2018 State Election / Transport

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
I am predicting a very very close race.  I think Guy is closing in on the ALP.
bevans

A Midnight Oil song I like comes to mind...'Short Memory'

When the previous lot were elected in 2010 and they immediately dropped the ball in stumping up the cash for ordering extra V'Locity's.
I well remember daily occurrences that the then 6:33 three car train arriving from Ballarat with pax already standing and me with my folding stool at the ready having to set up my seat in the vestibule.

This was a daily occurrence for many months....and the Opposition is whinging about one occasion Question

Short Memories...

Mike.

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  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

VLP management are becoming very uncaring for their long suffering passengers evidenced by :
-  More cancellations and reduced consists than ever despite the fact they have more VL sets now than ever to run a tt introduced 15 months ago.
- Last year this time we were told more and more drivers on the way, 10/2018  same timetable but we are still cancelling trains and heaven help if you are a regular punter on the 1510 Dn South Geelong or 1902 Dn Bendigo or 2150 Dn Seymour - its a game of real lotto there in all three cases .
- (Also dont be fooled by VLP crowing about improved timekeeping etc, as with so many train cancellations the numbers of trains being run is actually less ; so the % age of trains on time within 6 and 11 minutes has to be higher as they are actually running less trains !!!)  
- No reasons given now, rarely bustitutions - just told to catch the next service (just hope that isnt running with a reduced consist)
- In recent evening peak meltdown at Sunshine affecting all  South Western, Western & Northern services -  VLP just told their pax "to make alternative travel arrangements" - most uncaring !!!
- In answer to Media Requests why 1510Dn South Geelong cancelled so often V/Line "spin doctor" fobbed off saying with trains every 20 minutes Geelong pax should be grateful, they can catch next train within 20 minutes !!!  (Old saying in the rail game, "If something can go wrong it will - and usually in three's !"  )

TAKE last Friday afternoons 'VLP  -  shambles" as an examples of why this sort of excuse just doesnt wash with the long suffering punters

-  1537  Dn Melton -  AMEX  no apology, no bustitution, just not there NOT on PIDS . Ask where it is and purple clad Customer Service - says not running today catch next train !"
-  Intending pax however directed to catch 1530 Dn Ponds or  1550 Dn South Geelong and transfer to buses at Deer Park .
-  So 1530 6 x VL in plat 16  full and over standing at 1520 to the point one cant get on .Departs OT at 1530 .
-  So Overlow Melton pax and overflow Geelong pax directed to 1550 Dn South Geelong late platform change to platform 4B .
- Arrive at 4B to the usual incessant "Attention V/Line customers  ....  Do not board  etc ..."   to find only 3 VL set in platform .  Second consist fails to materialize ,  "now available for boarding"   so 3 cars full and over standing 5 mins before departure. So VLP considers it appropriate for many  Seniors to have to stand as far as Wyndham Vale ?
- Departs on time grossly overloaded but express through a full platform at Footscray, and 3 deep at Sunshine .(Even a sardine would have been hard pressed to squeeze on. )
- 3 cars still grossly overloaded on departure ex Deer Park .

It almost seems that VLP are going out of their way to embarass the Minister in terms of cancellations and reduced consists leading up to the State election . Is this a concerted campaign to try and pressure the Government for more $ towards more new trains to replace the ageing N & Z cars  ?  

After 15 months of the current timetable on going cancellations of trains owing to staff issues and maintenance requirements, and increasing incidence of both cancelled trains and reduced consists despite the fact an ever increasing fleet of VL trains the punters patience is wearing very thin .  Something is seriously wrong at  and within VLP and the Government needs to be demanding immediate and on going action to address the current on going unsatisfactory performance . Something has to change after 15 months of this nonsense given it is getting worse not better . Both the long suffering travellers and Government/Minister have every right to expect that VLP will deliver a reliable passenger service day in/ day out  on an on going basis where a cancellation or reduced consist is a rare not an on going daily occurrence .

Finally a further side disbenefit of the current situation is that VLP are experincing an increased rate of fare evasion after many years of low rates .  No doubt this is caused at peak times by the chronic overcrowding situations where it is both very difficult for Conductors to pass through the trains, and secondly why should the hard working team of Conductors and drivers be subjected to passenger complaints of situations of overcrowding and cancellations where they have little or no influence ?
  skitz Chief Commissioner

VLP management are becoming very uncaring for their long suffering passengers evidenced by :
-  More cancellations and reduced consists than ever despite the fact they have more VL sets now than ever to run a tt introduced 15 months ago.
- Last year this time we were told more and more drivers on the way, 10/2018  same timetable but we are still cancelling trains and heaven help if you are a regular punter on the 1510 Dn South Geelong or 1902 Dn Bendigo or 2150 Dn Seymour - its a game of real lotto there in all three cases .
- (Also dont be fooled by VLP crowing about improved timekeeping etc, as with so many train cancellations the numbers of trains being run is actually less ; so the % age of trains on time within 6 and 11 minutes has to be higher as they are actually running less trains !!!)  
- No reasons given now, rarely bustitutions - just told to catch the next service (just hope that isnt running with a reduced consist)
- In recent evening peak meltdown at Sunshine affecting all  South Western, Western & Northern services -  VLP just told their pax "to make alternative travel arrangements" - most uncaring !!!
- In answer to Media Requests why 1510Dn South Geelong cancelled so often V/Line "spin doctor" fobbed off saying with trains every 20 minutes Geelong pax should be grateful, they can catch next train within 20 minutes !!!  (Old saying in the rail game, "If something can go wrong it will - and usually in three's !"  )

TAKE last Friday afternoons 'VLP  -  shambles" as an examples of why this sort of excuse just doesnt wash with the long suffering punters

-  1537  Dn Melton -  AMEX  no apology, no bustitution, just not there NOT on PIDS . Ask where it is and purple clad Customer Service - says not running today catch next train !"
-  Intending pax however directed to catch 1530 Dn Ponds or  1550 Dn South Geelong and transfer to buses at Deer Park .
-  So 1530 6 x VL in plat 16  full and over standing at 1520 to the point one cant get on .Departs OT at 1530 .
-  So Overlow Melton pax and overflow Geelong pax directed to 1550 Dn South Geelong late platform change to platform 4B .
- Arrive at 4B to the usual incessant "Attention V/Line customers  ....  Do not board  etc ..."   to find only 3 VL set in platform .  Second consist fails to materialize ,  "now available for boarding"   so 3 cars full and over standing 5 mins before departure. So VLP considers it appropriate for many  Seniors to have to stand as far as Wyndham Vale ?
- Departs on time grossly overloaded but express through a full platform at Footscray, and 3 deep at Sunshine .(Even a sardine would have been hard pressed to squeeze on. )
- 3 cars still grossly overloaded on departure ex Deer Park .

It almost seems that VLP are going out of their way to embarass the Minister in terms of cancellations and reduced consists leading up to the State election . Is this a concerted campaign to try and pressure the Government for more $ towards more new trains to replace the ageing N & Z cars  ?  

After 15 months of the current timetable on going cancellations of trains owing to staff issues and maintenance requirements, and increasing incidence of both cancelled trains and reduced consists despite the fact an ever increasing fleet of VL trains the punters patience is wearing very thin .  Something is seriously wrong at  and within VLP and the Government needs to be demanding immediate and on going action to address the current on going unsatisfactory performance . Something has to change after 15 months of this nonsense given it is getting worse not better . Both the long suffering travellers and Government/Minister have every right to expect that VLP will deliver a reliable passenger service day in/ day out  on an on going basis where a cancellation or reduced consist is a rare not an on going daily occurrence .

Finally a further side disbenefit of the current situation is that VLP are experincing an increased rate of fare evasion after many years of low rates .  No doubt this is caused at peak times by the chronic overcrowding situations where it is both very difficult for Conductors to pass through the trains, and secondly why should the hard working team of Conductors and drivers be subjected to passenger complaints of situations of overcrowding and cancellations where they have little or no influence ?
kuldalai
The same woes are prevalent through their infrastructure arm too.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

@mejhammers1

In your ignorance to fob off the SRL as pie in the sky is the reason it is needed and also why it will be hugely successful.

The reason that yourself and many others in outer western suburbs like Melton, Sunbury, Broadmedows and Werbbie commute to the city is two fold. Firstly that is where the main concentration of jobs is. This is partly due the the way our rail network was designed. Bringing everyone into the CBD.

Secondly, it is far quicker and easier to commute to the CBD than to the nearest suburb. I can train from Sunbury to the CBD in 45 minutes. Sunbury to Craigieburn can take up too two hours. But it’s only a 25 minute drive away. Myself and I would happily assume many others would work in other job clusters like the Airport and our education precincts if they could get there.

The government can throw billions at upgrading our current system, it will never keep up with moving the increasing millions to the CBD. Encouraging people to work in suburban job clusters by providing quick and rapid transport will do more to reduce capacity issues in the core than any amount of money.

It will also finally brake one of Melbournes worst problems, inner suburbs being better off and having access to better paying jobs because of the access to rapid established transport links that our outter suburbs dont.

I would happily commute to the airport or La Trobe University if I could do it in under an hour.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

VLP considers it appropriate for many Seniors to have to stand as far as Wyndham Vale ?
kuldalai

At the risk of being “uncaring” and therefore being branded as a V/Line stooge, people are really going to have to get a grip as far as getting a seat is concerned, especially if they want it to become a suburban service to WV. Yes, capacity needs increasing, but there’s no reason for Wyndham Vale to exist in 2+2 luxury with a seat for every man, woman and child.

Run time to WV is 30 minutes precisely; there are thousands of suburban commuters who’ve been standing for longer for decades.

Ditto Geelong if run time is improved to 45 minutes.

As far as the elderly, infirm and otherwise especially desirous of a seat are concerned, that’s what priority seats are for. They work fairly well on sparks.
  Tony M. Locomotive Driver

VLP considers it appropriate for many Seniors to have to stand as far as Wyndham Vale ?

At the risk of being “uncaring” and therefore being branded as a V/Line stooge, people are really going to have to get a grip as far as getting a seat is concerned, especially if they want it to become a suburban service to WV. Yes, capacity needs increasing, but there’s no reason for Wyndham Vale to exist in 2+2 luxury with a seat for every man, woman and child.

Run time to WV is 30 minutes precisely; there are thousands of suburban commuters who’ve been standing for longer for decades.

Ditto Geelong if run time is improved to 45 minutes.

As far as the elderly, infirm and otherwise especially desirous of a seat are concerned, that’s what priority seats are for. They work fairly well on sparks.
potatoinmymouth
It seems to me (as someone who takes trains to and from Geelong at all hours) that while those thousands of suburban commuters can - if they're Seniors, and presumably not going to or from work - take a later train if they need to get a seat, the trains to Geelong are standing room to Wyndham Vale until 10pm or later most weeknights. And it's not like if you miss out on a seat at Southern Cross there'll be people getting off before Tarniet to give you a chance to sit down.

The other problem is that Velocity trains aren't currently designed for standing passengers: tear out a few seats and put in some hanging straps and those who are standing might have a better go of it.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Could you imagine the uproar if our country trains lost even one seat to make it more comfortable for those that may have to stand for 20 minutes. I can hear the screams now
  skitz Chief Commissioner

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/victorias-triple-a-revised-up-by-standard-and-poors/
This is a massive windfall for Labor. It really strikes right at the Liberal infrastructure spending counter arguments of “Labor just get us more into debt” and frees them up both in the lead up to the election and as a second term government to put the hammer down on the Big Build.

(If you believe the credit agencies, that is!)
Credit rating means nothing when the whole lot is funded by the sale of the Port of Melbourne and Victoria's share of Snowy Hydro.

What happens when the money runs out?  Does any of the spending actually generate a return based on long term growth?

Hmm...another economist..
Hmm.....another cheap shot of pointlessness.

Indeed...when you have something worthwhile to contribute, I'll be happy to cease the inane comments...
The Vinelander
And what is your problem?  My point was related and valid?  Nothing but rudeness on your part and totally ignorant to the quality and your self assessment of being 'worth while' of many of your own posts?  Sheesh.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The other problem is that Velocity trains aren't currently designed for standing passengers: tear out a few seats and put in some hanging straps and those who are standing might have a better go of it.
Tony M.

This is ultimately the root of the problem. The rollingstock is in no way fit for the Geelong line but the reality is this line was being used in a totally different way when the Vlos were designed 20 years ago.

As I’ve said before, we need something leaning further to the NSW Intercity fleet for Geelong/Ballarat/Traralgon (and possibly Bendigo, I’m just not quite as familiar with that line). High capacity, electric, double deck probably a sensible solution given limited stops and limited city access infrastructre even in the long-term future. People will still more than likely have to stand, but at least they’ll be on a train where that was the intention.

In the meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how disciplined V/Line are at keeping the new build VLos on the shorter routes. I imagine it won’t be too long before VL77 is hooked up to VL23 and dragged off to Bendigo on the flagship though...
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/victorias-triple-a-revised-up-by-standard-and-poors/
This is a massive windfall for Labor. It really strikes right at the Liberal infrastructure spending counter arguments of “Labor just get us more into debt” and frees them up both in the lead up to the election and as a second term government to put the hammer down on the Big Build.

(If you believe the credit agencies, that is!)
Credit rating means nothing when the whole lot is funded by the sale of the Port of Melbourne and Victoria's share of Snowy Hydro.

What happens when the money runs out?  Does any of the spending actually generate a return based on long term growth?

Hmm...another economist..
Hmm.....another cheap shot of pointlessness.

Indeed...when you have something worthwhile to contribute, I'll be happy to cease the inane comments...
And what is your problem?  My point was related and valid?  Nothing but rudeness on your part and totally ignorant to the quality and your self assessment of being 'worth while' of many of your own posts?  Sheesh.
skitz

You aren't fully aware of the state governments OTHER revenue streams. Land tax and stamp duty also keep the treasury's coffers in the black. Moreover...who, apart from the Murdoch press says it's bad policy to operate with a deficit. Investment in infrastructure, be it schools, hospitals or public transport keeps people in jobs, who then pay taxes and consume products which keeps the cycle operating.

I have little time for economists who have been the bane of this country for many years. All they can see is the bottom line...not the bigger picture. At least now, with a progressive state government as opposed to the conservatives and the four lost years they were in power in Victoria, we are making progress.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-30/victoria-displaces-nsw-as-nations-strongest-economy/10050678

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Hmm...another economist..
Hmm.....another cheap shot of pointlessness.

Indeed...when you have something worthwhile to contribute, I'll be happy to cease the inane comments...
And what is your problem?  My point was related and valid?  Nothing but rudeness on your part and totally ignorant to the quality and your self assessment of being 'worth while' of many of your own posts?  Sheesh.

You aren't fully aware of the state governments OTHER revenue streams. Land tax and stamp duty also keep the treasury's coffers in the black. Moreover...who, apart from the Murdoch press says it's bad policy to operate with a deficit. Investment in infrastructure, be it schools, hospitals or public transport keeps people in jobs, who then pay taxes and consume products which keeps the cycle operating.

I have little time for economists who have been the bane of this country for many years. All they can see is the bottom line...not the bigger picture. At least now, with a progressive state government as opposed to the conservatives and the four lost years they were in power in Victoria, we are making progress.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-30/victoria-displaces-nsw-as-nations-strongest-economy/10050678

Mike.
The Vinelander
... yet you use an article chock full of quotes from shock, horror, ECONOMISTS to make your point!

Anyone with any deep rooted understanding of what is driving growth in Victoria and Australia knows that it is immigration, both internal and external. Without it we would be sunk. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-19/high-immigration-masks-australian-economic-decline/8193628 for a quick summary for those who came in late.

The $$$ being spent on infrastructure in Vic whilst laudable are only possible because of these huge numbers of newcomers to Victoria which are enabling us to play catch up with our infrastructure deficit, one that has been decades and many governments in the making.

Oh and Mike, I love reading your posts, don't always agree with them as you know but always look out for them nonetheless. We all know you are the captain of the Andrews Government cheer squad on RP and it belittles you to play the man and make petty insults, it is far more enjoyable when you stick to playing the ball.

BG
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
BG, perhaps the economists have had such a bad reputation for many years as naysayers and wet blankets that the only way to make themselves palatable to the rest of the community is to refine their thinking by taking a holistic perspective.

M.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Today’s Newspoll (the Victorian poll, not the federal one) has ALP 54 v 46 LIB in two-party preferred. That’s going to be very hard to beat.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Today’s Newspoll (the Victorian poll, not the federal one) has ALP 54 v 46 LIB in two-party preferred. That’s going to be very hard to beat.
potatoinmymouth

I'm certain the Herald-Sun and Murdoch are at their wits end to try to create a calamity to befall Dan, as their front page red shirts campaign fell over...

M.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

While the polls are showing an ALP win, I suspect the end result will be far less straightforward - ie. Greens winning several inner city seats and potentially holding the balance of power in both houses.

One outcome of this could be the perpetuation of very city-centric infrastructure funding.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
@Lockie91 call me ignorant all you want. If you want to go gaga over a scheme that will cost $50 billion and climbing go ahead. This is Victoria I have seen it all before and the existing pt is rubbish. We have not even tunnelled one inch of Melbourne Metro and we are dicussing huge mega projects like this. Man we can't even get our Bus Network right.

You think it is visionary, I think it is pie in the sky. Let's agree to disagree.

Michael
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: Standing at the limit of an endless ocean
Could you imagine the uproar if our country trains lost even one seat to make it more comfortable for those that may have to stand for 20 minutes. I can hear the screams now
Lockie91
It has happened for years, country passengers having to stand while the parasites from the outer 'burbs steal their seats all the way to Pakenham.
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

@Lockie91 call me ignorant all you want. If you want to go gaga over a scheme that will cost $50 billion and climbing go ahead. This is Victoria I have seen it all before and the existing pt is rubbish. We have not even tunnelled one inch of Melbourne Metro and we are dicussing huge mega projects like this. Man we can't even get our Bus Network right.

You think it is visionary, I think it is pie in the sky. Let's agree to disagree.

Michael
mejhammers1

I won't call you ignorant (or any other key choice nouns) but I don't agree with your views.
No one is proposing the tunnels be dug by self-assembling TBMS powered by onboard Fusion power.
We're just digging a hold in the ground then going forward 9 kms with a stock standard, tried and tested tunnel boring machine (or 2), and what the second part of that process may not have started yet, it's not our first attempt.
- Four tunnels for Cityloop
- Two tunnels for CityLink
- Westgate tunnel could be considered our 'practice run', opening in 2022


As for the bus network comment, it reminds me of people who are against going to Mars - "We should solve our problems here on Earth first".
There's capacity to do both.
A whole field of specialists working on preventing deadly, communicable diseases whilst at the same time, private companies looking to build some redundancy in to the human race by finding us a second home.
If we resign to your rationale that the SRL cannot take place until the bus network is 'fixed' (which in itself is subjective), then I'm sure there will be endless other caveats that will get in the way.
Next thing, it's 2030 and we still haven't dug an inch because... self driving cars need tougher regulation.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
@Lockie91 call me ignorant all you want. If you want to go gaga over a scheme that will cost $50 billion and climbing go ahead. This is Victoria I have seen it all before and the existing pt is rubbish. We have not even tunnelled one inch of Melbourne Metro and we are dicussing huge mega projects like this. Man we can't even get our Bus Network right.

You think it is visionary, I think it is pie in the sky. Let's agree to disagree.

Michael

I won't call you ignorant (or any other key choice nouns) but I don't agree with your views.
No one is proposing the tunnels be dug by self-assembling TBMS powered by onboard Fusion power.
We're just digging a hold in the ground then going forward 9 kms with a stock standard, tried and tested tunnel boring machine (or 2), and what the second part of that process may not have started yet, it's not our first attempt.
- Four tunnels for Cityloop
- Two tunnels for CityLink
- Westgate tunnel could be considered our 'practice run', opening in 2022
g00r
The Burnley and Domain tunnels for CityLink didn't use Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), they used roadheaders. Neither did the last big tunnelling project in Melbourne, which were the Melba and Mullum Mullum tunnels for EastLink - they also used roadheaders.
In fact, the City Loop was the last transport project in Melbourne to actually use a TBM.

This doesn't detract from the fact that TBMs are a well-established technology and that the appropriate expertise to use them will be imported as neccessary to build the new tunnels coming through the infrastructure pipeline.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Metro Tunnel will use both TBMs and roadheaders, isn't that interesting?
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
@Lockie91 call me ignorant all you want. If you want to go gaga over a scheme that will cost $50 billion and climbing go ahead. This is Victoria I have seen it all before and the existing pt is rubbish. We have not even tunnelled one inch of Melbourne Metro and we are dicussing huge mega projects like this. Man we can't even get our Bus Network right.

You think it is visionary, I think it is pie in the sky. Let's agree to disagree.

Michael

I won't call you ignorant (or any other key choice nouns) but I don't agree with your views.
No one is proposing the tunnels be dug by self-assembling TBMS powered by onboard Fusion power.
We're just digging a hold in the ground then going forward 9 kms with a stock standard, tried and tested tunnel boring machine (or 2), and what the second part of that process may not have started yet, it's not our first attempt.
- Four tunnels for Cityloop
- Two tunnels for CityLink
- Westgate tunnel could be considered our 'practice run', opening in 2022


As for the bus network comment, it reminds me of people who are against going to Mars - "We should solve our problems here on Earth first".
There's capacity to do both.
A whole field of specialists working on preventing deadly, communicable diseases whilst at the same time, private companies looking to build some redundancy in to the human race by finding us a second home.
If we resign to your rationale that the SRL cannot take place until the bus network is 'fixed' (which in itself is subjective), then I'm sure there will be endless other caveats that will get in the way.
Next thing, it's 2030 and we still haven't dug an inch because... self driving cars need tougher regulation.
g00r
No one is proposing the tunnels be dug by self-assembling TBMS

What are you talking about? I am merely saying that we have not even started to tunnel Melbourne Metro 1 never mind 2 and suddenly we have the capacity to build the SRL. We dont!

A whole field of specialists working on preventing deadly, communicable diseases whilst at the same time, private companies looking to build some redundancy in to the human race by finding us a second home.

We are not talking about brilliant scientists, we are talking about the PTV

If we resign to your rationale that the SRL cannot take place until the bus network is 'fixed'.

I am saying if we cannot even get even get something like a functioning Bus system what chance of being successful in building a $50 Billion rail loop. Sorry I am not convinced.

Michael
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

@mejhammers1

I’ll agree it’s Pie in the sky right now, but they have a very good track record of doing what they say.

MM1 is steaming ahead, the government has done all they can to speed up the delivery of the project, like breaking up the work packages. If the Liberals hadn’t of sat on it for 4 years we would be pulling TBM’s out of the ground next year instead of putting them in. The Government is not going to wait until the TBMS are in before they announce the next shiny new project. The voting public have very short memories.

I agree with you that there is a ship load that can be done now to improve capacity. Like the timetable change that was going to happen to years ago, just can’t take Frankston services out of the loop before an election. After Is fine, they have four years to adjust.

10 minute of peak should of been rolled out to all lines (expect upfield) by now, nothing is stopping them. We have the drivers and the fleet to do it. I would suspect an election commitment on this.

The old faithful bus, this I agree with you on 100%. The government has forced the new contracts down the throat of companies that have had it easy for 30 years, much to the dismay of the bus association. Previous contacts paid companies per  Km travelled, hence the useless meandering routes that we have. New contacts are performance driven, same as MTM and Yarra Trams. We need to roll out minimum 20 minutes services 7 days a week to all suburban bus routes.

But I wouldn’t expect to hear anything about it over the election. Melbourne has a love hate relationship with our buses. Spending a few million on improving our bus network doesn’t get the same headlines as billion on new tunnel.
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
How is that government going to achieve the goal running a Geelong service in 35 minutes to Melbourne without going express  and not stopping at the following locations North Geelong, Corio, North Shore and Lara railway stations?  
Mr Andrews goes on about the capacity off that Geelong train line services, facts that he fails to mention at the the current capacity off the trains the running these services are in the range between of 200 to 450 seats per train.
The days of running small capacity trains should be over and PTV should be looking at running train services at least a capacity of 800 seats per train service.
This may include the following:
- electrification of the Geelong train line
-  buying new electric train set
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I'm just going to say this. The Melbourne Metro Tunnel when it was first proposed in 2008, was labelled  "pie in the sky" at the time. Even the PTUA didn't support such a project, as you know the PTUA stance then was you better fund more bus services instead of a multi-billion dollar rail tunnel. Many people were skeptical about the tunnel.

Nowadays I wouldn't see many people against such a vital project, in fact it's supported by nearly everyone, even both parties said the metro tunnel is important ditto politically wanted to use a different route. But we all know this is a project of major significance. No-one is calling Metro tunnel 1, pie in the sky, anymore. Cause it's happening.

If ever the suburban rail loop is well into construction, it won't be pie in the sky anymore and would likely be a vote winner and a huge addition to the existing network. The idea isn't really new, many cities have a rail loop and it helps out with decentralising the city, which Melbourne needs. Melbourne is such a huge centralised city, it kinda needs this to help promote jobs outside the CBD, as the rail network was designed to head directly into the CBD. A grid of rail lines would be the vision for the future to be honest that's what every dense city has already. And we all know that Melbourne needs to densify the suburbs to slow down it's rapid expansion outwards.

I doubt anyone is against a major bus revamp, we all support that, it's a good short-medium term measure. But will never replace the long-term needs of the city (rail loop). But there's more difficulty that you would think to revamp the bus network. We have a bunch of seperate private companies running it, there would need to be a much overhaul needed to upgrade all the intersection, add bus lanes across Melbourne, and then rerouting all the bus routes, relocating all the buses and employing and training more bus drivers. It's actually quite tricky to rebuild such a huge bus network from scratch. It's been an issue over successive governments leaving the bus network in such a poor state.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I'm just going to say this. The Melbourne Metro Tunnel when it was first proposed in 2008, was labelled  "pie in the sky" at the time. Even the PTUA didn't support such a project, as you know the PTUA stance then was you better fund more bus services instead of a multi-billion dollar rail tunnel. Many people were skeptical about the tunnel.
True Believers
Thanks for bringing this up. The PTUA as a whole have typically been very rail-skeptical over the last 20 years for reasons which I can only guess at. The late Paul Mees' prominent membership probably played a big role; he was a noted advocate of the "squeeze the existing infrastructure and reinvest the savings into buses and trams" approach, and had the academic platform to justify and promote his views.

The PTUA has been on record as opposing the Metro Tunnel, the Regional Rail Link, the Regional Fast Rail (as a whole - not just the Bendigo debacle), the Dandenong triplication (back when that was on the cards), and just about every other capacity-increasing project in the 2000-2015 period. Instead, they've spent most of their time advocating for Doncaster rail. Only recently have they come to the party with their "Get On Board" campaign advocating Metro 2 - which, of course, runs through all those Green (or at least Watermelon) electorates that they seem to have aligned themselves with politically.

To be blunt, I don't think the PTUA has much credibility on this or any rail-related issue for that matter, and yet the media turns to them time and time again. No wonder transport reportage is so notably poor in this state. (Andrew Lund and Clay Lucas excepted, although Clay's now been promoted to City Editor.)

Addressing the rest of your post, let it never be forgotten that the leaders of the VR repeatedly insisted to the Parliament that there was no operational need for the City Loop, and even when construction had begun, told MPs that it was "not a railway project", and therefore they could not be blamed if it failed to have the desired effects of opening up the north of the CBD.

We have showed a continuing reluctance in Victoria (as @mejhammers1 has pointed out) to take radical steps in improving the structure of the underlying network, and yet the few minor instances of this in the previous half-century have been unqualified successes. If we had focused on "fixing the existing network", Hitachis would still be terminating and turning around at Flinders St, because that is precisely where defensive, inward-looking policy like that of the VR and early PTC leads.

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