Melbourne Airport Rail Link

 
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Adopt the ‘Pakenham Solution’, ALL CHANGE at Sunbury.
"kitchgp"
What's wrong with the current solution? . . . a bloody big "Too Hard" basket.

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  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Repost from SSC.... putting more brainfarts into MSPaint.

MARL becomes not just an airport rail project, but a Bendigo line deviation project (future proofing the metros via watergardens route re: capacity and achieving good Bendigo separation at long last).



see full-sized image here: https://i.imgur.com/4H2nLcP.png

Red lines: new track as part of MARL
Orange lines: new track as part of WRP/High(er) speed rail projects.

MARL: proper Albion junction, the new track via the airport becomes the RRL tracks (where they currently merge back with the Watergardens line between Sunbury-Albion). The Metro tracks have chords around Albion and connect to the new airport tracks.

At Sunbury the existing eastern-side sidings north of the eastern (citybound) platform are removed and the current platform length is more than doubled. Likewise, the existing position of the city-bound platform gets a second face + terminating track. Metro trains now use the southern end of the platform and Bendigo (citybound) trains use the northern section - a turnout is built so Bendigo's can avoid stationary metros at the southern end.

All Echuca/Bendigo/Eaglehawk/Epsom/Bendigo trains are diverted via the airport and take the current RRL route into town.

I'm guessing Airport metro service is going to have a base frequency of 4 TPH which would marry with an off-peak branch at the other end (i.e 4 TPH Pakenham go to 4 TPH Airport, 4 TPH Cranbourne go to 4 TPH Sunbury via Watergardens) - you have the option of extending two of those four metros to terminate at Sunbury (not so much in peak).

WRP: Orange lines are where the new track is built - you can see the colours switch just west of Sunshine - all I'm saying here is that the existing track via Deer Park and Ardeer would become exclusively for metro and the new track built along the north (which appears to be where space is reserved for corridor quadruplication) would become the new express tracks. The space beyond Deer Park junction to Geelong and Ballarat for the express tracks is on the southern (or eastern in the case of Geelong) side of the existing track pairs hence the flyovers and stuff.

It's not obvious but the WRP enters a tunnel where the current RRL tracks rise and turn sharply at Sunshine - and there would be platforms under Sunshine (somewhere) for connectivity then surface on the other side of Sunshine station and go along the surface adjacent to the SG lines and then enter a ~3km tunnel that takes a straighter route to where all the Maribyrnong river rail bridges are and then the WRP track uses the existing bridge and the surplus pair that is created as part of the Metro Tunnel project - pretty much running through North Melbourne platforms and into the terminus platforms at Southern Cross (I believe there'll be some minor rejig of track between SX and NM). A new bridge over the Maribyrnong for the Metro Tunnel  Airport/Sunbury tracks is built and slewed over the WRP tunnel dive.

Sunbury via Watergardens & Airport: use existing Metro pair and go via Metro Tunnel.
Bendigo, Melton and Wyndham Vale: use RRL tracks Sunshine-City and terminate at Southern Cross.
Ballarat & Geelong: use new WRP tracks via North Melbourne and terminate at Southern Cross.



* yeah, I missed the crossover of RRL/Newport pair in the diagram, please ignore.
** likewise there'd likely have to be extra (not pictured) track work between Sunshine/West Footscray to get the new WRP pair over/under the SG pair, but whatever, I think people get the idea.
*** no, there's no Footscray platforms for WRP track / not the point - the tunnel wouldnt be under the existing rail alignment (would skew slightly north of the station precinct).
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

More changed details on the Melbourne Airport link announced or leaked as the case could be.  The herald sun has details but I have also typed in a news item. Trains are now to use the new metro tunnel line.
NSWGR8022

Sounds like a multi stage plan if you read between the lines.

Airport to go via MM1 to get the project going. How this is still an $8 - 13 Billion for track between Sunshine & Airport is beyond me, even if you factor in modifications to Albion and Sunshine. Anderson Rd already has abutments for the additional track to Albion.

The Sunday Herald Sun understands that even by using the new Metro tunnel, a separate regional project would allow for fast rail services between the CBD and Geelong in under 40 minutes.
The Hun

Possible that the State will still build a new Sunshine - CBD connection. A project that would take far longer than the 2 or so years to get Airport up and going into MM1. This would answer the question of what happens to the Governments Western Rail Plan, as not everything can go into MM1.

Lockie
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
I am just not sure there is much space on the SG side of the easement when I last looked as there is a road and also a carpark at that location, I am unsure from the downside of Albion Railway Station.
bevans
On the SG side , about 9m between the track and road.
Plenty of room BUT, a bicycle track inbetween. Wouldn't want to upset them would we Rolling Eyes.

Heaven forbid we use some of a carpark that is on railway land.Laughing

Downside of Albion station, your in to quarry/industry. Plenty of room but real awkward for residents to access.

We will have to see what the actual diagram and plans are. Page 45 of speculation achieved - lets get to 50 before the real plan.

cheers
John
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
NSWGR8022

That will NEVER happen...yes I've said it before...NEVER is a long time.

Mike.
  TrackRailroad Train Controller

Location: Frankston Line
Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
NSWGR8022
I am not familiar with the background as to why so many users on here have rejected the Airport link via Highpoint? It could serve both the north-western transport blackspots of Highpoint and East Keilor and does not appear would have to run underground the whole way, and could link through to the existing Flemington Racecourse line. It would also reduce pressure on the Cragieburn and Sunbury lines and allow the congested tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross the ability to run extra services (which will be required with future growth in the outer western suburbs), without having to construct an additional pair of tracks.

The downside would be the Airport rail would not run via Sunshine, missing a major transport hub. But instead would provide frequent public transport connections for people in the north and west of Melbourne.
  CraigieburnLineUser Locomotive Fireman

Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
I am not familiar with the background as to why so many users on here have rejected the Airport link via Highpoint? It could serve both the north-western transport blackspots of Highpoint and East Keilor and does not appear would have to run underground the whole way, and could link through to the existing Flemington Racecourse line. It would also reduce pressure on the Cragieburn and Sunbury lines and allow the congested tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross the ability to run extra services (which will be required with future growth in the outer western suburbs), without having to construct an additional pair of tracks.

The downside would be the Airport rail would not run via Sunshine, missing a major transport hub. But instead would provide frequent public transport connections for people in the north and west of Melbourne.
TrackRailroad
The main problem the government had (I can't speak for anyone else on here) was that it didn't link with regional lines; they'd had their hearts set on Sunshine since the early 2000s. I've always been partial to the wish of Highpoint going ahead because as you said it reduces pressure on the Cragieburn line taking people from Maribyrnong/East Keilor/Avondale Heights from our stations. Thing is though that it's all safe seats and very quiet seats.

I believe one conclusion that someone came to on here is that it might be hard to get some sort of alignment from Flemington towards Highpoint but consultants and engineers would be smart enough to work that one out I think
  TrackRailroad Train Controller

Location: Frankston Line
Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
I am not familiar with the background as to why so many users on here have rejected the Airport link via Highpoint? It could serve both the north-western transport blackspots of Highpoint and East Keilor and does not appear would have to run underground the whole way, and could link through to the existing Flemington Racecourse line. It would also reduce pressure on the Cragieburn and Sunbury lines and allow the congested tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross the ability to run extra services (which will be required with future growth in the outer western suburbs), without having to construct an additional pair of tracks.

The downside would be the Airport rail would not run via Sunshine, missing a major transport hub. But instead would provide frequent public transport connections for people in the north and west of Melbourne.
The main problem the government had (I can't speak for anyone else on here) was that it didn't link with regional lines; they'd had their hearts set on Sunshine since the early 2000s. I've always been partial to the wish of Highpoint going ahead because as you said it reduces pressure on the Cragieburn line taking people from Maribyrnong/East Keilor/Avondale Heights from our stations. Thing is though that it's all safe seats and very quiet seats.

I believe one conclusion that someone came to on here is that it might be hard to get some sort of alignment from Flemington towards Highpoint but consultants and engineers would be smart enough to work that one out I think
CraigieburnLineUser
Thank you for the background, this helps provide context. I believe connecting Flemington Racecourse through to Highpoint via Victoria University (Footscray) would be one of the most expensive parts of the project, likely lots of tunnelling provided and potential flooding in the area, which could be an issue. Maybe one of the reasons it was scrapped. Plus an increased frequency between Newmarket and North Melbourne on the Cragieburn line could be problematic, but with four tracks between North Melbourne and Newmarket or improved signalling this probably could be resolved. I still think the Airport link via Highpoint has its benefits, but strategically it seems Sunshine as being chosen due to being a National Employment Innovation Cluster and a major transport hub for suburban and regional train lines.
  CraigieburnLineUser Locomotive Fireman

Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
I am not familiar with the background as to why so many users on here have rejected the Airport link via Highpoint? It could serve both the north-western transport blackspots of Highpoint and East Keilor and does not appear would have to run underground the whole way, and could link through to the existing Flemington Racecourse line. It would also reduce pressure on the Cragieburn and Sunbury lines and allow the congested tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross the ability to run extra services (which will be required with future growth in the outer western suburbs), without having to construct an additional pair of tracks.

The downside would be the Airport rail would not run via Sunshine, missing a major transport hub. But instead would provide frequent public transport connections for people in the north and west of Melbourne.
The main problem the government had (I can't speak for anyone else on here) was that it didn't link with regional lines; they'd had their hearts set on Sunshine since the early 2000s. I've always been partial to the wish of Highpoint going ahead because as you said it reduces pressure on the Cragieburn line taking people from Maribyrnong/East Keilor/Avondale Heights from our stations. Thing is though that it's all safe seats and very quiet seats.

I believe one conclusion that someone came to on here is that it might be hard to get some sort of alignment from Flemington towards Highpoint but consultants and engineers would be smart enough to work that one out I think
Thank you for the background, this helps provide context. I believe connecting Flemington Racecourse through to Highpoint via Victoria University (Footscray) would be one of the most expensive parts of the project, likely lots of tunnelling provided and potential flooding in the area, which could be an issue. Maybe one of the reasons it was scrapped. Plus an increased frequency between Newmarket and North Melbourne on the Cragieburn line could be problematic, but with four tracks between North Melbourne and Newmarket or improved signalling this probably could be resolved. I still think the Airport link via Highpoint has its benefits, but strategically it seems Sunshine as being chosen due to being a National Employment Innovation Cluster and a major transport hub for suburban and regional train lines.
TrackRailroad
My thoughts were if they did that route they'd need to rebuild Newmarket and have at least 3 platforms (they may not have space in the rail reserve for 4) to sort out the flat junction issues, one of the platforms is heritage listed there and so are the trees (Metro wanted them taken out earlier this year but were stopped). It would be an interesting one if they ever pursued this 25-30 years down the road. The NEIC one is another definitely another justification given
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
I am not familiar with the background as to why so many users on here have rejected the Airport link via Highpoint? It could serve both the north-western transport blackspots of Highpoint and East Keilor and does not appear would have to run underground the whole way, and could link through to the existing Flemington Racecourse line. It would also reduce pressure on the Cragieburn and Sunbury lines and allow the congested tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross the ability to run extra services (which will be required with future growth in the outer western suburbs), without having to construct an additional pair of tracks.

The downside would be the Airport rail would not run via Sunshine, missing a major transport hub. But instead would provide frequent public transport connections for people in the north and west of Melbourne.
The main problem the government had (I can't speak for anyone else on here) was that it didn't link with regional lines; they'd had their hearts set on Sunshine since the early 2000s. I've always been partial to the wish of Highpoint going ahead because as you said it reduces pressure on the Cragieburn line taking people from Maribyrnong/East Keilor/Avondale Heights from our stations. Thing is though that it's all safe seats and very quiet seats.

I believe one conclusion that someone came to on here is that it might be hard to get some sort of alignment from Flemington towards Highpoint but consultants and engineers would be smart enough to work that one out I think
Thank you for the background, this helps provide context. I believe connecting Flemington Racecourse through to Highpoint via Victoria University (Footscray) would be one of the most expensive parts of the project, likely lots of tunnelling provided and potential flooding in the area, which could be an issue. Maybe one of the reasons it was scrapped. Plus an increased frequency between Newmarket and North Melbourne on the Cragieburn line could be problematic, but with four tracks between North Melbourne and Newmarket or improved signalling this probably could be resolved. I still think the Airport link via Highpoint has its benefits, but strategically it seems Sunshine as being chosen due to being a National Employment Innovation Cluster and a major transport hub for suburban and regional train lines.
TrackRailroad
The government didn't have a problem with it per se.

The Federal Government is selling a parcel of land in Maribyrnong, the old munitions factory. They advocated for this route back in 2018 when they started EOI for the land. Their idea was that a new metro line running in the area would add a few zeros to the sale price. Which they needed as the land will need extensive clean up before houses can be built.

State Government released the appraisal for the route to the Airport last year. The direct route via highpoint scored highly only if no intermediate stations where built. As this would provide a one stop journey from Southern Cross to T1.  
Cost was north of 15 billion, which is where the wheels started to fall off. As additional stations where need to justify the expense and provide a better Cost Benefit Ratio. More stations added, slower journey and the line would essentially turn into a metro service with the last station being the Airport.

Sunshine had the superior Cost Benefit as it utilised exisiting assets and land already owned by the state. Had better connections to the rest of the network and could provide a semi express service to the airport.

https://airportrail.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/397706/MARL-Sunshine-Route-Strategic-Appraisal.pdf

Lockie
  TrackRailroad Train Controller

Location: Frankston Line
Then build an underground connection via the Highpoint alternative and be done with it as the plan from canberra calls for.
I am not familiar with the background as to why so many users on here have rejected the Airport link via Highpoint? It could serve both the north-western transport blackspots of Highpoint and East Keilor and does not appear would have to run underground the whole way, and could link through to the existing Flemington Racecourse line. It would also reduce pressure on the Cragieburn and Sunbury lines and allow the congested tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross the ability to run extra services (which will be required with future growth in the outer western suburbs), without having to construct an additional pair of tracks.

The downside would be the Airport rail would not run via Sunshine, missing a major transport hub. But instead would provide frequent public transport connections for people in the north and west of Melbourne.
The main problem the government had (I can't speak for anyone else on here) was that it didn't link with regional lines; they'd had their hearts set on Sunshine since the early 2000s. I've always been partial to the wish of Highpoint going ahead because as you said it reduces pressure on the Cragieburn line taking people from Maribyrnong/East Keilor/Avondale Heights from our stations. Thing is though that it's all safe seats and very quiet seats.

I believe one conclusion that someone came to on here is that it might be hard to get some sort of alignment from Flemington towards Highpoint but consultants and engineers would be smart enough to work that one out I think
Thank you for the background, this helps provide context. I believe connecting Flemington Racecourse through to Highpoint via Victoria University (Footscray) would be one of the most expensive parts of the project, likely lots of tunnelling provided and potential flooding in the area, which could be an issue. Maybe one of the reasons it was scrapped. Plus an increased frequency between Newmarket and North Melbourne on the Cragieburn line could be problematic, but with four tracks between North Melbourne and Newmarket or improved signalling this probably could be resolved. I still think the Airport link via Highpoint has its benefits, but strategically it seems Sunshine as being chosen due to being a National Employment Innovation Cluster and a major transport hub for suburban and regional train lines.
The government didn't have a problem with it per se.

The Federal Government is selling a parcel of land in Maribyrnong, the old munitions factory. They advocated for this route back in 2018 when they started EOI for the land. Their idea was that a new metro line running in the area would add a few zeros to the sale price. Which they needed as the land will need extensive clean up before houses can be built.

State Government released the appraisal for the route to the Airport last year. The direct route via highpoint scored highly only if no intermediate stations where built. As this would provide a one stop journey from Southern Cross to T1.  
Cost was north of 15 billion, which is where the wheels started to fall off. As additional stations where need to justify the expense and provide a better Cost Benefit Ratio. More stations added, slower journey and the line would essentially turn into a metro service with the last station being the Airport.

Sunshine had the superior Cost Benefit as it utilised exisiting assets and land already owned by the state. Had better connections to the rest of the network and could provide a semi express service to the airport.

https://airportrail.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/397706/MARL-Sunshine-Route-Strategic-Appraisal.pdf

Lockie
Lockie91
Thanks Lockie, your insight is appreciated.  I had a feeling it was cheaper to go via Sunshine, and I think the government likes the potential in the future to route through Bendigo trains via the Airport keeping the Sunbury line purely for metro services- which all does make sense.

In terms of improving public transport in the Highpoint, East Keilor area, better bus services can be provided, or maybe an extension of the 57 tram to East Keilor area, with a potential stop at Keilor Park Drive next to the Western Ring Road, connecting to a new train station to service this area.
  CraigieburnLineUser Locomotive Fireman

Thanks Lockie, your insight is appreciated.  I had a feeling it was cheaper to go via Sunshine, and I think the government likes the potential in the future to route through Bendigo trains via the Airport keeping the Sunbury line purely for metro services- which all does make sense.

In terms of improving public transport in the Highpoint, East Keilor area, better bus services can be provided, or maybe an extension of the 57 tram to East Keilor area, with a potential stop at Keilor Park Drive next to the Western Ring Road, connecting to a new train station to service this area.
TrackRailroad
It would be good to see a train station in that part because MVCC and a subset of the community (can't tell how much but I do see it a bit on Ben Carroll's fb page) want to see one put in on SRL/MARL/Both. Better bus services are definitely something that could be done and Ben did recently get two bus routes changed to be more effective in the area (new 469 and revamped 476).

Extending the 57 would probably be challenging - it was suggested in the SRL thread a few weeks back in a different way - but a possible way to better link the area to trains. However they do it, the idea needs to be about simplifying routes and trips as much as possible so that more people will shift from cars. Also frequency: a bus every 15 minutes that just misses a train that runs every 20 minutes is one of the most infuriating thing for a commuter (and I'm probably preaching to the choir)
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Thanks Lockie, your insight is appreciated. I had a feeling it was cheaper to go via Sunshine, and I think the government likes the potential in the future to route through Bendigo trains via the Airport keeping the Sunbury line purely for metro services- which all does make sense.
TrackRailroad
The appraisal for MARL was done before RFI popped up and suggested connecting Bendigo & Seymour Services. Shortly after AirTrain reviled that they had offered the government a wheelbarrow full of cash to build the Sunshine - CBD link, on the condition that it would charge the government access charges for non airport services to use its tunnel for 20+ years. This is the sticking point for the government. I believe they are on board with the RFI idea, this just came after the original MARL Sunshine proposal. However, they do not want one of the most critically important pieces of transport infrastructure in private hands.

So this brings us back to the original MM1 proposal. Which will work just fine for the next 10 years. The government can and should build the Sunshine - CBD link itself, Superfunds would be more than happy to back the government. MARL can be ready to go into MM1 by 2025. The Sunshine - CBD link will take 10 years to construct, by which time MM1 and the current link will be at capacity.

The government has suggested today that the upcoming budget will have an 'unprecedented' level of infrastructure investment. The Reserve Bank and the federal government want the states to build $40B worth of infrastructure over the next couple of years to pull us out of recession. Dan has a license to spend.


it would be good to see a train station in that part because MVCC and a subset of the community (can't tell how much but I do see it a bit on Ben Carroll's fb page) want to see one put in on SRL/MARL/Both.
CraigieburnLineUser
I think there is need for a station, this shouldn't be part of MARL. If SRL is to run Airport to Sunshine then SRL services should stop at any future station along this section of line. This allows MARL to run Express to Sunshine. There is a need for at least two stations in this area, Sunshine North and Keilor/Airport West. A redraw of the bus network and some tram extensions and this transport blackhole will become one of the best serviced areas.

Lockie
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

The appraisal for MARL was done before RFI popped up and suggested connecting Bendigo & Seymour Services. Shortly after AirTrain reviled that they had offered the government a wheelbarrow full of cash to build the Sunshine - CBD link, on the condition that it would charge the government access charges for non airport services to use its tunnel for 20+ years. This is the sticking point for the government. I believe they are on board with the RFI idea, this just came after the original MARL Sunshine proposal. However, they do not want one of the most critically important pieces of transport infrastructure in private hands.

So this brings us back to the original MM1 proposal. Which will work just fine for the next 10 years. The government can and should build the Sunshine - CBD link itself, Superfunds would be more than happy to back the government. MARL can be ready to go into MM1 by 2025. The Sunshine - CBD link will take 10 years to construct, by which time MM1 and the current link will be at capacity.

The government has suggested today that the upcoming budget will have an 'unprecedented' level of infrastructure investment. The Reserve Bank and the federal government want the states to build $40B worth of infrastructure over the next couple of years to pull us out of recession. Dan has a license to spend.
Lockie91

If the MARL is going via Metro 1 initially, I don't see how it's technology could be compatible with the SRL which will be driverless and potentially medium-rail like the Docklands Light Rail. I'd assume that automatic trains would need their own right of way to get the benefits.

And you raise a great point. Railways need to be build like freeways. Build the cheap sections first, induce demand which then improves the business case for future sections. Build Sunshine-Airprot first. There's track capacity to fit the trains onto the metro line. Then as passenger numbers grow, and track space becomes limited the business case for a new track pair increases. It's the same with lane widening on a freeway done in sections. You induce demand, create artificial bottlenecks which then get money to fix them.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Isn't it time to transfer this thread into "Armchair Experts"?
  Jordy33 Station Master

Sorry I’m late to the party (I was a lurker but I finally decided to make an account Smile), but I do have something to say about it.

MARL has at-least $10 Billion to work with (50-50 federal-state funding) or a Public-Private option. I’m personally preferring using that $10 Billion effectively. I have come to a route that means we likely could still have a Southern Cross - Sunshine tunnel, because that tunnel would only be 2.9km - 3.6km. What if we just bit the bullet had trains running through West Melbourne’s huge freight complex. You could put a tunnel between just west of West Footscray station, and just east of the Maribyrnong River, raising back up to surface and running alongside Footscray road and when the road starts raising up over those freight tracks, the new tracks go under the freight tracks and the roads, bridge over the creek and then connect up to SCS 15/16.

Sure this tunnel option costs a bit more than running via MM1, but then we have more capacity for Sunbury, Melton and Wyndham Vale lines to use. It also helps enable higher speed trains, as the journey from SXS to Footscray is quite slow. This is an unexpected option, but it could be a really good one.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Sorry I’m late to the party (I was a lurker but I finally decided to make an account Smile), but I do have something to say about it.

MARL has at-least $10 Billion to work with (50-50 federal-state funding) or a Public-Private option. I’m personally preferring using that $10 Billion effectively. I have come to a route that means we likely could still have a Southern Cross - Sunshine tunnel, because that tunnel would only be 2.9km - 3.6km. What if we just bit the bullet had trains running through West Melbourne’s huge freight complex. You could put a tunnel between just west of West Footscray station, and just east of the Maribyrnong River, raising back up to surface and running alongside Footscray road and when the road starts raising up over those freight tracks, the new tracks go under the freight tracks and the roads, bridge over the creek and then connect up to SCS 15/16.

Sure this tunnel option costs a bit more than running via MM1, but then we have more capacity for Sunbury, Melton and Wyndham Vale lines to use. It also helps enable higher speed trains, as the journey from SXS to Footscray is quite slow. This is an unexpected option, but it could be a really good one.
Jordy33
I believe a new track pair will be built between SXS and Sunshine, but initially there is no need for it. The metro tunnel has more than enough paths.

Like freeways, the railways shouldn't be scared of building projects that are initially compromised to get the ball rolling, because something is better than nothing.

The western ring rd was 3 lanes but with some sections of two lanes to cut costs. Obviously this created bottlenecks, and the ring rd has slowly been upgraded to 4 lanes along the whole route.

The railways should take a similar approach. Build the airport line as a spur off of the metro tunnel, but plan for it to eventually connect to VLine long distance services in the future. A new flyover and changing which tracks connect where is cheap in the long run when a new tunnel is built in 10-15 years. Start the Airport rail now...
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Sorry I’m late to the party (I was a lurker but I finally decided to make an account Smile), but I do have something to say about it.

MARL has at-least $10 Billion to work with (50-50 federal-state funding) or a Public-Private option. I’m personally preferring using that $10 Billion effectively. I have come to a route that means we likely could still have a Southern Cross - Sunshine tunnel, because that tunnel would only be 2.9km - 3.6km. What if we just bit the bullet had trains running through West Melbourne’s huge freight complex. You could put a tunnel between just west of West Footscray station, and just east of the Maribyrnong River, raising back up to surface and running alongside Footscray road and when the road starts raising up over those freight tracks, the new tracks go under the freight tracks and the roads, bridge over the creek and then connect up to SCS 15/16.

Sure this tunnel option costs a bit more than running via MM1, but then we have more capacity for Sunbury, Melton and Wyndham Vale lines to use. It also helps enable higher speed trains, as the journey from SXS to Footscray is quite slow. This is an unexpected option, but it could be a really good one.
Jordy33
I agree with John.Z that initially it won't be needed but with many other moving parts in the network in the west, I'd be far more comfortable if plans were set in stone to get extra Sunshine-SX track built not long afterwards.

The way I see it: there's already track in place from the Maribyrnong River to Southern Cross that won't see regular use when the Metro Tunnel opens (because all Sunbury services will be diverted into the new tunnel).  And you can build a short new tunnel from West Footscray to just west of the Maribyrnong bridges and trains could then run direct to SX.

A 4th bridge to take the metro tunnel pair over the Maribyrnong will be needed, and then that pair would sweep over the top of the tunnel dive just west of the existing northernmost bridge (that takes Sunbury currently).



https://youtu.be/GHs8aenKvCM?t=569

[watch from 9m 30s]

[new bridge and MM1 track pair built to the right and the train in that video would dive shortly after the bridge - further along where the grade of the track rises versus the Newport pair, the portal would be just around where the RRL flyover hits the Footscray-side embankment - and the MM1 pair would sweep over the top from the right and then run into Footscray as is]

With an eastern portal inline with Joseph Road (where it runs north-south) and a western portal about 200m west of West Footscray station, we're looking at 2.7km tunnel length.  With no station at Footscray (as the tunnel runs almost in a straight line and avoids Footscray station precinct), it'll probably cost about $600-$700mil (using the conservative/inflated assumption it's $200-225mil a kilometre to build tunnel + portal structures).  Maybe throw another $100-200mil on top to pay for new bridge over the Maribyrnong for MM1 tracks, extra trackage to get MM1 over new bridge/tunnel dive and any other improvements to the track from Maribyrnong River back to SX (and some extra trackwork at SX to enable the lines to run into a platform/set of platforms and turn back out).  Probably another $100-200mil for the reorganising of tracks through Tottenham yard and building new surface tracks out to Sunshine.

Again, not saying this should be ready from  day 1 of the MARL opening, but I'd be pleasantly surprised if it was yet if not, you'd want to know that there are plans for more track eventually - and re-using what we have is probably the least cost path.
  TrackRailroad Train Controller

Location: Frankston Line
Sorry I’m late to the party (I was a lurker but I finally decided to make an account Smile), but I do have something to say about it.

MARL has at-least $10 Billion to work with (50-50 federal-state funding) or a Public-Private option. I’m personally preferring using that $10 Billion effectively. I have come to a route that means we likely could still have a Southern Cross - Sunshine tunnel, because that tunnel would only be 2.9km - 3.6km. What if we just bit the bullet had trains running through West Melbourne’s huge freight complex. You could put a tunnel between just west of West Footscray station, and just east of the Maribyrnong River, raising back up to surface and running alongside Footscray road and when the road starts raising up over those freight tracks, the new tracks go under the freight tracks and the roads, bridge over the creek and then connect up to SCS 15/16.

Sure this tunnel option costs a bit more than running via MM1, but then we have more capacity for Sunbury, Melton and Wyndham Vale lines to use. It also helps enable higher speed trains, as the journey from SXS to Footscray is quite slow. This is an unexpected option, but it could be a really good one.
I agree with John.Z that initially it won't be needed but with many other moving parts in the network in the west, I'd be far more comfortable if plans were set in stone to get extra Sunshine-SX track built not long afterwards.

The way I see it: there's already track in place from the Maribyrnong River to Southern Cross that won't see regular use when the Metro Tunnel opens (because all Sunbury services will be diverted into the new tunnel).  And you can build a short new tunnel from West Footscray to just west of the Maribyrnong bridges and trains could then run direct to SX.

A 4th bridge to take the metro tunnel pair over the Maribyrnong will be needed, and then that pair would sweep over the top of the tunnel dive just west of the existing northernmost bridge (that takes Sunbury currently).



https://youtu.be/GHs8aenKvCM?t=569

[watch from 9m 30s]

[new bridge and MM1 track pair built to the right and the train in that video would dive shortly after the bridge - further along where the grade of the track rises versus the Newport pair, the portal would be just around where the RRL flyover hits the Footscray-side embankment - and the MM1 pair would sweep over the top from the right and then run into Footscray as is]

With an eastern portal inline with Joseph Road (where it runs north-south) and a western portal about 200m west of West Footscray station, we're looking at 2.7km tunnel length.  With no station at Footscray (as the tunnel runs almost in a straight line and avoids Footscray station precinct), it'll probably cost about $600-$700mil (using the conservative/inflated assumption it's $200-225mil a kilometre to build tunnel + portal structures).  Maybe throw another $100-200mil on top to pay for new bridge over the Maribyrnong for MM1 tracks, extra trackage to get MM1 over new bridge/tunnel dive and any other improvements to the track from Maribyrnong River back to SX (and some extra trackwork at SX to enable the lines to run into a platform/set of platforms and turn back out).  Probably another $100-200mil for the reorganising of tracks through Tottenham yard and building new surface tracks out to Sunshine.

Again, not saying this should be ready from  day 1 of the MARL opening, but I'd be pleasantly surprised if it was yet if not, you'd want to know that there are plans for more track eventually - and re-using what we have is probably the least cost path.
tayser
This idea has merit, for a shorter tunnel from West Footscray to connect to the existing Sunbury lines east of the new metro tunnel western portal to run on the 'old' Sunbury lines to Southern Cross. This would be a lot cheaper than two seperate tracks from Sunshine to Southern Cross. Though ultimately I think two seperate tracks will be needed from Sunshine to Southern Cross for the Airport line. Probably good to start with a smaller tunnel section in the short term as it is cheaper, than extra sections can be added later. Similar to how road projects are built in stages, as other posters have mentioned, as funding becomes available.

For the short term I think the Metro Tunnel can accomodate the Airport line, as the only other line they are mixing with is Sunbury services.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Sorry I’m late to the party (I was a lurker but I finally decided to make an account Smile), but I do have something to say about it.

MARL has at-least $10 Billion to work with (50-50 federal-state funding) or a Public-Private option. I’m personally preferring using that $10 Billion effectively. I have come to a route that means we likely could still have a Southern Cross - Sunshine tunnel, because that tunnel would only be 2.9km - 3.6km. What if we just bit the bullet had trains running through West Melbourne’s huge freight complex. You could put a tunnel between just west of West Footscray station, and just east of the Maribyrnong River, raising back up to surface and running alongside Footscray road and when the road starts raising up over those freight tracks, the new tracks go under the freight tracks and the roads, bridge over the creek and then connect up to SCS 15/16.

Sure this tunnel option costs a bit more than running via MM1, but then we have more capacity for Sunbury, Melton and Wyndham Vale lines to use. It also helps enable higher speed trains, as the journey from SXS to Footscray is quite slow. This is an unexpected option, but it could be a really good one.
I agree with John.Z that initially it won't be needed but with many other moving parts in the network in the west, I'd be far more comfortable if plans were set in stone to get extra Sunshine-SX track built not long afterwards.

The way I see it: there's already track in place from the Maribyrnong River to Southern Cross that won't see regular use when the Metro Tunnel opens (because all Sunbury services will be diverted into the new tunnel).  And you can build a short new tunnel from West Footscray to just west of the Maribyrnong bridges and trains could then run direct to SX.

A 4th bridge to take the metro tunnel pair over the Maribyrnong will be needed, and then that pair would sweep over the top of the tunnel dive just west of the existing northernmost bridge (that takes Sunbury currently).



https://youtu.be/GHs8aenKvCM?t=569

[watch from 9m 30s]

[new bridge and MM1 track pair built to the right and the train in that video would dive shortly after the bridge - further along where the grade of the track rises versus the Newport pair, the portal would be just around where the RRL flyover hits the Footscray-side embankment - and the MM1 pair would sweep over the top from the right and then run into Footscray as is]

With an eastern portal inline with Joseph Road (where it runs north-south) and a western portal about 200m west of West Footscray station, we're looking at 2.7km tunnel length.  With no station at Footscray (as the tunnel runs almost in a straight line and avoids Footscray station precinct), it'll probably cost about $600-$700mil (using the conservative/inflated assumption it's $200-225mil a kilometre to build tunnel + portal structures).  Maybe throw another $100-200mil on top to pay for new bridge over the Maribyrnong for MM1 tracks, extra trackage to get MM1 over new bridge/tunnel dive and any other improvements to the track from Maribyrnong River back to SX (and some extra trackwork at SX to enable the lines to run into a platform/set of platforms and turn back out).  Probably another $100-200mil for the reorganising of tracks through Tottenham yard and building new surface tracks out to Sunshine.

Again, not saying this should be ready from  day 1 of the MARL opening, but I'd be pleasantly surprised if it was yet if not, you'd want to know that there are plans for more track eventually - and re-using what we have is probably the least cost path.
This idea has merit, for a shorter tunnel from West Footscray to connect to the existing Sunbury lines east of the new metro tunnel western portal to run on the 'old' Sunbury lines to Southern Cross. This would be a lot cheaper than two seperate tracks from Sunshine to Southern Cross. Though ultimately I think two seperate tracks will be needed from Sunshine to Southern Cross for the Airport line. Probably good to start with a smaller tunnel section in the short term as it is cheaper, than extra sections can be added later. Similar to how road projects are built in stages, as other posters have mentioned, as funding becomes available.

For the short term I think the Metro Tunnel can accomodate the Airport line, as the only other line they are mixing with is Sunbury services.
TrackRailroad
Melton is likely to share MM1 as well, possibly 6TPH giving it a 10 minute peak service. This will also release pressure from Ballarat & Geelong services which are doing the heavy lifting. 6 Melton, 6 Airport, 12 Sunbury leaves MM1 with a little spare capacity. Come 2035 that capacity will be gone and a new Sunshine - CBD route will stack up a lot more.  

Lockie
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

45 pages of discussions and the alignment isn't quite fully decided yet, and only site investigations, remarkable how much different ideas people have for an airport line that hasn't even started construction yet. ^-^ Such an overrated project tbh. There are plenty of other projects that would be better to foam about.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
45 pages of discussions and the alignment isn't quite fully decided yet, and only site investigations, remarkable how much different ideas people have for an airport line that hasn't even started construction yet. ^-^ Such an overrated project tbh. There are plenty of other projects that would be better to foam about.
True Believers
Like the Murray Basin Laughing and the LX removals:lol:.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

In today's presser Andrews was thrown a question about when he might announce Airport Rail. The reporter got the usual 'when I'm ready' response. However, Andrews did add that he looked forward to announcing one the the biggest public transport projects ever... that would employ thousands of people.

Makes we wonder If the tunnel and mega project is back on the agenda now that spending and creating jobs are the order of the day. If the feds are happy to stump up the extra cash there would be no need to involve PPP, which have proven disastrous for the state.

I wouldn't expect any announcement on Airport Rail until Scomo can get to Victoria and ensure he gets sufficient publicity for doing his job.

November is going to be an exciting month as it will literally start raining money.

Lockie
  chomper Junior Train Controller

He'll be announcing SRL prelim works from what I've been told.

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