Short Term Capacity Unlocking

 
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

With more and more peak services operating, what are your thoughts on the following ways which capacity could be unlocked to increase the number of trains into the city.

*Run Frankston to Werribee/Williamstown/Altona every 3 mins
10tph Run Frankston to Highett, Express Highett to Caulfield
10tph Run Mordialloc SAS to Caulfield

*Run Sandringham Line every 6 mins to Flinders St platform 12/13 and return direct

*Caulfield Loop runs as Dandenong only every 3 minutes via Platform 7 at Flinders St

*Upfield Line runs every 10 minutes into Platforms 8 and 8South at Southern Cross via Platforms 1/2 @ West Melbourne [Best case scenario, this is done in conjunction with Seymour re-routing via Upfield]

*Craigieburn and Sunbury Line trains run every 6 minutes each through Platforms 3/4 at West Melbourne, Northern Loop and Platform 6 at  (Every 3 minutes between West Melbourne and City Loop)

*Mernda and Hurstbridge Line trains run every 6 minutes each through Platform 1 Flinders St and Clifton Hill Loop

*Ringwood to City Runs every 6 minutes (12 from Belgrave/Lilydale each) into Platform 2 and Burnley Loop [Express Box Hill - Camberwell - Burnley]

*Box Hill/Alamein runs every 6 minutes (12 from Box Hill/Alamein each) into Platform 3, and are then routed via Burnley Loop or to Southern Cross/Burnley/Camberwell Stabling for PM return. Evening trains run from Stabling or from formed service.

*Glen Waverley Line runs every 6 minutes and into Platform 4/5, and returns back to Glen Waverley direct

Total Loop Capacity

Clifton Hill Loop: 10tph to Mernda, 10tph to Hurstbridge
Caulfield Loop: 20tph to Dandenong (and Beyond)
Northern Loop: 10tph to Sunbury, 10tph to Craigieburn
Burnley Loop: 10tph to Ringwood (and Beyond), 6tph to Box Hill, 4tph to Alamein
Viaduct 5/6: 10tph to Frankston, 10tph to Mordialloc, 12tph to Werribee, 4tph to Williamstown, 4tph to Laverton/Altona

Direct Capcity

Glen Waverley: 10tph (can be increased to 20)
Sandringham: 10tph (can be increased to 20)
Upfield: 10tph (can be increased to 20)

Total: 150 out of total theoretical 180 assuming 20tph running (83%)
Provides hourly capacity into the city of 146*900 = 131,400 pp/hr
At Crush Load: 146*1200 = 175,200 pp/hr

At 24tph, this would be 180 out of total theoretical 216 (83%)
Provides hourly capacity into the city of 174*900 = 156,600 pp/hr
At Crush Load: 174*1200 = 208,800 pp/hr

Can be done today (assuming VLine doesn't get in the way Seymour/Bendigo/Gippsland).

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Craigieburn and Sunbury Line trains run every 6 minutes each through Platforms 3/4 at West Melbourne, Northern Loop and Platform 6 at  (Every 3 minutes between West Melbourne and City Loop)
John.Z


Well, to start with, that's going to be a downgrade on present peak service to Craigieburn, which is 4-5 minutes apart with a couple of slots missing for Seymour/Shepp.

Also noting 6 min frequency would cause trouble on the Hursty single line sections.

Can be done today (assuming VLine doesn't get in the way Seymour/Bendigo/Gippsland).
John.Z

And that's a BIG assumption!

Good ideas, though; hypothetically, were this timetable to exist and were the signalling to run it be in place, would there actually be enough sets to do it?
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Craigieburn and Sunbury Line trains run every 6 minutes each through Platforms 3/4 at West Melbourne, Northern Loop and Platform 6 at  (Every 3 minutes between West Melbourne and City Loop)


Well, to start with, that's going to be a downgrade on present peak service to Craigieburn, which is 4-5 minutes apart with a couple of slots missing for Seymour/Shepp.

Also noting 6 min frequency would cause trouble on the Hursty single line sections.

Can be done today (assuming VLine doesn't get in the way Seymour/Bendigo/Gippsland).

And that's a BIG assumption!

Good ideas, though; hypothetically, were this timetable to exist and were the signalling to run it be in place, would there actually be enough sets to do it?
potatoinmymouth
Highest TPH on the craigieburn line is 9tph inbound and 10tph outbound (measured at Essendon Station between 7 and 9am, and between 4 and 6pm). This timetable would be 10 to 12tph depending on which model you use (20 or 24tph).

With rail lines that have single sections, some trains would need to be short-stopped (such as Belgrave/Lilydale/Cranbourne/Upfield/Hurstbridge)

VLIne: It's a false assumption, because they will always cause issues, especially as frequency increases. Upfield Duplication is 3km worth of track, Relinking with Craigieburn another 3km (doesn't need to be electrified initially).

Assuming $100m/km for Duplication with wires/New dual track without wires, $600m all up to unlock Upfield and Seymour from the rest of the network.

Enough Sets: Maybe if they ran as 3 car sets, but I don't think we have enough drivers either. Seem to have plenty of AO officers though Wink
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
*Upfield Line runs every 10 minutes into Platforms 8 and 8South at Southern Cross via Platforms 1/2 @ West Melbourne [Best case scenario, this is done in conjunction with Seymour re-routing via Upfield]
John.Z
There would be very little time for cars to duck across all those little LXs in Brunswick with that proposal, you would end up with some very upset motorists. I thought the main reason for not running more TPH on the Upfield line ATM is that the crossings are so close together and there are so many of them that the gates would be down half the day.

BG
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

*Upfield Line runs every 10 minutes into Platforms 8 and 8South at Southern Cross via Platforms 1/2 @ West Melbourne [Best case scenario, this is done in conjunction with Seymour re-routing via Upfield]
There would be very little time for cars to duck across all those little LXs in Brunswick with that proposal, you would end up with some very upset motorists. I thought the main reason for not running more TPH on the Upfield line ATM is that the crossings are so close together and there are so many of them that the gates would be down half the day.

BG
BrentonGolding
Dandenong/Frankston/Ringwood lines run every 10 minutes with little issue.

The bigger issue is that there isn't really a place to short-start Upfield Trains, and the single track limits trains to every 20mins.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Craigieburn and Sunbury Line trains run every 6 minutes each through Platforms 3/4 at West Melbourne, Northern Loop and Platform 6 at  (Every 3 minutes between West Melbourne and City Loop)


Well, to start with, that's going to be a downgrade on present peak service to Craigieburn, which is 4-5 minutes apart with a couple of slots missing for Seymour/Shepp.

Also noting 6 min frequency would cause trouble on the Hursty single line sections.

Can be done today (assuming VLine doesn't get in the way Seymour/Bendigo/Gippsland).

And that's a BIG assumption!

Good ideas, though; hypothetically, were this timetable to exist and were the signalling to run it be in place, would there actually be enough sets to do it?
Highest TPH on the craigieburn line is 9tph inbound and 10tph outbound (measured at Essendon Station between 7 and 9am, and between 4 and 6pm). This timetable would be 10 to 12tph depending on which model you use (20 or 24tph).

With rail lines that have single sections, some trains would need to be short-stopped (such as Belgrave/Lilydale/Cranbourne/Upfield/Hurstbridge)

VLIne: It's a false assumption, because they will always cause issues, especially as frequency increases. Upfield Duplication is 3km worth of track, Relinking with Craigieburn another 3km (doesn't need to be electrified initially).

Assuming $100m/km for Duplication with wires/New dual track without wires, $600m all up to unlock Upfield and Seymour from the rest of the network.

Enough Sets: Maybe if they ran as 3 car sets, but I don't think we have enough drivers either. Seem to have plenty of AO officers though Wink
John.Z
I stand firmly corrected. Are you running for State Parliament, by any chance? I'd move house just to vote for this...
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Dandenong/Frankston/Ringwood lines run every 10 minutes with little issue.

The bigger issue is that there isn't really a place to short-start Upfield Trains, and the single track limits trains to every 20mins.
John.Z
Jewell, Brunswick, Anstey and Moreland stations are close together, similar to Jolimont > Victoria Park / Richmond > Hawthorn as they were built "back in the day" when passengers walked from home to the closest station.

The Clifton Hill line has 0 LXs between Jolimont and Vic Park, there is one(?) between Richmond and Hawthorn whereas there are still around 9 from Park Street to Moreland Station which is just over 2.5km.

I would think that when a service is running in this section multiple LXs need to be activated simultaneously due to the very short distances between them. A train stopped at say Jewell on the Down would need to activate Union St, Dawson St and Albert St which are all within 600m of each other before it gets the Green on it's short trip to Brunswick Station.

Start running Express V/Line services through there and even at the fairly pedestrian 80km/h line speed you would need to activate a lot of crossings simultaneously to allow the train's safe passage.

The natives would become restless very quickly as they found it harder to negotiate the little streets on their fixies.

BG
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Jewell, Brunswick, Anstey and Moreland stations are close together, similar to Jolimont > Victoria Park / Richmond > Hawthorn as they were built "back in the day" when passengers walked from home to the closest station.

The Clifton Hill line has 0 LXs between Jolimont and Vic Park, there is one(?) between Richmond and Hawthorn whereas there are still around 9 from Park Street to Moreland Station which is just over 2.5km.

I would think that when a service is running in this section multiple LXs need to be activated simultaneously due to the very short distances between them. A train stopped at say Jewell on the Down would need to activate Union St, Dawson St and Albert St which are all within 600m of each other before it gets the Green on it's short trip to Brunswick Station.

Start running Express V/Line services through there and even at the fairly pedestrian 80km/h line speed you would need to activate a lot of crossings simultaneously to allow the train's safe passage.

The natives would become restless very quickly as they found it harder to negotiate the little streets on their fixies.

BG
BrentonGolding
Yes that is a good point, especially with VLine potentially plying the route. The faster Skyrail comes, the better
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Some people need to get a life, too much time on their hands
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Some people need to get a life, too much time on their hands
trainbrain

No need to be rude. We’re all here to discuss our interests.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

I know that the Upfield link could be done without electrification, but wouldn't it be useful for trains to run straight from the Craigieburn Depot to Upfield and visa versa? Don't have to quadruplicate the electrification, expand Roxburgh Park and Craigieburn; and extend to Wallan yet. Just do the electrification with the initial project. Could also provide a few additional paths for Craigieburn services via Upfield.

On a side note, this might be somewhat unrelated but weekend public transport should really be improved. I think that there should be 10 minute frequencies on every line (I will be happy to compromise with the Williamstown and Alamein), and there should not be changes to the city loop. Frankston line trains should be through routed to Werribee permanently. This should be done after the election, however...
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

I know that the Upfield link could be done without electrification, but wouldn't it be useful for trains to run straight from the Craigieburn Depot to Upfield and visa versa? Don't have to quadruplicate the electrification, expand Roxburgh Park and Craigieburn; and extend to Wallan yet. Just do the electrification with the initial project. Could also provide a few additional paths for Craigieburn services via Upfield.

On a side note, this might be somewhat unrelated but weekend public transport should really be improved. I think that there should be 10 minute frequencies on every line (I will be happy to compromise with the Williamstown and Alamein), and there should not be changes to the city loop. Frankston line trains should be through routed to Werribee permanently. This should be done after the election, however...
reubstar6
Not just weekends. We need a high baseline frequency from 6am to midnight (10mins or less as far out as possible), with reduced frequency (once every 20 to 30) 12am to 6am Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Why are we running trains every 10 minutes to Dandenong and Frankston, but not Werribee or Mernda or Craigieburn or Sunbury?

Why is there 15min services to Ringwood, Alamein and Glen Waverley on Weekdays, yet on Weekends Ringwood goes to 10, and Alamein and GW 20?

Why is every 2nd train to Ringwood after 7pm a 3car set?

Why is a train every 40mins acceptable at 10am on the weekend?
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Dandenong/Frankston/Ringwood lines run every 10 minutes with little issue.

The bigger issue is that there isn't really a place to short-start Upfield Trains, and the single track limits trains to every 20mins.
Jewell, Brunswick, Anstey and Moreland stations are close together, similar to Jolimont > Victoria Park / Richmond > Hawthorn as they were built "back in the day" when passengers walked from home to the closest station.

The Clifton Hill line has 0 LXs between Jolimont and Vic Park, there is one(?) between Richmond and Hawthorn whereas there are still around 9 from Park Street to Moreland Station which is just over 2.5km.

I would think that when a service is running in this section multiple LXs need to be activated simultaneously due to the very short distances between them. A train stopped at say Jewell on the Down would need to activate Union St, Dawson St and Albert St which are all within 600m of each other before it gets the Green on it's short trip to Brunswick Station.

Start running Express V/Line services through there and even at the fairly pedestrian 80km/h line speed you would need to activate a lot of crossings simultaneously to allow the train's safe passage.

The natives would become restless very quickly as they found it harder to negotiate the little streets on their fixies.

BG
BrentonGolding
Just to clarify, there are only two LX between Richmond and Ringwood now, Union Rd Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Rd Mont Albert.

Neil
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Just to clarify, there are only two LX between Richmond and Ringwood now, Union Rd Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Rd Mont Albert.

Neil
ngarner
Thanks, i thought that Madden Grove Burnley was still there as well, that was my 1(?) reference, I don't get over there anymore.

BG
  slowcoach Junior Train Controller

To achieve minimum 10 minute frequencies 24/7/365 (366 for leap years) on every patch of rail in Melbourne you would need to:
- Remove every single level crossing
- Employ and train 100s more train drivers
- Invest in building more trains locally
- Building more rail yards and sidings at suitable and convenient locations to store those new trains
- Invest in refurbishment of older trains to meet modern safety and efficiency standards
- Duplicate every single-line corridor and build second platforms at stations with single platforms e.g. Upfield, Ashburton, Alamein, Tecoma, Merinda Park, Seaholme and Altona
- Separate freight and fast regional rail lines from metropolitan lines by overpasses, underpasses or quadruplication / sextuplication
- Upgrading the signalling to allow high-capacity train flow
- Upgrading the track by replacing every single rotten wooden sleeper with concrete sleepers
- Replacing every rusty 20th century stanchion with 21st century stainless steel stanchion
- Investing in stringent network-wide maintenance programs
- Upgrading power stations by boosting the voltage to allow more trains to run with sufficient power
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Thanks, i thought that Madden Grove Burnley was still there as well, that was my 1(?) reference, I don't get over there anymore.
Brenton Golding

It’s on the Burnley – Heyington section of the Glen Waverley line. Removing it would be complicated by the Burnley stabling.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Yes that is a good point, especially with VLine potentially plying the route. The faster Skyrail comes, the better
John.Z
Agreed however the part that they are going to skyrail in the current cycle is further out around Coburg where the Bell St LX and others nearby are a big problem for road users.

There are currently (AFAIK) no plans to do the ones from Royal Park to Brunswick stations. They should just skyrail the lot as proposed by the former Mayor back in 2017 but I am not sure that the government thinks they can sell that idea to the locals (read Greens) even though it would be brilliant, creating green spaces and an expanded cycle trail underneath at the same time as opening up the suburb making it easier to get from one side to the other.

BG
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
With more and more peak services operating, what are your thoughts on the following ways which capacity could be unlocked to increase the number of trains into the city.

*Mernda and Hurstbridge Line trains run every 6 minutes each through Platform 1 Flinders St and Clifton Hill Loop

Clifton Hill Loop: 10tph to Mernda, 10tph to Hurstbridge
John.Z

In terms of unlocking capacity, this doesn't actually get you very much... Between 4:45 and 5:45pm there are already 18 trains departing Flinders St through the Clifton Hill Loop - this would only get you to 20.

Similarly, there are 18 trains arriving at Flinders between 7:45 and 8:45am, but even at this capacity Metro are incapable of running them to the timetable.  Any little bit of variance anywhere between the City and Mernda or Hurstbridge adds a delay that doesn't disappear until the end of morning peak - the trains just keep coming into the queue (and that's with a 4 minute headway every few trains to "space" them out).  This happens most days already and more trains will just make it worse.

I like the idea but there really does need to be more infrastructure to achieve any meaningful capacity increase on these lines.

PS. 10 minute off peak to Mernda and at least Greensborough is a no-brainer however https://static.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Pretty much that apart from running shuttles on some one the branches to connect to with trains from the city.  There isn't much capacity increase available. Eg, cranbourne-dandenong shuttles, alamein shuttles.  Maybe you could extend some platforms that v/line trains stop at to 9 or 12 cars and encourage people to use v/line trains that would be extended to those those lengths.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Pretty much that apart from running shuttles on some one the branches to connect to with trains from the city.  There isn't much capacity increase available. Eg, cranbourne-dandenong shuttles, alamein shuttles.  Maybe you could extend some platforms that v/line trains stop at to 9 or 12 cars and encourage people to use v/line trains that would be extended to those those lengths.
tazzer96
Taking Frankston out of the Caulfield Loop?
Take Upfield out of the Northern Loop?

These seem like easy ways to increase capacity.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Pretty much that apart from running shuttles on some one the branches to connect to with trains from the city.  There isn't much capacity increase available. Eg, cranbourne-dandenong shuttles, alamein shuttles.  Maybe you could extend some platforms that v/line trains stop at to 9 or 12 cars and encourage people to use v/line trains that would be extended to those those lengths.
Taking Frankston out of the Caulfield Loop?
Take Upfield out of the Northern Loop?

These seem like easy ways to increase capacity.
John.Z
https://www.theage.com.au/opinion/why-the-frankston-line-gets-the-royal-treatment-while-everywhere-else-suffers-20170308-gutfzj.html

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/frankston-line-passengers-angry-at-plan-for-trains-to-bypass-the-loop/news-story/69481bde4c708f50efa5642b48ce4cf3

Forget it. For Franga at least. I don't see a lot of point punishing Upfield pax at this point either when the constraints are upstream.
  n459L1150 Train Controller

Location: at sunbury on a V/line service into melbourne, waiting for thousands of impatient people to get on
what if, and let me run with this, have an underground section from Jewell to Upfield for met trains and an elevated section a la skyrail for the v/line services. I understand the engineering side of this won't be entirely possible but I'm sure with the technology we have today, a solution along these lines (ha, train joke) is possible. That way, the level crossings are removed, the metro trains can keep or even improve the timetable, v/line trains can use the Upfield line without interfering (all of the Seymour/Shepparton/Albury trains used to use the Broadmeadows/Craigieburn Line for years and no-one complained) and anyway, most of to eventually all of the Seymour/Shepparton/Albury trains will be replaced with V/Locities anyway, and appear to run ok on the Dandenong Roller-Coaster anyway.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
what if, and let me run with this, have an underground section from Jewell to Upfield for met trains and an elevated section a la skyrail for the v/line services. I understand the engineering side of this won't be entirely possible but I'm sure with the technology we have today, a solution along these lines (ha, train joke) is possible. That way, the level crossings are removed, the metro trains can keep or even improve the timetable, v/line trains can use the Upfield line without interfering (all of the Seymour/Shepparton/Albury trains used to use the Broadmeadows/Craigieburn Line for years and no-one complained) and anyway, most of to eventually all of the Seymour/Shepparton/Albury trains will be replaced with V/Locities anyway, and appear to run ok on the Dandenong Roller-Coaster anyway.
n459L1150
problem being it is still a half baked solution to a long term issue.
There are currently (AFAIK) no plans to do the ones from Royal Park to Brunswick stations. They should just skyrail the lot as proposed by the former Mayor back in 2017 but I am not sure that the government thinks they can sell that idea to the locals (read Greens) even though it would be brilliant, creating green spaces and an expanded cycle trail underneath at the same time as opening up the suburb making it easier to get from one side to the other.
BrentonGolding
making Upfield another roller coaster will please nobody and solve little,
but doing the WHOLE line as an elevated rail (Skyrail to the nimbys) can me a far more attractive option.

With the LXRA current method, the Upfield line would endure openings/shutdowns/bustitutions for at least 5 years, at huge cost.

Better to shut the whole line down for 1 year, bulldoze the lot, and build one continuous elevated track.

Can hear the screams already, but think it through.
It is a far quicker and cheaper construction method than the hodge podge that LXRA are forced to do at the moment.
The bulldozed easement is one continuous building site without inconvenience to the adjoining roads and neighborhood.
Could even use those blue traveling cranes to drive from somewhere Fawkner way right to the city, assembling as they go.

Also gives the opportunity to include extra track(s) for V/Line and express, really sorting out the NE line.
New stations built at rational locations to optimise the train run times and customer access.
A continuous green belt underneath all the way into the city.

Utimately it is a new line built relatively quickly, for work that must be done at some stage anyway. Demonstrates to the naysayers what is possible throughout the whole network with a bit of effort (and guts).

Of course wrong thread, this is "short term" solutions after all.
Then again 1 years effort is "short term", just a problem of the start date..

cheers
John
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

making Upfield another roller coaster will please nobody and solve little,
but doing the WHOLE line as an elevated rail (Skyrail to the nimbys) can me a far more attractive option.

With the LXRA current method, the Upfield line would endure openings/shutdowns/bustitutions for at least 5 years, at huge cost.

Better to shut the whole line down for 1 year, bulldoze the lot, and build one continuous elevated track.

Can hear the screams already, but think it through.
It is a far quicker and cheaper construction method than the hodge podge that LXRA are forced to do at the moment.
The bulldozed easement is one continuous building site without inconvenience to the adjoining roads and neighborhood.
Could even use those blue traveling cranes to drive from somewhere Fawkner way right to the city, assembling as they go.

Also gives the opportunity to include extra track(s) for V/Line and express, really sorting out the NE line.
New stations built at rational locations to optimise the train run times and customer access.
A continuous green belt underneath all the way into the city.

Utimately it is a new line built relatively quickly, for work that must be done at some stage anyway. Demonstrates to the naysayers what is possible throughout the whole network with a bit of effort (and guts).

Of course wrong thread, this is "short term" solutions after all.
Then again 1 years effort is "short term", just a problem of the start date..

cheers
John
justarider
Some interesting ideas.

RE: short term, it is meant to mean things which can be done now with minimal infrastructure changes to increase services to the City.

In the medium to long term however, a more rational approach to removing Level Crossings line by line should be undertaken.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

To achieve minimum 10 minute frequencies 24/7/365 (366 for leap years) on every patch of rail in Melbourne you would need to:
- Remove every single level crossing  
- Separate freight and fast regional rail lines from metropolitan lines by overpasses, underpasses or quadruplication / sextuplication
- Upgrading the signalling to allow high-capacity train flow
- Upgrading the track by replacing every single rotten wooden sleeper with concrete sleepers
- Replacing every rusty 20th century stanchion with 21st century stainless steel stanchion
- Upgrading power stations by boosting the voltage to allow more trains to run with sufficient power
slowcoach

None of these requirements have been achieved on the Frankston line, yet they currently run a 10 minute service all day and a 6 minute service in peak. Clearly none of these are necessary.

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