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Old August 10th, 2017, 06:40 AM   #641
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No. You just can't see the bigger picture. Try harder.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 09:23 AM   #642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamTheMan View Post
Long-time lurker and one of my very few posts.

Last night I went to the Railway Remedies Seminar at Deakin Waterfront in Geelong. I attended expecting something totally different. It was very informative with an engaged, passionate and knowledgeable audience.

The Rail Futures institute teamed up with G21 (Lobby group for the 5 local councils), the City of Wyndham, Deakin University & the PTUG to present the seminar.

To sum it up, RRL has been a victim of its own success and is almost at capacity. There are a number of short and medium-term solutions that can be put in place. The current issues are only predicted to get worse with the amount of development in the City of Wyndham and in the Geelong region. Doing nothing is not an option was a line from one of the slides. Details of the solutions are here- http://www.railfutures.org.au/wp-con...eneric-v3a.pdf

Probably the most interesting item for me was with regards to planning in the Geelong region. The next growth areas in Geelong (beyond 2030) will be to the west (Fyansford/Batesford) and to the north (Lovely Banks/Lara). The current PT arrangements are inadequate and the suggestion floated after the seminar was that the current alignment would be beyond it's used by date, maybe should be converted to light rail and a new rail alignment by put to the west of the current growth boundary. Light rail could also then feed from new stations to the centre of Geelong.

Something needs to be done as the figures of population growth to 2050 are scary. Doing nothing is not an option. What they are proposing might not be the right choice but at the moment I don't see any other plans being published for comment.
In the PDF document, it puts in a lot of focus on making sure that the Geelong people have an absolute requirement to get a quick 45 minutes ride in comfort to the city regardless of what happens to the suburban passengers currently using it. I'm not against the 45 minutes time target on its own, but if it is going to swallow up the taxpayer's funding just to give people living in a regional city a subsidised luxury option, then I find it to be irresponsible use of public funding. However if they come up with a way to turn the 45 minutes train ride into a flagship service that has fares selling for 1.5-2.00 times as much of the regular service, then it might be worth looking into provided that the regular standard fare service isn't compromised (giving us a proper choice)...
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Old August 10th, 2017, 10:57 PM   #643
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That's misrepresenting the Rail Futures case. You really need to read the full Intercity report and then argue your case.

Quote:
if it is going to swallow up the taxpayer's funding just to give people living in a regional city a subsidised luxury option, then I find it to be irresponsible use of public funding
Language like 'swallow up', 'subsidised', 'irresponsible' makes this sound like a neo-lib opinionated rant rather than any cogent consideration of the proposition.

The key theme in Intercity is population growth and the inability of the planners to present a coherent strategy for this. Rail Futures argue for growth in the regions, supported by better infrastructure, in this case improved rail links. If you disagree about that proposition then please suggest an alternative, as Melbourne becomes less liveable by the day.

Geelong is a significant city with a dreadful rail service that, unbelievably, is no faster via the shiny new Regional Rail Link (RRL), which meanders around the western suburbs. These western suburbs are growing so fast that the RRL needs to become a Metro line, so Geelong and the south-west need another new express route, but this time properly designed. Essentially that's all that Rail Futures are asking for.

What's really interesting about the Rail Futures proposal is for a Geelong Metro, a mini network of lines on existing, new and reinstated routes centred on Geelong. This Metro recognises that Geelong is a major centre in its own right. The new Metro, integrated with buses, will significantly improve local connectivity, i.e. investment within the Geelong area is as important as any new line connecting it to Melbourne.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 01:58 AM   #644
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You're putting a lot of words into my mouth there...

There's nothing inherently wrong with subsidisation in general, but the question is how much of it is required and who deserves it more. I agree, Geelong does deserve better services to Melbourne, but not at the cost of the funding pool for people who actually live in the suburbs of Melbourne where it can take them longer than 45 minutes to get to the CBD. Geelong is growing and more businesses are moving to there with hopefully many more coming over the next ten years, but we have to be careful not to lock Geelong into a position where it is heavily reliant on Melbourne being a major source of only employment for the city's residents due to heavily undervalued existing services with poor farebox returns. There should be a push to make sure that opportunities to work physically closer to home are provided. Along with that, there should be a push to have focus on regional rail improvements shifted to being designed to allow people the ease of travel to conduct business, tourism, recreational, visiting the services of other cities, and perhaps commuting for those who feel it's worth the x1.5-2.0 price premium for a faster service.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 04:44 AM   #645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemmo View Post
That's misrepresenting the Rail Futures case. You really need to read the full Intercity report and then argue your case.



Language like 'swallow up', 'subsidised', 'irresponsible' makes this sound like a neo-lib opinionated rant rather than any cogent consideration of the proposition.

The key theme in Intercity is population growth and the inability of the planners to present a coherent strategy for this. Rail Futures argue for growth in the regions, supported by better infrastructure, in this case improved rail links. If you disagree about that proposition then please suggest an alternative, as Melbourne becomes less liveable by the day.

Geelong is a significant city with a dreadful rail service that, unbelievably, is no faster via the shiny new Regional Rail Link (RRL), which meanders around the western suburbs. These western suburbs are growing so fast that the RRL needs to become a Metro line, so Geelong and the south-west need another new express route, but this time properly designed. Essentially that's all that Rail Futures are asking for.

What's really interesting about the Rail Futures proposal is for a Geelong Metro, a mini network of lines on existing, new and reinstated routes centred on Geelong. This Metro recognises that Geelong is a major centre in its own right. The new Metro, integrated with buses, will significantly improve local connectivity, i.e. investment within the Geelong area is as important as any new line connecting it to Melbourne.
I'll agree with Planks, to the point that I would love to see a new and truly fast rail link between Melbourne and Geelong, and possibly even an extension of a Mel-Bne HSR that covers Geelong and provides a 15 minute transit time.

But the question is always who is going to pay. Victorian rail fare policy has been going in the wrong direction, making it cheaper when it should have been making it more expensive (but then using the extra revenue to pay for improvements).
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Old August 11th, 2017, 06:01 AM   #646
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Quote:
You're putting a lot of words into my mouth there...
@ Planks, yes I apologise for that, I certainly did not mean to misrepresent or be offensive, I'll be more considerate.

Increasing fares in order to fund improvements may be politically uncomfortable but it is sound policy. But it does need a very clear story about who benefits and why. If the story becomes about an expensive new line so that wealthy commuters can still get to Melbourne from their leafy retreats, it all falls apart. I think we're all in agreement on that.

I think what's at question are the size of the funding pool, the extent to which the funding pool is dependent on fares, and the differential cost between commuter peak and off-peak pricing.

Crossrail in London provides an interesting case study. Fares in the UK are much higher than here, and public perceptions of the service quality are none too rosy. London has acute over-crowding problems which large-scale projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink are trying to address. But there is a strong undercurrent of discontent from the regions, particularly the north, that London is soaking up all the investment.

Incidentally, my understanding is that there is now a significant inward commuter flow to Geelong, which partly balances the flow to Melbourne. This is what we should be aiming for in other regional centres, supported by pricing signals along with other measures.

@ Eco-rat, I hadn't considered HSR to Geelong, but it makes sense. If we assume that the design of HSR allows the trains to use the legacy network, then there is no reason why services can't extend to Geelong shared with VLine services, and other centres as well, such as Latrobe City. This will then dictate the design of a new fast Geelong line, as it will need to enter Southern Cross from the south, which favours a route via Fishermans Bend.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 06:27 AM   #647
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Originally Posted by lemmo View Post
@ Planks, yes I apologise for that, I certainly did not mean to misrepresent or be offensive, I'll be more considerate.

Increasing fares in order to fund improvements may be politically uncomfortable but it is sound policy. But it does need a very clear story about who benefits and why. If the story becomes about an expensive new line so that wealthy commuters can still get to Melbourne from their leafy retreats, it all falls apart. I think we're all in agreement on that.

I think what's at question are the size of the funding pool, the extent to which the funding pool is dependent on fares, and the differential cost between commuter peak and off-peak pricing.

Crossrail in London provides an interesting case study. Fares in the UK are much higher than here, and public perceptions of the service quality are none too rosy. London has acute over-crowding problems which large-scale projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink are trying to address. But there is a strong undercurrent of discontent from the regions, particularly the north, that London is soaking up all the investment.

Incidentally, my understanding is that there is now a significant inward commuter flow to Geelong, which partly balances the flow to Melbourne. This is what we should be aiming for in other regional centres, supported by pricing signals along with other measures.

@ Eco-rat, I hadn't considered HSR to Geelong, but it makes sense. If we assume that the design of HSR allows the trains to use the legacy network, then there is no reason why services can't extend to Geelong shared with VLine services, and other centres as well, such as Latrobe City. This will then dictate the design of a new fast Geelong line, as it will need to enter Southern Cross from the south, which favours a route via Fishermans Bend.
Good post.

Not that I'm unsympathetic to Geelong, far from it, I think something needs to be done and I think the whole RRL and RFR planning a disgrace. Trains go from Perth to Mandurah in 48 minutes day in day out, fully electric and the whole thing including two underground stations cost in 2007 only $1.5 billion.

I do think though, the attitude in Victoria is to keep shovelling money into the failed 1850s VR (Met/Vline/PTC/Bayside/Connex/MTM/Vline) model which took us nowhere. I contrast that with Sydney and Perth - the former really did break the NSWGR mould, the latter just injected the old WAGR with a forced program of rational policy development to break the old habits.

But look at us:

-City Loop (today's terms, billions)
-RFR (probably 2 billion in today's money)
-RRL (5 billion)
-MMRL (10+ billion)
AND WE STILL HAVEN'T GOT IT RIGHT.
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Old September 5th, 2017, 05:30 PM   #648
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Forget this gold plated Geelong garbage.

All that's needed is an all stops extension from Werribee - a more than reasonable journey time if you dumped the stupid Altona loop and ridiculous stations like Aircraft.

The amount of money required for dedicated express trackwork to skip a couple of suburban stops is not worth the expense.
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Old September 6th, 2017, 02:34 AM   #649
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Forget this gold plated Geelong garbage.

All that's needed is an all stops extension from Werribee - a more than reasonable journey time if you dumped the stupid Altona loop and ridiculous stations like Aircraft.

The amount of money required for dedicated express trackwork to skip a couple of suburban stops is not worth the expense.
What do you estimate as the transit time for a vanilla suburban solution (but say 130km/h operation of the electrics on open stretches) for the following:

Melbourne-Fisho Bend-West Newport-Laverton-Williams-Hoppers-Werribee-Lara-Corio-North Shore-North Geelong and Geelong (and close any others not mentioned) which is only 12 stations for 70 km.

My guess is that such a service would be well under 1 hour, could be operated as frequent as you like, and won't need fancy fitout.

Question would be what to do with the Tarneit service, which IMHO was a complete waste of money versus a simple spur out of Werribee to Wyndham Vale and buses for the rest of the area for the foreseeable future.
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Old September 6th, 2017, 02:43 AM   #650
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I should post on the policy thread, but it makes the blood boil when you think of the squillions that have been spent on rail in this country.

It is a LIE that the rail gets dudded against road. Road just takes its subsidy as new construction and some maintenance, rail takes it as direct OPEX and lack of farebox recovery. And lots and lots of passenger services that shouldn't be run.

BUT, and here's the clincher -these services that shouldn't be run are run at the opportunity cost of services that SHOULD be operating.

The very busy rail lines that don't exist to Sydney's northern beaches, the Sunshine Coast, dense parts of Melbourne, all not happening because EVERY YEAR we spent billions making up the farebox because of services like Dungog, Carlingford, Alamein, Hurstbridge beyond Greensborough, the list is long.

And then we go and waste money on vast capital schemes that were quite unnecessary, billions and billions robbed from worthwhile investments. Vic leads the way - the City Loop, RFR, RRL, MM tunnel, with QR chasing close behind with the CRR.

At least in Sydney, forgive the puns, they have got off that train at least to some extent. New tech platform, routes that WILL be well used, much better farebox, much better industrial environment.
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Old September 7th, 2017, 01:17 PM   #651
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoRat
What do you estimate as the transit time for a vanilla suburban solution (but say 130km/h operation of the electrics on open stretches) for the following:
From SCS, I'd say 8min to Newport, and 26min to Werribee, with one and three intermediate stations respectively.

To Geelong, that would give 53min all stops, 50min skipping LR/NS, and say 45min for the best express attempt, which is miles ahead of what exists now. Run services to Werribee every 5 minutes, with every third service continuing to Geelong. Employ sets with favourable seating, and if you ever have capacity issues, utilise transitory seats which can be locked up on short services to create more standing room. No need to continue the exceptionalism that gives Geelong special status of places like Pakenham and Frankston.

Makes far more sense than solely benefiting regional users in quadding to Wydenham Vale and instead you gives radically improved journey times to existing western suburban users that compete with road and expanding rail to Fishermens Bend. Tarneit can be electrified and extended to Werribee, 4-5 stations added, and run as a suburban service as a partner to Melton (which would itself see electrification and around 3 extra stops).
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Old September 8th, 2017, 03:05 AM   #652
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Crossrail in London provides an interesting case study. Fares in the UK are much higher than here, and public perceptions of the service quality are none too rosy.
OT, but whilst we're on the UK comparison, fares are higher than here but they're not as high as those that are frequently reported. The ones always used in newspapers are the walk-up one-off fares, which nobody pays, in the same way as nobody pays the full fare economy ticket on any airline

Train ticketing in the UK for distance travel (which few take regularly) operates like low cost airlines. Fares are cheaper the earlier you book them and the less popular the time of day you travel at. It's a very rare fare paid that costs even half the walk-up rate. In other words, the TOCs manage their capacity by adjusting pricing to full up the train as much as possible, which economically makes good sense and is OK for the passenger too so long as they are au fait with the system

Train tickets for regular commuting journeys, everyone buys season tickets which are regulated. They aren't cheap, but when I lived there, every comparison I ever did was cheaper by train than the alternatives. For example I used to pay 350 quid a month to travel from Cambridge to Central London, a gross distance of about 2750 miles a month. 12 pence a mile. That's a lot cheaper than driving costs which were about 20p a mile, without parking or any risk allowance for bumps/scrapes/tickets

Public perception of service? Well the reliability and customer service (survey) data is freely available and pretty good these days, and generally has improved much over the past 20 years. Anecdotally, fwiw, that Cambridge-London service I caught was rarely late. In 2 years certainly less than 10 occasions, on lines (peak hour Great Northern) that are operating at capacity. And it was quick. Semi-fast service stopping at 5 stations over a distance of 105km took just under an hour. And the trains were always clean.

But people whinge a lot. Especially in the UK and Aus

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Old September 8th, 2017, 06:41 AM   #653
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OT, but whilst we're on the UK comparison, fares are higher than here but they're not as high as those that are frequently reported. The ones always used in newspapers are the walk-up one-off fares, which nobody pays, in the same way as nobody pays the full fare economy ticket on any airline

Train ticketing in the UK for distance travel (which few take regularly) operates like low cost airlines. Fares are cheaper the earlier you book them and the less popular the time of day you travel at. It's a very rare fare paid that costs even half the walk-up rate. In other words, the TOCs manage their capacity by adjusting pricing to full up the train as much as possible, which economically makes good sense and is OK for the passenger too so long as they are au fait with the system

Train tickets for regular commuting journeys, everyone buys season tickets which are regulated. They aren't cheap, but when I lived there, every comparison I ever did was cheaper by train than the alternatives. For example I used to pay 350 quid a month to travel from Cambridge to Central London, a gross distance of about 2750 miles a month. 12 pence a mile. That's a lot cheaper than driving costs which were about 20p a mile, without parking or any risk allowance for bumps/scrapes/tickets

Public perception of service? Well the reliability and customer service (survey) data is freely available and pretty good these days, and generally has improved much over the past 20 years. Anecdotally, fwiw, that Cambridge-London service I caught was rarely late. In 2 years certainly less than 10 occasions, on lines (peak hour Great Northern) that are operating at capacity. And it was quick. Semi-fast service stopping at 5 stations over a distance of 105km took just under an hour. And the trains were always clean.

But people whinge a lot. Especially in the UK and Aus
Good post.

Australians are fools in some ways - 20p a mile is still actually not the true cost of driving, here or there.

Calculations that put in the full life time cost of a vehicle over the kms you actually used it, say:

$20000 (purchase) + 7000 per year (in rego, insurance, servicing fixed annual costs)+1800 per year (petrol for 15000km/$1.2/[email protected]/litre) and zero scrap at end of 10 year life span equals $108,000 to travel 150,000km, or 72c/km.

Versus not buying the car, and having $108,000 to spend on 10 years of travel, including (in Melbourne) around $1500 a year for yearly metro wide PT ticket, maybe $5000 a year in taxis or Uber, making $65,000 for 10 years.

We are fools for spending the extra money on cars, and fools for not demanding our governments put in the transport that would mean fewer of us need cars.
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Old September 8th, 2017, 01:24 PM   #654
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$5000 a year on taxis/ubers??? I would genuinely be lucky to spend $250 per year (I'm inner city, so granted I would be at the lower end of the spectrum, but $5000 per year still strikes me as very high).
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Old September 9th, 2017, 03:24 AM   #655
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$5000 a year on taxis/ubers??? I would genuinely be lucky to spend $250 per year (I'm inner city, so granted I would be at the lower end of the spectrum, but $5000 per year still strikes me as very high).
Good then you would save even more
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Old September 9th, 2017, 02:52 PM   #656
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$108,000 seems really high... but factor in parking, tolls and potential for fines, your amount seems a bit low actually.

Now do one for the person who uses multi modes of transport or carpools and the numbers will become even more skewed.

At the end of the day it comes down to what is most convenient to the person travelling. Time v money
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Old September 11th, 2017, 06:57 AM   #657
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Ballan and Bacchus

http://ballaratlineupgrade.vic.gov.a...ation-upgrades
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Old September 25th, 2017, 11:51 PM   #658
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http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4...it-wait/?cs=62
No start on Ballarat multi storey carpark
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