Melbourne Airport Rail Link

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hansard from Vic State Parliament today should be an interesting read:



"All Change at Sunshine..."  A bit like Albury 1883 - 1961.
Carnot

I think if you are building basically just another suburban line which happens to have one of its stations at the airport and solved a long list of other issues at the same time, aka Vancouver, you probably could get away with minimal to no surcharge.

But if you are dumping $15B (I thought it was $5B) into an airport line which has one purpose, then no, the users shall pay but in return they shouldn't be served up the standard X-trap, rather it should be a train suited to the task. ie wide aisles, high back seats, information displays etc.

Thinking some more, $15B (assuming no other benefit to other lines) is grossly over the top and the whole project should be dropped, what person in their right mind thinks this is ok. At $1500 capital per user based on 10mpa, there is a lot more the Feds and State could spend our money on that achieves alot more. As a heads up, the Sydney NWRL $285 capital per user. So based on this sort of ratio, the project needs to be done for less than $3B or forget it. Go build another Metro tunnel or spark the IU lines etc etc.

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  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
@mejhammers1 you seem so certain of the $15B BS put out by the AirRail, that you have stopped listening to the Minister that actually has something to say (or not).

@Carnot it's not "all change", just hosing down the over the top expense of an exclusive use track for relatively low volume traffic..

What is becomming abundantly clear in the Govt attitude, even before the business case, is a "Thanks but no thanks" reply to AirRail.
It's  way too expensive and clearly just another profit boost for their shopping centres aka Airport and SCS.
The only ones talking it up are the Feds, and Dan the man has been been pretty clear in his stance that it's Victoria calling the shots.

I predict we will end up with what the Govt has been hinting at all along.
  • An upgrade to highish speed from Airport to Sunshine, with underground interchanging platforms, but mostly surface track.
  • That will put the bill at around the $5B Fed Govt "promise"
  • MARL train will share MM1 with the Sunbury line, as it was always intended. Get over it Sunbury, 30 tph on its own is a stupid wet dream.
  • Then the Govt can spend their own $5B on the extra spark tracks required for Melton and Wyndham Vale to SCS (or whatever) , which they have been most definite is their main priority. The underground MARL spark platforms for Sunshine is what makes it finally work.
  • Potential extension to Seymour and Sydney is just a red herring thrown in by AirRail - it is NOT part of their propsal.. The SRL interchange at Broadmeadows is the Govt plan. End of SG or DG nonsense please.

cheers
John
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@justarider as opposed to the what the minister says. This is Victoria. The incumbant will do whatever to stay in power. This Government is willing to blow $50 Billion on a suburban loop. What Minister Allan has stated is subject to change.

Michael
  res1psaloqu1tur Station Staff

For some reason I'm unable to quote, but anyway @justarider:

"MARL train will share MM1 with the Sunbury line, as it was always intended. Get over it Sunbury, 30 tph on its own is a stupid wet dream."

Out of curiosity, where do you propose MARL trains terminate? Is there some secret turn back underneath Swanston street that you know about? Are there purpose-built facilities at this station for airport travellers (e.g. wider turnstiles, luggage checkin)?

Also, how does this fit in with the NDP's long-term objective of creating a series of segregated end to end lines? As I've mentioned when I've argued with you about this before, running airport trains adds another point of failure. If there's Sunbury or C/P delays, these cascade onto the airport kind. I don't know about you, but I don't know many business travellers, holidaymakers and airport workers to be tolerant of delays.

I think there's enough legitimate issues with what you're proposing that it'd be unwise to read anything else into the passing comments and "hints" of the minister than your own opinion
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Perhaps MM1 should've been a tunnel all the way to West Footscray to kill two birds with one stone, given that Footscray Stn will be a big choke point without a separate MARL line?
  chomper Junior Train Controller



The temptation for the access fee being siphoned off for private profit is far too high for this to be allowed to be borne out of a PPP. It has to be funded with public money and ticketed as part of the regular train network. The Sydney Airport stations would have double the patronage if the two stations were ticketed at the standard Opal rate.

Look at it from another perspective. If the MARL was such a good idea economically (putting aside the greater good that public transport serves), private enterprise would fund it outright because it was a sure thing. It wouldn't even ask the government to assist, it would seek the necessary planning approvals like any major construction and off it would go. The fact that private enterprise wants to do this only via a PPP means ultimately, it's a lame duck economically. The PPP means that they won't be left holding the bag if it goes pear shaped.

Public private partnerships benefit only one entity, the one collecting the exorbitant profit. They are the worst kind of criminal and corrupt concept to not only have government sanction, but to handsomely reward those in power once they leave office for their subservience. It's one of the worst kinds of corruption to ever infect government.Its not about if its a PPP or not. A PPP just means the govt doesn't borrow the money to build it and its still run by a private operator, which is pretty much like the rest of Mel network, so no different.

So yes if someone is going to take all the risk and cost, they will also make a buck out of it. Whats wrong with that? the rest of the economy works this way.

As for Sydney doubling patronage if the fee was removed, what basis do you have for this? Do you really believe the airport line is capable of securing 40-45% of the users? It would be one of the few places in Sydney where rail gets nearly 50% of the people travelling on that corridor.

"Exorbitant Profit", a bit sensationalist don't you think? The standard ROR for a infrastructure project like this is between 8-15%, depending on level of risk and govt guarantees hardly exorbitant.

The fact that the private sector has shown so little interest in the MAPL is probably a warning why the govt should think twice before dumping $5B into this. If the govt was able to put say $1B on the table as a contribution for a 35y BOOT, it would be money well spent, but I doubt its anywhere near that much of a subsidy.
RTT_Rules
The PPP is one of the most insidious forms of government sanctioned illegitimate wealth transfer. The concept was sold to the electorate in the manner you spoke of, but the reality is, the way the agreements were written up in Victoria (Citylink, Eastlink, Peninsula Link) are such that the government and ultimately the taxpayer is left holding the bag in a worst case scenario. Even in a best case scenario, the asset that would be transferred back to the government would be in such a dilapidated state (Citylink tunnels are already aging prematurely), that the government of the day would have to start again.

To use Citylink as the example (as the way it was funded was in my opinion enough to put Kennett and his cronies in jail for a very long time), Transurban is making money hand over fist with the ever increasing tolls. They paid off the financing of the entire project in 2008, many years ahead of schedule. The original provisions for handing over the asset when the financing was settled and a fixed ROI was achieved were tossed out; hell they've managed to get their concession deed extended for another 12 years due to the Westgate Tunnel (a clusterflap in the making). Transurban is making a killing from their sweetheart deal with then premier Kennett. Exorbitant profit is probably understating how much they will milk out of the Citylink user base.

As for what basis do I have for claiming double the patronage for Sydney's two airport stations, it was part of the economic impact statement released prior to their government considering PPP as the funding model. Not only that, from memory, Sydney Trains did their own research and came to the same conclusion.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
For some reason I'm unable to quote, but anyway @justarider:

"MARL train will share MM1 with the Sunbury line, as it was always intended. Get over it Sunbury, 30 tph on its own is a stupid wet dream."

Out of curiosity, where do you propose MARL trains terminate? Is there some secret turn back underneath Swanston street that you know about? Are there purpose-built facilities at this station for airport travellers (e.g. wider turnstiles, luggage checkin)?

Also, how does this fit in with the NDP's long-term objective of creating a series of segregated end to end lines? As I've mentioned when I've argued with you about this before, running airport trains adds another point of failure. If there's Sunbury or C/P delays, these cascade onto the airport kind. I don't know about you, but I don't know many business travellers, holidaymakers and airport workers to be tolerant of delays.

I think there's enough legitimate issues with what you're proposing that it'd be unwise to read anything else into the passing comments and "hints" of the minister than your own opinion
res1psaloqu1tur
No secret turn back, really ??

MARL already will terminate (on the eastern side) at Hawkesburn, Dandenong, Cranbourne, Paken