Regional Network Development Plan

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The RNDP was launched today with pretty minimal fanfare.

Seems very light on specifics compared to the metropolitan one from a couple of years ago. Certainly less technically focused.

http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/transport/rail-and-roads/public-transport/regional-network-development-plan

Thoughts?

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

A woodford opinion , you have been warned....................

From what I have seen up here in NE VIc, the plan is short on detail because its only been in existance a VERY short while. Its clear from reactions of both the VLine and the govenment reps at the public consulatation meetings in Benalla and Euroa that they (the government) did NOT understand how strong the feeling was for MUCH better public transport in rural Victoria. This plan has to some extent be seen as serving governements panic reaction to serious pubic discontent..

At least they FFFFFFFFIIIIIINNNNNALLLLLYYYYYYYY got it through there thick skulls SOMETHING has to be done.

woodford
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Apart from the usual meaningless spin about "outlining a pathway to deliver" (their phrase, not mine), bus stop improvements, extra train services, more car parking at stations and "planning for next gen trains", there is one interesting infrastructure announcement: "planning work" for duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds. Now I know "planning work" is just empty language to get the locals excited at almost no expense to the government, but it's nice to know that this project is on their radar.

The accompanying video doesn't exactly inspire confidence as the narrator talks about an area he pronounces Lod-on. So not only has the narrator never talked to anyone from there, but more worryingly, the head office bureaucrats and political-minders who presumably proofed it before it was released, had no idea of it's pronunciation either. Sad
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The accompanying video doesn't exactly inspire confidence as the narrator talks about an area he pronounces Lod-on. So not only has the narrator never talked to anyone from there, but more worryingly, the head office bureaucrats and political-minders who presumably proofed it before it was released, had no idea of it's pronunciation either. Sad
Bogong
I agree.  This state has become exceedingly Melbourne-centric.  So many having never ventured beyond Calder Park or Tullamarine Airport (at ground level anyway).
  woodford Chief Commissioner

In the video there were three notable (for me) items in the Hume region, improvements and future planning for rolling stock on the Albury line and additional services extended from Seymour to Shepparton, both of these are a long way past the time that something should have been done.

The last thing of interest was an upgrade of the bus interchange at Seymour. What they are going to do here will be interesting as there is VERY little room . Railway place is a narrow one way street and the car park is only 40x90 metres and the latter is no where near big enough usually being full well before 0800.

woodford

Post Script: I find I have been getting two completely different Post a Reply pages recently on Railpage. this appears to be completely random.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I think it's interesting that investment in PT in this State seems to go in 30+ year cycles:

Around 1860 - Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo/Murray River lines.
1880s - "Octopus Act"
1920s - Electrification, Superpower locos
1950s - "Operation Phoenix"
1980s - "New Deal", MURL
2010s - RRL, Metro, ???

Notwithstanding there have been projects in the intermediate years like Spirit of Progress (late-1930s) and RFR (2005).
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Interestingly on page 29, it mentions "Standardise and increase axle loads on other priority freight rail lines".  This can only mean Shepparton etc surely?

And @Bogong - for an out of the Loddon area resident - how is it pronounced?!
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
This was barely a plan, more of a plan for creating a plan. Very light in actual content, just vague promises that in the next 5-15 years there will be an actual plan to get things done.

These are the main things I picked up while reading through
  • Moving to 40 min off peak and 20 min peak on all commuter lines
  • New standards for stations to be developed, more parking, secure parking at some of the long distance stations, platform extensions to allow 9 car running on some lines/services
  • Trialling coaches to outer suburbs instead of all the way into Melbourne
  • Possibility of rolling out myki long distance – lots of public feedback on requiring two ticket types for different journeys.  Review of current fare structure. Only in the long term plan (10+ years) to reflect new ticket technologies
  • Lots of focus and acknowledgement of freight, improvements to corridors carrying freight not coming at the cost of losing it

Very little detail on how or exactly when these things will be done. so much of V/Line's future, at least in terms of rail, depends on when (and if) Melton/Bacchus Marsh is electrified and Werribee Line extended/improved to take pressure off the Geelong line, and because these are so indefinite, the regional plan must be as well.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
This document reads more like a strategy as to my mind and experience a plan has committed resources, dates, finances and milestones.  The plan is how we get to where the strategy needs us to be.  I wonder what happens for South Gippsland who have been quite vocal in many forums or the request for Horsham services?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In the video there were three notable (for me) items in the Hume region, improvements and future planning for rolling stock on the Albury line and additional services extended from Seymour to Shepparton, both of these are a long way past the time that something should have been done.
woodford

The plan in my view should have also provided an extension of rail passenger services north of Shepparton.  This would not be difficult to actually deliver.

The Albury service changes are much needed but let us hope it is not a VLOCITY sytle arrangement just because it is "EASY"
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Where north of Shepparton bevans?  Cobram?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Where north of Shepparton bevans?  Cobram?
james.au

At least to Stathmerton as there are plenty of people who live between Shepparton and the border.  Shepparton is not in my view the real central city/town for the region.  Cobram would be good but Strathmerton is doable as an extension of services from Shepparton and close enough to ensure Shepparton based crews are not required further north.  Just my view.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... And @Bogong - for an out of the Loddon area resident - how is it pronounced?!
james.au
It's sort of pronounced Lodden, the two syllables run together with the 'en' syllable sounding a bit like an NZ vowel. It's definitely not pronounced Lod-On with two very distinct syllables as the narrator says it.

It was just a passing comment as it doesn't really matter how the actor they hired to narrate the video says it. But it's worrying that the incorrect pronunciation got past the senior bureaucrats and the ministerial political advisers (who almost certainly checked the video before release), as that means that those more important people didn't know anything about central and northern Victoria either and they ARE the people you would hope know something about rural Victoria, as they are designing policies that affect the people of that area.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Thanks bogong.  Im oringally from regional NSW, and pride myself on knowing how to say the names of places, hence the interest.  I 99% of the time get it right, and have even called up shops in the town to confirm it if I am challenged in conversation!  I get your point, but in no way am I having a go at you for raising it!
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
No worries James, places in Victoria are usually pronounced the way they are spelled, and to my eye so is the Loddon River, so it was surprising to hear someone get it wrong.

The main exception to the "say it like they spell it" rule in Victoria is in the High Country where there are plenty of localities that are pronounced quite differently to the way an outsider would guess. e.g. Wulgulermang, Suggan Buggan, Gelantipy, Indi, Bindi, etc.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Where north of Shepparton bevans?  Cobram?

At least to Stathmerton as there are plenty of people who live between Shepparton and the border.  Shepparton is not in my view the real central city/town for the region.  Cobram would be good but Strathmerton is doable as an extension of services from Shepparton and close enough to ensure Shepparton based crews are not required further north.  Just my view.
bevans

if you where going to continue, north of Shep, why would you stop at Strathmerton, pop nearly 1000 and Cobram/Barooga is 7500.
Yes there is quite of few people in between Shep and the river. I would think it would be a winner, for the same reason's Ararat's service has been so successful, it's only a relatively short extension of an existing service, similar population too. Three train's a day and watch the patronage grow. And that's my view.

BigShunter.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
And you've got Toc down stream (2k) and Yarrawonga/Mulwala upstream (8-9k) that may drive to Cobram to pick up a Melbourne train.  So a bit under 20k of potential catchment, if it is done right...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

And you've got Toc down stream (2k) and Yarrawonga/Mulwala upstream (8-9k) that may drive to Cobram to pick up a Melbourne train.  So a bit under 20k of potential catchment, if it is done right...
james.au
And that brings up the obvious - SG convert everything North of Seymour and there's a decent passenger network which would include Albury, Yarrawonga, Shepparton, and Cobram/Numurkah.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Is there even a station left to use at Cobram?  Looks to me like its been taken out? and the line has been built over in places.  It would need a new station by the looks of it, but there would be space (and enough for a park and ride) on the Murray Valley Hwy.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Is there even a station left to use at Cobram?  Looks to me like its been taken out? and the line has been built over in places.  It would need a new station by the looks of it, but there would be space (and enough for a park and ride) on the Murray Valley Hwy.
james.au
Have a peek here,james.

http://www.vicrailstations.com/Cobram/Cobram.html

BigShunter.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
This is what I'm seeing on Google Maps.  There are some clouds but it looks like the Woolworths has been doing some building

  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Actually, ill retract that, I've looked using street view and I've positioned the station wrong!  I thought it was further in the town.
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
And going by this it looks like Victrack's been doing their usual divesting of property.

Pity if anyone wanted to run a railtour they'd not get very far on the Cobram line.

Edit: and that's suppose to be the streetview at the highway level crossing.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Pity if anyone wanted to run a railtour they'd not get very far on the Cobram line.
ARodH
You wouldn't be able to get on the Cobram line at all, as the junction at Strathmerton has been removed !
(note the Shepparton to Strathmerton line could be referred to as the Cobram line, but since 1995 Is has been used as the Tocumwal line)
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The RNDP was launched today with pretty minimal fanfare.

Seems very light on specifics compared to the metropolitan one from a couple of years ago. Certainly less technically focused.

http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/transport/rail-and-roads/public-transport/regional-network-development-plan

Thoughts?
"potatoinmymouth"


Remember this end product after 12 months is pretty pathetic albeit it has been dumbed down no doubt by  VLP, then PTV then Dept of Transport, and finally by the Ministry as no one wants anything to be too specific that they could be nailed on in future .  So after 12 months we end up with the usual  motherhood statements, lots of glossy pictures but no real commitments or planning time lines to do anything . Lots of  investigate and  review  statements . Thats what should have happened over the last 12 months .

Comments  :

- We talk in the preamble about the need to use school buses to provide local services at off peak times, then it does not get another mention .in the document

-  To be politically correct we indicate a vague wish list for similar service frequencies to all longer distance destinations and commuter destinations when in reality it is case of horses for courses.  Five trains a day to Swan Hill & Bairnsdale will never happen and 3 - 4 max is all they would ever support .  Ararat does not get a mention bat all but can support 4.  Shepparton gets suggested 5 but really deserves and could support more like  6 - 8 .  Commuter  Zone  Seymour and Traralgon will not need or support 40 minute frequency if ever .

-  No mention is made of addressing track quadruplication between Dandenong & Caulfield to support the increased frequencies.

-  Submissions made by the public that do not fit the agenda are just ignored and not even listed .  Like  restoration of passenger services between Geelong and  Ballarat, and beyond  Ararat to Horsham .

- Logical low cost suggestions like running the Apollo Bay coach service via  Freshwater Creek and via Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre to Geelong station are just totally  ignored .

-  Probably based on incorrect advice from VLP  potential enhancements such as crossing loops between Traralgon and Sale and  Sale and Bairnsdale are listed, when the real need is for two platforms at Traralgon, not more crossing loops . Meanwhile on the Shepparton leg, an additional loop will be required but is not mentioned.

The whole thing is really a dissapointment and is really just more of the same . No where are we told how we are going to address the chronic overcrowding on VLP peak services by extending the length of existing VL trains,  (and NOT by acquiring more 3 car train sets as 9 car consists are excessively expensive to run and come with lots of operational constraints. Again because of VLP flat refusal to run 4 car VL consists ) . No where after  5 years of apalling service delivery are we told how the North East sg service is going to be delivered reliably .   (other than making 3 x 5 car sets into 4 x 4 car sets ).

The task of refreshing the plan in 4 years time will therefore not be too onerous, and in that time the three  agencies involved Dept of Transport,  PTV and  VLP  will no doubt continue pursuing their own little agendas, and being as dysfunctional as ever . Rather  sad .

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