Hobart ‘Rail’ Corridor - Hobart City Deal

 
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

It seems that what we thought was a rail corridor along the Hobart’s western shore is now a ‘transit corridor’ in the terminology used within the Hobart City Deal.
It seems also that the mode of transportation to be developed as part of the corridor activation is to be determined by a forthcoming study to be completed mid 2020.
“The study will take into consideration ........ the ideal surface the particular vehicle type would travel upon, .....”
http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/next_step_in_delivering_the_northern_suburbs_transit_corridor
I strongly suspect a busway is what the State Government has in mind.

Cheers,
DPJ

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It seems that what we thought was a rail corridor along the Hobart’s western shore is now a ‘transit corridor’ in the terminology used within the Hobart City Deal.
It seems also that the mode of transportation to be developed as part of the corridor activation is to be determined by a forthcoming study to be completed mid 2020.
“The study will take into consideration ........ the ideal surface the particular vehicle type would travel upon, .....”
http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/next_step_in_delivering_the_northern_suburbs_transit_corridor
I strongly suspect a busway is what the State Government has in mind.

Cheers,
DPJ
derwentparkjunc
Yes well, they are unfortunately probably right, what else is it good for? Bike track?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It seems that what we thought was a rail corridor along the Hobart’s western shore is now a ‘transit corridor’ in the terminology used within the Hobart City Deal.
It seems also that the mode of transportation to be developed as part of the corridor activation is to be determined by a forthcoming study to be completed mid 2020.
“The study will take into consideration ........ the ideal surface the particular vehicle type would travel upon, .....”
http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/releases/next_step_in_delivering_the_northern_suburbs_transit_corridor
I strongly suspect a busway is what the State Government has in mind.

Cheers,
DPJ
Yes well, they are unfortunately probably right, what else is it good for? Bike track?
RTT_Rules
Buses would be a lot quicker traveling on the Brooker Highway (as they do now)

Many years ago the railway was singled (from double track) and the formation of the removed track was converted to a sealed bike path (with a fence In between)

I tend to think the rail corridor Is just too slow to be used for useful public transport, better use for the existing line would be for tourist trains from the Tasmanian Transport Museum at Glenorchy
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Well, seeing that the track would need to be completely rebuilt for any kind of rail service (maybe with the exception of a 3'6" heritage operation), a sealed roadway would not preclude future rail services. The concrete or asphalt road surface would make a rather nice surface to build a track on...
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes well, they are unfortunately probably right, what else is it good for? Bike track?
Buses would be a lot quicker traveling on the Brooker Highway (as they do now)

Many years ago the railway was singled (from double track) and the formation of the removed track was converted to a sealed bike path (with a fence In between)

I tend to think the rail corridor Is just too slow to be used for useful public transport, better use for the existing line would be for tourist trains from the Tasmanian Transport Museum at Glenorchy
Nightfire
Yes, the big objection to conversion to light rail was that alot of the line didn't go where people go and where it did it the the population is very spread out for just one line.

The bike path is fine and should stay and likely be extended.

As for use by HR such as TTM, have they raised their hand?
Is the operation likely to be self funding?
What cash injection do they need to reactivate the line?
How much do they want?

Its roughly 7km south to the port. The line has been removed back to the park and I'm sure a suitable terminus station and passing loop can be built near the Regatta building in the minor cutting. Hell there are even two sets of points just at the end of the track, some rail and sleepers and still laid track stored near by in the old yard. Probably more money required to build a half decent station at TTM on the current main and install a 2nd set of points for a passing loop. One or two basic stations would be needed along the way to make the HR service more attractive.

Or

Do you go 6km north to Clearmont? Again station at the terminus and 1 or 2 midway plus passing loop at the terminus.

I highly doubt both would be viable, but if so Claremont would be the nth limit and beyond there the bikeway should continue north to Bridgewater.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Buses would be a lot quicker traveling on the Brooker Highway (as they do now)

Many years ago the railway was singled (from double track) and the formation of the removed track was converted to a sealed bike path (with a fence In between)

I tend to think the rail corridor Is just too slow to be used for useful public transport, better use for the existing line would be for tourist trains from the Tasmanian Transport Museum at Glenorchy
Nightfire
Yes, formation is too narrow for a busway without sacrificing the Intercity Bike path (popular)

The rail corridor is capable of 18 mins Claremont - Hobart / 28 mins Bridgewater - Hobart. Buses take c. 45 - 90 mins
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Well, seeing that the track would need to be completely rebuilt for any kind of rail service (maybe with the exception of a 3'6" heritage operation), a sealed roadway would not preclude future rail services. The concrete or asphalt road surface would make a rather nice surface to build a track on...
Lockspike
The track was rebuilt to deep ballast and all steel sleepers 2012 - 13 (the line closed 2014) so is still in excellent shape. Of course it will need substantial modification for rail transit (new loops) but the track is perfectly usable for a good proportion of the route.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Yes, the big objection to conversion to light rail was that alot of the line didn't go where people go and where it did it the the population is very spread out for just one line.

The bike path is fine and should stay and likely be extended.

As for use by HR such as TTM, have they raised their hand?
Is the operation likely to be self funding?
What cash injection do they need to reactivate the line?
How much do they want?

Its roughly 7km south to the port. The line has been removed back to the park and I'm sure a suitable terminus station and passing loop can be built near the Regatta building in the minor cutting. Hell there are even two sets of points just at the end of the track, some rail and sleepers and still laid track stored near by in the old yard. Probably more money required to build a half decent station at TTM on the current main and install a 2nd set of points for a passing loop. One or two basic stations would be needed along the way to make the HR service more attractive.

Or

Do you go 6km north to Clearmont? Again station at the terminus and 1 or 2 midway plus passing loop at the terminus.

I highly doubt both would be viable, but if so Claremont would be the nth limit and beyond there the bikeway should continue north to Bridgewater.
RTT_Rules
The rail line bisects the major commercial hubs and growing sub-divisions between Newtown & Brighton. It misses North Hobart but you can walk that to Hobart CBD so the route via the Botanical Gardens is a bonus as it links the last viable traffic source direct to town.

Bike Path has reached its limit (end of old double track) Still, it can be extended but would need major engineering around St Virgils

TTMS: Yes; No; a fair bit (crossings & insurance $200 million cover) All major state T&H Groups negotiating one blanket cover with stepped policies (1st 20 - 100M T&H; 2nd 100M State Govt). Govt prepared to assist. DVR still need $200M for civil projects only (no passengers / no crossings!) Crazy, but Crown Law Office insist.

T&H Station planned for Mac Point. HNSR station planned for bottom of Elizabeth St. TTMS plan to go to MONA (doubtful sustainable business) - DVR ultimate aim to tap cruise ships from Mac Point, after D.V. Line back up and running. Initial lease on New Norfolk Yard (prep stage one) agreed - just waiting on insurance solution.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, the big objection to conversion to light rail was that alot of the line didn't go where people go and where it did it the the population is very spread out for just one line.

The bike path is fine and should stay and likely be extended.

As for use by HR such as TTM, have they raised their hand?
Is the operation likely to be self funding?
What cash injection do they need to reactivate the line?
How much do they want?

Its roughly 7km south to the port. The line has been removed back to the park and I'm sure a suitable terminus station and passing loop can be built near the Regatta building in the minor cutting. Hell there are even two sets of points just at the end of the track, some rail and sleepers and still laid track stored near by in the old yard. Probably more money required to build a half decent station at TTM on the current main and install a 2nd set of points for a passing loop. One or two basic stations would be needed along the way to make the HR service more attractive.

Or

Do you go 6km north to Clearmont? Again station at the terminus and 1 or 2 midway plus passing loop at the terminus.

I highly doubt both would be viable, but if so Claremont would be the nth limit and beyond there the bikeway should continue north to Bridgewater.
The rail line bisects the major commercial hubs and growing sub-divisions between Newtown & Brighton. It misses North Hobart but you can walk that to Hobart CBD so the route via the Botanical Gardens is a bonus as it links the last viable traffic source direct to town.

Bike Path has reached its limit (end of old double track) Still, it can be extended but would need major engineering around St Virgils

TTMS: Yes; No; a fair bit (crossings & insurance $200 million cover) All major state T&H Groups negotiating one blanket cover with stepped policies (1st 20 - 100M T&H; 2nd 100M State Govt). Govt prepared to assist. DVR still need $200M for civil projects only (no passengers / no crossings!) Crazy, but Crown Law Office insist.

T&H Station planned for Mac Point. HNSR station planned for bottom of Elizabeth St. TTMS plan to go to MONA (doubtful sustainable business) - DVR ultimate aim to tap cruise ships from Mac Point, after D.V. Line back up and running. Initial lease on New Norfolk Yard (prep stage one) agreed - just waiting on insurance solution.
12CSVT
It gets some areas and misses others, is having one LR line worth it? or is it for the sake of having LR because there is a disused railway corridor (argument enough in other locations)? Love to see it happen, but the is Tas govt is not in a position to fund $50-75m/km, (you have around a 2km loop through the city to pay for on a dedicated ROW, think $80-100/km for dual track but if single track maybe 3/4 the price) without the usual fed life line that the likes of Qld has been waiting on for 10 years for the CRR. Basically you need a fed and state election to be close to each other with both a project friendly PM and Premier to agree to have any chance of fed funding and buy some votes.

Problem for Hobart "The low-density population of Hobart has caused the bus timetables being planned on a low-frequency, high-penetration basis - Bus routes are often lengthy, and can take a long time to reach their final destination, as they attempt to service the widely spread-out suburbs". Which is pretty much why every form of rail and even trolley bus PT failed in the past. Can the situation be reversed?

The current buses maybe slow (haven't checked the TT), but if routed more directly like rail, then they would be faster???

If the LR option was approved, you can use NG if it was a way to reduce costs and uterlise the existing line, plus removing the bike track and duplicating from Claremont, perhaps further north. If not, certainly the rail at least.


The insurance issue has been ongoing for a LONG time, will it ever be resolved?

Planned station for Eliabeth street, mmm ambitious. MONA I think is likely just viable, if the rest is.


Both options on their own are I think always going to be a struggle, need to look at a common solution, if possible.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I see three options:
  1. Light Rail along the Southern/Hobart Line as laid out in the Riverline proposal (which this City Deal thing appears to be a review of?). Expensive but high quality public transport along the corridor but lots of infrastructure unknowns (Intercity Cycle Path and so on)
  2. Some sort of lower cost commuter rail proposal. Diesel railcars running to Macquarie Point, minimal passing loops, low cost stations. Keeps the corridor in use for conversion to light rail or electric commuter rail later on (once all the other problems are ironed out)
  3. Let the rail corridor degrade and spend some money on other potentially higher return public transport investments like a rejigged bus network, a couple of Bus Rapid Transit lines, an electric bus rollout and so on.

And for $hits and giggles, why not look at bringing back the Hobart Tramways?
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

Thanks for the thoughtful responses.

CSVT - do we know for sure that there is room allocated for a T&H Station in Mac Pt precinct?

LD - I’d favour option 2, needs to extend through Mac Pt closer to CBD. It would be a similar approach to what Ottawa set in place around 2001 with original O-Train operation, now known as the Trillium Line of a much expanded O Train system.

All will be irrelevant if the guidelines established for the study are weighted against a rail option.

Cheers,
DPJ
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I see three options:
  1. Light Rail along the Southern/Hobart Line as laid out in the Riverline proposal (which this City Deal thing appears to be a review of?). Expensive but high quality public transport along the corridor but lots of infrastructure unknowns (Intercity Cycle Path and so on)
  2. Some sort of lower cost commuter rail proposal. Diesel railcars running to Macquarie Point, minimal passing loops, low cost stations. Keeps the corridor in use for conversion to light rail or electric commuter rail later on (once all the other problems are ironed out)
  3. Let the rail corridor degrade and spend some money on other potentially higher return public transport investments like a rejigged bus network, a couple of Bus Rapid Transit lines, an electric bus rollout and so on.

And for $hits and giggles, why not look at bringing back the Hobart Tramways?
LancedDendrite
Hi,
1. Yes, LR would be costly, opened in section CBD to say Claremont, twin tracks. Follow NSW approach, OH on open tracks, battery or ground pickup for street running. City loop following one way streets.

Bike track would need to be removed.

Extension beyond Claremont every 5 years in sections as funding follows.

Yes, it would be attractive for those who need to travel in this corridor.

2. Low rail cost option. Some years back I went to Vancouver and saw the Westcoast Express (google Westcoast express, vancouver) commuter service and promoted in this group as an option. It was quickly dismissed by some as great for there, but not Hobart despite the similarities.

Basically
- its a single track used by freight and pax
- Starts around 40-50km out from City
- Follows a long narrow residential area with some green spaces in between
- 8 stops
- No freight in peak our
- city station terminus is called Waterfront on edge of CBD next to old Port
- walk/Bus/Metro connection through city (at the time it was also terminus station for new Metro)
(sounds very familiar to Hobart a few years back doesn't it?)

- The service is 6 trains per peak directional flow only spaced at 30min intervals
(yes there are 6 physical trains running 30min apart that terminate and are stowed until PM return home)
- Trains were diesel, pulled by loco one way, pushed by loco in reverse, no shunting.
- Buses run counter peak and off-peak, weekends and holidays
- Commuters have or used to have option of emergency insurance where for a small annual fee they will provide a taxi ride home for free up to a few times a year at any time of the day.

For first 10 years it was operated by a private contractor which used to publish the annual operating costs, revenue, subsidy etc, which was getting very minimal prior to tranfer to Vancouver Tranlink.

Honestly this service in 2003 when I went to Vancouver had Hobart solution written all over it.
For Hobart same deal
- Trains stored say Briton/ New Norfolk etc
- Stations along the corridor to Hobart Yard
- Island platform where the old station used to be
- storage yard prior
- Trains leaving Bridgewater every 30min from 5:30am, return from 4pm (today, if bridge is not available, then trains from from say a storage yard and first stop at Granton)
- Freight services suspended during this period (not hard then, easy now)

This whole thing could have been set up with say $20-30m + rolling stock. No signally, no over head, existing track apart from yards. MTCE centres using existing Tasrail locations.

If you want to get really keen, do a Auckland Britomart and build a lower cost and cover tunnel into the city with the station under Franklin Square, 1 block from the Mall and basically cut and cover under Macquarie Steet.


3. Trams will not return as like everywhere else there is limited support for returning to the days of trams and cars sharing the road space unless controlled intersections and limited other locations, look what they have done in Sydney and GC and even Adelaide extensions.
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

I remember seeing the WCE trains ‘resting’ at the Waterfront station when in Vancouver approx 5 years ago.
I’m sure a sensible form of pax rail option can be re established on the corridor.




  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet

And for $hits and giggles, why not look at bringing back the Hobart Tramways?
LancedDendrite
The City Council iirc has actually restored a few to running condition for a a proposal well over 10 years ago now. Theres also one at the TTM is in running nick but can't be run due to there being no overhead at the museum. I think last Year When they redid some of the roads the actually ripped up a few kilometers of track that had just been paved over!
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
LD - I’d favour option 2, needs to extend through Mac Pt closer to CBD. It would be a similar approach to what Ottawa set in place around 2001 with original O-Train operation, now known as the Trillium Line of a much expanded O Train system.
derwentparkjunc
The Hobart/Southern Line has quite a lot in common with the O-Train Trillium line, really. Both are former freight corridors and both run through a few areas with questionable passenger catchment.

The City Council iirc has actually restored a few to running condition for a a proposal well over 10 years ago now. Theres also one at the TTM is in running nick but can't be run due to there being no overhead at the museum. I think last Year When they redid some of the roads the actually ripped up a few kilometers of track that had just been paved over!
Dangersdan707
Can you recall what track they were going to run it along?

3. Trams will not return as like everywhere else there is limited support for returning to the days of trams and cars sharing the road space unless controlled intersections and limited other locations, look what they have done in Sydney and GC and even Adelaide extensions.
RTT_Rules
If bringing a light rail route or even reviving a full-blown tramway through the Hobart CBD were to be considered, I think there are some quite feasible solutions to the road space issues. I think the first thing to consider would be a Toronto King Street Transit Priority Corridor-style road space configuration along the route. Put simply, such a configuration eliminates through-traffic along the street by forcing cars to turn left/right at every intersection. This allows cars to still share the road space with trams but greatly reduces the volume of traffic. Enforcement is done through road design and cameras.

Liverpool St would be a perfect case for this in places and is a natural light rail/tram corridor; it has some big trip generators along it like the Elizabeth Mall and associated retail, Royal Hobart Hospital and government services like the courts precinct. It's also already one-way for most of its length through the CBD. Linking to the rail corridor could be a pain though, given the configuration of the Railway Roundabout and the former Hobart Railway Station having been turned into an ABC studio.

Really, as I've stated before it would be best to put the existing railway corridor into use lickety-split and figure out a light rail conversion and proper Hobart CBD access later on.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Can you recall what track they were going to run it along?
Lanceddenderite
Literally just along the waterfront largely using the disused tracks along Port Mcquarry (Smeg spelling) to Salamanca. Most of it would be using existing disused track to keep the cost down. There also the 'Hobart Tramways Society' too that wants to do the same thing, using the council trams. Its Been talked about on and off for the past 20 years now.

http://www.railtasmania.com/pres/group.php?id=hcctram

EDIT
Bit more stuff here

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-21/curious-what-happened-to-hobart-trams/9150104
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Dangersdan707
Same in Launceston. When I lived there I saw the a backhoe working in Charles Street digging up the road then all of a sudden 30m of road was ripped up when the bucket snagged a rail.

As a boy in Manly, NSW, I used to see the tram tracks sticking through the road surface at the bus depo near Manly wharf.

Most of the tramways were never removed, just wires snipped and tarred over, however the rails I'm guessing were not in favorable condition on closure with likely near zero maintenance for some years before and if sitting on timber sleepers, they are long rotted.

If I recall both L'ton and Hobart used Narrow gauge trams, but someone will correct me if wrong on that. Even Germany has some tram networks in NG, so not unusual.
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

Quite widespread metre gauge tram/LR systems in Europe. Unusually Tallinn, Estonia has 3’6” gauge trams like Tas formerly had. In recent years they have brought in a new fleet of CAF built LRVs.
Japan also have some 3’6” tram systems.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
It gets some areas and misses others, is having one LR line worth it? or is it for the sake of having LR because there is a disused railway corridor (argument enough in other locations)? Love to see it happen, but the is Tas govt is not in a position to fund $50-75m/km, (you have around a 2km loop through the city to pay for on a dedicated ROW, think $80-100/km for dual track but if single track maybe 3/4 the price) without the usual fed life line that the likes of Qld has been waiting on for 10 years for the CRR. Basically you need a fed and state election to be close to each other with both a project friendly PM and Premier to agree to have any chance of fed funding and buy some votes.

Problem for Hobart "The low-density population of Hobart has caused the bus timetables being planned on a low-frequency, high-penetration basis - Bus routes are often lengthy, and can take a long time to reach their final destination, as they attempt to service the widely spread-out suburbs". Which is pretty much why every form of rail and even trolley bus PT failed in the past. Can the situation be reversed?

The current buses maybe slow (haven't checked the TT), but if routed more directly like rail, then they would be faster???

If the LR option was approved, you can use NG if it was a way to reduce costs and uterlise the existing line, plus removing the bike track and duplicating from Claremont, perhaps further north. If not, certainly the rail at least.


The insurance issue has been ongoing for a LONG time, will it ever be resolved?

Planned station for Eliabeth street, mmm ambitious. MONA I think is likely just viable, if the rest is.


Both options on their own are I think always going to be a struggle, need to look at a common solution, if possible.
RTT_Rules
The HNSR cuts right through the commercial hearts of Moonah, Glenorchy, Claremont, which are significant destinations themselves in addition to Hobart. Northern suburbs not included on the route (eg. North Hobart; West New Town) are better served by separate developments such as road based transit (trackless tram or street rail) via Elizabeth St to Lenah Valley.

Whilst localised mini-bus shuttles would help collect patronage located some distance from the rail line, together with the development of park & ride structures (none of which existed in the days of the old suburban system pre 1974), the key to maximising patronage is the planned high to medium density housing developments right along the rail route itself.

What were empty farmers fields adjacent to the line at Granton are now all housing developments. The old Risby's & Kemp & Denning timber mill sites have been cleared for a medium to high density housing ("Whitestone Point") of which development has commenced. The closed Claremont Primary School site is to be converted to high density multi-storey apartments. Berriedale has significantly more density now than pre 1974. Old industrial sites in Montrose, Derwent Park, Sunderland St and Moonah are being targeted for conversion to high density apartment living. All of this significantly changes the direct 'walk-up' patronage density to what was the case previously, which has a notable effect on the potential viability of the service.

Of course, one of the attractions is having an in-situ ROW that avoids the costs of building a virgin line / network, like Canberra or the Gold Coast.

Unless a dedicated transit lane arrangement and line haul vehicles (ie. street rail or trackless tram) are in place, buses cant hope to compete in efficient line haul, contending with existing traffic. They are best arranged to specialise in local pick-up shuttles done well, rather than trying to be all things to all people ('jack of all trades') attempting to serve individual suburbs then line haul as well, dismally failing at both. You can either do one of local pick-ups or line-haul properly - not both.

The assumption that the Intercity bike path has to go to accommodate two way rail traffic is mistaken. There is sufficient room to squeeze in automated loops at most major stops. Some might be challenging to accommodate - like New Town (still possible with some raised reclaimed ROW on a retaining wall and cantilevered platform over Bell St) and might not exactly line up with the stopping place (like Montrose - loop would line-up with the northern end of Duncan St (the old A.R.C. siding) with the platform a bit further on at Riverway Rd), but with the ROW of old industrial sidings, not only can sufficient loops be placed - lengthy "passing lanes" (too make up for slippage of schedules) can be installed between Moonah & Derwent Park (the old third road); Chigwell to Claremont and Granton to Goulds Lagoon. Computerised signalling and scheduling would be able to effectively juggle opposing services past each other.

Finally, yes the insurance issue for T&HR. It doesn't seem to be problematic in NSW & Vic. The T&HR Groups are advocating the Tas. Govt simply follow existing precedents in place on the mainland. But trying to get local navel gazing bureaucrats to understand they don't have to re-invent the wheel is inordinately challenging!
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Renewed focus on track quality and infrastructure is it about time Hobart to Launceston passenger services were reinstated ?

A DMU could do it.

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