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Welcome back Zoom. Glad to know you're ok.
What has happened to Professor McNaughton's study?

Don't read too much into this. My reading is that McNaughton's study has had some influence but the usual suspects in TfNSW are still trying to push half measures.
 

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It probably does show that Canberra and Newcastle are the priorities though, and rightly so. I honestly don't know why Parkes/Dubbo is even in the conversation (probably to placate the National party), and it will be likely pushed off into the never-never.

What I would give for a leak of the McNaughton study! Hopefully it comes out soon and isn't too watered down.
 

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A good example of what I believe the good people at the Contrarians Institute, I mean Grattan Institute, believe to be 'renovated' rail...

From Limoges to Paris via Orleans, 160kph, limited stops, lots of country towns and country level crossings... including hair-raisingly small platforms at said country towns (particularly after the 1h10m mark). The French even use 1500V DC for overhead (although, we probably couldn't do that here thanks to the Inland Rail works and the clearances they're already having to change between Melbourne & Junee - overhead wires would make the job harder!).


That journey's close to Melbourne-Wagga (400ish km) in 3h20m... For the most part 160kph top speed until outskirts of Paris / its exurbs where it drops to 140 and then slower right near the terminus.
 

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It probably does show that Canberra and Newcastle are the priorities though, and rightly so. I honestly don't know why Parkes/Dubbo is even in the conversation (probably to placate the National party), and it will be likely pushed off into the never-never.

What I would give for a leak of the McNaughton study! Hopefully it comes out soon and isn't too watered down.
High speed rail to the NSW central west is a joke. What's the total population, about 150,000 at most? If we are having trouble justifying HSR between our two biggest cities why is this even being talked about? There is also the small problem of the Blue Mountains. There's going to be a shit fight over how to upgrade the Great Western Highway just for a few kilometres through, around or under Blackheath, so any plans to upgrade the railway line by straightening it or bypassing towns, or building HSR would ignite a firestorm bigger than last summer's bushfires.
 

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I've been MsPainting again.

Anyhow, this is a hybrid of many things I've posted about over the past year and more focused on how Medium/High-er speed rail services might be introduced to Victoria's North-East Line.

Yes, I can't not reference inter-capital services and therefore there's an assumption similar works occur on the NSW side, specifically HSR-ready new alignment out of Sydney to somewhere near the East-Coast HSR (2012) study Canberra triangular junction.

Everything upgraded outside the major cities for top speeds of 200kph. Rule of thumb: Melbourne-Sydney done in around 5 hours versus the current 10, 11, 13, 15, 20 hour train journey at present!

Anyhow, there's plenty of text to read on the info-graphic so I'll shut up now.



See full size image here:
 

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This is great @tayser and thank you for suggesting the Class 800/802. It is the best platform for "medium" speed regional trains which can run electric or diesel-electric.Should be top priority for the government to transition to these trains (or a bombardier/alstom eqv if need be) to promote regional electrification as frequencies dictate it becomes viable. Is inherently more viable as the trains are dual-compatible.

Otherwise, love the diagram. Making a lot of sense. Will be a few upset people about the HSR station being in Wodonga and not Albury. Don't think it matters too much as long as there's a shuttle to take people between the two.
 

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If we're investing in trains today, I'd think dual electric/hydrogen systems would be more appropriate for the future.

Government wants to invest in hydrogen plants. Rail would give it a good baseload of demand.
 

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High speed rail to the NSW central west is a joke. What's the total population, about 150,000 at most? If we are having trouble justifying HSR between our two biggest cities why is this even being talked about? There is also the small problem of the Blue Mountains. There's going to be a shit fight over how to upgrade the Great Western Highway just for a few kilometres through, around or under Blackheath, so any plans to upgrade the railway line by straightening it or bypassing towns, or building HSR would ignite a firestorm bigger than last summer's bushfires.
For NSW central west, an upgrade of the section of route between the CBD and Penrith would give the most value
 

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Otherwise, love the diagram. Making a lot of sense. Will be a few upset people about the HSR station being in Wodonga and not Albury. Don't think it matters too much as long as there's a shuttle to take people between the two.
It's from the EC-HSR study (2012) - the station's actually west of Wodonga in Barnawatha North. This location is right next to the existing mainline (and therefore easy to build a connection at either end of the city/region like in the diagram to enable some services to get off, services Wodonga and Albury directly then get back on the HSR), street view: Google Maps

Shepparton HSR location is approximate to EC study and I've used a bit of creative license to add a Seymour HSR station.

Regardless, that's all far off in this concept.

Here's a video of the current set up from Tallarook to Seymour:


(the track pair the train is travelling on in that video, as part of the concept, would be switched from BG to SG and the existing SG line south of Tallarook would become obsolete - between Tallarook and Seymour it would be duplicated). Lot's of fiddling around with existing stuff.
 

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Here's the curve radius data from ARTC (Tottenham all the way to the NSW border): https://extranet.artc.com.au/docs/eng/network-config/cd/curves/11_curve_details_tottenham_to_nsw_border_ne_line.pdf

You can see it's tight/slow from Wallan to Tallarook (hence a whole new alignment in the concept)

If you take 1800m as the curve radius required for 200kph, there's a lot in that list from Seymour to NSW border that already fit the bill, at a guess about 40%. (1800m figure/requirement comes here: Minimum railway curve radius - Wikipedia ).
 

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I like the concept in general and would probably do something similar. The main issue is you need to do the really expensive bit first (tunnel from SC to near Gowrie), while the initial benefits only come from faster regional rail. This is why I think it would've been better to leverage the Melbourne airport tunnel for SG services to the north-east (by extending from Tullamarine to Wallan through largely flat, unpopulated land). But this seems to have gone out the window with the current MARL plans.
 

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Also a fan of the BR 800s, but have you given a thought to tilt-trains? They could get you higher speeds on some of the existing Seymour-Albury track, which seems to be in the goldilocks zone for tilt-train performance (not too curvy but not too straight).
 

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What Melbourne Airport Rail tunnel? lol - it's all vapourware still.

RFI's airport rail tunnel that everyone fantasizes about (I admit, early I was one of them) would, I'm 99% sure, be broad gauge which would be as useless as tits on a bull for use as a medium and then eventually high-speed rail access point for Melbourne. And no for the 23rd time, dual gauge for standard and broad limits speeds to 80kph and is therefore unworkable.

And regional services do get it over the line.

The Regional Rail Link, when Wyndham Vale and Melton shift to the metro network will go back to ~4TPH to Geelong, ~2-3 to Ballarat and ~2 to Bendigo in peaks... around 8 and definitely less than 10 services per hour in peak.

...which is a similar number to the concept above (3-4 to Seymour, 1 to Shep, 1 to Echuca and 1 to Albury on regionals plus a handful of intercities)...plus all that scalability.

Also, side note, double-stacked freight trains under wires are thing in India now, not sure we'd be able to get away with it here (the clearances required are enormous!!): Indian Railways launches electric double-stack container operation - International Railway Journal
 

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A tunnel from Gowrie to Southern Cross would be a lot more expensive than the RRL, which was all above ground, and got over the CBR line mainly due to suburban services to Tarneit/Wyndham Vale.

Agreed dual gauge is not an option here, but I'm pretty sure the RFI proposal was for an SG airport line, and to standardise the NE and Bendigo lines. They were after all proposing to use it for Albury services, and I can't see anyone re-gauging the Albury line back to BG.

If MARL were to be built as a stand-alone line, then SG only would allow it be extended to Wallan. But it's seeming likely now that it will be a branch of the Melbourne metro network, hence BG and useless for the NE line. Which means getting a decent regional service for Shepparton and Albury becomes all the more difficult and expensive. Perhaps you could upgrade the existing SG line from Broadmeadows to Southern Cross to take a higher speeds and better frequencies, but it means co-existing with freight which would be tricky to say the least.
 

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I still like my idea of elevating HSR along the upfield line corridor (tunnelled between Brunswick Road and SXS) while the actual Upfield line becomes a traditional Metro (Sydney style) to replace the Sydney Road trams. Flemington Bridge and Royal Paak Stations are serviced by significantly upgraded tram corridors and Macaulay Station is removed from the network entirety.

This will also enable additional paths through the CBD and a stop to interchange with Parkville Station from Royal Parade and Flagstaff Station from William Street. This could also potentially have a new station in Southbank on Southbank Boulevard continue to Prahran Station and continue as the Sandringham Line. Biggest issue with this is the proportional demand differences between the Sandringham and Sydney Road corridors.

An alternative solution to the Sandringham tie in is to terminate at Malvern by running down St. Kilda Road and Princes Highway like Melbourne Metro should have done.
 

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RRL was circa $4bil if I remember correctly and we got ~50km of new railway for that cash.

SX to Gowrie/Fawkner is approx 12-13km and from SX via that tunnel route to Wallan is ~45km. Wallan to Seymour is 53km via current route (new route would shorten that).

Similar lengths of railway (City to Wallan), the tunnel (which will have no underground stations, so comparing to MM1, Sydney Metro or anything like that is not a good idea) will add more expense, likewise:

RRL improved services for 3 cities (plus their satellites beyond) with a combined population around the 400k mark (or back when it was first devised that would have been around 350k circa 2008/2009)

versus

North-East having ~95k in Albury Wodonga within 1.5 hours (300km away, express you'd be aiming for 1.5 hours - shorter than Bendigo SAS!), ~50k in Shepparton/Mooroopna and about an hour-ish away, ~30k in Wangaratta (over an hour express, about 1.5 hours SAS) plus all the smaller towns between Wallan and Seymour, ditto Seymour to Albury (Euroa, Benalla, Vioilet Town, Chiltern etc). But that's only Victorian side traffic, you have to try and estimate/factor in traffic from NSW

Sydney at around 5 hours might capture a decent enough percentage of air traffic - let's just say 10-15%, a lot of those who might have driven (especially if the prices are competitive for Melbourne-Sydney journeys), ditto Canberra (3.5-4 hours away under this scenario). Wagga Wagga would still pretty much be the half-way point but at over 2.5 hours it's not going to be a regular commuter town but you'd probably still get a decent amount of patronage on inter-city services from NSW stations outside Sydney down here (and vice versa from non-Melbourne Vic stations to Canberra and Sydney) and of course a bit of regional town/regional city to regional town/regional city.

Pre-Corona, Melbourne-Sydney had 9,200,000 people fly per annum and Melbourne-Canberra had 1,700,000. 10-15% of the air traffic alone is on or above 1 million trips add a few hundred thousand for soaking up trips that would have once been made by car and you've got a decent equivalent to what currently used the system on the Seymour line (or more to the point, data is from 2018/2019 - 1.57 million used Seymour Vlines). Add another few hundred thousand for all the other trips I described above and you're up around the 1.5 - 2 million mark.

Seymour is that near-city / regional area that would see growth as Melbourne sprawls northwards - the treechange effect over time, and I think - if I'm not mistaken - we might eventually see Shepparton split from the Seymour numbers. I wouldn't be surprised to see patronage be very strong like the Metro effect on Geelong line from Vline's annual report (page 13: https://corporate.vline.com.au/getattachment/78d7f8ef-8892-4a48-93ef-df296f7c749a/Annual-Report-2018-19 )

Regardless, I reckon you'd have ~3-4 million trips per annum from day one (possibly more if I've been far too conservative with the long-distance numbers) across VLine regional plus NSW/ACT traffic to Vic/vice versa.

Back when RRL opened, Geelong line was 4 million, Ballarat 3 million and Bendigo was 2.5 million. All those lines have since grown to 9.8 mil on Geelong (because it's doing the job of metro - you'd need to massage data to get accurate regional to Melbourne data there), 4.9m on Ballarat and 3 million on Bendigo.

It would require a bigger leap of faith as the pub tests shows RRL had more going for it on paper versus this, but there's also harder variables to work into your pub test (i.e long-distance traffic and how much aviation traffic a 5 hour express journey would take away from that sector).
 

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Your plan is to have top speeds of 200km/h, right? In which case Albury would be more like 2 hours from Melbourne, once you add in intermediate stops (Gowrie and Seymour at a minimum), the approach to Southern Cross and recovery time. Likewise Shepparton would be 90min. Still not bad though.

Seymour is actually primed to be a decent satellite city if it has faster transport links. I could easily see it going to 100k or more. That and bundling development of the Craigieburn-Wallan corridor into the project (although strictly speaking they're not necessarily linked) could I suppose justify it.
 

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3 levels of service to Albury: a Vline regional (basically the same service as today - literally, on the SG line Melbourne-Seymour then stop all stations up to the border), a mandatory stop on the main Sydney express services and a slower regional Melbourne-Sydney (basically more stops in between: Seymour and Wangaratta).

1.5-2 hours is basically the same as Castlemaine/Ballarat/Geelong commuting to Melbourne at present, some people already do it daily and some people work a few days in the city, the rest from home/regional workplace. It's fair to say it's dominated by middle-upper end of the spectrum of office jobs at the moment but thanks to the democratisation of the workplace that has been the shock of COVID19, many many, many, more people (I'm tipping) will be far more aware of the benefits of not always being in an office.
 
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