Metro rail tunnel plan will include Melbourne airport link

 

News article: Metro rail tunnel plan will include Melbourne airport link

The long-demanded rail link to Melbourne airport will be included in an expanded Metro rail tunnel plan that Premier Denis Napthine has promised will begin this decade.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The long-demanded rail link to Melbourne airport will be included in an expanded Metro rail tunnel plan that Premier Denis Napthine has promised will begin this decade.

Speaking at a Property Council lunch in Melbourne on Wednesday, Dr Napthine said: ''Let me absolutely assure you, our government is committed to a rail capacity project, to enhance rail capacity through the centre of Melbourne, to boost rail capacity on the Dandenong line and the Gippsland line. We need it, it is essential.

His spokeswoman confirmed that the airport route, known as the Albion East option, remains the preferred alignment for the rail link, although the final alignment of the Metro project could result in its connection into the city changing. But problems could arise because the existing freight line relies on diesel trains, without electrification.
Metro rail tunnel plan will include Melbourne airport link


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Using Albion East option will require electrifying the West line between Albion and the Airport. but at what point on the Albion/Jacana line will it branch or will this happen north of Broadmeadows?

Diesel trains will not be an option as the trains to and from the airport will need to travel via Metro One.

Rollingstock types and changes have not been mentioned.

Regards
Brian

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  Carnot Minister for Railways

Seriously, what's stopping them building tracks from the airport to the Albion line and electrifying it?  With extra capacity due to RRL between Sunshine and the City, the argument that the SE corridor doesn't have capacity is merely a lame excuse to delay it.

I suppose that given that the airport runs 24/7, Metro would also need to run 24/7.  Also, a shuttle service between the airport and Sunshine wouldn't be nice given that the PSOs there are among the busiest in Melbourne.

But any train is better than no trains.  And it could cause a turnaround in the polls for Napthine.  The ball is in his court.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Electrification of the route is the only option or is this Napthine guy going to create another bespoke transport solution.  What this does raise is any potential issues with taking the route back from ARTC assuming they have the BG west line already?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Electrification of the route is the only option or is this Napthine guy going to create another bespoke transport solution. What this does raise is any potential issues with taking the route back from ARTC assuming they have the BG west line already?
bevans

A quick look at Google Earth reveals that most of the Albion corridor already has a good lot of land available to allow the construction of double BG track parallel to what's already there.  The main choke points being under the Calder Highway and the need for a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Why not build a monorail? They were successful in Sydney and Queensland. Shocked

Well at least it wouldn't be as tragic as Adelaide's O-bahn. Rolling Eyes

Realistically, is there the line capacity between the city and Albion (and especially between Sunshine and Albion) for what is essentially a whole new suburban train line?

Perhaps it might be more viable if an airport link was built from Broady with capacity on that line freed up by diverting rural broad gauge trains via Coburg and a rebuilt link between Upfield and Roxborough Park?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Well at least it wouldn't be as tragic as Adelaide's O-bahn.
"Bogong"

Where's the tragedy in the O-bahn? It seems to provide an reasonable solution - the "long-haul" is done on a busway with no other traffic, and the buses can fan out at the both ends to various destinations - at a much cheaper cost than any steel-railed option.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
His spokeswoman confirmed that the airport route, known as the Albion East option, remains the preferred alignment for the rail link, although the final alignment of the Metro project could result in its connection into the city changing. But problems could arise because the existing freight line relies on diesel trains, without electrification.

Quite basically the dumbest thing I've read in a while.


Electrify it then? Hurrrr duurrrr.


Seriously, what's stopping them building tracks from the airport to the Albion line and electrifying it?
Carnot

This is the government that thinks running the Metro tunnel down Swanston St will create a 'Berlin Wall'.

I suppose that given that the airport runs 24/7, Metro would also need to run 24/7.
Carnot

Early hours would likely be buses.

A quick look at Google Earth reveals that most of the Albion corridor already has a good lot of land available to allow the construction of double BG track parallel to what's already there. The main choke points being under the Calder Highway and the need for a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River.
Carnot

The Calder is capable of taking four beneath.

Realistically, is there the line capacity between the city and Albion (and especially between Sunshine and Albion) for what is essentially a whole new suburban train line?

Yes, the airport line would be on the RRL if they've got any sense - this means extra trackwork Albion-Sunshine but that also forms the beginning of separating out Bendigo services from suburbans.

Perhaps it might be more viable if an airport link was built from Broady with capacity on that line freed up by diverting rural broad gauge trains via Coburg and a rebuilt link between Upfield and Roxborough Park?
Bogong

Too slow.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I suppose that given that the airport runs 24/7, Metro would also need to run 24/7.
Carnot

Not necessarily. Buses could fill the hours between the start and finish of trains.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Does Brisbane airtrain run 24 hours per day?

I am quite certain London airport services run 24 hours per day.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Does Brisbane airtrain run 24 hours per day?
freightgate

No
  712M Chief Commissioner

Personally I would rather see the Metro line head out to Melton, not the Airport. A train would at most times provide a slower and indirect service over the current Skybus which already runs every 10 minutes and could be expanded relatively cheaply by purchasing new buses and better bus priority along the route.

The line to Melton is a growth corridor yet receives a woefully infrequent train service at all times of the day and week despite the relatively fast journey times to the city with no plans of improvement.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What are the operating hours of city rail trains via the airport line. Are these close to 24 hours per day?

I recognise Sydney airport does not operate between midnight and 6am
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Whoever drew that map, and the reporter if they are different, should be shot.  The map gives the impression that an existing line goes very close to the airport.  The map should show the line from Albion as a more or less straight line, joining the NE line just south of Broadmeadows - a bit of research before publication would have been good.

Trains to/from the airport should run express, and should not have to mix it with stopping Metro trains.  Just a thought, but if the RRL tracks were electrified, would there be enough capacity for airport trains to share them with the V/Line services?  With just one stop at Sunshine, to allow transfers to V/Line and Metro?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Trains to/from the airport should run express, and should not have to mix it with stopping Metro trains. Just a thought, but if the RRL tracks were electrified, would there be enough capacity for airport trains to share them with the V/Line services? With just one stop at Sunshine, to allow transfers to V/Line and Metro?
Lad_Porter

There might be, but I highly doubt this would happen. I heard somewhere that the RRL capacity would be allocated to regional trains, including any capacity that might be gained by electrifying to Melton.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
What are the operating hours of city rail trains via the airport line. Are these close to 24 hours per day?

I recognise Sydney airport does not operate between midnight and 6am
freightgate


Services on a weekday run roughly between 4:56am at international to 12:23am or 1:23am on a Friday.  There is approximatly 3.5 hours of downtime.

In London the Heathrow Express runs roughly between

Heathrow Terminals 1 & 3 to London Paddington
Day of The Week From Then minutes past the hour Until
Monday to Saturday Departures
Every 15 mins from 5:12 - 23:48
Average journey time: 15 minutes
05:12
05:33
05:48
-
-
03 - 18 - 33 - 48
-
-
23:48


Day of The Week From Then minutes past the hour Until
Sunday Departures
From 06:23 - 23:53
Average journey time: 15 minutes
06:23 08 - 23 - 38 - 53 23:53


Regards
Brian
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

Personally I would rather see the Metro line head out to Melton, not the Airport. A train would at most times provide a slower and indirect service over the current Skybus which already runs every 10 minutes and could be expanded relatively cheaply by purchasing new buses and better bus priority along the route.

The line to Melton is a growth corridor yet receives a woefully infrequent train service at all times of the day and week despite the relatively fast journey times to the city with no plans of improvement.
712M


That's next on the agenda to be electrified... 100% sure.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

"Let me absolutely assure you, our government is committed to a rail capacity project, to enhance rail capacity through the centre of Melbourne"
Denis Naptine

May I translate?
"Let me ABSOLUTELY assure you, we have an election very shortly, and I am putting this out, to get more votes, and if I win the next election, I will then break my promises."!

But seriously, if it's not an election stunt, why can't Napthine's government start building it now. Many, many, studies have been completed? I think a line from near Albion is the best.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The idea that the airport line requires the construction of the metro tunnel is a scandalous lie.

It's blatantly obvious that the airport line should run via the RRL to Southern Cross given:

a/  The airport trains would be running express, like regional services, not stopping all stations like Sunbury services.  There seems to be this dumb ideology at play that suburban and regional services need to be separated.  The correct reality is that stopping and express services need to be separated.  An airport line is going to struggle to beat the bus time as it is, it surely wont when it's stuck behind some random suburban train.

b/  The RRL provides far more capacity long term for airport services than the existing lines.  Melton and Sunbury will require far more services than Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.  As a metro, it's also bad enough having one branch point let alone two closely spaced.  A train every three minutes on the RRL would still give six services an hour to the airport and Geelong, and four services an hour to Ballarat and Bendigo.

c/  A train suitable for airport travellers is not the same as a 'metro' train (I use inverted commas as the metro concept seems to be nothing but a monikor at the moment given inconsistent planning and execution).  A suitable train would include luggage space and comfortable seating.  A progressive model would also include airport and flight information.  Using AC electrification on the airport link and RRL would also pave the way for Geelong electrification (which would require similar trains).

d/  Southern Cross is superior as it offers the ability to include various features of an airport train considered normal in most progressive cities.  This includes flight related information such as airport layouts and times, information and tourism desks, and self-serve check-in facilities.  None of these can be provided on the metro tunnel.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
d/ Southern Cross is superior as it offers the ability to include various features of an airport train considered normal in most progressive cities. This includes flight related information such as airport layouts and times, information and tourism desks, and self-serve check-in facilities. None of these can be provided on the metro tunnel.
ZH836301

And also conectivity to all the country and interstate bus network.
  usedtobered Locomotive Fireman

My understanding was that back when Citylink tollway was built, the Government of the day gave an undertaking that a competing public passenger transport link was not to be built for 30 years. I believe therefore that we still have approximately 20 years to go? Interesting how politicians think the public will forget these details.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
And also conectivity to all the country and interstate bus network.
gmanning1

Indeed, that too.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
My understanding was that back when Citylink tollway was built, the Government of the day gave an undertaking that a competing public passenger transport link was not to be built for 30 years. I believe therefore that we still have approximately 20 years to go? Interesting how politicians think the public will forget these details.
usedtobered

I'm not a hundred percent sure about that one, whether it refers to the construction of an airport rail link (specifically) or just fixed rail infrastructure that competes with CityLink in general. And I believe that it's vaguely worded along the lines of 'may claim for compensation' but there's no specific penalty mentioned.  Someone who knows more about the contract may be able to inform us?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
My understanding was that back when Citylink tollway was built, the Government of the day gave an undertaking that a competing public passenger transport link was not to be built for 30 years. I believe therefore that we still have approximately 20 years to go? Interesting how politicians think the public will forget these details.
usedtobered

This is rubbish, a myth so often repeated some people seem to think it's true.

A public transport rail link to Melbourne Airport is one of several projects specifically excluded from compensation rights.

[url=http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/7E694BA9-95D1-4441-BF56-DFC0CE746620/0/ExhibitJ.pdf]Exhibit J - Major Transport Network Changes [PDF, 7KB] [/url]

The contract is readily available online, so it makes no sense that these myths continue to be perpetuated.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
b/ The RRL provides far more capacity long term for airport services than the existing lines. Melton and Sunbury will require far more services than Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. As a metro, it's also bad enough having one branch point let alone two closely spaced. A train every three minutes on the RRL would still give six services an hour to the airport and Geelong, and four services an hour to Ballarat and Bendigo.
ZH836301

Just out of curiosity, what the difference between branching off the Sunbury, and branching off the RRL?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The closeness of the junctions (Sunshine and Albion) means delays are much harder to resolve than it is for farther spaced branch points.

Sunbury has less capacity - as a metro it should have no branches, having Melton is bad enough.

The relatively low number of Bendigo services also makes the two branch points less likely to suffer cascading delays.

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