Melbourne commuter crush: Train system nearly at breaking point

 
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Dapper? Now that's a new one. Shocked

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
"NEXT year, the Werribee/­Williamstown and Frankston lines will reach capacity. It will happen to Craigieburn, Upfield and Sunbury lines by 2016;
PASSENGER numbers are ­expected to more than double by 2031 on metropolitan rail;"

With the Werribee / Altona / Williamstown Group VLP will be on RRL from 04/15 so the V/Line paths released will allow scheduling of many extra peak trips on this group.

Northern Group - with VLP on RRL to Sunshine this opens up paths for extra services in the Sunbury corridor, again from VLP paths released .

Craigieburn also potentially should get a few extra direct Peak Flinders St services using the Broadmeadows flyover at North melbourne and passing through platforms 5/6 at North Melbourne, now VLP is largely out of the way through North Melbourne. .
kuldalai

I expect the Newport line will also get a major boost with all the Geelong trains gone.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

I expect the Newport line will also get a major boost with all the Geelong trains gone.
railblogger

Expected  new  RRL  tt for South Western, Western and Northern VLP with final commissioning RRL in 04/15 .  We know so far  Geelong, Ballarat & Bendigo each get one extra  am Up and PM Down peak period service .  Geelong Weekdays also goes to 20 minute frequency between the peaks with alternate trains  originating/terminating  Waurn Ponds and  South Geelong .

Also expect  Metro new  Northern Group  tt from same date  account released VLP paths with benefits especially to  Newport Group, Sunbury & Craigieburn at peak times .
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
If I'm not mistaken, off-peak Altona Loop services will run to the city.

Also, is Southern Cross platform 8 likely to get regular use now that it is re-energized?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Kuldali's post presents a fairly politically partisan position. (I hoped we could be a little more objective now the election is over.)

Both parties proposals involved new routes through the city:

  • Labour proposed new stations at Parkville and Domain

  • Liberal proposed new stations at Montague and Domain (plus the line to Tulla airport, although that's not immediately relevant to this)


Since both proposals include a station at Domain, a non partisan discussion probably comes down to which possible station is better and more desirable for Melbourne in the long term, Parkville or Montague?

The Parkville station is planned to be on Royal Parade, just north of the monster roundabout (and tram junction) at the top of Elizabeth St. It would serve the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the south western corner of Melbourne Uni (mostly the Medical and Eng faculties). The eastern side of Melb Uni and the Dental Hospital would be more easily accessed from Melb Central station and the Swanton St trams as they are at present. (Although that depends on which line uni students are travelling on, if they're on the Craigieburn line, the new station and a longish walk would be quicker.)

The Montague plan would serve the current South Wharf area (Convention centre and shopping centre west of Jeff's Shed), plus the future Fisherman's bend area which will be developed in the next 20 years for businesses that will employ tens of thousands of people plus it will house over 50,000 residents.

Of course in an ideal world we could have both Parkville and Montague stations, but in the real world of limited budgets and political parties that prefer combat to cooperation, we can only have one. In ten years, (earliest possible completion date for the new line), Fisherman's Bend will already be starting to take off (probably a bit like South Bank was at the turn of the century), so on that basis, I reckon a station at Montague would be more valuable and serve more people than Parkville.

Anyone care to dispute or disagree with my thinking ?
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
Kuldali's post presents a fairly politically partisan position, (I hoped we could be a little more objective now the election is over).

Both parties proposals involved new routes through the city:

  • Labour proposed new stations at Parkville and Domain

  • Liberal proposed new stations at Montague and Domain (plus the line to Tulla airport, although that's not immediately relevant to this)


Since both proposals include a station at Domain, a non partisan discussion probably comes down to which is better and more desirable for Melbourne in the long term, Parkville or Montague?

The Parkville station is planned to be on Royal Parade, just north of the monster roundabout (and tram junction) at the top of Elizabeth St. It would serve the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the south western corner of Melbourne Uni (mostly the Medical and Eng faculties). The eastern side of Melb Uni and the Dental Hospital would be more easily accessed from Melb Central station and the Swanton St trams as they are at present. (Although that depends on which line people are travelling on, if people are on the Craigieburn line, the new station and a longish walk would be quicker.)

The Montague plan would serve the current South Wharf area (Convention centre plus the area west of Jeff's Shed), plus the future Fisherman's bend area which will be developed in the next 20 years for businesses that employ tens of thousands of people plus it will house over 50,000 residents.

Of course in an ideal world we could have both Parkville and Montague stations, but in the real world of limited budgets and political parties that prefer combat to cooperation we can only have one. In ten years, (earliest possible completion date), Fisherman's Bend will already be starting to take off (probably a bit like South Bank was at the turn of the century), so on that basis, I reckon a station at Montague would be more valuable and serve more people than Parkville.

Anyone care to dispute or disagree with my thinking ?
Bogong

Yes, why would it. You accuse everyone of being politically biased but you are not disguising the fact that you are a rusted on Liberal!! I am not a lover of the ALP but the Coalition got what they deserved. Did nowt, got nowt. I just feel sorry for Elizabeth Miller, she was a good MP for Bentleigh!!!

Anyway Parkville is more valuable, employment will be booming now that the Cancer Centre is near completion. Obviously you have not travelled by Tram on that corridor, every tram is packed during peak. Parkville is home to Melbourne University, Women's, Melbourne and Children's Hospital and the Cancer Centre. That makes it a major centre of employment. Another reason why the Melbourne Metro is better than that hideous dog leg is to add capacity and relieve the Swanston Street Tram Corridor.

You cannot say in all certainty that Fisherman's bend will take off. Building and Construction in this State is already slowing down and I can tell you the ALP Govt will not be giving developers free kicks like the Coalition.


Michael
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Foam hat on, if a station was to be built at Fisherman's Bend, it should be built at Fisherman's Bend proper, on a tunnel from Newport to Southern Cross, to better serve future development and the industrial area. In the interim, the 109 tram could be extended to cover the area.

Foam hat off, this would really depend on the budget and willingness to complete, and would need to be connected to the suburbs to make it viable.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well Mej Hammers, I wouldn't say I was a rusted on Liberal, I just said in a post a week ago that I'd be voting for them in the upcoming state election mainly because I thought they were better at budgeting and handling money. In the past I've voted Labour and I even handed out how to vote cards for the Greens when I was younger.

The point I was trying to make in the introduction to my last post was that this debate (and all policy debate) is better looked at from a non partisan point of view. Of course, being human, this is hard for us to do when an election is imminent. But surely we can rise above petty partisan politics when there is no election due in the next few years?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Foam hat on, if a station was to be built at Fisherman's Bend, it should be built at Fisherman's Bend proper, on a tunnel from Newport to Southern Cross, to better serve future development and the industrial area. In the interim, the 109 tram could be extended to cover the area.

Foam hat off, this would really depend on the budget and willingness to complete, and would need to be connected to the suburbs to make it viable.
railblogger

It's not unreasonable at all - in the longer term.

If they still want to persist with this stupid 'vision' thing of a city of 8 million people (shudder!) then they need to start planning now to provide a public transport infrastructure can reasonably accommodate those sort of numbers - especially going through the CBD and across the suburbs rather than the city being the only destination for most services.

Melbourne Metro will go part of the way towards that goal by linking those big activity centres together and help alleviate the congestion on Swanston Street trams - as mejhammers rightly pointed out they're always full to overflowing at the peaks and uncomfortable even at weekends now-days. It also provides good through-routing of busy lines from one side of town to the other and interchanges with 2 existing major stations (as opposed to only 1 interchange under Montague Metro).

In the longer term, I would argue that Fisherman's Bend is the logical next extension of the CBD but I think the Swanston Metro was really needed as a more urgent priority because it alleviates existing network congestion; also the Montague Metro design was badly flawed with a terrible dog-leg route that should be avoided at all cost. Through-routing is always better: The ultimate idea should be (I think) a second rail crossing under the Yarra connecting the CBD to the South-Western suburbs via a tunnel through to Newport; perhaps the Clifton Hill group ultimately routed through the city via another metro line to the Werribee group.

Realistically though, probably 20-30 years off.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
Foam hat on, if a station was to be built at Fisherman's Bend, it should be built at Fisherman's Bend proper, on a tunnel from Newport to Southern Cross, to better serve future development and the industrial area. In the interim, the 109 tram could be extended to cover the area
"railblogger"


This. While I agree with the idea of building infrastructure before its needed for once, the Swanston Metro plan joins a few big dots with hugely overloaded tram patronage. Meanwhile Denis' Napkin plan didn't go anywhere near actual Fishermans Bend. The PTV crystal ball had a tunnel out to real Fishermans Bend, from memory it was from Clifton Hill via Flagstaff departing in 2030?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

As I have pointed out before Melbourne Metro is the far better option as it provides heavy rail access to Parkville area and also provides rail access right down the Swanston St. St Kilda Road spine. Trams are unable to handle traffic here in peak hours. One will wait several trams to squeeze on now. The Napthine solution was a second rate one in that it did not fix Parkville or relieve tram overcrowding. It actually went no where near Fishermans Bend,  rather through Montague on the 109. Port Melbourne light rail. This was pointed out by both Jon Faine and Neil Mitchell to Napthine, Mulder and Guy but they persisted to the end in spinning that the extra station was to be at Fishermans Bend. The only reason Napthine came up with this budget solution was so they could also get an airport rail link within the project. In doing so the proposed Liberal airport rail link was also a second rate solution.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
Well Mej Hammers, I wouldn't say I was a rusted on Liberal, I just said in a post a week ago that I'd be voting for them in the upcoming state election mainly because I thought they were better at budgeting and handling money. In the past I've voted Labour and I even handed out how to vote cards for the Greens when I was younger.

The point I was trying to make in the introduction to my last post was that this debate (and all policy debate) is better looked at from a non partisan point of view. Of course, being human, this is hard for us to do when an election is imminent. But surely we can rise above petty partisan politics when there is no election due in the next few years?
Bogong

I apologise, you are not a rusted on Liberal.

If you think that stating facts about a NeoCon Liberal Government who did nowt and looked after developers is partisan then whatever. For the record I was also very critical of the ALP when they were in Power but guess what at least they initiated a major rail project.

By any stretch of the imagination the Melbourne Metro link which happens to be a ALP initiated project is much better than the Coalitions Melbourne Rail link which does not even serve Fishermans Bend.


Michael
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
The Melbourne Metro Tunnel will ease congestion along Swanston Street and provides an underground station at Parkville (hospital/university). But equally the Doncaster rail tunnel proposal also provides a train station at Parkville. By diverting the South Morang line and adding railway stations at Fitzroy, Parkville and the Victorian Market.

The Melbourne Metro tunnel in my opinion doubles up on existing stations with the CBD north (Melbourne Central) and CBD south (Flinders Street), they are not new stations.They are merely interchange stations
wxtre

The 'doubling up' is intentional - you need to have interchange stations. They will be regarded as new stations because the proposal as shown in the video that The Age was supplied with has them as platforms adjacent and perpendicular to the existing stations at Melbourne Central and Flinders St.

----------

I have many doubts that a sequel tunnel to Melbourne Metro will be dug under the CBD. Melbourne Metro will have some serious sticker shock (if you think the current $9-11 billion estimate is accurate, you're kidding yourself). The follow-on inner city capacity improvement project will be grouping the Northern & Caulfield City Loop tunnels together into a through-route for Frankston & Craigieburn (via Upfield or Broadmeadows) and grouping the Flinders St Viaduct lines released from that for Newport and Local Burnley group services. Tack on High Capacity Signalling and you're set.

Doncaster won't get a railway line until it resembles a marginal seat, so South Morang/Mernda services will be made to fit in the Clifton Hill loop line capacity.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I think others have said similar, as long as Parkville is at the university, or at least close to the university, then we can cut down the reliance on trams along Swanston street.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
The 'doubling up' is intentional - you need to have interchange stations. They will be regarded as new stations because the proposal as shown in the video that The Age was supplied with has them as platforms adjacent and perpendicular to the existing stations at Melbourne Central and Flinders St.

----------

I have many doubts that a sequel tunnel to Melbourne Metro will be dug under the CBD. Melbourne Metro will have some serious sticker shock (if you think the current $9-11 billion estimate is accurate, you're kidding yourself). The follow-on inner city capacity improvement project will be grouping the Northern & Caulfield City Loop tunnels together into a through-route for Frankston & Craigieburn (via Upfield or Broadmeadows) and grouping the Flinders St Viaduct lines released from that for Newport and Local Burnley group services. Tack on High Capacity Signalling and you're set.

Doncaster won't get a railway line until it resembles a marginal seat, so South Morang/Mernda services will be made to fit in the Clifton Hill loop line capacity.
LancedDendrite

Do you think it is too low? Well I am perplexed and we are in trouble. If Crossrail which involves 26 miles of tunnels, 10 New Stations and New Rolling Stock can be built for $29 Billion, then even allowing for inflation 6 miles of tunnel 5 new stations, two of which are above ground and not include new trains $9-$11 Billion does not seem unrealistic.

Michael
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The Clifton Hill  Loop is the only existing loop that actually has some spare peak capacity at the moment, but the extension will to Mernda will absord that last available capacity with extra peak services to/from Mernda .
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Montague station is dead, thankfully.

This a map I created if anyone is interested
wxtre

Nobody is - quit spamposting.

The Melbourne Metro tunnel in my opinion doubles up on existing stations with the CBD north (Melbourne Central) and CBD south (Flinders Street), they are not new stations.They are merely interchange stations
wxtre

Go tell any real metro operator in the world that interchange stations are pointless.

They may however die of laughter.

Of course in an ideal world we could have both Parkville and Montague stations, but in the real world of limited budgets and political parties that prefer combat to cooperation, we can only have one. In ten years, (earliest possible completion date for the new line), Fisherman's Bend will already be starting to take off (probably a bit like South Bank was at the turn of the century), so on that basis, I reckon a station at Montague would be more valuable and serve more people than Parkville.

Anyone care to dispute or disagree with my thinking ?
Bogong

Parkville is the new Southbank, now.

Fishermans Bend is a wishy washy pipedream.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Do you think it is too low? Well I am perplexed and we are in trouble. If Crossrail which involves 26 miles of tunnels, 10 New Stations and New Rolling Stock can be built for $29 Billion, then even allowing for inflation 6 miles of tunnel 5 new stations, two of which are above ground and not include new trains $9-$11 Billion does not seem unrealistic.
mejhammers1

I'm a student of the Bent Flyvberg school of large project management. That is to say, the larger a project is (in budget terms), the larger the cost and time overruns will be. If you can break a project up into smaller independent pieces, do it. Bigger is worse.
RRL was remarkable in that it controlled costs and schedule so effectively - the alliance and project package models were excellent and the project manager appears to been quite good. Sadly, I don't think the performance is repeatable in Victoria.

The Poms have oodles of experience in tunnelling under London. The last tunnel that was built anywhere near Melbourne's CBD was Citylink, over 10 years ago.

My prediction for the (Swanston St) Melbourne Metro is that the total final cost will be in the early-mid teens. As in $10-$15 billion. Expect big time and cost blow-outs in tunnel alignment and station construction.
The ALP have the right idea when they talk about removing level crossings - an 8-year pipeline of lower-cost, repeatable projects that might stand a chance of actually going down in cost as they get built. All they need on top is new rollingstock orders and a rollout of High Capacity Signalling across all pure-suburban lines (Burnley, Clifton Hill and Newport groups, Upfield, Dandenong-Cranbourne and Sandringham). I reckon you could do all of those for less than $9 billion.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
I'm a student of the Bent Flyvberg school of large project management. That is to say, the larger a project is (in budget terms), the larger the cost and time overruns will be. If you can break a project up into smaller independent pieces, do it. Bigger is worse.
RRL was remarkable in that it controlled costs and schedule so effectively - the alliance and project package models were excellent and the project manager appears to been quite good. Sadly, I don't think the performance is repeatable in Victoria.

The Poms have oodles of experience in tunnelling under London. The last tunnel that was built anywhere near Melbourne's CBD was Citylink, over 10 years ago.

My prediction for the (Swanston St) Melbourne Metro is that the total final cost will be in the early-mid teens. As in $10-$15 billion. Expect big time and cost blow-outs in tunnel alignment and station construction.
The ALP have the right idea when they talk about removing level crossings - an 8-year pipeline of lower-cost, repeatable projects that might stand a chance of actually going down in cost as they get built. All they need on top is new rollingstock orders and a rollout of High Capacity Signalling across all pure-suburban lines (Burnley, Clifton Hill and Newport groups, Upfield, Dandenong-Cranbourne and Sandringham). I reckon you could do all of those for less than $9 billion.
LancedDendrite

As always Lanced, great reply. The Poms are really good at Tunneling, Crossrail's complexity is testament to that.

Michael
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Excellent program on SBS about London's Crossrail last night. Still available on-line.

http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/362510403914/londons-super-tunnel-s1-ep3-platforms-and-plague-pits
  yoyoman Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Excellent program on SBS about London's Crossrail last night. Still available on-line.

http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/362510403914/londons-super-tunnel-s1-ep3-platforms-and-plague-pits
mm42


That was part 3 of a 3 part series from the BBC named "The 15 billion pound railway".

The first episode can be found here:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITcQMiJkppM
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
If the British can build such massive tunnels and stations with complicated connections within an historic and developed city, why do we agonise about our infrastructure builds in our cities ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
If the British can build such massive tunnels and stations with complicated connections within an historic and developed city, why do we agonise about our infrastructure builds in our cities ?
Edith


We don't any more...

The METRO rail tunnel in its original proposal will most likely be proceeding very soon as it's a 'shovel-ready' project. It was the Napthine government so focussed on the white-elephant East-West road proposal that the METRO rail tunnel was canned because it was to them, too hard.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

One would hope that  Dapper Dan will be able to negotiate a suitable outcome with the Feds re the $ 3bn from the Feds to be used to get cracking on Metro Rail  ASAP as otherwise the system will grind to a halt within a decade .  A facesaver would be to agree Victoria can use $ 3bn of Federal funds on major road works, releasing State funds to largely fund Metro Rail . We simply need to finalize the funding for this  project rated by IA as shovel ready and ticks all the boxes excellent known rate of return and get on with it .

If Andrews fails to get it started in his first term then he too will be a one term Premier, and if Abbott pulls Victorias  $  3bn because we wont spend it on East West Link  a project not approved by IA  for funding at all, then  Abbott can kiss good bye to  Victoria in two years time .

We live in interesting times.  Two good things with Andrews win are we will not be getting Napthines  second best  poor mans Metro, or a second rate  Airport Link .
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Don't they have to order these Tunnel Boring Machines from overseas before the project can proceed?
wxtre

The definition of 'proceed' for a project is... flexible. Most of the time, it's when funding is made available and/or when contracts are drafted.

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