Coalition may shift to Avalon light rail link

 

News article: Coalition may shift to Avalon light rail link

The state government may alter its election promise to build a $250 million train line to Avalon Airport, and instead create a cheaper ''light rail'' link from Melbourne's south-west.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The state government may alter its election promise to build a $250 million train line to Avalon Airport, and instead create a cheaper ''light rail'' link from Melbourne's south-west.



The Coalition went to the 2010 state election pledging to build a direct train line linking Avalon to Melbourne and Geelong, and committed $50 million in the first term for design, planning, land acquisition, and preliminary construction.



But department documents show the government is now considering other options to meet interim demand, such as light rail, buses, or ''driverless transport options which are used at many airports around the world''.



Avalon chief executive Justin Giddings said he had discussed the light rail option with Transport Minister Terry Mulder.
Coalition may shift to Avalon light rail link


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The money saved will obviously go into a road tunnel no-one wants?

It also appears the head of avalon airport has his doubts about the project ever getting off the ground as he is now prepaid to settle for 3rd best.

Regards
Brian

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  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
They're obviously preparing to dump the promise but is anyone surprised?

I for one can't wait to turf them out next year, I only hope the contracts for the East-West truck sewer aren't signed by then.  With any luck Geoff Shaw will have to step down from his seat later this year causing a by-election and we can get rid of them before they cause any more damage.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
They're obviously preparing to dump the promise but is anyone surprised?

I for one can't wait to turf them out next year, I only hope the contracts for the East-West truck sewer aren't signed by then.  With any luck Geoff Shaw will have to step down from his seat later this year causing a by-election and we can get rid of them before they cause any more damage.
don_dunstan

I am with you.  They are a disgrace.  Typical garbage. Delivery nothing with lots of promises and focus on a project which has no real benefit other to line their own pockets.

Regards
Brian
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I must admit that I've been bitterly disappointed with our State Govt's recent transport policy decisions.  What is most galling is that they basically got elected by people who were fed up with overcrowded and substandard PT.  It WILL come back to bite them - no doubt about it IMO.

It's interesting to note that a Melb Airport lobby want $$$ spent on widening the Tullamarine freeway etc etc.  Build an airport link there now and they wouldn't have to waste more taxpayer $$$ on such things...  they are talking about another 15 years for a rail link to that airport:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/fast-lanes-rapid-buses-the-way-to-meet-airport-needs/story-fni0fit3-1226691083219

As for Avalon Airport - I hear on the rumor mill that Tiger Airways are looking at abandoning Tullamarine and relocating all operations to Avalon.  So I suppose there might be merit in a Light-rail system (with check-in at transfer point) if it can be built quickly (i.e. within 2 years???).  If it all comes together that could be a smart business decision.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I must admit that I've been bitterly disappointed with our State Govt's recent transport policy decisions.  What is most galling is that they basically got elected by people who were fed up with overcrowded and substandard PT.  It WILL come back to bite them - no doubt about it IMO.

It's interesting to note that a Melb Airport lobby want $$$ spent on widening the Tullamarine freeway etc etc.  Build an airport link there now and they wouldn't have to waste more taxpayer $$$ on such things...  they are talking about another 15 years for a rail link to that airport:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/fast-lanes-rapid-buses-the-way-to-meet-airport-needs/story-fni0fit3-1226691083219

As for Avalon Airport - I hear on the rumor mill that Tiger Airways are looking at abandoning Tullamarine and relocating all operations to Avalon.  So I suppose there might be merit in a Light-rail system (with check-in at transfer point) if it can be built quickly (i.e. within 2 years???).  If it all comes together that could be a smart business decision.
Carnot

It is bad enough for people on the east side of Melbourne going to Tulla, so Avalon is worse still. I, and others I know, do not book any flight that is scheduled to leave from Avalon, and it isn't going to change whether they build a rail line there or not.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
how could a light rail service be better and quicker than a bypass heavy rail?  this seems crazy. what have the victorian government got against building rail for the future?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
.......
As for Avalon Airport - I hear on the rumor mill that Tiger Airways are looking at abandoning Tullamarine and relocating all operations to Avalon.  So I suppose there might be merit in a Light-rail system (with check-in at transfer point) if it can be built quickly (i.e. within 2 years???).  If it all comes together that could be a smart business decision.
Carnot

They've had three years in office and all they can come up with is this new idea?  No firm plan?  No sod turned?  It doesn't inspire confidence.

As for the Tullamarine rail link, there's just too many vested interests in keeping the status quo; the airport's income from parking has gone through the roof in the last five or ten years and they do not want anything or anyone taking away from it.  I made the mistake of parking there several years ago and it was over twenty bucks for not much more than an hour... the problem is that the alternative (Skybus) is very unreliable, I nearly missed a plane to Perth last year because we got stuck in traffic after a car accident.

Any way you look at it consumers of these services will get screwed more and more, there's simply no interest in actually improving conditions for users because corporate rent-seekers are busy making too much money.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
There is some method in the government's transport plans.

With the building of the next runway at Tullamarine about to be started in just a couple of years, the airport owners realise that the Tullamarine Freeway cannot bring enough cars.  It really cannot be widened further and dedicating a transit lane for the airport bus is not going to happen. An airport rail link is the only way of moving vast numbers of people.

Conversely, I think that the proposed railway to Avalon was to be seen as a non-core promise that might win a few votes in the West and Geelong.

The East-West road tunnel is about truck freight to/from the Port of Melbourne, but it is sold to voters in the marginal eastern suburban electorates of Melbourne as reducing congestion on the Eastern Freeway for motorists traveling to the city and a faster way for them to get to the airport.  The coalition hopes to win votes in the marginals and lose them where they cannot win anyway.

Everything comes down to choice.  There is a limited pool of capital and investing in one project can deny capital to one with better economic and social returns to the community, but poorer perceived political returns to the government.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A rail link to Avalon airport will bring airline traffic to that airport in my view.  This is not a crazy idea, it is a good idea which has again been poorly managed. You have to hand it to Victoria, there is not much they get right these days.

Regards
Brian
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
A rail link to Avalon airport will bring airline traffic to that airport in my view.  This is not a crazy idea, it is a good idea which has again been poorly managed. You have to hand it to Victoria, there is not much they get right these days.

Regards
Brian
bevans

Maybe, but who wants to go there?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The number of people I know who have had a gutful of poor PT to and from any airport in Victoria is growing every day.  Many international visitors shake their heads in disbelief at how backward we are.  In my old job I visited numerous International airports, some great, some average, some downright scary.  What we have in this city at present is somewhere between the average and the scary.

Anyway, here is an interesting blog by Ben Sandilands on Avalon.  He thinks that an earlier check-in won't happen because it would 'hurt' sales at those other great cash-cows of privatized airports: pre-boarding shops and food outlets.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2013/08/04/melbourne-finds-the-smart-option-for-an-avalon-rail-link/
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The number of people I know who have had a gutful of poor PT to and from any airport in Victoria is growing every day.  Many international visitors shake their heads in disbelief at how backward we are.  In my old job I visited numerous International airports, some great, some average, some downright scary.  What we have in this city at present is somewhere between the average and the scary.
"Carnot"
Try Sydney. We vary between the unremarkable and the utterly disastrous.

I mean, nothing says Welcome to Australia like OMG BUY DUTY FREE in the arrival duty-free maze, UR NT LOCAL HURR DURR at CIQ, a train station Monopoly game and finally a thoroughly-trashed train to the City.

Ugh xo

Anyway, here is an interesting blog by Ben Sandilands on Avalon.  He thinks that an earlier check-in won't happen because it would 'hurt' sales at those other great cash-cows of privatized airports: pre-boarding shops and food outlets.
"Carnot"
I think he's right. There's potential for an in-town check-in, at Southern Cross perhaps, but it's only sensible to put everything in the terminal itself and get people to the terminal ASAP.

...who knows, Avalon could take a lead from Mascot and use the space between the terminal and the railway for, oh I dunno, a car park?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Ok, it's time to get hypothetical.  I need to be in Sydney on Thursday morning.  I live in the Eastern Suburbs on the Belgrave line...

Only flight to get me there from Avalon before 9am requires me to take the 6:10am flight.  Ummm, not going to happen by PT.
So I'll take the 9:05am flight out of Avalon instead.  With current PT timetables I would need to leave home by 5:10am.

If I took a taxi or car, I could leave at 6:30am and get to the airport by about 8am.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Ok, it's time to get hypothetical.  I need to be in Sydney on Thursday morning.  I live in the Eastern Suburbs on the Belgrave line...

Only flight to get me there from Avalon before 9am requires me to take the 6:10am flight.  Ummm, not going to happen by PT.
So I'll take the 9:05am flight out of Avalon instead.  With current PT timetables I would need to leave home by 5:10am.

If I took a taxi or car, I could leave at 6:30am and get to the airport by about 8am.
Carnot

Red Bull gives you wings! Laughing
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Build an airport link there now and they wouldn't have to waste more taxpayer $$$ on such things...
"Carnot"

Highly unlikely.  Rail would not capture significantly more passengers as a modal percentage - it's not the golden bullet, and would merely delay the inevitable.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

The light rail concept overcomes one of the most difficult aspects of the heavy rail branch - operating pattern.  All trains on the Geelong line except peak hour expresses would then connect with the light rail to Avalon.  How would a heavy rail branch be serviced ?

1. Stopping trains via Wyndam Vale terminate at Avalon. Separate Wyndam Vale services would then be required at times of low demand, and a change of trains at Wyndam Vale would be required for passengers from Geelong.  
2. Stopping trains to Geelong deviate via Avalon. This could add about 10 minutes to the Geelong-Melbourne trip.

My main question is why build a new station rather than using Lara ?  The operating pattern would be much easier for Lara, because most Geelong and Warrnambool trains already stop there.  A new station might cost another $100m and add perhaps another 5 minutes travel time to Geelong services. This would require 5km of light rail, whereas a new station would only require 3km.  In the initial stages the light rail could be mostly single track, so costs per kilometer would be a relatively small part of the cost equation.  Are they afraid of the lifestylers on large blocks around Lara, whose properties may need to be acquired in part or in whole ?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
But raises a whole string of infrastructure costs related to service and operation of an orphan route.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
What's the purpose of the light rail line?  Everything it does can be done by a bus.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
What's the purpose of the light rail line?  Everything it does can be done by a bus.
simonl
To be 'seen' to be supporting fixed rail infrastructure...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
To be 'seen' to be supporting fixed rail infrastructure...
The Vinelander

Building a line to Tulla is all too hard and expensive, so doing something I suppose but sort of feels like Sydney building a line to Williamtown Airport over Mascot Airport. Perhaps also an attempt by the govt to boost services to Avalon by improving access, why I don't know.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Why not just go and build the line to Tullamarine Airport?  This to me appears the most sensible option as it will deliver the most benefit.  Avalon makes sense only with heavy rail and only with electrification to Geelong Marshall.  I would advocate for a diesel based service to avalon. Make the loop line to the airport all part of a bigger and more efficient upgrade to the geelong line.

I would also consider a SG connection to the airport in planning as this could be used for freight. A light rail connection is just a complete waste of time and money. A bus could do that now.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
With regards to the Tullamarine rail link, there was a report a few years ago (I believe) that the idea was to go via Albion but the Broady route would be more viable because it's shorter.  I think the issue was grade separation because the level crossings would be closed for so much longer with the addition of airport trains.

There could also be the issue of compensation to City Link - I think competition against that toll road can be compensated under the terms of the contract signed by Jeff.
  Simbera Train Controller

There could also be the issue of compensation to City Link - I think competition against that toll road can be compensated under the terms of the contract signed by Jeff.
don_dunstan
No, in a rare moment of foresight the government of the day made sure they wouldn't have to compensate Transurban if they built a passenger line to the airport.  Transurban would only have to be compensated if they built a freight line.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
No, in a rare moment of foresight the government of the day made sure they wouldn't have to compensate Transurban if they built a passenger line to the airport.  Transurban would only have to be compensated if they built a freight line.
Simbera

Oh right, didn't know that.  Isn't there some clause about anything that might remove any traffic from the toll-way?  I heard that Jeff got bent over a barrel over that contract, it's good to hear the airport line was excluded.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
The number of people I know who have had a gutful of poor PT to and from any airport in Victoria is growing every day.  Many international visitors shake their heads in disbelief at how backward we are.  In my old job I visited numerous International airports, some great, some average, some downright scary.  What we have in this city at present is somewhere between the average and the scary.

Anyway, here is an interesting blog by Ben Sandilands on Avalon.  He thinks that an earlier check-in won't happen because it would 'hurt' sales at those other great cash-cows of privatized airports: pre-boarding shops and food outlets.
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2013/08/04/melbourne-finds-the-smart-option-for-an-avalon-rail-link/
Carnot

Because Guvmnt provided Public Transport is essentially that bogey 'socialism'. There are many within that party fundamentally opposed to guvmnt running services. The federal lot has made it clear where they stand on PT further confirming that it's all about ideology not what's best for our future cities.

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