Suburban Rail Loop (Election promise)

 
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

More commentary here https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/things-the-suburban-rail-loop-needs-to-succeed

Something I have been reading and thinking about recently is why is this SRL not be interfaced with the current metro network for optionality.    Having what looks like a dead end connection x 2 at Melbourne Airport is not the best way to look at the solution.



The above map shows the double ending at Melbourne Airport.
From what I've read, the surburban rail loop is standard gauge.
coit
The Eastern Leg from Cheltenham to Box Hill is Standard gauge, however the State Government has stated that the Suburban Rail Loop will not be continuous.

The Western from The Airport to Wyndhamvale via Sunshine, could be built as part of the Western Rail Plan, using legacy technology and existing rail corridors as highlighted by @Lockie91. This makes perfect sense as most of the infrastructure already exists in this will keep costs down.

Hopefully with the MARL being massively descoped, the money saved from that can be used for the Western Rail Plan.

Mannie

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  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sunbury, Vic
Tom, The gold standard is 400m.



Lockie, my amateur urban planning believes we need to aim for 45 minute journey times.
5min from home to platform (maybe riding a bike). 30 minute on train (including change to another line if required). 10min walk to employment.

If a person owns a car, and they get free parking at their work, public transport will never be able to compete with the car.

If a person has to pay for parking at their employment, then my guess is the 45min public transport option is good enough for people to choose it over driving, especially with frequent services. Of course the commute time driving to work (in peak hour) is a factor as well.

I don't know if Monash University offers free car parking to students.
tom9876543

It's why I'm explaining how planning actually works.

Your first issue here, is you've slapped a generic time on it. The journey its self needs to be competitive with a car, whether it be a 10-minute local trip or an hour cross time. Research has shown, commuters don't so much mind the time as long as it is competitive and any interchanges are quick and seamless. It is all good and well to have a 2-3 minute frequency SRL, but useless if one needs to wait 30 minutes for the next bus.

In the context of Plan Melbourne 2050, the current planning policy, the government is aiming for '20-minute neighbourhoods', shops, services, work and education all easily accessible within a 20-minute trip. This is less a transport matter and more of a planning one, this is what SRL seeks to address. SRL will bring hundreds of thousands of more people into this 20-minute travel trip to already established hubs.

No parking is free parking. If you work in the city and are lucky enough to have parking, your employer is paying for this. Paid parking is increasingly common in these suburban hubs as councils realise local areas are being overrun with cars. Similar to education facilities, you have to pay for it. Even then, we are only discussing the monetary cost of parking, not the social, environmental or even economic issues at play. A shopping centre or office tower would rather have more floor space in which revenue can be generated over vast swaths of parking.

There are quite a few examples of trips being quicker by PT than a car, more notably in the inner city. Driving is 'convenient' is an illusion propagated by motoring groups of the '70s and '80s. What is convenient is the fact a person can get into their car and begin their journey whenever they want, no walking or riding, no waiting for the next bus or train, no need to worry if your connections are going to line up.

Hopefully, MM1 will usher in a new era of Turn-up-and-go services across Melbourne, not just on the rail. This would go a long way to getting more people out of the car and onto PT, with confidence they are not going to be stuck at their local station waiting 30 minutes because their feeder bus was 2 minutes late.

Lockie
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
From what I've read, the surburban rail loop is standard gauge.
The Eastern Leg from Cheltenham to Box Hill is Standard gauge, however the State Government has stated that the Suburban Rail Loop will not be continuous.

The Western from The Airport to Wyndhamvale via Sunshine, could be built as part of the Western Rail Plan, using legacy technology and existing rail corridors as highlighted by @Lockie91. Hopefully with the MARL being massively descoped, the money saved from that can be used for the Western Rail Plan.

Mannie
BaysideManny
So, then you can quote ONE official statement, web picture, business case, whatever
that actually states SG is the decision.

Until then its gunzell waffle, usually fron north of the river, that dreams of the devil guage.

And just to muddy the issue, once the SRL turns west from the airport , how is it going to match into the western rail and not create a guage change cluster fk.
And if you say dual guage, then lord give us strength:roll:

cheers
John
  coit Locomotive Driver

Location: Weston,NSW
All I was inferring was that if the eastern surburban rail loop is standard gauge; then the map is correct as the airport link is broad gauge.
It is matterless which gauge a stand alone urban rail network is.
The victorian rural network though is another matter.
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

From what I've read, the surburban rail loop is standard gauge.
The Eastern Leg from Cheltenham to Box Hill is Standard gauge, however the State Government has stated that the Suburban Rail Loop will not be continuous.

The Western from The Airport to Wyndhamvale via Sunshine, could be built as part of the Western Rail Plan, using legacy technology and existing rail corridors as highlighted by @Lockie91. Hopefully with the MARL being massively descoped, the money saved from that can be used for the Western Rail Plan.

Mannie
So, then you can quote ONE official statement, web picture, business case, whatever
that actually states SG is the decision.

Until then its gunzell waffle, usually fron north of the river, that dreams of the devil guage.

And just to muddy the issue, once the SRL turns west from the airport , how is it going to match into the western rail and not create a guage change cluster fk.
And if you say dual guage, then lord give us strength:roll:

cheers
John
justarider
@justarider You are right, I cannot see any reference to Standard Gauge being used for the SRL.


Mannie
  scadam Locomotive Driver

Hi guys,

Sorry (in advance) if this has been covered earlier in the thread, it's just so long that I couldn't be bothered to read it.

I'm from Sydney and therefore don't know a huge deal about how the Suburban Rail Loop will interact with the Melbourne network. It was only just now that I had a quick look on Google Maps and realised just how far it is out from the city centre! No wonder it is going to cost so much (bigger loop radius = longer tunnel).

But while I was on the satellite view on google, I couldn't help noticing that there is actually a linear park running in a sort of 'ring' around much of the inner city. These look like they may have been former railways. So putting on my foamer hat for just a minute, I thought that maybe an inner suburban loop could use viaducts running above these parks instead of being in expensive tunnels. An 'inner loop' line could go...

(starting underground)
Elsternwick -> Caulfield -> East Malvern
(then above ground) Alamein -> all stops to East Camberwell
then following the linear park and Chandler Highway to Fairfield
Fairfield -> Westgarth (then new Y-Link to Rushall)
then following the linear park to Royal Park
and then underground to Newmarket and Footscray

For bonus points you could route this Loop line all the way to Williamstown and divert the Werribee trains into a new tunnel from Newport which could go to the city via Southbank. Then you'd have an epic suburban rail loop which even Sydney would envy.

By my quick calculations, there could be up to 18-20 interchanges with other rail and tram lines, yet for less than half the line length of the SRL (about 40km versus 90km). Additionally, this inner loop would use about 17km of existing rail corridor that is already on a suitable 'loop' alignment. So really, it would only need about 23km of new rail corridor.

Now there is probably some big reason why this idea couldn't work, but I'm not familiar enough with Melbourne to know why. Has anything like this ever been proposed before? And would a line like this achieve the same aims as the suburban rail loop? Or is the SRL supposed to serve very specific centres rather than the Melbourne suburban network as a whole?
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

Hi guys,

Sorry (in advance) if this has been covered earlier in the thread, it's just so long that I couldn't be bothered to read it.

I'm from Sydney and therefore don't know a huge deal about how the Suburban Rail Loop will interact with the Melbourne network. It was only just now that I had a quick look on Google Maps and realised just how far it is out from the city centre! No wonder it is going to cost so much (bigger loop radius = longer tunnel).

But while I was on the satellite view on google, I couldn't help noticing that there is actually a linear park running in a sort of 'ring' around much of the inner city. These look like they may have been former railways. So putting on my foamer hat for just a minute, I thought that maybe an inner suburban loop could use viaducts running above these parks instead of being in expensive tunnels. An 'inner loop' line could go...

(starting underground)
Elsternwick -> Caulfield -> East Malvern
(then above ground) Alamein -> all stops to East Camberwell
then following the linear park and Chandler Highway to Fairfield
Fairfield -> Westgarth (then new Y-Link to Rushall)
then following the linear park to Royal Park
and then underground to Newmarket and Footscray

For bonus points you could route this Loop line all the way to Williamstown and divert the Werribee trains into a new tunnel from Newport which could go to the city via Southbank. Then you'd have an epic suburban rail loop which even Sydney would envy.

By my quick calculations, there could be up to 18-20 interchanges with other rail and tram lines, yet for less than half the line length of the SRL (about 40km versus 90km). Additionally, this inner loop would use about 17km of existing rail corridor that is already on a suitable 'loop' alignment. So really, it would only need about 23km of new rail corridor.

Now there is probably some big reason why this idea couldn't work, but I'm not familiar enough with Melbourne to know why. Has anything like this ever been proposed before? And would a line like this achieve the same aims as the suburban rail loop? Or is the SRL supposed to serve very specific centres rather than the Melbourne suburban network as a whole?
scadam

Hi Scadam,

You have located the former inner circle and outer circle railway lines.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_Circle_railway_line
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Circle_railway_line

I think your plan is an excellent idea. However, I presume the Vic Govt decided the priority was to build an orbital railway line further out from the CBD. The current Melbourne rail network is very Melbourne CBD oriented. If you work in the Melbourne CBD its great, if you work anywhere else then public transport is too slow. If the suburban rail loop works as advertised, it will be practical for someone living on Frankston Line to work in Box Hill, as an example.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Closing of the outer and inner circle railways is yet another example of the shocking management from governments around critical
Infrastructure.
  GoldenGirl Junior Train Controller

Closing of the outer and inner circle railways is yet another example of the shocking management from governments around critical
Infrastructure.
freightgate
So who are you going to pin the blame on for those decisions? It happened so long ago all the decision-makers are dead.
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

Closing of the outer and inner circle railways is yet another example of the shocking management from governments around critical
Infrastructure.
So who are you going to pin the blame on for those decisions? It happened so long ago all the decision-makers are dead.
GoldenGirl
Exactly. Took the words right out of my mouth.


Mannie
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Closing of the outer and inner circle railways is yet another example of the shocking management from governments around critical
Infrastructure.
freightgate
Sure, Outer Circle, a raging success. Had so many passengers it lasted THREE years,  over 120 years ago.
It's remnant, Alamein Line, is just hanging on by its fingernails.

As GG said, who you gunna blame. Ghost Busters ?
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

Hi guys,

Sorry (in advance) if this has been covered earlier in the thread, it's just so long that I couldn't be bothered to read it.

I'm from Sydney and therefore don't know a huge deal about how the Suburban Rail Loop will interact with the Melbourne network. It was only just now that I had a quick look on Google Maps and realised just how far it is out from the city centre! No wonder it is going to cost so much (bigger loop radius = longer tunnel).

But while I was on the satellite view on google, I couldn't help noticing that there is actually a linear park running in a sort of 'ring' around much of the inner city. These look like they may have been former railways. So putting on my foamer hat for just a minute, I thought that maybe an inner suburban loop could use viaducts running above these parks instead of being in expensive tunnels. An 'inner loop' line could go...

(starting underground)
Elsternwick -> Caulfield -> East Malvern
(then above ground) Alamein -> all stops to East Camberwell
then following the linear park and Chandler Highway to Fairfield
Fairfield -> Westgarth (then new Y-Link to Rushall)
then following the linear park to Royal Park
and then underground to Newmarket and Footscray

For bonus points you could route this Loop line all the way to Williamstown and divert the Werribee trains into a new tunnel from Newport which could go to the city via Southbank. Then you'd have an epic suburban rail loop which even Sydney would envy.

By my quick calculations, there could be up to 18-20 interchanges with other rail and tram lines, yet for less than half the line length of the SRL (about 40km versus 90km). Additionally, this inner loop would use about 17km of existing rail corridor that is already on a suitable 'loop' alignment. So really, it would only need about 23km of new rail corridor.

Now there is probably some big reason why this idea couldn't work, but I'm not familiar enough with Melbourne to know why. Has anything like this ever been proposed before? And would a line like this achieve the same aims as the suburban rail loop? Or is the SRL supposed to serve very specific centres rather than the Melbourne suburban network as a whole?
scadam
There is no way the locals will let anything be built on Linear Parks. Forget that.

By the way, the Sydney trains network is awesome. What a fantastic asset worth keeping and enhancing.

Our Melbourne network is way behind.


Mannie
  steve195 Train Controller

Hi guys,

Sorry (in advance) if this has been covered earlier in the thread, it's just so long that I couldn't be bothered to read it.

I'm from Sydney and therefore don't know a huge deal about how the Suburban Rail Loop will interact with the Melbourne network. It was only just now that I had a quick look on Google Maps and realised just how far it is out from the city centre! No wonder it is going to cost so much (bigger loop radius = longer tunnel).

But while I was on the satellite view on google, I couldn't help noticing that there is actually a linear park running in a sort of 'ring' around much of the inner city. These look like they may have been former railways. So putting on my foamer hat for just a minute, I thought that maybe an inner suburban loop could use viaducts running above these parks instead of being in expensive tunnels. An 'inner loop' line could go...

(starting underground)
Elsternwick -> Caulfield -> East Malvern
(then above ground) Alamein -> all stops to East Camberwell
then following the linear park and Chandler Highway to Fairfield
Fairfield -> Westgarth (then new Y-Link to Rushall)
then following the linear park to Royal Park
and then underground to Newmarket and Footscray

For bonus points you could route this Loop line all the way to Williamstown and divert the Werribee trains into a new tunnel from Newport which could go to the city via Southbank. Then you'd have an epic suburban rail loop which even Sydney would envy.

By my quick calculations, there could be up to 18-20 interchanges with other rail and tram lines, yet for less than half the line length of the SRL (about 40km versus 90km). Additionally, this inner loop would use about 17km of existing rail corridor that is already on a suitable 'loop' alignment. So really, it would only need about 23km of new rail corridor.

Now there is probably some big reason why this idea couldn't work, but I'm not familiar enough with Melbourne to know why. Has anything like this ever been proposed before? And would a line like this achieve the same aims as the suburban rail loop? Or is the SRL supposed to serve very specific centres rather than the Melbourne suburban network as a whole?
scadam
As others have pointed out, you've found the old inner and outer circle lines.
As much as we would like to see the outer circle resurrected, the only section that might one day be reactivated as a railway would be Alamein > East Malvern > Chadstone > Oakleigh. But even that would be a huge cost for minimal benefit to anyone except the shopping centre.

The key points with your proposal are that:
1- The old alignments are too close to the city, and in suburbs that are already reasonably well served by PT (by Melbourne standards). It would be massively cheaper than SRL but the benefits would also be greatly reduced. Consider someone travelling from Moorabbin to Box Hill; currently they take a train to Richmond and then back away from the city to Box Hill which takes about an hour. With SRL the trip will take about half an hour (and as a bonus the part of the trip on the Frankson line will alway be in the counter peak direction). I'm struggling to come up with a similar trip via the outer circle that generates similar time savings, especially bearing in mind that the East Malvern > Camberwell section will be very slow.
Another part of SRL is addressing the fact that Monash Uni, Deakin Uni, Bundoora and Doncaster aren't currently served by heavy rail. Rebuilding the outer circle doesn't help to address this.
2 - Having said all of that SRL was developed mostly by political strategists outside of the transport department by plotting major suburban employment areas and drawing lines between them without any other considerations. I hope it will end up being a successful project, but nobody can accuse it of being well planned and thought out when it was announced.


For bonus points you could route this Loop line all the way to Williamstown and divert the Werribee trains into a new tunnel from Newport which could go to the city via Southbank. Then you'd have an epic suburban rail loop which even Sydney would envy.
Scadam
There will eventually be a tunnel built from Newport to relive pressure on that line (and the Clifton Hill city loop), but it will go Newport > Fishermans Bend > Southern Cross > Parkville > Fitzroy > Clifton Hill. (See Metro 2 thread)
  steve195 Train Controller

Closing of the outer and inner circle railways is yet another example of the shocking management from governments around critical
Infrastructure.
Sure, Outer Circle, a raging success. Had so many passengers it lasted THREE years,  over 120 years ago.
It's remnant, Alamein Line, is just hanging on by its fingernails.

As GG said, who you gunna blame. Ghost Busters ?
justarider
I bet it was Jeff Kennett's great grandfather, typical.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Closing of the outer and inner circle railways is yet another example of the shocking management from governments around critical
Infrastructure.
Sure, Outer Circle, a raging success. Had so many passengers it lasted THREE years,  over 120 years ago.
It's remnant, Alamein Line, is just hanging on by its fingernails.

As GG said, who you gunna blame. Ghost Busters ?
I bet it was Jeff Kennett's great grandfather, typical.
steve195
Never a fan of Jeff ,
but him being the local member is what saved Alamein from oblivion
  scadam Locomotive Driver

Having said all of that SRL was developed mostly by political strategists outside of the transport department by plotting major suburban employment areas and drawing lines between them without any other considerations. I hope it will end up being a successful project, but nobody can accuse it of being well planned and thought out when it was announced.
steve195
I'm sure that it will eventually be a success if it does get built, but it just seems so very expensive. An unintended consequence could be a lack of network upgrades and expansions for the next 20-30 years if it steals all the budget (projected cost being about $100 billion!). For that kind of money, you could quadruplicate most lines to allow proper all-day express services deep into the suburbs, and build branch lines to connect all the destinations you mentioned with the city. This would then allow the newly-served-by-rail destinations to generate their own travel demand increases over 10-20 years, providing a much more solid baseline for the SRL to work off at a later date.
  BaysideManny Chief Train Controller

Having said all of that SRL was developed mostly by political strategists outside of the transport department by plotting major suburban employment areas and drawing lines between them without any other considerations. I hope it will end up being a successful project, but nobody can accuse it of being well planned and thought out when it was announced.
I'm sure that it will eventually be a success if it does get built, but it just seems so very expensive. An unintended consequence could be a lack of network upgrades and expansions for the next 20-30 years if it steals all the budget (projected cost being about $100 billion!). For that kind of money, you could quadruplicate most lines to allow proper all-day express services deep into the suburbs, and build branch lines to connect all the destinations you mentioned with the city. This would then allow the newly-served-by-rail destinations to generate their own travel demand increases over 10-20 years, providing a much more solid baseline for the SRL to work off at a later date.
scadam
For that kind of money, you could quadruplicate most lines to allow proper all-day express services deep into the suburbs, and build branch lines to connect all the destinations you mentioned with the city.

Don't be silly this is Victoria.

Mannie
  steve195 Train Controller

Having said all of that SRL was developed mostly by political strategists outside of the transport department by plotting major suburban employment areas and drawing lines between them without any other considerations. I hope it will end up being a successful project, but nobody can accuse it of being well planned and thought out when it was announced.
I'm sure that it will eventually be a success if it does get built, but it just seems so very expensive. An unintended consequence could be a lack of network upgrades and expansions for the next 20-30 years if it steals all the budget (projected cost being about $100 billion!). For that kind of money, you could quadruplicate most lines to allow proper all-day express services deep into the suburbs, and build branch lines to connect all the destinations you mentioned with the city. This would then allow the newly-served-by-rail destinations to generate their own travel demand increases over 10-20 years, providing a much more solid baseline for the SRL to work off at a later date.
scadam
Absolutely agree, the biggest issue with SRL is that for the same price we could pretty much fund almost every rail project that has ever been proposed in Victoria and still have spare change.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sunbury, Vic
Having said all of that SRL was developed mostly by political strategists outside of the transport department by plotting major suburban employment areas and drawing lines between them without any other considerations. I hope it will end up being a successful project, but nobody can accuse it of being well planned and thought out when it was announced.
I'm sure that it will eventually be a success if it does get built, but it just seems so very expensive. An unintended consequence could be a lack of network upgrades and expansions for the next 20-30 years if it steals all the budget (projected cost being about $100 billion!). For that kind of money, you could quadruplicate most lines to allow proper all-day express services deep into the suburbs, and build branch lines to connect all the destinations you mentioned with the city. This would then allow the newly-served-by-rail destinations to generate their own travel demand increases over 10-20 years, providing a much more solid baseline for the SRL to work off at a later date.
scadam
It's not that much more expensive than what is being done in NSW with the Metro projects.

SRL was a thought bubble of Development Victoria, as PTV or DoT couldn't think outside the box on how to bring rail services to Melbournes blackhole suburbs. Their idea of linking these employment and education hubs was a bus every 20 minutes to meet a train that may or may not be on time.

I believe somewhere near $3B has been allocated over the next four years for early works, TBMS and everything needed to get them in the ground. $1-$2B over 10-15 years is very doable within the state budget while allowing for other projects. This also doesn't take into account any value capture the government will get on selling off the land after construction. A developers levy has also been floated, similar to the City Loop levy in the CBD.

As for Quadruolicating tracks, it's not needed. All your doing is boosting capacity on existing lines servicing the same catchment, your not expanding the reach of the rail network. The only Quad needed in Melbourne in the next 30 years would be the Burnley Group. An advantage over Sydney is Melbournes metro trains network has relatively short journey times compared to Sydney. The longest is out to Pakenham which is close to 90 minutes, most other lines don't nudge more than an hour. The need for express services here is not the same as in Sydney.

Lastly, new branch lines only service to funnel more people into the overstretched core of the network where any upgrade to capacity runs into the billions. SRL seeks to move ten of thousands of people around the core every day, negating the need for people to travel all the way to the city to simply change services to head back out again.

Lockie
  Yappo Train Controller

Having said all of that SRL was developed mostly by political strategists outside of the transport department by plotting major suburban employment areas and drawing lines between them without any other considerations. I hope it will end up being a successful project, but nobody can accuse it of being well planned and thought out when it was announced.
I'm sure that it will eventually be a success if it does get built, but it just seems so very expensive. An unintended consequence could be a lack of network upgrades and expansions for the next 20-30 years if it steals all the budget (projected cost being about $100 billion!). For that kind of money, you could quadruplicate most lines to allow proper all-day express services deep into the suburbs, and build branch lines to connect all the destinations you mentioned with the city. This would then allow the newly-served-by-rail destinations to generate their own travel demand increases over 10-20 years, providing a much more solid baseline for the SRL to work off at a later date.
scadam
Your general point is well made and I think understood by many. Funding projects is about choices and SRL being a priority means that some other projects will likely be delayed - hopefully mainly raod based projects. Lockie has highlighted above and others have previously pointed out, that the cost per km for SRL is in accordance with the 2 Syd metro projects. Thus, these expensive metro projects are unfortunately the price we now pay for neglecting network improvement & expansion for many decades. We could've built a line to the airport for $100m 50yrs ago or $1B 25-30yrs ago....now it costs $10B and we still only have it operational towards the end of this deacde!


Half the cost per km??? Both current Sydney Metro tunneling projects are around $900m to $1b per km! Metro stage 2 is costing $17 billion which is mostly for the 15.5km Chatswood to Sydenham underground central section. (The conversion of the 13.5km SW section for metro operations and station upgrades from Sydenham - Bankstown section totals around $2b-$2.5 billion)

Metro West is already costed at $27billion for 24km - already delayed and scheduled to be completed 3 years later. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/warning-that-sydney-s-biggest-rail-project-risks-costing-27bn-and-opening-late-20210201-p56ye6.html

As Lockier also highlights there are significant gains financially for future state budgets with levies and stamp duty from what is essentially an urban, mixed use preceinct development project for the middle suburbs as Melb grows to an 8.5m pop by 2050. (SRLA is now the main planning authority regarding any project within a 1.5km radius of every SRL station)

The 26km, Stage 1 to Box Hill is projected to cost between $30B to $34B. Again, in accordance with Syd metro project costs per km. (Stage 1 & 2 est is $57B-$60B, but that figure will obviously change) The govt has already allocated $9.3B for Stage 1 over the next 4 years. (I've previously stated why I think Stage 3 is unlikely to be built)

You've used a "projected cost" of $100B for the whole project. A figure which has only really been used by the state opposition. I am wondering where that figure is derived from?
  Djebel Train Controller

As for Quadruolicating tracks, it's not needed. All your doing is boosting capacity on existing lines servicing the same catchment, your not expanding the reach of the rail network. The only Quad needed in Melbourne in the next 30 years would be the Burnley Group. An advantage over Sydney is Melbournes metro trains network has relatively short journey times compared to Sydney. The longest is out to Pakenham which is close to 90 minutes, most other lines don't nudge more than an hour. The need for express services here is not the same as in Sydney.

Lockie
Lockie91
This argument is one I've always questioned.  It is commonly agreed here on RP (and elsewhere) that adding more lanes to existing roads only increases demand, thus defeating the purpose of the expensive upgrade.  Yet expanding capacity of the existing rail network isn't necessary?  Surely the same, "Build it and they will come," logic applies to both cases or neither.  I'd be more likely to take the train if it was quicker and more frequent than it is now.

I do agree with your point that expanding the network into currently unserviced areas being more important though.  Hopefully the extra traffic generated will help justify quadruplication of the existing lines in the future.

Of course covid has put a spanner in the works of many things -- like making people realise that they don't need to work in the city, hence reducing the demand that would justify the increased capacity.
  scadam Locomotive Driver

Thank you everyone for answering my questions about SRL. Some replies (sorry for long post).

You've used a "projected cost" of $100B for the whole project. A figure which has only really been used by the state opposition. I am wondering where that figure is derived from?
Yappo

Admittedly, I did simply google it, but the figure seemed about right if the overall project really does turn out to be 90km-ish long and the same cost estimates for Stage 1 of SRL are applied. But is is difficult to project the true cost until a detailed design is done.

As for Quadruolicating tracks, it's not needed. All your doing is boosting capacity on existing lines servicing the same catchment, your not expanding the reach of the rail network. The only Quad needed in Melbourne in the next 30 years would be the Burnley Group.
Lockie91
Building branch lines to serve new areas and upgrading the existing trunk corridors are not separate processes. For example, if you built a branch line from Oakleigh / Huntingdale to Rowville via Monash Uni, you would also quadruplicate the existing line from Oakleigh / Huntingdale to Caulfield. The new Rowville service could take over the 'all stops' pattern to Caulfield, while the existing Pakenham / Cranbourne services could save a few minutes by using the new express tracks.

Another example, if the aim was to provide rail access to La Trobe, a short branch could be built from Preston via Northland. The line from Preston to Clifton Hill could then be quadruplicated as part of the same project, allowing trains from Mernda to run express along this section (8 minute saving). La Trobe service could take over the all stops pattern from Preston to Clifton Hill.

An advantage over Sydney is Melbournes metro trains network has relatively short journey times compared to Sydney. The longest is out to Pakenham which is close to 90 minutes, most other lines don't nudge more than an hour. The need for express services here is not the same as in Sydney.
Lockie91


The journey times compared with Sydney have nothing to do with it - it's all about competition between driving and taking the train within the same city.

Using Cheltenham on the Frankston Line as a quick example, the peak hour express service takes 29 minutes to Flinders Street. The off-peak / all stations service takes 39 minutes. Cheltenham is less than 20km to Melbourne CBD by straight line. So the all stops service barely achieves a 30km/h average travel speed. Google maps predicts that (as of right now) the same journey by car would take 35 minutes (midday Saturday). If the traffic was lighter, this might only take 25-30mins.

A quad track setup would allow Frankston trains to run express all day, both directions (29mins from Cheltenham to Flinders Street). This would provide proper competition with car travel on the same corridor, which would result in some people choosing to take the train instead. This, in turn, frees up capacity on the road network to allow for more local and cross-suburban journeys. It also enables more flexible working patterns for the CBD, since people who want to save 20mins of travel per day by catching express trains can travel at any time rather than just in the peak direction for a few hours per day.

Lastly, new branch lines only service to funnel more people into the overstretched core of the network where any upgrade to capacity runs into the billions. SRL seeks to move ten of thousands of people around the core every day, negating the need for people to travel all the way to the city to simply change services to head back out again.
Lockie91
I have a genuine question about this... how many people (currently) are actually catching trains from places like Clayton or Glen Waverley, travelling all the way into Richmond and then changing trains to reach Box Hill? Just looking at the map, my expectation is that most people making these types of journeys would currently be driving or taking a bus instead of choosing the train. Were there any proposals for a rapid bus line (i.e. double decker, 5 minute frequency) instead of SRL?
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Thank you everyone for answering my questions about SRL. Some replies (sorry for long post).

I have a genuine question about this... how many people (currently) are actually catching trains from places like Clayton or Glen Waverley, travelling all the way into Richmond and then changing trains to reach Box Hill? Just looking at the map, my expectation is that most people making these types of journeys would currently be driving or taking a bus instead of choosing the train. Were there any proposals for a rapid bus line (i.e. double decker, 5 minute frequency) instead of SRL?
scadam
Youve already told us your isolation in Sydney gives rise to ignorance about Melbourne.

Your waffle about branch lines just proves your knowledge of the geography of the city, cant be bothered explaining things like big hills and built up suburbs.

Just for minor clarity, the train from Clayton to Box Hill via Richmond interchange, is the same time as the Bus. ~1hr. A car in half the time.
That assumes traffic is good on Middlesbrough Rd, a straight line bus connect between the two stations.
But in reality, its a peak traffic crawl. Bus rarely makes it on time and cars are no faster (plus parking hell).
Moving away from those 2 station, by even two stops and the cross connection are a peak road nightmare.
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Here's a map of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary (the maximum extent to which suburbs will sprawl, in all directions from the centre of Melbourne).

https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Map-of-greater-Melbourne-2018.jpg

Using the Frankston line as an example is - yeah, pretty bad.   Edit: the darker shade of blue in that map - existing footprint, the lighter shade is the areas that are either industrial or green wedge at present, or can be built on in future.

There's very limited suburban growth opportunities directly south along the Frankston line.  Urban infil opportunities? Plenty but compared to the remaining land in the South-east (PAkenham/Cranbourne) whose population will likely double in 20 years, nope.

Pakenham is a special case that doesn't have long term plans to separate Vline from Metro (like what has happened for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo on the western side of Melbourne).  There are plans to increase passenger-carrying capacity (we're seeing it now, HCMTs, higher frequencies, HCS, MM1) but that's it.  That'll probably do the job for 20 years.

The only other places where quad is going to be warranted, other than maybe Burnley-Camberwell, is in the West.

Melton is Vline, it will be metro at some point.  Sunshine to Melton has just recently been duplicated but it'll probably be quadded to maintain Vline separation and allow local metro traffic to do the heavy lifting in all the new suburbs that are going to popup between Deer Park and Melton.


Ditto the RRL will either be duplicated or at least electrified and have more stations built along its length as it runs right through the heart of the main western growth areas.

Likewise, in the north, there'll probably be some quadding in the outer north when Upfield re-joins the Craigieburn line around Roxburgh Park and then it'll be back to 1 track pair north of Craigieburn where there are going to be another large amount of suburbs built.  This is also the area set aside as an access point for an HSR line so the corridor reservation will be wide and potentially have more track built in the long term.

Other than that, express services on quaded track is pretty much useless.  

SRL is connecting disparate suburbs and brushing off / overlooking the times it's going to take to travel between a range of varying sized suburb nodes is not a good idea.  As someone has already said, Clayton - Box Hill will take about 1/3 the time it takes to drive in peak / take a bus now.
  scadam Locomotive Driver

Youve already told us your isolation in Sydney gives rise to ignorance about Melbourne.
justarider
Yes, I did, but ironically it is much faster for me to learn about the key issues with urban planning and transport in Melbourne by making big 'foamer'-type posts on this forum and getting quick-fire responses explaining the reasons why it won't happen. The alternative is spending years visiting Melbourne, observing for myself, and reading thousands upon thousands of pages of strategies and government documents. So, thank you again for replying, I am learning a lot from these responses and getting access to links and resources that would take me years to figure out just where to begin looking.

Your waffle about branch lines just proves your knowledge of the geography of the city, cant be bothered explaining things like big hills and built up suburbs.
justarider

The original reason for my questions about SRL was simply due to it being so far out from the city centre (15km+). The SRL 'precinct' strategy is very interesting, and will probably be a great success in its own right. My reason for suggesting branch lines to some of the SRL destinations and quad tracking was to assess whether people from Melbourne think if the SRL is more important than travel to/from the CBD. Judging by the response to my last post, it seems that most people would place the SRL as a higher priority than upgrades to existing lines and faster all-day travel times to the CBD.

Using the Frankston line as an example is - yeah, pretty bad.
tayser
Reading this gave me a good laugh! The reason I used it was just because it was the first timetable I came across with an express pattern in the peak which I could compare with an all stations train on the same line. It was just an attempt to demonstrate the travel time savings, and compare it with car travel, rather than trying to make a point about the Frankston Line itself.

So, having now found out quite a bit about the SRL and the Melbourne network generally, I will go on sulking on back to the Sydney section of the forums. Thank you all for helping me learn more about a different Aussie city from my own.

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