Should passenger trains be returned to the Bass Coast

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 04 May 2021 11:17
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The Bass Coast has been growing steadily for some years now with many choosing to move to Philip Island also.

Why was this line closed anyhow and is there scope for a rebuild?

Should passenger trains be returned to the Bass Coast

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  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The Wonthaggi line went extremely close to the Phillip Island (Anderson) and would have been used a lot in the summer I'm sure.

All in the ether now.
  Maximas Locomotive Fireman

Location: Geelong
The line was built for the coal mine and demand dried up, so without decent passenger numbers the line was a liability, although there has been some movement of people down that way Wonthaggi itself is still about a 10 thousand person town? You'd need big numbers there and along the way to actually justify re-instating the line - is the railway reservation still intact?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

If it was reinstated, the existing coach to Cowes can be shortened to Anderson.  The resources saved can be reallocated to extending the route to Summerlands and a later inbound departure thus facilitating day trips.  If day trips are possible it would further generate demand.
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Your news item for this - which appears on Facebook - gives no link to people to "let us know your thoughts"  Consider what you have done here
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Thanks for raising this Railpage. This concert has been previously discussed in another thread on here.

The bass coast newspaper started talk about this recently from memory. Not sure how much work would be required to bring trains back but the area catchment wise is probably close to 30,000 people at a guess including all points the line would pass.

Would you do it as a V/line service with the current plans for south Gippsland line at Clyde or an extended metro service like the point.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The first thing that would be required is quadruplication between Caulfield and Dandenong to create room for those trains to run through the suburbs.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The first thing that would be required is quadruplication between Caulfield and Dandenong to create room for those trains to run through the suburbs.
railblogger

Would that be entirely necessary?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The first thing that would be required is quadruplication between Caulfield and Dandenong to create room for those trains to run through the suburbs.

Would that be entirely necessary?
bevans
Depends where the traffic is actually going.

This line is likely a classic case it died during the era when people stopped using PT, i.e. 70's - 90's. However had it survived there would be ZERO talk or tolerance to closing the line today, rather the opposite. However now that its closed it no longer complies with the grandfather clauses and its now a billion dollar operation to reopen it, so it won't happen anytime soon.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
If a new railway were to be built to the Bass Coast region today, the logical terminus would be Inverloch, not Wonthaggi. It is only a further 14km as the crow flies and has a decent population of its own. It is also a popular tourist destination in its own right.

The largest centres by population in the area are Inverloch (population 5,500), Wonthaggi (population 4,500) and Phillip Island (total island population - 10,300 plus another 1,200 in San Remo)

Other towns this rail service would be likely to stop at would include Tooradin (1,500), Koo Wee Rup (3,500), Lang Lang (1,500) and Nyora (1,500). Nyora could also serve as a Park n Ride for other South Gippsland towns like Korumburra and Leongatha.

This population should be enough to sustain approximately 5 return passenger rail services per day. Maybe even add a couple of extra peak hour services to run between Nyora and Dandenong for local commuters. If the railway was already there, this would likely be the best service level they could hope for.

The elephant in the room though is that the line does not currently exist. The alignment is mostly in tact between Cranbourne and Nyora although there are doubts about the bridges over the swamps out near Tooradin. Beyond Nyora though it is much worse. Even if the land itself has not been sold off, new major earthworks, bridges and other structures would have to be built. Then there is the actual railway line, signalling, stations and rollingstock. You are talking about very big money.

Also, another fly in the ointment is the topography of this region of Victoria. There are an awful lot of hills this line would have to wind around and climb up and over. This would make it slow going, not just in construction but in achievable line speed.

So, all in all, you would be looking at at least $10 Billion and it might not be faster than the bus it would be replacing.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

This is not a metro tunnel or high speed rail. $1 billion at the most but considering that it wouldn't be electrified and would be single track along most of it's length which is mostly still there unless I am mistaken it shouldn't even take $500 million unless it is completely screwed up like the murray basin.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
What is should cost in some peoples opinions, and what it would cost in reality are not the same thing.

Buying land, building extensive bridges, installing signalling, constructing brand new stations. These things cost a lot of money. Then add construction of near enough to 100km of brand new railway, you are talking Billions, even if it is only a single un-electrified track.

And don't even get me started on the years of studies and planning that would have to come first.

This would not be simply re-laying an existing railway, from Nyora to Wonthaggi (or Inverloch or where ever else you choose) would need to be treated as a brand new build.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

A trifling extension from Cranbourne to Clyde is more than 10 years (and $600m+) away. Anderson to Wonthaggi will remain a rail trail for many years to come.

(You can get to Cowes by train and ferry.)
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
And I bet you could count on one hand the amount of people that would travel from Melbourne to Cowes via Frankston and Stony Point in an average week.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Part of the reason is the jetty is not near any tourist attractions.  A day trip is only possible on Friday nights with a taxi connection, if you can book it.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Follow existing alignment out of Cranbourne* as far as Lang Lang (with curve easing), then generally follow the Bass Hwy to Inverloch, going around the main towns. Use viaducts extensively over swampy country or where there isn't much available space; go through hills and over the gullies, not around them.

Single track (with provision for double), 200km/h alignment, 25kV AC.

Do it properly or don't bother - Go hard or go home!

* If via Cranbourne is too slow, join mainline around Officer.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

4 to 5 ferries a day from Cowes v 4 buses a day (M - F) & 2 a day weekends from Wonthaggi
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
i can see two big things that haven't been considered yet:

1) Will the line take its original alignment or a brand new one? There are significant advantages and disadvantages of both approaches - largely to do with cost and travel time. A new alignment may be faster but may also significantly add to the cost of construction.

2) Economic return. Every major infrastructure project in the past twenty years has resulted in significant development/regeneration of the areas they pass through, as land developers cash in on an opportunity before the prices rise, creating places for people to live and work. Given the area's proximity to Melbourne, I can see this developing into a busy commuter route, but this would require the line being built as a double-track line from the outset plus extra tracks between Caulfield (possibly even South Yarra) and Dandenong, which would significantly reduce the return on investment.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The first thing that would be required is quadruplication between Caulfield and Dandenong to create room for those trains to run through the suburbs.

Would that be entirely necessary?
bevans

What do you think... Obviously the answer is NO.

If the current bus service were to be upgraded in the first instance, a train to Wonthaggi, where VicTrack still have the reservation won't be happening for at least another 10 years.

Have a look at where the bus timetable can be expanded first:

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/aa5f46d1-6683-42d6-b741-44c72e8b6500/Cowes-Inverloch-Melbourne-(via-Koo-Wee-Rup-and-Da)

Geez... I wouldn't be living down there.

140Km in 3 hours...maybe there is a case for a faster train service to supplement the bus service... Smile

Mike.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
140km in 3 hours - that’s the same as Lithgow to Sydney.

However, the patronage from Lithgow isn’t what justifies the level of service - it’s the commuter population in the lower to mid- mountains, where the journey time to Central is about 90 minutes. And plenty only travel as far as Penrith.

How many people actually commute from places like Wonthaggi to Melbourne (or, for that matter, Dandenong)? If the numbers are similar to the Blue Mountains, then it might be justifiable. But spending hundreds of millions to deliver a rail link for weekenders and tourists would rank low on priorities.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mike it seems this is a common problem with eastern services they are long running in terms of time when compared to the distances they travel and also when compared to the western services v/line operate.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
140km in 3 hours - that’s the same as Lithgow to Sydney.

However, the patronage from Lithgow isn’t what justifies the level of service - it’s the commuter population in the lower to mid- mountains, where the journey time to Central is about 90 minutes. And plenty only travel as far as Penrith.

How many people actually commute from places like Wonthaggi to Melbourne (or, for that matter, Dandenong)? If the numbers are similar to the Blue Mountains, then it might be justifiable. But spending hundreds of millions to deliver a rail link for weekenders and tourists would rank low on priorities.
SinickleBird

These days PT is considered to be a travel enabler, not a loss making waste of government $$. Therefore the expansion or acceleration of services makes them more attractive to potential users.

The towns along the Bass highway are obviously growing due to their proximity to Dandenong and Melbourne in general, however the former rail alignment in part serves a different catchment, therefore buses and trains would ultimately be required to provide an upgraded service to Phillip Is. and or Wonthaggi.

Mike.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

140km in 3 hours - that’s the same as Lithgow to Sydney.

However, the patronage from Lithgow isn’t what justifies the level of service - it’s the commuter population in the lower to mid- mountains, where the journey time to Central is about 90 minutes. And plenty only travel as far as Penrith.

How many people actually commute from places like Wonthaggi to Melbourne (or, for that matter, Dandenong)? If the numbers are similar to the Blue Mountains, then it might be justifiable. But spending hundreds of millions to deliver a rail link for weekenders and tourists would rank low on priorities.

These days PT is considered to be a travel enabler, not a loss making waste of government $$. Therefore the expansion or acceleration of services makes them more attractive to potential users.

The towns along the Bass highway are obviously growing due to their proximity to Dandenong and Melbourne in general, however the former rail alignment in part serves a different catchment, therefore buses and trains would ultimately be required to provide an upgraded service to Phillip Is. and or Wonthaggi.

Mike.
The Vinelander
The line would need to be tied in with the development of property.   There is a lot of potential water side living space between San Remo and Corrinella.   Joining the line costs to the profit in development being the challenge.   Could be a huge growth area, build it and they will come approach.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Don't let any member of the V/Line Board hear of this idea.  "More passenger services? ? ? Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggh!" (Collapses clutching general area of heart).
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Don't let any member of the V/Line Board hear of this idea.  "More passenger services? ? ? Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggh!" (Collapses clutching general area of heart).
Valvegear
It would have to be a government initiated decision - and there's really no serious proposals for any new services at the moment (is there?).

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