Government warned Melbourne Metro won't support future airport rail link

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 30 Mar 2017 11:24
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The PTV would have or should have known this was the case through passenger projections when the tunnel business case was written but what of capacity?

The only remaining option now would be the route via Flemington Racecourse underground to the Keilor East Area connecting into the Sunbury Line.

What do you guys think?

Government warned Melbourne Metro won't support future airport rail link

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  Carnot Minister for Railways

Given that congestion will only get worse on non-RRL tracks between Sunshine and City when Melton (and Tarneit?) go electric, I think a Flemington to Airport line under Highpoint might be the only option.  It might not have to be all underground if it goes alongside Steele Creek.

I would also consider running Bendigo trains on this new line too and build a new track from the Airport to Clarkefield, plus electrify Sunbury to Clarkefield.  Expensive, but is there any other way?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@Carnot It would only have to be underground between the city and the Tulla Freeway and for the last little stretch to the airport (to permit possible extension). I also see it as requiring a reconfiguration of the City Loop into two through-track pairs to create additional capacity for it.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
How has this actually happened?  Someone has been keeping this quite for a long period as the Metro Tunnel perhaps should have been designed for higher capacity?

Have we all been mislead?
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
There's a reason I've been calling for Quad Track tunnels for all these years!
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Take Geelong off the RRL and via Metro2 instead (Quad Southern Cross to Werribee), then RRL has room for Ballarat, Bendigo via Airport and Seymour services (with ability for Airport short runs). Full segregation of Regional trains west and north of Melbourne. V/Locity stock is well equiped for handling airport traffic.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The PTV would have or should have known this was the case through passenger projections when the tunnel business case was written but what of capacity?

The only remaining option now would be the route via Flemington Racecourse underground to the Keilor East Area connecting into the Sunbury Line.

What do you guys think?

Government warned Melbourne Metro won't support future airport rail link
bevans
Two options

Full underground rail Between Tullamarine and Flemington Racecourse station at Keilor Park and Highpoint include Quad between the junction and North Melbourne station

Just build a branch line coming up the upfield line and elevated rail along the Tullamarine Freeway and have stations at Airport west, DFO includes quad railway from Flemington road to North Melbourne station
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Melbourne Metro High Capacity Signalling should allow for 30 trains per hour on opening. This is probably more a case of not wanting to use all the capacity up at once so more services can be added to Sunbury and Melton Later.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Who are the Rail Futures Institute? Even with a two-and-a-half minute spacing, Melb Metro One will provide an additional 24 trains per hour, in each direction, between the CBD and Footscray. Apart from a short section, there is plenty of room for an additional pair of tracks between Footscray and Sunshine.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Who are the Rail Futures Institute? Even with a two-and-a-half minute spacing, Melb Metro One will provide an additional 24 trains per hour, in each direction, between the CBD and Footscray. Apart from a short section, there is plenty of room for an additional pair of tracks between Footscray and Sunshine.
kitchgp

Rail Futures is a private consultancy operated by long standing and knowledgeable transport consultant and railfan, John Hearsch.

Johns expertise in Victorian railway operations goes right back to the VR days so his knowledge and expertise carries some weight in the heavy rail business.

http://www.railfutures.org.au/

Mike.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
There is no reason the current preffered route between Sunshine and Tullamarine isn't still the most viable. There is suitable vacant land alongside Airport Drive from the Airport all of the way to the Western Ring Road at Airport West. Pop a bridge over the Ring Road and there is already an existing rail corridor from Airport West to Albion. The main issue is getting from Albion to the city, a fair part of that could be along ground level with the main difficulties being around Albion/Sunshine and Footscray.

2 seperate tunnels would be required to get under both these busy areas.

Tunnel 1, dive underground at Albion near the junction with the goods line and the Sunbury/ Bendigo line, head under Albion and Sunshine, provide a pair of underground platforms at Sunshine to connect with regional trains (re-open the SG platform for Albury trains while we are at it) and come up on the Up side of Sunshine, continue on ground level.

Tunnel 2, dive back underground on the down side of West Footscray Station, head under ground under Footscray, under the Marybirnong River and emerge up again near South Kensington Station, then utilising the now not required former Sunbury line tracks (abandoned since all Sunbury trains are in their own Tunnel, MM1) and continue on to Southern Cross. Terminate Southern Cross Platform 8.  




I think the main thing that has changed here is originally the plan was to build a line to the Airport, via the proposed route via Sunshine, and have that operate into Melbourne Metro 1 (MM1) along with Sunbury trains. There was not really anything wrong with these plans and there would have been plenty of capacity to do just that, only somebody came along and reminded them that Melton existed and was a much higher priority than the Airport Line.

So now they are laying the first stage of electrification to Melton, the duplication of track to Melton. No doubt PTV have it planned so that full scale electrification can be built and completed by the time MM1 is up and running (2026 I think). This in itself will be a massive task, and much bigger than the last extension of the wires was (Sydenham to Sunbury), along with the fact it is a greater distance (about 25km Sunshine to Melton, compared to about 15km Sydenham to Sunbury), a large percentage of the currently empty land (calling it Farmland would be unkind to Farmland) is earmarked for major low density development in the next 10 years. So there will need to be additional expenditure on at least one new station at Mt Cottrell (Mt Cottrell Rd), and likely another near Mt Atkinson (Troups Rd Nth), as well as the entire replacement of the current Rockbank station. Unless the plan is to make the entire line from Sunshine to Melton 4 tracks (which it should, but probably won't) then at the very least these stations should all be built with 4 tracks so express V/Line Ballarat trains can have multiple oppurtunities to overtake stopping METRO trains.

While all of this is being done, there should also be a 3rd  and 4th track added to the Sunbury line where possible for the use of V/Locity trains to overtake where possible

As for Electrifying to Tarneit, I think that is in the same predicament as Melton, whoever is in charge (both sides, they are the same) is not aware just how big the population is becoming out in that part of town, after all none of them ever go out there, even the local members won't live anywhere near there. (Don Nardella still adament his St Kilda apartment isn't spacious enough for him, hence why he lives in an Ocean Grove caravan).

Incidentally, despite opening less than 4 years ago, Tarneit is V/Lines second bussiest station by passenger numbers, only behind Southern Cross.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Essentially all this report is actually telling us is the Metro Tunnel is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what needs to be spent in Melbourne on new Heavy Rail. I suspect most people on this forum won't find that a stunning development.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
While all of this is being done, there should also be a 3rd  and 4th track added to the Sunbury line where possible for the use of V/Locity trains to overtake where possible
Gman_86
Unfortunately the Rail under Road LX removals at St Albans and Ginifer don't allow for this so there could maybe be a 4 track section from Albion to just before the Ginifer dive and then another from St A out to Water Gardens but I think full quadding as now out even though there was space galore for it.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
BTW on the Down side of Albion there is a set of trailing points with a short siding on the Down track. Is this where the track would have re-joined if the original plan for a flyover from the RRL to the Sunbury / Bendigo line had been built? If so it is at least a little bit of forward thinking by PTV as I would have thought it would have been abolished along with the Flyover.

BG
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I've wondered about that short siding too, given it's not really long enough for anything really useful.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Sending Bendigo trains via Melbourne Airport & Regional Rail Link still remains the most sensible option. That gets you 3 trains per hour worth of peak-hour paths to the Airport straight away, then scavenge as many extra services from the theoretical 22-24 trains per hour limit on RRL for airport-only services.

An underground station at Melbourne Airport could even accommodate Bendigo line DMUs and diesel locos, provided that a suitable station ventilation system is designed. If this is too costly, new hybrid rollingstock could be acquired (battery-diesel or electro-diesel with overhead electrification on the new line (plus RRL).
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, No one really knows the future, how accurate are these projected airport passenger numbers. There was a discusion on Australias air passenger numbers on ABC Melbourne AM local radio, which forecast a massive increase, except they assumed from the outset NO price increases on anything INCLUDING fuel, something that is highly unlikely.

woodford
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

I think Melbourne Airport's potential for rail passengers is grossly exaggerated. Using Sydney, with its 2 parallel runways, as a model, Sydney Airport's artificial (noise abatement) capacity at the moment is 80 movements per hour. The most you could probably increase that to is about 90 movements an hour. Obviously that means 45 departures and 45 arrivals an hour.  With a mix of traffic from 50-seat DHC8-300s through 180-seat A320s, 180-seat B737-800s, 240-seat B787-9s, 300-seat A330s to 500-seat A380s, the average flight would probably carry about 250 passengers. This works out to 11250 arriving passengers in peak hours (45 x 250). It should be possible to design a dedicated airport train capable of carrying 800 passengers. A train every 10 mins equates to a capacity of 4800 passengers per hour (6 x 800), which is more than 40% of the passenger arrivals. The same figures apply for departures. Most workers using the service would be travelling off-peak (as they have to be there for the flights).

Melbourne currently handles about 33 million passengers a year which is forecast to grow to 64 million in 2033. Running the above service 18 hours a day for 365 days of the year provides a capacity of 31 million passengers per year:  ~100% of the current and ~50% of the projected passengers.

There are plans to build a parallel east-west runway at Melbourne, nominally by 2024, giving it the same capacity as Sydney. Sydney is close to capacity, hence Badgerys Creek. When Melbourne gets to similar capacity or even before, Avalon Airport and the proposed SE airport (Koo Wee Rup) will come into their own. Introducing larger aircraft slows down the movement rate. By way of interest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (104 million passengers per annum) and Chicago's O'Hare (77 million pa) have 5 parallel runways and Los Angeles International (80 million pa) has 4, to name just a few.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just out of interest passenger numbers for the year 2015-16 Sydney 41, million, Tullamarine, 33 million, Heathrow (2 runways) 75 million.

Both Sydney and Tullamarine have doubled in passenger numbers in the last 10 years, the problem though in the next 10 years will be fuel price. Currently Fuel prices are steady because  liquid fuel consumption in most parts of the world is decreasing slightly. Doubling aviation pass numbers can ONLY put an upward price pressure one jet fuel in a falling supply and there is little alternative.

While modern Aircraft are quite fuel efficient, they still EAT fuel, A Boeing 777 flying the 6500 mile from Detroit (USA) to Japan takes something over 100 tons of fuel which is infact 40 percent of the take off weight of the aircraft. This amounts to around 800 pounds (around 380 litres) of fuel per passenger carried.

woodford
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
While we're talking about 2020 and beyond, where are the actual high speed trains? You know, like the ones that Japan has been running for over half a century. A Vlocity is nothing more than a streamlined DERM by comparison.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
While we're talking about 2020 and beyond, where are the actual high speed trains? You know, like the ones that Japan has been running for over half a century. A Vlocity is nothing more than a streamlined DERM by comparison.
Heihachi_73
Waiting for the population to support it.

Japan; population 127 million, area 378000 sq km, population spread all over the archipelago, mostly in mega cities interconnected by rail

Victoria; population 6 million, area 238000 sq km, most people living and working in Melbourne.

When you compare the 2 there is no comparison.

BG
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Still more feasible than the airport monorail then. Smile

If we waited for the population of Australia to reach X billion people over 100% of the entire continent we would be waiting another two million years. Melbourne to Sydney should at least be upgraded to at least 200 km/h before the 22nd century.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I think Melbourne Airport's potential for rail passengers is grossly exaggerated. Using Sydney, with its 2 parallel runways, as a model, Sydney Airport's artificial (noise abatement) capacity at the moment is 80 movements per hour. The most you could probably increase that to is about 90 movements an hour. Obviously that means 45 departures and 45 arrivals an hour.  With a mix of traffic from 50-seat DHC8-300s through 180-seat A320s, 180-seat B737-800s, 240-seat B787-9s, 300-seat A330s to 500-seat A380s, the average flight would probably carry about 250 passengers. This works out to 11250 arriving passengers in peak hours (45 x 250). It should be possible to design a dedicated airport train capable of carrying 800 passengers. A train every 10 mins equates to a capacity of 4800 passengers per hour (6 x 800), which is more than 40% of the passenger arrivals. The same figures apply for departures. Most workers using the service would be travelling off-peak (as they have to be there for the flights).

Melbourne currently handles about 33 million passengers a year which is forecast to grow to 64 million in 2033. Running the above service 18 hours a day for 365 days of the year provides a capacity of 31 million passengers per year:  ~100% of the current and ~50% of the projected passengers.

There are plans to build a parallel east-west runway at Melbourne, nominally by 2024, giving it the same capacity as Sydney. Sydney is close to capacity, hence Badgerys Creek. When Melbourne gets to similar capacity or even before, Avalon Airport and the proposed SE airport (Koo Wee Rup) will come into their own. Introducing larger aircraft slows down the movement rate. By way of interest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (104 million passengers per annum) and Chicago's O'Hare (77 million pa) have 5 parallel runways and Los Angeles International (80 million pa) has 4, to name just a few.
kitchgp
Atlanta is heavily(!) skewed toward connecting traffic through Delta's hub (people don't leave the terminals) - only data I could find was from 2013 where Atlanta's O&D traffic is around 60,000 per day... or around ~22 million a year.  Melbourne Airport is an end-of-the-line airport with the overwhelming majority of passengers passing between airside and kerbside - i.e more people have a need for efficient ground transport in Melbourne than Atlanta regardless of total passengers at each airport.  

Los Angeles is skewed more toward O&D rather than connecting and Chicago is more balanced between both needs.

That data is for the entire city/metro regions... Los Angeles has 4 airports which have scheduled/commercial services (LAX, Long Beach, Burbank and Orange County), Chicago has 2 (O'Hare and Midway), Atlanta only has 1 (Hartsfield)
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Still more feasible than the airport monorail then. Smile

If we waited for the population of Australia to reach X billion people over 100% of the entire continent we would be waiting another two million years. Melbourne to Sydney should at least be upgraded to at least 200 km/h before the 22nd century.
Heihachi_73

The scientific community has for quite a while regarded that Australia will have difficulty supporting in the long term (hundreds of years) the current population levels due to poor soils and low rainfall (Note 1). Current farming practices are in effect "mining' the soils to produce food and as such are not sustainable in the long term. The current practice of taking over valuable productive farm land for housing is regarded as almost suicidal.

Note 1: It is rare in Australia to see soil depths of much more then 20 to 30 centimetrs, where as a significant area of the USA the soils depths are measured in metres.

If we need to survive by importing food to feed the population that will put the whole country in a VERY vulnerable position it being a TRIVIAL exercise for any hostile power to bring the country to its knees. We SIMPLY MUST be able to grow enough food our selves in the long term to survive.

woodford
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner


Melbourne currently handles about 33 million passengers a year which is forecast to grow to 64 million in 2033. Running the above service 18 hours a day for 365 days of the year provides a capacity of 31 million passengers per year:  ~100% of the current and ~50% of the projected passengers.
"kitchgp"


The figure I quoted above for rail capacity is wrong. The 31 million is just for one direction. It should be a capacity for 62 million passengers per year; ~200% of the current and ~100% of the projected airport passengers.

When Melb Metro is completed, excluding RRL, there will be 3 pairs of tracks available east of Footscray, the existing Newport and Sunshine pairs plus Melb Metro. Melb Metro will add 24 trains an hour in each direction so fitting in 6 Airport Rail Link (ARL) trains an hour on a ten-minute headway (see below) still leaves 18 trains an hour, plus what ever can be added by improvements on the existing lines, for Melton and Sunbury. The problem, also mentioned above by others, is capacity between Footscray and Sunshine, which, if the Melton and Sunbury growth figures are correct, will still be a problem should the ARL not be built or a different route adopted.

The various ARL studies propose a train service every 10 mins which seems to provide excessive capacity.  A train every 15 mins will adequately cope for demand for some time in the future.  It is difficult to find figures for peak passengers per hour but calculations based on maximum runway movements and aircraft capacity indicate that it will be some time before peak passengers per hour arriving and departing at Melbourne Airport  will exceed 20,000 per hour. Four 800+-capacity trains per hour each way equates to 6400 passengers per hour, ie more than 30% of the peak. Note these figures are for the high-end of the projected growth, the percentages would be much higher for the current level of air traffic. Running a 15-min service 18 hours a day for 365 days a year gives a total capacity of 42 million (both directions). Although comparisons with other rail links is difficult due to differences in such things as fares, frequency, type of service and distance, Sydney's rail link carries about 16% of the traffic, Brisbane's AirTrain about 10% and London's Heathrow Express about 8% for example.

I don't see all that much demand by airport workers. What there is would be during the off-peak as obviously they have to be there during the peaks. A worker, or air traveller for that matter, living in Craigieburn would have to catch the train into the CBD then back out to the airport whereas driving direct would be much quicker. It would be similar for those living on the Upfield, South Morang and Sunbury lines. This may not be relevant to Sunbury if an interchange is included at Sunshine.

If I was considering investing in an ARL project I would be looking for more pessimistic figures than those provided above and other ARL studies. If Woodford's doomsday predictions eventuate, a real possibility, and air travel plateaus or declines then there will extra paths available for Melton and Sunshine.

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