Could Melbourne have airport rail sooner rather than later?

 

News article: Could Melbourne have airport rail sooner rather than later?

I’ve long been surprised that so far no Victorian government has caved in to the intense public pressure to build a rail line from the CBD to Melbourne Airport.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I’ve long been surprised that so far no Victorian government has caved in to the intense public pressure to build a rail line from the CBD to Melbourne Airport. There’s been plenty of posturing but so far no government has ever bitten the bullet.

The idea was back in the media this week with this peremptory command to the Napthine Government from The Age’s editorial writer: Build airport rail, now. If only it were in caps with an exclamation mark!
Could Melbourne have airport rail sooner rather than later?


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The metro trail tunnel will be under construction within the next 5 years. The rail line to the airport will be completed within the next 9 years after the metro tunnel.

At $2.5b as quoted in the article, this represents good value for money compared to the east west road tunnel.

Regards
Brian

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  Flagstaff Red Afro

Location: Eaglemont, Hursty line, Melbourne.
So we have the government advocating for an $8bn road link which has no business case released over a $2-3bn airport rail line that has long surpassed it's need.  This is one of many Melbourne areas in need of a rail link.  I am starting to wonder if we even have a government or are they just a lobby group in favour of roads.

Nine years isn't too bad, but they are yet to show active progress.  This has long been a typical situation where we get a rail proposal and a map showing where the line would go, it floats around for a while on the agenda with the public hoping it will happen.  Then when the circumstance makes the idea appear less viable it is scrapped with the government going with whatever excuse is most appropriate.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

And when the Victorian election is near, guess what will be brought up, as it always is.

But isn't that Sunshine to Broadmeadows line (the Albury line) between the two airports now all standard gauge, including where he suggests?
  Simbera Train Controller

But isn't that Sunshine to Broadmeadows line (the Albury line) between the two airports now all standard gauge, including where he suggests?
Newcastle Express

One line is SG, the other is BG. I have no idea if they'll even be using the existing BG line though - it'd make sense to build two new tracks rather than trying to negotiate freight trains between what will no doubt be a fairly frequent and late-running passenger service. They will at least need to build one additional line in that section, so it may make sense to do the two while they're there. Who knows?
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
So we have the government advocating for an $8bn road link which has no business case released over a $2-3bn airport rail line that has long surpassed it's need.  This is one of many Melbourne areas in need of a rail link.  I am starting to wonder if we even have a government or are they just a lobby group in favour of roads.
Flagstaff
It's not just in favour of roads.  It has been suggested that the airport car park is now so huge that it should have its own postcode.  If a rail link were to happen, how much parking revenue would be lost?  How many ancilliary businesses would be affected?
  Flagstaff Red Afro

Location: Eaglemont, Hursty line, Melbourne.
It's not just in favour of roads.  It has been suggested that the airport car park is now so huge that it should have its own postcode.  If a rail link were to happen, how much parking revenue would be lost?  How many ancilliary businesses would be affected?
Lad_Porter
Yeah it's an easy argument for them, the big picture is that everything affects someone.  A railway line would do a better job in attracting people to the airport which in the long run boosts more profits for the businesses overall.  You could liken it to saying 'don't build any railway lines because then the petrol and mechanics industries will lose profits over lowered car usage'.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yeah it's an easy argument for them, the big picture is that everything affects someone.  A railway line would do a better job in attracting people to the airport which in the long run boosts more profits for the businesses overall.  You could liken it to saying 'don't build any railway lines because then the petrol and mechanics industries will lose profits over lowered car usage'.
Flagstaff

The CEO of Melbourne Airport is keen on the rail link but I am not sure the government is listening.  It is fine to say the petroleum and taxi industry would suffer if a rail link went in, but there are only so many cars one can fit on that road and the road is at its limit.  The argument includes the need to get more people to and from the airport which is not possible in the future given the road restrictions.

A rail line is the only way to go.  Remember there are circa 7,000 workers at the airport.  I am certain 2,000 or so of them would get the train to and from work if it were available.

The next question then arises, what operating times would we expect from an airport rail service?

Regards
Brian
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
You'd need almost overnight service, given that MEL has flights operating quite late. That said, I'd say that any airport link to Tulla needs to have some other local benefit because in and of themselves airport traffic on the East Coast is very peaky.

SYD is a good example - it's completely and utterly bananas from dawn to mid-morning, and then it has alternating moderate/light activity for the rest of the day.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Fat chance of getting the Victorian state government to do this, it's plainly obvious they are slaves to Tony Abbott's policies in this area.

I have to wonder how much the airport itself could donate to the project. I'm sure a public announcement to offer x hundred million towards construction of any future rail link would put the government on the back foot. If they could do away with half the carpark, how much would half a postcode's worth of light industrial land be worth ?
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
A rail line is the only way to go.  Remember there are circa 7,000 workers at the airport.  I am certain 2,000 or so of them would get the train to and from work if it were available.
bevans

Interesting article in the Sunday Age of 27/10 re the 901 bus, which despite its problems is evidently the only form of public transport currently serving the airport.  It is feasible to catch a train to Broadmeadows, then the bus to the airport, and while this would not work for air travellers, some airport workers do so.  For one of them, it says "she catches the bus because it's cheaper than the $8 fee for airport staff parking, and because she can catch a power nap on the way to work."  The bus stop has been moved to a point somewhere near the Qantas domestic terminal, so it's now easier to use.  The article goes on to say "The 901 has given the airport's 12,500 staff their first viable alternative to driving to work. Public Transport Victoria surveyed passengers last year and found one in four travelling between the airport and Broadmeadows railway station worked there. But most airport staff remain wedded to driving - the airport's own survey also found that about 95 per cent still drive."

It's worth a read, not just for airport relevance but because it describes the entire trip from Tulla to Frankston:  

http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/the-odyssey-20131026-2w8py.html
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting article in the Sunday Age of 27/10 re the 901 bus, which despite its problems is evidently the only form of public transport currently serving the airport.  It is feasible to catch a train to Broadmeadows, then the bus to the airport, and while this would not work for air travellers, some airport workers do so.
Lad_Porter
I actually did that about two years ago when I had the time to muck around with it.  While it's not impossible, Broadmeadows station is not the nicest place to wait for a bus with all your luggage, especially not at night.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I actually did that about two years ago when I had the time to muck around with it.  While it's not impossible, Broadmeadows station is not the nicest place to wait for a bus with all your luggage, especially not at night.
don_dunstan
I think that it wouldn't be too hard to get a train shuttle service running between the Airport and Sunshine.  i.e. Build a spur from the Albion line and electrify it.

But after seeing what the PSOs have to deal with at Sunshine Station pretty much every night of the week (as many of the other passengers on Saturday's steam excursion back from Maldon witnessed), I too wouldn't feel safe at that location either.  Yes, a wonderful introduction to Melbourne....
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Going by the current political and lobbyest movement, It seams the proposed metro tunnel Is nothing but a dream that has been dumped Is the too hard basket.

On the other hand calls for a rail link to Tullamaine airport ring louder and louder every day.

I'm guessing that a future State Government will link the airport to the city using RRL and diesel trains, as It would be a quick cheap option that gives the people what they want (yes this may cause other Issues, but makes good use of a new city asset "RRL")  

The Idea of an airport train calling at little dumpy stations like Tottenham and Middle Footscray then bypassing Spencer Street Station Is just silly.

Spencer Street Station (or SCS) has the most transport connections then any other station In the State, It has the facilities to help Regional, Interstate and International passengers find there way around (few other stations In metro Melbourne have these facilities)
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I'm guessing that a future State Government will link the airport to the city using RRL and diesel trains, as It would be a quick cheap option that gives the people what they want (yes this may cause other Issues, but makes good use of a new city asset "RRL")  
Nightfire
The problems with Diesel trains on this route is that any underground station at the airport wouldn't exactly be good to one's health I would imagine.

Note also that the PTV report said an airport service would require a 10 minute service frequency.
http://ptv.vic.gov.au/assets/PTV/PTV%20docs/Melbourne-Airport/Melbourne-Airport-Rail-Link-Study-Overview.pdf
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The problems with Diesel trains on this route is that any underground station at the airport wouldn't exactly be good to one's health I would imagine.

Note also that the PTV report said an airport service would require a 10 minute service frequency.
http://ptv.vic.gov.au/assets/PTV/PTV%20docs/Melbourne-Airport/Melbourne-Airport-Rail-Link-Study-Overview.pdf
Carnot

The use of diesel trains Isn't ideal, I'm just thinking about the political point scoring of establishing a speedy usable train service.

The service could then be further enhanced by electrifying the airport link and RRL to SSS to 25KV AC (to then feed the scope of electric trains running to greater Geelong and Ballarat)

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