Geelong rail expansion and electrification

 
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Interesting re inventing the wheel Geelong line was supposed to be electrified as part of the removal and closure of St Kilda and port Melbourne lines using parts  recovered from the removal of electrification on the gipsland line and new parts . was  quietly dropped and only went as far as werribee never see it happen now cost too great
gary george
open to correction, but thought the electric infrastructure on the gipsland line was very much life expired when sparks stopped running out there. Without the coal traffic to fund the upgrades, the electrics where taken from there and replaced with diesel.

think how different things might look if the gippsland line was still electric.

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As you say...the Gippsland overhead was life expired and the St Kilda & Port Melbourne stuff was twice as old and therefore even more time expired.

There may have been a thought bubble about removing this old junk and sending the best of it to Altona Junction to start the Werribee electrification, but as we all know, the Werribee overhead and presumably the substations were brand new and the old stuff from the other lines was scrap.

As for Geelong electrification....there's that word again...NEVER.

Mike.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

As you say...the Gippsland overhead was life expired and the St Kilda & Port Melbourne stuff was twice as old and therefore even more time expired.

There may have been a thought bubble about removing this old junk and sending the best of it to Altona Junction to start the Werribee electrification, but as we all know, the Werribee overhead and presumably the substations were brand new and the old stuff from the other lines was scrap.

As for Geelong electrification....there's that word again...NEVER.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Yeah and Mike that is why rail in Victoria is so backward and luddite. Why are you so against Electrification to Geelong!

Cannot electrify to Geelong when in Queensland has catenary to Rockhampton 645 km away from Brisbane, when NSW has Catenary to Newcastle in the North and Wollongong to the South. Even WA has electrification to Mandurah which is further than Geelong is from Melbourne. It is a ridiculous attitude to rail we have in Victoria.

Michael
  Tony M. Locomotive Fireman

The story I was told twenty years ago was that they’d never electrify between Geelong and Melbourne until there were more stops between (then) Werribee and Lara than just Little River. They’re not going to electrify 40kms of track with only one stop, as electric trains are (rightly or wrongly) seen as better suited for stop-start travel.

And as it’s clearly (unofficial) government policy to prevent the farmland between Geelong and Melbourne from turning into suburbia - development is being funneled north at Werribee and out past Grovedale in Geelong - those stops will never happen.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Was some of the old stuff from St Kilda/Port Melb retained for the light rail?  Along parts of those lines, the catenary looks remarkably similar to how it was before.

From a Devil's Advocate point of view, what is the fascination for electrifying to Geelong?  Realistically, would the service be any better as a result?  Cheaper to run?  Consider the huge cost of erecting the overhead from Werribee and/or Wyndham Vale to South Geelong/Marshall, plus any other associated works, disruptions while being implemented, and then the need for new trains, because existing suburban stock would not cut it - you would need trains with toilets and drinking water, at the very least, similar to existing - or even convert some of the V/locities to electric traction?

AFAIK, V/Line does not at present operate any electric service, so would an electrified Geelong be operated by V/Line or by Metro?  Potential for conflict?

Could that sort of expense be justified?  Money better spent elsewhere?  Where is the economic benefit, and where is the operational benefit?   In the short term at least (and that's all we are concerned about, remember?), continued operation with diesel would have to be cheaper and more convenient.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Geelong Line is running V/Lo's on 20 minute frequencies on a rotation of 3 and 6 cars. Diesel costs add up eventually. $$$$
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Was some of the old stuff from St Kilda/Port Melb retained for the light rail?  Along parts of those lines, the catenary looks remarkably similar to how it was before.

From a Devil's Advocate point of view, what is the fascination for electrifying to Geelong?  Realistically, would the service be any better as a result?  Cheaper to run?  Consider the huge cost of erecting the overhead from Werribee and/or Wyndham Vale to South Geelong/Marshall, plus any other associated works, disruptions while being implemented, and then the need for new trains, because existing suburban stock would not cut it - you would need trains with toilets and drinking water, at the very least, similar to existing - or even convert some of the V/locities to electric traction?

AFAIK, V/Line does not at present operate any electric service, so would an electrified Geelong be operated by V/Line or by Metro?  Potential for conflict?

Could that sort of expense be justified?  Money better spent elsewhere?  Where is the economic benefit, and where is the operational benefit?   In the short term at least (and that's all we are concerned about, remember?), continued operation with diesel would have to be cheaper and more convenient.
Lad_Porter
Fascination for electrifying Geelong:
  • First you can get better acceleration with electric trains.
  • You can run the trains frequently without the cost sky rocketing.
  • The Velocity trains can be moved unto other v-line routes.
  • The Geelong line is essentially a busy corridor, especially since introduction of RRL stops. Therefore converting to electric is a logical option. These trains would likely be similar to Sydney's intercity rolling stock.

But of course it is a long term project, since:
  • There is extending the Werribee line to Wyndham vale
  • Adding new stops on RRL and electrifying it to run shuttle services
  • Metro 2 tunnel

Hope that clears things up
  PE2010 Station Master

Location: Newcastle
Electrify the section and pass it to Metro to manage. Vline can keep the frieght and regional lines.

I believe that's what they are slowly doing on the Ballarat Corridor ?  Deer Park, Rockbank, Melton elecrtified in the next ten years ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As you say...the Gippsland overhead was life expired and the St Kilda & Port Melbourne stuff was twice as old and therefore even more time expired.

There may have been a thought bubble about removing this old junk and sending the best of it to Altona Junction to start the Werribee electrification, but as we all know, the Werribee overhead and presumably the substations were brand new and the old stuff from the other lines was scrap.

As for Geelong electrification....there's that word again...NEVER.

Mike.
Yeah and Mike that is why rail in Victoria is so backward and luddite. Why are you so against Electrification to Geelong!

Cannot electrify to Geelong when in Queensland has catenary to Rockhampton 645 km away from Brisbane, when NSW has Catenary to Newcastle in the North and Wollongong to the South. Even WA has electrification to Mandurah which is further than Geelong is from Melbourne. It is a ridiculous attitude to rail we have in Victoria.

Michael
mejhammers1

People use the word NEVER as though it is a permanent thing without giving it any thought.

I have no real opposition to, and I'm fairly certain electrification to Geelong will occur and not too far in the future, however it will have to remain as a V/Line service operating express through Wyndham Vale and Tarneit which will complicate the RRL.
We don't want fast V/Line electric trains getting caught up with all stopper METRO trains on the RRL...which means quadruplication of the RRL would ALL have to be under wires and overheads will also have to be erected between Sunshine and SCS.

The whole project is very complicated and will be costly.

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
You obviously don't understand the politics of this.

Look at it this way...METRO, compared to V/Line is seen as the poor relation of rail service providers and many drivers who work for METRO aspire to drive for the better V/Line business and not the other way.

The good people of Geelong have suffered long enough in recent years without having to down-scale their travel options to a slow, crowded, less than clean and uncomfortable rail service and any government that supports a downgrading of service that's provided for passengers travelling on average 160Km a day would be considered to be making a very politically 'courageous' decision.

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
You may think whatever you wish...

I happen to know how things actually work.

Pakenham, Belgrave & Frankston can hardly be compared to Geelong. Those pax have never had a high speed train servicing their neck of the woods.

Geelong has at least 4 marginal seats.

Geelong pax are accustomed to trains capable of 160kph, even if only for a percentage of the actual journey.

We can debate till we are blue in the face, but you obviously don't work in a political environment.

Mike.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
How people can keep comparing Geelong to Pakenham, Belgrave or Frankston astounds me. Geelong is the 2nd largest city in Victoria. It's a city, not suburb of Melbourne.


With RRL Geelong is now over 85km away from Southern Cross. The furthest Metro station is Pakenham just shy of 57km. There’s no comparison…


As Mike says, "the good people of Geelong have suffered long enough". We put up with delays on the Werribee line pre-RRL which were caused by shoddy signalling & track equipment at Newport & to a point Laverton, as well as having old unreliable rollingstock, then we were sent an extra 15km further via RRL which (adding in some cases over 10 minutes to the timetable for loco hauled services) has now become massively overcrowded & unreliable and it’ll only get worse before it gets better with what I’m told, the soon to be announced two new stations on RRL.

We don't want preferential treatment, we just want decent reliable public transport! Whether it be sparks or diesel, most of us don’t care.


As a disclaimer and most of the regulars here will know, I am a Geelong resident and daily commuter to Melbourne.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
How people can keep comparing Geelong to Pakenham, Belgrave or Frankston astounds me. Geelong is the 2nd largest city in Victoria. It's a city, not suburb of Melbourne.


With RRL Geelong is now over 85km away from Southern Cross. The furthest Metro station is Pakenham just shy of 57km. There’s no comparison…


As Mike says, "the good people of Geelong have suffered long enough". We put up with delays on the Werribee line pre-RRL which were caused by shoddy signalling & track equipment at Newport & to a point Laverton, as well as having old unreliable rollingstock, then we were sent an extra 15km further via RRL which (adding in some cases over 10 minutes to the timetable for loco hauled services) has now become massively overcrowded & unreliable and it’ll only get worse before it gets better with what I’m told, the soon to be announced two new stations on RRL.

We don't want preferential treatment, we just want decent reliable public transport! Whether it be sparks or diesel, most of us don’t care.


As a disclaimer and most of the regulars here will know, I am a Geelong resident and daily commuter to Melbourne.
SamTheMan79
Dandenong, Cranbourne, Werribee and Pakenham are also cities. It just happens that they got caught up in the suburban sprawl since the 1970;s, well before Geelong will. I expect Geelong and Bacchus Marsh to be joined to Melbourne by housing estates within my lifetime. They (along with others) have had a 'commuter population' traveling to melbourne for work for over 50 years.  It's only the last decade or 2 that have seen Geelong and Ballarat become commuter services.
We used to go to Dandenong or Frankston and pass through farms using dandenong or springvale roads in the 1970's and early 80's.  Then Melbourne grew.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
HWM when I worked for the good old State Bank of Victoria in the late 80s / early 90s the city branches were full of people who commuted from Geetroit, it is not a new thing.

I remember it well because if anything went wrong and we had to stay back they never put their hands up because they had to get to Spencer Street to catch the train.

BG
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
HWM when I worked for the good old State Bank of Victoria in the late 80s / early 90s the city branches were full of people who commuted from Geetroit, it is not a new thing.

I remember it well because if anything went wrong and we had to stay back they never put their hands up because they had to get to Spencer Street to catch the train.

BG
BrentonGolding
My mistake - I thought Ballarat and Bendigo as recent commuter cities but typed Geelong.  The line should say "It's only the last decade or 2 that have seen Bendigo and Ballarat become commuter services"
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It's only the last decade or 2 that have seen Geelong and Ballarat become commuter services.
We used to go to Dandenong or Frankston and pass through farms using dandenong or springvale roads in the 1970's and early 80's.  Then Melbourne grew.
HardWorkingMan

With respect, the good people of Geelong have been commuting to Melbourne for many decades as Mark Bau's VR timetable from 65 years ago shows.

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/1954/1954ttipage38.html

and

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/1954/1954ttipage37.html

2 UP's and 2 DOWN commuter trains, during the time of the transition from steam locomotives.

Moreover, V/Line have been operating commuter trains on the Ballarat line for over 35 years and I've been travelling on them for 30 of those years.

Mike.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
It's only the last decade or 2 that have seen Geelong and Ballarat become commuter services.
We used to go to Dandenong or Frankston and pass through farms using dandenong or springvale roads in the 1970's and early 80's.  Then Melbourne grew.

With respect, the good people of Geelong have been commuting to Melbourne for many decades as Mark Bau's VR timetable from 65 years ago shows.

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/1954/1954ttipage38.html

and

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/1954/1954ttipage37.html

2 UP's and 2 DOWN commuter trains, during the time of the transition from steam locomotives.

Moreover, V/Line have been operating commuter trains on the Ballarat line for over 35 years and I've been travelling on them for 30 of those years.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Mike,

If you had bothered to read the full thread you would have seen 2 posts down from the one I quoted that I meant to say "Ballarat and Bendigo were recent commuter services".  
2 trains a day doesn't constitute a commuter service and while you were doing it 30 years ago it was rare compared to today. There's a person in town here who drives from Echuca to Dandenong and home again daily for work. It's over 200km each way! That doesn't make Echuca a commuter town to Melbourne does it? Does the one bus service that gets into the CBD by 9am and the one bus service back after work at 6pm make them commuter services?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
If a service is provided on a Mon to Fri, or daily basis and it arrives in the City by 09:00...it's a commuter service...end of.

Your fellow worker who is driving from Echuca to Dandenong...

1. Not by PT
2. Unlikely to be doing it for any length of time going forward.
3. Unlikely to be doing it 5 days a week.

Be rest assured, I wasn't the only daily commuter on the 07:14 in 1987.

Mike.
  Tony M. Locomotive Fireman

Looking at the current pattern of development in both Geelong and western Melbourne, it seems pretty clear that nobody wants the two largest cities in Victoria to merge into one super-city. So Geelong’s trains (like Ballarat and Bendigo) will be seen as rural commuter services for a long time to come.

Politically it’s an extremely tough sell to be obviously downgrading one rural commuter service, especially as Victorian jobs are increasingly concentrated in Melbourne. Geelong’s seen a massive loss of local jobs over the last decade - going on to then make it more difficult to get to where the jobs actually are is going to put a lot of pressure on sensitive local politicians.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Looking at the current pattern of development in both Geelong and western Melbourne, it seems pretty clear that nobody wants the two largest cities in Victoria to merge into one super-city. So Geelong’s trains (like Ballarat and Bendigo) will be seen as rural commuter services for a long time to come.

Politically it’s an extremely tough sell to be obviously downgrading one rural commuter service, especially as Victorian jobs are increasingly concentrated in Melbourne. Geelong’s seen a massive loss of local jobs over the last decade - going on to then make it more difficult to get to where the jobs actually are is going to put a lot of pressure on sensitive local politicians.
Tony M.

Agreed...and one only has to look at the Princes Hwy from Geelong to Melbourne to see the numbers of commuters on that road and the numbers travelling on V/Line trains.

Bearing in mind the very heavy traffic, any thoughts by Opposition leader Guy about increasing the speed of the highway to 110kph are ridiculous and bordering on dangerous.

Mike.
  Tony M. Locomotive Fireman

Anyone who’s actually travelled on the Princes’ Highway over the last few years knows the real problem isn’t speed limits but traffic grinding to a halt from congestion the moment you hit Point Cook, aka the massive new suburb with zero useful public transport.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Anyone who’s actually travelled on the Princes’ Highway over the last few years knows the real problem isn’t speed limits but traffic grinding to a halt from congestion the moment you hit Point Cook, aka the massive new suburb with zero useful public transport.
Tony M.
Hence why I'd like to see the Altona Loop de-looped, and extended to at least Point Cook, if not Werribee South.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Anyone who’s actually travelled on the Princes’ Highway over the last few years knows the real problem isn’t speed limits but traffic grinding to a halt from congestion the moment you hit Point Cook, aka the massive new suburb with zero useful public transport.
Hence why I'd like to see the Altona Loop de-looped, and extended to at least Point Cook, if not Werribee South.
John.Z
Why not have light-rail implemented instead? Isn't that a more viable option, they work in the inner suburbs, the question is can it work in the outer suburbs?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Anyone who’s actually travelled on the Princes’ Highway over the last few years knows the real problem isn’t speed limits but traffic grinding to a halt from congestion the moment you hit Point Cook, aka the massive new suburb with zero useful public transport.
Tony M.
That and the freeways/highways merging.

Happens at the Ring Road merge, happens at the Tulla merge, happens after the Eastlink/Monash merge.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Anyone who’s actually travelled on the Princes’ Highway over the last few years knows the real problem isn’t speed limits but traffic grinding to a halt from congestion the moment you hit Point Cook, aka the massive new suburb with zero useful public transport.
Hence why I'd like to see the Altona Loop de-looped, and extended to at least Point Cook, if not Werribee South.
Why not have light-rail implemented instead? Isn't that a more viable option, they work in the inner suburbs, the question is can it work in the outer suburbs?
James974
Light rail is a high capacity glorified bus service. In this case, maybe it might work, but trains have always been more popular than other modes of transport, especially so in Victoria. Once MT2 is built, there will be ample track space Newport-Footscray-Flinders St for a Williamstown/Point Cook joint service running into the City. Now could this service be converted into a light rail? Yes, but I believe that would be a waste. Port Melbourne made sense, St Kilda was borderline, but I believe that Point Cook is too far out.

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