I understand that your total focus is on Geelong as that is where you live and the train you catch daily. It is worth understanding what else is happening on the network be it regional or metro. This allows you to understand what other are facing, how it compares your line and gives you an idea of what can be done.Total reliability is more important than shaving a minute or two here and there to please those to whom every second counts towards their ideological fantasies and their blood pressure. This, of course, includes the fanatics driving high(er) speed Geelong who believe that they can get from Geelong to Spencer Street in total comfort faster than the rest of us can get from Frankston in a Metro pig pen.
Why some seek fantasyland when reasonable reliable reality can be had for a fraction of the cost albeit with the sacrifice of a theoretical few minutes in time and great potential loss of service reliability.
How many people in Victoria who must be somewhere at a given time have to plan on at least one earlier Vline or Metro service than necessary to be reasonably assured of making that appointment.
Reliability is far more important than lightning speed. This applies to both passenger in all its forms and freight as well.
We're not talking about a minute or two, we're talking ~15 minutes. It's the difference between travelling on a vlo and a loco train. This might not seem like much for someone wanting to make the odd appointment, but for a commuter this is half an hour a day, 2 1/2 hours a week. That's time for a sleep in, and getting home during the daylight in winter.
I'm all for reliability, the SthG-WP duplication and WP stabling takes care of that, the faster Geelong route isn't detracting from reliability.
Perhaps the people in Frankston should start shouting for faster services.
Its not as simple as build me a rail line so I can get a train whenever I want. The network needs to serve hundreds of thousand of people, with competing demands and the smell of an oily rag. Then you have to have a think about what the governments agenda is.
As for your comments, I'm not sure what you think this project is going to achieve in the short term at least. Initial media is that maybe one or two services will go via Newport with the rest still going via RRL. So if you're lucky enough to be able to catch the flagship express services, you might benefit. The majority will not. All this project has done in the short term is create a bottle neck at Newport which RRL resolved 10 years ago. So I'm not quite sure where reliability comes from. A hiccup on the Newport corridor and your express services crawls into Southern Cross, there goes your 15 minutes.
The idea that MM2 is low hanging fruit is fanciful. More than 16 billion dollars was the figure IV put out. Even they are trying to work out to make the cost benefit stack up to justify spending the money. Most of us will be dead and buried before that project see that light of day. So in the preceding 30 years, what have you got for $4 billion. Nothing.
The current upgrades at WP, though too Geelong will do more to improve the service reliability and travel times in the short term than Fast Rail will.
The reality is that most people don't care about the time. It is knowing that your train will turn up at the same time everyday and will take you to your destination on time every day of the year.
It is similar story for Ballarat, the project may have slowed trains by a minute or so, but reliability has dramatically increased.
As for Frankston, another big expenditure for little gain. Unless 100,000 people are travelling from Frankston everyday there is no justification to sink billions into an express track.
It sounds like your biggest concern is the 15 minutes you will save, maybe it's time to look at were you work. If those 2 hours a week are very important too you, maybe move closer to work or find work near where you live. A lot of people on the Metro network spend far more than you do commuting to work.
I started a thread asking about the end state of the Geelong line in 2025 once the 3 projects: WP stabling, SthG-WP duplication and fast rail are complete. In this thread I'm talking strictly about the Geelong fast rail, the 11km 3rd track from Werribee station to just beyond Laverton station, which is funded and work has begun in the form of test hole boring. However as I talk about this project I'm also keeping in mind that the other 2 projects are also happening, indeed I think the fast rail project needs the other 2. I'm also not talking about MM2, or any other unfunded, unscheduled projects, only those that are funded and expected to finish by 2025.
For me the biggest reliability problem is coming home, I travel from SthG but a lack of paths and stabling past the tunnel means snarl ups have to be sorted out using the Geelong yards. This leaves me stranded frustratingly close to my destination. The duplication and stabling projects will mean the majority of snarl ups from 2025 will be sorted out past the tunnel, which suits me and others. That's the reliability improvements I'm talking about. I generally don't have huge reliability problems head into Melbourne in the mornings.
I'm not unaware of the problems on other parts of the network, but to me things don't appear stagnant in those areas at the expense of Geelong. Metro got new high capacity trains, 'skyrail' is a thing, level crossing removal is a big thing, Ballarat line got a major duplication, Warrnambool my old home town is getting service improvements among some $4 billion worth of project funding. In the midst of all this activity I fail to see why 11km of track attracts so much vitirol.
As for the results, I believe that when finished the plan is for every 2nd train will be routed via the direct route, 2 or 3 trains an hour during peak. I understand that congestion will occur from Newport, but unlike back in the day Werribee, Hoppers, Airport and Laverton won't be a cause of congestion so overall things won't be as bad. Can Newport-Sth Cross handle 2 or 3 more trains an hour? Aren't there 4 tracks from there onwards?
Also, there is no doubt this is a political stunt, but since it's the pollies who vote for this sort of thing there is value in such stunts. In my other thread it was suggested that once Geelong trains get back into Newport there will be little choice but to proceed with MM2.