more decades. A spur line to Mandurah could provide options, with some services going through Armadale while some could either go through mandurah and then limited stops to Perth or could run as a shuttle between Mandurah and Bunbury. Some services could run as a express service for the whole journey.
  WAGR_trains Assistant Commissioner

Here's something I found during my studies. It's a concept drawing of the Karnup/Golden Bay/Paganoni Rd Station...



Also, I've been told that the B-series are unable to run on the Midland line due to their pantographs being too short. Supposedly there was an incident where they ran a B-series set out to Midland when they first received them and the contact shoe literally fell off the pantograph because the catenary was too high.
"Wool Stores"


B series can run on the Midland line (not sure about the pantograph issue, depends how far back you are talking about I guess).  Midland line OWTE is pretty much standard height.

The Fremantle line has the highest point of the OWTE (across the Freo Bridge, and the lowest point of the OWTE is  under the Eric St over pass. Bseries have no problems on each, with the occasional Panto Overeach fault whilst going over the Bridge, but all seems good in a 6 car set.
  seat151 Beginner

But why would they go to all this trouble of building a 230m nine car platform if we will never need it?
"thewaratahtrain"


So the drivers have more chance to stop when it is wet?
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
But why would they go to all this trouble of building a 230m nine car platform if we will never need it?
"thewaratahtrain"


So the drivers have more chance to stop when it is wet?
"seat151"
No need for longer platforms for that. Just brake sooner or don't accelerate to as high a speed
  thewaratahtrain Chief Train Controller



Here's something I found during my studies. It's a concept drawing of the Karnup/Golden Bay/Paganoni Rd Station...



Also, I've been told that the B-series are unable to run on the Midland line due to their pantographs being too short. Supposedly there was an incident where they ran a B-series set out to Midland when they first received them and the contact shoe literally fell off the pantograph because the catenary was too high.
"Wool Stores"


Karnup looks amazing, now go build k go mr barnett, the b series are capable on running all lines, the motors, gearboxes & traction equipment aren't designed for start stop motions they're designed for longer hauls, it will burn the motor out and are quite costly to repair, also what looks like a rail bed has been put down in clarkson with what looks like a set of new turn outs are ready for installation at the northern end of the platforms. 
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
... the motors, gearboxes & traction equipment aren't designed for start stop motions they're designed for longer hauls, it will burn the motor out and are quite costly to repair...
"thewaratahtrain"

If that's the case the why are they even running B sets on ANY line? ALL lines require a fairly high degree of start/stop motion

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