What this project seems to be designed to do is eliminate the choke points in the suburban network between V/Line and Connex trains, thus allowing all to run more freely. So where are these choke points? By my reckoning they are: Geelong Services -Werribee to Footscray Ballarat Services- Sunshine-Footscray Bendigo/ Sunbury Services - Sydenham to Footscray All broad gauge passenger services- North Melbourne to Southern Cross
Geelong service conflicts will be eliminated by the bypass from West werribee to Deer Pk. It Just now adds these services to the Ballarat ones.
At Sunshine a complete rebuild would be necessary. The spark tracks would need to be grade separated from the V-line services. This could then allow the now combined Geelong/ Ballarat lines and the Bendigo lines to pass to the northern side of the suburban tracks and then through the Tottenham yard area.
At Footscray it gets tricky.Between West Footscray and Footscray there is only room for 4 tracks currently. Two of which ARTC control. I am making the assumption that the Bunbury St tunnel issues extends to West Footscray. My spin on a possible solution- A new tunnel (suitable for double stack traffic approx 2.5km long) for the ARTC lines that extends from Tottenham to Marybyrnong River where it exits onto a new bridge south of the existing one. This would allow access for ARTC to the docks area and place the Vline services on the correct side to run around to Sth Kensington using mostly existing infrastructure.
At Nth Melbourne the old Goods lines could be reinstated to join up to a new platform 7+8 . These would extend through to Platform 15+16 (bi-directional from Nth Melb) at SCS for DMU services. Loco hauled could gain access to SCS via a connection to the flyover. I realise that would mean that loco hauled would not stop at Nth Melbourne but I think this would be more than made up for by the quicker access to SCS.
At the Dudley st crossing 4 new tracks need to be added. Two for the Flyover and then 2 more for the new path into SCS It seems ridiculous that 5 suburban and 4 country lines have to share 3 inbound/3 outbound tracks to the CBD.
I love the fact that a price tag can be put on this project
while there still seems to be no actual plans, just a concept. Gotta love politicians!