Melbourne Airport Rail Link

 
  John E Station Master

The $5 Billion offered by the 'private sector' is likely a poisoned chalice. I think the private operaters are dictating the terms of the build and operation of the project and the State Government isn't happy about it.

This is probably because the plans don't align with other big projects in planning at the moment (Suburban Rail Loop, The Western Rail Plan and High Speed rail options to Geelong and even Ballarat).

The cynic in me thinks that there is some politics at play here and that the Fed's offer of $5 Billion is conditional based on them getting their preferred option.

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  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Now believe the only way is via both paths.  Albion and also the direct route via tunnel.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/treasurer-tim-pallas-hoses-down-hopes-for-airport-tunnel

the above article snapshot shows the government is not going to prefer the right way to do things injecting political spin into the project which like most in the state will probably run off the rails and cost 3 times what it should Smile
bevans

To be honest, I agree with Pallas here.

An Airport rail line possibly *should* have some suburban catchment for suburbs like East Keilor etc, at least as an option.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

The $5 Billion offered by the 'private sector' is likely a poisoned chalice. I think the private operaters are dictating the terms of the build and operation of the project and the State Government isn't happy about it.

This is probably because the plans don't align with other big projects in planning at the moment (Suburban Rail Loop, The Western Rail Plan and High Speed rail options to Geelong and even Ballarat).

The cynic in me thinks that there is some politics at play here and that the Fed's offer of $5 Billion is conditional based on them getting their preferred option.
John E

All of what you suggest above is correct.

The third point doesn't require any cynicism at all - it's pretty obvious to all observers that the federal money is 100% reliant on getting the preferred route of the Libs' corporate backers (such as the people who run the airport and currently have a lucrative monopoly on the transport and parking).
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Given that the journalists who report these things aren't experts themselves, their interpretations of what politicians say can be hard to interpret themselves.

What I took away from Tim Pallas' comments was that initially the Airport Rail Line would be a branch off Sunbury/Metro Tunnel, and share that capacity to start with, and if any later project built more capacity between Sunshine and the City was built, then the lines sharing tracks would be reconsidered and rebalanced.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Now believe the only way is via both paths.  Albion and also the direct route via tunnel.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/treasurer-tim-pallas-hoses-down-hopes-for-airport-tunnel

the above article snapshot shows the government is not going to prefer the right way to do things injecting political spin into the project which like most in the state will probably run off the rails and cost 3 times what it should Smile
bevans
As much as I don't doubt that they would take the opportunity to score political points by doing it "the best way for Victoria (ie. Labor)", surely there is merit in looking at solutions that save the state BILLIONS of dollars.

As has been stated on here before, MM1 opens up new paths into the city that in the opening few years will not all be used.  An airport train that will run around 4-6 tph is not actually that big an imposition to fit into the system.  Later on, people can just interchange (the horror!!!).

Yes I realise that the tunnel adds capacity that would mainly be used for fast regional rail, but if they add new trakcs (or re-purpose the freight line perhaps) between Sunshine and Footscray a lot of those problems can be solved.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Mister Fact Checker
Tim Pallis says "......... thanks but no thanks ........"

Oh shock horror, the LNP big infrastructure promises showing to be just more hot air.

The state govt are now in the same position with MARL as they were with MM1.
LNP and mates tried to screw around the project so bad it became unworkable and stupid expensive.

The state govt will foot the bill all on it's own, just like MM1, and the Feds once again exposed as the duds that they are.

Of course the state govt plan will be the affordable version, which coincidentally will also be an earlier delivery.
Pretty much about the same time as MM1 if the state govt reallly wants to stick it up the LNP around election time.

cheers
John
  chomper Junior Train Controller

Tim Pallis says "......... thanks but no thanks ........"

Oh shock horror, the LNP big infrastructure promises showing to be just more hot air.

The state govt are now in the same position with MARL as they were with MM1.
LNP and mates tried to screw around the project so bad it became unworkable and stupid expensive.

The state govt will foot the bill all on it's own, just like MM1, and the Feds once again exposed as the duds that they are.

Of course the state govt plan will be the affordable version, which coincidentally will also be an earlier delivery.
Pretty much about the same time as MM1 if the state govt reallly wants to stick it up the LNP around election time.

cheers
John
justarider

That's all good and well, however we have no assurances or guarantees that the Labor government won't resort to using some sort of PPP shenanigans. People don't realise that there is a non-compete clause in the Citylink contracts, meaning any rail link to the airport would be in contravention of that clause. And that prospect has Transurban salivating...
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Mister Fact Checker
"Non-compete clause in the Citylink contracts..."

Oh do keep up @chomper.  That was the contract written by Jeff.

The new transurban contract, you know the new tunnel, is a whole new ball of wax. Commercial in confidence yadda yadda yadda,  but NOT the original which has expired.
The offending clause was the big removal. See para 4.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-20/citylink-road-tolls-extended-another-decade-in-parliament/10828440

cheers
John
  chomper Junior Train Controller

"Non-compete clause in the Citylink contracts..."

Oh do keep up @chomper.  That was the contract written by Jeff.

The new transurban contract, you know the new tunnel, is a whole new ball of wax. Commercial in confidence yadda yadda yadda,  but NOT the original which has expired.

cheers
John
justarider

The original concession deed runs until 2035, with or without the Westgate Tunnel. The new tunnel extended the deed until 2047, along with a heap of crap that is still commercial in confidence. The clause is still there, despite the bleating of Andrews and co.

Expired my arrse, Transurban paid their legal team millions to ensure the deed was bullet proof.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Mister Fact Checker
EXPIRED . See my edit. Transurban got another gift instead
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-20/citylink-road-tolls-extended-another-decade-in-parliament/10828440

cheers
John
  chomper Junior Train Controller

EXPIRED . See my edit. Transurban got another gift instead
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-20/citylink-road-tolls-extended-another-decade-in-parliament/10828440

cheers
John
justarider

I read the link, I don't believe them for a second John. As nice a prize that the Westgate Tunnel is, they would have found a way to reword the clause and hide it in the amended deed. Negotiation and compromise is usually a case of give and take, Transurban use the take and take variant.

Don't ask how I know...
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
Now believe the only way is via both paths.  Albion and also the direct route via tunnel.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/treasurer-tim-pallas-hoses-down-hopes-for-airport-tunnel

the above article snapshot shows the government is not going to prefer the right way to do things injecting political spin into the project which like most in the state will probably run off the rails and cost 3 times what it should Smile

To be honest, I agree with Pallas here.

An Airport rail line possibly *should* have some suburban catchment for suburbs like East Keilor etc, at least as an option.
Adogs
Vancouver does
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@chomper The Clause allows for the extension of existing suburban rail and trams but does not allow for completely new build.

Michael
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

I hope that the State Government opts for a cheaper solution for Airport (and ditch that white elephant SRL). The pressing need is to relieve the Craigieburn corridor and to electrify and provide additional capacity for the Melton corridor.

If a cut price solution can be found and it can serve areas previously not served by rail (Airport West, Keilor East) then the rail link would be of greater value not least it would provide some relief for the Craigieburn line.

Michael
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Now believe the only way is via both paths.  Albion and also the direct route via tunnel.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/treasurer-tim-pallas-hoses-down-hopes-for-airport-tunnel

the above article snapshot shows the government is not going to prefer the right way to do things injecting political spin into the project which like most in the state will probably run off the rails and cost 3 times what it should Smile

To be honest, I agree with Pallas here.

An Airport rail line possibly *should* have some suburban catchment for suburbs like East Keilor etc, at least as an option.
Vancouver does
Crossover

And Singapore.  And London (as an option via the tube, in addition to the express).  And many other cities...
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Mooned valley council is now calling for a station on the airport line at Keillor park where they say land has already been set aside for a station.

Would there be enough patronage ?
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The location named in The Age article is Terror Street Keilor Park, better known as the Calder/Western Ring Road interchange (north-east quadrant):

Would need a lot of infrastructure to allow people to access the station on foot (given it's location, pedestrian underpasses under the Calder on the eastern side and another under the Western Ring Road on the northern side would need to be there as a minimum).  I also guess two bus routes that loop through Airport West SC up to the Airport and another that comes from the Airport down Keilor Park Drive would provide a good feeder network (especially for serving the job areas located south of the airport).
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
The location named in The Age article is Terror Street Keilor Park, better known as the Calder/Western Ring Road interchange (north-east quadrant):

Would need a lot of infrastructure to allow people to access the station on foot (given it's location, pedestrian underpasses under the Calder on the eastern side and another under the Western Ring Road on the northern side would need to be there as a minimum).  I also guess two bus routes that loop through Airport West SC up to the Airport and another that comes from the Airport down Keilor Park Drive would provide a good feeder network (especially for serving the job areas located south of the airport).
tayser
Probably the best place for it if the line is going to immediately swing north to the Airport, although a shame it can't be brought a little closer to Airport West.

The Western Ring Cycling path already crosses through the site, so I don't think there would need to be too much done in terms of new foot or cycling access, but maybe a footbridge at the down end of the station near Morna Drive would be good.


I would also argue for a station in Sunshine North. While the land between McIntyre Road is mostly industrial, there are a few houses going in and it would be good for a station somewhere around there. I don't think it is likely, but a new road bridge that linked Buckly St on the Avondale Heights side to the other side of the river would be good. It would allow the rerouting of the 903 off the freeway.
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
The location named in The Age article is Terror Street Keilor Park, better known as the Calder/Western Ring Road interchange (north-east quadrant):

Would need a lot of infrastructure to allow people to access the station on foot (given it's location, pedestrian underpasses under the Calder on the eastern side and another under the Western Ring Road on the northern side would need to be there as a minimum).  I also guess two bus routes that loop through Airport West SC up to the Airport and another that comes from the Airport down Keilor Park Drive would provide a good feeder network (especially for serving the job areas located south of the airport).
Probably the best place for it if the line is going to immediately swing north to the Airport, although a shame it can't be brought a little closer to Airport West.

The Western Ring Cycling path already crosses through the site, so I don't think there would need to be too much done in terms of new foot or cycling access, but maybe a footbridge at the down end of the station near Morna Drive would be good.


I would also argue for a station in Sunshine North. While the land between McIntyre Road is mostly industrial, there are a few houses going in and it would be good for a station somewhere around there. I don't think it is likely, but a new road bridge that linked Buckly St on the Avondale Heights side to the other side of the river would be good. It would allow the rerouting of the 903 off the freeway.
TOQ-1
I seem to remember that "BAck in the day "the then Keilor council had lobbied for a bridge to be built at this location and indeed had bought land to facilitate this .
I am pretty certain that proposal lapsed and the land was sold when the EJ Whitten bridge on the Ring road was built further to the north .
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
The location named in The Age article is Terror Street Keilor Park, better known as the Calder/Western Ring Road interchange (north-east quadrant):

Would need a lot of infrastructure to allow people to access the station on foot (given it's location, pedestrian underpasses under the Calder on the eastern side and another under the Western Ring Road on the northern side would need to be there as a minimum).  I also guess two bus routes that loop through Airport West SC up to the Airport and another that comes from the Airport down Keilor Park Drive would provide a good feeder network (especially for serving the job areas located south of the airport).
Probably the best place for it if the line is going to immediately swing north to the Airport, although a shame it can't be brought a little closer to Airport West.

The Western Ring Cycling path already crosses through the site, so I don't think there would need to be too much done in terms of new foot or cycling access, but maybe a footbridge at the down end of the station near Morna Drive would be good.


I would also argue for a station in Sunshine North. While the land between McIntyre Road is mostly industrial, there are a few houses going in and it would be good for a station somewhere around there. I don't think it is likely, but a new road bridge that linked Buckly St on the Avondale Heights side to the other side of the river would be good. It would allow the rerouting of the 903 off the freeway.
I seem to remember that "BAck in the day "the then Keilor council had lobbied for a bridge to be built at this location and indeed had bought land to facilitate this .
I am pretty certain that proposal lapsed and the land was sold when the EJ Whitten bridge on the Ring road was built further to the north .
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The Airport CEO has an op-ed in The Age today

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/we-want-an-airport-train-but-it-has-to-be-done-right-20191025-p5347e.html

We want an airport train, but it has to be done right
By Lyell Strambi
October 29, 2019


There’s a long-standing urban legend that Melbourne Airport doesn’t want a rail link because of the threat it poses to our car park revenue. More recently the airlines’ lobby group, A4ANZ, expanded on that argument to suggest we would find a way of pricing an eventual rail solution in a way that is unfavourable to consumers.

Naturally that kind of rhetoric leads to questions about Melbourne Airport’s motivation in joining the IFM-led AirRail consortium. While there are limits to what we can say publicly as a consortium partner, it’s important we provide some clarity as to what a rail link would mean to Melbourne Airport.



See link for the rest of the article.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Having followed this discussion for all of its 32 pages, I have to conclude that, no matter where the airport line is finally built, there will be howls of protest for another 32 pages.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Having followed this discussion for all of its 32 pages, I have to conclude that, no matter where the airport line is finally built, there will be howls of protest for another 32 pages.
Valvegear

Yep, probably!
  3088D Station Staff

The Airport CEO has an op-ed in The Age today

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/we-want-an-airport-train-but-it-has-to-be-done-right-20191025-p5347e.html
tayser
Interesting piece by Mr. Strambi. It advocates for the AirRail consortium bid to participate in the project. The timing is interesting, suggesting that this consortium has realised that their self-interest has been called out and yet they still want to come out to play. What he fails to mention is the required flow of funds back to AirRail as profit, should their money be accepted into the project. There are a few takeaways from his comments.

First, he reiterates the reasonable conclusion that road connections are approaching maximum capacity at busy times. I recall reading a report from the airport estimating that SkyBus cannot increase their capacity to carry more passengers after the middle of 2020. There are only so many buses that can be dispatched from Southern Cross and we’re close to that point now. We need the a rail connection urgently because the roads can’t deliver the airport’s transport needs in the near future, let alone in a decade.

Secondly, he sees the airport train as the only solution and just as a line that will serve the airport and his “customers” travelling through it. So much for it being a section of the outer suburban loop to Broadmeadows and eastwards. He does not view the train as part of a network. Further, his vision is a prestige service which will cost a packet to use. He nominates $20 out of thin air and finds this reasonable! I guess he can afford that fare on his salary. I can’t. That would be $100 for a family of five going to the airport. I should imagine many of the 10,000 employees working at the airport would similarly avoid the train at anything more than the going Myki rate. AirRail’s model comes from, predominately, North America where the transport networks are often privately owned and segment these prestige services so that it looks like it’s a good deal. On the other hand, travellers can get from various airports in Paris to the city for a Metro or RER fare. Same in Seoul - one of the biggest cities in the world, and that's to name but two. Why should we entertain the idea of this high-priced fare structure for our airport train? Perth, in comparison, is extending the state-owned network into its airport and it will be part of the existing fare structure.

Mr. Strambi also is focussed on a rapid journey into the CBD, as if speed is the rationale behind the airport link. What is needed is reliably, not speed. He is disingenuous in comparing a 20 minute rail journey to the SkyBus which he uses as a benchmark for a train journey time and cost. His bus journey time is a best-case scenario during the off-peak. During the peak it might be twice that much. It suits his agenda to quote 20 minutes because a rapid service will be used to justify a high fare. Likewise, the $20-ish fare “benchmark” is the highest price SkyBus thinks can be charged without sending passengers elsewhere - as if there is a choice. So, not a benchmark then but the highest price the customers can be expected to fork out.

Mr. Strambi’s desire for speed best serves those whose time is money and a lot of it, but it is less relevant for the common or garden variety traveller who has experienced and expects two or three times that travel time into a city as far away from its airport as Melbourne; London, for example. A factor that might deliver his feared white elephant rail link is a service set at a price that effectively excludes the hoi polloi and is tailored to the more affluent passenger. This is precisely what happened in Toronto four or five years ago. Toronto tried the rapid high-priced option. The most rapid thing about this service was its failure. It failed because of exorbitant fares and the service was forced to reduce the cost to attract custom. It was built as a 25 minute run for about a $25 fare (does this sound familiar?) and ran mostly empty all day. Sydney’s airport train failed too, initally, for that matter - also because the private consortium owning the two terminal rail stations set high fares to use the stations - and the two either side of the airport.

Besides all this, state and federal taxpayers are handing over a huge amount of money to pay for this project and will expect that their investment will be returned as a public good at the standard fare. That AirRail can think that they deserve to get their cut requires no comment.

What we need is an airport rail link that is part of a wider network to transport all Victorians and visitors but without unaffordable supplements, or cars will continue to be used.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
The Airport CEO has an op-ed in The Age today

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/we-want-an-airport-train-but-it-has-to-be-done-right-20191025-p5347e.html
Interesting piece by Mr. Strambi. It advocates for the AirRail consortium bid to participate in the project. The timing is interesting, suggesting that this consortium has realised that their self-interest has been called out and yet they still want to come out to play. What he fails to mention is the required flow of funds back to AirRail as profit, should their money be accepted into the project. There are a few takeaways from his comments.

First, he reiterates the reasonable conclusion that road connections are approaching maximum capacity at busy times. I recall reading a report from the airport estimating that SkyBus cannot increase their capacity to carry more passengers after the middle of 2020. There are only so many buses that can be dispatched from Southern Cross and we’re close to that point now. We need the a rail connection urgently because the roads can’t deliver the airport’s transport needs in the near future, let alone in a decade.

Secondly, he sees the airport train as the only solution and just as a line that will serve the airport and his “customers” travelling through it. So much for it being a section of the outer suburban loop to Broadmeadows and eastwards. He does not view the train as part of a network. Further, his vision is a prestige service which will cost a packet to use. He nominates $20 out of thin air and finds this reasonable! I guess he can afford that fare on his salary. I can’t. That would be $100 for a family of five going to the airport. I should imagine many of the 10,000 employees working at the airport would similarly avoid the train at anything more than the going Myki rate. AirRail’s model comes from, predominately, North America where the transport networks are often privately owned and segment these prestige services so that it looks like it’s a good deal. On the other hand, travellers can get from various airports in Paris to the city for a Metro or RER fare. Same in Seoul - one of the biggest cities in the world, and that's to name but two. Why should we entertain the idea of this high-priced fare structure for our airport train? Perth, in comparison, is extending the state-owned network into its airport and it will be part of the existing fare structure.

Mr. Strambi also is focussed on a rapid journey into the CBD, as if speed is the rationale behind the airport link. What is needed is reliably, not speed. He is disingenuous in comparing a 20 minute rail journey to the SkyBus which he uses as a benchmark for a train journey time and cost. His bus journey time is a best-case scenario during the off-peak. During the peak it might be twice that much. It suits his agenda to quote 20 minutes because a rapid service will be used to justify a high fare. Likewise, the $20-ish fare “benchmark” is the highest price SkyBus thinks can be charged without sending passengers elsewhere - as if there is a choice. So, not a benchmark then but the highest price the customers can be expected to fork out.

Mr. Strambi’s desire for speed best serves those whose time is money and a lot of it, but it is less relevant for the common or garden variety traveller who has experienced and expects two or three times that travel time into a city as far away from its airport as Melbourne; London, for example. A factor that might deliver his feared white elephant rail link is a service set at a price that effectively excludes the hoi polloi and is tailored to the more affluent passenger. This is precisely what happened in Toronto four or five years ago. Toronto tried the rapid high-priced option. The most rapid thing about this service was its failure. It failed because of exorbitant fares and the service was forced to reduce the cost to attract custom. It was built as a 25 minute run for about a $25 fare (does this sound familiar?) and ran mostly empty all day. Sydney’s airport train failed too, initally, for that matter - also because the private consortium owning the two terminal rail stations set high fares to use the stations - and the two either side of the airport.

Besides all this, state and federal taxpayers are handing over a huge amount of money to pay for this project and will expect that their investment will be returned as a public good at the standard fare. That AirRail can think that they deserve to get their cut requires no comment.

What we need is an airport rail link that is part of a wider network to transport all Victorians and visitors but without unaffordable supplements, or cars will continue to be used.
3088D
Well written 3088D. Examples of a few of the high priced failures is a good counter point to the articles profit driven writer.

Neil

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