Rail Revival Study: Geelong - Ballarat - Bendigo

 
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Bendigo – Geelong via Sunshine is 217 Km.
Bendigo – Geelong via Maryborough and Ballarat is 248 km.
Via Sunshine would take about 2 hrs 45 min with a 15 min interchange (tweaking the timetables as required), giving an average speed of 79 km/h.
To complete the trip via Maryborough and Ballarat in the same time would require an average speed of 90 km/h. The current timetabled average speed for a VLocity between Maryborough and Ballarat is 79 km/h.

The cost of a passenger service between Geelong and Ballarat was estimated in the aforementioned report at $250 - $320 million, excluding rolling stock, with $6 -$8 million annual operating cost for 4 – 7 services a day eachway. That was in the BG days. North Geelong – Geelong (if not Waurn Ponds) would now require DG or SG.

No Bendigo trains stop at Sunshine.

Sunbury, Footscray, yes and in the case of Swan Hill trains, Watergardens.

Perhaps re-calculate Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?

Sponsored advertisement

  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?
railblogger
More stops! Yay!!!!!!!

I thought that the Bendigo services not stopping at Sunshine was in part to help to stagger things a bit on the RRL. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen an Up Ballarat/Geelong etc service stopped at the signal short of the junction to let us through express to Footscray, if both were stopping Sunshine you would have an instant traffic jam.

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?
More stops! Yay!!!!!!!

I thought that the Bendigo services not stopping at Sunshine was in part to help to stagger things a bit on the RRL. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen an Up Ballarat/Geelong etc service stopped at the signal short of the junction to let us through express to Footscray, if both were stopping Sunshine you would have an instant traffic jam.

BG
BrentonGolding
Sunshine is supposed to become a "super-hub" over the next several years. Surely they might as well get things started now by stopping Bendigo services. The Watergardens stop serves no purpose except grandfathering from pre-Sunbury spark days. Yes, with no stops betwixt the Suns, services will get caught behind sparks, but that's a fact of life now anyway.

Alternatively, keep your Watergardens stop, add Sunshine and delete Footscray, because no one in their right mind uses that as an interchange to sparks (apologies once again to Mr Golding).
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?
More stops! Yay!!!!!!!

I thought that the Bendigo services not stopping at Sunshine was in part to help to stagger things a bit on the RRL. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen an Up Ballarat/Geelong etc service stopped at the signal short of the junction to let us through express to Footscray, if both were stopping Sunshine you would have an instant traffic jam.

BG
Sunshine is supposed to become a "super-hub" over the next several years. Surely they might as well get things started now by stopping Bendigo services. The Watergardens stop serves no purpose except grandfathering from pre-Sunbury spark days. Yes, with no stops betwixt the Suns, services will get caught behind sparks, but that's a fact of life now anyway.

Alternatively, keep your Watergardens stop, add Sunshine and delete Footscray, because no one in their right mind uses that as an interchange to sparks (apologies once again to Mr Golding).
potatoinmymouth

IMHO I reckon Bendigo's & Swan Hill's should all stop at Sunbury & Footscray only. Eliminate the unnecessary Watergardens stop.

Mike.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?
More stops! Yay!!!!!!!

I thought that the Bendigo services not stopping at Sunshine was in part to help to stagger things a bit on the RRL. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen an Up Ballarat/Geelong etc service stopped at the signal short of the junction to let us through express to Footscray, if both were stopping Sunshine you would have an instant traffic jam.

BG
Sunshine is supposed to become a "super-hub" over the next several years. Surely they might as well get things started now by stopping Bendigo services. The Watergardens stop serves no purpose except grandfathering from pre-Sunbury spark days. Yes, with no stops betwixt the Suns, services will get caught behind sparks, but that's a fact of life now anyway.

Alternatively, keep your Watergardens stop, add Sunshine and delete Footscray, because no one in their right mind uses that as an interchange to sparks (apologies once again to Mr Golding).
potatoinmymouth
apologies Brenton, but PIMM might be on to something.

Someday, Bendigo might go via the Airport to avoid the Sunbury sparks, but that won't solve the crush that RRL has become.

Maybe just devote RRL to Ballarat & Geelong, and re-think Bendigo.
Almost certainly any hold-up between the 3 at the same Sunshine platform will be due to the inevitable late Bendigo train.
Lots of reason why (see Brenton's multiple problem reports), but in the short-term no substantial fix.

So here goes...

Divert Bendigo trains between Albion and SCS to run on the Albury line. Things to do
  • Duplicate and Dual Gauge the Albury tracks between Albion and at least Footscray. (most is already 2 track)
  • Build the missing Albury platform at Sunshine to serve both lines.
  • Footscray to SCS? a tricky bunch of paths to choose from. either DG the Bunbury/platform 1 path, or get back onto BG
  • Cross overs


A complicated job, but probably more so in the design/planing than the actual build.

The advantage is
  • establishing the "hub" quickly, to establish the passenger patterns that are desired for the long term.
  • free up a lot of the congestion for Geelong/Ballarat, and give them additional time slots on the RRL.
  • Bendigo might just get a get a qucker path into SCS. Certainly avoid the crazy flyover.


Any thoughts, apart from the obvious "you're crazy" ?

PS: In most decent stations I've encountered (especially europe), passenger services are getting past 100kph before they are 1/2 way out of the yard. That fact that SCS can't manage any decent speeds until the down side of the Maribyrnong river is an absolute disgrace.

cheers
John
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The 15 minutes allowed for an interchange at Sunshine consists of 5 mins to change platforms and 10 mins for train delays.

For a Bendigo – Geelong service, the timetables would have to be tweaked so that an Up Bendigo was scheduled to arrive at Sunshine 15 minutes before a Down Geelong. The reverse would apply for Geelong – Bendigo. This could apply to all services or just designated services. It’s likely all Bendigo trains will stop at Sunshine for an airport connection.

All a bit cheaper than spending $300m+ on Ballarat – Bendigo for a Geelong – Bendigo service. The above applies equally to Castlemaine (with 20 mins less travel time).
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The amount of money of $230m to permit V/Line trains between Geelong and Ballarat is simply a joke.  How could it be that much as the track was upgraded in the last 5 or 6 years as a part of the Mildura Upgrades and has recently again been through a maintenance cycle.

How much does a 3 car velocity set cost?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?
More stops! Yay!!!!!!!

I thought that the Bendigo services not stopping at Sunshine was in part to help to stagger things a bit on the RRL. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen an Up Ballarat/Geelong etc service stopped at the signal short of the junction to let us through express to Footscray, if both were stopping Sunshine you would have an instant traffic jam.

BG
Sunshine is supposed to become a "super-hub" over the next several years. Surely they might as well get things started now by stopping Bendigo services. The Watergardens stop serves no purpose except grandfathering from pre-Sunbury spark days. Yes, with no stops betwixt the Suns, services will get caught behind sparks, but that's a fact of life now anyway.

Alternatively, keep your Watergardens stop, add Sunshine and delete Footscray, because no one in their right mind uses that as an interchange to sparks (apologies once again to Mr Golding).

IMHO I reckon Bendigo's & Swan Hill's should all stop at Sunbury & Footscray only. Eliminate the unnecessary Watergardens stop.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Sunbury / Watergardens is an either / or - I have only ever been on one train that stopped at both and the second one at WG was to pick up a spare driver!

As for Sunshine by the time it is a Superhub there will be 1 or 2 new track pairs through there so the RRL congestion should be a thing of the past....... Laughing

BG
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The $250 - $320 million of costings for Geelong – Ballarat, from the 2013 report (Broad Gauge days):
  • 2.7 km bypass track through North Geelong Stabling Yard
  • Duplicate up to 9 km of ARTC track
  • 1 new station (Bell Post Hill)
  • Level crossing upgrades (13 ‘Give Way’ or ‘Stop’ signs; 5 flashing lights)
  • Signalling / train control
  • Passing loop at Lethbridge
  • Warrenheip Junction reinstatement
  • 4 reactivated stations
  •   Nightfire Minister for Railways

    Location: Gippsland
    The amount of money of $230m to permit V/Line trains between Geelong and Ballarat is simply a joke.  How could it be that much as the track was upgraded in the last 5 or 6 years as a part of the Mildura Upgrades and has recently again been through a maintenance cycle.

    How much does a 3 car velocity set cost?
    x31
    Geelong - Ballarat rail passenger services don't fit In with the Government's current plans between Gheringhap and Ballarat North (that will actually make It more expensive, dual gauge Into Geelong won't come cheap)
      TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

    Location: Power Trainger
    Or change the timetable so they do stop at Sunshine?
    More stops! Yay!!!!!!!

    I thought that the Bendigo services not stopping at Sunshine was in part to help to stagger things a bit on the RRL. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen an Up Ballarat/Geelong etc service stopped at the signal short of the junction to let us through express to Footscray, if both were stopping Sunshine you would have an instant traffic jam.

    BG
    Sunshine is supposed to become a "super-hub" over the next several years. Surely they might as well get things started now by stopping Bendigo services. The Watergardens stop serves no purpose except grandfathering from pre-Sunbury spark days. Yes, with no stops betwixt the Suns, services will get caught behind sparks, but that's a fact of life now anyway.

    Alternatively, keep your Watergardens stop, add Sunshine and delete Footscray, because no one in their right mind uses that as an interchange to sparks (apologies once again to Mr Golding).

    IMHO I reckon Bendigo's & Swan Hill's should all stop at Sunbury & Footscray only. Eliminate the unnecessary Watergardens stop.

    Mike.
    Sunbury / Watergardens is an either / or - I have only ever been on one train that stopped at both and the second one at WG was to pick up a spare driver!

    As for Sunshine by the time it is a Superhub there will be 1 or 2 new track pairs through there so the RRL congestion should be a thing of the past....... Laughing

    BG
    BrentonGolding
    The peak trains stop at Watergardens to prevent Sunbury pax getting on them as they actually enforce the no boarding rule there.

    The Swan Hills stopping there is I think again to discourage Sunbury pax from using them. For a long while, Swan Hills were all 3 car Ns and they could barely cope with the number of passengers by Gisborne, let alone letting anyone else on later up the line.


    On Ballarat - Bendigo travel, this is the type of corridor which is best served by a coach that can stop in the middle of little town centres. I think that we should improve the Maryborough line services, and the way coaches connect between Maryborough, Ballarat, Castlemaine and Bendigo before considering trains, especially ones that go the 'long way round'.

    Ballarat - Geelong is I think a little more realistic, especially if towns along the way are growing. Maybe a branch to Bannockburn could be done first, with through services implemented later. Of course, the conversion to SG complicates the introduction of that.
      Lockie91 Train Controller

    @Pimm

    TOQ-1 is on the money.

    When the Sunbury Electrication Project was announced there was a push back from the “grandfathers” in the community. Not wanting those dirty Connex trains or the trouble that would come from Watergardens.

    After 18 months V/line stopped enforcing the No Boarding at Sunbury to appease the then Liberal Politician and quiet the few locals that had lost there V/line train.

    Not long after actual country passengers starting jumping up and down that there services where being swamped by the hordes from Sunbury.

    The new timetable was introduced to remove peak V/line Services from Sunbury to stop Sunbury pax using them. This is why peak services stop at Watergardens.

    Still today I will see a handful of the old guard wait on the Platform for the 5.52 up from Kyneton. Which arrives at SCS at 6.25, five minutes before the Merto SAS arrives at FFS
      BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

    Location: Maldon Junction
    On Ballarat - Bendigo travel, this is the type of corridor which is best served by a coach that can stop in the middle of little town centres. I think that we should improve the Maryborough line services, and the way coaches connect between Maryborough, Ballarat, Castlemaine and Bendigo before considering trains, especially ones that go the 'long way round'.
    TOQ-1
    Agreed although I would point out that the Maryborough Road Coach from Castlemaine would appear from my observations to be very poorly patronised. I have rarely seen more than a few pax waiting for it. I would love to know the figures for that route, obviously it may pick up pax at some of the towns along the way.

    BG
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    On Ballarat - Bendigo travel, this is the type of corridor which is best served by a coach that can stop in the middle of little town centres. I think that we should improve the Maryborough line services, and the way coaches connect between Maryborough, Ballarat, Castlemaine and Bendigo before considering trains, especially ones that go the 'long way round'.
    Agreed although I would point out that the Maryborough Road Coach from Castlemaine would appear from my observations to be very poorly patronised. I have rarely seen more than a few pax waiting for it. I would love to know the figures for that route, obviously it may pick up pax at some of the towns along the way.

    BG
    BrentonGolding

    I think the timetable is too infrequent to be a creditable alternative. Moreover with 2 trains a day from my direction I'm certain pax go out of their way to work their arrangements around the train service.

    Mike.
      TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

    Location: Power Trainger
    I'm not saying the coach (or even the Maryborough train) as it currently stands is good - but for the travel going on, it will probably be the best way of catering for it.

    I would like to see coach routes reviewed across the board. What is the point of following the path of train lines that closed last century if where people need to travel has changed?
      Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

    Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
    Another VLOCITY transfer today via Gheringhap what actually needs to be done to make this work? Not much I say.
    x31
    Line speed is currently 80km/h. A Vlocity would struggle to beat a coach with that sort of limit in place.

    To improve that, among other things, level crossings would need to be improved, some only have a Stop or Give way sign, most still only have flashing lights and bells, only a handful have boom gates.

    Add to that the need for new stations, at the very least Bannockburn, probably Meredith as well. In both cases the old stations will simply not cut it.

    Then there is the fact the line has been slated for gauge conversion. It was supposed to be underway already but with the delays to the Murray Basin project, it may be another 18 months, but it is still happening. V/Line currently have no SG rollingstock suitable for this service.

    Finally, there is no Standard Gauge path from North Geelong "C" to Geelong station. This will need to be built to operate this service. This is likely to be the most difficult, and the most costly part of this project.


    So, to sum up, level crossings, intermediate stations, rollingstock and an SG link through North Geelong is what your saying is not much work.

    Not that I don't think it should happen, just that I understand why it hasn't so far. I still believe a SG Vlocity running from Maryborough to Geelong 3 or 4 times a day would be a worthwhile service, but there are quite a few hurdles to jump first.
      Nightfire Minister for Railways

    Location: Gippsland
    On Ballarat - Bendigo travel, this is the type of corridor which is best served by a coach that can stop in the middle of little town centres. I think that we should improve the Maryborough line services, and the way coaches connect between Maryborough, Ballarat, Castlemaine and Bendigo before considering trains, especially ones that go the 'long way round'.
    Agreed although I would point out that the Maryborough Road Coach from Castlemaine would appear from my observations to be very poorly patronised. I have rarely seen more than a few pax waiting for it. I would love to know the figures for that route, obviously it may pick up pax at some of the towns along the way.

    BG
    BrentonGolding
    The Maryborough trains are also very poorly patronised !

    As has been pointed out before, Maryborough Is very well served by public transport services, to Castlemaine and Ballarat.
      TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

    Location: Power Trainger
    Maryborough has a poor service overall though - two return trains per day. Unlike Ararat which has trains supplemented by coaches travelling the same route (with some additional stops) the Maryborough coaches travel via a mix of the Ballarat and Bendigo lines, meaning a return journey to either one is made more complicated.

    For the Albury line service to be improved, V/Line needs a larger fleet of SG stock, otherwise they end up in the same expensive situation they are in now. Shepparton might go SG, which would help, but adding Maryborough (and further north), Geelong-Ballarat and Ararat/Horsham (possibly even Hamilton/Portland) trains into the mix would probably increase the fleet numbers enough that dedicated facilities could be provided with a more efficient maintenance roster.

    Public Transport doesn't make money in Australia, so it is impossible to justify on that measure. But looking at the social benefits might just get it over the line. Towns in Western Victoria are suffering - giving them better connections to the rest of the state, and more access from the west of the state for booming industries like tourism would benefit them.
      hbedriver Chief Train Controller

    Re the Bendigo line stopping at Sydenham;

    The Swan Hill trains certainly do, and with good reason. Usually get several passengers there, most with suitcases etc. Sydenham is the convenient station for the airport, so a passenger from Mildura or Swan Hill can catch the bus/train to Sydenham, thence per bus to the airport, then fly to wherever. And if they ever made the Swan Hill trains run to serve the long distance passengers, rather than the commuter traffic (at the moment it tries to do both, giving both groups a poorer and slower service), I expect they would still stop at Sydenham, certainly until the airport rail is built. At that time, I expect all trains will stop at Sunshine as well as Footscray; Footscray because it works, and Sunshine because they will want the airport rail to work.
      TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

    Location: Power Trainger
    There isn't a direct bus between Watergardens (Not Sydenham, that was a station that is now close, no matter what sentimentality you have it is better to use the actual current name so everyone is on the same page) and the airport though. There definitely is one from Sunbury, the 479.
      Lockie91 Train Controller

    What is the bus from Watergardens to Melbourne Airport? Have I missed something!
      Lockie91 Train Controller

    And furthermore, the reason these trains stop at Watergardens, as has been stated before, is to stop those pesky Sunbury pax getting on.
      ARodH Chief Train Controller

    Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
    What is the bus from Watergardens to Melbourne Airport? Have I missed something!
    Lockie91
    There isn't one. PTV journey planner says get to Spencer st for Skybus. 'Sides the Tulla's only served by 4 normal ticket buses, 478, 479, 482 & 901, that's going by the info dug up on the PTV site.
      hbedriver Chief Train Controller

    Am only writing what I see. Our Train Prep Dockets (basically a daily timetable for drivers and conductors) show us stopping at "Sydenham". The signals there all show "SDM" as their prefix. And our passengers tell our conductors they are getting off to catch the bus to the airport, or have just arrived on their flight from wherever and caught the bus across to catch the Swan Hill home. What the bus number is I have no idea, but I assume there is one at least that forms a good and frequent enough connection, certainly competitive enough with Skybus.

    I couldn't say there are a lot of pax using whatever link there is, but usually at least a couple of people with large/multiple suitcases every time I stop the Swan Hill trains at Sydenham. Not the sort of people using a train to go to work, or from the doctors or even a week with the grandkids. Conductors often remark about the number using the connection.

    Broadmeadows is a similar stop; people from the north-east (Albury/Shepparton) use BMS as their airport stop.
      freightgate Minister for Railways

    Location: Albury, New South Wales
    Thinking about returning services for passengers between Geelong and Ballarat and beyond this line would have to be the easiest but for this with stations and good quality track in place.

    Sponsored advertisement

    Display from:   

    Quick Reply

    We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.