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Old May 30th, 2019, 10:53 PM   #2621
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Great for fixing Tonkin Gap but appalling that is their solution for building a rail line to Ellenbrook. Total waste of money.
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Old May 31st, 2019, 03:13 AM   #2622
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From the government perspective not only is that plan cheaper and faster to build than the tunnel option but it also carries far less risk (given what's happened with the airport line tunnels in terms of delays and issues, the government would probably be nervous about the same thing happening again on other rail tunnel projects)
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Old May 31st, 2019, 10:50 AM   #2623
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Unless there is something unique to the soil in Perth that makes collapses more likely, I don't see how it could make them nervous. I think it comes down to the fact that adding yet more services to the out via Bayswater and then running up the line up the middle of the Tonkin is nothing more than a quick and dirty way to fulfill a campaign promise.

It's lazy and short sighted, in the same way with the FAL and taking it out through Bayswater as well. That should have been run East Perth, Burswood / Vic Park and Belmont to Airport West.
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Old May 31st, 2019, 11:49 AM   #2624
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Unless there is something unique to the soil in Perth that makes collapses more likely, I don't see how it could make them nervous. I think it comes down to the fact that adding yet more services to the out via Bayswater and then running up the line up the middle of the Tonkin is nothing more than a quick and dirty way to fulfill a campaign promise.

It's lazy and short sighted, in the same way with the FAL and taking it out through Bayswater as well. That should have been run East Perth, Burswood / Vic Park and Belmont to Airport West.
Quick yep short sighted yep but they are probably 8 to 12 billion short to fund two complete underground metro lines. Hopefully when the proposed East Wanneroo line is built that will be underground and then hopefully the Ellenbrook rail line can tie into that and the bit of line left running south along the Tonkin to Bayswater can become part of a North Circle line. We live in hope and if McGowan was smart he should propose it for the long term and the opposition should as well.
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Old May 31st, 2019, 12:30 PM   #2625
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Quick yep short sighted yep but they are probably 8 to 12 billion short to fund two complete underground metro lines. Hopefully when the proposed East Wanneroo line is built that will be underground and then hopefully the Ellenbrook rail line can tie into that and the bit of line left running south along the Tonkin to Bayswater can become part of a North Circle line. We live in hope and if McGowan was smart he should propose it for the long term and the opposition should as well.
Having dug holes in a few places world wide. Perth has what I call "all day sand".
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Old May 31st, 2019, 01:31 PM   #2626
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Having dug holes in a few places world wide. Perth has what I call "all day sand".


Is that a good or bad thing?
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Old May 31st, 2019, 04:55 PM   #2627
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From the government perspective not only is that plan cheaper and faster to build than the tunnel option but it also carries far less risk (given what's happened with the airport line tunnels in terms of delays and issues, the government would probably be nervous about the same thing happening again on other rail tunnel projects)
Even more delays and issues with running lines down freeway medians with its impact on traffic flows in what is now a major freeway virtually.It has to get into the median and it has to leave it.They usually shut off one lane in each direction to enable a buffer or at least eat up the emergency lane and thats not including any proposed stations..SO yeah just as disruptive. At least undergrounding is just that. The only issue is cost.
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Old June 1st, 2019, 05:03 AM   #2628
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Is that a good or bad thing?
As in you dig two shovels full and one falls back in.
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Old June 1st, 2019, 11:43 AM   #2629
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Quick yep short sighted yep but they are probably 8 to 12 billion short to fund two complete underground metro lines. Hopefully when the proposed East Wanneroo line is built that will be underground and then hopefully the Ellenbrook rail line can tie into that and the bit of line left running south along the Tonkin to Bayswater can become part of a North Circle line. We live in hope and if McGowan was smart he should propose it for the long term and the opposition should as well.
But that's thing. If they had a plumped for building a metro line out to Morley and then onto Ellenbrook that way, they could have sold the air rights at stations like Morely to developers with no restrictions on height and whole new urban centre could have been planned / built in West Swan or Dayton with the same deal. That would offset of the cost and further more, the circle line through the suburbs isn't needed at the moment. Sure plan for it in the future but if it gets built now it will be a huge cost to the tax payer for a long time to come. We only have one major CBD and a few minor ones like Murdoch and Herdsman. West Perth is pretty much an extension of the CBD as it is and Fremantle, though a separate city in a lot of ways does not have a high working population that commutes to it every day. Besides which it already, like West Perth sit on a train line.

If you build a metro line to Morely and allow that to develop and over time other centres such as Murdoch, Herdsman etc develop as well, then you can connect them with a metro line. But right now, building that is just a giant waste of money.
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Old June 1st, 2019, 04:11 PM   #2630
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From the government perspective not only is that plan cheaper and faster to build than the tunnel option but it also carries far less risk (given what's happened with the airport line tunnels in terms of delays and issues, the government would probably be nervous about the same thing happening again on other rail tunnel projects)
its sand. if the government is worried about sand theyre ****en stupid.

the fact is this. Salini and NRW are incompetent ****s.
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Old June 2nd, 2019, 09:48 AM   #2631
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Red face

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But that's thing. If they had a plumped for building a metro line out to Morley and then onto Ellenbrook that way, they could have sold the air rights at stations like Morely to developers with no restrictions on height and whole new urban centre could have been planned / built in West Swan or Dayton with the same deal. That would offset of the cost and further more, the circle line through the suburbs isn't needed at the moment. Sure plan for it in the future but if it gets built now it will be a huge cost to the tax payer for a long time to come. We only have one major CBD and a few minor ones like Murdoch and Herdsman. West Perth is pretty much an extension of the CBD as it is and Fremantle, though a separate city in a lot of ways does not have a high working population that commutes to it every day. Besides which it already, like West Perth sit on a train line.

If you build a metro line to Morely and allow that to develop and over time other centres such as Murdoch, Herdsman etc develop as well, then you can connect them with a metro line. But right now, building that is just a giant waste of money.
You make some good points. A Government has to still find money upfront to build any railway. At the moment the Feds have only promised 500 million for the 21 km Ellenbrook line. Compare that to the $5 billion towards construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport or the $3.1b for the Western Sydney North South Rail Link or the $700m for the South Geelong – Waurn Ponds Rail Upgrade.

Selling air rights above railway stations would help eventually to mitigate some of the costs but I am not seeing huge demands by developers to build high density apartments or offices outside affluent inner city suburbs. In reality there has been a few transit orientated developments in places like Cockburn Central but there is still swathes of vacant land in the area sitting idle. Same can be said for the area around the Stirling train station. I do believe they're planning to have transit orientated developments near the greenfield sites of the proposed Brabham and Bennett Springs stations but that will go ahead with or without an underground line. I am all for an underground line that connects the CBD with say ECU and Morley but as yet I am not seeing the dollars from the Federal Government or the private sector. NSW with a much larger population did help to finance their NorthWest Metro by selling their poles and wires but these days the value you get for them is just not the same.
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Old June 2nd, 2019, 12:09 PM   #2632
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You make some good points. A Government has to still find money upfront to build any railway. At the moment the Feds have only promised 500 million for the 21 km Ellenbrook line. Compare that to the $5 billion towards construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport or the $3.1b for the Western Sydney North South Rail Link or the $700m for the South Geelong – Waurn Ponds Rail Upgrade.

Selling air rights above railway stations would help eventually to mitigate some of the costs but I am not seeing huge demands by developers to build high density apartments or offices outside affluent inner city suburbs. In reality there has been a few transit orientated developments in places like Cockburn Central but there is still swathes of vacant land in the area sitting idle. Same can be said for the area around the Stirling train station. I do believe they're planning to have transit orientated developments near the greenfield sites of the proposed Brabham and Bennett Springs stations but that will go ahead with or without an underground line. I am all for an underground line that connects the CBD with say ECU and Morley but as yet I am not seeing the dollars from the Federal Government or the private sector. NSW with a much larger population did help to finance their NorthWest Metro by selling their poles and wires but these days the value you get for them is just not the same.
All good points as well Andy.
I guess one of the key things missing these days is lack of actually long term planning and reserving for future infrastructure. It's all about what you can do and get away with in the short term. Ellenbrook has been on the cards as growth corridor since the 1980's yet there was no locked in plan for a rail line and reserve ever done that I am aware of. It wasn't until Barnett was in power that it was really first mooted. The only reason that the Liberals didn't proceed with it is because they couldn't make the numbers stack up. Unfortunately and for some unfathomable reason they didn't tell the public that and allow McGowan to batter them with it.

So the solution is now the quick and dirty because I doubt McGowan and that idiot that is the transport minister will run it from Bayswater because they too know that the numbers aren't there. It also means that the Perth to Bayswater section on the rail network becomes a single point of failure for three train lines. If you have ever lived in London and seen how the Circle Line screws up the District Line or vice versa (or Hammersmith and City Line for that matter) when there is a problem you will know what a pain it is for everyone.

The other irony in all this is that by building a line from Bayswater to Ellenbrook, McGowan is helping more sprawl development. You are right that there may not seem like much demand for high density developments in places like Stirling and Cockburn but I think part of that problem is that those train lines runs down the middle of 6 or 8 lane freeway. As cool as that is, I think it acts as a dampner on demand. If you built the line to Morely say up through North Perth across to ECU at Mt Lawley and then onto Galleria I think you would find a very different response. It would spur North Perth changing from a inner city suburb that looks like it should be further out. It would allow the connection of the university to the city that would a) help boost the city with the students that live there but study at ECU and b) fulfill part of the desire to connect all the universities up through PT and it would make Galleria a more desirable destination for both residents and shoppers.

By ignoring the potential of all of that, and there maybe better routes than what I just came up with off the top of my head, is to actually encourage more sprawl as there will be no encouragement to do anything with those inner suburbs anytime soon.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 03:35 AM   #2633
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The Ellenbrook spur may offer better value for money if the proposed Morley Station near Walter Road is abandoned. I can't see how this element can be delivered without major reconstruction of existing road infrastructure and possibly property acquisition.

A station for Morley can be delivered later as part of the tunnel option from the Perth CBD.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 06:42 AM   #2634
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A big issue for any tunnel project. Is what do you do with the soil dug up?

Look at the issues the government is having with the soil from the Airport Link, in the sense of disposal and contamination.

Its easier for any house builder to cart in new sand to fill a site than to excavate slightly and even just shift it around on site.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 07:58 AM   #2635
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PERTH Road and infrastructure projects

The latest on Northlink WA at Muchea when driving down Brand Hwy

Bridge over the railway to Geraldton






Bridge over Brand Hwy
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 08:46 AM   #2636
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The Ellenbrook spur may offer better value for money if the proposed Morley Station near Walter Road is abandoned. I can't see how this element can be delivered without major reconstruction of existing road infrastructure and possibly property acquisition.

A station for Morley can be delivered later as part of the tunnel option from the Perth CBD.
If you're going to abandon a station in the Morley area then you might as well cut the entire Malaga-Bayswater section and run the Ellenbrook line from Bassendean. This cuts the length of new line built down to 14km and allows for proper station precincts in Caversham/Lockridge and Dayton (replacing Bennet Springs), while providng better connectivity to the Midland area and the same connectivity to the Airport and Morley areas.

This way the government gets their cheap outer-suburban Ellenbrook line, while there's still plenty of scope for a direct Morley connection via the East Wanneroo and North Circle lines. If the government was worried about breaking their promise of a Morley connection they could build a short 3.5 km shuttle line on a viaduct over the industrial area and through a short tunnel to the Morley Activity Centre, where the A series can operate the last of their days before the spur is incorporated into a future North Circle line.

This isn't the greatest plan ever but it avoids building a redundant railway expensively along a Freeway, while maximising practical connections to existing destinations on the network and leaving room for future conections.
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Old June 3rd, 2019, 10:27 AM   #2637
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A big issue for any tunnel project. Is what do you do with the soil dug up?

Look at the issues the government is having with the soil from the Airport Link, in the sense of disposal and contamination.

Its easier for any house builder to cart in new sand to fill a site than to excavate slightly and even just shift it around on site.
Wouldn't soil contamination be less of an issue on a metro line north to Morely though as there is less industrial use than the areas that the FAL passes through?
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Old June 4th, 2019, 04:24 AM   #2638
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The latest on Northlink WA at Muchea when driving down Brand Hwy
I had a look at the northern section over the weekend as well as the connecting Muchea North works on GNH.

Work is yet to commence to backfill the former Neaves Road alignment between the two bridges with the original road alignment still intact. The Bridge over Muchea South Road and adjacent rail line is an impressive beast visible from some distance upon approach.

Safety scaffolding needs to be completed on some of the beams shown at the Brand Highway bridge over the rail line. The beam lift there can't be too far away there. Hopefully that will happen this month.

It looks unusual to see a road project with connections of this scale in what is essentially a rural environment. The interchanges look enormous as does the Muchea road train assembly under construction as part of the project.

Pavement construction for the 3km dual carriageway section of the Muchea North upgrade looks near complete. This looks like it has been formed from the local laterite (crushed coffee rock) whereas crushed limestone and granite is what I've seen used for Northlink. Chip seal has been applied on some small sections utilised by existing traffic and I expect the entirety of this section of rural road will be the same when complete. Work is less advanced in a section in the middle with only some clearing evident. There's then a short section of new road which is carrying existing traffic. The quality of this pavement is high and may be part of the final alignment. Significant amounts of fill have been placed for a new carriageway adjacent to the existing road on the western side on approach to Chittering Roadhouse and looks very wide for a single carriageway road. This road upgrade is much needed judging by how poor the existing road pavement has become.

As refuel and refreshment stops go, Chittering Roadhouse isn't quiet Port Wakefield but I did enjoy the freshly cooked hot chips.

The Muchea North project has in part the feel of the GEH upgrade between Sawyers Valley and The Lakes, all be it on a smaller scale. In that sense, it will be interesting to see to what extent project works continue over the wet winter months. The above GEH upgrade was suspended over the winter months but that was a wetter and more undulating environment.
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Old June 4th, 2019, 12:32 PM   #2639
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and some updates from nearmaps of Northlink WA following from yesterdays site visit.



The two below shots are from the orange boxed areas shown above



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Old June 7th, 2019, 02:43 AM   #2640
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The shutdown at Wanneroo Rd / Joondalup Dr has been shifted to the weekend of 21/6 to 24/6.

This was announced last week but it had been clear for a while that the intersection was unlikely to be ready for the major changeover by this weekend (even before this wet weather was forecasted). There is still yet to be any asphalt laid on the new road surfaces.
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