Melbourne Airport Rail Link

 
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller






$0.02



We maybe calling it a giant gold plated waste of money we don’t need now, in 20 years time it will be the most essential pieces of transport infrastructure in Victoria. Allowing true metro services to the entirety of the Western Suburbs, Reliable Intercity services and an Airport service, all of which are segregated and independent. The later being why the government is not keen to
@Lockie could you edit the post to enlarge the font please.

As for the substance, yes there are multiple problems with achieving the ideas of @tayser, but it's a reasonable start which has been quite lacking in this thread.

Where you see "flyover" can also substitute "fly-under" or "tunnel" as a method.

I have no problem with "express" patterns where they truly improve the totality of the line's performance.
The choke point is Sunshine to Footscray, but it's only 3 intermediate stations.
Careful planning of patterns can achieve a lot, especially if you utilize the 3rd platform at West Footscray.

Just think like:  express Airport/Sunshine/Footscray/MM1 every 10 minutes 24/7. The rest fit around that.

To achieve good separation it would probably mean the preceding train (from somewhere else) is also express, and the following is SAS.
Yes I know that's simplistic, but starting with a clear end point often reveals surprising paths.

And yes more paths will be needed in due course. The MARL project is just getting the process started.

A simple solution to the current problem means the job is actually started, instead of endless planning for the future which never gets done. That's my 2nd biggest concern about the Sunshine/SCS tunnel - it will put the whole thing back another 5-10 years.

cheers
John
justarider

*Apologies for the delayed repost

Now that the foam has died down we can add a little rational to the track diagram that has been generously drawn for us. Great work by tayser, that would have taken a fair bit of time. So my apologises in advance for pulling it apart.



Let’s start with the infrastructure that you have suggested on the track layout, You’ve included several flyovers in an already very busy area and have also left out the biggest issues with Sunshine Station. The Hampshire Road overpass. Your down Bendigo flyover will be a marvel of engineering. It needs to rise with enough clearance in 190M, so the RRL lines can pass underneath. You’re also looking at compulsory acquisition of parts of the HV McKay Gardens, reconstruction of the current pedestrian bridge and lowering of Anderson Road. Anderson Road does not have previsions for an additional track pair, the road would need to be lowered to allow clearance.



It is a similar situation at Ballarat Road and St Albans Road. Your flyover over would require the reconstruction of two bridges and the acquisition of the ARC factory and Broadway Textiles which abut Ballarat Road and St Albans Road. Before you get anywhere near Deer Park billions have been spent just to get tracks in your preferred positions. This is why underground platforms for Sunshine were first suggested for Airport Services (Later SRL) Having underground platform negates the need for any of the above works. If future Regional services are to use this new Sunshine - City Tunnel, these could drop into a separate portal Between Adeer and Anderson Road removing the need to completely rebuild the Hampshire Road overpass and any above ground platforms. A flyover and rearrangement of the current Albion layout is required no mater how you slice it.

In compressions the flyover overs out at Deer Park to remove the current conflict are quite simple. These were originally included in the RRL scope but were removed as a cost cutting measure by the incoming government. Hopefully provisions will included when Robinsons Road LX is removed.


My second point of order is you stopping patterns for MM1, you have 3 different patterns on the same line. The key to maximising track throughput is standard stopping patterns. HCS that will be rolled out and has a theororactical output of 32 TPH, every time you introduce a different stopping pattern you reduce this. You have Sunbury EXP Sunshine to Footscray, which is going to be followed by a SAS service. Then an Airport service. Longer dwell times at stations & spacing between services are required, your EXP services will need to be timetable to run at a lower speed or have an extra minute or two so they don’t conflict with the SAS service. Your Airport service will have a longer dwell time at Sunshine, than your Metro service. This extra time that has to be built in eats into overall capacity. If your SAS services are delayed by even a minute this pushes the following service down a minute which then continues to cascade. This also has to be built into the timetable. Take the City Loop for example. A buffer or ‘Fat’ is built in to allow for recovery if incoming services are running late. You will see serval services depart at the current 2 minute headway then you will notice a gap of up to 6 minutes. This buffer lets the timetable recover if a service is running a minute or so late and reduces the cascade on to preceding services. The alternative is to cancel a service to create the buffer and allow for recovery. Metro Services have consistent stopping patterns, this gives maximum TPH.


Lastly no real capacity has been gained, Sunbury already has a 6 TPH during the peak, Watergardens 10TPH. Watergardens receives two additional peak services, which are possible now without MM1. Watergardens will need up to 18 TPH (every 3 minutes) in the future. Peak trains are currently full before they reach Sunshine.  Additional Capacity at Sunshine is provided by services from the Airport, which will have Airport Pax on them. This is where another issues crops up. You’re not providing a service which travelling pax will use. Your tourists from the Airport with luggage are going to be overrun with hundreds of pax boarding at Sunshine/Footscray and then the opposite in the PM Peak. Don’t forget your peak plan includes de training Wyndham Vale Pax at Sunshine and putting them on already crowded services from Sunbury and Watergardens. Whatever additional capacity that has been provided at Sunshine has now been eaten up.

You will also need to reduce the line speed of RRL to allow for the additional capacity. RRL is currently signalled for 16TPH. You’ve increased this to 22TPH.


The Sunshine - City link may prove to be expensive, it does however solve and avoid the many issues of not building it. MM1 will be able to handle Sunbury at Melton pax for a few years to come. Eventually both these corridors are going to need peak services of 30TPH (every 2 minutes) Regional services will also need increased capacity, we need to start thinking of these as Intercity services. Not the 1980’s country services. Geelong, Ballarat and eventually Bendigo will require services every 10 minuets and with reduced running time. This allowing Victoria to have multiple cities not just Melbourne. Many would be happy to live in our regional centres knowing they could get into Melbourne or the inner city on reliable service. Knowing that the next train is in 10 minutes not an hour.


We maybe calling it a giant gold plated waste of money we don’t need now, in 20 years time it will be the most essential piece of transport infrastructure in Victoria. Allowing true metro services to the entirety of the Western Suburbs, Reliable Intercity services and an Airport service, all of which are segregated and independent. The later being why the government is not keen to let a private consortium build and operate the tunnel.

Lockie

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  chomper Junior Train Controller

This is the bit I don't understand, why are we trying to shoehorn the MARL or any other new rail infrastructure into the existing quagmire. PTV and the associated agencies and authorities would be negligent if they try and squeeze the rail link to the airport into existing corridors that are not only poorly laid out but also in a woeful state. The fact that this government wants to fix the PT mess is one thing, doing it right is another.

As such, what some consider foam might actually be the best way to deliver new heavy rail infrastructure and re-do the existing network in a more efficient and logical manner. It is why many people I deal with and myself think the MARL should run direct via Highpoint initially and then extend this new line out from the CBD into the SE suburbs through a new pair of tunnels. This is the rationale behind the Metro tunnels and Metro 2, to remove the CBD as THE terminus and make all of the existing lines end to end (and returning Scumshine to being a standard suburban station, the insane obsession with using it for anything and everything does my head in).
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

This is the bit I don't understand, why are we trying to shoehorn the MARL or any other new rail infrastructure into the existing quagmire. PTV and the associated agencies and authorities would be negligent if they try and squeeze the rail link to the airport into existing corridors that are not only poorly laid out but also in a woeful state. The fact that this government wants to fix the PT mess is one thing, doing it right is another.

As such, what some consider foam might actually be the best way to deliver new heavy rail infrastructure and re-do the existing network in a more efficient and logical manner. It is why many people I deal with and myself think the MARL should run direct via Highpoint initially and then extend this new line out from the CBD into the SE suburbs through a new pair of tunnels. This is the rationale behind the Metro tunnels and Metro 2, to remove the CBD as THE terminus and make all of the existing lines end to end (and returning Scumshine to being a standard suburban station, the insane obsession with using it for anything and everything does my head in).
chomper
Because the whole point is one to link the rest of Victoria with the MARL something that going through Highpoint wont do. And the cost. Add another $3 to $5 Billion. Sunshine or nothing as far as I am concerned.

Michael
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Just turn right at Sunshine and build the link tothe Airport as Skyrail, simple.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS

That’s outrageous, it’s a catastrophic waste of money. That money could be spent on something very, very necessary like Metro 2.

Why is the government not even considering a monorail. Would only cost a billion or two if that.  No private operators needed, no ridiculous cost blowouts or spending large sums of cash. Same service, quicker, faster, cheaper, direct, better !
  Upven Locomotive Fireman

15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS

That’s outrageous, it’s a catastrophic waste of money. That money could be spent on something very, very necessary like Metro 2.

Why is the government not even considering a monorail. Would only cost a billion or two if that.  No private operators needed, no ridiculous cost blowouts or spending large sums of cash. Same service, quicker, faster, cheaper, direct, better !
ptvcommuter
I don’t understand the great infatuation people have for “metro 2”. It’s current route will only continue to over-serve the hoddle grid. A city of this size needs multiple business districts, not one extremely overcrowded core.
  chomper Junior Train Controller

15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS

That’s outrageous, it’s a catastrophic waste of money. That money could be spent on something very, very necessary like Metro 2.

Why is the government not even considering a monorail. Would only cost a billion or two if that.  No private operators needed, no ridiculous cost blowouts or spending large sums of cash. Same service, quicker, faster, cheaper, direct, better !
I don’t understand the great infatuation people have for “metro 2”. It’s current route will only continue to over-serve the hoddle grid. A city of this size needs multiple business districts, not one extremely overcrowded core.
Upven
Metro 2 isn't about servicing the Hoddle grid, it is about changing the network from a hub and spoke system to a metro style system. Once it is no longer hub and spoke, multiple business districts become possible and not just something on a shiny brochure.
  chomper Junior Train Controller

This is the bit I don't understand, why are we trying to shoehorn the MARL or any other new rail infrastructure into the existing quagmire. PTV and the associated agencies and authorities would be negligent if they try and squeeze the rail link to the airport into existing corridors that are not only poorly laid out but also in a woeful state. The fact that this government wants to fix the PT mess is one thing, doing it right is another.

As such, what some consider foam might actually be the best way to deliver new heavy rail infrastructure and re-do the existing network in a more efficient and logical manner. It is why many people I deal with and myself think the MARL should run direct via Highpoint initially and then extend this new line out from the CBD into the SE suburbs through a new pair of tunnels. This is the rationale behind the Metro tunnels and Metro 2, to remove the CBD as THE terminus and make all of the existing lines end to end (and returning Scumshine to being a standard suburban station, the insane obsession with using it for anything and everything does my head in).
Because the whole point is one to link the rest of Victoria with the MARL something that going through Highpoint wont do. And the cost. Add another $3 to $5 Billion. Sunshine or nothing as far as I am concerned.

Michael
mejhammers1
It is this sort of "good enough" and quite frankly short term thinking that has caused the current woeful state of the heavy rail network in Melbourne. All of the objectives of the MARL could be achieved whilst at the same time provide some much needed future proofing if a decentralised and direct approach was taken. There is no doubt that the cost will be higher, however the costs will be higher still if the same sort of mentality is carried forward.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

@ptvcommuter

Stop thinking of it as just Airport Rail. It is much more about providing additional capacity between the western suburbs & regional Victoria and the city. The Line from Sunshine to the Airport is a bonus.

15 Billion for a new tunnel that will allow for independent metro lines to hundreds of thousands of people in the west and provide for future fast rail to regional Victoria is value for money.

If it was just to the airport it wouldn’t even pass the pub test.

Metro 2 DOES NOT provide a “hub & Spoke” network. Simply joining two existing lines through a new tunnel in the central city does not “spoke” a Network. The Airport rail will not spoke the network. The spoking will be done by the SRL. That is a true “hub & spoke” project that will enable cross city travel without entering the core.

Lastly, there is more capacity to be squeezed from both the Werribee & Mernda Lines. Junction rationalisation at Newport & Clifton Hill. Cleaning up the mess that is the Altona Loop & removing Frankston from the loop will all add plenty of capacity before the need to build Metro 2.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I would have thought that the SRL was more like the Rim.

What we already had was hub and spoke and it has outlived it's usefulness hence projects like Metro tunnel, SRL and the bigger picture MARL / Western rail plan to cater for people who are not going to the CBD
  david harvey Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale
15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS

That’s outrageous, it’s a catastrophic waste of money. That money could be spent on something very, very necessary like Metro 2.
Metro 2 isn't about servicing the Hoddle grid, it is about changing the network from a hub and spoke system to a metro style system. Once it is no longer hub and spoke, multiple business districts become possible and not just something on a shiny brochure.
chomper
15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS
for an  Airport Railway ,surely that must be quoted in that cost price when construct starts in 2040 when the price of petrol and diesel is unaffordable to the average Mr and Mrs Welfare rezipiant.Victoria does'nt have that sort of money .Im sorry did you say you have a friend who can loan the money  to the state. That's good news ,I can sleep easy at night now .
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

5 from the Feds
5 from the private consortium. If they get in.
5 from the state over serval budget cycles.

If the project is going to take 5+ years to build the government will stagger the payments over the life of the project. 500 to 700million a year. Not that much at all.
Metro Tunnel is over 10B and the state is funding that alone over 10 years.
The same process will be used for SRL, drip feeding it over many years.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS
for an  Airport Railway ,surely that must be quoted in that cost price when construct starts in 2040 when the price of petrol and diesel is unaffordable to the average Mr and Mrs Welfare rezipiant.Victoria does'nt have that sort of money .Im sorry did you say you have a friend who can loan the money  to the state. That's good news ,I can sleep easy at night now .
david harvey
.... except diesel is at the start of being progressively phased out of use in sedan's, SUV's and light 4x4's over the coming years, not decades. China has mostly removed diesel from heavy trucks which now mostly run on CNG (yes I've been there), Australia could easily follow, especially as we supply some of the gas in the first place.

EV, hyrbid (petrol/Electric) and H2 technology is also at the start of a 10-15 year phase out process that will see by 2040 the only cars on the road burning hydrocarbons as "heritage" and potentially restricted in use.

The ideology of we need PT because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS
for an  Airport Railway ,surely that must be quoted in that cost price when construct starts in 2040 when the price of petrol and diesel is unaffordable to the average Mr and Mrs Welfare rezipiant.Victoria does'nt have that sort of money .Im sorry did you say you have a friend who can loan the money  to the state. That's good news ,I can sleep easy at night now .
.... except diesel is at the start of being progressively phased out of use in sedan's, SUV's and light 4x4's over the coming years, not decades. China has mostly removed diesel from heavy trucks which now mostly run on CNG (yes I've been there), Australia could easily follow, especially as we supply some of the gas in the first place.

EV, hyrbid (petrol/Electric) and H2 technology is also at the start of a 10-15 year phase out process that will see by 2040 the only cars on the road burning hydrocarbons as "heritage" and potentially restricted in use.

The ideology of we need PT because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead.
RTT_Rules
Recently I hired a Toyota Corolla Hyrbid out of Brisbane and Perth Airports, the cars run off the smell of an oily rag.

It will be Interesting to see what they come up with for large aeroplane fuel, with the ongoing growth In the sector (across the world) many of the operators It's all about public Image.
  david harvey Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale
15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS
for an  Airport Railway ,surely that must be quoted in that cost price when construct starts in 2040 when the price of petrol and diesel is unaffordable to the average Mr and Mrs Welfare rezipiant.Victoria does'nt have that sort of money .Im sorry did you say you have a friend who can loan the money  to the state. That's good news ,I can sleep easy at night now .
.... except diesel is at the start of being progressively phased out of use in sedan's, SUV's and light 4x4's over the coming years, not decades. China has mostly removed diesel from heavy trucks which now mostly run on CNG (yes I've been there), Australia could easily follow, especially as we supply some of the gas in the first place.

EV, hyrbid (petrol/Electric) and H2 technology is also at the start of a 10-15 year phase out process that will see by 2040 the only cars on the road burning hydrocarbons as "heritage" and potentially restricted in use.

The ideology of we need PT because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead.
RTT_Rules
I agree with you RRT_rules, China has a progressive  Government,when you have a communist dictatorship its easy for the population to follow the directive . So in Australia, the  hyrbid (petrol/Electric) and H2 technology is also at the start of a 10-15 year phase out process that will see by 2040 ,you and I wont be around in 2040 but as sure as there are 3 north's any Government in Australia is not here to benefit the people for we see it year after year ,that its "leave it to the next lot of politicians to fix the issues while they filibuster about the chamber "   The  ideology of we need PT because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead. The ideology that we need Public Tranport because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead.WELL thats not TRUE, because its a philosophy a belief , it only an idea .The billions of peasants who catch public transport in China dont care for the ideology of Public Transport as they will never be able to afford a EV, hyrbid , H2,diesel,or hydrocarbon vehicle .The numbers on the Melbourne metro system have gone up expediently due to increased population but also to fuel price, traffic congestion, parking costs and toll roads.                        15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS is way to much for a project(if the numbers are correct) that my great great children will still be paying off in the year 2060.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS
for an  Airport Railway ,surely that must be quoted in that cost price when construct starts in 2040 when the price of petrol and diesel is unaffordable to the average Mr and Mrs Welfare rezipiant.Victoria does'nt have that sort of money .Im sorry did you say you have a friend who can loan the money  to the state. That's good news ,I can sleep easy at night now .
.... except diesel is at the start of being progressively phased out of use in sedan's, SUV's and light 4x4's over the coming years, not decades. China has mostly removed diesel from heavy trucks which now mostly run on CNG (yes I've been there), Australia could easily follow, especially as we supply some of the gas in the first place.

EV, hyrbid (petrol/Electric) and H2 technology is also at the start of a 10-15 year phase out process that will see by 2040 the only cars on the road burning hydrocarbons as "heritage" and potentially restricted in use.

The ideology of we need PT because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead.
I agree with you RRT_rules, China has a progressive  Government,when you have a communist dictatorship its easy for the population to follow the directive . So in Australia, the  hyrbid (petrol/Electric) and H2 technology is also at the start of a 10-15 year phase out process that will see by 2040 ,you and I wont be around in 2040 but as sure as there are 3 north's any Government in Australia is not here to benefit the people for we see it year after year ,that its "leave it to the next lot of politicians to fix the issues while they filibuster about the chamber "   The  ideology of we need PT because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead. The ideology that we need Public Tranport because the price of oil will sky rocket and make driving un-affordable is dead.WELL thats not TRUE, because its a philosophy a belief , it only an idea .The billions of peasants who catch public transport in China dont care for the ideology of Public Transport as they will never be able to afford a EV, hyrbid , H2,diesel,or hydrocarbon vehicle .The numbers on the Melbourne metro system have gone up expediently due to increased population but also to fuel price, traffic congestion, parking costs and toll roads.                        15 Billion for Airport Rail.
15 BILLION DOLLARS is way to much for a project(if the numbers are correct) that my great great children will still be paying off in the year 2060.
david harvey
China was forced to act as it was choking it people, but when they want things to happen, it happens quickly, not politics or bleeding hearts to get in the way.

I do plan to be around in 2040 to see how things pan out, I think natural forces will see massive change here in Oz if not driven by domestic politics it will be driven by external as when you are small importing market you stop dictating the rules. Most major car makers have announced a scale back or phase out of internal combustion engines so you cannot import what they don't make.

In about 2-3 years time, EV's will be on par to buy vs their ICE counterparts. If you factor in fuel costs they already match ICE cost of ownership after 5-10y depending on km driven. My wife's next car (not new) will more than likely be an EV not so much for fuel costs, CO2 emissions, but because they are reportedly so much better to drive with ultra quiet instant power and everyone I know who owns an EV has stated they will never buy a hydrocarbon fueled engine car again, ever and I know a couple.

Fuel costs per km today are actually lower than 1980 due to improved fuel consumption, road congestion, tolls and parking fees is what is driving PT and will drive PT more in the future. However Australia's problem is that PT has such more fare box returns its hard to justify throwing large amounts of money at it because it gets to a point you cannot afford to run the system. This will change and I suspect changing now as Off-peak demand is also rising significantly. Just need to look at Sydney's changes in timetables and go for a ride at 9pm or midday around the inner core.

Melbourne doesn't have an airport link now because it costs +$10B. Melbourne will only get an airport link when the cost is reduced and any works undertaken to make it practical also lead to significant improvements elsewhere, not just provide an airport link.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The Age is reporting that MARL via MM1 is back on the cards.  Best to read the article.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/scrapped-airport-rail-link-plan-on-the-cards-again-20200208-p53yyi.html

Monorail is the outstanding choice. Cost effective, quicker, independent to the network, dedicated luggage areas, cheaper much much cheaper.

Why it isn't being considered.

Because Transurban wouldn't be happy. They would lose money. The freeway will still be faster at this rate because the service will be unreliable and slow. It was something like 80 million for two dedicated express bus lanes separate to cars that can be build between the Airport and SCS. That's probably the best option and we are better off without Airport Rail.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There does seem to be mass confusion with regard to the airport rail line.  Why not take the private consortium cash and have them get started.  2027 is far too long to wait for the service now.



The idea also of 2030 before Melton and Ballarat need more trains is 15 years too late.  I am also very concerned about the transurban conflicts which are holding back the state.

Daniel Andrew's needs to get moving on these projects the state is stalling and drowning under indecision and cost blowouts.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Taking the money from the private consortium is a terrible idea. The government would have to pay a per-train access fee for the tunnels which I think was in excess of $10000. It's not worth it.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Taking the money from the private consortium is a terrible idea. The government would have to pay a per-train access fee for the tunnels which I think was in excess of $10000. It's not worth it.
reubstar6

But that may be a better deal than stumping up all the cash/capital ourselves.  Do we really need to issue bonds and do a really big build knowing we are already years behind in what really needs to happen in Melbourne.  

Should we do both the tunnel via Highpoint and the alternative services via Sunshine for V/Line services?  The best outcome for airport line users is to have the trains between Melbourne and the airport a quick and efficient as possible with perhaps some being diverted via Sunshine but the main route being more direct.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
6TPH on Melton versus 9TPH and 14TPH on Sunbury versus 12TPH.... I really want to see the data and assumptions that underpin the reported need to boost those branches by 3TPH and 2TPH respectively.

Melton is relatively undeveloped with lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of PSPs in place to develop the sprawl in the gaps between Melton itself and the rest of the metro mass - you dont need to be a planner to see that growth will occur here.

However, 6 electrified (HCMT) trains per hour on Melton is an enormous capacity leap over and above what they currently get.  [Donald J Trump] Yyyyyuge! [/Donald J Trump]

~3TPH x 6 car vlocities (say) is ~450 seats + another 100-200 max standing.

3 x 650 = ~2000 passengers per hour (max capacity).

In an electrified scenario:

6TPH x 7 car HCMTs is ~1100 (load standard - 500 seated, 600 standing, crush is reported to be 1300 on some places, 1800 on others - I'm just going to use the lower end of that range).

6 x 1300 = ~7,800 passengers per hour (max capacity).

In an extend platform+train scenario:

6 TPH x 10 car HCMT is 1570 (load standard) with a crush just under 2000 according to one source.

6 x 2000 = ~12,000 passengers per hour (max capacity)

Day 1 electrified service capacity versus current: almost 4x the capacity which in turn can grow by another ~35% by keeping frequency the same by growing the trains and platforms (which is on the cards).

That's a lot of capacity through minor-medium projects to increase capacity without having to build a tunnel which probably will be required at some point, but in the next 20 years?

Eh, I only work on pub tests and don't work with the real data (because Fortress Victoria doesn't like to do things out in the open....) however I tend to think it's probably a prudent thing to build MARL as branch, electrify Melton (and do the expensive junction work at Sunshine now while the Feds have their wallets open) and work extra capacity - whether it's a tunnel Sunshine to SX or MM2 - into longer term plans.

One last caveat: we're not seeing the whole picture - we still have to wait to the official announcement, but I think there's more to come, i.e. the thinking about eventually building more capacity.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Why don't they get cracking on building the Sunshine to Tullamarine Airport section first, than work out the rest as time marches on (even If the service was a shuttle between the Airport and Sunshine at first)

It would be good If they could re-align the curve at Albion to be good for 100 km/h (I think It's 70 km/h for the SG)
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The thread is now 37 pages long and nobody is any the wiser about where it might or might not go.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Why don't they get cracking on building the Sunshine to Tullamarine Airport section first, than work out the rest as time marches on (even If the service was a shuttle between the Airport and Sunshine at first)

It would be good If they could re-align the curve at Albion to be good for 100 km/h (I think It's 70 km/h for the SG)
Nightfire
Agreed although I wonder if ongoing negotiations with the Airport might prevent this - they may not want to be a part of a second rate solution - remember that even though everyone seems to be 'on board' with the MARL idea now it wasn't too long ago that the Victorian Government and Infrastructure Victoria said it was not needed for 15>30 years

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/why-the-airport-rail-link-barely-stacks-up-and-shouldn-t-happen-yet-20180412-p4z995.html

And yes, i know we are mostly supporters of rail here but this is a classic Utopia scenario where governments set up bodies like IV and IA to de-politicise the planning process and then completely ignore their recommendations.

MARL became nothing more than a p1ssing contest between the Federal and State Governments and now maybe they are starting to see the errors of their ways in promising a game changing project without fully considering the cost.

Personally I would like to see the tunnel option go ahead but only in my capacity as a V/Line user hoping to see some improvement in my regular services. With my tax payer / voter's hat(s?) on it looks like a really dumb project to me.

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