Dennis's METRO tweaking of the Rabbit Burrows under Melbourne

 
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
i believe the pending issue with skybus will be the traffic volumes and congestion on the freeway to the airport.  i understand from family it is already gridlocked during the peak.

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  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.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
i believe the pending issue with skybus will be the traffic volumes and congestion on the freeway to the airport. i understand from family it is already gridlocked during the peak.
JimYarin

I nearly missed a plane to Perth a few years ago because the Skybus got held up in traffic around the Calder exit in Essendon - this was after they completed the new interchange.  Bear in mind that it wasn't roadworks or an accident, just everyday traffic.  Its unacceptable for a service that charges $18 each way and it will only get worse as time goes on.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I nearly missed a plane to Perth a few years ago because the Skybus got held up in traffic around the Calder exit in Essendon - this was after they completed the new interchange. Bear in mind that it wasn't roadworks or an accident, just everyday traffic. Its unacceptable for a service that charges $18 each way and it will only get worse as time goes on.
don_dunstan


What would a traveler or user of the train (not necessarily a passenger as I am sure people who work at the airport would also use the service) expect to pay for a one way journey?

I remain hopeful the service would use the myki zone system.  If this government is smart and I refuse to believe they are, then using a fare system myki would encourage better use of the system.  No special fares.

Regards
Brian
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Staff tend to either use the staff car park (miles away from the terminal, you actually have to get a shuttle bus from there) or they use the 901 from Broadmeadows. Prior to the 901 being put on there were no government connections to the airport whatsoever - I think it was only pressure from the staff who worked there that bought that to fruition.

The airport makes more money from car-parking than from any other activity; that's why they've been openly hostile towards any rail connection. However in the last 12 months they appear to have changed their minds, possibly because they realise no further expansion is going to be practical without it.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The airport boss has changed his tune since a rail link to Avalon was announced which of course has gone nowhere under this government.

Would Melbourne airport expect to receive revenue from a passenger rail service ?
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
Staff tend to either use the staff car park (miles away from the terminal, you actually have to get a shuttle bus from there) or they use the 901 from Broadmeadows. Prior to the 901 being put on there were no government connections to the airport whatsoever - I think it was only pressure from the staff who worked there that bought that to fruition.

The airport makes more money from car-parking than from any other activity; that's why they've been openly hostile towards any rail connection. However in the last 12 months they appear to have changed their minds, possibly because they realise no further expansion is going to be practical without it.
don_dunstan

Airport movements are expected to increase from 200,000 a year now to 280,000 a year by 2023 and passenger numbers from 40M a year in 2020 to 60M by 2033.  The airport makes it money from the volume of people traveling through it, and yes, car parking is one area they make money from.  The third runway could be commenced as early as 2016.

Can the freeway take 50% more vehicles ? It has recently been expanded, yet still gets clogged up to walking pace for the last 4km.  A dedicated Skybus lane would only annoy those queued up in cars and may not help enough.  The airport knows that only a new link will deliver them the additional passengers that the new runway will facilitate. They are no longer hostile to rail; they now see it as the answer.  Some airport users might want a faster link, others a more reliable link, and airport workers would be happy for a commuter link.  Even Delhi has just put in an airport express metro (~75 cents).  It is on pylons for most of the way, alongside and above toll-roads.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The airport boss has changed his tune since a rail link to Avalon was announced which of course has gone nowhere under this government.

Would Melbourne airport expect to receive revenue from a passenger rail service ?
freightgate

That would depend how much the Melbourne Airport Corporation were tipping in to the construction costs. After all, they can afford it.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
Can the freeway take 50% more vehicles ? It has recently been expanded, yet still gets clogged up to walking pace for the last 4km.
Edith

It doesn't help that the airport was designed in the 60s. Early in the mornings the constant flow of people across the pedestrian crossings from the carpark to the terminals cause delays, primarily on the upper departures ramp, which along with cars and taxis dodging in and out to drop people off eventually turns into a giant tailback onto the freeway. IMHO the best thing to do (though clearly not the cheapest or most practical) would be to bulldoze the lot and start again with an airport actually designed for this century.

As for Avalon, well you can bet Lindsay Fox is a Liberal Party donor...
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Staff tend to either use the staff car park (miles away from the terminal, you actually have to get a shuttle bus from there) or they use the 901 from Broadmeadows. Prior to the 901 being put on there were no government connections to the airport whatsoever - I think it was only pressure from the staff who worked there that bought that to fruition.
don_dunstan

On 2011 Census data, the main Melbourne Airport site had 14,000 jobs, with 3% of workers using public transport, and 94% car.

Some elsewhere have claimed airport rail would be useful for airport workers - this is obviously nonsensical since most airport workers are within Hume, Brimbank and Moonee Valley. The amount living on the other side of the city, where an airport line would be a useful travel proposition, is negligible. More appropriate extensions for workers are an all stops airport line (Upfield-Coolaroo-Airport would give best catchment) and an extension of tram 59 (via the route which serves workers best).

Obviously the initial thing to do is a mass redrawing of the bus network to recognise Melbourne Airport as a major destination. Many airport workers live in Sunbury, and it is an ideal transfer point for Bendigo line travellers, yet the main bus to the airport (bus 500) is only 6 services per day (and M-F only). The 59 tram has no regular connections onward to the airport, and other connections are non-existent (Sydenham to the airport is over an hour).

Would Melbourne airport expect to receive revenue from a passenger rail service ?
freightgate

If it puts money into the project - they have a right to expect a return on any investment.

Can the freeway take 50% more vehicles ? It has recently been expanded, yet still gets clogged up to walking pace for the last 4km.
Edith

Not often. Much of the congestion on the Tullamarine Fwy is due to poor driving skills. Cars consistently travel in the right hand doing pathetically low speeds (particularly taxis and VHAs), many fail to merge onto the freeway at the correct speed, or change lanes to exit far too late. This often causes 'phantom' traffic jams that really shouldn't exist. It's capacity would be much higher if people drove properly.

The first issue is the Ring Rd interchange / Mickleham Rd exit, where Ring Rd traffic fails to enter at the correct speed, and Mickleham Rd traffic sits in the right hand lane until the last second. Inbound, it's a similar issue with the Mickleham Rd exit and Ring Rd exit being too close. Could be solved rather easily with some additional lane work and better configuration. Then there are the actual airport exits. Things have become better since they added a lane to stop Sunbury drivers going insane from the amount of people doing stupid things at the airport exit (stopping in the right hand lane in front of 100km/h traffic to sneak into a queue). Any one parking on the freeway roadside should have their licence suspended for six months, simple as that. The main choke point is the actual airport drop off, which needs to be radically redesigned by the airport if they want to increase capacity.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
On 2011 Census data, the main Melbourne Airport site had 14,000 jobs, with 3% of workers using public transport, and 94% car.

That's probably because the public transport options are/were very limited, not necessarily because they didn't want to use PT.

Some elsewhere have claimed airport rail would be useful for airport workers - this is obviously nonsensical since most airport workers are within Hume, Brimbank and Moonee Valley. The amount living on the other side of the city, where an airport line would be a useful travel proposition, is negligible.

Yes, but that's because it takes too long.  If a fast rail service were available, then airport workers may well come from further afield.  
ZH836301
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
An airport link would not dramatically alter the structure of the airport region's workforce.

A train is unlikely to be significantly faster than the bus, and isn't going to alter the reasons airport workers live in the surrounding municipalities.

It would primarily serve travellers, not workers.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
An airport link would not dramatically alter the structure of the airport region's workforce.

A train is unlikely to be significantly faster than the bus, and isn't going to alter the reasons airport workers live in the surrounding municipalities.

It would primarily serve travellers, not workers.
ZH836301

It might not serve workers, but it might provide an incentive for people in the suburbs surrounding the airport to catch public transport.
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
It's very likely any rail to the airport would attract a additional fare price like in Sydney and Brisbane; I expect the fares would be at least as high as Skybus if not more. Therefore it is not an attractive option for city commuters living in Tullamarine.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
A sure way to get the maximium benefit from an airport rail
Link is not to charge a premium.

If the airport did contribute capital then why the need for a return?  They need to spend money on roads at the airport. They would
Not received a return directly.

The return on the airport rail link would be the patronage through the airport.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
It might not serve workers, but it might provide an incentive for people in the suburbs surrounding the airport to catch public transport.
railblogger

The only nearby residential area is Gladstone Park who would find using the Craigieburn line a better option (due to parking etc.) even if slightly slower.

Sunshine users may find the express travel time to Southern Cross useful, but that's about it.

If the airport did contribute capital then why the need for a return?
freightgate

As a business they rightfully deserve a return.  If not, where's the incentive to contribute?  They could just instead bank their cash for a 5% return.

The government will have a say on that return given they will be funding most of the line.

They need to spend money on roads at the airport. They would Not received a return directly.
freightgate

They receive a return on their parking investments.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
They receive a return on their parking investments.
ZH836301

And they would likely lose some of that, if travellers arrived by train rather than use the long or short term carparks (which are quite expensive).

Do airport workers also have to pay for parking?  More incentive to use PT, if a good service were available?
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
If the workforce is only 14,000, is that really a justification for a railway line? If 20% of the staff used the service (which is in line with previous Government's targets for PT modal share), that would only be 2,800 - about three trains to the airport per day. Even if 100% of staff used Public Transport to get to the airport, that would be even less than the current PT usage to Monash University that doesn't have a railway line, and relies on buses only.

It is not sensible to use the staff to justify a rail line to the airport (although tram would be justifiable) - you must use flight passengers as your justification.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The only nearby residential area is Gladstone Park who would find using the Craigieburn line a better option (due to parking etc.) even if slightly slower.

Sunshine users may find the express travel time to Southern Cross useful, but that's about it.
ZH836301

Ok, but what about Tullarmarine, Attwood, Greenvale, Bulla, and Oaklands Junction? What do you think they would do? What if there was a decent bus service from these suburbs (including Gladstone Park) to the airport?
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
It's very likely any rail to the airport would attract a additional fare price like in Sydney and Brisbane; I expect the fares would be at least as high as Skybus if not more. Therefore it is not an attractive option for city commuters living in Tullamarine.
alstom_888m

Shhhhhh don't say that Napthine will hear you
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
And they would likely lose some of that, if travellers arrived by train rather than use the long or short term carparks (which are quite expensive).
Lad Porter

It's not that simple.  They will initally lose traffic but over time their car parks will likely remain saturated.  Building more parking and capacity costs money, and returns on new investments will diminish due to increased infrastructure required for each new parking structure.

The airport receives something like $1.5 from each Skybus passenger, and a further amount from the company for advertising, real estate, etc.  A wise investment in a railway station is likely to make returns comparable with their parking investments and help PR.  

Remember the airport only receives a surcharge of $2 from departing taxis, so they make less revenue off taxis than off Skybus passengers but with greater expenditure in terms of infrastructure, marshals, and administration - converting taxi users to rail would make them money.

Do airport workers also have to pay for parking?  More incentive to use PT, if a good service were available?
Lad Porter

Yes, they have their own car park (the rates aren't online anymore).

If the workforce is only 14,000, is that really a justification for a railway line?
AzN_dj

As has been said repeatedly, the primary target for an express airport link to the city is travellers, not workers, with most of the latter commuting from the surrounding municipalities anyway.

Current passenger levels are about 30 million per year, with roughly 50 million projected to 2030 - this is an average of 82,000, and 137,000 passengers per day respectively.

Ok, but what about Tullarmarine, Attwood, Greenvale, Bulla, and Oaklands Junction? What do you think they would do? What if there was a decent bus service from these suburbs (including Gladstone Park) to the airport?
railblogger

All those places are insignificant.  Even with buses, most would use the Craigieburn line as it would be faster than navigating airport traffic.  The contribution to airport line traffic should be viewed as negligible.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

There seems to be this dumb ideology at play that suburban and regional services need to be separated.
ZH836301


They should be separated. In the fullness of time the suburban network should be completely separated from the rest of the Victorian network and that means no sparks on RRL. If the suburban network is ever going to become a true metro, as you advocate, it will need to become a single traffic system. Separation like this will allow:

1) Moving Block signalling on the suburban network without the need for other trains (V/Line and freight) to be fitted with In Cab signal equipment

2) Allow the eventual running of AC power supply on the regional lines without the need to upgrade the suburban network to AC power or the need to purchase dual voltage AC/DC trains

3) Make guage standardization of the Victorian network possible in the long term without the need to also standardize the suburban network

With RRL all that remains of mixed traffic in the West will be the Sunshine-Sunbury track and some BG freight on the Werebee-Newport section (a third bi-directional BG track could be provided to separate this). When the NE gets fully standardized...one day, all of its trains will use the Independent Goods Line and run through to the Bunbury Street Tunnel, so no more V/Line trains on the Cragieburn line. All that remains then is the eastern V/Line trains. This is all a huge improvement.

The Airport train should be done as a DMU V/Line service until the time comes for regional electrification, in which case it should then be done as a EMU V/Line service. Regional electrification is probably not on the board until the V/locities come up for retirement...
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
You're misreading.  It's the idea that express suburban services and regional services can't share tracks - it's a gross waste of resources for no reason.

Why should two services with the same stopping pattern each require separate tracks?
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

It's very likely any rail to the airport would attract a additional fare price like in Sydney and Brisbane; I expect the fares would be at least as high as Skybus if not more. Therefore it is not an attractive option for city commuters living in Tullamarine.
alstom_888m

I believe the Sydney and Brisbane lines serve more than the airport, and if you alight at a station other than the airport you pay a suburban fare rather than an extrortionate airport fare.

By creating a mini fare zone that encompasses just the airport station - this solves the problem

except ...

Of course there will likely still be the stupid requirement for all visitors to use MYKI ...
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
An airport rail link should have no additional stations in the new section, and the same stopping pattern as regional services on the RRL.

It should only stop at Footscray (major centre, southwestern/metro tunnel passengers) and Sunshine (western/Geelong/Ballarat passengers). Bendigo and Sunbury users would be better off utilising improved Sunbury bus services for shorter journey times. No stop at North Melbourne is due to the RRL arrangement, and isn't really that bad for Craigieburn and Upfield users who will achieve similar journey times simply heading north then catching a bus west.

The Upfield line should really be extended to the airport via Coolaroo, as it provides a useful service for northern suburban airport customers and workers in the area. Such a service should be under standard myki fares, whilst the express service via Albion attracts a surcharge.

No additional stations should be put in the new section, as ignoring the increases in journey times and costs for what is already struggling to match Skybus, there simply aren't any appropriate sites. McIntyre Rd would be pointless as it is far too close to Albion and has no real catchment. Keilor Park Dr is a horrid position for a station, and has an extremely limited patronage potential. Airport West is irrelevant as the new line diverges before it. Again, little sense of an additional stop in the industrial areas south of the airport as most of the employees live in the surrounding areas.

I believe the Sydney and Brisbane lines serve more than the airport, and if you alight at a station other than the airport you pay a suburban fare rather than an extrortionate airport fare.
Plan B

Brisbane doesn't, Green Square and Mascot in Sydney are priced in line with other Sydney stations.

But it's irrelevant - the airport line will only be used by airline passengers (and perhaps Sunshine and Footscray locals between the city).

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