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Alastair Taylor's picture

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Asked about the possibility of diesel trains servicing the route, Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said the priority was for a rail link that ''best serves the needs of Victorians and visitors'', saying it was needed ''sooner rather than later''.

Using RRL with Vlocities will get trains "sooner rather than later" - and the chief's concern about diesel trains needs to be explained.

Vlocity trains piss on Metro trains from a very great height in terms of: passenger comfort, accommodating passengers with luggage and top speed (albeit it any train is limited by the track config).

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Martin Mankowski's picture

From memory, the chief's concerns with Diesel are centred round the fact that the spur line from the Albion Line to the airport would have to be above ground for Diesel, meaning it could impact on freight transportation round the airport. It would also mean that the station couldnt be built under the airport but would have to be above ground somewhere close by, running the risk that commuters would find it too indirect (anyone walked to T4 before?) and affect patronage. They are valid concerns.

As for comfort, we are talking about a 25 min trip, something many people do on our Metro trains without drama. Both London and Sydney use their normal carriages sans a luggage compartment to run to their airports, with London's tube carriages considerably smaller than ours. As for speed, like you mentioned, would be limited on the metro network anyway.

Building a rail link using Vlocoties would be a quick fix, but would cause considerable problems down the track (pardon the pun!) if we wanted to extend the service to Dandenong. As per most things, building it properly in the first place would be a much wiser decision. But then building on the cheap seems to be Napthine's forte - i cant wait till the finally build Southland station, minus the escalators, lifts and shelters originally promised, and no one uses it...

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Melbman's picture

Alastair, I quite like the lines you have depicted. Meeting at Southern Cross/Docklands will bring benefits to that part of the city, along with a station in Southbank being another valuable addition.

As much as I do like the original plan, this still has value, especially given that the 2nd tunnel will then be able to meet up with this line in the future.

The one thing to raise is that Southbank and Fishermans Bend are both former swampland, and will be very hard to tunnel through. I wonder how this will be resolved in a cost effective manner?

I too though am confused how they expect to run diesel trains through these tunnels, unless it is expected to build multiple tunnels for each purpose.Add in the extra ventilation shafts that will be required, and there's more issues in a dense urban area.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

looks like part of this plan is being brought forward: https://urbanmelbourne.info/transport/2014/03/06/new-trains-signalling-a...

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Fedsquared's picture

Daniel Bowen posted this Victorian Rail Network concept map on twitter. Much more logical and user friendly than current maps IMO.

PTV's Network Development Plan for Metropolitan Rail

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Melbman's picture

Seven news was tonight reporting that the Metro Rail Tunnel would be part of the budget, with a $10 billion pricetag, commencing in 2016. This will come from proceeds stemming from the lease to the Port of Melbourne and Hastings also.

No route or any great detail yet (will be included in the budget) but if true, its a huge step forward for PT investment.

A figure of $30 billion worth of transport infrastructure on the agenda was stated, including East-West Link, Metro Rail Tunnel and the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

Other items mentioned:

- Another announcement is due tomorrow apparently by the National party regarding regional train services.
- There was also meant to be a news piece about 3 more level crossing removals planned but I didn't see that part.

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Martin Mankowski's picture

If true, its great news that it now has bi partisan support. And a 2016 start date is probably the best we could hope for.

I just pray that they now dont tinker with the route. The whole Berlin Wall down Swanston St was nothing more than a red herring, and it almost strikes me that they just want a different route to have a point of difference with Labor. Hopefully common sense prevails here.

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Alastair Taylor's picture


PTV's Network Development Plan for Metropolitan Rail

The Napthine government’s decision to rip up several years’ planning work on a rail tunnel through Melbourne’s CBD in favour of a new route through South Melbourne was hatched less than six months ago and has no supporting business case.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy made the startling admission on Thursday that there is no business case for its $11 billion Melbourne Rail Link, which includes an underground rail line with stations in Southbank and Domain and a link to Melbourne Airport.
Mr Guy said on ABC Radio that “common sense was the best business case”.

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Martin Mankowski's picture

Gobsmacking. After being universally caned for going ahead with EW link without a business case (or at least one they are willing to show anybody, including the PM who gave them $3 Billion for it), they have pulled off the same economically irresponsible trick again. And Matthew Guy's comment of "common sense is the best business case" is the height of arrogance and hubris. Imagine if I went to the bank for a loan and said "Im not telling you how much I earn or showing you any payslips. The housing market is booming, so common sense says you should just hand over $0.5 million to me"!

Not having stations in the urban renewal area of Arden, as well as the major university/hospital/research hub of Parkville is a disaster. As is not having connectivity at Melb Central and FSS, which was meant to provide relief to the Swanston St tram route. And having the planned Montague station to service all of FB is a con; the reality is only part of the FB population will be within walking distance of the station, with Wirraway, where the 'main st' of FB is planned, being 2.9km away!

The Metro's original route was conceived and lauded by an army of independent transport experts, as well as being signed off by IA. It also had bi partesian support up until late last year, with it appearing in the government's Plan Melbourne paper. To say they suddenly realised, after 9 years (!!!), that its all wrong and has to change is an insult the intelligence of everyone. This is nothing more than a political ploy to have a point a difference with what was originally a Labor initiated project.

Grow up Denis Napthine and Matthew Guy, and stop being so petty. Just build it properly!

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Melbman's picture

The Original route was definitely strong, but if it came at the cost of any other required infrastructure, including the Melb Airport Rail link, Western section of EWL or any other projects which are badly needed, then no, I don't see it as the option I would proceed with.

The main concern I have is that Labor's aggressive rail crossing removal program will be taking up between $6-8 billion in funding, which seems another number that has not been properly costed judging by comments from their own shadow minister. This will take up a large share of funding priority in the next few years if Mr Andrews keeps that promise.

Somehow FB needs servicing, and like it or not, this station actually services one precinct very well (Montague) and also is in close proximity to the Sandridge zone.

One of the growth areas would have lost out under either proposal (Arden/Parkville or Fishermans Bend). Both could not be accommodated and in this case the pet project of the Libs at FB won out. Separating politics from decision making is a great idea in theory, but in practice it just isn't going to happen, whatever party is in power.

Its now up to Labor to prove it can pay for its projects and it has solutions for each of the current backlog of infrastructure issues at present (both road and rail). After all, this backlog did built up under their own previous time in govt.

In saying all that, I would have preferred a business case been done also TBH, although it appears that one is currently underway. It seems far too common practice in infrastructure planning though from whatever party is in govt to attempt these moves, so its hardly unique to Dr Napthine and Mr Guy. Expecting anything different would be too much to hope for.

I just want to see projects actually happen. There has been far too much talk, and just no action.

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Yuzhao Chen's picture

At last stage, two loop lines can be connected sharing two loop tunnels.

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Llib's picture


I am glad to hear that they will begin trialling high capacity signalling on the Sandringham line as well. The additional level crossing removals were also needed for this kind of line upgrade.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Scrapped Dandenong rail upgrade mostly good news for commuters

March 31, 2015 - 7:03PM

​Adam Carey

The announcement that the Andrews government has killed its predecessor's proposed fix for chronic overcrowding on the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail lines is mostly good news for commuters.

The Napthine government's decision to pursue a public-private partnership to upgrade the line had merit but the innovative proposal also had some holes, which Labor has sought to plug with its own reworked version of the project.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Metro plan to split Melbourne rail network into five lines hangs on union fight

July 29, 2015 - 1:31PM Adam Carey

Metro has started splitting Melbourne's railway into five independent networks as a way of curbing chronic delays.

Each network has its own dedicated train fleet and pool of drivers and is modelled on the simpler, more successful Hong Kong railway.

But the plan will not be fully realised unless Metro confronts the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

The union has condemned the plan, saying it would diminish the responsibilities of hundreds of train drivers.

Limiting the duties of train drivers is at the heart of Metro's plan. All but a few drivers would be restricted to driving on one of the five new railway networks.


I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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drunkill's picture


With the release of the new PTV Victorian Rail Network map last week I decided to re-create the 'PTV Network Development Plan Stage 4' diagram (seen in the first post of this thread) in the style of the new map.

So I recreated the map, changing some of the colours to match the new 2017 PTV map and changing around a few other things (such as adding the Clyde extension to the Cranbourne line and extra stations to the Rowville & Doncaster lines) but it is mostly a replica in the new map style.

It is still a work in progress and some things will be tweaked based on feedback but I'll finish up this re-creation of the future development map before making a second fantasy map with stuff like Glen Waverly/Rowville extended to Knox, Alamien to Rowville via Chadstone and the re-introduction of the Rosstown Railway/outer circle lines :p

But that will come later on.

For now, a WIP, with a very temporary legend/line grouping chart which will be changed, especially since I forgot to add Lilydale and Belgrave lines to it.
PTV's Network Development Plan for Metropolitan Rail

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Aussie Steve's picture

Very well done Andrew. Looks great.

Now THAT is the rail network map that should be released to the public, with the proposed stations and extensions and electrifications shown as "future works". That is how you show commitment, leadership and excite the public at the same time.

I look forward to seeing the other "ideas map" as you outline above.

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Martin Mankowski's picture

Impressive! We can only dream... :)

Question - whats the station you have in between Parkville and Fitzroy North? Can't remember seeing that before.

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drunkill's picture

It was Carlton, I just forgot to remove the stub, given the case study from Infrastructure Vic only calls for one station at Fitzroy North.

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Martin Mankowski's picture

Ah OK. Think thats probably a wise move on their part.

Staring at this map does make me think PTV have made some odd choices.


1 - With the Mernda to Newport line, why not just go through to Williamstown, making all trains on the Wyndham line run dedicated to Wyndham?

2 - Why stop the Waurn Ponds Line at South Yarra? Why not continue on to Alamein, making all trains on the Wyndham line run dedicated through to Glen Waverley?

Aussie Steve - PTV would never widely release this. Why remind the public of all the stuff that needs to be built but wont be for decades? Buried deep in small print at the end of the development plan is where it will stay I'm afraid... ;)

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gobillino's picture

1 - The PTV NDP doesn't show the Newport tunnel - it only shows a Fishermans Bend to Mernda line at Stage 4. The discussion about ultimate connection to Newport is only included in text (notionally post Stage 4). I would assume that if PTV were to update their NDP now to incorporate the Newport tunnel, they would have one of Laverton/Williamstown or Wyndham through running via the tunnel to Mernda, and the other to Alamein/Glen Waverley via Flinders St.

2 - I suspect this is solely to take advantage of the terminating capacity at South Yarra, post Melbourne Metro. but with one of the Wyndham groups running to Mernda, you might well need Waurn Ponds to through run to Alamein/GW to balance services across the lines

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Grampians's picture

We need all this in the pipeline now
There should be two stations along Johnston St and Elgin, One at Smith/Wellington and one at Lygon/Rathdown...relative waste otherwise...unlock both areas for car free existence

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johnproctor's picture

^ unlikely the MM2 line would run under Johnston. Not that I think IV did any more than draw lines on a map but they showed it either under Alexandra Parade or further north again.

I expect any CBA would show only 1 station is justified as stations are so expensive to build and two stations would have highly overlapping catchments. On a more northern alignment 2 stations would be preferable to get better connections to tram to boost the connectivity of the stations but would be less likely to be of value given the lower catchments (lower density around the old inner circle railway).

Something under Alexandra with connections east and west to Smith and Brunswick OR Brunswick and Nicholson would probably work well picking up a great walking catchment well removed from other train station catchments (Clifton Hill, Victoria Park, Rushall, Parliament) and also allow capture of tram interchanges from two well serviced tram corridors.

The entrances to Parliament Station (at McArthur and Lonsdale) are approx. 400m apart. Smith-Brunswick is 500m and Brunswick-Nicholson is 300m so shows its not unreasonable if the station is appropriately designed as end loaded platforms with escalators pushing out to maximum surface extent.

Just did a quick check on a Nicholson/Brunswick station and the 800m catchments would overlap between a Nicholson Street entry and the Metro Tunnels Parkville Station University Square Entry, and from a Brunswick Street entry to the catchments of Clifton Hill/Rushall/Victoria Park Stations giving pretty good rail coverage of Fitzroy North, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Clifton Hill, Carlton North, Carlton.

Lygon Street is probably at the centre of the stations leaving it as a 'long' walk to all... still the heart of the Lygon Street restaurant precinct is within 550m walk of the University Square entrance of Parkville or the Franklin Street entrance of CBD North Station on the current Metro Tunnel Stations. and would be about 800m walk from a Nicholson Street/Alexandra Parade station entry.

For comparisons sake: the corner of William and Collins Street in the CBD is 500m from Southern Cross, 700m from Flagstaff and 650m from Flinders Street (Elizabeth entry), so even in our areas requiring highest accessibility there are still pockets well removed from train access.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

^ the effect of having the station under Alexandra (presumably set east-west directly under the road/in the median) with entrances on Nicholson & Brunswick Sts would probably "pull" new development further north in Fitzroy - at present the highest areas of activity are the southern end / closest to the city. A definite benefit, surely.

Plus - the 86 is a bit of a stretch, but with improvements to tram stop infrastructure connects with MM2 at Clifton Hill, the 11 & 96 connect at this Fitzory/Alexandra parade station and then the 19, 55 and 59 connect at Parkille - in other words, three stations and 6 tram routes all feeding into them.

At Clifton Hill, I assume a station design would see the current one sink to a four platform outfit? (or 2 new platforms sunk below the road with connections to the existing station) and therefore the entrance would look like Domain's - opening up on the park (Mayor's Park in Clifton Hill's case) - it'd be about a 100m walk to the tram stop. Not ideal, but easily enhanced with new tram stop infrastructure / better ways to access it across the Queens Parade intersection.

Ditto 55 & 59 tram stops in Flemington Road at Parkville - MM2 would increase pedestrian/foot traffic on Grattan St infront of the VCCC, MM2 might need to include a pedestrian tunnel to cater for the increased traffic? IIRC Grattan St's footpath infront of the new hospital, now that VCCC is complete, is quite narrow and includes a fairly significant amount of space being taken up by retailtenants/public art? (I haven't been down there in a while!).

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Aussie Steve's picture

It would be easier if the MM2 swung west and followed the former Inner City Circle Railway route and then south under Royal Parade. Most of this could be cut and cover as well as along Royal Parade.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

I'm not convinced cut and cover tunneling is all what it's cracked up to be.

You have to move sub-surface infrastructure on a larger scale (rather than just at points like stations or portals) and you have massive disruption - I'm sure someone will be able to estimate it better than me, but I think if you take a holistic view, the extra cash needed to TBM-style tunneling isn't all that much more given the pitfalls of cut and cover.

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