Melbourne Airport Rail to be underway within 10 years - Andrews

 
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Seymour trains running via the airport line through a tunnel without electrification?

The way this looks the government will try and add several other projects onto the back of the airport rail blowing out price and scope as is usually the case.

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  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I wouldn't rush to be dismissive of this announcement.    I have been aware of its development quietly going on for nigh on 2-years and this is the game changer that transforms and separates regional and metro services once and for all.   Put aside all the previous silly notions and half baked schemes for airport rail links and think of a network that integrates the airport as a major transport hub with the rest of the transport network both metro wide and regionally AND interstate.

Picture in SIMPLISTIC terms a Y shaped network that runs like this, starting from Wallan which is the planned future outer limit of the Met network as an interchange with Standard gauge yes standard gauge existing reginal lines from Albury, Shepparton/Seymour diverting off the current alignment to go to the airport and then via Sunshine on a new line which may partially or fully use parts of the existing rail corridor to get to Sunshine but on their own pair of tracks.   Similarly, a new line from Clarkefield area likely to be standard gauge as well from Swan Hill/Bemdigo into the airport station to merge with the new NE std gauge line and then from Sunshine on a new alignment or using parts of the rail corridor before arriving at Southern Cross (west) to a new dedicated terminal for these regional links plus on the same railway a 10 minute frequency airport rail shuttle between SX and the airport.

Added to this is the new Geelong Express Line (likely to be Standard gauge) and the substantially rebuilt Ballarat  Express link (also potentially standard gauge).

Journey times for Albury, Shepparton/Seymour, Bendigo and Ballarat services plus interstate passenger trains very significantly reduced.   Using either Sunshine or Southern Cross Stations it means regardless of where you live on a rail corridor in Metro Melbourne or Regional Victoria you get either a train all the way to Melbourne Airport and the City or at worst a single change at either SX or Sunshine to an airport train.

The Tarneit/wyndhamvale RRL is handed across in its entirety to Metro.   The Melton (possibly even Bacchus Marsh) is all electrified Metro territory and regional trains come down their own pair of express tracks on a 4 track main from Melton to Sunshine and then join the new airport link into SX.

So that's why its a long, complex, hugely expensive project.   Regional Victoria under this option becomes totally standard gauge for passenger and freight as the regional fleet is all gauge convertable.    Metro network gets a huge increase in capacity for it's own growth.   Then there are additional considerations like SG to Warrnambool to benefit passenger and freight as well.

It's multi billion dollars it requires very considerable detailed planning and phasing including major decisions about gauge standardization and then all that's left in the system is the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.  V/Line then basically reverts back to pure regional service provider and the outer fringe of Melbourne becomes pure Metro.

So its time to stop thinking piece by piece incrementally and develop a big picture perspective.  In this same time horizon Melbourne will have outgrown Sydney in population.   The sphere of influence of Melbourne as a major curfew free international airport grows even more considerably and the rail network is provided with the capacity to support that.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The SG North East Line and Bg Freight runs beside the RRL and Metro Suburban from S Ken to Sunshine. I suspect the 10 years lead time is because they want to use the redundant section of the Sunbury line between Footscray and Southern Cross as from 2026 the MML will use the tunnel from South Yarra to South Kensington.

Michael
mejhammers1
If that's the case then why can't they open it on the same day as the MM tunnel?
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The SG North East Line and Bg Freight runs beside the RRL and Metro Suburban from S Ken to Sunshine. I suspect the 10 years lead time is because they want to use the redundant section of the Sunbury line between Footscray and Southern Cross as from 2026 the MML will use the tunnel from South Yarra to South Kensington.

Michael
mejhammers1
The feds are likely to fund the bulk of the project even if it requires new tunnels. The Feds were the same people that pushed for the project in the first place, if it wasn't for them, Andrews wouldn't have started planning and investigate such a link. When RRL was built there was proposal to run via those tunnel, guess what never happened. I really think if they wanted to use those tunnels it would need to be converted first and the freight to be redirected hmm how? Doesn't sound easy either way.

This project the way the premier put it would include express regional service lines and would mean a new section of two tracks, with new sets of tunnels. It won't come cheap, but this is early days. It will open after 2026, still a long time till we see construction or early plans. Anything now is just spin, wait until I can see a solid plan and a funding agreement, then I am interested to know what is happening.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

talk is cheap...................
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
so is the gauge status quo...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It'll be intriguing to see if the Outer ring road corridor will be the alignment for the link to Wallan and Geelong line (Rockbank to Manor).

Converting Bendigo and Geelong to SG would be a very expensive rebuild and rather disruptive. Part of me thinks they would be better off remaining BG.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Hey Trainplanner,
That's a bold ambitious plan the likes of which we are not used to seeing implemented.
Done as you outlined, it would set most of Victoria's rail system up to really be able to perform (RFR - a victim of its own success -  was just a hint at what is possible).

'They' have been right to be planning this quietly as the vested interests, NIMBYs, economic rationalists, and general naysayers will do their best to kill this off. Even on this forum it will not be universally lauded.

Is it too good to be true?
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Converting Bendigo and Geelong to SG would be a very expensive rebuild and rather disruptive. Part of me thinks they would be better off remaining BG.
Carnot
The decision to not use gauge convertible sleepers may come back to haunt, a lot sooner than anyone could conceive that sg might be advantageous.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

Out of all the rail projects that are urgent and need priority, the number one has to be quadruplication of the Caulfield to Dandenong section.

All this talk of untangling the north and west side of Melbourne to save two or three minutes there is a real kick in the guts to the people of Gippsland.  Skyrail as being built now comdemns the people of Gippsland to 25 kmh journeys between Caulfield and Dandenong for a long time.

Why can't we build it once and get it right?  Then express sparks as well as V/Line trains can provide a decent service.

We need to imagine what this grand plan for the north and west ends up like after the inevitable paring back.  The 65 kmh and 40 kmh sets of points on the RRL should be a good indicator of what will happen.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

This also explains why the Premier has been pro active in seeking to help Skybus to take over all the other airport bus services.  One has to wonder if the Government is financially assisting Skybus?

Skybus has taken over the Avalon Airport bus service from both Melbourne and Geelong, the Frankston airport service and the St.Kilda airport services.

Sita were reluctant to part with the Avalon Airport run but my sources tell me that heavy leaning from the Premier convinced them that they had better sell to Skybus.

Also, shouldn't this be in the Victoria thread rather than Melbourne Suburban?  The crux of the plan is regional plus V/Line servicing the airport.

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