Victorian budget 2021/2022 and Election 2022 promises

 
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Back in the 80's when I was working in Melbourne, we worked out that before the circle, the third newest passenger line ran from UFTG to Gembrook! Now work out how many greenfield extensions there have been since, rather than reinstating former routes. Tarneit is about it! So is Puffing Billy now the 5th most modern railway around Melbourne?

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  Tii Chief Train Controller

With the federal budget 2022 imminent and an election soon, what might we see for infrastructure in these odd times. I'm not expecting much other than vague promises for the election, that may never be seen later. I'll be more interested to see the Victorian state budget post federal election and then the Vic govt promises prior to the state election 2022. Might we finally see a lift in service frequency across most lines to start in 2023/24?

https://melbourneontransit.blogspot.com/2020/07/timetable-tuesday-83-metro-train.html

With quite a few LX removals completed by years end removing the many closures/busstitutions needed in the inner-middle suburban area, is it time for timetable reform yet ? Seems well overdue.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
With the federal budget 2022 imminent and an election soon, what might we see for infrastructure in these odd times. I'm not expecting much other than vague promises for the election, that may never be seen later. I'll be more interested to see the Victorian state budget post federal election and then the Vic govt promises prior to the state election 2022. Might we finally see a lift in service frequency across most lines to start in 2023/24?

https://melbourneontransit.blogspot.com/2020/07/timetable-tuesday-83-metro-train.html

With quite a few LX removals completed by years end removing the many closures/busstitutions needed in the inner-middle suburban area, is it time for timetable reform yet ? Seems well overdue.
Tii
on the Victorian rail transport side probably nothing more than has already been announced. we can only hope some more coin comes the way of the Murray valley/north west rail works, but that's probably a long shot.

We all have our wish lists, but don't see anything to indicate much more of anything happening. Federal budget will be mostly be about cost of living rises and mitigating their effect. You may get bonuses of your on government benefits, fuel excise reductions for a limited period, that sort of thing. Government doesn't need to put money into shovel ready capital projects unless they are follow on ones from ones that are finishing up. Labor market is to tight.
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
John E
Victoria is still dithering whatever spin you put on it. Yes the Andrews Government has been great compared to other Victorian Governments, but compared to NSW especially we are nowhere near it.

Most of the projects has been about level crossing removal which is great in itself. Apart from the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Moderate projects as regards to the Regional Rail Revival, compared to WA and NSW what else has Victoria started? And I mean pass the drilling of a few holes here and there.

Dithering is the right word for Victoria.

Mannie
  Yappo Train Controller

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
Victoria is still dithering whatever spin you put on it. Yes the Andrews Government has been great compared to other Victorian Governments, but compared to NSW especially we are nowhere near it.

Most of the projects has been about level crossing removal which is great in itself. Apart from the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Moderate projects as regards to the Regional Rail Revival, compared to WA and NSW what else has Victoria started? And I mean pass the drilling of a few holes here and there.

Dithering is the right word for Victoria.
BaysideManny
Jeez, there's no keeping some people happy especially after decades of severe under investment, line closures and abject neglect. There was a huge backlog of work upgrades needed and much has been completed, some of it late. There seems to be more dithering going on in your memory....."drilling of a few holes here and there" - perhaps in some peoples heads?

Let's take the period from 2014 until now which is only fair.
1) Numerous Regional Rail projects worth $4B- can't be bothered listing them all, but all lines have had upgrades
2) New regional rolling stock
3) 58 LXR completed
4) A couple of dozen new suburban stations - exact number?
5) 8km ext to Mernda
6) MM1 started & close to completion
7) 65 new sets of HCMT
8) $2.1B Sunbury line upgrade
9) $530m upgrade & duplication of Hurtsbridge line
10) Cranbourne line 8km duplication & grade seperation
11) Melton line upgrade
11) New signalling for SE lines and Mernda
Add new stabling yards and other various line upgrades

This year construction will start on
12) MARL
13) SRL Eastern section.
14) Perhaps some pre work on Geelong fast rail?

Not sure what you expected to be done or underway by now? That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years! If that's your idea of dithering you must be comparing the last 8 yrs in Melb/Vic to the expansion of the Beijing metro network & Chinese HSR.....
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
Victoria is still dithering whatever spin you put on it. Yes the Andrews Government has been great compared to other Victorian Governments, but compared to NSW especially we are nowhere near it.

Most of the projects has been about level crossing removal which is great in itself. Apart from the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Moderate projects as regards to the Regional Rail Revival, compared to WA and NSW what else has Victoria started? And I mean pass the drilling of a few holes here and there.

Dithering is the right word for Victoria.
Jeez, there's no keeping some people happy especially after decades of severe under investment, line closures and abject neglect. There was a huge backlog of work upgrades needed and much has been completed, some of it late. There seems to be more dithering going on in your memory....."drilling of a few holes here and there" - perhaps in some peoples heads?

Let's take the period from 2014 until now which is only fair.
1) Numerous Regional Rail projects worth $4B- can't be bothered listing them all, but all lines have had upgrades
2) New regional rolling stock
3) 58 LXR completed
4) A couple of dozen new suburban stations - exact number?
5) 8km ext to Mernda
6) MM1 started & close to completion
7) 65 new sets of HCMT
8) $2.1B Sunbury line upgrade
9) $530m upgrade & duplication of Hurtsbridge line
10) Cranbourne line 8km duplication & grade seperation
11) Melton line upgrade
11) New signalling for SE lines and Mernda
Add new stabling yards and other various line upgrades

This year construction will start on
12) MARL
13) SRL Eastern section.
14) Perhaps some pre work on Geelong fast rail?

Not sure what you expected to be done or underway by now? That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years! If that's your idea of dithering you must be comparing the last 8 yrs in Melb/Vic to the expansion of the Beijing metro network & Chinese HSR.....
That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years!

As we are talking about Victoria, you would not have to do much to exceed what has been done in the previous 40 years. So that statement is meaningless.

If that's your idea of dithering you must be comparing the last 8 yrs in Melb/Vic to the expansion of the Beijing metro network & Chinese HSR.....

Really?

1 Already mentioned that. So what? Modest upgrades to regional rail lines. The biggest being 18km of duplication of the Ballarat corridor. NSW have been amplifying their corridors for years except its just a Clearways project to them, not the big deal we in Vic make it out to be.

2. Velocities, whilst they are really good trains, they are based on old designs and technology from the 1990's. In effect they are just xplorers with a streamlined body.

3. Already mentioned the Level crossing removals and I stress that is great in itself.

4. 2 Dozen Suburban Stations since 2014? Try 8. Cobblebank, Caroline Springs, Hawkstowe, Mernda, Middle Gorge, Southland, Tarneit and Wyndhamvale. And 4 of them ain't even on the Metro system. Also 3 country stations Epsom, Goornang and Waurn Ponds.

5. Big Deal. Check out what NSW have done.

6. I have mentioned MM1. Again check out what WA and NSW are nearing completion.

7. 65 Sets of HCMT. NSW 77 D Sets, 41 B Sets, 22 Metropolis Metro Sets. And we are the only state running loco hauled peak commuter services. Locos hauling old pieces of rubbish from the 1960's and 80's because we still have not built enough Velocities to get rid of them. Victoria has only started building them from 2004 for goodness sake! If that's not dithering.

8. In conjunction with the Melbourne Metro, much needed.

9. Again, it is needed but no big deal.

10. Ditto

11. 18km of duplication, so what?

11b. Yeah like we are the only jurisdiction that is updating its signaling.

12. Won't hold my breath

13. Dug a few holes in the ground

14. The sooner they ditch that stupid project the better. Place $3 Billion towards the Western Rail Plan and the remaining $1 Billion to Buses and Trams.

What I am saying is that NSW and WA have completed or nearly complete project that will expand their systems and add capacity. Most of Victoria's projects are just modest upgrades. Why mention China when Victoria is not even close to what NSW are achieving? And even WA are surpassing us.


Mannie
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
Back in the 80's when I was working in Melbourne, we worked out that before the circle, the third newest passenger line ran from UFTG to Gembrook! Now work out how many greenfield extensions there have been since, rather than reinstating former routes. Tarneit is about it!

So is Puffing Billy now the 5th most modern railway around Melbourne?
62440
I think these are all the railway extensions in Melbourne since Gembrook so I'd call it either 7th or 8th newest line.

Gembrook, Dec 1900
Jolimont-Victoria Park, Oct 1901
Warburton, Nov 1901
Heidelberg - Hurstbridge
Red Hill 1921
South Kensington–West Footscray freight line 1928
Albion–Jacana 1929
Glen Waverley 1930
City Loop
Westona 1985
Webb Dock 1986
RRL 2015

It's not much of a rail building legacy for the 20th Century.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Shameful actually.

When you compare this to Sydney it is a wonder Melbourne really has fallen from grace as a liveable city.

People still wonder why you have a car based culture which has trashed the state. I now hate going to Melbourne after living there most of my life. It is

Crowded
Dirty
Congested

The rail system into southern cross is

Graffitied
Smells of diesel fumes
Slow

The under investment is now easy to see and experience.
  Tony M. Junior Train Controller

I think a big part of why Melbourne has a car-based culture - or at least, a neglect of public transport - can be explained by the fact that until recently Melbourne (and Geelong) were where a lot of cars were made.

Those factories employed a lot of voters in their heyday, and while they may not have been actively campaigning for PT to be downgraded, no doubt the politicians of the time realised that cars and PT were in competition in many ways and only one of them was employing tens of thousands of manufacturing workers.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Honestly while I agree Victoria is behind in railway infrastructure compared to NSW, it's going to take awhile to catch up on the neglected investment. While these upgrades may seem modest they're pretty necessary to get the railway back in shape. While it doesn't seem like much, it prepares Victoria network for future growth. It's a shame we didn't do them earlier it would have been much cheaper.

NSW has already basically done most of this, hence why they can start adding completely new lines to their network.

Melbourne Metro project opens up the Rowville and Airport lines. Grade separations on a full corridor would allow high capacity signalling on multiple lines running at very frequent services. Duplication projects essentially catch up all the neglected single track sections. Regional rail upgrades will also mean eventually the network is finally at least 20 years behind instead of 50-60, the locos will get retired within 10 years time. Once most of the nitty gritty upgrades are done, easily can add brand new lines into the network and electrify the regional system.

SRL East would be like Sydney Metro finally coming to Melbourne. Sydney Metro did take a number years before you saw TBMs and construction. I think also recent times have also put strain on construction, which I think plays a role why infrastructure is costing more and taking longer now, it's a country wide issue atm.


Also a big factor at play is that honestly why NSW has better regional rail honestly has higher population centres outside Sydney, Victoria is very Melbourne centric, something to be aware why there's such a disparity why regional network in Victoria pretty much trickier to justification for upgrades. Only recently, it's been a big political decider in recent years (1999 election in particular which brought Labor back in) hence the investment. Before that time regional rail was essentially on a tight rope, it's a miracle that a lot of it remains and wasn't all cut out.
  Tii Chief Train Controller

Honestly while I agree Victoria is behind in railway infrastructure compared to NSW, it's going to take awhile to catch up on the neglected investment. While these upgrades may seem modest they're pretty necessary to get the railway back in shape. While it doesn't seem like much, it prepares Victoria network for future growth. It's a shame we didn't do them earlier it would have been much cheaper.

NSW has already basically done most of this, hence why they can start adding completely new lines to their network.

Melbourne Metro project opens up the Rowville and Airport lines. Grade separations on a full corridor would allow high capacity signalling on multiple lines running at very frequent services. Duplication projects essentially catch up all the neglected single track sections. Regional rail upgrades will also mean eventually the network is finally at least 20 years behind instead of 50-60, the locos will get retired within 10 years time. Once most of the nitty gritty upgrades are done, easily can add brand new lines into the network and electrify the regional system.

SRL East would be like Sydney Metro finally coming to Melbourne. Sydney Metro did take a number years before you saw TBMs and construction. I think also recent times have also put strain on construction, which I think plays a role why infrastructure is costing more and taking longer now, it's a country wide issue atm.


Also a big factor at play is that honestly why NSW has better regional rail honestly has higher population centres outside Sydney, Victoria is very Melbourne centric, something to be aware why there's such a disparity why regional network in Victoria pretty much trickier to justification for upgrades. Only recently, it's been a big political decider in recent years (1999 election in particular which brought Labor back in) hence the investment. Before that time regional rail was essentially on a tight rope, it's a miracle that a lot of it remains and wasn't all cut out.
True Believers
Agree with all that, we are way behind but what's happening does drag us forward to a potentially better system with more scope when the will (and $$) are there for metro and regions. It's unfortunate that the chicken/egg is reversed a bit in Vic. If we built and improved the regional services, more might move and use them in the future.
  Yappo Train Controller

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
Victoria is still dithering whatever spin you put on it. Yes the Andrews Government has been great compared to other Victorian Governments, but compared to NSW especially we are nowhere near it.

Most of the projects has been about level crossing removal which is great in itself. Apart from the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Moderate projects as regards to the Regional Rail Revival, compared to WA and NSW what else has Victoria started? And I mean pass the drilling of a few holes here and there.

Dithering is the right word for Victoria.
Jeez, there's no keeping some people happy especially after decades of severe under investment, line closures and abject neglect. There was a huge backlog of work upgrades needed and much has been completed, some of it late. There seems to be more dithering going on in your memory....."drilling of a few holes here and there" - perhaps in some peoples heads?

Let's take the period from 2014 until now which is only fair.
1) Numerous Regional Rail projects worth $4B- can't be bothered listing them all, but all lines have had upgrades
2) New regional rolling stock
3) 58 LXR completed
4) A couple of dozen new suburban stations - exact number?
5) 8km ext to Mernda
6) MM1 started & close to completion
7) 65 new sets of HCMT
8) $2.1B Sunbury line upgrade
9) $530m upgrade & duplication of Hurtsbridge line
10) Cranbourne line 8km duplication & grade seperation
11) Melton line upgrade
11) New signalling for SE lines and Mernda
Add new stabling yards and other various line upgrades

This year construction will start on
12) MARL
13) SRL Eastern section.
14) Perhaps some pre work on Geelong fast rail?

Not sure what you expected to be done or underway by now? That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years! If that's your idea of dithering you must be comparing the last 8 yrs in Melb/Vic to the expansion of the Beijing metro network & Chinese HSR.....
That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years!

As we are talking about Victoria, you would not have to do much to exceed what has been done in the previous 40 years. So that statement is meaningless.
How can it be meaningless when more has been done in the last 6-8years that the previous 40. I do remember the depths of the Kennet govt closures and just how run down the regional network became.

1 Already mentioned that. So what? Modest upgrades to regional rail lines. The biggest being 18km of duplication of the Ballarat corridor. NSW have been amplifying their corridors for years except its just a Clearways project to them, not the big deal we in Vic make it out to be.
Again, $4B in the last 6 years compared to around half of that in the previous 30 years is nothing to disrgeard. It obviously takes time to upgrade regional lines. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Clearways program started in 2004 so perhaps make a comparison to Melb/Vic in 2032. Others have highlighted the larger NSW network & pop fact. I'd love to have the extensive regional network that NSW has.

2. Velocities, whilst they are really good trains, they are based on old designs and technology from the 1990's. In effect they are just xplorers with a streamlined body.

3. Already mentioned the Level crossing removals and I stress that is great in itself.

4. 2 Dozen Suburban Stations since 2014? Try 8. Cobblebank, Caroline Springs, Hawkstowe, Mernda, Middle Gorge, Southland, Tarneit and Wyndhamvale. And 4 of them ain't even on the Metro system. Also 3 country stations Epsom, Goornang and Waurn Ponds.
Tbh, I was mainly referring to all the stations built under LRX plus the 3 Mernda ext stations. Didn't think about the V-Line outer Melb stations.

5. Big Deal. Check out what NSW have done.
Firstly, it wasn't done the by the 2 previous Vic govts. Yes, Sydney is doing great but what apart from NWRL (NW metro is a great project) has opened in Sydney (not NSW) since 2014?

6. I have mentioned MM1. Again check out what WA and NSW are nearing completion.

7. 65 Sets of HCMT. NSW 77 D Sets, 41 B Sets, 22 Metropolis Metro Sets. And we are the only state running loco hauled peak commuter services. Locos hauling old pieces of rubbish from the 1960's and 80's because we still have not built enough Velocities to get rid of them. Victoria has only started building them from 2004 for goodness sake! If that's not dithering.
Crunch those rolling stock numbers as a % of the overall fleet in both cities. Also, Syd Trains have been way ahead of Melb in regular fleet renewal for decades so some catch up was needed.

8. In conjunction with the Melbourne Metro, much needed.

9. Again, it is needed but no big deal.

10. Ditto
Indeed, not a big deal in the greater network context, but a big deal for both lines which should've been done years ago. For Hurtsville, arguably decades ago as duplication was proposed in the 60s. (Indeed, some works were actually done in the 70s but were never completed)

11. 18km of duplication, so what?
So what, greater Melton residents would not say so what?  For a start it is the required before Melton is sparked and becomes a suburban line. Something that should've happened 15 years ago. And yes, even this is proceeding slower under this govt than it should.

11b. Yeah like we are the only jurisdiction that is updating its signaling.

12. Won't hold my breath
You don't need to. First tender for early works has already been contracted and other tenders are out. I also have been critical about the proposed, prolonged construction timeframe of MARL, but it is progressing finally! When was an airport line first proposed....1970?

13. Dug a few holes in the ground
You've clearly missed the draft designs and the IAC ESS hearings. That's far more adavnce than digging exploration holes.

14. The sooner they ditch that stupid project the better. Place $3 Billion towards the Western Rail Plan and the remaining $1 Billion to Buses and Trams.
The Feds are keen on this, but yes the govt needs to announce this year exactly what is planned for Western Rail and when.

What I am saying is that NSW and WA have completed or nearly complete project that will expand their systems and add capacity. Most of Victoria's projects are just modest upgrades. Why mention China when Victoria is not even close to what NSW are achieving? And even WA are surpassing us.
Mannie
BaysideManny
Again, NSW is a larger state with a larger pop & network, plus you seem to be comparing some works in NSW done prior to 2014. The Metronet program is fantastic for Perth building upon the excellent Mandurah line project with FARL, Yanchep, TCL, Byford ext & Ellenbrook. Similar to Melb they are playing catch up, but WA is hardly "surpassing us". For one thing, there is very little being done for regional rail apart from some new roling stock - they have a much smaller network than Vic.

In 2-3 more years, compare what has been done/is being built in both cities as both MARL & SRL construction will be underway and we might be lucky to have one of Melton/WV/Clyde about to start? However, when did it become a competition comparing network expansion? Each city has it's own unique issues....just be thankful that you don't live in Adelaide on this front!

Could more be done in Melb & Vic.? Definately. Both Melton and WV need to be sparked ASAP, Clyde should be done sooner. Wollert, Wallan & Baxter are calling for attention. Extra regional services are needed & services to Horsham need to be reinstated. However, as we all know the labour skills shortage has increased the budgets of all projects in Oz  and more recently increases in construction supplies. eg. Syd Metro has increased from $12B to $17B.

Honestly, I'm note sure what more you want as you haven't clearly articulated your expectation on what exactly shouldve been done by now? You've whined about so called dithering which is patently not the case when for the period 2015 - 2030 we are looking at a minimum of $60B being invested into city and regional rail. (Assuming that the libs don't get elected this year)
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
Victoria is still dithering whatever spin you put on it. Yes the Andrews Government has been great compared to other Victorian Governments, but compared to NSW especially we are nowhere near it.

Most of the projects has been about level crossing removal which is great in itself. Apart from the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Moderate projects as regards to the Regional Rail Revival, compared to WA and NSW what else has Victoria started? And I mean pass the drilling of a few holes here and there.

Dithering is the right word for Victoria.
Jeez, there's no keeping some people happy especially after decades of severe under investment, line closures and abject neglect. There was a huge backlog of work upgrades needed and much has been completed, some of it late. There seems to be more dithering going on in your memory....."drilling of a few holes here and there" - perhaps in some peoples heads?

Let's take the period from 2014 until now which is only fair.
1) Numerous Regional Rail projects worth $4B- can't be bothered listing them all, but all lines have had upgrades
2) New regional rolling stock
3) 58 LXR completed
4) A couple of dozen new suburban stations - exact number?
5) 8km ext to Mernda
6) MM1 started & close to completion
7) 65 new sets of HCMT
8) $2.1B Sunbury line upgrade
9) $530m upgrade & duplication of Hurtsbridge line
10) Cranbourne line 8km duplication & grade seperation
11) Melton line upgrade
11) New signalling for SE lines and Mernda
Add new stabling yards and other various line upgrades

This year construction will start on
12) MARL
13) SRL Eastern section.
14) Perhaps some pre work on Geelong fast rail?

Not sure what you expected to be done or underway by now? That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years! If that's your idea of dithering you must be comparing the last 8 yrs in Melb/Vic to the expansion of the Beijing metro network & Chinese HSR.....
That's more upgrades to the regional & suburban network in the last 8 years than the previous 40 years!

As we are talking about Victoria, you would not have to do much to exceed what has been done in the previous 40 years. So that statement is meaningless.
How can it be meaningless when more has been done in the last 6-8years that the previous 40. I do remember the depths of the Kennet govt closures and just how run down the regional network became.

1 Already mentioned that. So what? Modest upgrades to regional rail lines. The biggest being 18km of duplication of the Ballarat corridor. NSW have been amplifying their corridors for years except its just a Clearways project to them, not the big deal we in Vic make it out to be.
Again, $4B in the last 6 years compared to around half of that in the previous 30 years is nothing to disrgeard. It obviously takes time to upgrade regional lines. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Clearways program started in 2004 so perhaps make a comparison to Melb/Vic in 2032. Others have highlighted the larger NSW network & pop fact. I'd love to have the extensive regional network that NSW has.

2. Velocities, whilst they are really good trains, they are based on old designs and technology from the 1990's. In effect they are just xplorers with a streamlined body.

3. Already mentioned the Level crossing removals and I stress that is great in itself.

4. 2 Dozen Suburban Stations since 2014? Try 8. Cobblebank, Caroline Springs, Hawkstowe, Mernda, Middle Gorge, Southland, Tarneit and Wyndhamvale. And 4 of them ain't even on the Metro system. Also 3 country stations Epsom, Goornang and Waurn Ponds.
Tbh, I was mainly referring to all the stations built under LRX plus the 3 Mernda ext stations. Didn't think about the V-Line outer Melb stations.

5. Big Deal. Check out what NSW have done.
Firstly, it wasn't done the by the 2 previous Vic govts. Yes, Sydney is doing great but what apart from NWRL (NW metro is a great project) has opened in Sydney (not NSW) since 2014?

6. I have mentioned MM1. Again check out what WA and NSW are nearing completion.

7. 65 Sets of HCMT. NSW 77 D Sets, 41 B Sets, 22 Metropolis Metro Sets. And we are the only state running loco hauled peak commuter services. Locos hauling old pieces of rubbish from the 1960's and 80's because we still have not built enough Velocities to get rid of them. Victoria has only started building them from 2004 for goodness sake! If that's not dithering.
Crunch those rolling stock numbers as a % of the overall fleet in both cities. Also, Syd Trains have been way ahead of Melb in regular fleet renewal for decades so some catch up was needed.

8. In conjunction with the Melbourne Metro, much needed.

9. Again, it is needed but no big deal.

10. Ditto
Indeed, not a big deal in the greater network context, but a big deal for both lines which should've been done years ago. For Hurtsville, arguably decades ago as duplication was proposed in the 60s. (Indeed, some works were actually done in the 70s but were never completed)

11. 18km of duplication, so what?
So what, greater Melton residents would not say so what?  For a start it is the required before Melton is sparked and becomes a suburban line. Something that should've happened 15 years ago. And yes, even this is proceeding slower under this govt than it should.

11b. Yeah like we are the only jurisdiction that is updating its signaling.

12. Won't hold my breath
You don't need to. First tender for early works has already been contracted and other tenders are out. I also have been critical about the proposed, prolonged construction timeframe of MARL, but it is progressing finally! When was an airport line first proposed....1970?

13. Dug a few holes in the ground
You've clearly missed the draft designs and the IAC ESS hearings. That's far more adavnce than digging exploration holes.

14. The sooner they ditch that stupid project the better. Place $3 Billion towards the Western Rail Plan and the remaining $1 Billion to Buses and Trams.
The Feds are keen on this, but yes the govt needs to announce this year exactly what is planned for Western Rail and when.

What I am saying is that NSW and WA have completed or nearly complete project that will expand their systems and add capacity. Most of Victoria's projects are just modest upgrades. Why mention China when Victoria is not even close to what NSW are achieving? And even WA are surpassing us.
Mannie
Again, NSW is a larger state with a larger pop & network, plus you seem to be comparing some works in NSW done prior to 2014. The Metronet program is fantastic for Perth building upon the excellent Mandurah line project with FARL, Yanchep, TCL, Byford ext & Ellenbrook. Similar to Melb they are playing catch up, but WA is hardly "surpassing us". For one thing, there is very little being done for regional rail apart from some new roling stock - they have a much smaller network than Vic.

In 2-3 more years, compare what has been done/is being built in both cities as both MARL & SRL construction will be underway and we might be lucky to have one of Melton/WV/Clyde about to start? However, when did it become a competition comparing network expansion? Each city has it's own unique issues....just be thankful that you don't live in Adelaide on this front!

Could more be done in Melb & Vic.? Definately. Both Melton and WV need to be sparked ASAP, Clyde should be done sooner. Wollert, Wallan & Baxter are calling for attention. Extra regional services are needed & services to Horsham need to be reinstated. However, as we all know the labour skills shortage has increased the budgets of all projects in Oz  and more recently increases in construction supplies. eg. Syd Metro has increased from $12B to $17B.

Honestly, I'm note sure what more you want as you haven't clearly articulated your expectation on what exactly shouldve been done by now? You've whined about so called dithering which is patently not the case when for the period 2015 - 2030 we are looking at a minimum of $60B being invested into city and regional rail. (Assuming that the libs don't get elected this year)
Yappo
Firstly, it wasn't done the by the 2 previous Vic govts. Yes, Sydney is doing great but what apart from NWRL (NW metro is a great project) has opened in Sydney (not NSW) since 2014?

Light Rail Lines 2 and 3 completed to Randwick and Juniors Kingsford, 12km of track. And they would have had Metro Southwest opened 1 year before our Metro is completed and they would have two rail networks serving their airports before we have our first one built.

Again, NSW is a larger state with a larger pop & network,

NSW 8.166 Million, Victoria 6.866 Million. But Victoria is far more densely populated than NSW. If anything the conditions are more favourable here than in NSW. As regards to the two cities Melbourne is set to overtake Sydney's population and yet our system nowhere near theirs.

but WA is hardly "surpassing us". For one thing, there is very little being done for regional rail apart from some new roling stock

Apart from the Peel Region which is served by the Mandurah Line, the biggest regional settlement is Bunbury at 71,000 and the distances other the other towns such as Geraldton and Kalgoorlie from Perth are over 400km with Kalgoorlie being nearly 600km away.

Each city has it's own unique issues....just be thankful that you don't live in Adelaide on this front!

Yeah, well Sydney is just way better at transit and has a much better rail system. Being thankful that we don't live in Adelaide is no argument. Could not care less that we are better than Adelaide. For even Auckland has surpassed Adelaide. I care that we are nowhere near Sydney.

Crunch those rolling stock numbers as a % of the overall fleet in both cities. Also, Syd Trains have been way ahead of Melbourne in regular fleet renewal for decades so some catch up was needed.

Of course Sydney is ahead because their orders are large. Usually between 30 to 80 trains. Apart from the start of the Privatized rail network when we ordered totally cheap and nasty trains, the tack in Victoria is to order 5 trains here and 7 trains there. In 10 Years NSW built 129 waratahs. In Vic 106 x'trapolis trains took 18 Years. 18 years for fewer trains and a far inferior product. I know. I have written on a Waratah. They are fantastic trains. As for the xtraps, you could not get a more cheap and basic train. Steel coils for suspension, really? Compared to the A and B sets, the x'trap is a truly crap train.

As regards to Melton, no one said it should not have been done. It was very important. But as a project it is no big deal. It is simply track amplification.

Both Melton and WV need to be sparked ASAP, The Western Rail Plan needs to be implemented now and the Airport line can be finished at least 1.5 to years earlier than 2029.

Mannie
  ilovecats Station Master

One area that lacking is service level improvements, seeing fair share compared to past in regards to infrastructure but service level improvements often don't get looked into for past 6 or so years
  Tii Chief Train Controller

State budget out on Tuesday 3rd May. Steady as she goes I think with all the projects underway. The State election later will be a promise fest though I'd say.
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

One area that lacking is service level improvements, seeing fair share compared to past in regards to infrastructure but service level improvements often don't get looked into for past 6 or so years
ilovecats
And a coherent Rolling Stock policy. Our rolling stock is utter $hite. The utter drip, drip drip feeding of rolling stock in this state has led to us still having 40 year Comeng trains from the 1980's, converted carriages from the 1960's and 1970's and 80's high floor trams still in service.


Mannie
  Carnot Minister for Railways

One area that lacking is service level improvements, seeing fair share compared to past in regards to infrastructure but service level improvements often don't get looked into for past 6 or so years
And a coherent Rolling Stock policy. Our rolling stock is utter $hite. The utter drip, drip drip feeding of rolling stock in this state has led to us still having 40 year Comeng trains from the 1980's, converted carriages from the 1960's and 1970's and 80's high floor trams still in service.


Mannie
BaysideManny
I certainly agree that the drip-feed hasn't been ideal.  But I must admit, the sweating of the old assets show how good they were - incredible mileage out of them.  But costs to keep them running is starting to mount up.

A failure to produce a better long-distance passenger train is a bug-bear of mine.  Running commuter DMUs on 200km+ journeys is wasteful and ridiculous.
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

One area that lacking is service level improvements, seeing fair share compared to past in regards to infrastructure but service level improvements often don't get looked into for past 6 or so years
And a coherent Rolling Stock policy. Our rolling stock is utter $hite. The utter drip, drip drip feeding of rolling stock in this state has led to us still having 40 year Comeng trains from the 1980's, converted carriages from the 1960's and 1970's and 80's high floor trams still in service.


Mannie
I certainly agree that the drip-feed hasn't been ideal.  But I must admit, the sweating of the old assets show how good they were - incredible mileage out of them.  But costs to keep them running is starting to mount up.

A failure to produce a better long-distance passenger train is a bug-bear of mine.  Running commuter DMUs on 200km+ journeys is wasteful and ridiculous.
Carnot
But I must admit, the sweating of the old assets show how good they were - incredible mileage out of them.  But costs to keep them running is starting to mount up.

The Comengs are great trains but they are 1980's technology and will need replacing.

A failure to produce a better long-distance passenger train is a bug-bear of mine.  Running commuter DMUs on 200km+ journeys is wasteful and ridiculous.

Yes, building more 1990's vintage commuter DMU's trains for long distance services does seem strange. A newer more suitable  long distance DMU needs to be built. Very few companies builds locos for passenger services these days.



Mannie
  Tii Chief Train Controller

One area that lacking is service level improvements, seeing fair share compared to past in regards to infrastructure but service level improvements often don't get looked into for past 6 or so years
And a coherent Rolling Stock policy. Our rolling stock is utter $hite. The utter drip, drip drip feeding of rolling stock in this state has led to us still having 40 year Comeng trains from the 1980's, converted carriages from the 1960's and 1970's and 80's high floor trams still in service.


Mannie
I certainly agree that the drip-feed hasn't been ideal.  But I must admit, the sweating of the old assets show how good they were - incredible mileage out of them.  But costs to keep them running is starting to mount up.

A failure to produce a better long-distance passenger train is a bug-bear of mine.  Running commuter DMUs on 200km+ journeys is wasteful and ridiculous.
But I must admit, the sweating of the old assets show how good they were - incredible mileage out of them.  But costs to keep them running is starting to mount up.

The Comengs are great trains but they are 1980's technology and will need replacing.

A failure to produce a better long-distance passenger train is a bug-bear of mine.  Running commuter DMUs on 200km+ journeys is wasteful and ridiculous.

Yes, building more 1990's vintage commuter DMU's trains for long distance services does seem strange. A newer more suitable  long distance DMU needs to be built. Very few companies builds locos for passenger services these days.



Mannie
BaysideManny
We're probably caught in a techno void right now trying to replace the Vlocities. Do we want more DMU- probably not, can we electrify the long distance lines- sure at high cost when so much money pressure to get other stuff done first. Could hydrogen/electric hybrid trains work- I think so but the range is still limited and the infrastructure to support it is still lacking but sort of underway. The Vlocities are there and still have a bit to go in their life before replacement. Worth looking at alternatives now with a view to making a decision by 2025 hoping things are clearer by then as to how tech is going along with costs. I'm banking on what the CSIRO predicts that H2 prices will be finally comparable to diesel. It would be slow rollout over time, so each main line could be done one at a time, with the DMU rolled over to expanded services to beyond the current network.

I doubt anything will appear in the budget this year though other than small funding for feasibility investigations. There are more pressing priorities to get all the current stuff funded by 2025.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Replace Velocity and introduce a new generation of H2 trains ?

Sure, let's spend a few billion
OR
Just look at current developments in converting Deisel to H2.
According to this mob, its QED
https://hydi.com.au/

PS
it does sound like a magic fix that Peter Brock would've put his name to.
But remember, when petrol convert to LPG was laughed at.

cheers
John
  Tii Chief Train Controller

Replace Velocity and introduce a new generation of H2 trains ?

Sure, let's spend a few billion
OR
Just look at current developments in converting Deisel to H2.
According to this mob, its QED
https://hydi.com.au/

PS
it does sound like a magic fix that Peter Brock would've put his name to.
But remember, when petrol convert to LPG was laughed at.

cheers
John
justarider
I'm not proposing Velocity are replaced immediately at gross expense- let them see out their service life. The use of alternative fuels is gathering momentum and the best most cost effective technology needs to be used where appropriate. If a retrofit on conversion proves sensible and affordable now, sure go ahead and start planning for it down the line. If not, keep it in mind until it is at a close price point. There are many options opening up, so worth a look on how it stacks up and improves every year- the europeans will lead the way in any case. Buses have a shorter life, so they will be replaced well before any trains as part of their life cycle. Many cities are replacing their bus fleets over time with other fuel sources. I'm not one for wasting tax payers (my) money ever, but price points and technology eventually marry up to make things viable and logical. I see each new technology development as a stepping stone to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible fuel source. Lord knows I work in a rapidly changing diagnostic field- we use new technologies every few years to improve our capabilities.
  Tii Chief Train Controller

So after my little rant there, what I really want to see the money spent on the next 2 years, is sensible bus reform to timetables and regular all day 10 min frequency on all metro lines and 30 min regional (except Geelong). That will do me for now so I can get home after 9 pm! The grandiose hi-vis stuff can wait another year - just give us a reliable service lol
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Trickle feed of budget items coming in: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-03/victorian-budget-2022-spends-big-on-health-system/101030750

A bit on Shepparton and Warrnambool mentioned.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Trickle feed of budget items coming in: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-03/victorian-budget-2022-spends-big-on-health-system/101030750

A bit on Shepparton and Warrnambool mentioned.
Carnot

Well that has already been announced IIRC.

That includes $338 million for more train services, level crossing removals and Big Build initiatives, $993 million for road upgrades, and $250 million for 12 more V/Line trains on the Shepparton and Warrnambool lines.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Trickle feed of budget items coming in: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-03/victorian-budget-2022-spends-big-on-health-system/101030750

A bit on Shepparton and Warrnambool mentioned.

Well that has already been announced IIRC.

That includes $338 million for more train services, level crossing removals and Big Build initiatives, $993 million for road upgrades, and $250 million for 12 more V/Line trains on the Shepparton and Warrnambool lines.
bevans
12 more V/Line trains on the Shepparton and Warrnambool lines.
Bit of this and bit of that.

For vLine, there are still 8 VLocity BG sets to be delivered from the Sep 2020 order. Presumeably they will be paid for in the next year.
That leaves another 4 still to be ordered.

All up, not much of a big spend on rail coming up.

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