Bannockburn to Leopold - could it be a thing?

 
  Bree76 Chief Train Controller

Location: Somewhere in Oz
I notice that there is residential growth in Bannockburn and Leopold. Bannockburn has a rail going through it, whilst the former Bellarine rail corridor has been preserved to Leopold and beyond. I'm wondering if there is potential to run a Geelong suburban rail service between these suburbs. Thoughts?

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  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
In answer to the thread title - no
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

As Geelong grows towards 500,000 by 2050 it will need a Metro rail network to serve the sheer geographic footprint of the City.
Logically that will see broad gauge rail re-instated from South Geelong to Drysdale and a Surf Coast railway as already planned from Marshall to Armstrong Creek & Torquay North.

Potential Geelong Metro routes then being  :

-  Colac - Birregurra - Moriac - Winchelsea - Geelong - Lara - Werribee
-  Drysdale - Leopold - South Geelong - Geelong - Batesford - Bannockburn

Supplemented by mainline services :

-  Waurn Ponds / Torquay - Geelong - Lara - Southern Cross
- Geelong - Ballarat - Maryborough - Inglewood - Marong - Bendigo
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Pardon me, kuldalai, but aren't you suggesting things that would be done by a government that was interested? Let me know if you ever find one.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@kuldalai Light rail would be better for a city of that size since it would likely reach more of the city and cost less to operate.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I agree. In a perfect world, yes, planning would already be underway for a proper suburban rail service, as outlined by kuldalai. And of course it would be sparked and operated with 3 car EMUs, running at a decent frequency fitting that of a suburban service.

It is most certainly possible to achieve such a plan.

The true question is do any of us believe the political will exists in Victoria to invest so much into public transport? Particularly with public transport that isn't focussed on Melbourne in some way or another. And unfortunately I am still sceptical of that. We know for certain with the Libs/Nats it will certainly not happen, but that said, even the ALP don't show enough interest in public transport reforms and investment to achieve something along the lines of this.

So unless you can convince the majority of the state's population to vote Green, It probably won't happen.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

@kuldalai Light rail would be better for a city of that size since it would likely reach more of the city and cost less to operate.
railblogger
One would aim for that core heavy rail network supplemented by this sort of core Light Rail Network in the median of key arterial roads fanning out to major suburban hubs , with  urban buses fanning out from the key suburban hubs and rail stations craeting a GRID  (not radial)  network of public transport services.

Light Rail 1 -  Geelong station - Waterfront Deakin, CBD - South Geelong Station , Belmont , Waurn Ponds Regional Centre - Deakin University Waurn Ponds.  
Light Rail - 2  Bellarine Village Centre -  East Geelong - Waterfront  CBD -  Deakin University - Geelong Station.
Light Rail - 3   CBD -  Waterront Deakin - Geelong station - West Geelong -  Fyansford
Light Rail - 4   CBD - Deakin Waterfront -  North Geelong station -  Corio Village Centre -  Lovely Banks

Initially you start with DMU as now.

Geelong has already a Metro in that there are 8 stations North - South between Lara - Corio - North Shore - North Geelong - Geelong - South Geelong - Marshall - Waurn Ponds

Broad brush Weekdays stations get a train every 40 mins Waurn ponds to Lara or v.v. supplemented by a train every 40 mins South Geelong to Lara.  So teh section Lara to South Geelong gets a train every 20 mins each way, and stations beyond Soouth Geelong at train every 40 mins. DMU quite sufficient for city of 500 to 750,000 population.
  Maximas Locomotive Fireman

Location: Geelong
The Bellarine corridor is cactus as there would be about 12 level crossings to deal with, the corridor up towards Ballarat really depends on what they end up doing with the MBRP, so at this stage given Labor is still of the mind that rail corridors are for getting people into the Melbourne CBD only I wouldn't count on it. Not to mention other issues like kicking that nice cafe out of Bannockburn station.

For what it's worth the local council and business leaders seem to have an ear out for 'trackless trams', as there are big issues with car parking in the Geelong CBD and a growing traffic problem that's bleeding into the suburbs at peak times


If it were up to me to get something realistic going, I'd be going full steam ahead with the surf coast line as that is going to serve a massive population base in 20 years time, while also trying to get more regular services out towards Colac (including re-instating the station at Moriac) and bulldozing both North Shore and Corio station in favour of a larger park and ride somewhere between North Geelong and Lara that can be monitored a little more closely and kept safer so that residents might actually use it
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Pardon me, Kuldalai, but aren't you suggesting things that would be done by a government that was interested? Let me know if you ever find one.
Valvegear

That's an exceedingly long bow to draw considering you are talking up to 30 years into the future.

Let's go back 30 years to 1991 when Joan, almost in her last days of office signed the contract to lock the government in to the 22 Sprinter car purchases.

Had that visionary decision not been made and with the imminent election of the conservative Kennett government, PT in Victoria may well have been set back many years due to the then still largely the 1950's & 1960's regional timetable generally still in operation with only one or two additional service differences.

History shows Kennett tried to stop the contract and as we know the Sprinters formed the backbone of increased regional mainline services from the mid 1990's onwards.

Mike.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The Bellarine corridor is cactus as there would be about 12 level crossings to deal with, the corridor up towards Ballarat really depends on what they end up doing with the MBRP
Maximas
A Leopold line would be a stand alone passenger railway (far from cheap to build due to the need for grade separation of the 12 level crossings)

North Geelong to Gheringhap section would make a Bannockburn leg complicated to operate.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Did someone mention logic regarding long term planning? Laughing

I was in primary school when the idea of rail to Rowville was first mooted. That was fifty years ago.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Similarly my parents were told the railway to Melton would be electrified in the next few years when they moved to the area. That was 1981. In 2021 we are still being told it will happen in the next few years.


I cannot imagine ARTC welcoming a regular suburban service having to share track capacity with their Western Standard Gauge line traffic. So any suburban style service between North Geelong and Gheringhap to serve Bannockburn would almost certainly require its own track, alongside the existing ARTC dual gauge track.

When you consider the need to cross the Moorabool River, as well as the earthworks around Lovely Banks and Batesford and I imagine it could get quite costly.

This little complication is probably enough to scuttle that idea before it even begins.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The only way forward for the Gheringhap to Ballarat line is dual track between Gheringhap and Warrenheip Bank.  Keep V/Line and the return of passenger services separated from SG freight and passenger.

Why not consider a metro service east west intersecting with Geelong. it is only a matter of time.
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

Wasn't the Geelong-Ballarat line originally dual track?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Wasn't the Geelong-Ballarat line originally dual track?
Djebel

Yes it was removed during WW2
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

Wasn't the Geelong-Ballarat line originally dual track?

Yes it was removed during WW2
bevans
Has any other "damage" been done?  Just wondering what would be required beyond sleepers, ballast and lengths of rail to reinstate a second line.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The only way forward for the Gheringhap to Ballarat line is dual track between Gheringhap and Warrenheip Bank. Keep V/Line and the return of passenger services separated from SG freight and passenger.
Bevans
No offence Bevans, but you're talking A-Grade rubbish here. That will not happen and if you think it through logically, you should be able to see why.

It would cost Billions to duplicate that track, and for what? Half a dozen trains each way each day? That doesn't stand a chance of passing muster with any of the decision makers, anywhere.

Has any other "damage" been done? Just wondering what would be required beyond sleepers, ballast and lengths of rail to reinstate a second line.
Djebel
That isn't even scratching the surface. For a start, you have to consider that most of the line has been centred, meaning that to put a second line in many places you would be required to rip the existing track up and move it over, as this was done either when the line was singled, or in other cases, at a later date.

Then you would need to rebuild multiple bridges, culverts, drains etc. Earthwork would be required, especially between North Geelong and Moorabool, this section is double track, but it is ARTC track, as I stated earlier, for a regular suburban style service, ARTC would not appreciate loosing their capacity, so a 3rd track may well be required.

Then of course there is signalling. This would probably cost more than any of the above (except maybe for that viaduct over the Moorabool River, that is a doozy). Signalling is complex and expensive stuff, and to have the entirety of the Ballarat - Geelong line to be re-signalled would cost a bomb.

And then you have the cheap stuff like new fit for purpose stations at Bannockburn and Batesford, and anywhere else you want to stick one. Don't be thinking you can just re-activate the old stations, that would actually cost you more, why else do you think Creswick got a new station.

Add in the high cost of labour in Australia in the 21st Century and sleepers, ballast and lengths of rail are the least of your worries.

I mean it could be worse, the fact that you would be building it on an active rail corridor means at least you can probably avoid the costs of environmental impact studies and things like that, so hey, you're already half way there.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Regular DRC and grain trains plus bg pleurisy plains line trains all ran on a single track between North :"C" and Warrenheip with crossing loops at Moorabool, Gheringhap, Lethbridge, Meredith, Elaine and Lal lal in the 1970's.

Geelong - Ballarat was built as double track in 1862 singled during the Depression account shortage of good rails.  All bridges etc are built for two tracks.

Moorabool Viaduct strengthened recently in ARTC works for existing North and future South track.  All earthworks done for second track by ARTC  from existing junction at Moorabool to Up end Viaduct and from Down end viaduct to Gheringhap Loop a few years ago.

Current average trains per day through that section 13 of which  10 sg via Cressy and only 3 bg via Meredith.  So add say 5 -6  return Geelong - Ballarat Sprinter shuttles a day , you have alraedy a separate bg crossing loop at Gheringhap, add Remote Control of Meredith and Warrenheip Loops, introduce  electronic Train Orders and plenty of capacity.

Pax wise you would put in RMSP at Batesford ( 80m platform) and bus shelter.  Bannockburn new platform Down side existing station  80m , shelter and car park.  Lethbridge and Meredith re activate seal exiasting platforms, new lighting, car parking,  Lal Lal  RMSP 80 m platform opposite existing building on mainline and thats it  NOT  "rocket science".  One pair Sprinters based at Ballarat running 5 - 6 return trips Ballarat / Geelong on Weekdays, 4 return trips Weekends.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It's probably not the correct tack on this Kuldalai to be explaining the HOW this could be achieved when the existing twice a day bus service for the length of the line, as popular as it may be would have to be expanded considerably before any thoughts about reinstating the rail service could get up.

We are talking another 20+ years into the future and by then the Castlemaine to Ballarat via Maryborough corridor will be back in the discussion.

Mike.
  Maximas Locomotive Fireman

Location: Geelong
However the truly relevant part of this thread is the connection between North Geelong and Bannockburn - population growth in the Bannockburn area has been quite strong in recent years, the line doesn't need to be fully reopened to Ballarat for pax to make use of this potentially handy section
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
However the truly relevant part of this thread is the connection between North Geelong and Bannockburn - population growth in the Bannockburn area has been quite strong in recent years, the line doesn't need to be fully reopened to Ballarat for pax to make use of this potentially handy section
Maximas

This is why a service between leopold and Bannockburn would be a sensible starting point.

if services were extended beyond Bannockburn to Ballarat then they could be express until more stopping was permitted.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I agree with Bevans

Some sprinter trains could do this shuttle run nicely. Later on they could expand to Ballarat.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Pardon me, Kuldalai, but aren't you suggesting things that would be done by a government that was interested? Let me know if you ever find one.

That's an exceedingly long bow to draw considering you are talking up to 30 years into the future.

Let's go back 30 years to 1991 when Joan, almost in her last days of office signed the contract to lock the government in to the 22 Sprinter car purchases.

Had that visionary decision not been made and with the imminent election of the conservative Kennett government, PT in Victoria may well have been set back many years due to the then still largely the 1950's & 1960's regional timetable generally still in operation with only one or two additional service differences.

History shows Kennett tried to stop the contract and as we know the Sprinters formed the backbone of increased regional mainline services from the mid 1990's onwards.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Of course Mike you overlook the important detail that the state was broke.   Kind of like it is being driven to now.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Pardon me, Kuldalai, but aren't you suggesting things that would be done by a government that was interested? Let me know if you ever find one.

That's an exceedingly long bow to draw considering you are talking up to 30 years into the future.

Let's go back 30 years to 1991 when Joan, almost in her last days of office signed the contract to lock the government in to the 22 Sprinter car purchases.

Had that visionary decision not been made and with the imminent election of the conservative Kennett government, PT in Victoria may well have been set back many years due to the then still largely the 1950's & 1960's regional timetable generally still in operation with only one or two additional service differences.

History shows Kennett tried to stop the contract and as we know the Sprinters formed the backbone of increased regional mainline services from the mid 1990's onwards.

Mike.
Of course Mike you overlook the important detail that the state was broke.   Kind of like it is being driven to now.
skitz
I'm still of the mind that without the actions Kennett made RFR wouldnt have been a thing and we'd have not even a third the frequency we have today on Vline.
  TrackRailroad Train Controller

Location: Frankston Line
I agree that with all the residential growth in Geelong forecast a light rail or sprinter metro style rail service will be needed in the next 10-15 years. A new high frequency rail service from Bannockburn to Leopold to connect to Geelong main line services will be beneficial. It would be great for the government to start planning this link now.

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