Rail Revival Study: Geelong - Ballarat - Bendigo

 
  Speed Minister for Railways

don't think anyone would argue against the fact that we really need improved rail services to assist with the decentralisation of population in Victoria - anyone living in Melbourne can tell you how stupidly crowded things have become in the last ten years
"Don Dunstan"
That sounds like a good reason to kill the idea.

Decentralisation aims:
  • to promote private transport over public by removing major destinations that warrant high frequency, high capacity or reliable public transport
  • to make bigger houses with fewer people in them within five minutes' drive of a commercial area
  • to absolve a city of its large skills base (especially specialists), employment opportunities (especially specialised ones) and opportunities for specialised interests, cultural and entertainment pursuits


Some of the trains might be too crowded to board at Toorak (I haven't boarded a train there myself). That's not a crisis of overcrowding. That's something that could be solved by higher frequency of services. That's something that could be achieved by ignoring people who whine "I don't want Melbourne to be bigger than Auckland" and promoting housing and transport improvements that keep the best people convenient to the employers who need them.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A regular passenger train service between two of Victoria's largest provincial cities is not a bad project. It makes perfect sense. Why would the success of this returned service be any different than the other patronage uplifts across the vline rail network?

Regards
Brian
  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122


Spending scarce infrastructure money on worthless rail projects is not the answer either.

Edward
"ozfreight"


Is this a generalised comment or are you referring to a particular project?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"

Brian , what i mean is that there is rail projects that are more deserving and urgent than squandering scarce money on  re-opening Ballarat-Geelong to passenger traffic. The Warrnambool line urgently needs a loop or passing lane to accomodate extra passenger and freight traffic, Re-opening Mt Gambier line for freight, Appleton dock is congested what about upgrading part of the dormant Tottenham yard as a staging yard for the port?Ballarat and Bendigo lines will soon need loops or passing lanes to accomodate increased traffic  (real demand not hypothetical) then there is improvements to the freight network for grain exports to the ports. What about re-opening the Dookie line?What about intermodal terminals in country victoria?
Ballarat to Geelong can wait, if needed at all.

Edward
  Foamer GEEWONG

Location: Geelong


Spending scarce infrastructure money on worthless rail projects is not the answer either.

Edward
"ozfreight"


Is this a generalised comment or are you referring to a particular project?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"

Brian , what i mean is that there is rail projects that are more deserving and urgent than squandering scarce money on  re-opening Ballarat-Geelong to passenger traffic. The Warrnambool line urgently needs a loop or passing lane to accomodate extra passenger and freight traffic, Re-opening Mt Gambier line for freight, Appleton dock is congested what about upgrading part of the dormant Tottenham yard as a staging yard for the port?Ballarat and Bendigo lines will soon need loops or passing lanes to accomodate increased traffic  (real demand not hypothetical) then there is improvements to the freight network for grain exports to the ports. What about re-opening the Dookie line?What about intermodal terminals in country victoria?
Ballarat to Geelong can wait, if needed at all.

Edward
"ozfreight"


An intermodal terminal in Geelong would help ease some of the strain on Melbourne Port.  The only issue is placement.
  Michaelje Chief Commissioner




Spending scarce infrastructure money on worthless rail projects is not the answer either.

Edward
"ozfreight"


Is this a generalised comment or are you referring to a particular project?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


How about this particular project, where someone else has posted actual numbers, 100 passengers per day on the buses.

How would spend money on trains to service 100 customers be worthy of your stated "spend money on rail not roads"

You would be more economically sensible to give them all taxi vouchers instead.

  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

Spending scarce infrastructure money on worthless rail projects is not the answer either.

Edward
"ozfreight"


Spoken like a politician, or someone with either major shares in the oil industry or an employee thereof.
"themetptc"
And your comment is spoken like a dribbling idiotic foaming gunzel who thinks only of getting their rocks off through pretty trains.

Spending money on worthless rail projects - like extending passenger services to the massive towns of Lal Lal, Talbot and Mooloort - is comuter-productive and utterly stupid.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
That's something that could be achieved by ignoring people who whine "I don't want Melbourne to be bigger than Auckland"
"Speed"


Greater Melbourne is a shade over 4.1 million (depending on what you count as 'Melbourne'); Auckland is about 1.5 million.

What's alarming is the sheer size of our city - Drouin to Melton is around 140kms.  Both those towns have very large housing estates feeding off the commuter belt for Melbourne, yet there's no plan to make transit from one side of Melbourne to the other much faster or more efficient ESPECIALLY by public transport.  You can already drive on dual carriageway/tollway for that whole distance but depending on the time of day you will be caught up in stupidly bad traffic; why not start planning for a network of express trains from one side of Melbourne to the other (possibly terminating/orginating from the airport?).  Paris has done it; London is in the process of doing it; we do have much lower densities here but it could be worth planning for it now rather than wait till the Monash Fwy is a car-park 24/7.

Then again, for reasons we have already all discussed it might be wishful thinking.

Also, as discussed with Barrington Womble earlier, I have heard a rumour that the completion of the Ararat Western Highway duplication is apparently in this week's state budget to be revealed on Tuesday.  But no money for any rail projects I'm guessing !
  Simbera Train Controller

As a local (raised in Ararat, until recently living in Ballarat, and travelling regularly between the two) I've been following the Western Highway duplication project fairly closely since day one.  The project started with the Ballarat-Burrumbeet section ages ago, but was brought to a complete halt because of the Queensland floods.  It was at a standstill for a good 8 months, but has now started up again and is getting close to completion - as of the last time I drove past (~3 weeks ago) bridge work was almost complete and asphalt was being laid in its initial layers.  I would estimate it will be done by the next school holidays.

In addition, the section just East of Beaufort that was already four lanes is being...upgraded, somehow.  They started that not long after work resumed on Ballarat-Burrumbeet, and they're basically just widening it and so on; it's coming along well and will definitely be done by the end of 2012, probably much sooner.

As far as I can tell, the entire Ballarat-Beaufort section is fully planned, funded, and locked in to go ahead.  Should be finished by the end of 2014, according to official sources, although I'm wary of that figure.

The entire project goes all the way to Stawell, but the parts after Beaufort are still being consulted upon.  There is federal and state funding locked in and the Coalition have no specific objection to the project (Wannon is a Liberal seat and they could probably do with the votes in East Ballarat) so to the best of my knowledge Baillieu isn't likely to knock it on the head.

I suppose we'll see, won't we?  Apparently new Vline carriages are in, according to a leak I just read.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Seems a council thinks a service between Ballarat and Geelong is a good idea.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-10550/

Regards
Brian
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
Seems a council thinks a service between Ballarat and Geelong is a good idea.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-10550/

Regards
Brian
"bevans"
When the aforementioned council actually decides to commit a decent amount of money to the massive subsidies that are required to run this train for the benefit of shag-all people, then we'll know it's not all p*ss and wind.
  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122
Seems a council thinks a service between Ballarat and Geelong is a good idea.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-10550/

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


I am sure they do.Let them pay  for it if it's such a good idea.
Would hate to see the poor driver of the mini bus carting the elusive customers between Geelong and  Ballarat loose his job

Edward
  Michaelje Chief Commissioner


That's something that could be achieved by ignoring people who whine "I don't want Melbourne to be bigger than Auckland"
"Speed"


Greater Melbourne is a shade over 4.1 million (depending on what you count as 'Melbourne'); Auckland is about 1.5 million.

What's alarming is the sheer size of our city - Drouin to Melton is around 140kms.  
"don_dunstan"


Well, both Drouin and Melton are not part of Melbourne, so there goes that argument. 

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Seems a council thinks a service between Ballarat and Geelong is a good idea.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-10550/

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


I am sure they do.Let them pay  for it if it's such a good idea.
Would hate to see the poor driver of the mini bus carting the elusive customers between Geelong and  Ballarat loose his job

Edward
"ozfreight"


Yep. Wouldn't want a bus driver to stand in the way of progress. What is it about Australia?

Regards
Brian
  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122
Seems a council thinks a service between Ballarat and Geelong is a good idea.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-10550/

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


I am sure they do.Let them pay  for it if it's such a good idea.
Would hate to see the poor driver of the mini bus carting the elusive customers between Geelong and  Ballarat loose his job

Edward
"ozfreight"


Yep. Wouldn't want a bus driver to stand in the way of progress. What is it about Australia?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"

Progress? Regurgitating old WORTHLESS  projects will not help the rail industry.There is no demand for passenger service  between Geelong and Ballarat that cannot be handled by our friendly mini bus driver.

Edward
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Progress? Regurgitating old WORTHLESS  projects will not help the rail industry.There is no demand for passenger service  between Geelong and Ballarat that cannot be handled by our friendly mini bus driver.

Edward
"ozfreight"


You know what I like about this service, I can have my opinion and you can have yours.

Regards
Brian
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
Seems a council thinks a service between Ballarat and Geelong is a good idea.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-10550/

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


I am sure they do.Let them pay  for it if it's such a good idea.
Would hate to see the poor driver of the mini bus carting the elusive customers between Geelong and  Ballarat loose his job

Edward
"ozfreight"


Yep. Wouldn't want a bus driver to stand in the way of progress. What is it about Australia?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"
Ummmm... Maybe next time you whinge about XYZ rail project not getting funding, I'll remind you that your position arguing that we should fund this rail project might detract from the finite amount of railway funding for that other thing (and there's a lot) that you're complaining about.

It's not a bottomless pit that you can fund every tin-pot idea from.  You're a businessman, you should understand that no-one has limitless capital to fund every idea that comes up; why forget that when rails are involved?

Historically, this idea of throwing money at big localised rail projects has never worked.  You only need to look at the number of railway lines opened by my username in the 1890's onwards and how few survived to see that it's a waste of money.

And bear in mind that:

I can have my opinion and you can have yours.
"bevans"





  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
As per predictions on this thread there is money in the state budget to extend the Western Highway duplication, this round of funding is for Beaufort to Buangor (not quite all the way to Ararat as of yet); I'm guessing that they won't bother bypassing Beaufort even though I'm sure Beaufort residents and users of the road would have liked trucks by-passing that "40 kmh" zone in the middle of the town.

I didn't see anything announced for the Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo train so I'm guessing there's nothing happening in the next twelve months... maybe we can put this thread to bed until something more substantial is announced?  I'm inclined to somewhat agree with some other posters here that maybe it's just wishful thinking and that perhaps the money could be better used catering to the boom in existing services.  The other problem is that our state government's revenue is presently shrinking by quite a bit... stamp duty, GST share and payroll tax in particular.  You won't see any large expansions or rail projects like we did ten years ago simply because the rivers of money from GST and our sky-rocketing house prices are slowly drying up.  Even prominent road projects on Ted's wish-list didn't make it this year; for example I was very surprised to see the Eastern Fwy - Citylink connector won't be built any time soon.
  Ads Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne

both Drouin and Melton are not part of Melbourne. 
"Michaelje"

At present time that is a correct statement.
However with continuous suburbia currently being built between Melbourne and these two 'towns', there will be no argument by 2020 (if not within the next 5 years) that both Drouin and Melton will indeed be outer suburbs of Melbourne.



Apologies for fracturing this thread off onto a 3rd topic. All interesting discussions however.


Smile
  Simbera Train Controller

As stupid as it is, there was never provision in the project for bypassing Beaufort or Ararat, just the small towns in between.  So it's not like that's been cut.

Nor is the road being built to Freeway standard - it is duplicated highway, which means 100kmh speed limits, and normal intersections with small roads and driveways.  There are going to be a couple of proper interchanges (Avenue of Honour and I believe the Trawalla bypass will both get one) but as I understand it, other roads that intersect with the highway will continue to do so, which by law necessitates lower speeds.

With the result, the difference in travel time will be minimal - you still have to travel at the same speeds, and you still have to slow down for towns. The only real benefit is that you won't get stuck behind a caravan doing 80 any more.

As I said before, though, remember that the project is Ballarat-Stawell, not just to Ararat.  The completion of the project may well be multiple governments away, which makes long-term speculation difficult.
  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122

Progress? Regurgitating old WORTHLESS  projects will not help the rail industry.There is no demand for passenger service  between Geelong and Ballarat that cannot be handled by our friendly mini bus driver.

Edward
"ozfreight"


You know what I like about this service, I can have my opinion and you can have yours.

Regards
Brian
"bevans"

Fair enough Brian, lets leave it at that.

Edward
  D3621 Locomotive Driver

Location: Castlemaine Vic
If the Castlemaine - Maryborough section was to reopen what would happen to VGR? (I live in Castlemaine not too far from the Mborough Maldon turn out).
The line seems in poor condition around Guildford-Newstead and I think it has been damaged by flooding, so I think it would need a lot of work to reinstate
"Colonial boy"


As a member of the VGR there is no plan within the next 15 years to connect the line to Marybourgh, so it will be open to freight and passenger service (some members however would like the line to Marybourgh connected).
 There is a plan to remove the Maldon-Marybourgh junction/ points and build a new extension from the current Marybourgh line aligment to the RFR and hook up to the loop line at Castlemaine. A new track will be built beside the Maldon line that will connect to the current aligment of the Marybourgh line. The only change is that the Maldon line will be a countinous line from Maldon-Castlemaine with no junction so that both lines can run without any problems or delays for both V/Line and the VGR.


The line from Castlemaine-Marybourgh is in very poor condition, the bridge over the Carin Curran is in relativly good condition, but will need repairs.

cheers Adisson
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Have you heard any details regarding re-opening of the line between the junction and Maryborough?

I am told there could be some quarry traffic in the winds?

Regards
Brian
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There is a plan to remove the Maldon-Marybourgh junction/ points and build a new extension from the current Marybourgh line aligment to the RFR and hook up to the loop line at Castlemaine. A new track will be built beside the Maldon line that will connect to the current aligment of the Marybourgh line. The only change is that the Maldon line will be a countinous line from Maldon-Castlemaine with no junction so that both lines can run without any problems or delays for both V/Line and the VGR.
"D3621"


Though It may be only about 700 metres, the cost would be very scary, and put In the too hard/expensive basket.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Though It may be only about 700 metres, the cost would be very scary, and put In the too hard/expensive basket.
"Nightfire"


Would be cheaper to put in some signals at the junction and some point motors?

Regards
Brian
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Though It may be only about 700 metres, the cost would be very scary, and put In the too hard/expensive basket.
"Nightfire"


Would be cheaper to put in some signals at the junction and some point motors?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"

What about the jungle of red tape with a tourist operator (VGR) operating on V/Line's active network !

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