Should the Adelaide Hills get a rail line?

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 19 May 2021 09:04
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Malinauskas tweeted out a picture of himself at the meeting talking in front of a meeting and said something about discussing the transport problems of the hills at a meeting he'd attended so I assumed they'd organised it. So shoot me.

When the Revolution comes you can rely on it Razz
bingley hall
Half this board is convinced that I'll be the one doing the shooting.

I'm still not sure what the point of that gab-fest was - nobody (Liberal or Labor) will stump up the money to reinstate even a very basic Adelaide Hills rail service, it's all a moot point.

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  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures

I'm still not sure what the point of that gab-fest was - nobody (Liberal or Labor) will stump up the money to reinstate even a very basic Adelaide Hills rail service, it's all a moot point.
don_dunstan
Things must be viewed with wider context.
Any transport options espoused by any government persuasions will have to be very carefully considered for reaction from constituents in regard to, but not restricted to, environmental impacts including fossil fuel use. Note that doing nothing has no quantifiable impact on emissions and any government doesn't have to answer questions about emissions that they haven't had an impact on.
Doing nothing is a very likely outcome.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud

I'm still not sure what the point of that gab-fest was - nobody (Liberal or Labor) will stump up the money to reinstate even a very basic Adelaide Hills rail service, it's all a moot point.Things must be viewed with wider context.
Any transport options espoused by any government persuasions will have to be very carefully considered for reaction from constituents in regard to, but not restricted to, environmental impacts including fossil fuel use. Note that doing nothing has no quantifiable impact on emissions and any government doesn't have to answer questions about emissions that they haven't had an impact on.
Doing nothing is a very likely outcome.
nm39
It's a real shame as I think we're at a point now with greater Adelaide where we could indeed have a diesel longer-distance service say Mt Barker to Virginia running on standard gauge and providing alternatives to buses and driving. Hills residents obviously do have a major choke-point with the Heysen tunnels now because any time anything goes wrong with trucks (and its always trucks!) on that road the whole thing tends to get shut down.

The problem is that we're going to be flat out trying to complete the South Project which I've heard is going to be in the vicinity of $7-$10 billion and we just don't have the kind of money that the eastern states do with major public transport projects, particularly expanding inter-urban rail.

Unless Marshall suddenly finds a money tree we'll be stuck with the status quo.
  Yappo Locomotive Fireman

I'm still not sure what the point of that gab-fest was - nobody (Liberal or Labor) will stump up the money to reinstate even a very basic Adelaide Hills rail service, it's all a moot point.Things must be viewed with wider context.
Any transport options espoused by any government persuasions will have to be very carefully considered for reaction from constituents in regard to, but not restricted to, environmental impacts including fossil fuel use. Note that doing nothing has no quantifiable impact on emissions and any government doesn't have to answer questions about emissions that they haven't had an impact on.
Doing nothing is a very likely outcome.
It's a real shame as I think we're at a point now with greater Adelaide where we could indeed have a diesel longer-distance service say Mt Barker to Virginia running on standard gauge and providing alternatives to buses and driving. Hills residents obviously do have a major choke-point with the Heysen tunnels now because any time anything goes wrong with trucks (and its always trucks!) on that road the whole thing tends to get shut down.

The problem is that we're going to be flat out trying to complete the South Project which I've heard is going to be in the vicinity of $7-$10 billion and we just don't have the kind of money that the eastern states do with major public transport projects, particularly expanding inter-urban rail.

Unless Marshall suddenly finds a money tree we'll be stuck with the status quo.
don_dunstan
The south rd tunnels project has already risen to $9.9 billion. One would expect that the final cost will increase futher, perhaps $11B to $12B? Just a third of that could fund significant expansion and improvement to the PT network in Adelaide....

It announced last month in the state budget that the project had ballooned by $1 billion to $9.9 billion to include three lanes each way rather than two.

The Marshall govt won't spend anything to improve or expand the suburban network apart from a paltry $11m a year for the next decade for stations upgrades. Perhaps an option for those advocating for the unlikely & fanciful notion of reopening of the Hills line is to promote more pop growth in the area.

Greater Mt Barker pop is currently 38k forecast to be 50k by the end of the decade and 57k by 2036. If you get everyone in the area procreating even more than they currently are and encourage new immigrants to move there, you might increase that growth to around 80k-90k by 2050. Then a rail mass transit option does become much more possible to receive govt support and you have a decade of lobbying and canvassing vatrious options ahead of you.

Longer term the best bet is to start a social media company which becomes worth hundreds of billions and then fund your own 15km twin tunnels from Mitcham to Bridgewater with a deep underground station at Stirling.  Wink
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The south rd tunnels project has already risen to $9.9 billion. One would expect that the final cost will increase futher, perhaps $11B to $12B? Just a third of that could fund significant expansion and improvement to the PT network in Adelaide....
Yappo
The whole thing has been over-engineered to buggery in my opinion, should have at least considered the option of an elevated road-way between Edwardstown and Daw Park where its all lined by commercial property anyway, there's no reason why it couldn't have been canvassed as an option apart from being afraid of NIMBY's - bored tunnel will take way too long and be way too expensive.

I can't see us getting out of this without a toll being applied. I think it will probably happen when Labor inevitably regain office next March since the Shoppies have been even more gung-ho for privatisation than the Liberals in this state. Privatising the whole project would at least leave them some money for other things as you say -

I'll put money on the probability that Transurban, the monopoly toll-road owner in this nation, ends up with the project as EastLink did in Victoria - probably $20 end-to-end, yet another direct cost burden for Adelaide residents to shoulder.
The Marshall govt won't spend anything to improve or expand the suburban network apart from a paltry $11m a year for the next decade for stations upgrades. Perhaps an option for those advocating for the unlikely & fanciful notion of reopening of the Hills line is to promote more pop growth in the area.

Greater Mt Barker pop is currently 38k forecast to be 50k by the end of the decade and 57k by 2036. If you get everyone in the area procreating even more than they currently are and encourage new immigrants to move there, you might increase that growth to around 80k-90k by 2050. Then a rail mass transit option does become much more possible to receive govt support and you have a decade of lobbying and canvassing vatrious options ahead of you.

Longer term the best bet is to start a social media company which becomes worth hundreds of billions and then fund your own 15km twin tunnels from Mitcham to Bridgewater with a deep underground station at Stirling.  Wink
Yappo
This rampant development was never supposed to happen - we were theoretically going to have a 'no large scale development' in the hills whatsoever due to water catchment issues but for some reason Mt Barker completely ran away from them... the power of developers and their donations, hey.

Agreed, can't see inter-urban services happening in the longer term unless there's an organised group of locals who really want the service to be reinstated using the standard gauge line and the spur from Mt Barker Junction - and they'd have to battle against the hills NIMBY's who don't want to encourage more growth than is already happening. Infrastructure-wise the most formidable obstacle perhaps being sharing the track with ARTC trains and the lack of appropriate passing loops - but otherwise it's probably 'do-able' particularly if you could also use the same gauge-converted 3000's out the other side to perhaps Virginia which is in itself becoming a developer's playground thanks in part to the new Northern Expressway.

We're poor is the problem - we just don't have the rivers of stamp duty cash that NSW and VIC have or the enormous amounts of iron ore and gold that WA has. We have this 'space precinct' thing happening at the old Royal Adelaide site but frankly that's just another corporate welfare boondoggle like the Multi-Function Polis, Marshall was trumpeting the relocation of Google from Sydney to that site earlier this year but then refused to answer questions about how much money they'd given them. The whole thing is a joke, once the government money runs out those rent-seekers will be off to whoever gives them even more money...
  62440 Chief Commissioner

I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.
62440

And how much would this all cost?
  Cato56 Station Master

I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.

And how much would this all cost?
bingley hall

Why does that matter? Rolling Eyes
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.

And how much would this all cost?

Why does that matter? Rolling Eyes
Cato56

The education system in this country has a lot to answer for Razz
  Cato56 Station Master

I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.

And how much would this all cost?

Why does that matter? Rolling Eyes

The education system in this country has a lot to answer for Razz
bingley hall
Excuse me. But I really like trains. I would like to see more trains doing more things in my state. I have seen a train do a thing in another country and I think trains here should do it to.

I do not understand why the cost of doing such a thing is relevant. How much I like trains is the relevant factor when it comes to whether we should have more trains doing more things.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.
62440
Does this system comply with our stringent Australian Design Standards ?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I travelled by very high speed rail from Irun to Madrid. The train started as broad gauge, went through a shed at walking speed without stopping and emerged as standard gauge running at 300 k/h. Lots of rail routes in Spain use this system. What you do is convert MtBarker to the Junction to SG, run through the interstate station area to a shed which regauges to BG for the run into ARS. It is existing technology, you just need train paths through the hills which, in peak, is a busy stretch. MB to MBJ needs upgrading to decent speed standard and you need a crossover at Keswick. You can't run dual gauge on the ARTC, the rail size is too big and it would disrupt interstaters for months. An hourly service needs 2 train sets, half hourly needs 4. I am guessing that we only need special bogies and these can be fitted to existing trains.
Alternatively have the gauge change at Belair to reduce the need to share with ARTC.
62440
For the small amounts of broad gauge it would encounter such a complicated system would not be necessary here in South Australia. You're talking about a dual-gauge spur of just over a kilometre for it to get from the ARTC standard gauge into Adelaide Station - that would be vastly cheaper than some complicated gauge-changing system. And not a problem being dual gauge because the speeds are very low at that point anyway.

The train paths on the ARTC train aren't the issue, its the capacity of the trains to work around ARTC traffic and keep to a time-table that would be the primary issue, for which you'd probably need passing loops and $$$.
  8502 Chief Train Controller

An investment surely into SG into the Adelaide Station would open up the ability for trains to the north west of the state.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Why are we talking about people travelling TO Adelaide?

Surely once the place is empty, there will no longer be any need for trains to return there, as nobody surely would want to? Hence any work to enhance capacity would only be useful for a relatively short time.
  billybaxter Chief Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
BORING. Adelaide is a fine town. I certainly prefer it to Brisbane and Perth. Lovely climate, lovely people, all the facilities one needs....a charming location.
  Yappo Locomotive Fireman

I'll put money on the probability that Transurban, the monopoly toll-road owner in this nation, ends up with the project as EastLink did in Victoria - probably $20 end-to-end, yet another direct cost burden for Adelaide residents to shoulder.Agreed, can't see inter-urban services happening in the longer term unless there's an organised group of locals who really want the service to be reinstated using the standard gauge line and the spur from Mt Barker Junction - and they'd have to battle against the hills NIMBY's who don't want to encourage more growth than is already happening. Infrastructure-wise the most formidable obstacle perhaps being sharing the track with ARTC trains and the lack of appropriate passing loops - but otherwise it's probably 'do-able' particularly if you could also use the same gauge-converted 3000's out the other side to perhaps Virginia which is in itself becoming a developer's playground thanks in part to the new Northern Expressway.
don_dunstan
That's twice you've suggested a SG line to Virginia if Mt Barker was to reopen. Why create a new problem of incompatibility with the suburban network? I really don't see the value of this suggestion.

I'm all for a new suburban line to Virginia in the next 10-15 years but it should just be a spur line off the Gawler line should it not? There is plenty of space in the ROW to have an electrified BG track alongside or eitherside of the SG track. A Virginia line would also allow most Gawler trains to run semi express between Adel and Sailsbury.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I'll put money on the probability that Transurban, the monopoly toll-road owner in this nation, ends up with the project as EastLink did in Victoria - probably $20 end-to-end, yet another direct cost burden for Adelaide residents to shoulder.Agreed, can't see inter-urban services happening in the longer term unless there's an organised group of locals who really want the service to be reinstated using the standard gauge line and the spur from Mt Barker Junction - and they'd have to battle against the hills NIMBY's who don't want to encourage more growth than is already happening. Infrastructure-wise the most formidable obstacle perhaps being sharing the track with ARTC trains and the lack of appropriate passing loops - but otherwise it's probably 'do-able' particularly if you could also use the same gauge-converted 3000's out the other side to perhaps Virginia which is in itself becoming a developer's playground thanks in part to the new Northern Expressway.
That's twice you've suggested a SG line to Virginia if Mt Barker was to reopen. Why create a new problem of incompatibility with the suburban network? I really don't see the value of this suggestion.

I'm all for a new suburban line to Virginia in the next 10-15 years but it should just be a spur line off the Gawler line should it not? There is plenty of space in the ROW to have an electrified BG track alongside or eitherside of the SG track. A Virginia line would also allow most Gawler trains to run semi express between Adel and Sailsbury.
Yappo
As you alluded, Salisbury to Virginia is ARTC standard gauge - there's no longer a broad gauge option to make it inter-operable with the suburban network unless you were to build a whole new broad gauge track along-side.  I just don't see that happening, not here in South Australia - you're talking about 14km of brand new broad gauge track. It just won't happen.

Any train service to Mt Barker would have to be standard gauge DMU since that's the only kind of track that exists there, in fact there's no possibility of Belair being electrified in the near future because ARTC want to keep overhead clearances in case they ever double-stack. Unlikely but that's the plan.

So its likely you'll have a small pool of standard gauge DMU's for that service anyway - why not make the most of them by using them on another service utilising the ARTC tracks out the other side of town - that's all I'm saying.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
To be realistic I just don't feel that any of this is remotely likely: It's nearly impossible to get any expansion of the suburban network up in South Australia bar the tiny less-than-1km extension of the Tonsley line to Flinders Medical Centre.

As I recall from some 15 years ago there was a proposal to re-activate the Roseworthy-Kapunda line which made sense considering Kapunda is only some 30km from Gawler and is growing rapidly as a satellite town and district centre - but even though the track already exists in situ (albeit in a poor state) the state government just wouldn't come at it. Same with the Barrossa Valley line although there's been repeated community opposition to any rail service going there because the locals are already concerned about the rapid pace of development and they don't want to add fuel to the fire.

I'd be astonished if we saw any new major interurban or suburban services here any time in the next ten or even twenty years - we just don't have the money or the population.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Coming back to gauges and operating, there are three crossing loops between Belair and MBJ and the Overdue takes 37 minutes. You just need one gauge changer at Belair. You would convert MBJ to MB to SG and the track would need a major upgrade anyway. As I said, it is existing developed technology and can be applied without major disruption to the Interstate and TA  lines. Timetabling is not a major killer. MBJ to APT is about an hour, you would hope to reduce that but I don't see a lot of opportunity. You would have stops at Stirling Bridgewater and Aldgate with probably Blackwood. Sell coffee in the morning and booze at night and offer an all-day service
If you really wanted you could put another changer at Mawson Lakes and run to Two Wells and Virginia and even Roseworthy. Forget dual gauge, that introduces speed limits and is not compatible with 60kg rail. Make it 25 kV compatible with GT if you want or any other non-diesel system. There are a few to choose between.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
I have read some YouTube comments on train enthusiast videos saying how when they rode the redhens up to bridgewater and back in the early 80's, the train was basically empty from Bridgewater to Belair, then some people would start boarding at the stops before Blackwood, and from Blackwood onwards through to the city the loadings were decent like they were on any of the other main lines at that time of day.
But Mt Barker is the target and that's a much bigger population center than it was in the early 90's when the Bridgewater service closed. Mt Barker, Littlehampton, Balhannah could be added to the service that was half empty back then, not to mention the growth from Bridgewater westwards.

Mt Barker district is planned to increase by another 9,000 in the next decade according to what I've seen - its at least worth contemplating putting an alternative to road back to the public. Virginia, another growth corridor, could be the other end of the diesel DMU standard gauge service so you could get some value from operating and maintaining that rolling stock.
Peak flow with a mid day return plus double return on weekends is the obvious starter and worked for Gympie for decades.

Low cost, targets periods of greatest use with bus providing the back up in off-peak.
RTT_Rules
In Canada the more outlying areas of Vancouver and Toronto are served by predominately inward trains in the morning, and outward trains in the evening.    For example Toronto to Barrie to the north, there are trains northwards at at 9:53, 13:53, 15:53, 16:23, 16:53, 17.23, 17:53, 18:23, 18:53, 21;53, 22:53, and south at 04:53 (non stop), 05:23, 05:53, 6:23, 6:53, 07:08, 07:38, 08:08, 09:08, 13:08 and 21:08.   Running time is 2:40.
There are only 6 pairs of trains weekends.   All services are supplemented by buses.

(Timetables at Go Transit)
  Yappo Locomotive Fireman

To be realistic I just don't feel that any of this is remotely likely: It's nearly impossible to get any expansion of the suburban network up in South Australia bar the tiny less-than-1km extension of the Tonsley line to Flinders Medical Centre.

As I recall from some 15 years ago there was a proposal to re-activate the Roseworthy-Kapunda line which made sense considering Kapunda is only some 30km from Gawler and is growing rapidly as a satellite town and district centre - but even though the track already exists in situ (albeit in a poor state) the state government just wouldn't come at it. Same with the Barrossa Valley line although there's been repeated community opposition to any rail service going there because the locals are already concerned about the rapid pace of development and they don't want to add fuel to the fire.

I'd be astonished if we saw any new major interurban or suburban services here any time in the next ten or even twenty years - we just don't have the money or the population.
don_dunstan
I was definately proposing building a new electrified BG line to Virginia as a spur off the Gawler line in the next 10-15yrs. That extra $1billion that the south rd project has already increased by in the last 6 months would easily pay for the line. If built, it would also allow Gawler services to run semi-express between Adel and Sailsbury decreasing travel time further up the line.

I wouldn't be so pessimistic about future exts of the suburban network even in old rail backward Adelaide. As we discussed on another thread last year there are a couple of good possibilities.

1) The 14km Aldinga ext will def be built in the next 10-15 yrs
2) A spur line to Roseworthy is a 50/50 chance in the next 20 years given future growth - as it the small ext to Concordia
3) The underground city loop will stll have some potential by 2040 as an IA project
4) We should also see the tram link proposals reborn under a future ALP govt - ext to North Adel is a no brainer as is the Airport link

Adelaide patently doesn't have the growth of Bris or Perth, but it is still projected to grow to 1.8m to 2m by 2050. That extra roughly .5m pop will require some expansion and improvement of the suburban network beyond the pathetic $111m that the current govt has allocated for the next 10 years.

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