Suburban Rail Loop (Election promise)

 
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The tunnels will go under a lot of low-density stuff, yep, but the stations - even now and taking into account their existing development pipelines - aren't the same as a typical suburban area...
Tayser

Relevance?  

I think a lot of people here don't really understand what the transport task actually is, failing to research even the most basic of employment statistics (which are readily available online).  The vast majority of people work locally, long distance trips are the exception, not the rule - such employment distributions naturally favour service by buses.  

Even in suburban locations with relatively large employment concentrations, workplaces are still dispersed over a wide area, such as with industrial areas in Dandenong and Monash.  Suburban centres contain only a fraction of the jobs within the city, as suburban workplaces are highly dispersed, not localised as they are within the Melbourne CBD.


Stations won’t be announced until the business case is completed and released.

At the moment the ALP and Development Victoria have drawn a line through Melbourne based on Plan Melbourne Documents (activity centres) and which seats needed a boost at the last election.
Lockie91

There will never be a business case for such lunacy.

This proposal hasn't come about due to some visionary wisdom - it is indeed merely an attempt at shoring up votes amongst the clueless masses in swinging electorates, to be quietly forgotten next time the government changes hands.


This is very, very close to exactly how planning should be done. We just want more transparency about the process.
potatoinmymouth

You're saying planning should be based upon capturing swinging voters?  Great.


Connecting Frankston and Dandenong could be long term proposal for a seemless connection btw those hubs. But I would say that would probably happen after the Dandenong corridor gets a proper quadruplication and the Frankston line has triplication to Mordialloc. You think those won't happen soon, that's correct. The Frankston Dandenong connection is still a pipe dream as of now. Talk about it when I'm 50 (30 years from now).
True Believers

Sometimes I wonder if some posters live on the same planet, let alone city.

A sweeping subterranean arc through low density suburbia is justified but a trunk route to a major region of the city isn't?


This project is nothing more then a vanity project to out do Sydney and claim the title of Australia's biggest project. It has no validation at all and the cost is monumental. It is likely to take at least 50 years and take more money then the Victorian portion of the proposed vhst rail line to Sydney.

Where is the money coming from as well? Victoria doesn't have the monetary resources that NSW has and our first biggest ever project has finished construction and we are on to our next one in the cbd metro. Soon to be followed by the western metro, the new north south rail link in western sydney, a possible inner west metro, the northern beaches metro is likely to be built before this project.
simstrain

While an obvious troll, I'd still respect the opinion of an outsider far beyond that of the local foaming over shiny objects.

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

On the Clyde thread, where, in the process of accusing someone of doublethink, you mentioned that a Dandenong - Frankston corridor is justifiable because 6000 Frankston residents work in the CBD.

Yet you are conveniently prepared to ignore that 6000 Whitehorse residents work in Monash.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Apples and oranges.

If you actually read what was written, you would see the comparison was made against Geelong services, since they're directly comparable (commutes to a concentrated employment centre, eg. the CBD) to show that to claim an express link between Frankston and Dandenong is unjustified one would also have to consider the substantial capital expenditure on creating express paths for Geelong via the far longer  Regional Rail Link as similarly unjustified.

How is that comparable to trips from low density suburbia in Whitehorse to unfocused employment destinations in Monash?  How does a suburban rail link benefit the majority of those journey-to-work trips that fail to lie directly along that arc, for example Blackburn to Notting Hill, or Burwood to Mulgrave.  Such trips from suburbia to broadly distributed employment locations are best serviced by buses.  And if you still want to ignore the actual meaning beyond the numbers, and claim a station in a municipality somehow means you've serviced every employment location in that municipality, there are 15k Frankston & Peninsula residents working along the path of a Frankston-Dandenong link, in Greater Dandenong and Monash.

So whichever way you look at it, you cannot dismiss a Frankston-Dandenong link without your logic falling apart.
  John E Station Master

Where is the money coming from as well? Victoria doesn't have the monetary resources that NSW has and our first biggest ever project has finished construction and we are on to our next one in the cbd metro.
simstrain
It probably doesn't have the same monetary resources because NSW has been receiving a much larger share of commonwealth pie! The NSW population is not that much larger than Victoria's. If anyone can provide what the Commonwealth has distributed to the states for the past 10 years that would be great.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

I honestly think the SRL needs to be two independent systems. Obviously we have what we have now which is a Ring Loop but it really should be two independent systems.

Sandringham, Southland, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood, Box Hill, Doncaster, Heidelberg, Preston, Brunswick, Essendon, Maribyrnong, Footscray and Fishermends Bend. This would be the Melbourne Orbital Loop that connects all lines, employment centres and education precincts.

The second can be the Suburban Loop that connects all the other employment, Airport, growth and education precincts. This would go from Point Cook to Frankston, with parts underground and mostly above ground. Station would be: Point Cook, Werribee, Wyndham Vale, Tarneit, Sunshine, Sunshine North, Keilor East, Melbourne Airport, Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Epping, Bundoora, Heidelberg (connection to MOL), Tempelstowe, Donvale, Ringwood, Wantirna, Knox, Dandenong North, Dandenong, Keysborough, Carrum Downs and Frankston.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I honestly think the SRL needs to be two independent systems. Obviously we have what we have now which is a Ring Loop but it really should be two independent systems.

Sandringham, Southland, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood, Box Hill, Doncaster, Heidelberg, Preston, Brunswick, Essendon, Maribyrnong, Footscray and Fishermends Bend. This would be the Melbourne Orbital Loop that connects all lines, employment centres and education precincts.

The second can be the Suburban Loop that connects all the other employment, Airport, growth and education precincts. This would go from Point Cook to Frankston, with parts underground and mostly above ground. Station would be: Point Cook, Werribee, Wyndham Vale, Tarneit, Sunshine, Sunshine North, Keilor East, Melbourne Airport, Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Epping, Bundoora, Heidelberg (connection to MOL), Tempelstowe, Donvale, Ringwood, Wantirna, Knox, Dandenong North, Dandenong, Keysborough, Carrum Downs and Frankston.
ptvcommuter

Come on - there’s no way we’re supposed to have a sensible discussion about something like this with absolutely zero justification except “more trains!!!!” As I say - read the Strategic Assessment, read the independent patronage assessment, then use that as a logical springboard for your own ideas, instead of gazing wistfully at the map.

Re ZH  - you keep moving the goalposts here mate. You use municipality travel stats to justify your pet projects and yet argue they’re too broad to use for the SRL. Yet I’ve posted evidence there are 270,000 jobs within a 2km radius of the original proposed stations. They are at least as employment-sense as anywhere along your pet Frankston line. The whole point of this project is to serve the existing travel demand - estimated independently at 30-50,000 trips per day if it were open right now - at the same time as consolidating and encouraging development in the employment centres.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Serve existing demand
SRL demand isn’t coming from Reservior and Fawkner. The station method I’ve propsoed links to Every NEIC using two lines. It connects all of Melbourne

Essendon, Preston, Brunswick are far better for an orbital rail system as I’ve mentioned. You have the inner-middle suburbs with one loop and the outer suburbs on the other with the connection between that I’ve mentioned at Heidelberg.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

So ZH responds:

"Sometimes I wonder if some posters live on the same planet, let alone city.

A sweeping subterranean arc through low density suburbia is justified but a trunk route to a major region of the city isn't?"

ZH, do you know what is in between Frankston and Dandenong?
It's just spread out industrial and suburbia just like the SRL. hmmmmm...........

While you believe Frankston and Dandenong are major regions. You also believe:

Boxhill isn't a major region of the city

The Airport isn't a major region of the city

The Monash precinct isn't a major region of the city

Anyways unlike the sections of the arc on the SRL, the section btw Frankston and Dandenong is going through the outer areas of Melbourne. The Smartbus btw Frankston and Dandenong is probably isn't that slow compared with the buses closer towards the city where traffic volumes are higher.

Also the capacity of the Dandenong line must come first.

SRL is a long term project 30 year project. The same can be said to your Frankston to Dandenong rail connection. Honestly don't know why you are in favor towards the outer South Eastern regions, while the growing North and West regions are struggling with the current growth rate of expanding suburbia.

Metro 2 Tunnel would be more helpful than both the SRL and Frankston to Dandenong line, since it helps the west and north regions have a better service than they do have currently.

Longer term: SRL, and increasing capacity on the Dandenong, North (Upfield/Craigeburn), Western (Melton/Wydnham) corridors are essential with the growth.

Even more longer term thinking: Dandenong and Frankston connection is another option to connect the other 2 major hubs with potential to turn the empty gaps between with residential.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

SRL is about connecting our lines to each other. It is also about linking education, employment and retail clusters as well as creating new mini CBDs.

Sandringham: Purely Connection Station for customers on the line, good funnel for bus services to other parts of the area including Bay Rd as well as Beaumaris and Black Rock. Beach goers would also be happy to travel faster by train in the summer too. Has some small potential for development around the station area.

Southland: Fantastic development potential in the Cheltenham area with retail and residential. Plenty of new properties and huge apartments that are being built. Mini employment area as well as good connection station for passengers on the Frankston Line.

Clayton: Self explanatory
Monash: Self explanatory, potential for mini CBD

Glen Waverley: Large developments going on, big potential and even bigger potential and connection station for customers on Glen Waverley Line.

Burwood: Self explanatory
Box Hill: Self explanatory, can become mini CBD
Doncaster: Self explanatory
Heidelberg: Potential for further development, Hospital and good connection point in the centre for Hurstbridge Line
Reservoir: Good Connection station for Mernda Line, has potential for development
Coburg: Very big population, large development going on with potential for more

Essendon: Large population, established job precinct and good connection point for Cragieburn Line. Potential for more development

Maribyrnong: Huge population with poor PT access and would link to education, employment and retail area. Very good potential for future housing and development

Footscray: Established area, big Connection point with Sunbury/future Melton and lines that run though Newport. Retail, residential and employment area

Fishermends Bend: Employment Cluster and large housing cluster. Set to become home to 80,000 people and would link and Interchange with Metro 2.


An outer sururban Loop can Service the Frankston, Dandenongs, Ringwood, Bundooras, Broadmeadows, Werribees and sunshine. These all have potential to become mini CBDs as well. Both should be built.

The SRL is about connecting all lines, sorry Alamein (I guess Monash mah count if Rowville goes via Alamein) as well as creating future development, linking education precincts, employment, retail and residential. This proposal achieves all of the above.


Retail/Large shopping precinct : Southland, Doncaster, Glen Waverley and Box Hill
Future potential for large residential area: Reservior, Glen Waverley and Fishermends Bend
Hospitals/Medical (3 Huge): Sandringham (1.2km, Bus Connection), Footscray, Box Hill, Clayton and Heidelberg
Mini CBDs: Box Hill, Fishermends Bend and Monash
Education: Burwood, Footscray and Monash
Employment Opportunities: All Bar Sandringham which is small scale
Existing suburbs: All Stations are within large suburbs, all have potential for development small or large
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Don't know what SRL you've been looking at ptvcommuter. The SRL plan is unlikely to be varied. While I'm optimistic that it will take a more outer route than via Sunshine in the west, this is very wishful. Considering this rail link was developed based on Plan Melbourne, of which from what I understand one of the intentions was to connect major employment areas, it seems to serve its purpose. One of the key aspects of this project is that it avoids the city, hence the "suburban".
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Re ZH  - you keep moving the goalposts here mate. You use municipality travel stats to justify your pet projects and yet argue they’re too broad to use for the SRL. Yet I’ve posted evidence there are 270,000 jobs within a 2km radius of the original proposed stations. They are at least as employment-sense as anywhere along your pet Frankston line. The whole point of this project is to serve the existing travel demand - estimated independently at 30-50,000 trips per day if it were open right now - at the same time as consolidating and encouraging development in the employment centres.
potatoinmymouth
Again, did you actually read and understand what was written?

The SRL will be useless for nearby travellers, which account for the majority of workplace journeys, since again, you have dispersed residents travelling to dispersed employment locations.  

You expect catching a bus to a radial line, then a train to an SRL station, then another train to an SRL station, then yet another train or bus to a workplace to be faster than a direct bus or just driving to one's workplace?  And you're going to consolidate development by what, building factories on top of one another?


ZH, do you know what is in between Frankston and Dandenong?
It's just spread out industrial and suburbia just like the SRL. hmmmmm...........
True Believers

How is a surface express link for the purpose of serving travellers travelling to concentrated employment zones like the CBD comparable to an underground arc trying to transport nearby residents to heavily dispersed employment regions like Monash?


While you believe Frankston and Dandenong are major regions. You also believe: blah blah blah
True Believers

What I do believe is that you must have flunked high school English, since I didn't make any such claims.


SRL is a long term project 30 year project. The same can be said to your Frankston to Dandenong rail connection. Honestly don't know why you are in favor towards the outer South Eastern regions, while the growing North and West regions are struggling with the current growth rate of expanding suburbia.
True Believer

Where did I say infrastructure spending in one area precludes the other?

(Except of course the SRL, since it would chew up the major projects budget for decades.)


SRL is about connecting our lines to each other.
ptvcommuter

Like a baby playing join the dots with its crayons.

Instead of just posting jingoisms, maybe you should attempt to justify what possible benefit that actually has.

That's about as empty a statement as that made by those who claim that Doncaster needs rail because it's the only municipality without a railway station.

Anyway, how about a dose of reality:


Does Melbourne's $50-billion suburban rail loop risk eating up 'a generation's worth of spending'?
By James Oaten

Updated 22 Oct 2018, 2:33pm

It was a $50-billion surprise announcement that would shake up Melbourne's train network — an ambitious 90-kilometre-long rail loop linking major commercial, residential and educational hubs in Melbourne's suburbs.

But the project, announced on Facebook in August, was such a surprise that almost no planning experts had even heard of the idea.

It was not on Infrastructure Victoria's to-do list or on the radar of its federal counterpart, Infrastructure Australia.

"First reaction was big surprise," recalled Professor Graham Currie, from Monash University's Public Transport Research Group.

"We need planning … we don't need political announcements."

While Labor's announcement raised eyebrows in planning circles, it was an instant hit with the public.

The phone lines at ABC Radio Melbourne lit up with overwhelming support for the idea.

"Very one-sided," presenter Rafael Epstein recalled.

"I tried to raise questions about process, about planning, about independent people inside government running a ruler over it.

"But it was overwhelmingly just, 'We love this idea'."


PHOTO: The proposed rail loop would allow travellers to move between lines without going via the city loop.
There was another issue few talkback callers discussed: the price tag.

Yet that is exactly the issue commuters should be considering, according to Marion Terrill, who is the transport guru for the Grattan Institute think-tank.

"$50 billion is an incredible sum of money," Ms Terrill said.

"That's $10,000 for every man, woman and child in Melbourne. It's a generation's worth of spending.

"This would be an unbelievably expensive project for Melbourne and push out into the very long-term distance any other kind of transport infrastructure projects that are more pressing."

Many experts anticipate the project may cost even more than $50 billion.

Labor plans to spend $300 million on a business plan just to see how the rail loop stacks up.

It is also hopeful the Federal Government or private sector might chip in.

The Federal Opposition recently pledged $300 million to help start the project, if it wins the next federal election.

"It's really important that the benefits to the community outweigh the costs," Ms Terrill said.

"Otherwise, don't build it.

"Projects that are announced prematurely, and I would argue that this has been announced prematurely, are very prone to cost overruns.

"The average cost overrun is about 25 per cent. It's billions of dollars we're talking about here."

Melbourne's train network is designed to take people in and out of the city.

It does not easily allow commuters to change train lines, unlike the complex spider-web designs of London, Tokyo, or Hong Kong.

The suburban rail loop is intended to change that.


But Ms Terrill said there was no evidence that Melburnians need a heavy, expensive rail loop connecting the outer parts of the city.

"Most jobs are dispersed through the suburbs," Ms Terrill said.

"The unfortunate reality is that most people are not going around the outer rim of the city in any great numbers as would warrant a heavy rail link."

Build it and they will come?
Melbourne's population is expected to surge from 5 million to 8 million over the next three decades.

"By 2050, Melbourne will be the same size as London today," Professor Currie said.

"We have no choice but to rely on public transport for access throughout our city as London does now."

But Melbourne has a long way to go before that is a reality, Professor Currie warned.

"Melbourne currently has 200 trains. London has well over 600."

While critical of the lack of planning, Professor Currie now believes the suburban rail loop is just the ticket to transform Melbourne into London, as it would entice businesses to relocate to the suburbs and create alternative business districts.

In other words: build it and they will come.

"That's the type of change in a city you need to be a London and that's why this project is big enough to create that effect," Professor Currie said.

"The selection of the activity centres was quite carefully done — those are booming areas outside Melbourne."

Interchanging rail projects
The suburban rail loop is the third major rail project commitment from the Andrews Government.

The Metro Tunnel project, which costs $11 billion, will run trains from Pakenham and Cranbourne to Sunbury through a tunnel that will also include new stations at North Melbourne, Parkville and the Shrine of Remembrance.

Melbourne Airport is also set to be connected by rail, with the Federal and Victorian Governments committed to contribute $5 billion each to the project.

But other projects that were popular ideas little more than an election cycle ago, including the Doncaster and Rowville rail lines, no longer dominate the transport infrastructure debate.

Melbourne Metro 2, which would run from Clifton Hill to Parkville to Southern Cross before continuing west to Wyndham Vale, has also lost momentum.

Infrastructure Victoria has recommended that project as one option to relieve congestion in the north and provide public transport to the state's largest urban renewal project, Fishermans Bend.

"It's something that can be started quite quickly and started in parallel to Melbourne Metro 1," said Dr John Stone, a lecturer in transport planning at the University of Melbourne.

"The inner city is going to require more heavy rail to make it functional."

Then there are less developed ideas, such as Metro Tunnel 3, which would run from Tullamarine Airport to Southern Cross before shooting east.

Foamers have long argued for a range of alternative lines, including orbital rail loops at a 5km and 15km radius.



Dr Stone believes the positive response to the suburban rail loop shows the public wants good public transport for the suburbs.

"[It] gives the Government a mandate to improve public transport in the suburbs," Dr Stone said.

"For a long time, we've seen governments say the solution is big roads in the suburbs, and this shows that there's a mandate for an alternative."

Heavy rail, big costs
But even if the State Government has a mandate to greatly expand Melbourne's rail network, it would be hampered by one harsh reality: the price tag.


Dr Stone argues cross suburban rail links can be achieved for much less if the Government uses lighter rail options.

"[Heavy rail] is much more expensive to build," Dr Stone said.

"Huge long stations 250 metres long, you can't go up and down hills as easily, so you can't put your tunnels on steeper inclines."

But Dr Stone is not advocating for more trams on Melbourne's already congested roads.

Rather, he wants Melbourne to take a leaf from international cities.

Berlin has the U-Bahn, which is effectively an underground tram network, Tokyo has a monorail, and Vancouver has the SkyTrain.


Each system has smaller capacity, but runs regular, nimbler services.

"You can get more vehicles for the same amount of money," Dr Stone said.

"You can run services every two or three minutes instead of every five or 10.

"Those are the ones we need to investigate before we lock ourselves into taking our old heavy rail system and thinking that's the only solution for Melbourne."

Have we lost the ability to plan?

Dr Stone argues a lot more can be achieved if the State Government plans a comprehensive network rather than jumping from one individual project to the next.

"Melbourne really has gone down the path where we've pulled projects out of the air," Dr Stone said.

"We did it with East West Link, we did it with the West Gate Tunnel — that appeared moments after the last election with the backing from [private toll road operator] Transurban.

"We end up spending more money than we need to, and we don't get the projects that we need.

"To actually turn the vision into something really good for Melbourne takes a lot of hard work and a lot of honest debate."

And if $50 billion sounds expensive for a suburban rail loop, Dr Stone estimates Victoria will spend at least double that over the same period on major road projects.

"Most cities have to think very clearly about whether they want public transport to be the major mover of people or whether they want cars.

"We've tried cars for 50 years and we keep making the problem worse and worse."
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
And while we're inserting some reality, how about geographical maps that the proponents of this thing have tried to compare it to.

London - http://content.tfl.gov.uk/london-connections-map.pdf

New York - http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com/_index/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/NYC_full_trackmap_194.pdf

Singapore - http://www.maps-of-the-world.net/maps/maps-of-asia/maps-of-singapore/large-detailed-MRT-and-LRT-map-of-Singapore.jpg

Pay attention to scale - the SRL has nothing in common with such systems.

It's clear too that many commenting on it must not have cars, if they actually think it is of any use for the vast majority of trips.

And of course, so much for Infrastructure Victoria:





Bypassed with no business case, no BCR, just a bunch a pamphlets and flashy videos.

You've been taken hook, line and sinker.


Has Daniel Andrews gone loopy on rail?
The Andrews government's planned $50 billion loop rail line around outer suburban Melbourne signals Victorian Labor has joined the other parties in giving up on rational urban policy

ALAN DAVIES AUG 28, 2018

Has Daniel Andrews gone loopy on rail?
The Andrews government's planned $50 billion loop rail line around outer suburban Melbourne signals Victorian Labor has joined the other parties in giving up on rational urban policy

THE ANDREWS GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED ORBITAL RAIL ROUTE FOR MELBOURNE
The Andrews government announced yesterday that, if re-elected, it will start construction in 2022 of a 90-kilometre underground “loop” rail line running through Melbourne’s outer suburbs. The government claims it will cost up to $50 billion to build, carry 400,000 passenger a day, take 200,000 vehicles off the roads, and be completed circa 2051.

This is a blatantly political promise; the government would be in its third term before it was required to start putting up really serious money. Nevertheless, what’s not to like about “the biggest transformation of public transport in Australian history”? I’ve been banging on for ages about how the great majority of jobs and residents in Australia’s capitals are located in the suburbs, so it should be an appealing project, right (e.g. see The jobs are already in the suburbs?)?

Well, let’s see. There’s not much info to go on so far but I think there are a few things that should be said straightaway.

As expected, there’s no business case, no benefit-cost analysis, no account of how the patronage projection was derived, and no explanation of how the $50 billion was calculated. As is customary, the idea hasn’t been endorsed by the government’s independent adviser, Infrastructure Victoria, either.

Even if we (kindly) assume $50 billion is a reasonable estimate, it’s a huge sum of money to devote to a single project. It’s more than the estimated cost of building a high-speed rail line from Melbourne to Sydney. It would necessarily suck funding from other public transport projects and from other areas of the budget, especially health and education.

And even if we (credulously) accept the government’s claim that demand would be 400,000 one-way trips per day by 2051, that’s a tiny pay-off for the scale of investment required. Massive investments in public transport generally have a small effect on mode shift because they mostly replace existing public transport services (e.g. see Will simply building more public transport seriously suppress car use? and Should cycling get a huge increase in funding?).

There are around 13.5 million trips every day in Melbourne at present; if the population doubles by circa 2050 as projected, the new line will account for around 1.5% of metropolitan trips on an average week day. Most of those travellers would otherwise have travelled on other public transport services e.g. Melbourne’s existing high frequency suburban orbital SmarBus services, Route 901, Route 902, Route 903. Sure, they aren’t as comfortable as a train and not as fast, but they only cost around $20 million per orbital route to set up.

The key issue here is that the suburbs aren’t like the city centre, which generates most existing public transport use in Australia’s capitals. Driving is a much more competitive option in the suburbs because congestion is lower, parking is easier, and most trips are short. The government could make public transport more competitive for these kinds of trips if it made driving less attractive by (say) implementing road pricing as recommended by Infra Vic, but it’s already ruled it out.

Travellers will choose to drive while ever it out-competes public transport. For this reason, I think the claim that the new line will take 200,000 vehicles off the road should be taken with a grain of salt. But even if it’s taken at face value, Daniel Andrew’s proposition is to spend $50 billion to remove less than 1% of metro driving trips by 2051. Not only is the pay-off modest relative to the outlay, there’s a good chance that by then most of those trips would otherwise be in electric vehicles powered largely by green energy. And in the absence of road pricing, the road space vacated by any drivers shifting to the new rail line will of course be taken by other vehicles.

Betting the entire basket on a single mass transit line makes little sense in the suburbs where both travellers and destinations are dispersed at low densities. I don’t have data for Melbourne, but in Sydney 76% of those who travel by train live within one km of a station. It would make much more sense to have multiple orbital routes spaced to be within (say) one kilometre of all residences. The only way that’d be financially feasible would be to use on-road services like trams and buses. These modes could be improved by providing routes every two km (say) from the city centre, scaling up frequency and vehicle size in line with demand, and providing both dedicated road space and automated priority at intersections.

The government stresses how the line connects 15 suburban centres. I can confirm the proposed alignment includes three of the largest suburban employment concentrations in Melbourne i.e. Clayton/Monash, Tullamarine and Box Hill. All up, the line connects half of all jobs in suburban centres. But most suburban jobs aren’t in centres; only one fifth is in the 31 largest centres, with the great majority relatively dispersed.

Nor has the case hasn’t been made that there are existing or potential flows between the 15 centres that are so compelling they justify upgrading any sort of transport connection, much less a mass transit rail connection that costs $50 billion. Why, for example, is underground rail necessary between Doncaster and adjacent Heidelberg? Or between three minnows like Reservoir, Fawkner, and Broadmeadows?

Another key issue is that that most of the large suburban “centres” are low density compared to the CBD and cover an extended area; for example, the largest suburban employment concentration, Clayton/Monash, covers an area of 10 sq. km. While it makes sense in the small and ultra-dense CBD, a single high capacity rail line isn’t the appropriate way to approach public transport in Melbourne’s mostly sprawling suburban centres.

There are many other projects that should have higher priority for funding than this one. In terms of rail, they include more rolling stock, Metro 2, airport rail, electrifications and extensions, line duplications, signalling upgrades, level crossing removals, and more. There’s an even more pressing need to expand bus and tram services and build related road works to increase priority.

***

Suburban public transport is crying out for improvement, but the suburbs are not the CBD or the inner city. They’re low density and even the largest job centres are tiny in terms of job numbers and sprawling in terms of geography in comparison with the city centre. Driving within and across the suburbs is a lot more competitive with public transport than driving to the CBD. While ever governments refuse to countenance policies (like road pricing) that make driving less attractive, the demand for public transport for cross-suburban trips will continue, at best, to be modest.

A glamorous solution like a single high-capacity rail line would consume a generation’s worth of public infrastructure spending for essentially no gain. And it’s not necessary. Irrespective of cost, a much better solution would be to provide a multiplicity of parallel orbital bus or tram services that put all suburban residents within reasonable walking distance of high frequency public transport (e.g. see How can public transport work better in cities?).

Once the monumental cost is considered, the government’s proposal is lunacy. This is not a “visionary” project as the gullible would have us believe; it’s cynical, self-serving and massively wasteful.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
ZH...all this is very interesting, if it wasn't written by car advocates and people with a blinkered view of the future.

Infrastructure Victoria has unfortunately dropped the ball on two occasions thus far.

1. Its extensive tome about projects still states the airport rail won't be needed until after 2030.

2. It doesn't support decentralisation of the population.

Yes we know you've banged on about why decentralisation is a fail etc. However its time is rapidly approaching if we don't want Melbourne to become a clone of an overpopulated Asian type of city, hence the Andrews government start on making PT connectivity in the regions a real game-changer.

Mike.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Where is the money coming from as well? Victoria doesn't have the monetary resources that NSW has and our first biggest ever project has finished construction and we are on to our next one in the cbd metro.
It probably doesn't have the same monetary resources because NSW has been receiving a much larger share of commonwealth pie! The NSW population is not that much larger than Victoria's. If anyone can provide what the Commonwealth has distributed to the states for the past 10 years that would be great.
John E
Sigh, no John (god Victorian exceptionalism is nearly as bad as the English one) The NSW economy is 9.5% larger than that of Victoria and whilst Melbourne and Sydney's poplulation are similar NSW has 1.6 million more people than Victoria (ABS 2017).

Michael
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

ZH...all this is very interesting, if it wasn't written by car advocates and people with a blinkered view of the future.

Infrastructure Victoria has unfortunately dropped the ball on two occasions thus far.

1. Its extensive tome about projects still states the airport rail won't be needed until after 2030.

2. It doesn't support decentralisation of the population.

Yes we know you've banged on about why decentralisation is a fail etc. However its time is rapidly approaching if we don't want Melbourne to become a clone of an overpopulated Asian type of city, hence the Andrews government start on making PT connectivity in the regions a real game-changer.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Mike I think you are conflating the two. No one and certainly not me is against reliable services to the regions. What I am against is this SRL which is serving suburbs that are mainly low density. One poster stated that there will be 270,000 jobs within 2km of the proposed stations. 270,000 over an arc that stretches from Broadmeadows to Cheltenham. On the other hand there are 400,000 jobs in the CBD, Docklands and Southbank. a much smaller area. Really $50 Billion for heavy rail to service 270,000 jobs over such as massive area. We should be concentrating providing extra capacity to the CBD. It will be the main driver for jobs. It is zoned for that purpose. I am with ZH and Alan Davies on this one.


Michael
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

The idea of it being low density is short sighted in itself. It is highly likely that SRL will spur medium density developments around the stations, especially as many of the areas it will like (Monash, Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Sunshine, Werribee, etc.) have been touted as mini CBDs. This project is about the future, not the current period. It is a deliberate change in thought processes. Metro 2 is probably going to be promised at the 2022 election. A bit too late, sure, but with construction underway in 2026, at least the western section should be able to be finished at c.2030. This will certainly address capacity issues in the CBD. SRL will not be the only major rail project built.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

The idea of it being low density is short sighted in itself. It is highly likely that SRL will spur medium density developments around the stations, especially as many of the areas it will like (Monash, Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Sunshine, Werribee, etc.) have been touted as mini CBDs. This project is about the future, not the current period. It is a deliberate change in thought processes. Metro 2 is probably going to be promised at the 2022 election. A bit too late, sure, but with construction underway in 2026, at least the western section should be able to be finished at c.2030. This will certainly address capacity issues in the CBD. SRL will not be the only major rail project built.
reubstar6
I am still not following, all the areas you have mentioned are served by rail except Monash (whatever the hell is Monash!). So why do you think by having a SRL at enormous cost will spur medium density developments. A deliberate change in thought process, what the hell is that? It is just a policy thought bubble to impress the voter. MM2 yes, Airport Rail, yes, SRL no. I am still not convinced and I hate agreeing with Alan Davies but he is right on this.

Michael
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

At the same time Alan Davies really supported the North East Link. Although the North East Link has it's purpose, at 16.5 Billion price tag, it seems a tad bit expensive if you ask me. For only connecting 11 kilometres of road, with some only a few kilometres in tunnels.

There are a few places the rail line connects that currently has no rail. Monash, Doncaster, Airport and potentially Kelior East. Not really enough to justify it. But considering it's connecting a number of unis, a number of shopping centres and potential mini cities. It has a lot of potential.

I mean it makes sense in a development planning strategy perspective from Plan Melbourne. What's debatable is it good in the sense of a transit strategy? It's not like it's the first time an orbital railway been shown as an option.

No-one paid any attention when the Doncaster rail study showed the orbital option back in 2012.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

……………….......................................................................

While an obvious troll, I'd still respect the opinion of an outsider far beyond that of the local foaming over shiny objects.
ZH836301


Trolling automatically negates its use as an argument supporting a point of view. As they say, even a broken analogue clock is right twice a day (although in this case a digital version appears to have been used).
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

A deliberate change in thought process, what the hell is that?
mejhammers1

It just means moving from a decision making paradigm where we let development occur and build a transport system to meet the needs created, to a framework where we use a transport system to actually structure development.

It's not exactly a new idea - the suburban railways in Melbourne were in place long before the suburbs were. It also shouldn't be particularly controversial at a thought-experiment sort of level: if an effective transport system is in place along a given route, that will make travel along that route more likely.

However, I do get that whether this actually works in practice is harder to prove, and I know I alone probably can't convince you in this context.

Instead, I will point out that there's a flaw in the logic that 400,000 jobs are in the CBD compared to 270,000 along the SRL route, and therefore increasing capacity to the CBD is more efficient than building the SRL. It's an illusion because the CBD is only concentrated at one end of the journey - while you see massive passenger flows at the CBD end, in the other direction, the flows are extremely dispersed. Spread those 400,000 jobs over 220-odd stations and all of a sudden the CBD centred transport system is a lot less efficient. Now, if we can get just 1 in 6 of the Whitehorse residents who currently work in Monash (the municipality) to travel to and from work on the SRL, that's 2000 trips on a short section of line - which is arguably more efficient than having to build infrastructure all the way from the CBD to say, Frankston to squeeze in 2000 extra peak trips across a couple of dozen stations.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

A deliberate change in thought process, what the hell is that?

It just means moving from a decision making paradigm where we let development occur and build a transport system to meet the needs created, to a framework where we use a transport system to actually structure development.

It's not exactly a new idea - the suburban railways in Melbourne were in place long before the suburbs were. It also shouldn't be particularly controversial at a thought-experiment sort of level: if an effective transport system is in place along a given route, that will make travel along that route more likely.

However, I do get that whether this actually works in practice is harder to prove, and I know I alone probably can't convince you in this context.

Instead, I will point out that there's a flaw in the logic that 400,000 jobs are in the CBD compared to 270,000 along the SRL route, and therefore increasing capacity to the CBD is more efficient than building the SRL. It's an illusion because the CBD is only concentrated at one end of the journey - while you see massive passenger flows at the CBD end, in the other direction, the flows are extremely dispersed. Spread those 400,000 jobs over 220-odd stations and all of a sudden the CBD centred transport system is a lot less efficient. Now, if we can get just 1 in 6 of the Whitehorse residents who currently work in Monash (the municipality) to travel to and from work on the SRL, that's 2000 trips on a short section of line - which is arguably more efficient than having to build infrastructure all the way from the CBD to say, Frankston to squeeze in 2000 extra peak trips across a couple of dozen stations.
potatoinmymouth
Instead, I will point out that there's a flaw in the logic that 400,000 jobs are in the CBD compared to 270,000 along the SRL route, and therefore increasing capacity to the CBD is more efficient than building the SRL. It's an illusion because the CBD is only concentrated at one end of the journey - while you see massive passenger flows at the CBD end, in the other direction, the flows are extremely dispersed.

And that is true in every single major city in the world. Here a lot of jobs some 400,000 a concentrated in a 5 square mile area of Docklands, CBD and Southbank.

Spread those 400,000 jobs over 220-odd stations and all of a sudden the CBD centred transport system is a lot less efficient.

And they are going from 220 odd stations to the CBD. The demand is there and extra capacity through mm1 and mm2 can be provided at a fraction of the cost of the SRL. $50 Billion to serve small regional centres. Sorry I think it is a waste of money.

Now, if we can get just 1 in 6 of the Whitehorse residents who currently work in Monash (the municipality) to travel to and from work on the SRL, that's 2000 trips on a short section of line -

Purely speculative, if we can get... If it is a short trip and you are alluding the most trips will be there is another much cheaper node, the Bus.

which is arguably more efficient than having to build infrastructure all the way from the CBD to say, Frankston to squeeze in 2000 extra peak trips across a couple of dozen stations.

The Infrastructure is already there unless of course you are thinking of a totally new alignment. Monash? to Box Hill section will be tunnelled and will probably cost about $6 - 8 Billion, really that is efficient?

Get the mediocre commuter rail that we have currently up to scratch. Then think about expensive thought bubbles such as the SRL.


Michael
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
ZH...all this is very interesting, if it wasn't written by car advocates and people with a blinkered view of the future.
Whinelander

You think Alan Davies is a car advocate?


Yes we know you've banged on about why decentralisation is a fail etc.
Whinelander

I have?  Maybe you're confused because you think decentralisation is all about creating dormitory suburbs.


The idea of it being low density is short sighted in itself. It is highly likely that SRL will spur medium density developments around the stations
reub


I am still not following, all the areas you have mentioned are served by rail except Monash (whatever the hell is Monash!). So why do you think by having a SRL at enormous cost will spur medium density developments. A deliberate change in thought process, what the hell is that? It is just a policy thought bubble to impress the voter. MM2 yes, Airport Rail, yes, SRL no. I am still not convinced and I hate agreeing with Alan Davies but he is right on this.
mejhammers1

This.

I've seen such claims repeated by some ad nauseam and it defies all logic - they think the SRL will suddenly spurn higher density development, when the same reasoning could equally be applied to existing lines.


Instead, I will point out that there's a flaw in the logic that 400,000 jobs are in the CBD compared to 270,000 along the SRL route, and therefore increasing capacity to the CBD is more efficient than building the SRL. It's an illusion because the CBD is only concentrated at one end of the journey - while you see massive passenger flows at the CBD end, in the other direction, the flows are extremely dispersed. Spread those 400,000 jobs over 220-odd stations and all of a sudden the CBD centred transport system is a lot less efficient.
potatoinmymouth

As opposed to the SRL, which is concentrated at no point on the journey.



Now, if we can get just 1 in 6 of the Whitehorse residents who currently work in Monash (the municipality) to travel to and from work on the SRL, that's 2000 trips on a short section of line
potatoinmymouth

Aha.  You think 1 in 6 is easy?  Actually, it's the height of optimism.

Only 5.5k Whitehorse residents work in Monash - so first, they need to able to reach a SRL station in Whitehorse (eg. Box Hill, or Burwood) relatively easily.   Mitcham, Vermont, Forest Hill... over half the municipality are nowhere near that, so fall at the very first hurdle.  Whitehorse is 64sqkm, so only 6sqkm or about 10% fall within 10min walk of a SRL station (taking two 1km radius circles, an overestimation since the reality is smaller than a circle for a grid based street network), so the rest would need to commute to a station by some other means.  

Then if they can make it to the SRL, they then need to get from a SRL station in Monash (GW, Monash or Clayton) to their workplace.  The majority of jobs in Monash are spread in an industrial area within Clayton, Mulgrave and Notting Hill, roughly bound between Clayton Rd, the Monash, Springvale Rd and Centre Rd, a region some 4km x 3km, along with smaller concentrations in Huntingdale, Oakleigh and Glen Waverley.  Now for that major region, even if the Monash station were right in the centre of that 12sqkm, the fraction of that within a 10min walk is at most 3sqkm, or a mere quarter (which is what people are getting at when they say the employment regions are not centralised).  So again, the majority would need to commute again at the other end.  

So the idea that even 15% would use it, when the furthermost points between Whitehorse and Monash are only about a 20min drive, is whimsical.  So let's be gentle and say a quarter can easily reach the SRL, then a quarter can easily get from the SRL to their workplace - well that's just over 5%, or under 300 commuters, which would barely fill half the seats on a single train.  Something that would be repeated all over the city, and thus hardly something worth spending $50 billion on.

So what could you do instead?  Well, buses running to the mile by mile arterial grid, with limited stops (say 400m, so three between each major intersection in the southeast) and intersection priority would place every resident at most a 10 minute walk from a quality, high-frequency east-west or north-south route.  For the average resident, this would grant them access to their workplace with only one change, with an average walk of 5min at each end.  This is a far more sensible solution for connecting residents in low density suburbia with dispersed workplaces.


- which is arguably more efficient than having to build infrastructure all the way from the CBD to say, Frankston to squeeze in 2000 extra peak trips across a couple of dozen stations.
potatoinmymouth

Again for Frankston/Morn.Pen., workplaces are:

*CoM: 3.7k/2.6k
*Port Phillip/Yarra: 1.4k/.1.1k
*Monash: 3.4k/1.6k
*Greater Dandenong: 7.1k/3.3k
*Kingston: 6.3k/2.4k
*Frankston: 20.7k/7.3k
*Morn.Pen.: 5.8k/37.1k

Yet rail use is only 2.9k and 1.2k respectively.  The whole idea of linking Frankston with Dandenong is to benefit the entire corridor, since it is the cheapest way to resolve express services, which is a necessity if the existing line is to be released for conversion to a proper metro service.  It also links Frankston and the Peninsula with major sources of their residents' employment, with a large number of jobs in the industrial regions of Dandenong South and Monash.  Longer trips are easier to convert to rail, as driving is less competitive over such distances and passenger movements become more correlated.

It's clear that the surface route catering to existing travel patterns along a heavily travelled arc has a far superior BCR to an underground route through suburbia attempting to connect highly uncorrelated paths.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

I hate to bring it up, I don’t want to even mention this word
The ‘R word’
What happens to all these mega million Billion projects if we go into recession
  tayser Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I hate to bring it up, I don’t want to even mention this word
The ‘R word’
What happens to all these mega million Billion projects if we go into recession
ptvcommuter

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).
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

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


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