Melbourne Airport Rail Link

 
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The Railpage scrape of the article is wrong/out of date - go to the source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/airport-rail-tunnel-could-come-with-extra-tolls-for-taxpayers-20191113-p53a8f.html  It's 14TPH non-airport Vline/Metro services per hour, not 4TPH.

Also, go to the source Age article and you'll note the references to how Vline is charged access fees to the suburban network and from ARTC on services to Albury... it's not a new concept even locally.

The key question is: how much and will it be exorbitant.
tayser
They must've corrected the article after it was first published?

As to your last question - Much more than now.  And yes.

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  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
The Railpage scrape of the article is wrong/out of date - go to the source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/airport-rail-tunnel-could-come-with-extra-tolls-for-taxpayers-20191113-p53a8f.html  It's 14TPH non-airport Vline/Metro services per hour, not 4TPH.

Also, go to the source Age article and you'll note the references to how Vline is charged access fees to the suburban network and from ARTC on services to Albury... it's not a new concept even locally.

The key question is: how much and will it be exorbitant.
They must've corrected the article after it was first published?

As to your last question - Much more than now.  And yes.
Carnot
well the greed of the consortium finally is revealed.

Not only do they want the collection of the ticket price ($20 ?), but also a money grab from the rail companies. They must be taking lessons from Transurban.

It's time the Andrews govt manned up and gave everybody a Christmas present, by announcing that the Fed Govt and AiRrail can sod off.
A simple surface solution with integration to MM1 is looking far more attractive each day.

cheers
John
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The Railpage scrape of the article is wrong/out of date - go to the source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/airport-rail-tunnel-could-come-with-extra-tolls-for-taxpayers-20191113-p53a8f.html  It's 14TPH non-airport Vline/Metro services per hour, not 4TPH.

Also, go to the source Age article and you'll note the references to how Vline is charged access fees to the suburban network and from ARTC on services to Albury... it's not a new concept even locally.

The key question is: how much and will it be exorbitant.
They must've corrected the article after it was first published?

As to your last question - Much more than now.  And yes.
well the greed of the consortium finally is revealed.

Not only do they want the collection of the ticket price ($20 ?), but also a money grab from the rail companies. They must be taking lessons from Transurban.

It's time the Andrews govt manned up and gave everybody a Christmas present, by announcing that the Fed Govt and AiRrail can sod off.
A simple surface solution with integration to MM1 is looking far more attractive each day.

cheers
John
justarider

Or just take the $5 bil from the Federal Government, sell some more bonds (as money is so incredibly cheap) and build the tunnel to support the new metro lines to the west and Geelong/Ballarat expansion...  we need to think in 50 year timeframes, not 5.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Filthy, rent seeking behaviour.

At least people can avoid tollways, this is disgusting.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??

Or just take the $5 bil from the Federal Government, sell some more bonds (as money is so incredibly cheap) and build the tunnel to support the new metro lines to the west and Geelong/Ballarat expansion...  we need to think in 50 year timeframes, not 5.
tayser
nice thought, but it's not what the Federal govt is offering.

It's always their way (bring in developer mates, gold plate, lots of FED Govt badges, wedge out the Labor govt kudos) or nothing. Nothing is now looking the more attractive decision.

$5B won't go far if a magical tunnel is included.
Sunshine to SCS tunnel is 11km. Roughly the same as MM1 @ $11B+, with a few  less stations (2 instead of 5).

The Andrews govt know only too well how much these works are really costing (ie OVER budget), and how much crap the original quote/spin was.

cheers
John
  chomper Junior Train Controller

Here's a question, could the government (re)form a works department, to build infrastructure like heavy rail? This gold plating of pretty much everything would effectively disappear as everything would be done in-house, with required people put on the payroll and not paid insane consultancy fees or heavily padded invoices;

"What's that Mr Premier, you need an extra box of plasterboard screws? That will be $490,000".
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne

Or just take the $5 bil from the Federal Government, sell some more bonds (as money is so incredibly cheap) and build the tunnel to support the new metro lines to the west and Geelong/Ballarat expansion...  we need to think in 50 year timeframes, not 5.
nice thought, but it's not what the Federal govt is offering.

It's always their way (bring in developer mates, gold plate, lots of FED Govt badges, wedge out the Labor govt kudos) or nothing. Nothing is now looking the more attractive decision.

$5B won't go far if a magical tunnel is included.
Sunshine to SCS tunnel is 11km. Roughly the same as MM1 @ $11B+, with a few  less stations (2 instead of 5).

The Andrews govt know only too well how much these works are really costing (ie OVER budget), and how much crap the original quote/spin was.

cheers
John
justarider

You're assuming the tunnel will be from underground platforms at SX to underground platforms at Sunshine.  Big call, and potentially a wrong one.  We'll only know what's proposed when business cases are published.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Here's a question, could the government (re)form a works department, to build infrastructure like heavy rail? This gold plating of pretty much everything would effectively disappear as everything would be done in-house, with required people put on the payroll and not paid insane consultancy fees or heavily padded invoices;

"What's that Mr Premier, you need an extra box of plasterboard screws? That will be $490,000".
chomper
You mean, as was the case pre-privatisation? Certainly could, but do they have the political will?

Neil
  chomper Junior Train Controller

Here's a question, could the government (re)form a works department, to build infrastructure like heavy rail? This gold plating of pretty much everything would effectively disappear as everything would be done in-house, with required people put on the payroll and not paid insane consultancy fees or heavily padded invoices;

"What's that Mr Premier, you need an extra box of plasterboard screws? That will be $490,000".
You mean, as was the case pre-privatisation? Certainly could, but do they have the political will?

Neil
ngarner

Exactly.

As for political will, that's the $64,000,000 question (gold plating inflated the price a bit)...
  tazzer96 Chief Commissioner

I also believe the Brisbane Airtrain service charges access fees on top of the fare to recuperate the infrastructure investment.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Brisbane is the other way around. Airtrain contract out QR to run services on the line.   The airtrain viaduct is privately owned and in theory if someone else wanted to run a train on it, they would pay airtrain.  (steam train sunday to the airport anyone?)
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
$5B won't go far if a magical tunnel is included.
Sunshine to SCS tunnel is 11km. Roughly the same as MM1 @ $11B+, with a few  less stations (2 instead of 5).
justarider
Again, why does it have to be tunnel from Sunshine to Spencer Street when it's all existing railway alignment? Tunnel under Footscray and viaduct the rest for far less cost.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Again, why does it have to be tunnel from Sunshine to Spencer Street when it's all existing railway alignment? Tunnel under Footscray and viaduct the rest for far less cost.
HardSleeper
Agree in general that tunnelling should be minimised but Sunshine-Footscray poses quite a few problems that might turn out to be more expensive than the relatively small additional cost of boring a couple more km.

Let’s say you decide to follow the alignment of the two existing main pairs from West Footscray. Can’t go on the south side because there’s no room between the down RRL and Sunshine Rd. Plenty of space on the north side though – until you get to Tottenham, when you have to start demolishing the yard embankment (and god knows what’s in that soil!) That means replacing the two Brooklyn overpasses, and that really won’t impress ARTC who face a very long possession of the Adelaide mainline to no benefit for them.

Ok, let’s follow the goods lines instead. Again, ARTC won’t let us get away with a grade crossing of their triangle, especially since we’re aiming for eventual 22tph, so up, up, up and away we go! Assuming once again the yard foundations are stable enough for a viaduct, all of a sudden we’re nearly 20m above an already fairly steep grade into Sunshine. Big roller coaster downhill to an at-grade platform – and we might still have to slew the ARTC line to squeeze everything in.

Considering the costs of tunnelling are largely sunk (ha) in support and access structures, sticking the portal somewhere between Tottenham and Sunshine would save a lot of expensive above-ground earthworks while only adding a hopefully straightforward section of boring.

That’s my point of view anyway and it would be worth subjecting to detailed analysis in the business case, but just because the reservation exists doesn’t mean it’s easy to use!
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Again, why does it have to be tunnel from Sunshine to Spencer Street when it's all existing railway alignment? Tunnel under Footscray and viaduct the rest for far less cost.
Agree in general that tunnelling should be minimised but Sunshine-Footscray poses quite a few problems that might turn out to be more expensive than the relatively small additional cost of boring a couple more km.

..lots of good stuff read the full post

That’s my point of view anyway and it would be worth subjecting to detailed analysis in the business case, but just because the reservation exists doesn’t mean it’s easy to use!
potatoinmymouth
thanks @PIMM for a helpful description of the problems existing between West Footscray and Sunshine.

It reinforces my opposition for MARL to build anything new at this stage UP from Sunshine. Let the Sunbury/MM1 line carry the initial load for Airport traffic.

Longer term is a completely different question. Sparks for Melton and MDV will undoubtedly need an extra pathway pair into the CBD and that is when the really Big Build decisions are needed.

Sunshine Station will need underground platforms (smokies upstairs, sparks below) for the extra work of
  • MEL/WDV Metro
  • platform for SG Albury
  • Bendigo RRL platform
  • ideally a by-pass for freights
  • flyovers to remove the flat junctions.
All that at grade level just won't work without bulldozing half of the suburb.

Where the station station tunnels emerge is where cost & complexity of the existing easement really bites.

As @PIMM points out, Tottenham is a difficult problem with a LOT of land.
A clue is the recent work at West Footscray. 2 roads disappeared and the sky did not fall in.

Might be time to re-think the need for such a big train car park, to store a lot a cars that rightly belong elsewhere.
      eg Containers aligned near the intermodals, Grains near the silos, old crap at Sims metals
Sort out the land in the easement, and then deciding how to better use it becomes a lot easier.

cheers
John
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The Tottenham situation is very interesting. Due to the game of musical chairs being played around North Melbourne / e-gate it seems to me to be getting more use ATM than is has for years as rakes of flats are moved in and out of there to Dynon.

With pressure on to free up more industrial land close to the city for development much of the activity conducted at North and South Dynon will probably have to move to intermodal style terminals such as SCT is developing and the one touted for Beveridge by Qube plus Somerton in the not too distant future.

This will render Tottenham pretty much surplus to requirements however it is also being used ATM as a staging point for a lot of works trains which will have to find a new home. Much of the junk rollingstock is now gone and I reckon the rest will follow suit fairly shortly.

I am not really familiar with the layout up on top of the dirt mound but if you ran the SG lines out as far North as you could and extended both legs of the triangle via longer bridges then removed all that (almost definitely) contaminated dirt would you end up with enough room to run at least one extra pair of tracks adjacent to the Suburban pair?

Of course that still only gets you to West Footscray. From there it is either "going down thank you, going down" or property aquisitions to get you closer to Footscray proper. Once at Footscray however I cannot see a viable alternative to a tunnel or 4 as there are just too many obstacles to widening the corridor further.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

The Tottenham situation is very interesting. Due to the game of musical chairs being played around North Melbourne / e-gate it seems to me to be getting more use ATM than is has for years as rakes of flats are moved in and out of there to Dynon.

With pressure on to free up more industrial land close to the city for development much of the activity conducted at North and South Dynon will probably have to move to intermodal style terminals such as SCT is developing and the one touted for Beveridge by Qube plus Somerton in the not too distant future.

This will render Tottenham pretty much surplus to requirements however it is also being used ATM as a staging point for a lot of works trains which will have to find a new home. Much of the junk rollingstock is now gone and I reckon the rest will follow suit fairly shortly.

I am not really familiar with the layout up on top of the dirt mound but if you ran the SG lines out as far North as you could and extended both legs of the triangle via longer bridges then removed all that (almost definitely) contaminated dirt would you end up with enough room to run at least one extra pair of tracks adjacent to the Suburban pair?

Of course that still only gets you to West Footscray. From there it is either "going down thank you, going down" or property aquisitions to get you closer to Footscray proper. Once at Footscray however I cannot see a viable alternative to a tunnel or 4 as there are just too many obstacles to widening the corridor further.
BrentonGolding
There was some talk that Totty would house some kind of maintenance or stablling for Airport services. With inner city land selling for millions to developers I cant see a massive train maintenance facility being built there.
No matter how you cut the pie its still messy. Come up in Totty and you still have those embankments to tackle and then you are most likely going to have underground platforms at Sunshine as MARL forms the western part of the SRL. Tunnelling all the way to Sunshine is an expensive option, possibly one that might eventuate to avoid as many issues like Totty redevelopment, the ARTC mainline, whatever those embankments are made of and some very complex track work at Sunshine.

When you look at current infrastructure spending, the works at Sunshine alone are going to run into the billions, with a fair bit of compulsory acquisition. Along with someone kind of underground arrangement for MARL/SRL you still have aboveground work for the future Melton electrification. If regionals end up going in the new tunnel is their an additional decline structure or flyover to get them in the right place. This is in addition to extensive modifications to Hampshire Road, Ballarat Road and St Albans Roads bridges. It all makes the Totty seem simple in comparison.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I am not really familiar with the layout up on top of the dirt mound but if you ran the SG lines out as far North as you could and extended both legs of the triangle via longer bridges then removed all that (almost definitely) contaminated dirt would you end up with enough room to run at least one extra pair of tracks adjacent to the Suburban pair?
BrentonGolding
Oh, it could be done – West Yard is about six tracks wide at its narrowest and SG is to the north the whole way – so you’d be able to make room at the Sunshine Rd level. But the costs of the earthworks would be phenomenal, especially as you’d have to figure out a way of getting all your plant to and dirt from a site with active lines on three sides. And I can’t see how the bridges could be extended/moved without several lengthy occupations (even if you did something wild like build a temporary siding towards Sunshine for running around Western SG trains). ARTC would simply never agree to it.

In the 2050 future term, you’re looking at on-dock access to the north side berths, maybe even somehow to Webb, and intermodals at Truganina and Beveridge building up big trip trains to and from the port. So there will likely be a need for a staging point and Tottenham would be a good place to put it. That wouldn’t take all the room, though.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Again, why does it have to be tunnel from Sunshine to Spencer Street when it's all existing railway alignment? Tunnel under Footscray and viaduct the rest for far less cost.
HardSleeper
Just throw it up on a viaduct all the way from Albion to SCS, with new upstairs platforms at SCS.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The Tottenham situation is very interesting. Due to the game of musical chairs being played around North Melbourne / e-gate it seems to me to be getting more use ATM than is has for years as rakes of flats are moved in and out of there to Dynon.

With pressure on to free up more industrial land close to the city for development much of the activity conducted at North and South Dynon will probably have to move to intermodal style terminals such as SCT is developing and the one touted for Beveridge by Qube plus Somerton in the not too distant future.

This will render Tottenham pretty much surplus to requirements however it is also being used ATM as a staging point for a lot of works trains which will have to find a new home. Much of the junk rollingstock is now gone and I reckon the rest will follow suit fairly shortly.

I am not really familiar with the layout up on top of the dirt mound but if you ran the SG lines out as far North as you could and extended both legs of the triangle via longer bridges then removed all that (almost definitely) contaminated dirt would you end up with enough room to run at least one extra pair of tracks adjacent to the Suburban pair?

Of course that still only gets you to West Footscray. From there it is either "going down thank you, going down" or property aquisitions to get you closer to Footscray proper. Once at Footscray however I cannot see a viable alternative to a tunnel or 4 as there are just too many obstacles to widening the corridor further.
There was some talk that Totty would house some kind of maintenance or stablling for Airport services. With inner city land selling for millions to developers I cant see a massive train maintenance facility being built there.
No matter how you cut the pie its still messy. Come up in Totty and you still have those embankments to tackle and then you are most likely going to have underground platforms at Sunshine as MARL forms the western part of the SRL. Tunnelling all the way to Sunshine is an expensive option, possibly one that might eventuate to avoid as many issues like Totty redevelopment, the ARTC mainline, whatever those embankments are made of and some very complex track work at Sunshine.

When you look at current infrastructure spending, the works at Sunshine alone are going to run into the billions, with a fair bit of compulsory acquisition. Along with someone kind of underground arrangement for MARL/SRL you still have aboveground work for the future Melton electrification. If regionals end up going in the new tunnel is their an additional decline structure or flyover to get them in the right place. This is in addition to extensive modifications to Hampshire Road, Ballarat Road and St Albans Roads bridges. It all makes the Totty seem simple in comparison.
Lockie91

Not that I like throwing spanners into the works (actually I do), I agree, Sunshine will be messy, but only if you only look at land available for rail outside the context of the road network and the constraints it places on the station.

The 'messiness' could, mostly, be sorted out by pulling down the Hampshire Road bridge + two offramps on the eastern side and replaced with an underpass closer to how the original road would have crossed the railway (around the southern side of the platforms where they currently sit).

At the station itself: No more Hampshire Road overpass (and sorry to say the Signal box on the down end of the station), and removing the pedestrian ramp that takes up the space on the island platform would allow you to put in supports for another island platform elevated above the RRL concourse everyone entering the station (except for the western side on to platform 4) must enter the station going up for the concourse, so why dramatically change that by putting new platforms underground?

There'd be disruptions, but *whistles*, we've sort of got an idea about building above active railways (see CD9, Reservoir, soon to be through Preston and Coburg on the LX removal programme).  Elevated platforms then give you another advantage: if Tottenham yard needs to stay intact/useful for freight (I realise that's debatable, but just say it needs to stay intact), well, keep the tracks elevated from Sunshine all the way to somewhere just before West Footscray where you can build a Bella Vista-style (Sydney Metro) tunnel to trench to elevated structure/transition.  Or keep it elevated from Sunshine to the mounds just after the SG junction then send it back to earth, taking up space from 2 roads through the freight yard on the surface for a 1km or two then transition to tunnel just west of West Footscray.  That shortens the tunnel considerably, yet would come with an increased cost due to the elevated section (using general rule of thumb that elevated versus on grade = elevate will be more expensive to build) but possibly avoids a lot of pain in reconfiguring Sunshine (i.e like rebuilding things or building underground platforms) et al.

I'd possibly even position the elevated MARL platforms a little further southwards so that on the down end, there's more room/length to send a grade-separated pair of tracks back down to earth and then further down under Anderson Road in the Deer Park corridor and another pair to the airport above the existing corridor.  

(This all basically locks in Geelong and Ballarat to use the MARL tracks from Sunshine to the city and the existing RRL pair which has platforms at Southern Cross-Footscray-Sunshine-Ardeer-Deer Park-Tarneit-Wyndham Vale and Deer Park-Caroline Springs-Rockbank-Cobblebank-Melton would be electrified and be used for the two new metro lines).

By retrofitting effectively everything above (except for rebuilding Hampshire Road under the at grade tracks to the south of the existing platforms) the existing infrastructure you can pretty much leave everything at grade as is:  The Sunbury/MM1 tracks stay the same and the Regional Rail Link tracks, as they are now, get electrified and become the Melton/Wyndham Vale metro and Bendigo Vline pair.  Still having the flat junction for Bendigo and Melton/Wyndham Vale isn't ideal but at least they wouldn't be ripping everything up to reconfigure the entire station precinct. (Also, if the MARL will be built like Rail Future Institute's ideas - i.e Bendigo via the airport - great, but I say that would be a long-off into the future second phase).

$0.02
  tom9876543 Train Controller

As Lockspike said, build a viaduct all the way from Albion to Southern Cross station.
I think a rail viaduct to Southern Cross would be cheaper than any tunnel proposal.
Future proof it so viaduct can be easily expanded to 4 tracks in future.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

As Lockspike said, build a viaduct all the way from Albion to Southern Cross station.
I think a rail viaduct to Southern Cross would be cheaper than any tunnel proposal.
Future proof it so viaduct can be easily expanded to 4 tracks in future.
tom9876543

Dunno where you’re going to put your viaduct at Footscray.

Tayser, I like your thinking but it’s predicated on the nonsense idea than an airport link is significantly more important than suburban trains to WV and Melton. Demolishing an entire suburb and still having a flat junction affecting three suburban lines at the end of it? That’s not smart spending.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Which suburb would be getting demolished?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I think the first thing to change at Sunshine will have to be the Hampshire Road bridge, it is too restrictive now in its current form. And it is a real shame that it wasn't considered when the RRL was done, because parts of the station that are recent are probably going to have to be demolished.

The only positive I can think of is that the bus interchange and carparks provide a lot of space for a good road underpass solution to be developed that may be disruptive during construction, but hopefully will result in a better space overall once completed. I think linking Glengala Road and Monash St in a straight line with some reconfigured intersections would be for the best. It wouldn't affect bus routes too much afterwards as they have to wind around to get to the interchange anyway now.

It would also mean any additional lines could be added at grade or either side of the current station.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

As Lockspike said, build a viaduct all the way from Albion to Southern Cross station.
I think a rail viaduct to Southern Cross would be cheaper than any tunnel proposal.
Future proof it so viaduct can be easily expanded to 4 tracks in future.

Dunno where you’re going to put your viaduct at Footscray.
potatoinmymouth
Over the top of the existing station, go as high as necessary
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Over the top of the existing station, go as high as necessary
Lockspike
Last I checked viaducts still needed footings. Where are they going to go?

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