Victorian budget 2021/2022 and Election 2022 promises

 
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
True Believers


Another thing that is probably more viable in the shorterm Is actually grade separating level crossings on the Ballarat and Geelong corridors. That doesn't sound that attractive as electric trains but is very much important to deliver prior to electrification of those regional corridors.
Yes a lot of the rapid residential growth between Deer Park and Melton Is accessing the Western Freeway via North South roads that level cross the Ballarat Line.

Property developers should be footing the bill to grade separate these level crossings.

I can see massive upgrades been promised for the Western Freeway In the not to distant future, as It can be a real logjam.

Sponsored advertisement

  doyle Chief Commissioner

Probably need to duplicate the Melton hwy and upgrade Boundary Rd as well as the western freeway with a few new interchanges

And still no Melton hospital
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
They really should be looking at 2 kV then - it would be much cheaper over that long distance. A completely separate interurban system running at a national standard that could eventually connect the capitals.

Shame that Bachelor squibbed on gauge-convertible sleepers, there's large chunks of Victoria forever missing out on being part of the national rail network because of that decision.
don_dunstan

I think the Idea of AC electrification is the way to go I am sure the rollingstock could be set for that being compatible for both DC and AC?

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
"bevans"
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.
Valvegear

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
  John E Locomotive Driver

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
I couldn't have put it better myself. In one obvious example, other States went ahead with airport rail; we're still only talking about it. Dithering is the word that fits perfectly.

Western Australia has built the line to the airport in the time we have been spit balling on the issue.
bevans
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
They really should be looking at 2 kV then - it would be much cheaper over that long distance. A completely separate interurban system running at a national standard that could eventually connect the capitals.

Shame that Bachelor squibbed on gauge-convertible sleepers, there's large chunks of Victoria forever missing out on being part of the national rail network because of that decision.

I think the Idea of AC electrification is the way to go I am sure the rollingstock could be set for that being compatible for both DC and AC?

Victoria is a ditherer plain and simple.  Has been for most of my life.  I am trying to think of what real network upgrades (I know of RFR, RRL and city loop) have really been achieved in 2 generations?
bevans
Oops, meant to say '25 kV AC' but I'm sure you worked it out.

Yeah there should have been a national standard rolled out years ago and also a long term plan to deliver freight AND passenger services to everywhere within 2 hrs of Melbourne effectively and the interurban network on standard gauge. Instead you have Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland still gauge-isolated from the national network. Stupid.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
"JohnE"
I would hazard a guess that it's the last 50 years.
Look at just a few items:-
How long has NSW been running EMU's to Newcastle, Lithgow and Kiama? We've managed to get to Craigieburn, Sunbury and Pakenham.
How many other States are running diesel hauled passenger services instead of DMU's? How old is our stock?
We had a perfectly serviceable double track to Bendigo and inexplicably singled a lot of it. Progress?
How many km of Victorian track is unsuitable to anything above 80 km/h?

No doubt others could add to the short list, but we have certainly had decades of high powered inertia.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'... No doubt others could add to the short list, but we have certainly had decades of high powered inertia. ...'
It has not all been inertia. Smile
  • They have singled a large part of the Bendigo line.
  • They have withdrawn EMUs to Warragul and pulled down the overhead to prevent any form of restoration.
Warragul will come back to bite PTV (whatever they are called today) when sparks run to Geelong at 1,000 km/h and passengers demand all manner of onboard facilities and entertainment never provided to Warragul and not available to many many suburban passengers who are forced to tolerate far more arduous conditions for longer than Geelong commuters.
  Djebel Train Controller



How many km of Victorian track is unsuitable to anything above 80 km/h?
Valvegear
How many km of Victorian track is unsuitable to even reach 80 km/h?
  Tii Train Controller

Lets keep it realistic, last years budget was late and the state has spent billions on COVID19. Nothing has happened with the budget announcements that happened late last year. The two major projects were part funded by the feds. Airport Rail (being built with gold rails) and to my detest Geelong HSR. To add to that, no concept or preferred bidder has been announced for the new tram order.

I suspect this year will be very light on, just tying up some loose ends for current projects. Reasoning for this is two fold, the first is above, the budget is pretty deep in the red. None of it for bad reasons, a s*it tone has gone to COVID19 and the government continues to push along with its social reforms projects such as the $2B investment in public housing, new schools, new hospitals. Say what you will about borrowing, but i'm glad that these social reform investments have not been cut when we need them most.

Secondly, 2022 is an election year. So the big projects will come out in the 2022 budget to sweeten the voters. I don't think it will be a big spending election campaign like 2018. The libs will be bashing the 'labor cant manage the budget' gong as they usually do.

So, what to expect in 2021?

With the 'fast tracking' of the RRL LX removals, I suspect that we might see some money for Melton. Wouldn't expect the full amount, maybe money for pre works with the main sum of money to come in 2022. The seat of Melton is one of the few marginal seats for Labor at 4.3%.

It also worth noting that the Western Rail Plan is being sold as one project, the government has changed their tune to 'a series of projects for the west'. With the BLU finished, the line between Deer Park & Melton is all but missing the OLE. If this was announced, Melton would line up with MM1 opening. I cant remember if the 65 HCMTS were enough to run Melton as well, there is a contract extension for another 20. I cant see anymore trains coming from CCRC int he current climate. With Melton on dedicated tracks, this frees up paths and fleet for WV.

West Werribee may get up, its a relatively small project, 10km of new track in an existing corridor. The proposed stations could be put on the back burner to bring costs down.

These two projects, take the heat off WV and give the government a couple of years to figure out what to make of RRL. IMO it should be finished to its full potential. Quad from WV through to Deer Park, then run WV and Regional services express into Southern Cross with upgraded signalling from Sunshine to SCS. WV services get exclusive use of 15 & 16 as intended with regionals confined to platforms 1-8. (6TPH Geelong, 6 WV, 3 Ballarat, 3 Bendigo)

Again, with WRP being broken up, we could see WV in 2022. This would space the projects in the west out over 5 - 10 years. Not that we have been waiting that long.

Clyde is a maybe, full works are not going to be finished until after the 2022 election, so this could be an election commitment for 2022.

Baxter again maybe, this depends on Metro's need for additional stabling and maintenance. But I doubt it will come up in 2021.

Upfield - Somerton Link & Essendon Station may come up this year. They are both precursor projects to MM1 Day 1 ops. Again, both small projects.

Doubt we will see any LX related funding this year. The government is already powering through 75. Expect this to be rounded out to 100 for 2022.

Maybe a few Vlocities, to keep the workers going until 2022. I'd expect 'New Generation' regional trains around this time.

Xtrap 2.0, haven't heard much of it at all. But a continued replacement of the Comengs in needed. Possibly 2022 election announcement. I'd expect any new trains to be made here, as per the Federal Labor's 'reconstruction fund'.

Outside of heavy rail, it would be nice to see small scale tram improvements and a speed up of DDA compliance. Less than 10 tram stops were funded over the last few years. With new trams funded last year, a full scale roll out of low floor strops is needed. Along with this the half a dozen small scale extensions that would be just as good as SRL. $1Billion could deliver all of this and a hundred new tram stops. This would go a long way to propping up the inner city seats. Northcote 1.7%, Brunswick (greens) 0.57%, Richmond 5.46%, Hawthorn 0.42%, Brighton (Libs) 1.12%, Caulfield (Libs) 0.27%, Malvern (Libs) 6.1%, Melbourne (Greens) 1.13%

Let's wait and see what crumbs start dropping over the next month.

Lockie
Lockie91
Tick tick tick- the clock is moving on to 2022 and 2 elections. Any further thoughts on what may or may not be on the election platforms given some projects have been sped up in recent months.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Lets keep it realistic, last years budget was late and the state has spent billions on COVID19. Nothing has happened with the budget announcements that happened late last year. The two major projects were part funded by the feds. Airport Rail (being built with gold rails) and to my detest Geelong HSR. To add to that, no concept or preferred bidder has been announced for the new tram order.

I suspect this year will be very light on, just tying up some loose ends for current projects. Reasoning for this is two fold, the first is above, the budget is pretty deep in the red. None of it for bad reasons, a s*it tone has gone to COVID19 and the government continues to push along with its social reforms projects such as the $2B investment in public housing, new schools, new hospitals. Say what you will about borrowing, but i'm glad that these social reform investments have not been cut when we need them most.

Secondly, 2022 is an election year. So the big projects will come out in the 2022 budget to sweeten the voters. I don't think it will be a big spending election campaign like 2018. The libs will be bashing the 'labor cant manage the budget' gong as they usually do.

So, what to expect in 2021?

With the 'fast tracking' of the RRL LX removals, I suspect that we might see some money for Melton. Wouldn't expect the full amount, maybe money for pre works with the main sum of money to come in 2022. The seat of Melton is one of the few marginal seats for Labor at 4.3%.

It also worth noting that the Western Rail Plan is being sold as one project, the government has changed their tune to 'a series of projects for the west'. With the BLU finished, the line between Deer Park & Melton is all but missing the OLE. If this was announced, Melton would line up with MM1 opening. I cant remember if the 65 HCMTS were enough to run Melton as well, there is a contract extension for another 20. I cant see anymore trains coming from CCRC int he current climate. With Melton on dedicated tracks, this frees up paths and fleet for WV.

West Werribee may get up, its a relatively small project, 10km of new track in an existing corridor. The proposed stations could be put on the back burner to bring costs down.

These two projects, take the heat off WV and give the government a couple of years to figure out what to make of RRL. IMO it should be finished to its full potential. Quad from WV through to Deer Park, then run WV and Regional services express into Southern Cross with upgraded signalling from Sunshine to SCS. WV services get exclusive use of 15 & 16 as intended with regionals confined to platforms 1-8. (6TPH Geelong, 6 WV, 3 Ballarat, 3 Bendigo)

Again, with WRP being broken up, we could see WV in 2022. This would space the projects in the west out over 5 - 10 years. Not that we have been waiting that long.

Clyde is a maybe, full works are not going to be finished until after the 2022 election, so this could be an election commitment for 2022.

Baxter again maybe, this depends on Metro's need for additional stabling and maintenance. But I doubt it will come up in 2021.

Upfield - Somerton Link & Essendon Station may come up this year. They are both precursor projects to MM1 Day 1 ops. Again, both small projects.

Doubt we will see any LX related funding this year. The government is already powering through 75. Expect this to be rounded out to 100 for 2022.

Maybe a few Vlocities, to keep the workers going until 2022. I'd expect 'New Generation' regional trains around this time.

Xtrap 2.0, haven't heard much of it at all. But a continued replacement of the Comengs in needed. Possibly 2022 election announcement. I'd expect any new trains to be made here, as per the Federal Labor's 'reconstruction fund'.

Outside of heavy rail, it would be nice to see small scale tram improvements and a speed up of DDA compliance. Less than 10 tram stops were funded over the last few years. With new trams funded last year, a full scale roll out of low floor strops is needed. Along with this the half a dozen small scale extensions that would be just as good as SRL. $1Billion could deliver all of this and a hundred new tram stops. This would go a long way to propping up the inner city seats. Northcote 1.7%, Brunswick (greens) 0.57%, Richmond 5.46%, Hawthorn 0.42%, Brighton (Libs) 1.12%, Caulfield (Libs) 0.27%, Malvern (Libs) 6.1%, Melbourne (Greens) 1.13%

Let's wait and see what crumbs start dropping over the next month.

Lockie
Tick tick tick- the clock is moving on to 2022 and 2 elections. Any further thoughts on what may or may not be on the election platforms given some projects have been sped up in recent months.
Tii
Election for the state government is still some way off, being late 2022.

Some of the above predictions where made with Victoria having some sort of opposition that was focused on reclaiming government, not eating its self from the inside out.

Albo does have a little to play in this as we have seen with the Rowville announcement. He is pushing hard on green jobs and locally made infrastructure. This puts Vic in a good place, as we already produce vehicles here that could be used in other states. The Federal Election will be held before March, otherwise Scumo needs to move the budget and I cant see labor agreeing to that.
Expect more little announcements from Albo, I'm guessing this would be for existing protests and small scale stuff. i.e they hd committed to MM1 before they lost power, so money for SRL stage one could happen.

If Baxter and Clyde are announced, might see some funding for these from the Albo if he gets up.

As for the rest, as I said not much movement during a pandemic.

Baxter & Clyde are both tied into MM1, so an announcement is very likely early next year. Giving them 2 years to complete the extensions.

West Werribee seems to have dropped off the radar, along with any talk of the Western Rail Plan. The money for platform upgrades (Melton Line) to handle 9 car sets suggests that a new fleet type (Xtrap 2.0) will be using this lines. This is again another very small piece of the puzzle to eventually sparking the line to WV & Melton.

Upfiled - Somerton is still in the works, it is listed on MM1 Day 1 operating plan. Same as Clyde and Baxter, announcement is needed soon for this to be constructed for Day 1. As well as the Essendon turn back.

LX's got a mid cycle boost, reflective of the budget pressures. Easier to add 10 now when no one is looking at the budget, than at election time. I still expect that a further 15 will be announced to have more 'Crossing Free' lines.

Mernda could go LX free, the major ones are currently being removed. There is a few other that could go closer in, with a mix of the major roads being removed and the local streets just being closed.

Same again for Upfield, a mix of removals and closures would see the majority of the line LX free.

Werribee needs a fair bit of love between Newport and North Melbourne.

Lets see what happens with that one.

As for tram improvements, it is again on the radar with money in the last budget for planning for step free access. Been a few articles that have come out since then as well. I mere billion could turn the network from 100 year old tram to light rail. The state could announce a similar program to the LXRA, upgrading all the stops on the network over a 3-5 year period. The biggest issue with this is pesky councils. Upgrading one line involves keeping a lot of people happy.

Lockie
  Tii Train Controller


Tick tick tick- the clock is moving on to 2022 and 2 elections. Any further thoughts on what may or may not be on the election platforms given some projects have been sped up in recent months.Election for the state government is still some way off, being late 2022.

Some of the above predictions where made with Victoria having some sort of opposition that was focused on reclaiming government, not eating its self from the inside out.

Albo does have a little to play in this as we have seen with the Rowville announcement. He is pushing hard on green jobs and locally made infrastructure. This puts Vic in a good place, as we already produce vehicles here that could be used in other states. The Federal Election will be held before March, otherwise Scumo needs to move the budget and I cant see labor agreeing to that.
Expect more little announcements from Albo, I'm guessing this would be for existing protests and small scale stuff. i.e they hd committed to MM1 before they lost power, so money for SRL stage one could happen.

If Baxter and Clyde are announced, might see some funding for these from the Albo if he gets up.

As for the rest, as I said not much movement during a pandemic.

Baxter & Clyde are both tied into MM1, so an announcement is very likely early next year. Giving them 2 years to complete the extensions.

West Werribee seems to have dropped off the radar, along with any talk of the Western Rail Plan. The money for platform upgrades (Melton Line) to handle 9 car sets suggests that a new fleet type (Xtrap 2.0) will be using this lines. This is again another very small piece of the puzzle to eventually sparking the line to WV & Melton.

Upfiled - Somerton is still in the works, it is listed on MM1 Day 1 operating plan. Same as Clyde and Baxter, announcement is needed soon for this to be constructed for Day 1. As well as the Essendon turn back.

LX's got a mid cycle boost, reflective of the budget pressures. Easier to add 10 now when no one is looking at the budget, than at election time. I still expect that a further 15 will be announced to have more 'Crossing Free' lines.

Mernda could go LX free, the major ones are currently being removed. There is a few other that could go closer in, with a mix of the major roads being removed and the local streets just being closed.

Same again for Upfield, a mix of removals and closures would see the majority of the line LX free.

Werribee needs a fair bit of love between Newport and North Melbourne.

Lets see what happens with that one.

As for tram improvements, it is again on the radar with money in the last budget for planning for step free access. Been a few articles that have come out since then as well. I mere billion could turn the network from 100 year old tram to light rail. The state could announce a similar program to the LXRA, upgrading all the stops on the network over a 3-5 year period. The biggest issue with this is pesky councils. Upgrading one line involves keeping a lot of people happy.

Lockie
Lockie91
The Federal election will be before the State Budget and the subsequent state election but I can see Baxter, Clyde and Upfield/Somerton link being announced for the 2022 Vic elections assuming the FEDS throw some cash our way in that election (they did promise Baxter before didn't they?) and all underway in 2023 ready for Metro 1 opening in 2025, one way or the other.

Would the FEDS perhaps throw in cash for a tunnel to help the Sunshine-Sth Cross expansion allowing the WRP to get some steam up at a future future date ? Infrastructure Australia still has it as a high project but the state government seems stalled on the WRP and now says its all tied together with airport rail whenever the detail on that comes out.

The LXRA could be ongoing for as long as someone has the will (and money) but I think tram improvements might get more traction in the next budget for DDA compliance and I like your idea that a rolling series of improvements will occur over the next election cycle.

The other metro lines could be reworked as you say, but so much to try and do and how. I use the MERNDA line and I think about how some of the inner crossings from Bell st could be closed off or trenched a bit between Thornbury and Merri (dumping croxton) east a later date.

I'm just guessing on all this but with 2 elections coming, it's going to be either a non-event or big gift box
  712M Chief Commissioner

The other metro lines could be reworked as you say, but so much to try and do and how. I use the MERNDA line and I think about how some of the inner crossings from Bell st could be closed off or trenched a bit between Thornbury and Merri (dumping croxton) east a later date.

The Mernda line will still have 13 level crossings once the current round of crossing removals are complete. Given the proximity of the line to High St between Keon Park and Epping, I would expect elevated rail would be needed to eliminate the crossings and build new stations at Keon Park and Lalor.

The inner section between Merri and Thornbury does not have a huge amount of space either side of the line which would mean a big shutdown would be neeeded to grade separate and build new stations at Thornbury and Northcote. Somewhere in this section a turn back is also likely to be required once MM2 is built.

IMO the next lines to go LX free will be Sunbury, Melton and potentially Frankston to add to Cranbourne, Pakenham and Lilydale.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

The other metro lines could be reworked as you say, but so much to try and do and how. I use the MERNDA line and I think about how some of the inner crossings from Bell st could be closed off or trenched a bit between Thornbury and Merri (dumping croxton) east a later date.

The Mernda line will still have 13 level crossings once the current round of crossing removals are complete. Given the proximity of the line to High St between Keon Park and Epping, I would expect elevated rail would be needed to eliminate the crossings and build new stations at Keon Park and Lalor.

The inner section between Merri and Thornbury does not have a huge amount of space either side of the line which would mean a big shutdown would be neeeded to grade separate and build new stations at Thornbury and Northcote. Somewhere in this section a turn back is also likely to be required once MM2 is built.

IMO the next lines to go LX free will be Sunbury, Melton and potentially Frankston to add to Cranbourne, Pakenham and Lilydale.
712M
Probably more suited to the LX thread, but I digress.

Sunbury - Last LX will be Old Calder Highway at Diggers Rest. It won't be removed. The station is heritage listed and the site is very tight. A removal would need to go under, which means goodbye station and nearby houses. Best case it is closed over the next few years as development, which will have no need to cross the rail, progresses. Most likely that a new road will be constructed to connect the new development to the freeway entrance, away from the current station.

Melton - Possible a few might go as part of an electrification. Hopkins, Leek, Paynes and Mt Cottrell Rd could be Rail Over. Ferris, Exford and Coburns would need to be rail under. Rail over is cheaper, all could be removed for $1B along with the rail upgrades needed.

Then the inner city. Very different to the suburbs were the car is and will be king for many decades to come. All inner city councils are about reducing traffic and increasing active transport. The days of building a new road are over for them.

Mernda - Close Charles Street, traffic can be diverted to Westbourne Grove which is the main connection between High and St George's Road

Atherton Road - Rail Under, new Northcote Station. Station needs to be moved to allow for straight platforms.

Beaver Road - Closure, Traffic can connect with Atherton Road via Latham and Herbert Streets

Woolton Ave - Closure, Traffic can connect with Normanby Ave via Rayment Street.

Normanby Ave, Rail Under.

Hutton Street, Rail Under New Thronbury Station

Regent Street - Rail Over New Regent Station

As has been seen in the new round of crossing removals, LXRA isn't building a bridge for everyone of them. Upgrade a nearby road and close it all together. Much cheaper.

Lockie
  Tii Train Controller

The other metro lines could be reworked as you say, but so much to try and do and how. I use the MERNDA line and I think about how some of the inner crossings from Bell st could be closed off or trenched a bit between Thornbury and Merri (dumping croxton) east a later date.

The Mernda line will still have 13 level crossings once the current round of crossing removals are complete. Given the proximity of the line to High St between Keon Park and Epping, I would expect elevated rail would be needed to eliminate the crossings and build new stations at Keon Park and Lalor.

The inner section between Merri and Thornbury does not have a huge amount of space either side of the line which would mean a big shutdown would be neeeded to grade separate and build new stations at Thornbury and Northcote. Somewhere in this section a turn back is also likely to be required once MM2 is built.

IMO the next lines to go LX free will be Sunbury, Melton and potentially Frankston to add to Cranbourne, Pakenham and Lilydale.
Probably more suited to the LX thread, but I digress.

Sunbury - Last LX will be Old Calder Highway at Diggers Rest. It won't be removed. The station is heritage listed and the site is very tight. A removal would need to go under, which means goodbye station and nearby houses. Best case it is closed over the next few years as development, which will have no need to cross the rail, progresses. Most likely that a new road will be constructed to connect the new development to the freeway entrance, away from the current station.

Melton - Possible a few might go as part of an electrification. Hopkins, Leek, Paynes and Mt Cottrell Rd could be Rail Over. Ferris, Exford and Coburns would need to be rail under. Rail over is cheaper, all could be removed for $1B along with the rail upgrades needed.

Then the inner city. Very different to the suburbs were the car is and will be king for many decades to come. All inner city councils are about reducing traffic and increasing active transport. The days of building a new road are over for them.

Mernda - Close Charles Street, traffic can be diverted to Westbourne Grove which is the main connection between High and St George's Road

Atherton Road - Rail Under, new Northcote Station. Station needs to be moved to allow for straight platforms.

Beaver Road - Closure, Traffic can connect with Atherton Road via Latham and Herbert Streets

Woolton Ave - Closure, Traffic can connect with Normanby Ave via Rayment Street.

Normanby Ave, Rail Under.

Hutton Street, Rail Under New Thronbury Station

Regent Street - Rail Over New Regent Station

As has been seen in the new round of crossing removals, LXRA isn't building a bridge for everyone of them. Upgrade a nearby road and close it all together. Much cheaper.

Lockie
Lockie91
I use Hutton as my main crossover from St Georges to High street as Normanby and Atherton are traffic jams. The others are only lightly used, so I can see all those going in some sort of road rearrangement. Do you feel though, all this would only happen if MM2 was likely to go ahead ? Or would a switch to higher service frequency on the Mernda line post MM1 opening in 2025, lead to all this being done or at least announced in time for a 2026 election cycle ?
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

The other metro lines could be reworked as you say, but so much to try and do and how. I use the MERNDA line and I think about how some of the inner crossings from Bell st could be closed off or trenched a bit between Thornbury and Merri (dumping croxton) east a later date.

The Mernda line will still have 13 level crossings once the current round of crossing removals are complete. Given the proximity of the line to High St between Keon Park and Epping, I would expect elevated rail would be needed to eliminate the crossings and build new stations at Keon Park and Lalor.

The inner section between Merri and Thornbury does not have a huge amount of space either side of the line which would mean a big shutdown would be neeeded to grade separate and build new stations at Thornbury and Northcote. Somewhere in this section a turn back is also likely to be required once MM2 is built.

IMO the next lines to go LX free will be Sunbury, Melton and potentially Frankston to add to Cranbourne, Pakenham and Lilydale.
Probably more suited to the LX thread, but I digress.

Sunbury - Last LX will be Old Calder Highway at Diggers Rest. It won't be removed. The station is heritage listed and the site is very tight. A removal would need to go under, which means goodbye station and nearby houses. Best case it is closed over the next few years as development, which will have no need to cross the rail, progresses. Most likely that a new road will be constructed to connect the new development to the freeway entrance, away from the current station.

Melton - Possible a few might go as part of an electrification. Hopkins, Leek, Paynes and Mt Cottrell Rd could be Rail Over. Ferris, Exford and Coburns would need to be rail under. Rail over is cheaper, all could be removed for $1B along with the rail upgrades needed.

Then the inner city. Very different to the suburbs were the car is and will be king for many decades to come. All inner city councils are about reducing traffic and increasing active transport. The days of building a new road are over for them.

Mernda - Close Charles Street, traffic can be diverted to Westbourne Grove which is the main connection between High and St George's Road

Atherton Road - Rail Under, new Northcote Station. Station needs to be moved to allow for straight platforms.

Beaver Road - Closure, Traffic can connect with Atherton Road via Latham and Herbert Streets

Woolton Ave - Closure, Traffic can connect with Normanby Ave via Rayment Street.

Normanby Ave, Rail Under.

Hutton Street, Rail Under New Thronbury Station

Regent Street - Rail Over New Regent Station

As has been seen in the new round of crossing removals, LXRA isn't building a bridge for everyone of them. Upgrade a nearby road and close it all together. Much cheaper.

Lockie
I use Hutton as my main crossover from St Georges to High street as Normanby and Atherton are traffic jams. The others are only lightly used, so I can see all those going in some sort of road rearrangement. Do you feel though, all this would only happen if MM2 was likely to go ahead ? Or would a switch to higher service frequency on the Mernda line post MM1 opening in 2025, lead to all this being done or at least announced in time for a 2026 election cycle ?
Tii
Normanby and Atherton would benefit traffic wise from the removal of the LX, so these roads may improve post removals.

Removal of these crossings isn't tied to MM2, they could be done over the next 5 years if there is political will to keep the LX program going.

Clifton Hill Group is unaffected by MM1, both lines could run a 10 minute all day service tomorrow if the government wanted. Clifton Hill Junction is pushed harder than this during the peaks. This will be easier to achieve once the current Hurstbridge Line Project is completed.

It seems a lot of the benefits from the mega projects that have been happening over the last 5 years are all tied into MM1 even if they are not related operationally. This is politics at work, one massive overhaul of the network come MM1 opening day, as opposed to boosting services on lines now that aren't affected by the project.

This is seen in the lack of will to boost shoulder and inter peak services across the entire group. More drivers and money for fleet maintenance is all that is needed. Sunbury for example has a 12 minute frequency in the morning, Watergardens enjoys 6 minutes. Come 10 am it drops down to 40 and 20 minutes. MM1 isn't needed to solve this.

Lockie
  Tii Train Controller

I use Hutton as my main crossover from St Georges to High street as Normanby and Atherton are traffic jams. The others are only lightly used, so I can see all those going in some sort of road rearrangement. Do you feel though, all this would only happen if MM2 was likely to go ahead ? Or would a switch to higher service frequency on the Mernda line post MM1 opening in 2025, lead to all this being done or at least announced in time for a 2026 election cycle ?
Normanby and Atherton would benefit traffic wise from the removal of the LX, so these roads may improve post removals.

Removal of these crossings isn't tied to MM2, they could be done over the next 5 years if there is political will to keep the LX program going.

Clifton Hill Group is unaffected by MM1, both lines could run a 10 minute all day service tomorrow if the government wanted. Clifton Hill Junction is pushed harder than this during the peaks. This will be easier to achieve once the current Hurstbridge Line Project is completed.

It seems a lot of the benefits from the mega projects that have been happening over the last 5 years are all tied into MM1 even if they are not related operationally. This is politics at work, one massive overhaul of the network come MM1 opening day, as opposed to boosting services on lines now that aren't affected by the project.

This is seen in the lack of will to boost shoulder and inter peak services across the entire group. More drivers and money for fleet maintenance is all that is needed. Sunbury for example has a 12 minute frequency in the morning, Watergardens enjoys 6 minutes. Come 10 am it drops down to 40 and 20 minutes. MM1 isn't needed to solve this.

Lockie
Lockie91
Very true that they could have stepped up frequency by now with more drivers, but that would have created more traffic nightmares at some of the existing Mernda line crossings still being worked on (gone very soon though, so perhaps straight after that in 2022), and likewise straight after the Hurstbridge line upgrade. In particular- Bell st which unfortunately will only see the traffic jams move along to the St George road intersection which suffers badly at anytime with long waits and congestion. Perhaps the Libs could revive their last policy of removing that road intersection somehow if they win.

Normanby and Atherton are both major crossings and the light arrangements with St Georges road are just too clumsy and short to get many cars through on each cycle. It's just an unfortunate legacy of these narrow east-west routes out north.

So yes bring on the will Dan in 2022 to step up the frequencies before MM1 is complete
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I hate to say it, but the budget numbers look horrific at present. The bucket is empty so expect lots of empty promises. i.e. Lots of planning but not much action.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I hate to say it, but the budget numbers look horrific at present. The bucket is empty so expect lots of empty promises. i.e. Lots of planning but not much action.
  Tii Train Controller

I hate to say it, but the budget numbers look horrific at present. The bucket is empty so expect lots of empty promises. i.e. Lots of planning but not much action.
Carnot
True, plenty of projects (road, rail and other) though already underway or starting shortly to keep the activity going for 2+ years, so holding off on any grand new expenses might be prudent as the economy/debt recovery continues. It's the way it is but let's see how the finances are in the next state budget or at least projected after that and let the planning continue at least.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

I hate to say it, but the budget numbers look horrific at present. The bucket is empty so expect lots of empty promises. i.e. Lots of planning but not much action.
Carnot

There are two ways to look at it.  Either you cut back to save cash, or you keep investing in new projects.

Government finances don't work like a business.  Whilst the first option looks logical, it actually removes a lot of impetus from the economy (see the last ten years in Greece for details).  Whereas the second option actually stimulates the economy far more, as you're artificially creating a lot of jobs and injecting money into the workers.  Especially because at present, it's extremely cheap to borrow money.

In China, the established practice for quite a while now is that when the economy of a city slows down, you build a new subway whether you need it or not...
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
In China, the established practice for quite a while now is that when the economy of a city slows down, you build a new subway whether you need it or not...
Adogs
Surely you are not promoting this as a good idea? One thing that a market economy deals with better than a planned economy is supply and demand

Just building stuff to keep the economy on the up and up is an enormous waste of money and more importantly for me resources

The fact that china has something like 90 million empty apartments built simply to keep the property bubble going is an indictment on that nation and it's system of government

Some are even ripped down when completed or partially completed. Considering what we know about building products and their effect on the environment (concrete in particular) this sort of stuff simply shouldn't be allowed to happen
  BaysideManny Junior Train Controller

Bevans are you talking about the now or past 50 years in general? They might be dithering on Airport Rail, but there is plenty of other investment in Rail going on, which is stating the obvious!
I would hazard a guess that it's the last 50 years.
Look at just a few items:-
How long has NSW been running EMU's to Newcastle, Lithgow and Kiama? We've managed to get to Craigieburn, Sunbury and Pakenham.
How many other States are running diesel hauled passenger services instead of DMU's? How old is our stock?
We had a perfectly serviceable double track to Bendigo and inexplicably singled a lot of it. Progress?
How many km of Victorian track is unsuitable to anything above 80 km/h?

No doubt others could add to the short list, but we have certainly had decades of high powered inertia.
Valvegear
Certainly have. If it wasn't for Dan Andrews, we in Victoria would be 30 years behind NSW instead of 20 years.

We are still pulling cars from the 1960''s and 1980's hauled by locos from the 1980's.

When it comes to rail transit, we are 3rd Rate.


Mannie
  Tony M. Junior Train Controller

In China, the established practice for quite a while now is that when the economy of a city slows down, you build a new subway whether you need it or not...
Surely you are not promoting this as a good idea? One thing that a market economy deals with better than a planned economy is supply and demand

Just building stuff to keep the economy on the up and up is an enormous waste of money and more importantly for me resources

The fact that china has something like 90 million empty apartments built simply to keep the property bubble going is an indictment on that nation and it's system of government

Some are even ripped down when completed or partially completed. Considering what we know about building products and their effect on the environment (concrete in particular) this sort of stuff simply shouldn't be allowed to happen
BrentonGolding
Building things just for the stake of it is not a great idea, but in Australia at least there's a very long list of things the government can and should be building (but currently aren't) that would be very handy to have.

The trouble with leaving growth and development to the market is that these days the market is only interested in maximising returns, which often leads to oversupply in areas that are already experiencing growth while other areas that would lead to a more balanced economy and stronger future growth are neglected because the financial returns are further down the track or will flow to other sectors of the community.

Austerity has proven itself to be a great way to strangle an economy, and tax cuts for the rich just leads to the rich hoarding (well, shipping overseas or investing in speculative bubbles) their surplus cash instead of putting it back into the economy. Government investment is pretty much the only major lever left when it comes to boosting the economy, and cutting back in response to bad numbers is the way to ensure those bad numbers keep on coming in.

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