ChoooChoo, sadly it sounds like you have been listening to that drivel Morton goes on and on about..
"Having said that, at least there is a higher priority on signalling upgrades on the line instead of billions on a 3rd track."
A third track would be much more beneficial to the south east that any High Capacity Signalling crap will be. Either the PTUA and Morton are married to HCS or they're sponsored by it. I've never heard so much crap spill out of someones mouth before, honestly. We can currently - easily - run trains on our existing system at 2 minute intervals. Nowhere on our system needs a closer frequency than that, including the south east. This therefore renders HCS a complete and utter farce, a sad and pathetic joke, a blight on Melbournes future..and so on.
Not intending to go further off topic on this (there have been previous threads on this).
But that's simply incorrect.
Our signals are failing on a daily basis:http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/signal-failures-hit-rail-five-times-a-day-20131023-2w1ty.html
And nowhere on the system are we running trains on 2 minute frequencies smoothly. Trains are often forced to snail crawl behind another train because of the signals, or because a train departs a few minutes late (whether due to passengers or other factors).
A HCS would allow trains to run closer together despite these delays (which would still need attention as to how to reduce).
The SE has freight (which will increase with Port of Hastings), V/Line and increasing metro services.
I have not just been listening to PTUA, our own transport department is looking into higher capacity signalling.
If you look at a lot of international countries with extensive metro systems, many train lines do not have 3,4,5,6 tracks. They run perfectly well using two tracks but with better signalling.
- the busiest subway line in Rome (an ordinary two-track railway much like ours, only underground), carries 500,000 passengers a day. On the day of the Pope's funeral in 2006, this one Italian train line carried one million passengers: more than are carried per day on Melbourne's entire train system.
- The Paris RER 'A' line (again a two-track railway, but with more signalling) carries 55,000 passengers an hour, more than a million per weekday, and 273 million in a year. This one line exceeds Melbourne's entire train passenger load by some 30 to 40 per cent.
The above are PTUA examples, feel free to refute them. But i've travelled overseas enough to see that many cities with a much
higher public transport usage manage well on two tracks.
It's not rocket science to understand that if you can run trains closer together, you can fit more trains on the same pair of tracks
Just take the train more often in peak hour and you'll notice how many times the driver says "apologies for the slow running, but we are currently trailing another train."
Yes, a fresh pair of track (like the RRL will provide) can separate v/line and express trains.
All I'm saying is let's invest in getting more out of our current track (which I would assume is cheaper anyway) before we go spending millions acquiring inner city properties and digging the ground.