Matthew Guy today repeated the point that his plan is for all of Victoria, compared to Labor's plan being overly Melbourne-centric. Apart from the fact that his plan continues to funnel everyone into Melbourne, therefore also being Melbourne-centric, it ignores V/Line's biggest problems: Suburban Melbourne.Geelong Line
, packed with passengers for suburban stations at Deer Park, Tarneit & Wyndham ValeBallarat Line
, packed with passengers for suburban stations at Deer Park, Caroline Springs & MeltonBendigo Line
, shares suburban tracks from Sunshine - Sunbury, providing a slow journeySeymour Line
, shares suburban tracks from North Melbourne - Craigieburn, providing a slow journeyGippsland Line
, shares suburban tracks from Southern Cross - Pakenham, providing an agonisingly slow journey.
Add to this the ridiculously slow run for V/Line trains from South Kensington to Southern Cross which is just insultin. I mean the advantage of catching the train is you can avoid the traffic, crawling through West Melbourne at 20km/h just reminds you of what its like to be stuck in the car.
Then their is the elephant in the room, the single track bottlenecks. These just stuff every plan for a fast timetable the second their is 1 delay along any line.
Spend the money there, fix these problems, then introduce 2 proper express services per hour on each line during both peak periods. No need for new faster rollingstock, no need to replace relatively new infrastructure (RFR rebuilt these lines only 15 years ago, is Guy seriously suggesting we rip them up again?) and no need to shut major lines down for weeks at a time to achieve any of it.
Another thing, he has also included in this a promise to return passenger trains to Horsham, Hamilton, Donald and Mildura. Horsham is a no-brainer, and should happen regardless of who is occupying the office at No. 1 Treasury Place, but Hamilton and Donald are pushing it a bit and as for Mildura, please. This is transparent as a pane of glass. There is more chance of me being elected the next pope than Matthew Guy following through on this last one.
Not saying I don't think it should happen, just saying I doubt very strongly that it will happen.
This seems to me to be a bit of a rush job from Guy & Co. They were caught on the hop by the overall positive response from Labor's rail policies and have had to come up with this, probably scribbled on the back of a napkin at the Lobster Cave.