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Subject: Tues.12.3.19 daily digest.
Yahoo is showing photos again.As I did once before, I'll repost the photos from those which missed (16.2 to 12.3). There won't be many, as I wasn't posting photos while boating.[TDU survived, a it is with googlegroups]
Melbourne Express, Tuesday, March 12, 2019
8.57 The train network is running relatively smoothly, with only minor delays, and the road network is holding up.
Tues.12.3.19 Metro Twitter
Select citybound trains between Camberwell and Burnley may depart from altered platforms while final track works from the weekend/public holiday shutdown are completed.
- That’s all fine, but you’ve been displaying incorrect info on displays in the loop. Belgrave 1115 from Flagstaff phantom cancelled with no announcement.
11.08 Sunbury line: Minor delays (police attending to a trespasser near Sunshine).
- 11.17 clearing.
Werribee/Williamstown lines: Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Werribee/Williamstown from 20.30 (maintenance and level-crossing works).
- And when the bus driver misses Newport and just leaves you in Altona at 11pm and says wait for a bus back the other way, that’s acceptable? And I’ve been charged for the privilege!
- How many replacement buses are organised tomorrow between Werribee and Laverton? Sufficient to cater a full train or is it advisable to find other means of transport because there won’t be enough?
- They won't answer that one because its not their problem. It then becomes a bus problem.
Sunbury line: Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Sunshine from 20.35 (maintenance works).
- 20.39 Sunbury line: Major delays (a truck blocking tracks at Diggers Rest).
- 20.46 Buses replace trains between Watergardens and Sunbury. Buses have been ordered but may take over 1 hour to arrive.
- 20.59 Buses have been dispatched, but may take over 1 hour to arrive.
- 21.13 Four buses have been dispatched, but may take over 1 hour to arrive..
- 21.32 Trains have resumed, with minor delays.
Pain ahead for Frankston line commuters as rail blitz details revealed March 12, 2019 21 comments
Frankston line commuters will face two months of disruption during a construction blitz next year as two stations are built and three level crossings removed.
The $536 million project will see the heritage-listed Mentone and Cheltenham stations get a major overhaul, while level crossings are removed at Park Road and Charman Road in Cheltenham, and Balcombe Road in Mentone by late 2020.
An artist's impression of the new Mentone station.
The government is avoiding the controversial sky rail option and will instead lower the train line into a trench to improve traffic at the three crossings, which have a total of 38,000 vehicles driving through them every day.
The building work will start in the middle of next year and the stations could each be closed for about four months, while the station car parks at each site could be closed for about 18 months.
The government has assured locals that the heritage-protected train stations would be incorporated into the new design.
A new "garden bridge" will be built over the sunken railway lines at Mentone station to connect the two platforms of the existing station, while the new Cheltenham station will have a plaza connecting Cheltenham Park with the local shops.
The new line will run beneath the 'garden bridge' at Mentone station between the heritage-listed buildings.
A third platform at Cheltenham station will be connected to Frankston-bound tracks, so that trains can terminate or originate without getting in the way of Frankston services.
More than three kilometres of walking and cycling tracks will also be created.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan acknowledged that commuters on the busy Frankston line would face months of replacement bus services, but insisted that the level crossings were "relics of the past" and needed to be removed.
"It is viewed that the best way to do the bulk of the work is to get in there over a two-month period and work around the clock to remove the crossings as soon as possible," Ms Allan said.
"While we recognise that it will cause disruption during that period of time, this is the best way to get on and remove those level crossings."
So far, five level crossings on the Frankston line have been removed as part of $3 billion worth of works.
The government decided not to build the so-called “Frankston flyer” proposal, which would have seen a third track built between Frankston and Moorabbin, allowing more express trains to run.
The state government claimed this would have required hundreds of homes and businesses to be acquired.
How the new station at Cheltenham will look.
It's unclear whether the new Cheltenham station will be future-proofed to make space for more underground train tracks that could form part of the $50 billion suburban rail loop.
The suburban loop will include a stop in Cheltenham, but this would more likely be located at Southland which is in the same suburb, Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said.
"As upgrade works continue, the government must take care to ensure any changes are compatible with the suburban rail loop when it gets constructed," he said.
"This might include provision for future tunnels and station interchanges, and ensuring that as far as possible, suburban rail loop construction does not disrupt the existing rail network."
Weeks ahead of the election last year, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that he would remove 25 extra level crossings by 2025, bringing the total number of level crossing removals to 75.
Related Article General manager at Ventura buses Omar Nagmeddine. The nightmare of running replacement buses when the trains are down
* Now all we have to do is get a the riff-raff off the trains or alternately get driverless vehicles so we do not have ot sit in a train with the riff-raff.
* All very commendable I'm sure. Those of us now living with elevated rail into wind-tunnel type monolith exposed stations at Murrumbeena and Carnegie can only look on with envy. We also had heritage stations which were destroyed. The rationale put by the Government and the LXRA through public relations blurbs and cleverly targeted 'research' was that lowered track was inferior to elevated rail. How the tune changes to suit the wanted agenda. What people need to understand is that the Government and the LXRA know well in advance what is planned and what the program will be....it just gets dribbled when they think advantageous.
* As long as they get the buses up to speed, have some express buses going to Parliament instead of the Arts Centre for us suckers up the top end of the city. Sick to death of having to walk many blocks both ways for this ageing body.
* And another look-alike station. No imagination.
* I support the changes that need to be made but I wonder if government works with local councils?
Let's take Mentone station. Getting rid of the train crossing will remove a significant barrier along Balcombe Road into Mentone shopping centre from the highway but there are plenty more barriers. Prior to the level crossing there is a set of traffic lights on the cnr of Swanston / Balcombe roads with no right turning lane. Straight after you have crossed the railway line there is a round-about that gets enormous traffic. Straight after that there is a pedestian light and crossing. Straight after that a set of traffic lights at the cnr of Balcombe and Davis roads where through traffic is reduced to a single lane.
* State governments and local councils need to work together - and if this is an example of good, co-ordinated planning to improve the transport needs of all users, clearly it is not working well.
* A new train line to Rowville or similar would be more useful in getting cars off the road - level crossing removals benefits cars and not trains
* Can't agree Bill (and X37). If you remove level crossings you can increase the frequency of trains on a given line without regard to how it might affect road traffic flow.
* Wrong, Bill. Without level crossings, train frequency can be increased because you no longer have to worry about the number of minutes in the hour that the boom gates are down.
* Can the developers of the stations get across the concept that people would like to be sheltered from the weather during winter?
* Obviously they have taken into account climate change. Winter is not expected to be a season within a few decades so why spend public money on something that won't be needed well within the life of these new stations?
Clearly, if people had wanted to preserve winters they would have voted differently in 2013 instead of being sucked in by the LNP and Abbott.
* Yes. Could not agree more. These new stations should just have shelter the entire way along the platform and preferably a design that actually shelters you. Unless it is raining straight down, there is little to no protection from the elements. They were able to achieve it 80 years ago, but oddly not in 2019
* Unfortunately no gain without pain.
* The projects are costing a Brazillion $s - how about spending a few extra measly Mill or two for free public transport during the shutdowns.
* Great to see level crossing removal, but what IDIOT from this State Government decided it would be good to do all this work + billions of dollars and build ZERO capacity to run express trains from the city to Frankston beyond Caulfield? Why didn't they run an extra track down to Frankston so a train line could be extended down to behind Rosebud Plaza? But with every train beyond Caulfield to Frankston having to STOP at ALL stations, a train would never get to Rosebud Plaza at that pace. And running a train once a day is a joke. But that could be said about this State government for their dumb decisions.
* Some people always find a reason to whinge.
* Frankston line electorates already whinged about the Skyrail. So to appease them, the State Government had to fork out a lot more just to put trenches in. Now they're whinging about putting more rail in for the line. *roll eyes* Some people are never satisfied. I'd rather them put more in for the airport rail or a line to Rowville.
* It’s ironic that removing level crossings is a road improvement project (allowing cars to travel without the bother of having to wait for trains to use a level crossing) yet it is the rail commuters that are made to endure the massive disruption that line closures entail.
* So what do you suggest? Somehow quarantine the train lines while work is done on the train lines?
* It also illustrates why serious action to mitigate against climate change is still seen as politically untenable...spend billions on facilitating car movement rather than promoting increased public transport and discouraging road usage !
* A person can't be both a rail commuter and car driver?
'Congestion-busting' election pledges won't solve Sydney's problems March 12, 2019.
Sydney is set to be relegated to Australia’s second biggest city in the coming years, overtaken by Melbourne. The impression is of a paradise gone wrong – that poorly managed growth has left one of the world’s most beautiful cities with too many people and too little infrastructure.
In the face of increasing worries about crowding and congestion, the upcoming election means plenty of promises for new transport infrastructure, along with the usual calls to get people to move to regional towns.
video Premier and Opposition draw battle lines in Western Sydney
Early voting has begun for the NSW election as Gladys Berejiklian and Michael Daley battle it out in Western Sydney.
But despite media coverage suggesting the opposite, Sydney’s rapid population growth has had a remarkably benign impact on commuting distances and times. The average commute distance for Sydneysiders barely increased over the five years to the most recent Census in 2016. And commute times didn’t change much overall in the 12 years from 2004 to 2016.
How can this be? It’s due in no small part to the spread of jobs across the city. There’s a common misconception that jobs are centred in the CBD, which becomes harder to get to as Sydney grows. In reality, fewer than two in 10 Sydneysiders work in the CBD, whereas three in 10 work in a suburb just near home.
The importance of suburban "employment centres" is similarly overblown. We hear a lot about Parramatta as a jobs magnet and "second CBD", but the truth is that it accounts for only 2.3 per cent of Sydney’s jobs. What’s more, Parramatta’s share of Sydney’s jobs did not increase in the five years to 2016.
As for plans to create new sub-centres, such as the “aerotropolis” at Badgerys Creek – don’t hold your breath. Sydney airport – which is only 10 kilometres from the CBD, compared with 60 kilometres for Badgerys Creek – had just 0.7 per cent of Sydney’s jobs in 2016, unchanged from 2011. Similarly, Melbourne’s airport at Tullamarine, now nearly 50 years old and much closer to the CBD than Badgerys Creek, has just 0.8 per cent of that city’s jobs.
Instead of being concentrated in the CBD and sub-centres, three quarters of Sydney’s jobs are dispersed all over the city, in shops, offices, schools, clinics, and construction sites. This spread is a key reason Sydney’s rapid population growth has had a remarkably benign impact on commutes.
People adapt to population growth. Some change job or worksite, or work more from home; some move house, or leave the city; and some change the way they get to work, leaving the car at home and catching the train. Others, especially high-income earners, simply accept a longer commute – at least for a while.
Of course, even if commutes are not getting much worse, congestion is still a problem. There is overcrowding on the trains and buses. Commuting times are unreliable, forcing workers to allow a buffer to ensure they get to work on time. A 2017 Grattan Institute report, Stuck in traffic?, found that while most Sydney drivers are delayed no more than five minutes getting to work, the delay can be much longer on bad routes.
But to date, governments have acted as if building expensive new infrastructure is the only way to respond to population growth. They’re wrong.. Major projects such as WestConnex, the CBD and South East Light Rail, and the Sydney Metro are not yet finished, and yet commute times and distances have been remarkably stable.
Instead of making “congestion-busting” election pledges, governments should not announce any projects before rigorously establishing their net benefits to the community. Politicians should also focus on facilitating the natural adaptations people make. This means removing barriers to people and firms locating where they want to be. It means abolishing stamp duty, which now costs more than $43,000 on the median Sydney house, and effectively locks people into staying put when they otherwise might move. And it means introducing decongestion charges, to encourage drivers who don’t really need to travel at peak times to stay off the most congested roads at the most congested times.
Sydney is an Australian treasure – beautiful, vibrant and economically prosperous. With the right policies, governments can ensure it remains so, and that the benefits that draw people to the city outweigh the costs of the congestion and crowding that come with population growth.
Related Article Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance mark the start of tunneling from Chatswood for the second stage of Sydney's metro rail line. Railroads parading as metros: the long and short of Sydney rail maze.
Related Article Pilot Nancy-Bird Walton died in 2009. She was named a National Living Treasure in 1997. 'Inspiring choice': New Sydney airport named after Nancy-Bird Walton
Nationals face climate change backlash, internal polling reveals March 12, 2019. 20 comments.
New digital advertising network set to be installed across SEQ public transport March 12, 2019.
New digital screens displaying advertising and real-time cancellations could be rolled out on buses, trains, bus shelters and next to major roads across south-east Queensland.
Transport and Main Roads has begun a market sounding process to gauge interest in its "digital messaging network project".
New digital screens could display up-to-date cancellations and advertising inside Brisbane buses.Credit:Harrison Saragossi
It would involve the installation of digital screens, which for the successful tenderer would provide an opportunity to "access an exclusive large-scale commercial advertising platform, on multiple modes of transport and road corridors across south-east Queensland".
TMR envisaged the networked system could include real-time timetables and route delays, free wi-fi, mobile charging points and emergency messaging.
"[Customers] want to access real-time information 'in the moment' at public transport stops or station, especially when disruptions occur on the network or services are cancelled," a tender reads.
Phase one would include the Gold Coast light rail's stations and screens inside trams, existing static billboards on the M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and using the MyTransLink app.
Later phases may include the South East Busway, Brisbane Metro, selected bus shelters, park 'n' rides and bus interchanges, on-board screens on bus services, internal screens in Queensland Rail's New Generation Rollingstock trains and state-controlled road corridors.
It could also potentially feature the "collection and right to use customer data", while TMR would get a slice of the revenue raised from commercial advertising.
A TMR spokesman said the digital network could deliver real-time information to customers.
"For example, public transport users could be advised via messages on these screens of delays to services due to severe weather," he said.
"Ideally, the digital network will be funded and managed by the private sector.
"It is anticipated that users will have an option to opt in/ out of data collecting services."
The market sounding process is open until April 2.
Brisbane City Council already uses advertising "skins" on the outside of the city's buses, which last year generated more than $4 million in revenue.
Related Article Council refuses to rule out advertising on Brisbane's buildings Council refuses to rule out advertising on Brisbane's buildings
Brisbane City Council goes to tender for Metro depot March 12, 2019.
Brisbane City Council will soon go to tender for the design and construction of the Brisbane Metro depot at Rochedale, bringing the new public transport project one step closer.
At Tuesday’s council meeting a significant contracting plan was approved to manage the procurement of the new depot, which will house and service the Metro vehicles.
The $944 million Brisbane Metro project is expected to be operating by 2023..Credit:Brisbane City Council
The $944 million Brisbane Metro will stretch 21 kilometres, from Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street Station, and from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to UQ Lakes busway station.
Out of the project’s budget, $196 million has been set aside for the depot, fleet and systems, $557 million for infrastructure and project management and delivery costs $189 million.
Deputy mayor Adrian Schrinner said he was particularly excited that the project was going ahead.
“This is a depot that is essential for facilitating the Brisbane Metro project, you can’t have a Brisbane Metro without a depot that goes with it,” Cr Schrinner said.
“We have already well under way the process to acquire the privately owned parcels of land required for this depot, there’s a mixture of private land and state government owned land.”
Cr Schrinner said the private land resumptions had been finalised and were waiting final gazettal by the state government.
State land currently being used for the upgrade of the Gateway to M1 merge will be purchased once the land is no longer being used, he said.
Opposition leader Peter Cumming said he welcomed signs of progress on the Metro project.
“The depot is required, we will be supporting it,” he said.
A successful tenderer will be required to design and construct the depot, after extensive consultation with Transport for Brisbane created a concept plan, a submission made to council said.
The high-frequency public transport is designed to address Brisbane’s future congestion, with turn-up-and-go transport at each station.
The route will also close Victoria Bridge to vehicles.
The depot will include a fleet of Metro vehicles, maintenance equipment and staff. The depot will also include an administration building, operator facilities, yard, garage and fuel pumps.
Council predicts between five and 10 expressions of interest submissions will be made for the contract, mostly from the south-east Queensland.
The depot contract is expected to be released to market in late March, ahead of a final contract signed in September.
Cr Schrinner said the project tied in well with the state government’s Cross River Rail to deliver a better transport system for Brisbane.
Pedestrian safety around light rail a balance: transport experts March 12, 2019. 85 comments.
Transport experts have said safety messages and infrastructure around Canberra's light rail network require a balance.
A pedestrian was struck by a light rail vehicle at the intersection of Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive on Saturday morning.
Emergency services at the scene of a collision between a tram and a pedestrian in Canberra on Saturday morning.Credit:Elesa Kurtz
An ACT government spokeswoman said initial investigations suggested the pedestrian had stepped in front of the vehicle against a red signal while wearing headphones.
One expert has recommended lowering the speed limit for the new light rail vehicles to 40 km/h, echoing similar calls from a pedestrian safety group in November last year.
"Speed is such an important aspect for protecting our most vulnerable road users," said Dr Jennie Oxley, an associate professor at Monash University's Accident Research Centre.
She said there was a trade off between convenience and safety but she said governments should look at it from a "pure safety aspect".
"All of the evidence says you should not have a mix of vulnerable road users and vehicles with speed limits higher than 40 to 50 km/h."
Light rail vehicles are slated to travel at maximum speeds of 70km/h along the network's Gungahlin corridor.
University of Sydney transport expert David Levinson said in European cities trams shared the streets with pedestrians.
"It's not a problem. Part of it's the speed and the expectation," Professor Levinson said.
But Professor Levinson said at Northbourne Avenue, pedestrians were crossing six lanes of traffic and now two tracks.
"That's eight different points where someone can come in and hit you and you're trying to make the decision before that happens," he said.
"That's a complicated thing for a human to do."
He also suggested having one consistent green light for pedestrians when crossing Northbourne so they could travel across the entire avenue instead of having to stop midway.
"Cars don't have to stop halfway through the intersection, why would pedestrians need to?" Professor Levinson said.
Professor Levinson also warned against overloading the network with safety warnings.
"You put a sign everywhere, no sign means anything. You put a sign nowhere and no one has any information," Professor Levinson said.
Professor Levinson said getting it right was a balance.
Putting up fences risked making it too restrictive for pedestrians, having safety supervisors at major intersections would be too expensive in the long term and loud warning horns would disturb people living in or using the area, he said.
"You want this to be a self explaining experience for the pedestrian."
Dr Mark King from the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland said most light rail or tram networks see an initial uptake in incidents in their first six months before they tended to die down.
"It seemed to be people getting used to it in places where they haven't before," Dr King said.
He said there should be stronger ways of promoting safety messages, especially to people who may not access mainstream television or media.
Dr King also agreed with Professor Levinson saying having manned crossings would be expensive and couldn't be done 24 hours a day.
"That's a very large scale intervention. It's more of a problem at night time," Dr King.
He said people may find it harder to see line markings or warning lights and others may also be drunk.
"Drink walking is a problem ... it's just a risk factor."
A 2015 risk analysis for Sydney's light rail estimated the network could cause more than one fatality per year.
An ACT government spokesperson said a similar analysis for Canberra's light rail network was not ready to be publicly released.
"Safety and risk assessments are part of the ongoing approval and regulatory process for light rail operations," the spokeswoman said.
Related Article Emergency services at the scene of a collision between a tram and a pedestrian in Canberra on Saturday morning. Man hit by Canberra tram while walking through intersection.
Related Article An artist's impression of the city leg of the planned eastern suburbs light rail line. Secret report warns of Sydney light rail safety fatality risk.
Letters to the editor March 12, 2019.
* First light rail accident shows the need for pedestrian barriers. During the late 1970s, when the old Belconnen Bus Interchange opened, there was a one-kilometre-long "Bus Way" running from Benjamin Way to Coulter Drive.
The bus way passed along the front of the new Belconnen Mall. A pedestrian land bridge was in place for shoppers and others to enter the mall from Lathlain Street and car park areas.
Light rail vehicles in the stabling yard at the Mitchell depot.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong
Along the length of the bus way, there was a median strip where many trees and shrubs were planted to separate the bus way and other general traffic.
A short time after the bus way was commissioned, two teenaged boys decided to cross the bus way in an attempt to climb the rock wall and access Lathlain Street.
Unfortunately, partly due to the trees and shrubs concealing them and reducing their vision and that of the bus driver, one teenager was struck and tragically killed by the oncoming bus. The bus driver was a shattered man for the remainder of his life.
As a result of this terrible accident a 2.2-metre-high chain-link fence was erected along both sides of the entire length of the bus way. No further accidents were recorded.
Now that we have experienced the first recorded accident involving a pedestrian and tram what physical measures will our fearless leaders put in place to prevent further pedestrian incidents such as this, or worse, those intent on self-harm?
It is one thing for our government to urge the public to be aware of their surroundings, it’s another for our government to physically reduce the possibility of further incidents.
Surely pedestrian barriers will need to be installed in and around high-pedestrian precincts such as Civic, Dickson Interchange, Showground and Gungahlin Town Centre tram stops.
What price public and employee safety?bid, make their own?