Baxter Electrification

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The council at Frankston are very keen on duplication of the line to Baxter in this new article https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/duplication-of-rail-essential-committee-for-greater-frankston

Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking said that either option would enable a frequent service.

“Importantly, both options allow a 15-minute service, a new Leawarra–Monash campus station servicing the growing Frankston health and education precinct (with estimated patronage making it the 15th busiest suburban station), and moving the main commuter parking outside Frankston’s CBD, freeing up the city centre for other users.”

The report highlights that a duplicated rail line would provide a backbone for public transport in the area and would be supported by connections such as park and ride facilities, optimising the local bus network, and improving cycling and pedestrian links.
Somebody

I do agree if you want to grow public transport then 15 min frequencies will enable buses to connect with trains outside of frankston.

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  Upven Locomotive Fireman

If only electrify the whole Stony Point line, so that we could avoid the renaming the Frankston line the Baxter line.
  NSWGR8022 Assistant Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
If only electrify the whole Stony Point line, so that we could avoid the renaming the Frankston line the Baxter line.
Upven

Has this been estimated to Stony Point makes a lot of sense to me.
  EmrldPhoenix Station Master

Location: Melbourne, VIC
If only electrify the whole Stony Point line, so that we could avoid the renaming the Frankston line the Baxter line.
Has this been estimated to Stony Point makes a lot of sense to me.
NSWGR8022
Electrification and duplication to Baxter is estimated at ~$550 million according to the report linked by @bevans. This includes level crossing removals for 6 level crossings.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/report-backs-shorter-rail-extension
https://c4gf.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Frankston-Public-Transport-connectivty-IAS2-20200616-Final.pdf

Note that this report does not use information from the government business case. That business case is currently sitting in the drawer of Alan Tudge, federal minister for urban infrastructure.

However, would it be worth it to electrify to Stony Point? If you just electrify the line, no duplication, service frequencies would be almost as bad as they are now, with a maximum of 3tph in both directions at any given station. This means there is no benefit to doing just this.

If we want to duplicate as well, the cost would exceed $1.5 billion. This has some headroom for level crossings, but apart from the 6 LXs to Baxter, there are another 15 LXs that need to be at the very least upgraded, with costs ranging from $5-50 million, or $75-150 million to remove a level crossing. This ignores the many private property access roads on the Stony Point line which will need to upgraded as well.

And we must also consider the potential customers. South of Baxter, there are only 3 towns I would consider worth an electrified service; Mornington (pop. ~24k) on the old tracks, and Somerville (pop. ~11k) and Hastings (pop. ~10k) on the existing line.

South of Hastings is a waste IMO, and even south of Baxter cannot be justified now. Baxter itself is iffy at best, and may not get an electrified service if either state or federal governments skimp on spending.

To sum up, a fully electrified and duplicated line to Stony Point with important LXs removed and the rest upgraded will cost in the neighbourhood of $1.5 billion at the low end. If we gold-plate the line, it could cost in excess of $2 billion.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
1. The Stony Point line currently has between 8 and 10 services per day. Some of these are run by only a single Sprinter.

2. Currently the last service for Stony Point departs Frankston at 6:30pm most nights (some depart later on a Friday night).

3. Currently only 1 train is permitted to operate at any one time between Frankston and Stony Point.

If an increase in service capacity on the Stony Point line (past Baxter) is required, than there are many other ways to improve capacity before full electrification all the way to Stony Point will be justified.  Currently it is not.

If only electrify the whole Stony Point line, so that we could avoid the renaming the Frankston line the Baxter line.
Upven

That sounds like a sound justification for spending over a billion dollars of taxpayers money.
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

If only electrify the whole Stony Point line, so that we could avoid the renaming the Frankston line the Baxter line.
Has this been estimated to Stony Point makes a lot of sense to me.
Electrification and duplication to Baxter is estimated at ~$550 million according to the report linked by @bevans. This includes level crossing removals for 6 level crossings.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/report-backs-shorter-rail-extension
https://c4gf.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Frankston-Public-Transport-connectivty-IAS2-20200616-Final.pdf

Note that this report does not use information from the government business case. That business case is currently sitting in the drawer of Alan Tudge, federal minister for urban infrastructure.

However, would it be worth it to electrify to Stony Point? If you just electrify the line, no duplication, service frequencies would be almost as bad as they are now, with a maximum of 3tph in both directions at any given station. This means there is no benefit to doing just this.

If we want to duplicate as well, the cost would exceed $1.5 billion. This has some headroom for level crossings, but apart from the 6 LXs to Baxter, there are another 15 LXs that need to be at the very least upgraded, with costs ranging from $5-50 million, or $75-150 million to remove a level crossing. This ignores the many private property access roads on the Stony Point line which will need to upgraded as well.

And we must also consider the potential customers. South of Baxter, there are only 3 towns I would consider worth an electrified service; Mornington (pop. ~24k) on the old tracks, and Somerville (pop. ~11k) and Hastings (pop. ~10k) on the existing line.

South of Hastings is a waste IMO, and even south of Baxter cannot be justified now. Baxter itself is iffy at best, and may not get an electrified service if either state or federal governments skimp on spending.

To sum up, a fully electrified and duplicated line to Stony Point with important LXs removed and the rest upgraded will cost in the neighbourhood of $1.5 billion at the low end. If we gold-plate the line, it could cost in excess of $2 billion.
EmrldPhoenix
Baxter has only been chosen as it has land available to build a major maintenance facility to service the Frankston Line. This will stop transfers to Craigieburn & Newport to service trains, as well as allow for additional stabling on the line.

Baxter has not been chosen because of population or expected patronage. Extending the line will be beneficial for the health and universitiy campuses in the area. If acreage was available at Frankston or Kannanook this project would of never gotten off the ground.
  EmrldPhoenix Station Master

Location: Melbourne, VIC
Baxter has only been chosen as it has land available to build a major maintenance facility to service the Frankston Line. This will stop transfers to Craigieburn & Newport to service trains, as well as allow for additional stabling on the line.

Baxter has not been chosen because of population or expected patronage. Extending the line will be beneficial for the health and universitiy campuses in the area. If acreage was available at Frankston or Kannanook this project would of never gotten off the ground.
Lockie91

I do agree. But on a purely cost-benefit basis, electrification past a new Langwarrin station is effectively wasted money right now. And knowing some people, this could be the outcome which I find very undesirable.

While new stables has always been the plan for Baxter, the opening of Kannanook stables will delay any stabling at Baxter. Kannanook has plenty of space to expand, meaning that Baxter is currently unnecessary. That may change in the near future with the opening of the Metro Tunnel, but for the moment Baxter stabling is likely to be cost, rather than a cost-saver.

If the state and federal governments are full of penny-pinchers, I would fully expect a stop-gap solution where the line is electrified to Langwarrin. Only when it becomes increasing obvious will Baxter electrification and stabling come up again.

Again, I hope this does not happen. I just think it has a high chance of being the outcome, second only to the full electrification and duplication to Baxter.

1. The Stony Point line currently has between 8 and 10 services per day. Some of these are run by only a single Sprinter.
2. Currently the last service for Stony Point departs Frankston at 6:30pm most nights (some depart later on a Friday night).
3. Currently only 1 train is permitted to operate at any one time between Frankston and Stony Point.
If an increase in service capacity on the Stony Point line (past Baxter) is required, than there are many other ways to improve capacity before full electrification all the way to Stony Point will be justified.  Currently it is not.
Gman_86
I also wanted to add some further information to this. The Stony Point line is full single track. No station has a second platform, and there are no crossing loops. Trains cannot pass each other on the line anywhere.

The reason some services are run with a single Sprinter is to increase peak hour services from hourly to every 30min as normal services are constrained by the single track. This means during the peak hour, the 2 Sprinters detach from each other and run half an hour apart before reconnecting at the terminus. Off-peak services are run with the Sprinters joined together.

An electrified Baxter will also reduce run times of the Stony Point line. So even if nothing else happens, the Stony Point line gains greater operational freedom with potential for increased services.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Stony Point would never justify having a 6 carriage train running It's services.

1 or 2 diesel railcars are plenty.

In the future their better off experimenting with some type of gas electric hybrid system.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

A new production line of such trains may way exceed the cost of electrification.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
I also wanted to add some further information to this. The Stony Point line is full single track. No station has a second platform, and there are no crossing loops. Trains cannot pass each other on the line anywhere.

The reason some services are run with a single Sprinter is to increase peak hour services from hourly to every 30min as normal services are constrained by the single track. This means during the peak hour, the 2 Sprinters detach from each other and run half an hour apart before reconnecting at the terminus. Off-peak services are run with the Sprinters joined together.

An electrified Baxter will also reduce run times of the Stony Point line. So even if nothing else happens, the Stony Point line gains greater operational freedom with potential for increased services.
EmrldPhoenix
Given that stabling at Baxter is not likely to be required for some time now that we have the facility at Kananook, why not just add a passing loop at wherever is the half-way point along the route and potentially a second platform at the most central station and then double the service frequency.  This would surely be a much cheaper interim solution and would provide a big improvement for the local community.

Ross
  route14 Chief Commissioner

That's a good thought.  With the existing timetable they already need at least two drivers to work it on a weekday, one of whom travels as passenger for one round-trip and drives a round-trip.  An intermediate crossing loop would double the general frequency with minimal infrastructural upgrade and increase in driver-hour.  The existing arrangement of uncoupling to form one 20-minute headway in each peak direction doesn't increase the total capacity anyway.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Mister Fact Checker
Given that stabling at Baxter is not likely to be required for some time now that we have the facility at Kananook, why not just add a passing loop at wherever is the half-way point along the route and potentially a second platform at the most central station and then double the service frequency.  This would surely be a much cheaper interim solution and would provide a big improvement for the local community.

Ross
Rossco T
like the spiked extra roads at Somerville?
https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Somerville

cheers
John
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Given that stabling at Baxter is not likely to be required for some time now that we have the facility at Kananook, why not just add a passing loop at wherever is the half-way point along the route and potentially a second platform at the most central station and then double the service frequency.  This would surely be a much cheaper interim solution and would provide a big improvement for the local community.

Ross
like the spiked extra roads at Somerville?
https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Somerville


cheers
John
justarider
No longer spiked, Now fully disconnected from the main. Only sets of points between Frankston and Stony Point these days
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
God, this thread is in lala land...
There is not the demand to spark beyond baxter for 10 6 car trains per hour to stony point as some gunzels might like. The Line is fine as is. Its open, and the service is sufficient and the community uses it. Want me to bring up the population stats for the thriving Hamlet of Stony Point?
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Mister Fact Checker
God, this thread is in lala land...
There is not the demand to spark beyond baxter for 10 6 car trains per hour to stony point as some gunzels might like. The Line is fine as is. Its open, and the service is sufficient and the community uses it. Want me to bring up the population stats for the thriving Hamlet of Stony Point?
Dangersdan707
sorry about the crap picture. Just got it to work.

Agreed that the line is fine. A passing lane at Sommerville would merely simplify the need to couple/uncouple, and just have 2 single units running on much the same time-table. Allows for 1hr headway all day if so inclined.



The thriving hamlet of Hastings is more what I had in mind. Stony Point is really only a destination when the ferry is in town.

cheers
John
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Modify a Comeng set to work with a power van dumping out 1500V. Laughing

Apparently a similar thing was actually done to a preserved W class tram ages ago, it was being given 600V via a diesel generator which was mounted on a W2 truck which the tram had to drag around (may have been at TMSV Bylands or another similar rural area where there wasn't any overhead but tracks were laid).
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Neither for or against, however:

1. There are plenty of examples of single-track electrification, eg Belgrave, Hurstbridge, Kiama (with freight).
2. The current TT interval for a Sprinter from Baxter to Stony Point is 27 mins (22 km). An EMU could do the round trip in 50 mins. An hourly service with a 3-car shuttle from Baxter would only require 1 x set and no intermediate loops, or 2 x sets and an intermediate loop for a 30-min service. Electrifying past Baxter would have some savings by replacing the current orphan operation.
3. The current platforms are probably only long enough for 2-car trains.
4. Reactivating Hastings passing loop would require a second platform or moving the loop north or south of the station.
5.  A loop sited in the vicinity of Long Island Junction would be equidistant between Baxter and Stony Point and thus more suited to a 30-min operation (plus not requiring a second platform at Hastings).
6. Although the line is currently ATC, additional signalling would probably be required to accommodate the Long Island goods if an hourly passenger service, and an additional loop between Somerville and Tyabb for a 30-min service.
7. Some of the above applies equally to expanding the existing Sprinter service.
8. Stony Point is one option for a terminus for a much-talked-about car passenger tourist ferry to Cowes. Even more unlikely given the current economic climate.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

God, this thread is in lala land...
There is not the demand to spark beyond baxter for 10 6 car trains per hour to stony point as some gunzels might like. The Line is fine as is. Its open, and the service is sufficient and the community uses it. Want me to bring up the population stats for the thriving Hamlet of Stony Point?
sorry about the crap picture. Just got it to work.

Agreed that the line is fine. A passing lane at Sommerville would merely simplify the need to couple/uncouple, and just have 2 single units running on much the same time-table. Allows for 1hr headway all day if so inclined.



The thriving hamlet of Hastings is more what I had in mind. Stony Point is really only a destination when the ferry is in town.

cheers
John
justarider
If anything needs to be done on this line, convert Somerville yo an Island platform, easy and simple.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Mister Fact Checker
God, this thread is in lala land...
Agreed that the line is fine. A passing lane at Sommerville would merely simplify the need to couple/uncouple, and just have 2 single units running on much the same time-table. Allows for 1hr headway if so inclined.

The thriving hamlet of Hastings is more what I had in mind. Stony Point is really only a destination when the ferry is in town.
justarider
If anything needs to be done on this line, convert Somerville yo an Island platform, easy and simple.
"trainbrain"

It doesn't even need 2 platforms.
There's about 250m of double track down from the station. Plenty of room to make a pass.
cheers
John
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Baxter has only been chosen as it has land available to build a major maintenance facility to service the Frankston Line. This will stop transfers to Craigieburn & Newport to service trains, as well as allow for additional stabling on the line.

Baxter has not been chosen because of population or expected patronage. Extending the line will be beneficial for the health and universitiy campuses in the area. If acreage was available at Frankston or Kannanook this project would of never gotten off the ground.

I do agree. But on a purely cost-benefit basis, electrification past a new Langwarrin station is effectively wasted money right now. And knowing some people, this could be the outcome which I find very undesirable.

While new stables has always been the plan for Baxter, the opening of Kannanook stables will delay any stabling at Baxter. Kannanook has plenty of space to expand, meaning that Baxter is currently unnecessary. That may change in the near future with the opening of the Metro Tunnel, but for the moment Baxter stabling is likely to be cost, rather than a cost-saver.

If the state and federal governments are full of penny-pinchers, I would fully expect a stop-gap solution where the line is electrified to Langwarrin. Only when it becomes increasing obvious will Baxter electrification and stabling come up again.

Again, I hope this does not happen. I just think it has a high chance of being the outcome, second only to the full electrification and duplication to Baxter.

EmrldPhoenix
There is no need to agree, this is pure fact as mentioned by MTM in internal operations reports for the Frankston Line.

As for the cost benefit, you are basing this on patronage. This is only a small part of the benefit to the project and on that measure alone, its not worth spending any money past Frankston. Simplified operations and urban renewal play a big part in rail CBA's. Currently Frankston is not an easy line for Metro to service. The line had and still has limited stabling, no maintenance or train wash facilities and a peak directional track. Being able to store and maintain 30 trains out at Baxter solves dozens of the operational complexities that Metro has work with every day to deliver a service. This is a major contributing factor to the CBA; simpler operations reduce costs for Metro, which is funded by the taxpayer. Spending $X on Baxter will save $X costs over 30+ years. The catchment area for the business case isn't the 20,000 people living around Langwarrin or Baxter, Its the 100,000+ commuters that use the Frankston service daily. Solve the operational issues gives them a more reliable service and allows for additional services for the entirety of the Frankston Line catchment area.

Urban Renewal is the other big benefit that appears in business cases and CBA's. This is where the majority of the benefit came from for MM1. $11 Billion on a rail tunnel only retuned $1.10 for every $1 invested not the best return. Throw in Arden urban renewal and smaller scale renewal around CBD North/South pushed it up to $1.50. A shiny new metro station in Arden added a couple of zeros to all the government owned land they are about to develop. The same is true around Frankston. The station sits between retail and educational facilities with very poor linkages between them. Stabling yards and car parking take up a big chunk of land smack in the middle of Frankston. Building a park and ride at Langwarrin and storing trains out in a paddock at Baxter allows the Victrack to sell off this land for urban renewal. Wether it be apartment or retail development, there is money to be made.

Kannanook is only an increase of four roads, the other four replaced what was lost at Carrum. This is still woefully short of what is required to run peak with a peak directional track and a 10 minute all day service. It has not brought that much time, really only a couple of years until MM1 opens. There is not maintenance facilities, metro needs to send trains to Westall, Craigieburn or Newport for all servicing requirements. Westall won't be an option after MM1, Craigieburn and Newport become more difficult with the planned increase in services. Makes it even more complicated than it is now. Kannanook as plans for another 4 roads and a train wash, I wouldn't call it plenty of room. A facility the size of Craigieburn or Bayswater is what is need our at Baxter.

How many people get on a train at Baxter is not important and a number that the government is not looking at. I wouldn't expect a stop gap, Langwarrin doesn't help anybody. Nationals are holding the project close because it their backyard. It's the only reason they have pledged some money for it. It is essentially a state government project, the Nationals can now say the funded it to help them come election time. I would expect it to be announced in next years budget, this gives them four years to have it up and going. In time for MM1. Also lines up with election time, both state and federal.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville

How many people get on a train at Baxter is not important and a number that the government is not looking at. I wouldn't expect a stop gap, Langwarrin doesn't help anybody. Nationals are holding the project close because it their backyard. It's the only reason they have pledged some money for it. It is essentially a state government project, the Nationals can now say the funded it to help them come election time. I would expect it to be announced in next years budget, this gives them four years to have it up and going. In time for MM1. Also lines up with election time, both state and federal.
Lockie91
To add to Lockie's comments, I can't recall where I came across this date but I have noted that 2028 is potentially the date for Baxter to be completed, which is a bit beyond his estimated completion but still reasonably close to it.

Neil
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A new production line of such trains may way exceed the cost of electrification.
route14
Not If they use the technology currently been used In bus drivetrains (replacing the current drivetrains In the sprinters)
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Currently only 1 train is permitted to operate at any one time between Frankston and Stony Point.
Gman_83
This isn't true. Only one passenger train can operate between Frankston and Stony Point at any one time. Steel trains can go between Frankston and Long Island Junction once a pax is through Hastings.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

What about the "convoy" operation at peak time?
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
What about the "convoy" operation at peak time?
route14
Not something that I'm aware of. How does it work?

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