Melbourne - North East Link Project (Freeway)

 
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Are you seriously suggesting that a rail/light rail line is not needed in a place where the bus services are not coping because they are used by a number of volume of people more commonly seen on a train line, just because there is a parallel tram line that moves at a snails pace 1-3km away?
I'd expect this kind of comment on a Herald Sun thread full of people wanting to carpet Melbourne in bitumen. But on a rail site? Wow.
Aussie trooper
Its all about cost and benefit. Many other heavy rail projects are more economically sound than a Doncaster rail currently. In the future it is uncertain much will change, the population of Doncaster is not increasing at the same rates as Wallan, or Tarneit. These areas are not well served by any good form of transport.

North East link is a catalyst for improvement in the local road network around Doncaster. It has a DART system in place (semi-BRT system) and is successful. The tram route can be turned to light rail, if stops were made DD by raising the road, and the tramways can be cleared, with traffic priority lights. This is very difficult to implement but is utilising our current infrastructure. Another proposal which is better is turn the DART to a proper full BRT. This only cost 250 million or so. Can be done quickly and would hugely benefit the area.

Melbourne already has a dense network of radial network of railways. The future maybe trying to may the rail network orbital and able to connect Doncaster instead to a bigger orbital rail to provide demand outside the Melbourne CBD and promote increasing the employment hubs, instead of all the rail traffic heading into the CBD.

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  Aussie trooper Station Master

Agree about implementing BRT, but can't see how this would be done if north east link option A goes ahead. They will be using braided ramps, which makes it effectively impossible to do anything down the centre of the freeway, as this is where the connection would be made. The busses would have to cross from the centre median at Bulleen rd, to the emergency lane on the left to get around it. This kind of mixing with traffic is exactly what BRT is intended to avoid.
Option A is also a disaster for traffic in Manningham. The roads won't cope. I'd agree with you if you were referring to B or C though, which would catch traffic from areas further out, before it hit the more built up areas. It's no surprise that there is far more opposition to option A than any other route.
The DART system is largely spin. I have used it before, and it is just a bunch of regular busses, that don't have effective bus lanes. Even where there is a painted lane, they get caught by turning traffic at every intersection. Travel times are pathetic compared to a train service.
I think you'll find that the lack of adequate public transport is what is holding back Doncaster, not the other way around. Apartment developers avoid areas like this, and if it wasn't for the views, there would be minimal development in the area. Apartments and townhouses tend to cluster around train and tram lines for very good reason.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Agree about implementing BRT, but can't see how this would be done if north east link option A goes ahead. They will be using braided ramps, which makes it effectively impossible to do anything down the centre of the freeway, as this is where the connection would be made. The busses would have to cross from the centre median at Bulleen rd, to the emergency lane on the left to get around it. This kind of mixing with traffic is exactly what BRT is intended to avoid.
Option A is also a disaster for traffic in Manningham. The roads won't cope. I'd agree with you if you were referring to B or C though, which would catch traffic from areas further out, before it hit the more built up areas. It's no surprise that there is far more opposition to option A than any other route.
The DART system is largely spin. I have used it before, and it is just a bunch of regular busses, that don't have effective bus lanes. Even where there is a painted lane, they get caught by turning traffic at every intersection. Travel times are pathetic compared to a train service.
I think you'll find that the lack of adequate public transport is what is holding back Doncaster, not the other way around. Apartment developers avoid areas like this, and if it wasn't for the views, there would be minimal development in the area. Apartments and townhouses tend to cluster around train and tram lines for very good reason.
Aussie trooper
BRT shouldn't be a problem - just convert two lanes into bus lanes. I expect the NE link will take a fair bit of traffic off the Eastern Freeway/Alexandra Parade making this viable. If needed you can build some shelter bus stops and ramps from bridges.
  Aussie trooper Station Master

Option A increases traffic on the Eastern, as you will get people from out as far as Mernda using it to access the city.
From speaking to a NELA engineer, they plan to use braided ramps on the Eastern, to stop the daily backlog from Hoddle st from blocking the entranct to north east link. This means there won't be room for any BRT stops from Bulleen rd outwards. It kills the BRT project, and any prospect of light/heavy rail too.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Here's an idea for the Northeast link, how about dedicated lanes just for heavy vehicles, be it buses or trucks?
  Aussie trooper Station Master

Here's an idea for the Northeast link, how about dedicated lanes just for heavy vehicles, be it buses or trucks?
Myrtone
I actually suggested that to NELA at one of their information sessions. Interesting to see if that lane happens. The restriction on trucks staying in the left lanes on the Eastern Freeway seems to work quite well. Would be good to trial taking it further, into a dedicated lane.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Route A now seems to be the preferred position of the ALP.  This will carve up parkland and businesses and homes and create a political sh*tstorm for the ALP.  I think now the greens must be looking further north east to the leafy suburbs of Bulleen and Rosanna.  Political Suicide.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
At a reported cost of $13 Billion, up from $6 Billion.

The current Government didn’t want to spend anymore than $10 Billion.

Must be tunnels most of the way.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Money pit.  How on earth can this achieve a BCR >1?
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

At a reported cost of $13 Billion, up from $6 Billion.

The current Government didn’t want to spend anymore than $10 Billion.

Must be tunnels most of the way.
Nightfire
10-13 billion actually, so potential up 3-6 billion.

Yes Tunnelling is expensive for the other routes.

Well this was in Infrastructure Victoria planning document. As long as there is a major rail project announcement to counter the massive road construction should be welcomed. I don't mind they finish this road link as long as they have another major rail project in the pipeline

3-5 billion dollar western rail package should be considered. These included extend Werribee line, electrify melton line, and provide two more tracks between Sunshine and Deerpark, and more stations on RRL. Hopefully you support these kinds of works.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
$13b could provide a lot of projects to reduce car dependency.

The ALP is now squarely in trouble.  People are sick of parks, houses and forests and land being built over by car lead projects.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It's interesting to note that the NE link will exacerbate traffic woes on the Eastern Freeway.

What's the point of it?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
So will East West Link !

It’s just It’s supporters just chose not to acknowledge this.

Then again there are plenty of companies out there who do very nicely out contined ongoing freeway expansion.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

$13b could provide a lot of projects to reduce car dependency.

The ALP is now squarely in trouble.  People are sick of parks, houses and forests and land being built over by car lead projects.
x31
Well that is true, 13 billion could fund a second Melbourne Metro Tunnel or two new suburban rail lines but the truth is that the north east of Melbourne, is where there is a green wedge and low density housing, not making public transport as viable as par as a road would be.

Sure railways would reduce cars on the road, but where would this railway go and how would it support the overall network. Doncaster already has a smartbus link, but not a proper BRT. Unfortunately the private proposal got cancelled in favour for the major freeway. At the very least it would provide an alternative way for cars to go north via the link instead of local roads. Yes it may have the effect of pushing additional traffic onto the Eastern Freeway hence why the package would include widening that freeway to funnel more traffic onto Hoddle street which is getting those new interchanges.

There are sure better ways to spend that money but on the other hand the project has good intentions, but the results may prove otherwise. Infrastructure Victoria has much better projects in the list that I am hoping will get checked off.

The solution is the west campaigned for the west rail upgrades package then we could see that happening in the near future. These include Melton electrification, Werribee extension, RRL new stations and Deer Park to Sunshine quadding. These works should happen 2018-2022 I hope if these works are pushed by local governments in the area.
  stooge spark Train Controller

Strange they picked option A, would've thought that option C was better all-round.
Also, sometimes these freeways do end up removing some congestion, when Eastlink openedm Springvale road, Mitcham road and Park road all saw a decrease in the amount of cars using the roads.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

All the Guv has done is pick the original route, have a look in the Melways, it has been earmarked there for nearly 30 years.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Strange they picked option A, would've thought that option C was better all-round.
Also, sometimes these freeways do end up removing some congestion, when Eastlink openedm Springvale road, Mitcham road and Park road all saw a decrease in the amount of cars using the roads.
stooge spark
This video explains why they chose the option, its to do with population and how many people will use the road.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG6vdXHx_N4

Don't worry you're not the only one surprised.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
One of the issues this link fixes is nothing to do with Melbourne Commuters.  People in the North of the state wanting to go to Gippsland for any reason (eg family visits) currently have to either cross mountains or go the quick way which is into Melbourne and out again.  The portion of the drive from Cooper St in the North to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the east often takes 2 sometimes 3 hours. the rest of the drive may only be 3 hours so 50% of the time is stuck in Melbourne traffic.

The lack of rail into South Gippsland and the need/desire to bring pets or medical equipment often makes rail/bus impractical.  Particularly when a 5 - 6 hour journey turns into 10-12 by rail/bus.

It would also free up the Bolte Bridge gridlock as studies have shown a lot of heavy vehicles going through the tunnels, go over the Bolte Bridge and either up towards Bendigo or up the Hume, often servicing areas where there are no rail lines.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The madness continues.

The Blue mob want to build a road, everybody gets upset, the Red mob says vote us is, we'll stop it. The red mob win the election, throw $1 Billion in the bin to keep those people happy.

Move forward 3 years:

The Red mob want to build a road, everybody gets upset, the Blue mob says vote us in, we'll stop it, In fact, We will build the road we wanted in the first place.

This crap just goes on and on.

Its time we had a bipartisan approach to Transport Infrastructure in Victoria, an independent body to tell government what to do, not based on politics, but based on what the state actually needs, problem is, the government just go there own way anyway.

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For the record, I can see the need for this, it is the major missing link in our Freeway network, show an outsider a road map of Melbourne, the first thing they notice is the big gap in the North East where one freeway just ends, and there is nothing for a big section. As Hardworking Man said, it will save people a lot of time, it will also provide trucks with an alternative to local roads that aren't suitable, but wow, $15 Billion could build a lot of rail infrastructure that we desperatly need.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

So $16 billion for 11km of road?  That's like $1.5 million per metre!!!  Are they lining it with gold leaf?  Perhaps placing encrusted diamonds in the road markings?

Madness.
  stooge spark Train Controller

So $16 billion for 11km of road?  That's like $1.5 million per metre!!!  Are they lining it with gold leaf?  Perhaps placing encrusted diamonds in the road markings?

Madness.
Carnot
In the roads defence, the road itself probably doesn't cost that much, there are projects that are gurrenteed (Eastern busway) plus some that will most likely happen with the road as well (Greensborough bypass widening, Metro ring road widening to at least plenty road).
Still very expensive for a road though.
  Aussie trooper Station Master

So $16 billion for 11km of road?  That's like $1.5 million per metre!!!  Are they lining it with gold leaf?  Perhaps placing encrusted diamonds in the road markings?

Madness.
In the roads defence, the road itself probably doesn't cost that much, there are projects that are gurrenteed (Eastern busway) plus some that will most likely happen with the road as well (Greensborough bypass widening, Metro ring road widening to at least plenty road).
Still very expensive for a road though.
stooge spark
Greensborough bypass won't get widened.
Greensborough rd gets cut back to 1 lane to force people onto the tollway.
M80 widening from Plenty rd would be very cheap, and there's no reason this couldn't be done regardless of North East Link.
The Busway is not the Bus Rapid Transit. BRT will probably never go ahead if Option A happens, due to there being no room left to build the bus stations at each bridge over the Eastern.
I can't see any benefits to the area that even remotely justify the cost+acquisition of housing+bulldozing of the only industrial estate in that part of Manningham+loss of parkland+congestion on the Eastern and Eastlink.
Anyone who drives to the city from anywhere east of the Mullum Mullum tunnels are in for a rude shock if this thing ever opens.
  Aussie trooper Station Master

So will East West Link !

It’s just It’s supporters just chose not to acknowledge this.

Then again there are plenty of companies out there who do very nicely out contined ongoing freeway expansion.
Nightfire
I actually spoke to a Liberal MP about this. They know full well that it will do nothing to clear the Hoddle st/Alexandra pde bottleneck. They want to build it as a back up to the Burnley tunnel.
I don't support EWL, but it is not the train wreck that NEL Option A is. Personally I'd like to see both canned, and that money put into freight and commuter rail.
For what they would spend on NEL, we could have the Port Rail Shuttle, Metro 2 and Airport Rail.
  Aussie trooper Station Master

There's a group squarely dedicated to stopping Option A. If you have a look at what it will do to Bulleen, Macleod, Watsonia, you can see why. Their preferred projects are BRT/Doncaster rail, Hurstbridge line duplication all the way to Eltham, and Port Rail Shuttle.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NoNEALink/
https://www.facebook.com/NoNorthEastLinkA/
https://www.calmelbourne.com/
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
As I stated earlier this route is not about getting to the Melbourne CBD but avoiding it.  There is a lot of traffic from the eastern/south eastern suburbs that heads north.  Often because the distances are relatively short or the receiving and sending areas don't have rail freight services it doesn't make sense to have the 2 transfers with the associated delays, costs and environmental impacts (after all forklifts and cranes use energy too).

It also reduces congestion on the Burnley Tunnels, Bolte Bridge etc and provides an alternative when there are issues with the tunnels (remember when they were closed for a week around 2007/8 when there was a fatal accident resulting in a fire which damaged the safety systems and road surface.

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