RIP Doncaster Rail

 
  steve195 Train Controller

The Premier announced today that a busway will be built along the Eastern Freeway median as part of the North East Link project. (See: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/melbournes-first-dedicated-high-speed-busway/)
Thus it would seem that the Doncaster Rail dream is over.

Given that the rail project doesn't stack up, and will probably never be built, I think this is absolutely the right decision. A busway combined with 24/7 bus lanes on Hoddle St and into the city can provide frequent PT services to a huge catchment area without requiring passengers to interchange.

Sure, it might not have the same scope for capacity increases as rail, but buses can comfortably run at 20sec headways or less. Plus, when the capacity is eventually used up, they'll just have to start buying articulated buses.

My main issue with this is that it could be built quite cheaply and doesn't have to be rolled into a ludicrous $16,500,000,000 road project.

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  Doss13 Beginner

Have liked just about everything the premier has done, but not this.

So many people regard using the bus (anywhere) as a substandard service. Hopefully, when Metro 2 comes around, there is a way in which this can be transformed into a railway line where the busway is.
  steve195 Train Controller

I reckon attitudes can change pretty quickly. Disdain for buses stems from indirect routes with frequent stops that also get stuck in traffic.

Buses zooming past ginormous traffic jams every 30sec at 100km/h will surely convince some of those drivers that they could get to work much faster by catching a bus.

Or maybe people are more stubborn than I'm giving them credit for.
  anuddernut Locomotive Fireman

Location: Near the beach
Sorry Steve, but people are definitely more stubborn than you given them credit

Here in Perth there are daily traffic jams on the Kwinana and Mitchell Freeways while the trains run past down the centre of the freeway at up to 130 kph.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
To be honest I didn't think that rail running down the freeway median was going to be viable anyway due to low catchment area - every station would have needed good connecting services in order to be successful.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The Premier announced today that a busway will be built along the Eastern Freeway median as part of the North East Link project. (See: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/melbournes-first-dedicated-high-speed-busway/)
Thus it would seem that the Doncaster Rail dream is over.

Given that the rail project doesn't stack up, and will probably never be built, I think this is absolutely the right decision. A busway combined with 24/7 bus lanes on Hoddle St and into the city can provide frequent PT services to a huge catchment area without requiring passengers to interchange.

Sure, it might not have the same scope for capacity increases as rail, but buses can comfortably run at 20sec headways or less. Plus, when the capacity is eventually used up, they'll just have to start buying articulated buses.

My main issue with this is that it could be built quite cheaply and doesn't have to be rolled into a ludicrous $16,500,000,000 road project.
steve195
Yes I agree with you.

Can someone break down the costs, I even tried but still doesn't account the many billions it is promised to build.

New section would cost about $5 billion, another $5 billion on the upgrades on the Eastern Freeway, where does 6.5 billion come from? Inflation? Cost overruns? Private road companies pushing the price higher? How did they get the cost, the business case is not even ready yet.

Yes I have concerns with the latest news on the project, but I do see the appeal and interests of doing so. But for 16.5 billion, that could actually fund Metro Tunnel stage 2. No kidding. But of course adding extra fees on the rail system would not be attractive (since that is where most of funds will come from). But how does it cost 16.5 billion, if you went anywhere in the world that money could build a high speed rail line.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I have to question the thread title - RIP Doncaster Rail.

RIP is used to bid a farewell to someone who has died. Given the fact that the Doncaster Rail Line was never born I reckon SFA is a better title than RIP.
  stooge spark Train Controller

I'm concerned this busway might be a waste of money, there's a bit of reluctance to use buses due to their general frequencies and cleanliness.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

I'm concerned this busway might be a waste of money, there's a bit of reluctance to use buses due to their general frequencies and cleanliness.
stooge spark
especially Transdev
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I think the freeway expansion is a waste of money, why not just build the link without the expansion, would be much cheaper.

It's the bus link that is makes the project look better than it really is. Remember that cycle highway getting built as part of West Gate Tunnel. Same thing.
  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Yeah, this is simply an olive leaf to the people in Bulleen who will have their suburb ripped in half.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I reckon attitudes can change pretty quickly. Disdain for buses stems from indirect routes with frequent stops that also get stuck in traffic.

Buses zooming past ginormous traffic jams every 30sec at 100km/h will surely convince some of those drivers that they could get to work much faster by catching a bus.

Or maybe people are more stubborn than I'm giving them credit for.
steve195

We have 3 dedicated bus ways in western Sydney and it doesn't make people want to catch the bus. The north west which is getting a brand new metro railway currently has a bus lane down the centre of the M2 and yet traffic is still packed. Busways do not move people out of cars. What you end up with is 2 empty lanes and angry motorists.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
What the link will do (and not the bus lanes/Eastern Freeway widening) is move traffic that was going through the Domain/Burnley tunnels and over the Bolte Bridge off Citylink as traffic from the East/South East of the state can move to the North/North East / North West of the state without going via the CBD.  It should have been built when Eastlink was built

Buses seem to work in Adelaide and other places but maybe their system is better than Melbourne's and Melbourne's needs to be overhauled (ie more direct routes, more frequent services or something).
One of the problems in Melbourne when I lived there was if the trains got held up you could often miss the last bus as it ran at 6:30 or 7pm.  This pushed people to drive to the station (or into work) rather than take the bus.  If the systems were truly integrated the bus and trains should be better scheduled as guaranteed connections for at least the last service of the day.

finally if they have the bus lanes segregated as in the artist's impression then it would be fairly easy to lay rails down them in the future.
  stooge spark Train Controller

I reckon attitudes can change pretty quickly. Disdain for buses stems from indirect routes with frequent stops that also get stuck in traffic.

Buses zooming past ginormous traffic jams every 30sec at 100km/h will surely convince some of those drivers that they could get to work much faster by catching a bus.

Or maybe people are more stubborn than I'm giving them credit for.

We have 3 dedicated bus ways in western Sydney and it doesn't make people want to catch the bus. The north west which is getting a brand new metro railway currently has a bus lane down the centre of the M2 and yet traffic is still packed. Busways do not move people out of cars. What you end up with is 2 empty lanes and angry motorists.
simstrain
Are you sure that it isnt because the buses are terrible? Ive heard that Sydney is pretty bad when it comes to transport.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Two buses an hour and finished by 9 on Sundays on the "best" (SmartBus) routes in the area, yeah, that will really be useful on the weekend compared to a train service. Rolling Eyes

Going 100 km/h after taking 40 minutes navigating through the narrow spaghetti streets of Doncaster, Bulleen, Templestowe and Warrandyte is little improvement, and even then the bus will invariably get stuck in traffic on Hoddle St, Victoria Pde and the CBD, bus lanes or not, because of all streets, the four DART services and a number of other bus routes absolutely have to all follow one another on the busiest roads in the entire state.

We may as well say RIP to any public transport improvements whatsoever for the next 40 years now that the 16+ billion dollar Greensborough tunnel and tollway got the green light. Public transport doesn't use tollways, just look at EastLink - the only time you see a bus on EastLink is when it is out of service or on a rail replacement between Ringwood and Box Hill (which doesn't always happen, sometimes they stay on Whitehorse Rd).

Victoria just went broke courtesy of the Liberal Party, in order to shift a few trucks from one street to another. PTV and successors, hold onto your Comeng trains, locomotive-hauled carriages and Z/A/B class trams, you will need them for another couple of decades lest our 1930s level of public transport services ends up going even further backwards.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

I reckon attitudes can change pretty quickly. Disdain for buses stems from indirect routes with frequent stops that also get stuck in traffic.

Buses zooming past ginormous traffic jams every 30sec at 100km/h will surely convince some of those drivers that they could get to work much faster by catching a bus.

Or maybe people are more stubborn than I'm giving them credit for.

We have 3 dedicated bus ways in western Sydney and it doesn't make people want to catch the bus. The north west which is getting a brand new metro railway currently has a bus lane down the centre of the M2 and yet traffic is still packed. Busways do not move people out of cars. What you end up with is 2 empty lanes and angry motorists.
Are you sure that it isnt because the buses are terrible? Ive heard that Sydney is pretty bad when it comes to transport.
stooge spark
Sydney's Bus System is much mores extensive and coordinated than the absolute dog breakfast we have in Melbourne. Their rail system is far more extensive than ours. The only saving grace is our tram system. If Sydney's is bad then Melbourne's is atrocious.

Michael
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Are you sure that it isnt because the buses are terrible? Ive heard that Sydney is pretty bad when it comes to transport.
stooge spark

Buses are terrible but the Sydney bus system is not. It is actually very good at moving quite a lot of people around Sydney.

For reference this pdf of routes in the north west of Sydney should show you the extent of bus services provided throughout Sydney. https://www.cdcbus.com.au/images/files/maps/hillsbus/Region_4_Network_Map.pdf
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The premier has lost the plot in my view wanting to put more buses on the roads with nowhere to go at the city end.

This is a crazy project.

He is being slammed on social media over this.
  chomper Junior Train Controller

A busway down a median left for the purposes of heavy rail... have the muppets in government gone completely insane or have private interests got them over a barrel? Surely people have to realise that shenanigans are happening when a project that SHOULD cost in the order of $3-4 billion comes up as $16.5 billion initially plus the $40 billion over the course of the concession deed.

Royal commission for the banks... nah, subject govco to one. This is out and out criminal.
  stooge spark Train Controller

Are you sure that it isnt because the buses are terrible? Ive heard that Sydney is pretty bad when it comes to transport.

Buses are terrible but the Sydney bus system is not. It is actually very good at moving quite a lot of people around Sydney.

For reference this pdf of routes in the north west of Sydney should show you the extent of bus services provided throughout Sydney. https://www.cdcbus.com.au/images/files/maps/hillsbus/Region_4_Network_Map.pdf
simstrain
So are the buses themselves bad, but the network is good? Or am I screwing this up?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Buses are bad is just my personal feelings about buses. They do catch fire occasionally but the buses are all air conditioned and are mostly wheelchair accessible.
  skendall46 Beginner

I wouldn't be so quick to write off this project.

The location and configuration of the busway is comparable to the Northern Busway in Auckland, which has been phenomenally successful, to the point that plans for a second harbour crossing (technically, a third crossing) have been put off because the traffic volumes over the Harbour Bridge have reduced significantly since the Busway opened.

Much like what is proposed for the Doncaster Busway, the Northern Busway runs for just over 6km beside the Northern Motorway, from Constellation Dr to Esmonde Rd, where buses re-join the Northern Motorway for a further 6km across the Harbour Bridge and through the traffic funnel that is Fanshawe St (much like Hoddle St is in Melbourne) on the way into the CBD.

I think the success of the project in Auckland is that, at least in part, the Northern Busway operates like a railway or tram service, not just as a bus lane.  The Northern Express service along the Busway uses a dedicated fleet of double-decker buses, and only stops at the designated busway and park-and-ride stations that local bus routes feed in to.  These stations have facilities comparable to (and in some cases, much better than) most railway stations.

In regards to timetabling, NEX buses run at 3 minute frequencies during the morning and afternoon peak, reducing to 10 minutes for most of the rest of the day... which is comparable or better than most train and tram services.  In terms of journey times, the trip from Albany Station (about 4km beyond the end of the Busway) takes a bit over 30 minutes, which is way faster than you can do the trip in a car during the peak.

If PTV treat services on the Doncaster Busway in a similar way (instead of using the Busway as a general-purpose bus lane) I don't see why this project couldn't be equally as successful.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Yes I agree with you. Can someone break down the costs, I even tried but still doesn't account the many billions it is promised to build. New section would cost about $5 billion, another $5 billion on the upgrades on the Eastern Freeway, where does 6.5 billion come from? Inflation? Cost overruns? Private road companies pushing the price higher? How did they get the cost, the business case is not even ready yet. Yes I have concerns with the latest news on the project, but I do see the appeal and interests of doing so. But for 16.5 billion, that could actually fund Metro Tunnel stage 2. No kidding. But of course adding extra fees on the rail system would not be attractive (since that is where most of funds will come from). But how does it cost 16.5 billion, if you went anywhere in the world that money could build a high speed rail line.
James974
$16.5 billion could easily build Metro 2, even with add-ons such as a new Geelong line diversion! Doncaster Rail will never stack up with our current network, but with Metro 2 I'm sure it would.
  drunkill Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A good stopgap, should have been done a decade ago.

Easily replaced by rail in 2035+ when a line is viable.
  VicRailNews Station Master

A good stopgap, should have been done a decade ago.

Easily replaced by rail in 2035+ when a line is viable.
drunkill

Not viable now?

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