Napthine's Grand Dandy Plans

 
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Today Natphine announced a $2 Billion dollar upgrade of the Dandenong rail corridor.

The basics of todays announcement include:
- The removal of level crossings at Koornang Rd, Murrumbeena Rd, Clayton Rd & Centre Rd. (with provision to remove all the other level crossings)
- Associated rebuilding of Carnegie, Murrumbeena & Clayton Stations
- Upgraded signalling.
- A new train maintenance yard at Pakenham East
- 25 new high-capacity trains (which I assume will be of X'Trap models).

Construction is scheduled to start next year and continue to 2019.

Please excuse me for being a bit cynical (given this is an election year and in 2010 the Liberals managed to hoodwink the sand belt seats into believing they were going to upgrade PT along the Frankston line).

I'm cynical for a few reasons mainly because I simply don't believe that $2 Billion will cover all of this. My reasoning is that in 2007 there was a plan to remove level crossings along the Glen Waverly line from High St to Glenferrie Rd called 'Operation Double Fault'. This plan to remove 5 level crossings was priced at $4 Billion (according to media reports). So between 2007 & 2014 have the costs for level crossing removals really dropped that much? I travel along the Dandy line each week, I know how constrained it is land wise - these are not going to be cheap removals.

I've also been increasingly annoyed by rolling stock announcements. I know I'll open a can of worms here about rolling stock but we have some very distinct models of trains here in Melbourne. Everyone has been lamenting the loss of manufacturing in this state yet we still continue to buy trains from overseas when we have some very capable train builders in Australia, such as Bombardier in Dandenong. Correct me if I'm wrong but X'Traps are built in Poland & Italy then shipped over here and fitted out in Ballarat? Adelaide has ordered 22 electric train sets from Bombardier in Dandenong based on the VLocity design. Is there any reason why Vic can't do the same? Melbourne trains built for Melbourne conditions? In fact the Bombardier factory is ideally placed to help with maintenance of the fleet. It's very puzzling to me...

And with the upgrades, are we likely to get provision for a future Rowville connection at Huntingdale, provision for a 4th platform at Dandenong & possible duplication of the Cranbourne line? (pipe dreams).

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  Braddo Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narre Warren
Was hoping this had something to do with triplification/quadruplication but that would have made too much sense. I bet these grade seperations won't allow for future expansion.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
And I couldn't help but notice them also say they're about to promise the same Southland station they promised last time around...
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Excellent, we're getting somewhere finally.

Next step, connect the stoppers from Dandenong to Oakleigh through Chadstone to East Malvern...

Quad from Oakleigh to Dandenong to serve outer reaches and Vline...

Bomb three stations b/w Caulfield and Oakleigh and run expresses via two tracks here to combine with Frankston express at Caulfield.

Then you've got a real metro system.  (PS. Screw Rowville, the idea needs to die.)
  rbalse Beginner

Could not agree more re rolling stock.

Putting cost to one side, we need to take a long term view and envision our needs 50 - 100 years "down the track", then work backwards to see what we can achieve in the short term leading to and not compromising that vision (such as when they built the bridges over Monash Freeway without grade separating the adjacent rail line).

With the eastward march of Melbourne, the development of Hastings, and projected growth of Gippsland (particularly after they stop polluting the Latrobe Valley with coal mining) the Dandenong - Melbourne rail corridor will be of critical importance. Here is one scenerio for the Dandenong - Caulfield sector

Ground level: A light rail system, with more stops than currently. No grade separations, but crossings controlled by standard traffic lights with minimal delays to road traffic. Separate parallel cycle and pedestrian pathways and unused land used for commuter car-parking.

An elevated deck of four "quiet" tracks. A reduced number of stations equipped with lifts, and escalators. Intermediate residents use the light rail as a feeder to the nearest station. The outer tracks are for commuter trains, while express, country and freight trains use the the centre tracks. Freight trains swap to the proposed tunnel from Caulfield inward.

Provision should also be made for light rail connections to the Alemein line and the Nepean Highway (via a widened Warrigal Road)
  rbalse Beginner

Could not agree more re rolling stock.

Putting cost to one side, we need to take a long term view and envision our needs 50 - 100 years "down the track", then work backwards to see what we can achieve in the short term leading to and not compromising that vision (such as when they built the bridges over Monash Freeway without grade separating the adjacent rail line).

With the eastward march of Melbourne, the development of Hastings, and projected growth of Gippsland (particularly after they stop polluting the Latrobe Valley with coal mining) the Dandenong - Melbourne rail corridor will be of critical importance. Here is one scenerio for the Dandenong - Caulfield sector

Ground level: A light rail system, with more stops than currently. No grade separations, but crossings controlled by standard traffic lights with minimal delays to road traffic. Separate parallel cycle and pedestrian pathways and unused land used for commuter car-parking.

An elevated deck of four "quiet" tracks. A reduced number of stations equipped with lifts, and escalators. Intermediate residents use the light rail as a feeder to the nearest station. The outer tracks are for commuter trains, while express, country and freight trains use the the centre tracks. Freight trains swap to the proposed tunnel from Caulfield inward.

Provision should also be made for light rail connections to the Alemein line and the Nepean Highway (via a widened Warrigal Road)
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It's pretty obvious the Govt sees East-West link + Eastlink as the main conduit for freight traffic for the Port of Hastings expansion.  But is that good long-term planning or just a ploy to say that there will be no major increase in rail freight to Hastings via the Dandenong rail corridor because "it's just too hard"?

It'll be fascinating to see the actual plans...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Today Natphine announced a $2 Billion dollar upgrade of the Dandenong rail corridor.

The basics of todays announcement include:
- The removal of level crossings at Koornang Rd, Murrumbeena Rd, Clayton Rd & Centre Rd. (with provision to remove all the other level crossings)
- Associated rebuilding of Carnegie, Murrumbeena & Clayton Stations
- Upgraded signalling.
- A new train maintenance yard at Pakenham East
- 25 new high-capacity trains (which I assume will be of X'Trap models).

Construction is scheduled to start next year and continue to 2019.

Please excuse me for being a bit cynical (given this is an election year and in 2010 the Liberals managed to hoodwink the sand belt seats into believing they were going to upgrade PT along the Frankston line).

I'm cynical for a few reasons mainly because I simply don't believe that $2 Billion will cover all of this. My reasoning is that in 2007 there was a plan to remove level crossings along the Glen Waverly line from High St to Glenferrie Rd called 'Operation Double Fault'. This plan to remove 5 level crossings was priced at $4 Billion (according to media reports). So between 2007 & 2014 have the costs for level crossing removals really dropped that much? I travel along the Dandy line each week, I know how constrained it is land wise - these are not going to be cheap removals.

I've also been increasingly annoyed by rolling stock announcements. I know I'll open a can of worms here about rolling stock but we have some very distinct models of trains here in Melbourne. Everyone has been lamenting the loss of manufacturing in this state yet we still continue to buy trains from overseas when we have some very capable train builders in Australia, such as Bombardier in Dandenong. Correct me if I'm wrong but X'Traps are built in Poland & Italy then shipped over here and fitted out in Ballarat? Adelaide has ordered 22 electric train sets from Bombardier in Dandenong based on the VLocity design. Is there any reason why Vic can't do the same? Melbourne trains built for Melbourne conditions? In fact the Bombardier factory is ideally placed to help with maintenance of the fleet. It's very puzzling to me...

And with the upgrades, are we likely to get provision for a future Rowville connection at Huntingdale, provision for a 4th platform at Dandenong & possible duplication of the Cranbourne line? (pipe dreams).
jdekorte

Agree - we should (MUST) buy Australian made while we have the design and build capability still here.
Granted they would cost more but it seems that current Australian logic is:
Buy cheap from China/India (potential poor quality)
Put Australians out of work
Pay them the dole

What if:
We bought Australian (hopefully good quality)
Cost more
Abbott contributes dole money that he would otherwise pay to the cost of the Australian build.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I see two major faults with the above posts:-

1. Believing politicians' promises.
2. Expecting politicians to think logically.

Good luck on both.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I honestly hope the new trains will be built here.  With the Aussie dollar heading south, I'd say that's a good chance of happening.

Given the recent asbestos debacle with the Chinese made CSR locos, you would hope PTV had this in mind during the tender process....
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Although I welcome this overdue announcement I remain suspicious of Napthine's commitment to the project.  It is a shame the overhead was removed to Warragual as with the development in housing and the people living between Pakenham and Warragul together with the space at Warragual yard this would have made a lot of sense to make Warragual the depot and increased the number of services between Warragual and Dandenong.

New trains is a good move.  Will they order enough?

Need to make room for freight out of Morwell and beyond.

Level crossing removal is a good idea. Let's hope they alter the roads and not the rail line as this will mean less disruption to the dandenong line.  I am also surprised there was not electrification to Stony Point and an extension from Cranbourne to Cranbourne east or Clyde?  A number of new housing estates now down that way.
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
I've found the media release here -
http://vic.liberal.org.au/News/MediaReleases.aspx?id=8152&title=Massive%20rail%20investment%20to%20benefit%20millions%20of%20Victorians
The new trains will be next generation high capacity ones.

While searching for it I noticed that in 2012 the government made a submission to Infrastructure Australia which included platform lengthening as part of the Dandenong Rail Capacity Program.
http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/featured/infrastructure-australia-update/appendix-1
  Boss Chief Commissioner

Location: Caulfield Line
Do we actually know what High Capacity Trains means?

Is it 9 cars or something different?
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
A step in the right direction.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
On rollingstock.

Bombardier appear to have developed, what I think to be a good Australian design of train for Aussie conditions. The plant in Dandenong has started delivering train sets to Adelaide and the trains are based on the VLocity design: http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/journal/2013-07-25/bombardier-delivers-on-train-contract/. Likewise I believe the new Perth train sets, which are being built by the Bombardier plant in Maryborough, QLD, are also of a similar design.

Basically the way I see it, Seimens & X'Traps are both very much European trains and we all know that ordering two different models has been detrimental to the running of our system - it's a throwback to when the system was privatised and two companies took over leading to two different models of trains. It also led to the Comeng fleet being separated and refurbished to two different designs, of which it is only in the last decade that the Comeng fleet has been reunited. As for high-capacity trains, I have been led to believe that they are of an X'Trap version with four doors in each carriage, and changed seating layout. This in my eyes is not an ideal solution, and if they are initially built overseas, it's not something that supports Australian jobs.

As I said in my opening post, the Bombardier plant in Dandenong is ideally suited and situated to contribute to this project and has the skills and workforce to deliver new rolling stock - one class of rolling stock! (I'm not an employee of Bombardier, I just like what they build - (I'm a fan of the VLocity))

On the plans.

One day more releases little updates to details. As someone on Twitter just informed me, this is an unsolicited proposal, apparently budgeted for, but lacking in some detail. It's all very well focusing on the big stuff of this proposal, but I'd like to see that the Cranbourne branch is not treated as a second cousin to the Pakenham branch. Duplication is sorely needed and line extensions to Clyde very much needed. And with this a 4th platform at Dandenong.

I'd like to put aside my election year cynicism but I can't.
  fogcv Chief Train Controller

Location: Platform 11 Flinders Street
Do we actually know what High Capacity Trains means?

Is it 9 cars or something different?
Boss

There was a drawing somewhere showing that the Pakenham and Cranbourne trains  would go into the loop and will nominally hold 1000 passengers.

This suggests the trains will a new train type as 9 car sets using existing trains would be
A. too long and
B. would hold 1197 passengers.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Do we actually know what High Capacity Trains means?

Is it 9 cars or something different?
Boss

Most likely permanent six with end cabs going by the numbers.

Ie. 'Next generation' means common sense.

Duplication is sorely needed and line extensions to Clyde very much needed.
jdekorte

There's nothing at Clyde. It's outside the urban growth boundary.

Cranbourne East is a waste of time too.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
[quote="bevans"]Although I welcome this overdue announcement I remain suspicious of Napthine's commitment to the project. It is a shame the overhead was removed to Warragual as with the development in housing and the people living between Pakenham and Warragul together with the space at Warragual yard this would have made a lot of sense to make Warragual the depot and increased the number of services between Warragual and Dandenong.

[quote]

did you ever ride a spark to Warragul? It was hardly comfortable on Soviet style hard class seats for 90 mins.
In any case, the overhead was worn out and there was no justification for having a dedicated L class elec loco fleet
as the briquette business was just about gone by the late 80s.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
As with any announcement such as this, often the best commentary is from people not connected with government. Both these blog posts make excellent points about this project.

From Daniel Bowen: The Dandenong Line upgrade: What's included, what's missing
http://www.danielbowen.com/2014/03/07/dandenong-line-upgrade/

From Marcus Wong: Dandenong Line upgrade and probity concerns (some excellent analysis in this post)
http://wongm.com/2014/03/dandenong-line-upgrade-probity-concerns/
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
why is the single line an issue?
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
There's nothing at Clyde. It's outside the urban growth boundary.

Cranbourne East is a waste of time too.
ZH836301

Yes, nothing at Cranbourne East. Lets deprive outer suburban Melbourne of decent public transport.

I used to work at a school in the middle of this satellite picture. Granted Google Maps isn't updated as much as it should be, but I can say that those housing estates are mushrooming. In about a year or two the whole corridor between Berwick & Cranbourne will be completely filled with houses.


I'm not sure which criteria you personally use to judge which areas of Melbourne deserve train services but this is clearly one of them.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
why is the single line an issue?
JimYarin

On the Cranbourne Line?

It's about 15km from Dandenong to Cranboune and on that stretch of track these is only one passing loop at Lyndhurst - about a 7 minute run from Dandenong. If a train is late leaving Cranbourne to Dandenong, down trains are often delayed at Dandenong or held at Lyndhurst, or more often than not, they don't even make it to Cranbourne and are terminated at Dandenong. It also happens the other way - a single line reduces flexibility in timetables. One late train can cascade a whole section. It makes good, logical sense that the Cranbourne line needs to be duplicated and a 4th platform built at Dandenong.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Yes, nothing at Cranbourne East. Lets deprive outer suburban Melbourne of decent public transport.

I used to work at a school in the middle of this satellite picture. Granted Google Maps isn't updated as much as it should be, but I can say that those housing estates are mushrooming. In about a year or two the whole corridor between Berwick & Cranbourne will be completely filled with houses.


I'm not sure which criteria you personally use to judge which areas of Melbourne deserve train services but this is clearly one of them.
jdekorte

Let's be honest, though, there are far more pressing issues that need to be address before we even consider expanding the network to any area other than the airport:

  • Capacity issues across the existing network need to be addressed

  • Bus network needs a total overhaul

  • Bus & tram priority needs to be implemented to make those services more reliable

  • Overall service frequency needs improvement

  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Yes, nothing at Cranbourne East. Lets deprive outer suburban Melbourne of decent public transport.

I used to work at a school in the middle of this satellite picture. Granted Google Maps isn't updated as much as it should be, but I can say that those housing estates are mushrooming. In about a year or two the whole corridor between Berwick & Cranbourne will be completely filled with houses.
...

I'm not sure which criteria you personally use to judge which areas of Melbourne deserve train services but this is clearly one of them.
jdekorte

Ah, no.

The region north of Cranbourne East is urban flood zone, and farming zone (and even if it wasn't, would feed into Miranda Park anyway).

Buses serve this area fine.  Don't expect a relatively expensive (two grade seps) train to an area of low density with little catchment.

Carrum Downs.  Larger, farther from rail.  Should it get an extension?  Hampton Park?  Endeavour Hills?
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
Urban flood zones can be fixed in this day and age.

If they want to have more reliability on the Dandenong corridor as a whole though, they should either commit to Cranbourne, or don't. With delays constantly cascading along the whole line due to delays around the single track sections, they should choose between duplicating, or shuttle (or even closure). The more politically favourable one is, of course, duplication.

As for other locations along the general corridor?
Chadstone? Probably.
Monash? Definitely.
Rowville? Has more merit for sure.

However, there is no corridor readily available. The easiest expansion is Cranbourne East, if there is crowding at the moment.

I also second that buses should be improved.

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