Suburban Rail Loop (Election promise)

 
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Don't know about anyone else here but I think it's important to consider that the average human doesn't just go to and from work and nothing else...

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

If we have a major recession in 2 years, kicking MARL and SRL off would add welcome stimulus right when it's needed.  Another way to add stimulus during a recession by investing in public transport would be to finally open up the bus network, reconfigure everything, buy new cleaner fleets and increase frequencies (manufacturing jobs, driving jobs, lower costs for taxpayers to transport themselves places).

Perhaps you meant how would we pay for it all?  Same way we would now: by the Victorian Treasury writing a series of IOUs and big fund managers buying them (selling bonds/incurring debt).
tayser

I suspect this is more or less right: the state government has very few macro-economic levers with which to respond to a recession, and the choices more or less boil down to neo-liberal spending cuts or neo-Keynesian economic stimulus.

With the Andrews government in power until at least 2022 there are no prizes for guessing which they will choose, as the latter at least accords with their political identity and gives them a chance of being returned for a further term in the face of what will inevitably be another pathetic Opposition (unless something on the opposite benches changes dramatically, which I sincerely hope it will).

Funny how all the frothy SRL advocates have gone quiet when faced with the logical realities.
ZH836301

Well, it's difficult to discuss "logical realities" when you refuse to admit there are logical flaws in your own reasoning for various projects.

The reality is that come hell or high water, and whether you like it or not, there will almost certainly be shovels in the ground for MARL and SRL South-East before the next election. Conceptually speaking, that's half of the project already underway.

I've said previously that the north-east and south-west sections are less justifiable and may well be totally unviable in the near to medium term. However, a south-west connection between Werribee and Wyndham Vale is probable simply because it's relatively low-hanging fruit in the context of WV sparking.

Don't know about anyone else here but I think it's important to consider that the average human doesn't just go to and from work and nothing else...
railblogger

You're right in a sense but I think you will find that the one thing most people in this thread will agree on is that the vast majority of travel demand is driven by employment patterns directly or indirectly. As a result it's natural to discuss transport planning with that in mind, and consider any benefits to non-work journeys as consequential.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
As I foresaw, no attempt at rebuttal.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As I foresaw, no attempt at rebuttal.
ZH836301

Errr...no ZH...you don't get the last word on this.

The Suburban Rail Loop is a dead set certainty and you'll just have to keep banging on about your PT is dead money and fares are too cheap anyway...and your 20th Century car/bus advocacy theories.

Mike.
  ngarner Junior Train Controller

Location: Seville
As @TheVinelander says, SRL will happen unless Andrews gets a really negative BCR (and he may go ahead anyway).
All of the posts on this forum along the lines of 'this should happen' or 'there should be a station here' are wasted space unless the author is a member of the current parliament or is a high level public servant in RPV, TfV or one of the other government departments that have anything to do with public transport.
Andrews went to the election with this promise and got his "mandate" to do what he promised and based on his first term he will do it, irrespective of some gunzel's arguing against it here.
@mejshammers opposition to it based on the cost to the state I can understand and appreciate, even if I don't necessarily have the same concerns, but the close to haranguing opposition to SRL, for all I can tell, purely for the sake of having an argument, I don't comprehend.

Neil
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

As @TheVinelander says, SRL will happen unless Andrews gets a really negative BCR (and he may go ahead anyway).
All of the posts on this forum along the lines of 'this should happen' or 'there should be a station here' are wasted space unless the author is a member of the current parliament or is a high level public servant in RPV, TfV or one of the other government departments that have anything to do with public transport.
Andrews went to the election with this promise and got his "mandate" to do what he promised and based on his first term he will do it, irrespective of some gunzel's arguing against it here.
@mejshammers opposition to it based on the cost to the state I can understand and appreciate, even if I don't necessarily have the same concerns, but the close to haranguing opposition to SRL, for all I can tell, purely for the sake of having an argument, I don't comprehend.

Neil
ngarner
Absolutely. First, you can get a business case to say more or less whatever you want it to say. Second, a positive BCR isn't the be all and end all anyway (cf. the Canberra IA bureaucrats rejecting the South Geelong-Waurn Ponds duplication; stand by for the state to go it alone funding this one). Third, Andrews is a smart political operator and he knows if any of his promises turn into "we did a study and it doesn't look good" the spectre of the Baillieu/Naptime government will rise to haunt him.

I read an interesting article the other day about how the road lobby learned from the process of creating and implementing the 1969 transpoort plan. I actually can't remember where I found it or I'd give a link. Basically, while the railway authorities plonked all their eggs in the basket of the City Loop and made it look like what we'd now call a "megaproject", the road authorities realised they could present their dream freeway network as a series of small improvements that would be opposed piecemeal but create a sense of inevitability about the overall goal. That's how we will end up with a complete ring road despite every government from Hamer to Napthine saying they had no formal plans to finish it.

It seems the rail lobby have not quite yet learned that lesson. So much of the criticism has focused on the $50 billion headline cost, despite the fact that you get a massive project for your money and the cost will be spread over decades. You either "support the SRL" or "oppose the SRL", even if your concern is about, say, the Box Hill to Airport section. But, in reality, just like the ring road, each section makes the one next to it more viable, more useful and more valuable in the long run.

RE ZH's comments, there really is nothing left to rebut.

  • The travel demand exists now and will increase into the future.
  • The density also exists and will increase into the future.
  • Transport-oriented development is a real, modern, and widespread concept.
Michael's cost concern is a genuine one that I don't agree with either but I can respect where it's coming from.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I read an interesting article the other day about how the road lobby learned from the process of creating and implementing the 1969 transpoort plan. I actually can't remember where I found it or I'd give a link. Basically, while the railway authorities plonked all their eggs in the basket of the City Loop and made it look like what we'd now call a "megaproject", the road authorities realised they could present their dream freeway network as a series of small improvements that would be opposed piecemeal but create a sense of inevitability about the overall goal. That's how we will end up with a complete ring road despite every government from Hamer to Napthine saying they had no formal plans to finish it.

It seems the rail lobby have not quite yet learned that lesson. So much of the criticism has focused on the $50 billion headline cost, despite the fact that you get a massive project for your money and the cost will be spread over decades. You either "support the SRL" or "oppose the SRL", even if your concern is about, say, the Box Hill to Airport section. But, in reality, just like the ring road, each section makes the one next to it more viable, more useful and more valuable in the long run.
potatoinmymouth
I would say that's why there has been so much progress on the 2012 Network Plan: rather than presenting it as one big project, it does give incremental upgrades. I think it's also helpful if politicians are given a grab bag of improvements they can pick and choose from. Like you say, each project means another one becomes more viable so even if they begin by targeting the projects that will give them the best results in marginal seats, eventually they will need to complete the other ones to benefit the whole line.


On a different note, I don't understand why some people seem to think it is either bus improvements, or the SRL. Both can be done. How many buses and drivers are currently tied up during uni semesters doing the Huntingdale-Clayton runs, which could then be used on other runs? In fact, I think new railway stations are the best way of getting bus improvements because they force network redesigns.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The fares one I have to agree with. The current structure makes short trips ridiculously expensive whilst heavily subsidising long trips. We need to switch to a distance-based structure where people actually pay for what they use.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I've seen many 'dead set certainties' over the years, and this like those will hit the dust.

All 2014 election commitments for transport infrastructure didn't hit the dust. Also more commitments after 2014 also didn't hit the dust.

Honestly ZH are you suprised the government able to suddenly afford a full-scale grade seperation program, a tunnel in the CBD, another tunnel to the west, plus various of road and rail upgrades?



The travel demand exists now and will increase into the future.

ZH; What, because you say so?  Great argument.


Travel demand exists now? How can you say that? Well I travel btw Box hill and Burwood on a regular basis. And yes that routes down that way are highly patronaged and many bus routes head btw the uni and the station. And there's a tram line there too. Also been to Monash by bus. Every shuttle bus is full and runs every 2 minutes.

If all those modes are highly patronaged now, would this increase in the future?

Yes, why? Well the university can always expand to keep up with demand. Areas like Box Hill is developing apartments meaning more residents in the area. This would put pressure on the existing bus network. Anyways the buses already run most frequent in these areas and expanding it's capacity is limited.



The density also exists and will increase into the future..
The density exists?  Haha, you're joking right?  The cluelessness and fallacies people share here about density, travel patterns, and economic realities is almost comical.

Have a look at Urban Melbourne. It shows all the developments around Melbourne. Believe it or not? The inner/middle suburbs are getting more dense. Outer suburbs are however are not.

Have you been to Altona? I have and it's changed a lot. Pier Street has changed and there are now 3-4 story apartments there.
I also closely been watching at Williams Landing, they are currently building lots of apartments there and finished building the Target complex there. And that area is only about to grow more.

ZH:
It seems every time I return here after a spell the quality of posts becomes worse and worse, with more and more reasonable posters deserting this barren intellectual desert for forums and blogs where rational, fact based discussion is possible, and well researched posts are welcomed rather than ignored.  This place went downhill fast about the time when NinthNotch and Riccardo left, as the lack of control allowed the fellowship of foamers to fester and grow unopposed in an echo chamber of stupidity.

Honestly this is an insult to anyone that wants to spreads ideas to the discussion. I understand some people may have irrational ideas in terms of costings and patronage. I may not back all my ideas perfectly, but I have a good idea on how transit works.

If the private companies back in the history of Melbourne's rail network didn't take risks we wouldn't of gotten such a comprehensive network as we have today. It was another risk keeping the tram network despite the car usage increasing. The government is taking a risk building such a expensive piece of infrastructure with hopeful stats. But if they are sucessful this infrastructure would serve Melbourne well for future generations, just like the first pioneers who built the railways to the remote parts of Melbourne.  If not yes the plan might derail and the project get cancelled (that's a worse case scenario).
ZH836301
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
As I foresaw, no attempt at rebuttal.Errr...no ZH...you don't get the last word on this.

The Suburban Rail Loop is a dead set certainty and you'll just have to keep banging on about your PT is dead money and fares are too cheap anyway...and your 20th Century car/bus advocacy theories.
So that's a no, you can't justify it.

When the 'business case' comes out for this it will be shown to have more holes than Swiss cheese and this 'plan' will fall like a lead balloon.


On a different note, I don't understand why some people seem to think it is either bus improvements, or the SRL. Both can be done.
TOQ-1

Because $50 billion is an insane amount of money, a fraction of which could create a world class bus network.


Travel demand exists now? How can you say that? Well I travel btw Box hill and Burwood on a regular basis. And yes that routes down that way are highly patronaged and many bus routes head btw the uni and the station. And there's a tram line there too. Also been to Monash by bus. Every shuttle bus is full and runs every 2 minutes.
True Believers

Facts and figures always beat anecdotes - Journey to Work data is readily accessible, and demonstrates what a boondoggle SRL is.


Have a look at Urban Melbourne. It shows all the developments around Melbourne. Believe it or not? The inner/middle suburbs are getting more dense. Outer suburbs are however are not.
True Believers

We don't need to increase density in the outer suburbs - most plans like 'Melbourne 2030' have focused on retaining urban character in such areas, and instead focusing increased densities into regions where the transport network already exists to help sustain it.


If the private companies back in the history of Melbourne's rail network didn't take risks we wouldn't of gotten such a comprehensive network as we have today. It was another risk keeping the tram network despite the car usage increasing. The government is taking a risk building such a expensive piece of infrastructure with hopeful stats. But if they are sucessful this infrastructure would serve Melbourne well for future generations, just like the first pioneers who built the railways to the remote parts of Melbourne.  If not yes the plan might derail and the project get cancelled (that's a worse case scenario).
True Believers

You don't get to take a risk with $50 billion - not when we have known problems to fix.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Why on Earth do we need a "world class bus system", when we can have a world class public transport system. SRL creates a viable alternative to going through the city by train and will beat the car in terms of travel time. Melbourne's going to have at least 8 million people. I'd certainly not want a network which consists of cheap buses, light-rail replacing heavy rail and a solitary, convenient express service to the relatively stagnant population of the Mornington Peninsula, comparable to the Terry Mulder express. The beauty of SRL will be seeing areas serviced by stations genuinely rejuvenated into quality places to enjoy.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
Regardless of whether the SRL goes ahead or not, I agree that our bus network needs improvement, especially when it comes to the timing of services. This is only going to be even more critical if the SRL is built, as the bus network will need to be overhauled to get the most benefits from the new rail line.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As I foresaw, no attempt at rebuttal.Errr...no ZH...you don't get the last word on this.

The Suburban Rail Loop is a dead set certainty and you'll just have to keep banging on about your PT is dead money and fares are too cheap anyway...and your 20th Century car/bus advocacy theories.
So that's a no, you can't justify it.

When the 'business case' comes out for this it will be shown to have more holes than Swiss cheese and this 'plan' will fall like a lead balloon.
ZH836301
It's not up to me to 'justify' the SRL, I'm a mere PT user and advocate... The project was an election promise by the Andrews government which, because it will be a deal breaker and game changer for Melbourne's PT will be built over a long period of time and it will transform Melbourne's PT system, including your pet bus network. Moreover, it will NOT suck the bejesus out of the PT budget as the government is fully aware not all its $$ can be allocated to one project

I don't write business cases ... besides as PIMM says earlier, a business case can be created to justify many projects. Even the Napthine government attempted to cobble together a business case to justify the East-West link turkey.

The 'plan' will not go down like a lead balloon...you'll just have to be patient, like the rest of us.

Mike.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

@Rebustar6 Yes we do need a World class Bus Network and a World class tram network and a World class heavy rail network in which we are so far short of. And a $50 Billion SRL going through low density suburbs is just risky on the extreme.

Michael
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Why on Earth do we need a "world class bus system", when we can have a world class public transport system. SRL creates a viable alternative to going through the city by train and will beat the car in terms of travel time. Melbourne's going to have at least 8 million people. I'd certainly not want a network which consists of cheap buses, light-rail replacing heavy rail and a solitary, convenient express service to the relatively stagnant population of the Mornington Peninsula, comparable to the Terry Mulder express. The beauty of SRL will be seeing areas serviced by stations genuinely rejuvenated into quality places to enjoy.
reubstar
You seem quite disconnected from reality with no real understanding of actual transport demands.

It's as if you somehow think the SRL would be useful for most journeys, when in fact it would cater for very little.

Journey to work statistics are publicly accessible, why can't you show where all these trips would supposedly come from?


Moreover, it will NOT suck the bejesus out of the PT budget as the government is fully aware not all its $$ can be allocated to one project
Vinelandr

If the alternative were 50, $1 billion projects, I sure know which I'd prefer.
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
The whole point of the SRL is to get a link to the airport and to help congestion on the main network. It also helps with the problem of getting to places that aren't on your line because it orbits the rest of the network. We need better buses but also better rail. Both will come eventually and will take time
  chomper Locomotive Driver

Why are some of you guys so sure the SRL will go ahead?
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

The whole point of the SRL is to get a link to the airport and to help congestion on the main network. It also helps with the problem of getting to places that aren't on your line because it orbits the rest of the network. We need better buses but also better rail. Both will come eventually and will take time
penguin2233

That just gave me another thought. The government is intent on taking pressure off the Tullamarine Freeway/Citylink tollway. With the Airport Rail Link, SRL, Metropolitan Ring Road upgrades, Airport Drive, etc., these should relieve the freeway quite a bit. It is very important for the northern suburbs, being easily the quickest road route out to many important freeways, so taking the strain of the airport off it is imperative as the north continues to grow.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Why are some of you guys so sure the SRL will go ahead?
chomper
Mostly because the current government didn't break a single 2014 election commitment when it proposed it's LX removal program , their version of the Metro tunnel and the extension to Mernda. That's what they promised and that's what they delivered and more...

These promises costed about 20 billion dollars total, and yes there are issues with them which people seem to forget.
While the Metro Tunnel has been commitment back in 2008 and the South Morang extension project allowed for that future extension to Mernda. The LXRA program was rushed and details on how the crossings were picked were clearly done politically, but to be fair they were in opposition and had less resources to allocate proper analysis on that commitment.

The current government is in a huge majority, which gives a stable government for at least another 8 years. This is enough time to get the project half-way into construction (on the first sections) at the very least.

Though the certainty of the remaining sections are in doubt. It all comes down whether the opposition changes it's stance on the project in 8 years time.

Anyways the business case should come soon, let's keep a good eye on that.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

I agree going through low density suburbs would be a complete waste for me. Fawkner, Reservior, Heatherton sorry, not worth it. Unless you redevelopment Heatherton into a new suburb, then why should we waste billions tunneling through there.

Sandringham is not too expensive or hard to Tunnel, Athens metro extension of line 3 to Piraeus cost around 1.5 Billion AUD. Piraeus is the port of the city and this part of Athens has a high water table. Sandringham-Southland is 3-4km, this Extension is 7km of underground track.

Then you have the potential of adding stations that have poor access to PT, bus of light rail again cannot be matched with heavy rail.

Bulleen and Keilor East are no brainers for me. SRL will be a rapid, quick orbital system and adding a few more stations will not slow it down. It will still smash travel than a car, eg. Broadmeadows to Monash and Box Hill to Airport. Sunshine North, Black Rock, Forest Hill and Heatherton/Kingston redevelopment area are other candidates for stations.

I think Reservior could work so it stays and a small deviation to Coburg rather than Campbellfield and Fawkner would be better for a majority of reasons. Coburg has a big population, development is going on in the area and there is huge potential for more. It is also a better connecting point for the Upfield Line and Sydney Rd precinct.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
I agree going through low density suburbs would be a complete waste for me. Fawkner, Reservior, Heatherton sorry, not worth it. Unless you redevelopment Heatherton into a new suburb, then why should we waste billions tunneling through there.

Sandringham is not too expensive or hard to Tunnel, Athens metro extension of line 3 to Piraeus cost around 1.5 Billion AUD. Piraeus is the port of the city and this part of Athens has a high water table. Sandringham-Southland is 3-4km, this Extension is 7km of underground track.

Then you have the potential of adding stations that have poor access to PT, bus of light rail again cannot be matched with heavy rail.

Bulleen and Keilor East are no brainers for me. SRL will be a rapid, quick orbital system and adding a few more stations will not slow it down. It will still smash travel than a car, eg. Broadmeadows to Monash and Box Hill to Airport. Sunshine North, Black Rock, Forest Hill and Heatherton/Kingston redevelopment area are other candidates for stations.

I think Reservior could work so it stays and a small deviation to Coburg rather than Campbellfield and Fawkner would be better for a majority of reasons. Coburg has a big population, development is going on in the area and there is huge potential for more. It is also a better connecting point for the Upfield Line and Sydney Rd precinct.
ptvcommuter
kwik quiz.
Why did the train line cross the low density suburbs? ANS to get to the other side.

sometimes you puzzle me.

SRL will take a wide berth of Heatherton, for the same reason that there is not a lot of development.
It's full of current and former sand quarries. Not going near those, let alone underneath.

Bulleen and Keilor East are a REMOTE possibility, but doable, if by some miracle the Business Case finds extra funds and a cheap solution.

However the "small deviation to Coburg" is sheer fantasy. 5 km off course = another 10 km of tunnel.
Sure just add another 10% to the project. That is not small.

Nor is your extra 4km extension to Sandringham "small" - another 5% to duplicate 2 existing bus routes

+15% X $50B = another $7B for inconsequential reason.
The SRL may be expensive, but will not be completely insane with the money.

cheers
John
  ngarner Junior Train Controller

Location: Seville
I agree going through low density suburbs would be a complete waste for me. Fawkner, Reservior, Heatherton sorry, not worth it. Unless you redevelopment Heatherton into a new suburb, then why should we waste billions tunneling through there.

Sandringham is not too expensive or hard to Tunnel, Athens metro extension of line 3 to Piraeus cost around 1.5 Billion AUD. Piraeus is the port of the city and this part of Athens has a high water table. Sandringham-Southland is 3-4km, this Extension is 7km of underground track.

Then you have the potential of adding stations that have poor access to PT, bus of light rail again cannot be matched with heavy rail.

Bulleen and Keilor East are no brainers for me. SRL will be a rapid, quick orbital system and adding a few more stations will not slow it down. It will still smash travel than a car, eg. Broadmeadows to Monash and Box Hill to Airport. Sunshine North, Black Rock, Forest Hill and Heatherton/Kingston redevelopment area are other candidates for stations.

I think Reservior could work so it stays and a small deviation to Coburg rather than Campbellfield and Fawkner would be better for a majority of reasons. Coburg has a big population, development is going on in the area and there is huge potential for more. It is also a better connecting point for the Upfield Line and Sydney Rd precinct.
ptvcommuter
So, you've contacted your good mate, D. Andrews, and explained to him that the public servants he paid for, at least, more than a few months, to come up with a proposal for an orbital rail line that he could take to the last election messed it up badly? You've told him they should have included a "cheap" extension to Sandringham and a "minor" deviation to Coburg, at the additional costs posted by @justarider?

Neil
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

@ngarner, while I think I’ve made my opinion of @ptvcommuter’s thought bubbles pretty clear, I think we can safely expect to see some tweaks to the SRL once it emerges from the Department/MTIA. They will be keen to make it work as well as possible for existing traffic flows, compared to Development Vic who would have been largely focused on, well, driving development.

The other thing is that there is a massive 12 months ahead for transport planning, including a number of projects that will have a direct impact on the final SRL concept. We are expecting business cases, and thus detailed plans, for Airport Rail, Wyndham Vale and Melton sparking/quadding, new Sunshine-City access, and the Somerton link; and final plans for the Cranbourne-Clyde and Pakenham third platform works. All of these will have a huge impact on service patterns and detailed considerations for the SRL, and will give the DOT a much clearer idea of whether the SRL will in fact be a single system or a number of independent lines and connections.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Why are some of you guys so sure the SRL will go ahead?
chomper

1. Its an election promise by the Andrews government.

2. Preliminary works are already budgeted for.

3. I happen to know the Premier has already sent a directive to the 4 Minsters involved with the Project to set up the contingencies to get the project started ASAP.

Mike.
  chomper Locomotive Driver

Why are some of you guys so sure the SRL will go ahead?

1. Its an election promise by the Andrews government.

2. Preliminary works are already budgeted for.

3. I happen to know the Premier has already sent a directive to the 4 Minsters involved with the Project to set up the contingencies to get the project started ASAP.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Politicians have a track record of breaking promises, but Andrews has kept most of his PT ones.

I thought the $300 million was for planning and EIS?

How many ministers are needed for PT?

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