An alternative idea for rail to Melbourne Airport

 
  Toby Esterhase Station Master

Before you all pile in, I should emphasise that I don't think that a train to the airport is a high priority right now. But a recent comment here (which I can't find now) and looking again at PTV's Network Development Plan got me thinking about an alternative to the stated intention to build a branch off the eventual Dandenong-Sunshine Line to the airport. I don't think that having three branches off a high-frequency metro line is a good idea - nor do I think that a train to Rowville (off the other side of the D-S Line) is worth the money when a light rail line could do as good a job. I also don't want to (re-)start silly ideas about plonking a station every kilometre (or less) on any line to the airport.

I think that the current proposed alignment is the correct one. But I think it should be connected at its Sunshine end to the RRL and not the Metro network. Also, it should continue past the airport (perhaps up the median of the proposed extension of the Tullamarine Freeway) to a (very) large triangular junction with the (broad gauge) railway down the middle of the proposed Outer Metropolitan Ring Road. There should be a connection between that railway and the line to Sunbury and beyond.

This would allow V Line trains towards Bendigo and Seymour to also serve the airport. An off-peak 10 minute frequency at the airport could be achieved by running trains every 30 minutes to Bendigo (express to Kyneton), every 30 minutes to Kyneton and every 30 minutes to Seymour. (Yes, I know there'd need to be reduplication beyond Kyneton.) Those trains would also avoid any conflict at all with the Metro network (if there was also quadruplication between the OMRR and Sunbury).

I don't think that passenger volumes to and from the airport would be so great as to crowd out longer-distance passengers. Also, passengers to and from the airport would get the benefit of trains with luggage racks.

I also think that any airport service should be charged at a premium rate, which is sustainable given how expensive the "competition" is. (Airport workers can be rebated like they are at Heathrow.) This would also be necessary to avoid passengers from Sunbury and Wallan crowding the trains in hopes of a quicker, express journey to the City. I think this could be done by making the airport station a new zone, call it "2A". It could be charged at the zone 2 rate plus a surcharge of $X. Passengers could use the V Line trains between the City and Sunbury / Wallan but the surcharge would be added when the conductor checks their tickets or when they touch off.

Thoughts?

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  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
I also think that any airport service should be charged at a premium rate, which is sustainable given how expensive the "competition" is. (Airport workers can be rebated like they are at Heathrow.) This would also be necessary to avoid passengers from Sunbury and Wallan crowding the trains in hopes of a quicker, express journey to the City. I think this could be done by making the airport station a new zone, call it "2A". It could be charged at the zone 2 rate plus a surcharge of $X. Passengers could use the V Line trains between the City and Sunbury / Wallan but the surcharge would be added when the conductor checks their tickets or when they touch off.
Somebody
An surcharge may not work under myki and note it does not work for first class travel upgrade  for V/Line-

If you are travelling on a myki in the commuter area and wish to travel first class on a long distance service you can do so, but you will need to purchase an upgrade ticket.
You will need to purchase your upgrade ticket from staff at the ticket window before travelling – your myki cannot be used to pay for the upgrade.


To keep it simple - just keep it zone 2.
  Toby Esterhase Station Master

I used the word "surcharge" loosely. What I'm thinking of is a new (geographic) zone covering the airport and the platforms at Sunbury and Wallan from which airport trains leave (which would need their own myki gates) called "2A" which would be charged at the zone 2 rate plus a certain amount. As I said, the problem with leaving it as zone 2 is that passengers from Sunbury and Wallan wanting an express service to the City might crowd out airport and longer-distance passengers - the extra cost would act as a disincentive.
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
I used the word "surcharge" loosely. What I'm thinking of is a new (geographic) zone covering the airport and the platforms at Sunbury and Wallan from which airport trains leave (which would need their own myki gates) called "2A" which would be charged at the zone 2 rate plus a certain amount. As I said, the problem with leaving it as zone 2 is that passengers from Sunbury and Wallan wanting an express service to the City might crowd out airport and longer-distance passengers - the extra cost would act as a disincentive.
Toby Esterhase
MYKI doesn't know what service you travel on - it only knows where you have started from (point a) and where you travel to (point b).

So - If I travel from Southern Cross to Sunbury via the new train line - it would work out my fare as the following : Melbourne Southern Cross (zone 1) to Sunbury (zone 2) Equals : 2 -1 +1 =2 zones fare and note MYKI doesn't know what service on travel and so for it will not charge me a zone 1 - 2a fare because I could travel on old line.

There should never be a disincentive to use public transport by placing unnecessary restrictions in place or have a surcharge to people fares if they wish to travel on express service.
Look at this way - there is no disincentive for people use to a  freeway (no toll road) compare  to travel short distance put in place by the state government or by Vicroads, why should there be a  disincentive for people to travel on an Express services to place like Sunbury?

Note there is no disincentive for Werribee people not travel on the New RRL Line and catch the service from Wyndham Vale and Tarneit to the city.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A surcharge would probably be payable when going through the accesses gate from the airport terminal to the railway station.
$$ of course going to Melbourne Airport !
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
A surcharge would probably be payable when going through the accesses gate from the airport terminal to the railway station.
$$ of course going to Melbourne Airport !
Nightfire
There is no point of a surcharge or access charge for Airport station.

Also  the current government can sell the new line as been part of the New Sunbury Line and which will have direct access to the airport and with faster services for Sunbury people.
  Toby Esterhase Station Master

Like I said, how would you then deal with Sunbury and Wallan passengers crowding out airport and longer-distance passengers? You could make Sunbury and Wallan pick up / set down only - the problem with that is that passengers for the airport from those stations would need to come in all the way to Sunshine and Southern Cross respectively and then backtrack, hence my idea for a zone 2A.
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
Like I said, how would you then deal with Sunbury and Wallan passengers crowding out airport and longer-distance passengers? You could make Sunbury and Wallan pick up / set down only - the problem with that is that passengers for the airport from those stations would need to come in all the way to Sunshine and Southern Cross respectively and then backtrack, hence my idea for a zone 2A.
Toby Esterhase
You can't make Sunbury and Wallan pick up / set down only  based on it only services going to and  from Melbourne Airport, it be like putting pick up / set down only  at places like Wyndham Vale and Tarneit - it will not work.

The only solution is keep Sunbury as Zone 2 area.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I used the word "surcharge" loosely. What I'm thinking of is a new (geographic) zone covering the airport and the platforms at Sunbury and Wallan from which airport trains leave (which would need their own myki gates) called "2A" which would be charged at the zone 2 rate plus a certain amount. As I said, the problem with leaving it as zone 2 is that passengers from Sunbury and Wallan wanting an express service to the City might crowd out airport and longer-distance passengers - the extra cost would act as a disincentive.
Toby Esterhase
Agree, needs to be higher, the how is irrelevant for this excise and if Myki isn't able to be changed by then, then introduce a airport ticket until it is. And yes there wouldn't be the first city in the world to do it. Oslo has ticket-less option for credit car swipe at entrance and exit of airport line stations, separate to the Oslo network ticketing.
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
Agree, needs to be higher, the how is irrelevant for this excise and if Myki isn't able to be changed by then, then introduce a airport ticket until it is. And yes there wouldn't be the first city in the world to do it. Oslo has ticket-less option for credit car swipe at entrance and exit of airport line stations, separate to the Oslo network ticketing.
RTT_Rules
If the Airport train service is going be part of the integrated public transport system and then normal integrated public transport (MYKI) fares should applied to it, without an extra cost applying to it .

The Airport train service is most likely to be using Electric trains sets and not diesels trains  sets anyway.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
But Melbtrip. Tullamarine is already part of the "integrated public transport system". Skybus runs a high frequency service and charges $18 each way. That sounds pricey, but it is much cheaper than Uber and vastly cheaper than an old style taxi, so Skybus is very popular.

There has to be some degree of cost recovery involved for the state government (from either side of politics) to be able to afford to build a rail line, so a higher fare has to be charged if we ever want to see it built. A fare of say $15 one way, would be a price reduction and still allow for the cost of running the service to be recovered and there would (probably) be a bit extra left to repay some of the money borrowed to build the railway line.

It's easy to say that "they" should charge the same heavily subsidised rail fare that applies to the rest of the system, but these days both Labour and Liberal are acutely aware that the government doesn't have limitless cash and running a future airport rail line for an ultra low fare of say $5 would require cutbacks in some other area of state government expenditure (hospitals, police, transport, schools, etc.) to pay for it.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
If the Airport train service is going be part of the integrated public transport system and then normal integrated public transport (MYKI) fares should applied to it, without an extra cost applying to it .

The Airport train service is most likely to be using Electric trains sets and not diesels trains  sets anyway.
melbtrip
Adding a surcharge to Myki when you touch on/off at Melbourne Airport is quite possible. The only 'big' change is for the barriers at the Airport station to refuse exit if the surcharge will bring your Myki balance to below $0, as otherwise many Myki cards will end their lives in the bins at Melbourne Airport with -$18 balances on them.

As for electric vs diesel - nothing is set in stone at present as the Airport line has been shelved until after Melbourne Metro. The only thing that is going to be constant is the need for a 24/7 service frequency of 10 minutes or better to the Airport. Whether you do it with existing diesel services to Bendigo/Seymour or opt for sparks (or a mix of the two) would depend on an economic analysis. Hell, by then you might be able to get away with using dedicated battery-electric rollingstock to beef up the service frequency instead of sparks!
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
Adding a surcharge to Myki when you touch on/off at Melbourne Airport is quite possible. The only 'big' change is for the barriers at the Airport station to refuse exit if the surcharge will bring your Myki balance to below $0, as otherwise many Myki cards will end their lives in the bins at Melbourne Airport with -$18 balances on them.

As for electric vs diesel - nothing is set in stone at present as the Airport line has been shelved until after Melbourne Metro. The only thing that is going to be constant is the need for a 24/7 service frequency of 10 minutes or better to the Airport. Whether you do it with existing diesel services to Bendigo/Seymour or opt for sparks (or a mix of the two) would depend on an economic analysis. Hell, by then you might be able to get away with using dedicated battery-electric rollingstock to beef up the service frequency instead of sparks!
LancedDendrite
If you going have  24/7 service frequency of 10 minutes or better to the Airport and then train service most likely to be using  electric rolling-stock.

At the current moment adding  a surcharge to Myki, will make current fares system complex  what should have been and plus having a surcharge or a gate fare only makes  disincentive for people to use public transport  to go to and from the airport and which is not a good thing.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If the Airport train service is going be part of the integrated public transport system and then normal integrated public transport (MYKI) fares should applied to it, without an extra cost applying to it .

The Airport train service is most likely to be using Electric trains sets and not diesels trains  sets anyway.
melbtrip

Hi,
Thats the ideal world, but considering the horrific cost for Melbourne there needs to be concessions or we will be talking about the Mel Airport line 2030, still pending.

But what I read before is "you cannot do that because MyKI won't let you", which mans MYKI needs a new set of programmers. Both Brisbane and Sydney systems seem to cope. Also being an airport service, I strongly don't think it should rely totally on MYKI for ticketing and there should be other options, such as the Credit card gate swipe at the Airport line stations. If you have just flown 16hr to get to Melbourne and not a local and especially if the only PT you may use is the Airport line, tap and go like I found at Oslo is SOOO convenient and easy.

Reality is many cities around the world have premium fares for airport services for obvious reasons, as does Brisbane and Sydney and I'm not convinced Perth won't follow the same path. Including govt owned services.

The govt needs to do what it can to get trains to airport as quickly as possible and if the only affordable way is to use a batch of Velocities, then go for it. the Rollingstock will have a different fit out internally anyway, The line can be sparked at a later date and further upgraded as numbers demonstrate and this wouldn't be the only western city to have a diesel airport line service separate to its sparked suburban system. However I agree they will probably spark upfront.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Adding a surcharge to Myki when you touch on/off at Melbourne Airport is quite possible. The only 'big' change is for the barriers at the Airport station to refuse exit if the surcharge will bring your Myki balance to below $0, as otherwise many Myki cards will end their lives in the bins at Melbourne Airport with -$18 balances on them.

As for electric vs diesel - nothing is set in stone at present as the Airport line has been shelved until after Melbourne Metro. The only thing that is going to be constant is the need for a 24/7 service frequency of 10 minutes or better to the Airport. Whether you do it with existing diesel services to Bendigo/Seymour or opt for sparks (or a mix of the two) would depend on an economic analysis. Hell, by then you might be able to get away with using dedicated battery-electric rollingstock to beef up the service frequency instead of sparks!
LancedDendrite
This was the issue I believe that had in Brisbane with an ongoing high consumption rate for new GO-Cards even years after it had been introduced. Hence minimum balances were lifted for new cards to prevent this and at other locations of long travel. From what I've seen at Brisbane (havn't used train for a few years though), being Private they have a very polite but focused staff in checking tickets paper and G0-Card.

The much shorter and cheaper to construct Brisbane Airport Service is $17 and includes the higher govt fares than Melbourne for the City to Airport Junction section. Sydney is also $17 and only the station is private there. And both projects took a significant capital write down early on.

Sort of gives you an idea on the likely fares for Melbourne and the very much unlikely outcome of being a typical Melbourne fare for the distance. Govts cannot justify subsidizing peoples travel to airport for travel. But workers should get a discount.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
But what I read before is "you cannot do that because Myki won't let you", which means Myki needs a new set of programmers. Both Brisbane and Sydney systems seem to cope. Also being an airport service, I strongly don't think it should rely totally on Myki for ticketing and there should be other options, such as the Credit card gate swipe at the Airport line stations. If you have just flown 16 hours to get to Melbourne, aren't a local and especially if the only PT you may use is the Airport line then tap and go like I found at Oslo is SOOO convenient and easy.
RTT_Rules
Luckily the Myki system itself is an open architecture and most (if not all) of the IP associated with it is owned by the Victorian Government, so at least if you need to modify the system to integrate an airport surcharge then you won't get into massive contractual issues from the get-go.

I agree about alternative payment methods such as credit cards - I'd guess that most airline passengers will have a credit card of some sort, so this method could avoid issues outlined previously. Transport for London has recently integrated contactless payment cards (credit/debit cards with PayPass etc) into the Oyster system, so it's quite achievable for the Myki system.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
As for electric vs diesel - nothing is set in stone at present as the Airport line has been shelved until after Melbourne Metro. The only thing that is going to be constant is the need for a 24/7 service frequency of 10 minutes or better to the Airport.
LancedDendrite
Why? There's not much passenger traffic at night.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Luckily the Myki system itself is an open architecture and most (if not all) of the IP associated with it is owned by the Victorian Government, so at least if you need to modify the system to integrate an airport surcharge then you won't get into massive contractual issues from the get-go.

I agree about alternative payment methods such as credit cards - I'd guess that most airline passengers will have a credit card of some sort, so this method could avoid issues outlined previously. Transport for London has recently integrated contactless payment cards (credit/debit cards with PayPass etc) into the Oyster system, so it's quite achievable for the Myki system.
LancedDendrite
I found the credit card swipe at Oslo which didn't require a pin (2011) was excellent, now it would be just tap I assume.     We arrived at 11pm after leaving Dubai in morning and by then we were not in the mood to stuff around. I asked the guy what the costs were to get to city for train/taxi and he said train is cheaper and faster, where you staying, told address. Catch Airport train to station X and a cab locally or walk from there. Train is this way, you can buy ticket and access to Oslo PT system or just swipe your credit card at the gates here and leaving the station at other end (no gate). As you must walk through the turn style at the airport they are covered as if you don't swipe at the city station you pay the longest fare, no ifs or buts.  

Brisbane really needs to get this system as the Go-Card is a bit of stuffing around and visitors never know how much credit to put on it. You can claim the unused credit back but you pay I think $10 is the refundable deposit, which means its still open to people using it to pay $10 to catch Airtrain and not $17 or longer distances to the coast(s). But if you come from OS just going to the city, buy Go-card, you need to spend $44 upfront and then stuff around later on getting your $10 back, which some may not bother to do or have time for.

Or just swipe the credit card at each Airport train station.

Anyone on business travel will have a credit card and in reality you'd be hard up finding someone who travels not have a credit/debit card.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Why? There's not much passenger traffic at night.
railblogger
I would have thought between 11pm and 5am the track would be given to the maintenance crew rather than spending millions a year moving air.
  Toby Esterhase Station Master

The recent Melbourne Airport Rail Link study had a 24-hour service as part of its scope but I doubt it would ever happen. The only passenger flight between 1am and 6am is an Emirates flight to / from Dubai. Everything else coming and going in the wee hours is cargo.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The recent Melbourne Airport Rail Link study had a 24-hour service as part of its scope but I doubt it would ever happen. The only passenger flight between 1am and 6am is an Emirates flight to / from Dubai.
Toby Esterhase

This flight goes via KL. I have a booking on it for next month! :_)
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The roads between the City and the airport are totally empty In the wee hours, existing bus service would be way quicker !
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

I found the credit card swipe at Oslo which didn't require a pin (2011) was excellent, now it would be just tap I assume.     We arrived at 11pm after leaving Dubai in morning and by then we were not in the mood to stuff around. I asked the guy what the costs were to get to city for train/taxi and he said train is cheaper and faster, where you staying, told address. Catch Airport train to station X and a cab locally or walk from there. Train is this way, you can buy ticket and access to Oslo PT system or just swipe your credit card at the gates here and leaving the station at other end (no gate). As you must walk through the turn style at the airport they are covered as if you don't swipe at the city station you pay the longest fare, no ifs or buts.  

Brisbane really needs to get this system as the Go-Card is a bit of stuffing around and visitors never know how much credit to put on it. You can claim the unused credit back but you pay I think $10 is the refundable deposit, which means its still open to people using it to pay $10 to catch Airtrain and not $17 or longer distances to the coast(s). But if you come from OS just going to the city, buy Go-card, you need to spend $44 upfront and then stuff around later on getting your $10 back, which some may not bother to do or have time for.

Or just swipe the credit card at each Airport train station.

Anyone on business travel will have a credit card and in reality you'd be hard up finding someone who travels not have a credit/debit card.
RTT_Rules

I was in Sydney in late June and got myself an Opal card (their MYKI equivalent). Was able to use on the Airport train - simple as tag on and tag off.  I can fill in some complicated form to post in to claim the balance back - but I will just keep it for my next visit. It paid for itself nicely with the $2.50 cap it has for travel on a Sunday, when I went on many of ferries and trains. Like many card systems, the paper alternative is more expensive. (unlike Melbourne where the paper version is non-existent)
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

If you are looking for a quick alternative to the airport, I believe there is a helicopter available looking for customers now that some have excluded themselves from its use...Laughing
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
If you are looking for a quick alternative to the airport, I believe there is a helicopter available looking for customers now that some have excluded themselves from its use...Laughing
Plan B
It been done for before, in New York (New York Airlines) . Back in 1950 to 1980




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