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Online ozbob

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Fast rail to Geelong ....
« on: March 22, 2019, 05:53:44 PM »
Melbourne Age --> Fast rail to Geelong? Do they really think we're that stupid?

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Fast rail to Geelong. It sounds like an exciting infrastructure announcement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

It's not. It’s precisely the sort of breathtakingly cynical political manoeuvre that voters are now so exhausted by. Do they really think we are this stupid?

Thanks to decades of more talented political operators than Morrison dodging and weaving their way past elections while voters’ blood boils over nothing being done on transport, announcements about multi-billion-dollar infrastructure promises simply won’t wash anymore.

And that’s just the cynicism that’s set in among voters over the inertia – quite aside from the pork-barrelling nature of announcing a project not even rated an urgent priority by the national infrastructure agency.

On Friday, Morrison and four Victorian Coalition MPs went to Geelong to promise that travel times from Geelong to Melbourne would virtually halve, from 61 minutes to 32 minutes.

The $4 billion project, they said, would start within two years!

The catch? State Labor would have to match Canberra’s $2 billion with $2 billion of its own.

Regardless of the Andrews government's claim that $4 billion won’t be enough – something in itself that’s startling enough to be worthy of a fact-check – the telling point is when Morrison told Premier Daniel Andrews.

Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson on Friday told ABC Radio’s Jon Faine that Andrews had been told on Thursday night. The state government confirmed the phone message from Morrison came late that night.

For a project that, in funding terms, was enough to build 160 new high schools.

This is precisely what voters are sick of on infrastructure – the same tired promises being rolled out time and again by politicians who seem to know little of the details of the projects they are pledging, but know the minutiae of how their clever political wedges will play out.

It amounts to a complete failure to govern for the fast-growing population when it comes to infrastructure.

This is no way to plan a city, a state or a nation. A functioning system would require states – that know the details of their transport needs – and Canberra, with its billions of dollars, to work together responsibly and with respect. Not a phone message at 8.30pm on a Thursday from one leader to another.

Infrastructure Australia and Infrastructure Victoria were meant to help solve these problems. Sadly, so degraded has the public service become at both levels of government that neither have the courage to tell MPs the hard truths about what’s required.

Perhaps the most gobsmacking aspect of Morrison’s announcement on Friday, via a NewsCorp story referring to bullet trains and European-style links that was part of a 20-year vision?

The precise same promise was tried less than six months ago by Matthew Guy.

The electoral result? Given Morrison and his fellow MP’s enthusiasm for the proposal, you would think it helped elected a swag of Liberals in Geelong and surrounding areas.

Nothing of the sort; Labor candidates in the region recorded thumping victories.

Former federal MP Darren Cheeseman took the state seat of South Barwon from the Liberals with an 8 per cent swing.

Geelong Labor MP Christine Couzens recorded double the primary vote of her Liberal competitor.

Labor’s Lara MP John Eren took 70 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

And on the Bellarine, Lisa Neville turned her once marginal seat into safe Labor territory with a 7 per cent swing.

Of course, there’s a reason the public is now so desperately cynical about transport announcements, and Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan was out on Friday providing abundant evidence of why.

She referred to the proposal from Morrison as a thought bubble just weeks out from an election.

That she could do so with a straight face – having herself last year promised $50 billion on a “suburban rail loop” cooked up independently of her state’s transport bureaucracy – was impressive.

The difference though, is that Coalition governments have promised big and delivered little on infrastructure since they came to office in 2013 – remember Tony Abbott’s hope to be remembered as the infrastructure prime minister?

Andrews and Allan have thrown everything into building major infrastructure, knowing that talking big and delivering zero on transport leads to electoral oblivion of the sort John Brumby once experienced here in Victoria.

It’s what Morrison should expect in this state, despite Friday’s promise.



Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Online ozbob

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Re: Fast rail to Geelong ....
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2019, 01:33:33 AM »
Melbourne Age --> Doubt on promise for 200km/h fast rail without new trains

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Scott Morrison's promise to build 200km/h fast rail services between Melbourne and Geelong will not be possible without new trains, a leading expert says.

The Prime Minister has promised to build high-speed rail line where trains would travel up to 200km/h, slashing the travel time between Geelong and Southern Cross Station to 32 minutes.

It would take about 10 years to build, with construction to begin in two years and the state government expected to pitch in $2 billion.

But Mr Morrison's $4 billion pre-election cash splash does not include money for new trains.

Alan Tudge, federal Urban Infrastructure Minister, said $2 billion would go towards duplicating the track between Sunshine and Wyndham Vale, creating a dedicated line for the fast rail.

Separating the tracks would also increase capacity on the existing Geelong line, which has been plagued by overcrowding and poor reliability since the opening of the Regional Rail Link in 2015.

The remaining $2 billion would be spent on upgrading the Geelong line.

Mr Tudge said new trains were traditionally bought by the state.

John Hearsch, president of expert rail think-tank Rail Futures, supports the push for faster rail to Geelong and says separating the tracks is long over-due.

But 32-minute services would not be possible without new trains, he said.

"Even with the substantial track upgrade and extra tracks, the best existing trains could achieve under ideal conditions is 39 minutes," he said.

"The existing [V/Line] rolling stock is designed for a maximum speed of 160km/h and is not authorised to run any faster."

The federal and state governments are at odds over what fast rail to Geelong will cost.


Victoria's Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the project would cost between $10 and $15 million. (sic think mean billion).

She said it would require the removal of 14 level crossings, which would cost $2 billion alone.

The state government set aside $150 million to plan for the fast trains to Geelong before last year’s state election.

Mr Hearsch agrees it would cost $2 billion to remove the level crossings. And he estimates the entire project will cost $5 billion in total.
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Offline Gazza

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Re: Fast rail to Geelong ....
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 09:15:54 AM »
Could you just get tilting Velo sets?

Offline verbatim9

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Re: Fast rail to Geelong ....
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 09:19:43 PM »
They will need dual voltage sets if they are thinking of electrifying the line with the new standard of 25kv. All of Melbourne metropolitan area is 15Kv. I believe that the regional rail line is mostly segregated. So they could get away with 25kv compliant sets and seperate stabling up near Geelong? Otherwise dual voltage sets shared with the Airport line?

Online ozbob

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Re: Fast rail to Geelong ....
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2019, 07:40:07 AM »
ABC News --> Will the Coalition's Melbourne to Geelong fast rail plan help its election prospects in Victoria?

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Every major party wants faster trains between Geelong and Melbourne — it's just a matter of how fast and when it will realistically be open.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is the latest leader to promise high-speed rail to Victoria's second largest city, this time on the eve of an election where pundits and party insiders are predicting a wipe-out for the Liberal Party in Victoria.

The Prime Minister today outlined how the upcoming budget will include $2 billion to build a fast train to Geelong, with express travel times of just 32 minutes.

The policy requires another $2 billion from the Andrews Government with the ambitious timeline of construction to begin in 18 months.
If this election eve policy is designed to sway voters a look back to last year's state poll for Mr Morrison will be grim reading.
Then-state opposition leader Matthew Guy also promised 32-minute European style express trains between Geelong and Melbourne if he won, as part of a huge overhaul of regional rail.

Mr Guy was thumped at the poll, with the Liberal Party losing its only Geelong-based seat, South Barwon, on the back of a 7.5 per cent swing. South Barwon sits wholly in the federal seat of Corangamite, held by Liberal MP Sarah Henderson.
A redraw of seat boundaries means Corangamite is now notionally Labor and there are very few people in the Liberals who believe she can hold on.

No doubt the Prime Minister will be hoping fast trains will be a game changer.
Labor research during the state poll showed that people in Geelong do not necessarily want to go to Melbourne.
"Why do they think the solution to our problems is always getting to Melbourne faster," was the feedback from one voter.

But like Mr Guy's pitch, Mr Morrison's plan is part of a population policy aimed at easing the pressure on rapidly growing Melbourne.
The state election also showed that voters want infrastructure to actually be built.

Premier Andrews's success, in part, is because he promised to build and by the election, projects were finished or underway.
This argument is much harder for the Prime Minister to make.

Mr Morrison's plan does have more detail than Mr Guy because it plans to capitalise on the new Airport Rail Link via Sunshine to get dedicated lines for the train.
 
The Morrison Government has also acknowledged that the state has been developing a feasibility plan for fast rail to Geelong, and committed $50 million to this in last year's Victorian budget with a further $100 million pledge in the November election campaign.

Chronic overcrowding

In the last term of government, Premier Daniel Andrews outlined how the Airport Rail Link was critical for faster regional services because it included a plan to "untangle" the complicated mess of regional and suburban trains coming into the city.
To enable faster services, regional trains need dedicated lines through the suburbs.

The big question for Mr Morrison's plan is will there be special rail lines through Melbourne and critically how does he plan to get the trains from the city to the suburbs.

One of the most expensive elements of the Airport Rail Link will be the connection between Sunshine and Southern Cross, which is the most likely route for faster trains to Geelong too.

Some experts and state officials think the price tag of $4 billion is laughable, highlighting that eight kilometres of new dual train lines in Mernda, on a greenfield site, cost more than $600 million.

Mr Morrison has also set a 20-year target for fast trains to the Latrobe Valley.
While admirable, this is extremely difficult because there is no suitably wide corridor through Melbourne's south-east.
It was a similar issue Mr Guy faced with his regional rail plan: will this fast train include new sections of elevated sky rail or a tunnel through Melbourne's south-east? To do that will be very expensive.

But back on Geelong, commuters might be excited by yet another promise of faster services, but after the multi-billion dollar Regional Rail Link delivered very little in terms of travel time savings, they could be forgiven for taking this pre-election pitch with a unhealthy pinch of salt.

The immediate problem for Geelong commuters is chronic overcrowding, not slow trains.
Even with services every ten minutes during the peak, travellers are packed in like sardines.
With more people choosing to buy in affordable Geelong and commute to Melbourne, travellers may just be hoping for a seat on a train tomorrow, not faster trains in a decade.
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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Fast rail to Geelong ....
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2019, 08:49:54 AM »
They will need dual voltage sets if they are thinking of electrifying the line with the new standard of 25kv. All of Melbourne metropolitan area is 15Kv. I believe that the regional rail line is mostly segregated. So they could get away with 25kv compliant sets and seperate stabling up near Geelong? Otherwise dual voltage sets shared with the Airport line?

Not clear what advantage there would be in going to 25Kv AC when the rest of the electric network is 1500v DC.  They aren't going to be stringing up wires to Ballarat or Bendigo any time soon, there isn't enough traffic to justify it.
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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Fast rail to Geelong ....
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2019, 12:27:34 PM »
They will need dual voltage sets if they are thinking of electrifying the line with the new standard of 25kv. All of Melbourne metropolitan area is 15Kv. I believe that the regional rail line is mostly segregated. So they could get away with 25kv compliant sets and seperate stabling up near Geelong? Otherwise dual voltage sets shared with the Airport line?

Not clear what advantage there would be in going to 25Kv AC when the rest of the electric network is 1500v DC.  They aren't going to be stringing up wires to Ballarat or Bendigo any time soon, there isn't enough traffic to justify it.
I guess 25kv would be advantageous for future extensions past Geelong towards the Great Ocean road (Torguay) and up to Allarat Westbound towards Adelaide.

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