A fast train from Perth to Bunbury is on the Federal Government’s agenda

 

News article: A fast train from Perth to Bunbury is on the Federal Government’s agenda

A fast train finally linking Perth to Bunbury has been put on the agenda by the Turnbull Government, arguing it and several other rail projects could help make the State more liveable for commuters.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Would Perth to Bunbury be the busiest regional route on the WA network?

A fast train from Perth to Bunbury is on the Federal Government’s agenda

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The australind already exists. Surely all that is needed is a train that can go faster on narrow gauge then 110km/h. Seems like a no brainer to put overhead in and get a luxury b class train running at 160km/h or more since most of the line looks straight. If anything the current service stops at too many stops.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The cost of 150 odd km's of overhead  ?

For a few trains a day !
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The Mandurah Line has only 12 stops in 70km, so not too many.

The current Australind rollingstock limits the frequency and combined with the track, the top end speed.

The Mandurah line is only 11km from the Australind line, but getting the line out of Mandurah will be no simple task. 2km of complex routing, likely easiest if built as a Viaduct like the Brisbane Airport line using the main roads median strip. However this would only save 10-15min over current Australind to Pinjarra.

For me, forget the O/H

Phase 1,
- upgrade the existing route south of Pinjarra
- Purchase new rolling stock capable of 160km/h running, diesel electric so conversion to O/H possible in future.

Phase 2,
Either upgrade existing route to Pinjarra
OR
Build new connection to Mandurah
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
Would Perth to Bunbury be the busiest regional route on the WA network?
"x31"


It traditionally was but years of declining patronage have seen it recently overtaken by the route to Kalgoorlie (for now only when including the short-working services to Northam and Merredin, but the way things are going the Kalgoorlie service by itself will probably be busiest within a couple of years).
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The cost of 150 odd km's of overhead  ?

For a few trains a day !
Nightfire
Bunbury is the same distance to perth as Newcastle is to Sydney so yeah overhead and increase the services. The perth system is using 25kv and so it isn't anywhere near as expensive as doing it with 1500vdc. Bunbury has a population of 80,000 and with an electric railway to perth it could possible grow even more. Join some of those stops at towns with only 300 people to those nearby with 700 and a 1 and a bit hour service would be possible.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Bunbury Is 187 km from Perth.

Currently 150 minutes journey time.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Bunbury Is 187 km from Perth.

Currently 150 minutes journey time.
Nightfire

Broadmeadow is 163km's from Central and Lithgow is 156km's from Sydney and both of those places have overhead. The perth system is 25kv ac, 187 km's over a reasonably straight alignment and is already electrified to Armadale. An electric train could run at 200km/h or faster even and reduce the service to under an hour.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
You would need to build a new railway for anything over 160 km/h.

The Bunbury line Is used freight.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Would Perth to Bunbury be the busiest regional route on the WA network?


It traditionally was but years of declining patronage have seen it recently overtaken by the route to Kalgoorlie (for now only when including the short-working services to Northam and Merredin, but the way things are going the Kalgoorlie service by itself will probably be busiest within a couple of years).
Mouse

In that case the investment will assist greatly as a faster and better service will draw customers back?
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

You would need to build a new railway for anything over 160 km/h.

The Bunbury line Is used freight.
Nightfire

Correct - current plan is for the railway to follow the Forrest Highway from Pinjarra Road south, allowing for both a freeway-median station outside Bunbury (on the future direct Busselton line via the Bunbury Outer Ring Road) and a connection via the foreshore to a new Bunbury station on the corner of Koomana Drive and Blair Street(two tracks and dead end only).

From Pinjarra Road north, there are options including
  • Freeway median to Thomas Road, then amplification of the Mandurah Line north to Perth
  • Freeway median to Thomas Road, amplification to Cockburn Central then new line to Perth underground
  • New route from Pinjarra Road north to the city


The current line has sections with over fifty-five freight trains per day on single track with most curves being below 800m radius, so no, there will be no 200kph running on the existing line at all.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
55 freight trains per day?

WOW
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You would need to build a new railway for anything over 160 km/h.

The Bunbury line Is used freight.
Nightfire

So build an extra line alongside for passenger rail past Armadale that can travel at a faster speed. The line is straight and perth have a modern overhead system that makes this option so much simpler and it opens up better rolling stock opportunities to boot.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The people of Bunbury campaigned hard to have rail removed from their town.  Why put it back?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Bunbury Is 187 km from Perth.

Currently 150 minutes journey time.

Broadmeadow is 163km's from Central and Lithgow is 156km's from Sydney and both of those places have overhead. The perth system is 25kv ac, 187 km's over a reasonably straight alignment and is already electrified to Armadale. An electric train could run at 200km/h or faster even and reduce the service to under an hour.
simstrain
Here's an idea

Syd - New is 2h 15 to 2h 30 for 163km
Population in Newcastle over 1m  
Population in Sydney 5m
Population midroute 0.5m on the central coast

Perth - Bunbury is 2h 30min for 187km, so roughly the same average speed and distance.
Population in Bunbury 80,000
Population in Perth 1.5m
Population mid route off the Mandurah line, FA

Perth - Bunbury can be improved with progressive investment in the track and newer rolling stock to enable more daily services and faster run times.  

where is the real priority?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


The current line has sections with over fifty-five freight trains per day on single track with most curves being below 800m radius, so no, there will be no 200kph running on the existing line at all.
Bulbous
So don't spend billions as not needed

- Dual track much of the section of track with the high volume of freight services.
- Curve ease to +1000m were practical
- buy new rollingstock to expand the timetable and take advantage of the higher track speed after the above is complete.

Job done!
- No expensive O/H
- No costly alignments
- No costly anything on Mandurah line
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Bunbury Is 187 km from Perth.

Currently 150 minutes journey time.

Broadmeadow is 163km's from Central and Lithgow is 156km's from Sydney and both of those places have overhead. The perth system is 25kv ac, 187 km's over a reasonably straight alignment and is already electrified to Armadale. An electric train could run at 200km/h or faster even and reduce the service to under an hour.
simstrain
simstrain, your logic is flawed. Making a comparison on distance alone is only showing part of the picture, no surprise that it just happens to be the part that supports your argument.

For electrification to be worthwhile, the cost of installing and maintaining the overhead must outweigh the cost of diesel fuel. This is why Victoria's regional network remains diesel, and V/Line run a lot more trains than the proposed upgraded Bunbury line will run.

160km/h can certainly be acheived without electrification.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

My logic is not flawed. The rail line is straight with no curves and needs duplication even if the new rolling stock is diesel for all the freight that is run along that corridor. This train service should be much faster then an average of 74.8km/h along such a nice straight piece of track. Putting in overhead with 25kv ac means a train can do much faster then 160km/h and if any line could have a proper high speed train in this country then this line is perfect for the job.

The cost of doing this would be nothing compared to doing such a line on the east coast because the corridor already exists and is perfectly straight. None or very little land acquisition is required and no major bridge building, tunnel building or cuttings with only some level crossing removals the most significant cost in this build. This project should easily be done for about $1billion. I don't think that would be a waste of money at all.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
I'm confused - Simstrain sees a nice straight piece of track just waiting for 200km/hr passenger trains.
Bulbous sees an alignment with most curves being 800 metre radius, and heavily-populated with freight.

I can't say I have ever travelled on that route by train, but are we all even talking about the same line?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I'm confused - Simstrain sees a nice straight piece of track just waiting for 200km/hr passenger trains.
Bulbous sees an alignment with most curves being 800 metre radius, and heavily-populated with freight.

I can't say I have ever travelled on that route by train, but are we all even talking about the same line?
SinickleBird

I haven't travelled on that line either, maybe bulbous can tell me where there is a 800m radius curve on the rail line because all I can see on google earth is nothing but straight lines. Some of the branches off the main line look like they have some curves but the main line to bunbury looks like the letter I to me.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

I'm confused - Simstrain sees a nice straight piece of track just waiting for 200km/hr passenger trains.
Bulbous sees an alignment with most curves being 800 metre radius, and heavily-populated with freight.

I can't say I have ever travelled on that route by train, but are we all even talking about the same line?

I haven't travelled on that line either, maybe bulbous can tell me where there is a 800m radius curve on the rail line because all I can see on google earth is nothing but straight lines. Some of the branches off the main line look like they have some curves but the main line to bunbury looks like the letter I to me.
simstrain


My response was simply to highlight the absurdity of Simstrain's comment that you could slap some wires up and run a 200kph train through for a sub-1 hour transit time. The minimum curvature for 160kph is around 1200m, leaving the can and cant deficiency standards suitable for the freight trains on the line, and for 200kph you are more likely chasing 1600m plus.

The suburban line to Armadale contains many substandard curves - East Perth, Burswood, Victoria Park, Welshpool, Maddington, Gosnells, Kelmscott, Armadale - which would all require significant land resumption to allow curvature for 160kph plus running speeds. The extra track here both to allow you to leave the suburban area in under ten or twelve minutes (to keep to your schedule above) and to ease curvature just blew through your $1 billion without even touching the line south of Armadale.

Move south - curves north of Mundijong, three of the four curves through Serpentine, Keysbrook, the two north of North Dandalup, all curves through Waroona, the curves around the Wagerup refinery junction and loop, Yarloop, a good long straight into two tighter curves in Brunswick Junction, the curves through Roelands (both north and south of the river crossing) and finally the approach to Bunbury station through the yards at Picton and the final few curves through the industrial area.

The line may look straight on the map, but rather than being smoothly curved, the line is a heap of tangents connected by low-radius curves which are not suitable for running higher speeds consistently. You need to keep the design of the curves to suit higher speed passenger trains yet manage to accommodate the lower speed freights, so extreme levels of cant and cant deficiency are not practicable.

Also remember that this line (along with the main east-west SG line) is Brookfield Rail's (Arc Infrastructure's) cash cow. The disruption caused during the works adds substantially to the cost of construction. The pathing of 200kph trains through a minefield of 80kph freights and four substantial flat junctions (Mundijong, Pinjarra, Wagerup and Brunswick Junction) moving those slower freights in all directions means that this is not anywhere near as cheap as you have stated.

An electric train could run at 200km/h or faster even and reduce the service to under an hour.
simstrain


My logic is not flawed. The rail line is straight with no curves ...
simstrain


... because the corridor already exists and is perfectly straight. None or very little land acquisition is required and no major bridge building, tunnel building or cuttings with only some level crossing removals the most significant cost in this build. This project should easily be done for about $1billion.
simstrain


All of the above is demonstrably false.

I don't have an issue with the upgrading of the existing line, or the building of a new line, but this all needs to be planned appropriately.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Look a bit closer !

The line Is riddled by S curves !
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Look a bit closer !

The line Is riddled by S curves !
Nightfire

Those are not S curves. Those are slight deviations from the straight. A train like the QLD tilt would easily hit those numbers on those "S curves" unlike in and around Sydney where we have 12 chain semi circles. Duplicate the line and run overhead on 1 track. Stop messing around with diesel.

My suggestion for 200km/h was meant for the track south of Armadale and not in the current suburban network. If it isn't viable then so be it but atleast 160km/h should be achievable.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Look a bit closer !

The line Is riddled by S curves !

Those are not S curves. Those are slight deviations from the straight. A train like the QLD tilt would easily hit those numbers on those "S curves" unlike in and around Sydney where we have 12 chain semi circles. Duplicate the line and run overhead on 1 track. Stop messing around with diesel.

My suggestion for 200km/h was meant for the track south of Armadale and not in the current suburban network. If it isn't viable then so be it but atleast 160km/h should be achievable.
simstrain
+160km/h is never going to happen, the technical issues are endless. Remember NG!!!

From Armadale to Brunswick to Bunbury the average speed is a pittyful ~75km/h with a stop roughly every 12min or roughly every 15km so speeds above 160km/h is limited to roughly 2/3 of the track even if the track was capable so why bother.

South of Brunswick Junction you would struggle to top 100-110km/h for any length of time.

Armadale to the city, yes no change.

So of the 180 odd km, only about 130-140 has any reasonable option for a major upgrade with a likely average speed of 120km/h tops so of the 145min, 40-45min is probably little than can be changed. So I think a total travel time of 100min is probably a reasonable target if you put in 120km/h points on the loops etc, upgraded level crossings to full protection and removed others and improved the track alignment and standard.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

+160km/h is never going to happen, the technical issues are endless. Remember NG!!!

From Armadale to Brunswick to Bunbury the average speed is a pittyful ~75km/h with a stop roughly every 12min or roughly every 15km so speeds above 160km/h is limited to roughly 2/3 of the track even if the track was capable so why bother.

South of Brunswick Junction you would struggle to top 100-110km/h for any length of time.

Armadale to the city, yes no change.

So of the 180 odd km, only about 130-140 has any reasonable option for a major upgrade with a likely average speed of 120km/h tops so of the 145min, 40-45min is probably little than can be changed. So I think a total travel time of 100min is probably a reasonable target if you put in 120km/h points on the loops etc, upgraded level crossings to full protection and removed others and improved the track alignment and standard.
RTT_Rules

There is a whole stack of stations that could be removed from the stopping pattern. Brunswick junction station for instance is only 4km's from Roelands station. The total population of these 2 towns is under 1400 and yet there is 2 station stops. Cookernup is only 5km's from Yarloop. So the question now becomes as to whether transwa want to continue servicing every single one of these towns or does it want to amalgamate them into one stop.

Electric trains are extremely adept at acceleration which if these stations are kept is even more reason to electrify. Diesel trains are not good at acceleration and are extremely inefficient at doing so. Coming home from the city to Liverpool. I am often able to experience this against a rolling diesel electric freight train heading south out of Cabramatta on the SSFL. With the freight train already at 100+km/h an electric train quickly gets up to the same speed and surpasses the freight train barely 200m out of Cabramatta station. Same thing occurs with XPT's and Xplorers.

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