‘It’s just as important’: Experts call for forgotten Metro 2 rail tunnel to be prioritised

 
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner


I was involved with Wyndham Vale station a decade ago. The design allows for Metro platforms and interchange with stabling built alongside and not affecting the Geelong line. A lot of excavation in rock but doable unless someone has sold off the land
62440
No one saying it wasn't designed for future track amplification. But let's compare like for like.

Werribee to Sunshine and Werribee to Newport there is ample room for additional tracks at little extra expense (ie no massive earthworks needed outside of station precincts).

Sunshine to Spencer St and Newport to Spencer St will both require tunnelling or heavy earth words for track amplification.

Option 1:
Manor Junction to Sunshine: ~35km of greenfield (cheap) construction
Sunshine to Spencer St: ~12km of Tunnel (expensive) construction

Option 2:
Manor Junction to Newport: ~25km of greenfield construction
Newport to Spencer St: ~8km of tunnel construction

Option 2 seems to be the cheapest option. RRL was cheaper than Option 2 because it tacked onto the exsisting Ballarat and Bendigo Lines, but now they are at capacity and there isn't as much room for cheap greenfield construction

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Uh huh!  More "experts say". We must be almost inundated by experts.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Uh huh!  More "experts say". We must be almost inundated by experts.
Valvegear
Lot of them on this site too. This must be where they recruit them from.
  Tony M. Locomotive Fireman

I'm no expert, but why would you tunnel all the way from Sunshine to Southern Cross?

As the current government is making a big deal about Sunshine being the place where (most of) country Victoria can swap trains to get to Tullamarine, it's going to be a tough call politically down the line to say "oh yeah, about that direct connection to the airport..."
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Now that tunnelling is underway on MM1 with 2 more TBMs to go into the ground in 2020 a question.

How much life do you get out of a TBM? Would it be possible to use the same 4 TBM’s to tunnel MM2?

If the government announced a business case for Metro 2 at next years budget to be completed by 2021. Planing, design, development and Envriomental by 2022 and pre works for lunch sites by 2023/24. Would of be possible to put the current TBMs to work in 2025? This is the end of MM1 so the same workforce could transition to MM2

SRL will already by underway by then and will be using smaller TBM’s. You could then have MM2 delivered in the early 2030’s.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Now that tunnelling is underway on MM1 with 2 more TBMs to go into the ground in 2020 a question.

How much life do you get out of a TBM? Would it be possible to use the same 4 TBM’s to tunnel MM2?

If the government announced a business case for Metro 2 at next years budget to be completed by 2021. Planing, design, development and Envriomental by 2022 and pre works for lunch sites by 2023/24. Would of be possible to put the current TBMs to work in 2025? This is the end of MM1 so the same workforce could transition to MM2

SRL will already by underway by then and will be using smaller TBM’s. You could then have MM2 delivered in the early 2030’s.
Lockie91
The TBM machinery should be good for a while longer than 2025. It's the diamond cutting heads that need replacing, but those are replaced easily and regularly enough that it's not a valid consideration.

Seeing as the state has paid for them, we may as well get the most out of them.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

It also depends on if the ground conditions are suitable for the same TBM type. I’m no geologist so they may well be, but I also don’t find it difficult to imagine the geological makeup of the Yarra mouth and Bay environs is very different to anything on the MM1 route.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
I think part of the reason there hasn't been any announcements yet is that the Government doesn't want to overplay their hand and use all their trump cards when they don't have to.

It's fairly clear they won't build MM1 and 2 at the same time without ridiculous extra cost, due to TBM, workforce availability, cashflow and other constraints.  Seems so logical to roll the projects into one another like LXRA do, which gives them plenty of time to work out their timeline and announce when it's strategic for them to do so, while still building things as fast as practically possible.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
The TBMs digging to South Kensington are coping with a large variation in ground conditions so, presumably, ought to be suitable for almost anything except solid, hard, rock and they could possibly deal with that as well if it came to a pinch.
As the MM1 TBMs will have finished their jobs by the end of 2021, at the latest, they could be available to do SRL tunnels or, as Leroy & Lockie both suggested, be held for MM2. As Leroy also wrote, the likelihood of both being worked on a the same time is fairly low but doesn't preclude preparation getting underway as MM1 winds up. And keeping something like MM2 up your sleeve for a pre-election or another mid-term announcement, as Andrews has done once already, is good politics, especially if the LNP look like they are making up ground against the ALP.

Neil
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

If SRL has smaller trains and platforms would a new round of TBM’s be required for this?

It’s make sense to use custom TBM’s for the SRL if it’s design is going to be completely different from what we already have. In the same sense as MM1 & 2 they could put the SRL TBM’s in the ground at Cheltenham and send them digging to Box Hill then just continue on for the next xx years until they reach the Airport. On a side not it’s going to be pretty hard for any incoming government to scrap SRL sections if the TBMs and the workforce are standing around.

I didn’t realise the TBM work would wrap up by 2021/22. I don’t really think the government has enough time to push through MM2 in two years. Although they have done pretty well with North East Link.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
They can do all the planning work in that time.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
If SRL has smaller trains and platforms would a new round of TBM’s be required for this?

It’s make sense to use custom TBM’s for the SRL if it’s design is going to be completely different from what we already have. In the same sense as MM1 & 2 they could put the SRL TBM’s in the ground at Cheltenham and send them digging to Box Hill then just continue on for the next xx years until they reach the Airport. On a side not it’s going to be pretty hard for any incoming government to scrap SRL sections if the TBMs and the workforce are standing around.

I didn’t realise the TBM work would wrap up by 2021/22. I don’t really think the government has enough time to push through MM2 in two years. Although they have done pretty well with North East Link.
Lockie91
I understand that the SRL trains aren't going to be Xtrap's or the like but unless they go for something like the surface level London tube trains, which are uncomfortable to stand in if you're my height (& I'm only 6'3") you still need decent size tunnels. The Paris underground has full sized tunnels and the deeper London ones are closer to the Melbourne loop tunnel size so, yes I agree, you could use (slightly) smaller TBMs or just re-use what you already have. The factory at Ravenhall is churning out segments for lining the metro tunnels. It could use the existing formwork and just keep producing; retaining jobs which Andrews could boast about. Having the SRL tunnels full size would enable full size stock, compatible with the surface fleet, in future if it is as much as a success as Andrews is hoping.
If they are starting SRL work in 2022 they'll be wanting to order the TBMs relatively soon.
The western tunnels are currently scheduled to be done by the end of 2020, from everything I've seen. The eastern tunnels obviously will be later as they aren't launching those TBMs until some time next year.

Neil
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I was pretty bullish on a mid-term MM2 announcement a while ago, but I find it harder to see now Pallas is talking about tightening belts and hitting economic ceilings. It’s hard to see them taking on yet another mega project with MM1 and WGT displaying signs of turning into fusterclucks, NEL seemingly on the nose in the suburbs it’ll destroy, SRL still unbudgeted for construction, MARL probably going to absorb any remaining capacity in the mega-infrastructure market, and so on and so forth...
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Comparing tunnel sizes to London, it is also interesting to note that on the new Northern Line extension they are building the tunnels larger (even with the small deep level rolling stock using the line) so that they can have a side walkway for safety. I'd imagine that our future tunnels will probably need something similar if that's what London are doing.


On Metro II, even if the TBMs from Metro I are to be reused, I cannot see a path to it starting construction before 2025.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
If SRL has smaller trains and platforms would a new round of TBM’s be required for this?

It’s make sense to use custom TBM’s for the SRL if it’s design is going to be completely different from what we already have. In the same sense as MM1 & 2 they could put the SRL TBM’s in the ground at Cheltenham and send them digging to Box Hill then just continue on for the next xx years until they reach the Airport. On a side not it’s going to be pretty hard for any incoming government to scrap SRL sections if the TBMs and the workforce are standing around.

I didn’t realise the TBM work would wrap up by 2021/22. I don’t really think the government has enough time to push through MM2 in two years. Although they have done pretty well with North East Link.
Lockie91

Animations/renders for the SRL show the trains with 4 cars and the media releases to date have stated that trains will be 4-5 cars in length.

If I were a betting man, you'd still want to have ~3m wide trains, regardless of length, plus tunnels with an escape passage/walkway - as TOQ says above - (and need for room above for catenary if third rail is not going to be used) - you're looking at the same or similar internal tunnel diameter requirements as MM1 anyhow.

The cost savings from the 'smaller' nature of the SRL trains will be in:
a) the procurement of said trains (common sense says 4-5 car trains will be cheaper than 7 or 10 car trains),
b) the civil construction costs for the smaller stations (platform length et al - probably some savings in not needing to design the stations to handle as many people - exits/interchange points, passages and the like - compared to Town Hall / State Library for example).
c) maintenance/depot can be smaller / not taking up as much land (i.e two trains could 'sleep' on a ~200m road versus only one and a bit HCMT etc).

220m platforms at MM1 (and MM2?) stations to cater for up to 10 x 22m car HCMTs versus possibly ~100m platforms for 5 x 20m car trains in the SRL.  

Also Sydney Metro TBM diameter: 7.04m, Melbourne Metro 1 TBM diameter: 7.28m.  Not much diff and the Sydney Metro project is the local example to work off/compare to (just that the SRL will have shorter trains).

$0.02
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is it time we as a state decided to look more closely at making Metro 2 shovel ready when you think about the emerging national agenda of infrastructure spend to assist the recovery of the economy post COVID19?

The MM2 project does seem to be the next logical choice post the airport rail link starting which might be able to be completed in conjunction?
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Is it time we as a state decided to look more closely at making Metro 2 shovel ready when you think about the emerging national agenda of infrastructure spend to assist the recovery of the economy post COVID19?

The MM2 project does seem to be the next logical choice post the airport rail link starting which might be able to be completed in conjunction?
bevans

To assist the recovery of the economy post COVID19, you need shovel ready projects right now XD, not 5-10 years down the track. This means short term projects that can be delivered fast.

-> Just Electrify to Melton already, it's about time
-> Build a third platform at Wyndham Vale station to make use of the new rail yard
-> Duplication Cranbourne and Hurstbridge corridors as promised
-> Bring forward the duplication to Waurn Ponds
-> Get the grade separation program into a rapid fire by bringing the grade separations at Glenhuntly/Nerrim forward and the ones on the Ringwood corridor
-> A bunch of small station upgrades which are now policy

MM2 would have to pushed back after 2022, since airport railway and the eastern section of the suburban rail loop are already pushing the state tight on resources. Next logical step is to get the current projects delivered sooner, then MM2 can come back into the political environment.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have a funny feeling the feds are going to provide a wad of cash for the states.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I have a funny feeling the feds don't care in funding infrastructure, while the states take most of effort getting the infrastructure agenda ahead. All the feds have been talking about a high speed rail line to nowhere, can't even make their minds whether to actual get the thing built or just say they won't do it. Screw them, make your minds, either build the high speed rail line you promised, or just say it's not economically feasible.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Remember when the Federal Government couldn't fund the Metro Tunnel cause it didn't have South Yarra station in the plans, they are a complete joke.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Is it time we as a state decided to look more closely at making Metro 2 shovel ready when you think about the emerging national agenda of infrastructure spend to assist the recovery of the economy post COVID19?

The MM2 project does seem to be the next logical choice post the airport rail link starting which might be able to be completed in conjunction?
bevans
It's the illogical step. Far more pressing smaller scale projects on the network that should be completed before we even start thinking about MM2. We are still 5 years away from opening the first mega tunnel project.

Hurstbridge Stage 2 includes upgrades to Clifton Hill junction to push more trains through here with the current infrastructure. The Clifton Hill Group only carried 65,000 weekday passengers (PTV 2015) Its no where near bursting at the seems as Caulfield is, 150,000 weekday passengers. The only reason this line appeared on PTV NDP was because of Doncaster Rail, which by all governments plans is no longer going to have a direct link to the city.

Werribee is planed to be through routed with Sandringham post MM1 with a planned 20TPH. Again, not really a pressing need here to provide additional paths into the core.

Melton, WV, Airport are the next pressing major projects.
Small scale power, signalling, communications upgrades and Station upgrades are on the cards. These can all be rolled out in months not years.

Even if and its a very big if, Money was announced for MM2 there would still be 5 years of planning and approvals before a shovel gets anywhere near the ground. Not what anyone would call shovel ready.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Remember when the Federal Government couldn't fund the Metro Tunnel cause it didn't have South Yarra station in the plans, they are a complete joke.
True Believers
That was one of the most ridiculous Federal Government spats I have ever seen.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria

To assist the recovery of the economy post COVID19, you need shovel ready projects right now XD, not 5-10 years down the track. This means short term projects that can be delivered fast.

-> Just Electrify to Melton already, it's about time
-> Build a third platform at Wyndham Vale station to make use of the new rail yard
-> Duplication Cranbourne and Hurstbridge corridors as promised
-> Bring forward the duplication to Waurn Ponds
-> Get the grade separation program into a rapid fire by bringing the grade separations at Glenhuntly/Nerrim forward and the ones on the Ringwood corridor
-> A bunch of small station upgrades which are now policy

MM2 would have to pushed back after 2022, since airport railway and the eastern section of the suburban rail loop are already pushing the state tight on resources. Next logical step is to get the current projects delivered sooner, then MM2 can come back into the political environment.
True Believers

I am with you there on everything except the delivery of the eastern section of the Suburban Rail Loop.  I don't see how that project can possibly be justified in the current environment.

I would much prefer to see the bringing forward of other smaller scale projects such as Clyde extension/electrification following on immediately after completion of Cranbourne duplication and also Upfield-Somerton reconnection and electrification of services to Wallan to tie in with the growth area development in that area.

Ross
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out

To assist the recovery of the economy post COVID19, you need shovel ready projects right now XD, not 5-10 years down the track. This means short term projects that can be delivered fast.

-> Just Electrify to Melton already, it's about time
-> Build a third platform at Wyndham Vale station to make use of the new rail yard
-> Duplication Cranbourne and Hurstbridge corridors as promised
-> Bring forward the duplication to Waurn Ponds
-> Get the grade separation program into a rapid fire by bringing the grade separations at Glenhuntly/Nerrim forward and the ones on the Ringwood corridor
-> A bunch of small station upgrades which are now policy

MM2 would have to pushed back after 2022, since airport railway and the eastern section of the suburban rail loop are already pushing the state tight on resources. Next logical step is to get the current projects delivered sooner, then MM2 can come back into the political environment.
I am with you there on everything except the delivery of the eastern section of the Suburban Rail Loop.  I don't see how that project can possibly be justified in the current environment.

I would much prefer to see the bringing forward of other smaller scale projects such as Clyde extension/electrification following on immediately after completion of Cranbourne duplication and also Upfield-Somerton reconnection and electrification of services to Wallan to tie in with the growth area development in that area.

Ross
Rossco T
IIRC The eastern half of the SRL was looking to have the most guaranteed traffic, especially if you've seen all the north south roads out that way.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Clyde, Baxter electrification projects are probably next on the state government's agenda list, both under business cases at the moment. Only ever heard the Upfield-Somerton reconnection mentioned once in a state budget, and then quietly disappeared off the list. Anyways I would focus on duplicating the Upfield line first. Wallan electrification is still within the bounds of 10 years away, we still have some time on this, before the developments come in.

As per SRL post COVID-19. They're not going to chuck out a couple years of planning and site investigations out the window after committing to it. It was a huge reason why Labor completely dominated in the eastern side of Melbourne in the state election. Politically it's not going to be cancelled, and also I don't think it's a complete waste to build it, it serves all the economic hubs, and eventually it'll get built.

I'm saying that no need to cancel the major projects underway, that's really wasting more money and time and going ahead with them. Most of the major projects makes sense, exception to WGT, but I'll leave it at that. I was pretty disappointed at how that tunnel project is going, the fact the state government hasn't talked about the West Gate Tunnel and focus talking about the more successful and well supported Metro Tunnel goes to show you, how much they screwed up with that decision to make a deal with Transurban.

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