Regional Rail Revival - Geelong / Warrnambool Line Projects

 
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Geelong improvements inside Melbourne

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/faster-services-geelong-way

21 November 2020


Australia’s first faster rail corridor between Melbourne and Geelong will strip 15 minutes off the travel time and mean a congestion free commute to and from Melbourne’s CBD.
Today’s announcement comes after the Australian and Victorian Governments agreed to commit $2 billion each to the project.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews revealed Stage One of the Geelong Fast Rail project, which will deliver passengers faster journeys between Geelong and Melbourne, with a travel time of around 50 minutes.
Construction of Geelong Fast Rail is expected to be underway from 2023, subject to relevant planning, environmental and government approvals. It will support over 2800 jobs during construction.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the plan would deliver a major boost for the fast-growing city of Geelong where the population is expected to grow by almost 50 per cent in the next 30 years.
“We want commuters to spend less time travelling and more time with loved ones and the faster rail corridor provides a better transport link for urban and regional communities,” the Prime Minister said.
The works will include track upgrades between Werribee and Laverton, including a new dedicated express track that will create a faster route for Geelong services.
It is the shortest and most direct rail line between Geelong and Melbourne, approximately 8 kilometres shorter than the current route that travels through the western suburbs via Sunshine.
Running Geelong services on the Werribee corridor also frees up room for more trains to Melbourne’s west, including Wyndham, Melton, Ballarat and Bendigo that run on the Sunshine corridor.
Some Geelong services will continue to run on the existing corridor for increased frequency, choice and the quickest connection with the new Melbourne Airport Rail line.
Premier Daniel Andrews said faster rail would mean Victorians could spend less time commuting and more time with the people they love – and that he was proud to be delivering for Geelong.
The Victorian Government will invest $2 billion in the Geelong Fast Rail project – matching the Australian Government’s $2 billion contribution to the project.
“When we make a promise, we keep it. We will deliver faster services to Geelong – and shovels will be in the ground in just a few years.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said continued infrastructure investment was at the heart of the Federal Government’s economic recovery plan.
“Every dollar we spend on infrastructure is a dollar invested in local jobs, local businesses, local industries and local communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This nation-building infrastructure will ensure commuters can get home sooner and safer, increasing the liveability of the entire Geelong region.”
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said Geelong Fast Rail was the first part of the Federal Government’s 20-year faster rail plan.
“This is a critical route for faster rail which will make a huge difference for thousands of Victorians,” Mr Tudge said.
“When all stages are completed the time from Geelong to Melbourne will be just 40 minutes.”
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the project will deliver better services and support thousands of jobs.
“Geelong Fast Rail Stage 1 will deliver more frequent and reliable services for one of our biggest cities – creating more jobs and access to services for locals.”
The plan builds on more than $1 billion of work already underway to improve services on the Geelong corridor including the Waurn Ponds Station Upgrade, the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication and Waurn Ponds Stabling.
Both governments will continue to work together on detailed planning and technical investigations to inform a business case for the first stage, as well as scoping future investments for the Geelong corridor which will further reduce travel times.


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  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
whoistheg
"sitting behind a metro" ???
not quite, the new express  track allows the Geelong train to leap frog the Werribee to Laverton metro; and then fall into the same express pattern to CBD. @ 115kph that's still not shabby.

To be seen if the Geelong train also stops at Newport/Footscray/Nth Melb. Doesn't need to if the TT can be creative.

The interesting question is what happens in the CBD when the Geelong train arrives.
Turn back could be tricky, but hey presto there are now 2 spare platforms at Flinders St courtesy of MM1.

In addition it is not all Geelong trains. Some still go RRL.
We could have the situation where pretty much the current TT via RRL remains, and extra services ( 3 or 4 tph in the early stages) get a super express to deliver the "fast" promise - sorry Lara/Little River you don't qualify for the "geelong" tag.

Notable that nothing has been said about electricity. Hence won't happen, and Vlos continue to rule.
Bright side , sparking the existing RRL to Wyndham Vale ( but not quadding) a step closer/easier.

Long term tunnel MM2, is probable, but not in the next decade until the Werribee choked line is completely strangled.

cheers
John
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

"sitting behind a metro" ???
not quite, the new express  track allows the Geelong train to leap frog the Werribee to Laverton metro; and then fall into the same express pattern to CBD. @ 115kph that's still not shabby.

To be seen if the Geelong train also stops at Newport/Footscray/Nth Melb. Doesn't need to if the TT can be creative.

The interesting question is what happens in the CBD when the Geelong train arrives.
Turn back could be tricky, but hey presto there are now 2 spare platforms at Flinders St courtesy of MM1.

In addition it is not all Geelong trains. Some still go RRL.
We could have the situation where pretty much the current TT via RRL remains, and extra services ( 3 or 4 tph in the early stages) get a super express to deliver the "fast" promise - sorry Lara/Little River you don't qualify for the "geelong" tag.

Notable that nothing has been said about electricity. Hence won't happen, and Vlos continue to rule.
Bright side , sparking the existing RRL to Wyndham Vale ( but not quadding) a step closer/easier.

Long term tunnel MM2, is probable, but not in the next decade until the Werribee choked line is completely strangled.

cheers
John
justarider
Some good points, but I disagree about Lara.

The most likely express stopping pattern will skip North Shore, Corio and Little River. Only stop between Lara and Spencer St will be Werribee and maybe Footscray.

I assume the RRL will still be run at 20min frequency, but with every 2nd train short stopped at Wyndham Vale. Those trains would stop all stops to Waurn Ponds assuming duplication is complete by then. It never made sense that Little River/Corio/North Shore were on alternative 20min trains meaning a connection was needed at Lara (with 20min wait) to get between the three stations.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
We could have the situation where pretty much the current TT via RRL remains, and extra services ( 3 or 4 tph in the early stages) get a super express to deliver the "fast" promise - sorry Lara/Little River you don't qualify for the "geelong" tag.
Some good points, but I disagree about Lara.

The most likely express stopping pattern will skip North Shore, Corio and Little River. Only stop between Lara and Spencer St will be Werribee and maybe Footscray.

I assume the RRL will still be run at 20min frequency, but with every 2nd train short stopped at Wyndham Vale. Those trains would stop all stops to Waurn Ponds assuming duplication is complete by then. It never made sense that Little River/Corio/North Shore were on alternative 20min trains meaning a connection was needed at Lara (with 20min wait) to get between the three stations.
John.Z
Thanks @John.Z explaining the importance of a Lara stopping.

My "sorry" fear, is that some worthy pax will be sacrificed on the high altar of "fast geelong"

cheers
John
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
whoistheg
Footscray-Newport-Laverton they are still mixed with suburban electrics - aren't they? My reading of the press release is that the express track (only one track not two?) will only run between Laverton and Werribee which will allow overtaking Metro trains on that section but nowhere else.

So really not that fast but moreover just a long overtaking lane to be used by peak trains in one direction (?).
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
i would have thought that upgrading RRL capacity and sparking to Melton would be better...
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
i would have thought that upgrading RRL capacity and sparking to Melton would be better...
railblogger
I used to use the Werribee line when I worked out there early 2000's, at that stage most trains went via Altona anyway. As the decade progressed the number of direct Laverton-Newport express services increased until around 2010 when I seem to recall that they were timetabled all day on weekdays again.

Not sure what the point of making the express services run via Newport again, as someone mentioned earlier perhaps eventually MMT II will take them off the Newport-Footscray section but in the meantime they'll be mixing it stuck behind Williamstown/Laverton all-stoppers on that section anyway. Where's the advantage over the multi-billion dollar RRL route opened less than ten years ago - apart from the fact that it's physically shorter?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
i would have thought that upgrading RRL capacity and sparking to Melton would be better...
I used to use the Werribee line when I worked out there early 2000's, at that stage most trains went via Altona anyway. As the decade progressed the number of direct Laverton-Newport express services increased until around 2010 when I seem to recall that they were timetabled all day on weekdays again.

Not sure what the point of making the express services run via Newport again, as someone mentioned earlier perhaps eventually MMT II will take them off the Newport-Footscray section but in the meantime they'll be mixing it stuck behind Williamstown/Laverton all-stoppers on that section anyway. Where's the advantage over the multi-billion dollar RRL route opened less than ten years ago - apart from the fact that it's physically shorter?
don_dunstan
Not to mention that sparking to Melton, quadding between Sunshine and Deer Park West, along with upgrading RRL signalling can create some 10 paths per hour while also benefitting the Melton passengers.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
Footscray-Newport-Laverton they are still mixed with suburban electrics - aren't they? My reading of the press release is that the express track (only one track not two?) will only run between Laverton and Werribee which will allow overtaking Metro trains on that section but nowhere else.

So really not that fast but moreover just a long overtaking lane to be used by peak trains in one direction (?).
don_dunstan
So where are they going to fit an extra track between Werribee and Laverton ?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
Footscray-Newport-Laverton they are still mixed with suburban electrics - aren't they? My reading of the press release is that the express track (only one track not two?) will only run between Laverton and Werribee which will allow overtaking Metro trains on that section but nowhere else.

So really not that fast but moreover just a long overtaking lane to be used by peak trains in one direction (?).
So where are they going to fit an extra track between Werribee and Laverton ?
Nightfire
NOT entirely sure, it's been several years since I've lived in Melbourne now but I'd say the creation of that express track is to make extra capacity using the existing infrastructure with a view to MM 2 from Newport to Docklands at some stage in the future. The bottleneck Newport-Footscray is really a significant problem but it will create additional paths to overtake stopping Metro trains, at least in the outer suburbs.
  Upven Junior Train Controller

So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
Footscray-Newport-Laverton they are still mixed with suburban electrics - aren't they? My reading of the press release is that the express track (only one track not two?) will only run between Laverton and Werribee which will allow overtaking Metro trains on that section but nowhere else.

So really not that fast but moreover just a long overtaking lane to be used by peak trains in one direction (?).
So where are they going to fit an extra track between Werribee and Laverton ?
Nightfire
There's plenty of space, especially if you look at satellite imagery. It's not as though they're building through central London. I've never understood the constant "where's the space argument", when we're not densely populated and the money we piss on these projects is enough to buy any annoying homeowner out.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
So all Geelong trains are now going through Footscray and down through Laverton - Weribee to Geelong?

So we are back to a Vline train sitting behind a metro ?

In the mean time will they run the Whyndam Vale as a short line ?

Is this a long play to get all Geelong trains into the city with a new tunnel under
the Yarra through Docklands ?
Footscray-Newport-Laverton they are still mixed with suburban electrics - aren't they? My reading of the press release is that the express track (only one track not two?) will only run between Laverton and Werribee which will allow overtaking Metro trains on that section but nowhere else.

So really not that fast but moreover just a long overtaking lane to be used by peak trains in one direction (?).
So where are they going to fit an extra track between Werribee and Laverton ?
There's plenty of space, especially if you look at satellite imagery. It's not as though they're building through central London. I've never understood the constant "where's the space argument", when we're not densely populated and the money we piss on these projects is enough to buy any annoying homeowner out.
Upven
From memory the four remaining level crossings in that section were supposed to be gone by now - or very soon? I hope they made provision for the extra track because there'll be four tracks along that section now including the standard gauge link.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I pondered this elsewhere but I wonder if the $4billion for Geelong includes some cash to duplicate the Altona Loop allowing Werribee trains to go back through Altona full time @ 4-6TPH / 10-15 min frequencies in off peak (assuming that's going to be the base level of service in 10 years or earlier).

That would make sense that new track outlined yesterday would only run as far as Laverton because Geelongs could then switch onto the exist route (whether it's upgraded to higher speeds as far as Paisley is another thing).  The base level of service is maintained via Altona but in peaks, the extra services take the express path with Geelongs (the metro trains can hold at the platform in Laverton while a Geelong sprints ahead and then the metro can follow it).

It's a bit complicated with Williamstown, but is Williamstown ever going to need to be more than a train every 15 minutes?

It could get a bit hairy toward the end of this decade but it's looking likely that MM2 will be a 2030s-2040s project (SRL P1, MARL 2020s-2030s projects) and if it were phased like SRL (the western side - Newport-SX - done first) the second level of capacity goes to the Werribee (now inseparable from Altona) and Williamstown lines.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Seriously, if you want to talk about High-Speed Rail to Geelong, there is a whole thread about it.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11386467.htm
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

And you all thought I was nuts when I suggested a couple of years back that diverting a couple of Geelongs the old way might be the future!
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
And you all thought I was nuts when I suggested a couple of years back that diverting a couple of Geelongs the old way might be the future!
potatoinmymouth

Is this a cameo appearance like ZH does these days, or are you back Question

https://www.google.com/search?q=what%27s+a+cameo+appearance&oq=what%27s+a+cameo+app&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i457j0i22i30l6.28436j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Mike.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
NOT entirely sure, it's been several years since I've lived in Melbourne now but I'd say the creation of that express track is to make extra capacity using the existing infrastructure with a view to MM 2 from Newport to Docklands at some stage in the future. The bottleneck Newport-Footscray is really a significant problem but it will create additional paths to overtake stopping Metro trains, at least in the outer suburbs.
don_dunstan

Just one thing I wanted to clear up about this project, is it clear that it is only *one* extra track that is being built between Werribee and Laverton, which would allow only express running in a single direction?  In the press release it only mentions an express track, however a number of the media articles appear to imply that it is a track pair.

Ross
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
NOT entirely sure, it's been several years since I've lived in Melbourne now but I'd say the creation of that express track is to make extra capacity using the existing infrastructure with a view to MM 2 from Newport to Docklands at some stage in the future. The bottleneck Newport-Footscray is really a significant problem but it will create additional paths to overtake stopping Metro trains, at least in the outer suburbs.

Just one thing I wanted to clear up about this project, is it clear that it is only *one* extra track that is being built between Werribee and Laverton, which would allow only express running in a single direction?  In the press release it only mentions an express track, however a number of the media articles appear to imply that it is a track pair.

Ross
Rossco T
I'm not a hundred percent sure about that either as I wrote earlier on - I'd imagine that its just going to be one extra broad gauge track as that would be the cheapest option.

If its actually a pair of tracks then you'd have five tracks altogether from Laverton to Werribee and that's a pretty significant undertaking considering you're expanding capacity from three. I'm sure there's plenty of room though, it's not as tightly restricted as it is through Yarraville and Newport (for example).

Anyway, the fact that they're back to putting most Geelong trains through Newport goes to show what I've suspected all along which is that RRL was all about providing additional future suburban tracks through those back-blocks and less to do with increasing capacity to Geelong.
  Tony M. Locomotive Driver

Anyway, the fact that they're back to putting most Geelong trains through Newport goes to show what I've suspected all along which is that RRL was all about providing additional future suburban tracks through those back-blocks and less to do with increasing capacity to Geelong.
don_dunstan

This was never a secret, at least not in Geelong - one look at the map made it clear the RRL was a longer route stopping at the same amount of stations. But just about every transport "solution" that involves Geelong is about helping people outside of Geelong (see the local ring road, which was built so that travelers from Melbourne could bypass Geelong but was sold as a solution to Geelong's internal traffic problems)

What will be interesting is seeing whether the Geelong trains going via Newport enjoy the same problems they had pre-RRL, whereby just about every peak train would come to a complete halt either side of Newport for a 5-10 minute wait. There was a lot of talk at the time that the delays along that stretch of the Geelong route weren't being addressed so as to make the RRL seem like an vast improvement time-wise - which it was, considering it meant Geelong trains would actually stick to their schedule and not come to a halt at Williams Landing, both ends of the Altona Loop, and both sides of North Melbourne.

The express track(s) between Werribee and Laverton will address some of these problems, but as Newport was always the big bottleneck then if nothing's done there - and if it was a real issue, and not just poor maintenance that was left unadressed because the Geelong trains would be taken out of the equation in a few years - this "express" route is going to be a bit of a joke.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

"sitting behind a metro" ???
not quite, the new express  track allows the Geelong train to leap frog the Werribee to Laverton metro; and then fall into the same express pattern to CBD. @ 115kph that's still not shabby.

To be seen if the Geelong train also stops at Newport/Footscray/Nth Melb. Doesn't need to if the TT can be creative.

The interesting question is what happens in the CBD when the Geelong train arrives.
Turn back could be tricky, but hey presto there are now 2 spare platforms at Flinders St courtesy of MM1.

In addition it is not all Geelong trains. Some still go RRL.
We could have the situation where pretty much the current TT via RRL remains, and extra services ( 3 or 4 tph in the early stages) get a super express to deliver the "fast" promise - sorry Lara/Little River you don't qualify for the "geelong" tag.

Notable that nothing has been said about electricity. Hence won't happen, and Vlos continue to rule.
Bright side , sparking the existing RRL to Wyndham Vale ( but not quadding) a step closer/easier.

Long term tunnel MM2, is probable, but not in the next decade until the Werribee choked line is completely strangled.

cheers
John
Some good points, but I disagree about Lara.

The most likely express stopping pattern will skip North Shore, Corio and Little River. Only stop between Lara and Spencer St will be Werribee and maybe Footscray.

I assume the RRL will still be run at 20min frequency, but with every 2nd train short stopped at Wyndham Vale. Those trains would stop all stops to Waurn Ponds assuming duplication is complete by then. It never made sense that Little River/Corio/North Shore were on alternative 20min trains meaning a connection was needed at Lara (with 20min wait) to get between the three stations.
John.Z
The weird Off Peak stopping pattern on Geelong is dicated by single line beyond Geelong , and alternate trains terminating The Ponds & South Geelong.  So Up & Down ponds cross at Geelong, and Up & Down South Geelongs around Corio Quay.
So with the rtwo sets of trains the run time Sxs to Gex has to be basically similar.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

If it is only a single line it could accommodate up to 4 TPH in each direction. Werribee to Laverton is 10 km. It would take 5 mins at an average speed of 120 km/h, thus a train in each direction would occupy 10 mins. Allowing 2.5 mins between each exit/entry as a safety margin means 2 trains in the same direction would have to be spaced at least 15 mins apart.

It would require Up and Down V/Line trains to be timetabled so they don’t need to pass between Werribee and Laverton, which could have ramifications for timetabling on other parts of the line, such as passing at the Geelong tunnel. The current timetabled interval for a Werribee – Hoppers Crossing – Laverton is 11 minutes, which means for a V/Line train to overtake and arrive at Laverton 2 mins ahead of a Metro train it has to arrive at Werribee within 4 mins of the Metro train’s departure. Up and Down Metro trains would also have to be synchronised. It would all be a bit of a mess if trains don’t run to schedule.

If it’s not already available, some sort of flow control software could easily be developed to give each driver, Metro and V/Line, an optimum speed and route for normal and abnormal situations (with signalling taking absolute priority of course). A late-running V/Line in one direction might have to use the local line behind a Metro train.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
If it is only a single line it could accommodate up to 4 TPH in each direction. ...

It would require Up and Down V/Line trains to be timetabled so they don’t need to pass between Werribee and Laverton, which could have ramifications for timetabling on other parts of the line......
"kitchgp"
gunzel alert, you have been warned.

A single express track for peak services is nothing unusual for Melbourne. See Box Hill and Moorabbin.
Counter peak just runs back on the SAS route. In the Geelong case that could be either via RRL or follow the Metro.
Conflicts gone, and TPH is what you can squeeze 4 train lines headed the same direction.

To move things along a bit quicker,
   the Laverton/Newport express has another 3 LX to be removed,
   upgrade the track to true 130kph running (and not shake the bejesus out of Metro pax)
and a win for both Weribee and Geelong pax.

Of course now there will be 4 lines trying to fight their way UP from Newport.
Make all except Williamstown run express UP, and the tph and run time improves markedly.

The "losers" would be Seddon, Yarraville, Spotswood, (and Newport??).
But that can still be a 20min service all day, with guaranteed seats. Is that a loss or a win ???

And I almost forgot the most intriguing bit. How the @/%& does that cost 4 BILLION DOLLARS. ?

cheers
John
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

And I almost forgot the most intriguing bit. How the @/%& does that cost 4 BILLION DOLLARS. ?
justarider
$4B for 10km of track???
It will be very interesting to read the Scope Of Works, when it's eventually made available.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
And I almost forgot the most intriguing bit. How the @/%& does that cost 4 BILLION DOLLARS. ?
$4B for 10km of track???
It will be very interesting to read the Scope Of Works, when it's eventually made available.
Lockspike
Short Answer is inflation and unionisation. Its not as simples as just laying a new pair of tracks and doing some minor earthworks. This is what its being spent on

  • New track dedicated to regional services (between Werribee and Laverton).
  • Upgrades to bridges over main roads.
  • Station upgrades at Werribee and Laverton
  • New bridges and culverts over creeks and rivers.
  • Signalling and train control system upgrades.
Probably can add Track Slews and Nimbyism to things to contend with. Also I was under the impression that 4 billion was the entire project, with the express tracks only being Stage one of the project.

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