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, Pakenham.
Take you pick depending on time of day. That gives Airport pax 4 more options than just the CBD.

Wider turnstiles ?  obviously you don't do wheelchair miki gates or you might notice. And CBD lifts are standard.

Airport check in ?  IF the airlines are interested that could already exist for Skybus, but anyways Town Hall and/or State Library stations could handle easily.

Point of failure - bah humbug. MARL is supposed to be state of the art Signalling and rolling stock.

It all comes down to Sunbury thinking MM1 is mine mine mine, and I won't share !! Get over it.

cheers
John
  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
YEAH THIS EDIT DID TURN INTO A NEW ENTRY.

No secret turn back, really ??

MARL already will terminate (on the eastern side) at Hawkesburn, Dandenong, Cranbourne, Pakenham.
Take you pick depending on time of day. That gives Airport pax 4 more options than just the CBD.

Wider turnstiles ?  obviously you don't do wheelchair miki gates or you might notice. And CBD lifts are standard.

Airport check in ?  IF the airlines are interested that could already exist for Skybus, but anyways Town Hall and/or State Library stations could handle easily.

Point of failure - bah humbug. MARL and MM1 are supposed to be state of the art Signalling and rolling stock.

NDP's long-term objective: oh like lets duplicate and not diverge at Sunshine, Ringwood, Clifton Hill, Deer Park, Newport, Dandenong. None of them likely and works mostly fine as is.
MM1/MARL can expect better seeing how it's under design now and not 100 years ago.

It all comes down to Sunbury thinking MM1 is mine mine mine, and I won't share !! Get over it.

cheers
John
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
@TrueBelievers Once again a thorough analysis. Thank you. I am not against an Airport Rail link but like you I think that $15 Billion is far too much for the benefits it provides for the WHOLE network. Melbourne Metro 2 and the electrification of the Melton corridor is of far greater importance than the MARL or SRL.

Michael
mejhammers1

Yes but why does the Airport Rail link have to cost $15 Billion?

If we electrify to Melton and Wyndhamvale then we can shift some existing shorthaul services from the RRL lines through to the suburban lines, noting that there will be more suburban capacity following the opening of the Metro Tunnel.  Notably, rather than using the West Footscray turnback, services from the south-east can extend through to Melton and Wyndham Vale as well as Sunbury.

With freed up capacity on the RRL then potential paths could become available for the MARL using the existing RRL tracks.  Obviously there is still the need to construct the greenfields section between the airport and Sunshine, but all this talk about the need for a $$$ tunnel between Sunshine and Southern Cross could be avoided at least in the short term.

With all this talk from the Federal Government and others about the need for a tunnel between Sunshine and Southern Cross it is as if someone has shares in the AirRail consortium.

I am not saying that the rail tunnel is a bad thing, just that it is not a necessity for an airport train.  The money that would have been spent on the tunnel could be diverted to other more beneficial projects in the short term.  The tunnel could be a later stage of the project if/when the RRL tracks again reach capacity following the electrification of Wyndhamvale and Melton.

Ross
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Reading Hansard from yesterday, it's pretty obvious Jacinta is avoiding the question:

AIRPORT RAIL LINK
Mr M O’BRIEN (Malvern—Leader of the Opposition) (11:18): My question is to the Minister for
Transport Infrastructure. The proper construction of an airport rail link is critical to the state’s future
rail infrastructure. Will the minister rule out committing to an inferior project which fails to build
dedicated new lines between Southern Cross and Sunshine?
Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure) (11:19):
I am confident there will be some assistance in answering this question. I am absolutely delighted to
talk about how the Andrews Labor government is delivering a real airport rail service for Victorians—
not a fake one, not a fraud one, and I might come back to that a little bit later. I will come back to that
little bit later.
But importantly too—and this may make those opposite a little uncomfortable—we are working very
well with the federal government on this project, and the Leader of the National Party knows this. He
has seen firsthand the strong partnership that we have got with the Deputy Prime Minister on
delivering projects and we intend to continue that. As part of that approach, we are determined to
deliver a rail connection to Melbourne’s airport that benefits all Victorians. That is why a couple of years ago we identified the rail alignment through Sunshine as being the best way to make sure that
Victorians got the best possible access to Melbourne’s and to Victoria’s main airport. That is why,
whether you are coming from the west, whether you are coming from country Victoria, Sunshine was
the best place to hub that airport rail service through. That is why it has also been very well supported
by communities across Victoria, particularly communities like Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and
beyond, who know that they will be better connected to Melbourne’s airport via Sunshine.
It has been a bit of a journey over the last couple of years, but I was very pleased through that process
that we received support from the federal government for that alignment. Also, as we know, they have
committed $5 billion, as has the state Labor government committed $5 billion. There is $10 billion on
the table to deliver the airport rail link that Melbourne and Victoria need.
Mr Walsh: On a point of order, Speaker, I appreciate the background from the minister. But the
question was about making sure there are dedicated new lines between Southern Cross and Sunshine,
and I ask you to bring her back to actually answering that question, please.
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister is being relevant to the question that has been asked.
Ms ALLAN: Speaker, I appreciate you have not acknowledged the point of order. As part of that
detailed planning, it has been absolutely vital that we take the advice from our expert engineers, and
we have done that in the way we have delivered level crossings, we have done that in the way we have
delivered the Metro Tunnel, we have done that in the way we have delivered our regional rail upgrades.
We have taken the advice from the experts and engineers about how best to deliver our rail
infrastructure projects that both maximise the benefit for passengers, maximise the use of our precious
taxpayer funds that go to these projects and also benefit the network as a whole. At each stage of the
project we build a better, stronger network—
Mr M O’Brien: On a point of order, Speaker, in the 14 seconds the minister has remaining in this
answer I would ask her to address the question, which was: will the minister rule out committing to an
airport rail link which fails to build new dedicated lines between Southern Cross and Sunshine?
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister has been relevant to the question that was put to her.
Ms ALLAN: We are working very hard on the detailed planning. We are working with the federal
government and I look forward to continuing that work with the federal government.
Mr M O’BRIEN (Malvern—Leader of the Opposition) (11:23): Unless dedicated tracks are built
for a new airport link between Southern Cross and Sunshine, Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo line
passengers will suffer longer travel times. Will the government guarantee that Victorians using these
services will not face decades of delays because the minister refuses to commit to build the dedicated
lines necessary for fast regional and airport trains?
Ms ALLAN (Bendigo East—Leader of the House, Minister for Transport Infrastructure) (11:23):
I am very pleased to talk about how we are building an airport rail link that also benefits regional
Victorian passengers. That is exactly why we have chosen the Sunshine alignment. I know the Leader
of the Opposition is agitated about this, and I know in government that they had an alternative proposal.
Tell you what, Speaker, we will deliver a real airport rail link. We will not be printing tickets to an
airline rail—
Members interjecting.
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister will resume her seat. Before calling a point of order, the
minister knows full well the use of props in the chamber is inappropriate. I ask the minister to leave
the chamber for the period of half an hour.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure withdrew from chamber.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Did Minister Allan really bring those airline tickets props from the Napthine government?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Did Minister Allan really bring those airline tickets props from the Napthine government?
True Believers
Yes.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
The fixation on the $15b is a bit odd because that was the offer from one specific consortium who are probably unlikely to get the gig. $5 billion from the State Government, $5 billion from the federal government. That is all that is really on the table.

It is also important to note that the one specific consortium who were kicking in their own $5b to make the $15b also wanted to redevelop part of Southern Cross station and the Outlet Stores, which would drive up the cost. They also wanted dedicated rolling stock.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@TOQ-1 $10 Billion is too much for an Airport link. In essence we are going from an airport served by little in the way pf PT to being served by a $10 billion rail line.

Michael
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
@TOQ-1 $10 Billion is too much for an Airport link. In essence we are going from an airport served by little in the way pf PT to being served by a $10 billion rail line.

Michael
mejhammers1
Most of the cash will be siphoned off to consultants.
  3088D Station Staff

The fixation on the $15b is a bit odd because that was the offer from one specific consortium who are probably unlikely to get the gig. $5 billion from the State Government, $5 billion from the federal government. That is all that is really on the table.

It is also important to note that the one specific consortium who were kicking in their own $5b to make the $15b also wanted to redevelop part of Southern Cross station and the Outlet Stores, which would drive up the cost. They also wanted dedicated rolling stock.
TOQ-1
...and tickets at the highest possible price to maximise their profit. Their desire is to make it a gold-plated business-class train something like the over-priced Gatwick Express in London, the fare for which is about Au$30 one way. The difference in London, of course, is that there are cheaper rail alternatives including Thameslink which costs about Au$20, and still expensive.

This is the nature of private interests in public infrastructure, the days of which seem to be waning.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Another day, another dose of not answering questions in Vic Parliament:

V/LINE SERVICES


Ms RYAN (Euroa) (11:02): My question is to the Minister for Public Transport. Customer satisfaction with V/Line is at a 10-year low. Five of the state’s 11 regional train lines—Bairnsdale, Gippsland, Bendigo, Ararat-Maryborough and Albury-Wodonga—have not met punctuality targets in a single month over the past two years. When will each of these five regional train lines meet their monthly punctuality targets?
Ms HORNE (Williamstown—Minister for Ports and Freight, Minister for Public Transport) (11:02): I would like to thank the member for Euroa for her question because it gives me great pleasure to talk about the investment that we are putting in regional rail. We have seen over the last 12 months an increased improvement in V/Line’s performance. That is a direct result of our—
Members interjecting.
The SPEAKER: Order! I ask the minister to resume her seat. Just before calling the member for Euroa, I need to be able to hear the minister’s answer. I ask members in the house not to talk over the minister.
Ms Ryan: On a point of order, Speaker, I do believe that ministers’ answers must be factual, and that is just categorically untrue. V/Line services have not improved in any way, shape or form over the last 12 months.
The SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.
Ms HORNE: Let me just say in response to the question that V/Line has exceeded its network-wide 96 per cent reliability target with 96.8 per cent of services delivered across the regional network. This is really because we are investing in regional services. We have put on more than 500 services per week to regional Victoria. We have got more people travelling than ever before. People are endorsing—
Ms Ryan: On a point of order, Speaker, with a third of the minister’s time elapsed she has not even come close to the issue of punctuality, and I would ask you, on relevance, to bring the minister back to answering the question, which was very specific about when these particular five lines, which have not met their punctuality targets once in two years, will actually hit those punctuality targets.
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister is being relevant to the question that was asked.
Ms HORNE: Well, as I said, we are getting on with the biggest build on regional Victoria’s network. That is about delivering better services for more people.
Ms RYAN (Euroa) (11:05): Has the minister assessed the impact of building the airport rail link without new dedicated lines between Southern Cross and Sunshine on regional commuters’ travel times to and from Melbourne, and if so, will she release that assessment?
Ms HORNE (Williamstown—Minister for Ports and Freight, Minister for Public Transport) (11:05): That is a question that falls within the portfolio responsibility of the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, and I will direct the question to her.
Ms Ryan: On a point of order, Speaker, is the minister seriously suggesting that the travel times of regional commuters is not within her responsibility? She is the Minister for Public Transport: what does she do?
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister has answered the question.
Mr Wells: On the point of order, Speaker, the minister was clearly not being relevant to the question, because the issue was commuter times, which comes under her portfolio. Commuter times was the basis for the question, and I ask you to bring her back to answering that question.
The SPEAKER: Order! Firstly, I issue a warning to the chamber that members who shout across the chamber will be removed without warning. The minister was relevant to the question and answered the question.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
The fixation on the $15b is a bit odd because that was the offer from one specific consortium who are probably unlikely to get the gig. $5 billion from the State Government, $5 billion from the federal government. That is all that is really on the table.

It is also important to note that the one specific consortium who were kicking in their own $5b to make the $15b also wanted to redevelop part of Southern Cross station and the Outlet Stores, which would drive up the cost. They also wanted dedicated rolling stock.
TOQ-1
I thought that the original figure bandied around was lower and finally found where I read that https://infrastructurepipeline.org/project/melbourne-airport-rail-link/.
$8 to 13 Billion is the estimated cost according to this report. $15 billion seems to come up because that's the total of what both governments and the Airport consortium are prepared to throw at it. If that ends up being the final cost then someone's skimming a lot off the top IMHO; probably why Andrews is looking at cheaper options, just so long as it isn't a compromise that ends up a camel, when a horse was planned.

Neil
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The fixation on the $15b is a bit odd because that was the offer from one specific consortium who are probably unlikely to get the gig. $5 billion from the State Government, $5 billion from the federal government. That is all that is really on the table.

It is also important to note that the one specific consortium who were kicking in their own $5b to make the $15b also wanted to redevelop part of Southern Cross station and the Outlet Stores, which would drive up the cost. They also wanted dedicated rolling stock.
TOQ-1
The discussion was about that unsolicited proposal, however, reading between the lines in this joint statement from the Premier and PM ".... The total cost of the project is estimated to be in the range of $8-13 billion, ......", there is some expectation of private finance. As has been mentioned many times the contract will be written so that there is no risk to the private sector and most of it will probably fall on the State government.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Thanks for the Hansard links Carnot!

Two thoughts:
1. A good politician never commits to anything they don't have 100% control over - hence the obfuscating around punctuality times and also the MARL infrastructure.
2. Following that, I would not be surprised if MARL is actually built as new rail from Sunshine to the Airport and then to Broadmeadows, as several documents have at some stage suggested. Sunshine to the city is covered by MM1 and Dan effectively gets 5Bn of federal dollars towards his pet project and true dream: SRL!
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
@TOQ-1 $10 Billion is too much for an Airport link. In essence we are going from an airport served by little in the way pf PT to being served by a $10 billion rail line.

Michael
mejhammers1
I would agree, but I am not an expert on rail finance. Ultimately, the cost depends on the form the link takes, and whether other projects, such as Melton and Wyndham Vale electrification, "fast rail" to Geelong, the suburban rail loop and buying the trains needed for the Airport Rail are included as part of that $10 billion or not.

Even ignoring if any extra tracks are added between the City and Sunshine, Airport rail would still need:
  • 13km of new track between Sunshine and the Airport, including a junction at Albion, a new viaduct over the Maribyrnong River, either a flyover or dive under the Ring Road
  • Either a new station, or changes to the existing station at Sunshine
  • A new station at the Airport
  • New trains, or an extension of an existing train order to cover it
The costs ramp up pretty quickly.


If the cost of the rail link to the Airport is able to increase capacity to Sunshine, it will also benefit at least one other line - the benefit does not all go to the Airport. If it allows for Melton or Wyndham Vale (or both!) to be electrified, then it is money well spent.

I do not think providing a rail link precludes other transport options being improved. New stations opening force a rethink of the local transit network in the first place.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@TOQ-1 The $10 Billion does not include fast rail to Geelong. And electrifying Melton and Wyndhamvale does not require the airport line to be built.

Michael
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
More thoughts as I try to think like a cost-saving public servant...

Imagine a future world with Sunbury/Melton/Wyndham Vale generating 30 electrified TPH into MM1. Imagine you've also gone and done the city loop re-configuration so that Craigieburn and Upfield go from West Melbourne into the loop to Parliament then out to Frankston via Richmond.

You've now got an entirely empty track pair from where MM1 branches off near Footscray most of the way into Southern Cross (I think it shrinks down to one approaching the station).

You could fill this with Airport/Bendigo/Seymour if you wanted, leaving plenty of capacity for Geelong and Ballarat elsewhere. Remind me why we need a super expensive new tunnel again?

Sort out extra capacity from Sunshine to Footscray and it's just about done.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

More thoughts as I try to think like a cost-saving public servant...

Imagine a future world with Sunbury/Melton/Wyndham Vale generating 30 electrified TPH into MM1. Imagine you've also gone and done the city loop re-configuration so that Craigieburn and Upfield go from West Melbourne into the loop to Parliament then out to Frankston via Richmond.

You've now got an entirely empty track pair from where MM1 branches off near Footscray most of the way into Southern Cross (I think it shrinks down to one approaching the station).

You could fill this with Airport/Bendigo/Seymour if you wanted, leaving plenty of capacity for Geelong and Ballarat elsewhere. Remind me why we need a super expensive new tunnel again?

Sort out extra capacity from Sunshine to Footscray and it's just about done.
LeroyW
Well the empty track pair is only between South Kensington and North (west) Melbourne junction as the Upfield (plats 1+2), Craigieburn (3+4) and Newport (5+6) would all get their own tracks into/out of Spencer St post MM1.

Between South Kensington and Footscray you'd still need a new track pair.

An idea i've seen floated is for the airport tunnel to take over the exsisting SG allignment between the Flyover and the Sunshine SG railyards, with a new tunnel built for freight to allow for double stacking. Food for thought in terms of how we best use our existing infrastructure
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
More thoughts as I try to think like a cost-saving public servant...

Imagine a future world with Sunbury/Melton/Wyndham Vale generating 30 electrified TPH into MM1. Imagine you've also gone and done the city loop re-configuration so that Craigieburn and Upfield go from West Melbourne into the loop to Parliament then out to Frankston via Richmond.

You've now got an entirely empty track pair from where MM1 branches off near Footscray most of the way into Southern Cross (I think it shrinks down to one approaching the station).

You could fill this with Airport/Bendigo/Seymour if you wanted, leaving plenty of capacity for Geelong and Ballarat elsewhere. Remind me why we need a super expensive new tunnel again?

Sort out extra capacity from Sunshine to Footscray and it's just about done.
Well the empty track pair is only between South Kensington and North (west) Melbourne junction as the Upfield (plats 1+2), Craigieburn (3+4) and Newport (5+6) would all get their own tracks into/out of Spencer St post MM1.

Between South Kensington and Footscray you'd still need a new track pair.

An idea i've seen floated is for the airport tunnel to take over the exsisting SG allignment between the Flyover and the Sunshine SG railyards, with a new tunnel built for freight to allow for double stacking. Food for thought in terms of how we best use our existing infrastructure
John.Z
Ah, I'd imagined Craigieburn and Upfield to keep using 1 and 2 and to not route through Spencer St at all (loop reconfiguration). If the signalling supports 24 tph then that's still way more services than are currently scheduled in peak (~10 for Craigieburn and 3 for Upfield at the moment) and should be viable for a long while yet. Aren't the loop tunnels meant to be able to do 30 haha?

Anyway, I like the thinking about re-using what we have already. How about skyrail over the existing coridoor from Sunshine to MM1 junction Laughing? Lots of skills getting those pylons up good and quick...

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