Electrification of rail line to Melton a step closer thanks to a planning study into the work

 
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Bacchus Marsh is closer to the city than Pakenham, and with a lot less stations. The line should have been electrified 60 years ago, even if they only put up the wires as far as Caroline Springs (aka Deer Park West) or Melton as a start. Even a Comeng would be a step above the P classes that can barely make it to 100 on a good day. Electrifying the line and retiring the P classes would mean they could replace the remaining T classes which can finally be retired and donated to a working museum. It really is ironic that the Harris trains are the lifeblood of the line, having been downgraded to old-fashioned locomotive-hauled stock instead of self-propelled electric trains simply because no-one can be bothered stringing up some wires. Melton and Bacchus Marsh are not regional Victoria, they are no more "regional" than Pakenham, Lilydale, Hurstbridge or any other suburban terminus that isn't Williamstown, Sandringham, Alamein or Glen Waverley.

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  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Bacchus Marsh is closer to the city than Pakenham, and with a lot less stations. The line should have been electrified 60 years ago, even if they only put up the wires as far as Caroline Springs (aka Deer Park West) or Melton as a start. Even a Comeng would be a step above the P classes that can barely make it to 100 on a good day. Electrifying the line and retiring the P classes would mean they could replace the remaining T classes which can finally be retired and donated to a working museum. It really is ironic that the Harris trains are the lifeblood of the line, having been downgraded to old-fashioned locomotive-hauled stock instead of self-propelled electric trains simply because no-one can be bothered stringing up some wires. Melton and Bacchus Marsh are not regional Victoria, they are no more "regional" than Pakenham, Lilydale, Hurstbridge or any other suburban terminus that isn't Williamstown, Sandringham, Alamein or Glen Waverley.
Heihachi_73
The P Classes have been retired as of the last timetable change.
  VicRailNews Station Master

Electrifying to Bacchus Marsh would be great for stabling electric trains. Population is still growing in the marsh. If want stabling at Melton you probably need budget for some decked car parking to buy some space. May as well sort a pedestrian overpass into the design of that while you're at it.
red_railway

How much is it costing to remove Bacchus Marsh and build again at Melton?  Would this cost be more or less than building the electrification to Bacchus Marsh?
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Could Melton be electrified and run as a metro service now if it didn't run through the loop? Or maybe Sunbury also gets taken out of the loop and run direct, possibly cross town to Pakenham and Cranbourne? Essentially like how these lines will run when the metro tunnel is complete, but not actually have to wait another 8-10 years.

If this was possible, why not also electrify Wyndham Vale to Sunshine and run it as a shuttle with passengers changing to either Sunbury or Melton trains on the UP?
  John.Z Chief Train Controller

Could Melton be electrified and run as a metro service now if it didn't run through the loop? Or maybe Sunbury also gets taken out of the loop and run direct, possibly cross town to Pakenham and Cranbourne? Essentially like how these lines will run when the metro tunnel is complete, but not actually have to wait another 8-10 years.

If this was possible, why not also electrify Wyndham Vale to Sunshine and run it as a shuttle with passengers changing to either Sunbury or Melton trains on the UP?
Mr. Lane
To put it simply, it's not possible.

The problem, is the City Loop. It makes the system inflexible, as on weekdays, you have the phenomena where by 3 or 4 of the tunnels are running in the same direction, which means Viaduct tracks 5 or 6 can be the only track running in one direction. As this is already used for Frankston -Werribee, you can't use that for Dandenong - Sunbury.

It would be a mess to try and timetable these cross town services around other services in the loop.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner


How much is it costing to remove Bacchus Marsh and build again at Melton?  Would this cost be more or less than building the electrification to Bacchus Marsh?
VicRailNews
The problem with electrifying to Bacchus Marsh is the fact you are never going to fully duplicate the line there.  It's also an extra 12km so the costs of electrifying is alot for not a huge gain.   Melton makes alot more sense to add as a terminus for electric services.   If you're going to electrify to Bacchus Marsh, you may as well electrify all the way to wendouree.
  John.Z Chief Train Controller


How much is it costing to remove Bacchus Marsh and build again at Melton?  Would this cost be more or less than building the electrification to Bacchus Marsh?The problem with electrifying to Bacchus Marsh is the fact you are never going to fully duplicate the line there.  It's also an extra 12km so the costs of electrifying is alot for not a huge gain.   Melton makes alot more sense to add as a terminus for electric services.   If you're going to electrify to Bacchus Marsh, you may as well electrify all the way to wendouree.
tazzer96
No different to the Baxter electrification project. Once you're there, Sommerville isn't far away, then Hastings, and once you're there, you either truncate the service at Hastings, or electrify the whole thing.
  red_railway Locomotive Fireman


How much is it costing to remove Bacchus Marsh and build again at Melton?  Would this cost be more or less than building the electrification to Bacchus Marsh?The problem with electrifying to Bacchus Marsh is the fact you are never going to fully duplicate the line there.  It's also an extra 12km so the costs of electrifying is alot for not a huge gain.   Melton makes alot more sense to add as a terminus for electric services.   If you're going to electrify to Bacchus Marsh, you may as well electrify all the way to wendouree.
tazzer96
Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.Smile
  red_railway Locomotive Fireman


How much is it costing to remove Bacchus Marsh and build again at Melton?  Would this cost be more or less than building the electrification to Bacchus Marsh?The problem with electrifying to Bacchus Marsh is the fact you are never going to fully duplicate the line there.  It's also an extra 12km so the costs of electrifying is alot for not a huge gain.   Melton makes alot more sense to add as a terminus for electric services.   If you're going to electrify to Bacchus Marsh, you may as well electrify all the way to wendouree.
Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.Smile
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Government today announced funding for a new Toolern station in the West, to be opened in 2019.
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-train-station-for-melbournes-growing-west/

Now I don't know how true this is but from what I've heard, the Ballarat line is already quite busy. With Caroline Springs recently opening, and Toolern apparently going to be open in 2019, this leaves a minimum of seven years where the Melton-Ballarat line will have to survive on diesel services which I would assume would have to be filled with loco hauled N-Classes due to the lack of V-locities available with the increased patronage on the other lines. I think that the Melton/Bacchus Marsh electrification really should be done in order to be opened with the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel, otherwise the poor people commuting from beyond Melton will be squashed by (relative) inner city commuters. Could an electrified Melton line perhaps join the Sunbury line and run through to Frankston instead of the Werribee line? It seems like the problems in the West are becoming more and more dire.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
At the moment there are two trains per hour to/from Bacchus Marsh, one of which is a short haul, one of which continues to Wendouree (with an uneven frequency of 24/36 minutes at Bacchus Marsh). Between peaks, these are run by 3 car VLocities, with the N and H Sets only being used in the peak.

Post duplication, I'd imagine that will change to a 20 minute service with 2 trains terminating at either Bacchus Marsh or Melton, and one train continuing on to Wendouree. So the timetable would be Bacchus Marsh / Bacchus Marsh / Wendouree, or Melton / Bacchus Marsh / Wendouree.

Post completion of the full Ballarat Line Upgrade, that will probably change again to every second train going to Wendouree, giving Ballarat a 40 minute frequency.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.Smile
"red_railway"

No, just a morbid fear coming from Spring Street of anything in the name of progress. The Victorian Government ended up stuck in a black hole in the space/time continuum shortly after World War II ended and have never fully recovered from that era, so it will remain somewhere between 1945 and 1953 in Spring Street for some time to come.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.Smile

No, just a morbid fear coming from Spring Street of anything in the name of progress. The Victorian Government ended up stuck in a black hole in the space/time continuum shortly after World War II ended and have never fully recovered from that era, so it will remain somewhere between 1945 and 1953 in Spring Street for some time to come.
Heihachi_73
At least Melbourne kept its trams, unlike many other cities around the world, including Sydney.
  VicRailNews Station Master

Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.Smile
red_railway

That and we have a group of people running the network down here who simply do not get it.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.
Red_Railway
And Melbourne to Traralgon was electrified in 1954, what's your point?

The wires weren't taken down for any reason other than that without the briquette traffic paying its way, it was more cost effective to run diesel passenger trains then it was to run electric and maintain the overhead. Geelong and Ballarat will be electrified when the cost adds up, its getting close to that point, but we aren't quite there yet.

Current plan for the Ballarat line is as follows:

Stage 1, duplicate the Caroline Springs - Melton section. Funded, Construction is underway

Stage 2, add extra crossing capacity to the Melton - Ballarat section, remove old line via Bungaree. Funded, planning is underway, construction to commence soon.

Stage 3, electrify Sunshine - Melton. As yet un-announced

Stage 4, continue adding extra crossing loops between Melton and Ballarat, with eventual full duplication the goal. As yet un-announced

Stage 5, electrify Melton - Wendouree. Still a while off.

The main difficulties with both stage 2 and 4: Duplication of the entire Ballarat line, will be the sections from Melton to Bank Box loop. This comprises 2 sections totalling 28km, The 1st, Melton to Bacchus Marsh (13km) includes the heritage listed, 140 year old Melton Reservoir Viaduct, as well as the Parwan curves, to those unfarmiliar this is a section of track near the old Bull Farm which goes through a deep cutting, under a road bridge (Woolpack Rd), across a high embankment whilst rounding a couple of curves before dissapearing into another cutting before popping out to cross Fisken St level crossing and entering Bacchus Marsh station. Both the Viaduct and the curves will not sustain double track without considerable work. Major work was undertaken on the Parwan Curves in 2005 to lessen the curves, this involved a new embankment, this new embankment is only wide enough for 1 track.

The second portion, from Bacchus Marsh to Bank Box (15km) is among the toughest track in the state. This terrain is the main reason the original line to Ballarat ran via Geelong as it was very tough to build. There are steep grades (Ingliston Bank is one of the steepest in Victoria), tight curves, old bridges and deep cuttings. All of which was not designed with a double track formation in mind. The curves on these 2 sections were the reason H220 "Heavy Harry" was never able to fulfill the duties it was built for, Interstate freight between Melbourne and Serviceton. It was simply too big to handle the track and was instead relegated to the 'simpler' North East line.

Add to that, the new line via Millbrook comprises two large viaducts, Millbrook and Dunnstown. While they are spectacular feats of engineering, they also were not built with double track capacity in mind.

Getting around these obstacles will not be impossible, nor will they be cheap, which is why electrification to Bacchus Marsh and ultimately Ballarat is no easy task.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.
And Melbourne to Traralgon was electrified in 1954, what's your point?

The wires weren't taken down for any reason other than that without the briquette traffic paying its way, it was more cost effective to run diesel passenger trains then it was to run electric and maintain the overhead. Geelong and Ballarat will be electrified when the cost adds up, its getting close to that point, but we aren't quite there yet.

Current plan for the Ballarat line is as follows:

Stage 1, duplicate the Caroline Springs - Melton section. Funded, Construction is underway

Stage 2, add extra crossing capacity to the Melton - Ballarat section, remove old line via Bungaree. Funded, planning is underway, construction to commence soon.

Stage 3, electrify Sunshine - Melton. As yet un-announced

Stage 4, continue adding extra crossing loops between Melton and Ballarat, with eventual full duplication the goal. As yet un-announced

Stage 5, electrify Melton - Wendouree. Still a while off.

The main difficulties with both stage 2 and 4: Duplication of the entire Ballarat line, will be the sections from Melton to Bank Box loop. This comprises 2 sections totalling 28km, The 1st, Melton to Bacchus Marsh (13km) includes the heritage listed, 140 year old Melton Reservoir Viaduct, as well as the Parwan curves, to those unfarmiliar this is a section of track near the old Bull Farm which goes through a deep cutting, under a road bridge (Woolpack Rd), across a high embankment whilst rounding a couple of curves before dissapearing into another cutting before popping out to cross Fisken St level crossing and entering Bacchus Marsh station. Both the Viaduct and the curves will not sustain double track without considerable work. Major work was undertaken on the Parwan Curves in 2005 to lessen the curves, this involved a new embankment, this new embankment is only wide enough for 1 track.

The second portion, from Bacchus Marsh to Bank Box (15km) is among the toughest track in the state. This terrain is the main reason the original line to Ballarat ran via Geelong as it was very tough to build. There are steep grades (Ingliston Bank is one of the steepest in Victoria), tight curves, old bridges and deep cuttings. All of which was not designed with a double track formation in mind. The curves on these 2 sections were the reason H220 "Heavy Harry" was never able to fulfill the duties it was built for, Interstate freight between Melbourne and Serviceton. It was simply too big to handle the track and was instead relegated to the 'simpler' North East line.

Add to that, the new line via Millbrook comprises two large viaducts, Millbrook and Dunnstown. While they are spectacular feats of engineering, they also were not built with double track capacity in mind.

Getting around these obstacles will not be impossible, nor will they be cheap, which is why electrification to Bacchus Marsh and ultimately Ballarat is no easy task.
Gman_86
Between stages 3 and 4: Can I add Sunshine to DeerPark Quadruplication.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Between stages 3 and 4: Can I add Sunshine to DeerPark Quadruplication.
James 974
It was implied, so yes.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Don't you love it when Victoria engineers and planners so poorly and without vision the cost of actually delivering a world class transport solutions by taking the soft options at all times when making incremental improvements to the network.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Can I add Sunshine to DeerPark Quadruplication.
James974
Just curious, this sounds like a good idea, but when I thought about it all I could think of the is only way a quad to here would work would require a heap of grade separations at sunshine and deer park junction to make it work.

I would put forward an Up/down/up/down configuration so it can branch onto the electrified sunbury line at sunshine.  Along with another full grade separated junction at deer park junction, avoiding all flat junction conflicts with Tarneit bound services, and electrified melton lines for the RRL.  Effectively after this, the only flat junctions would be at sunshine for bendigo services.  This would leave RRL free for services via tarniet. It would also allow for easier future electrification to wynham vale.  A Velocity should be able to run from platform 16 at SC to ballarat, without having any at grade conflicts.  Its expensive, but likely needed

With the Metro tunnel having a normal timetable capacity of 20tph (I know its theorectically higher, but for ease of timetabling, padding and speed it won't be more) along with having the HCMT's and the terminating platform at West Footscray.  It should be plausible to run 2tph to sunbury, 4 tph to watergardens,  4tph to melton, 4tph to wyndham vale in the off peak.  with 4tph to watergardens, sunbury  and west footscray in the peak.   With 2 tph to ballarat, 1 tph towards bendigo, and 4 tph to geelong in the off peak via the RRL, with 4tph to ballarat, 4 tph towards bendigo (including short runnings) and up to 8 tph to geelong.  

I know that under the above suggestion sunshine to watergardens does receive a slightly lower peak service, however it is offset by having sunbury-watergardens and sunshine - city receiving far more services.
  VicRailNews Station Master

Ironically RRL and Melton should already be electrified.
Why should RRL be electrified? It's for regional VLine services which at this stage are not going electric anytime soon.
John.Z

Believe the plan is to run Metro Trains to Wyndamvale with second set of tracks for vline trains to pass so might happy sooner than you imagine.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Sydney to Wollongong electrified in 1985. I guess we have a morbid fear of electricity in Victoria, or we just love the smell of diesel in the morning.
And Melbourne to Traralgon was electrified in 1954, what's your point?

The wires weren't taken down for any reason other than that without the briquette traffic paying its way, it was more cost effective to run diesel passenger trains then it was to run electric and maintain the overhead. Geelong and Ballarat will be electrified when the cost adds up, its getting close to that point, but we aren't quite there yet.

Current plan for the Ballarat line is as follows:

Stage 1, duplicate the Caroline Springs - Melton section. Funded, Construction is underway

Stage 2, add extra crossing capacity to the Melton - Ballarat section, remove old line via Bungaree. Funded, planning is underway, construction to commence soon.

Stage 3, electrify Sunshine - Melton. As yet un-announced

Stage 4, continue adding extra crossing loops between Melton and Ballarat, with eventual full duplication the goal. As yet un-announced

Stage 5, electrify Melton - Wendouree. Still a while off.

The main difficulties with both stage 2 and 4: Duplication of the entire Ballarat line, will be the sections from Melton to Bank Box loop. This comprises 2 sections totalling 28km, The 1st, Melton to Bacchus Marsh (13km) includes the heritage listed, 140 year old Melton Reservoir Viaduct, as well as the Parwan curves, to those unfarmiliar this is a section of track near the old Bull Farm which goes through a deep cutting, under a road bridge (Woolpack Rd), across a high embankment whilst rounding a couple of curves before dissapearing into another cutting before popping out to cross Fisken St level crossing and entering Bacchus Marsh station. Both the Viaduct and the curves will not sustain double track without considerable work. Major work was undertaken on the Parwan Curves in 2005 to lessen the curves, this involved a new embankment, this new embankment is only wide enough for 1 track.

The second portion, from Bacchus Marsh to Bank Box (15km) is among the toughest track in the state. This terrain is the main reason the original line to Ballarat ran via Geelong as it was very tough to build. There are steep grades (Ingliston Bank is one of the steepest in Victoria), tight curves, old bridges and deep cuttings. All of which was not designed with a double track formation in mind. The curves on these 2 sections were the reason H220 "Heavy Harry" was never able to fulfill the duties it was built for, Interstate freight between Melbourne and Serviceton. It was simply too big to handle the track and was instead relegated to the 'simpler' North East line.

Add to that, the new line via Millbrook comprises two large viaducts, Millbrook and Dunnstown. While they are spectacular feats of engineering, they also were not built with double track capacity in mind.

Getting around these obstacles will not be impossible, nor will they be cheap, which is why electrification to Bacchus Marsh and ultimately Ballarat is no easy task.
Gman_86
I consider Melton the effective western boundary of metropolitan Melbourne. So do whatever is required to electrify and upgrade the line to Melton. After that all you need to do is build up more passing loops for the line from Melton through Baccus Marsh to Ballarat and Wendoree.
  VicRailNews Station Master

Electrifying to Bacchus Marsh would be great for stabling electric trains. Population is still growing in the marsh. If want stabling at Melton you probably need budget for some decked car parking to buy some space. May as well sort a pedestrian overpass into the design of that while you're at it.
red_railway

Victoria seems to take the soft and incomplete approach to infrastructure delivery.  if you were going to do the job right you would run all the way to Wendoree and do it once and properly in terms of the electrification.  Faster trains and better hill climbing would be the result and Ballarat passengers would feel much closer to Melbourne than they do now.

The track upgrades would also be completed.

80 kms of additional overhead would be in the vicinity of only an additional $100m.  Not a steep price for all the benefits it would provide.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
$100m for electrifying the track wouldn't be bad, but then you'd also need to buy new rolling stock to run the services, either refit Ballarat workshops to support the trains or build a new maintenance facility somewhere, as well as upgrading stabling in other places to hold displaced Vlocities.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
$100m for electrifying the track wouldn't be bad, but then you'd also need to buy new rolling stock to run the services, either refit Ballarat workshops to support the trains or build a new maintenance facility somewhere, as well as upgrading stabling in other places to hold displaced Vlocities.
TOQ-1

Ordering new rolling stock would be the way to go and this could be similiar EMU's to what the NSW Govt is planning or lookikng to run on the Newcastle line for example.  Displacted Vlocities could add services right across the state including Cobram, Colac, Shepparton and others. Even Healsville?

I have believed for some time just do it right and build to Ballarat or Wendoree as mooted.  Where is the vision?
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Yes I agree. V/locities are desperately needed on the long distance lines, whereas the short distance lines need more capacity. I would proposed double deck trains similar to those in Sydney, as these would be good for maximising seated capacity, which seems popular with the country folk.

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