Fw: Wed.23.12.20 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Buses replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until the last train of Sun.27.12  (level-crossing removal). 
In force until late 2021.  South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong South is reduced to one lane towards Cranbourne, as level-crossing work continues. Be alert for changes between Princes Hwy and Dandenong Bypass. See  http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions/south-gippsland-highway-dandenong-south-changed-traffic-conditions
In force until December: On Princes Hwy (Dandenong, near South Gippsland Hwy, for level-crossing works) traffic is reduced to two lanes in both directions, with speed set at 60km/h. Merge with care. See http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions/princes-highway-dandenong-south-changed-traffic-conditions
11.08  Nunawading: No lift access (a local power outage). Passengers requiring lift access alight at Blackburn or Mitcham, and speak to staff for alternative arrangements. Passengers at Nunawading speak to staff for alternative arrangements.
- 12.58 Lift access has been restored.
14.50 & 15.32 Sandringham line: Delays after Church Street level crossing (near Middle Brighton) was damaged by a truck.
20.25 Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Williamstown from 20.25 until the last train (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham from 20.30 until the last train (works).
Buses replace trains South Morang - Mernda from 20.50 until the last train (works).

Planner who worked on Cross River Rail says urgent changes are needed Tony Moore October 15, 2020
The Queensland government’s flagship $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project has been referred to the Auditor-General over claims it can not deliver the additional trains it has promised.
Rail infrastructure expert David Bannister, who made the referral, said three urgent changes needed to be made by March to allow it to be efficient in the long-term.
The planned new Roma Street Cross River Rail station.
Mr Bannister worked on the project with Queensland Rail from 2009 to 2016 and has compared changes made to the plans in July 2019 with Cross River Rail’s 2017 business case.
“When I compared the July 2019 changes to the 2017 business case, and I looked at the service plan that was possible on the track layout they had provided, it became really obvious that this was a fundamentally flawed way of trying to connect Cross River Rail into the network,” Mr Bannister said.
He said the 2019 changes, CRR's fourth iteration, added no extra trains from north coast rail services while adding four trains an hour from all lines running north-south through Brisbane.
Minerva Transport Planning Company director David Bannister's suggestions were not incorporated in the final Cross River Rail plan.
Mr Bannister said that was not apparent to average Queenslanders because the project team had not published a service plan for the project.
While extra capacity was added to the Ferny Grove line, most population growth was on the Sunshine and Gold Coast fringes, he said.
"Cross River Rail will provide a capacity increase to the north coast line services of between 0 per cent and 25 per cent, and effectively no increase in service frequency overall," Mr Bannister said.
"For the lines with low growth and low patronage, the Ferny Grove and Shorncliffe lines, capacity increases of 250 per cent and 125 per cent, respectively, are being provided."
Mr Bannister referred the project to the Auditor-General last month after receiving no reply to his research from Queensland's Co-ordinator General, or the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.
Changes needed to Cross River Rail project, according to David Bannister
The 2017 northern entrance around the train stabling yard at Mayne should be returned. “This would allow, in conjunction with signalling and platform upgrades, up to 30 trains per hour to operate from north of Northgate, compared to 24 trains otherwise.”
Underground “tunnel stubs” are needed at Roma Street station to allow for future tunnel connection to the Trouts Road corridor on Brisbane's northside. “This will allow an ultimate capacity of 48 trains per hour from north of Strathpine, compared to 24 trains otherwise, as well as new catchment and substantially faster travel times from the Sunshine Coast.”
Underground “tunnel stubs” at Park Road station to allow the tunnel to be extended to Yeerongpilly in the future, as per the original plans. “This will ultimately allow for 48 trains per hour from south of Salisbury, as well as improving travel times to the Gold Coast and removing the freight curfew between the Port of Brisbane and Acacia Ridge including Inland Rail.”
The Queensland Audit Office said it would publish a report on transport issues "in December 2020, or early 2021".
Cross River Rail is designed to work by adding a third underground link to Brisbane’s existing Main and Suburban lines.
CRR's 2019 track layout changes shift everything that arrived on Brisbane northside on the Main line - the Redcliffe Peninsula, Caboolture and Sunshine Coast – to the Cross River Rail line, Mr Bannister said.
“So all that North Coast line traffic, instead of going straight ahead, turns right at the Mayne yard and goes through Cross River Rail, so all those trains from the North Coast line are just re-routed,” he said.
Brisbane's existing rail track capacity
Main corridor – 20 trains per hour, but can increase to 24 trains per hour with new signalling (Kippa-Ring line, Ipswich and Springfield, Caboolture and Sunshine Coast trains)
Suburban corridor - 24 trains per hour (Ferny Grove, airport trains, Doomben and Shorncliffe line services)
New Cross River Rail corridor – 24 trains per hour. (North Coast and South Coast lines, plus chosen suburban lines)
David Bannister: "While Cross River Rail may be able to cater for 48 trains per hour, it will not increase the overall usage of the network by this much due to the way it is configured."
“It means they have gone from a 24 trains per hour corridor to 24 trains per hour corridor, so where the growth was required – the North Coast line – they actually don’t get any."
A Cross River Rail Delivery Authority spokesman said Mr Bannister's issues were investigated and rejected.
"The new Cross River Rail line will have capacity for 24 trains per hour in each direction," he said.
"That will in turn allow more trains to run more often across the entire south-east Queensland rail network."
Some lines run only eight trains an hour, meaning there was existing capacity for expansion in the network, the spokesman said.
He said the July 2019 final design for Cross River Rail was approved by Queensland's Coordinator-General.
"The independent Coordinator-General has approved the Cross River Rail project proceeding to its final design and Queenslanders can have a high level of confidence that the project’s design and planning is robust," the spokesman said.
"Mr Bannister’s submission was considered as part of the project’s approval process.
"Experts from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Rail, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and the major contractors have reviewed Mr Bannister’s suggestions.
"However they have not been incorporated into the final design."
The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority did not explain why it had not published a service plan, which would outline how the underground project would mesh with the network.
“I am a big advocate for transparency and the way projects are conveyed to the public effectively,” Mr Bannister said.
“I don’t believe that has been the case with Cross River Rail.”
RELATED ARTICLE Boggo Road station showing the site of the proposed underground rail station (top right) and the existing train and bus stations. Not enough trains for South Bank in underground plan, rail group fears
* so i guess the future train line out to jimboomba is off the cards AGAIN!?
* Should build those tunnel stubs at the very least. They cost close to nothing when you are already underground building it at the beginning... It will cost a fortune and cause a lot of service disruptions when we come back 10 years later.
* I'd be curious to know what the current loading on all these train services are. For the April-June Quarter the trains were only at 20% loading. Now one assumes there has been some recovery since then but I suspect that they're still only running at 50% or so. And who can blame the public as trains and, to a lesser degree buses, are petrie dishes of infection with a single sneeze being able to spread an infection through a whole carriage in under a minute. I can't see public transport recovering to pre-covid-19 levels of patronage for at least a decade - which begs the question why not scrap Cross River Rail for a decade and save $10bn.
* "Knew in July 2019" Speaks up during the election campaign in October 2020. Agenda much?
* This smacks of a politically motivated beat up just 2 weeks out from the Queensland election ......Good timing David Banister .....let me guess here??? ...... you're either a LNP donor or a peeved off Corporate.
Come on Brisbane Times there's a Wakley Award awaiting the journo who pieces together the motivations behind this claim.
There is a putrid s**t can (behind this story) that deserves opening up .....I'm not even a Journalist but can smell the stench from 100 kilometres away...... because:
1) Of the (critically perfect storm) timing
2) This is Labor's "signature infrastructure project" and trashing it (prior to an election) would advantage LNP Deb's sagging election profile.
* The authority sounds like a boys club and if you don’t agree with the management you are gone. Milk the cow while you can!
* Sucks to be you Queensland. You keep voting for this. And to think; a decade ago the Newman government identified massive problems with CRR; yet media was all too hystetical and had a meltdown over it. So now, 10 years on, when its all waaaay too late, where's the apologies from the 4th Estate that perhaps they got it wrong??
* In laymans terms, at the southern end youll have24 trains per hour being spat out of the tunnel at the Duttton Park end, as well as 24 trains per hour wanting to enter.
These trains are a mixture of Gold coast and Beenleigh trains. The Gold coast trains need to immediately be able to start running express to overtake the Beenleigh trains. The fatal flaw is that there are only three tracks, so in one direction trains will be unable to overtake. This reduces the number of trains being spat out to much less than 24 per hour.
* The big problem is the secrecy. "Commercial in Confidence" just covers up incompetence. Every part of this project should be subject to public scrutiny. And an independent review should be conducted for such a large project. The LNP could go to town on this, but they are too stupid.
* The CRR delivery authority is exempt from the RTI act. A disgrace.
* The LNP could go to town on it; but why? The last time they did; we Qlders voted them out. So who are the real idiots??
* I have yet to hear of any major project by the Labor Government that hasn't been seriously flawed, millions over budget or like many of their sorely needed IT projects, millions wasted before they are abandoned. Paradise Dam near Bundaberg is just another one of the many disasters. Sounds like CCR is headed in the same direction. When will those responsible for these debacles be held accountable!
* Let's conveniently ignore the contribution of the Newman government to the delay and destruction of this project, shall we—including the resale of already-resumed properties that would've permitted 5 tracks between Yeerongpilly and Park Rd (3 surface and 2 underground).
* As opposed to those geniuses of the lnp who couldnt purchase compliant trains and put in sub standard signalling on the kippa ring line. And lets not talk about the empty tunnels that the genius that was cant do campbell orchestrated. Compared to the idiotic BAT tunnel the lnp put forward when in power this is exactly what brisbane needs
* Why do government projects ALWAYS get hijacked away from the "best" version of a design?
* Regrets; Qlders have a few.
* Politicians self-interest.
* Queensland government builds new rail link which is an instant stuff-up. Now where have we seen that happen before?
* The Queensland government has delivered a number of rail links on time and on budget. Gold Coast rail and the rail link to Springfield are two great labor achievements. As well as Gold Coast tram in conjunction with the GGCC. The LNP have stuffed up a number of times. The signaling failure for Redcliffe rail is one example.
* Don't forget the shambles of the NGR project. The LNP took public transport in this state backward at least a decade, and will probably do the same thing of elected.
* There is no way on this planet that 24 trains an hour each direction will run on this CRR And people wondered why the Feds did not stump up the cash for this train tunnel.
* no, they know why the Feds didn't stump up the cash, for this and plenty of other projects in QLD, like delayed emergency relief funding. nothing to do with your 'expert' knowledge on trains
* With modern the signaling that is planned the is achievable. Modern commuter rail worldwide has achieved this and better.
* The reason 24 trains an hour will not run on this line Benny include:
- not enough rolling stock
- not enough drivers and guards but most of all
- not enough passengers (about 600) per train
- not to mention that how many QR trains run on time given there will be 2.5 minutes between trains
* Do some homework.....there are many cities/ countries worldwide where these time tables would be eaten .....try Tokyo for instance. and....... If Queensland had a Conservative Government the Feds would have willingly come to the Cross River funding party .....eg. Deb's hopeless $33b Bruce Highway upgrade and the (much maligned) Bradfield Scheme proposed for Central/ North Queensland.
* Feds didn't stump up the cash because they were trying bribe labor into selling the power grid. Not everyone has amnesia.
* One chance to design for the future.
* Looks like for some it has become a very cross river rail project.
* Can QR get the empty Caboolture-City Express to stop at stations please? The north line gets only one off peak service every 30 minutes, because the empty express only stops at a handful of stations between Caboolture and the City. Lazy poor timetabling.
* It's one train every 6 minutes during peak actually.

NSW backs Scott Morrison's gas plant as 'critical' for state's renewable ambitions Mike Foley December 23, 2020. 182 comments

'Critical' bridge over Parramatta River still at least six years away. Matt O'Sullivan December 23, 2020. 61 comments
A 325-metre bridge over Parramatta River that the state government has promised to build to connect fast-growing suburbs near Sydney Olympic Park will take almost six years to pass through the planning process and construct, engineering reports show.
The reports and other documents – obtained by the Herald under freedom of information laws – also show that Transport for NSW was planning last year for the second stage of the Parramatta light rail line to run through industrial land south of the river at Camellia.
An artist's impression of a bridge over Parramatta River between Melrose Park and Wentworth Point.CREDIT:PAYCE
Under that alignment, a second bridge would need to have been built across Parramatta River near the Rydalmere ferry wharf. When the government announced the second stage in 2017, the "preferred route" ran north of the river, along South Street in Rydalmere, and crossed the waterway only once – from Melrose Park to Wentworth Point.
The government has since all but confirmed it will not build the second stage of the line after it chose not to set aside any funding in last month's state budget for it.
But Transport Minister Andrew Constance has vowed to build a bridge between Wentworth Point and Melrose Park, and take a "very serious look" at running trackless trams along the proposed second stage. "We have a bridge that we are going to get on and build," he said in March.
The Minister's office declined to answer specific questions about the proposed bridge, saying that the government was focused on delivering the first stage of the Parramatta light rail and the Sydney Metro West rail project between the central city and Westmead.
A concept design report in November last year by Turnbull Engineering shows the time to design, gain approval and build the bridge is estimated at five years and nine months. It cited the relocation of utilities and property acquisitions as the key risks to the project's timing.
Based on that timeframe, the prospect of a bridge becoming a reality is now 2026 at the earliest.
Labor finance spokesman Daniel Mookhey said Melrose Park and Wentworth Point residents should feel disappointed about having to wait six more years for a bridge.
"More people will fall prey to the transport black-hole near Olympic Park when the rest of the precinct's high-rise developments finish," he said.
Suburbs on the banks of the Parramatta such as Wentworth Point, in the foreground, have grown rapidly in recent years.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS
Turnbull Engineering, which was commissioned by developer PAYCE, considered three options before settling on a preferred five-span bridge design. The preferred option was the least expensive to build and maintain.
The engineering reports were provided to Transport for NSW, which has refused to release the costs for the various bridge options, or the final business case for the second stage of the light rail line, declaring them Cabinet in confidence.
The engineers did not consider cable-stayed or arch bridges because of the high cost, which they estimated could increase the design bill by as much as 200 per cent.
Western Sydney Business Chamber executive director David Borger said a new bridge was "absolutely critical" to connect high-density communities and allow residents from Melrose Park and other nearby suburbs to access a metro train station planned to be built at Olympic Park.
"Rivers are wonderful things to travel down but they can be brick walls for cities unless they can be crossed," he said. "There have been a lot of river-bound communities that have been built but unless they have access they can become isolated enclaves."
Parramatta Light Rail
Routes for stages 1 and 2
• 12 kilometres in length
• 16 stops
• About 40 homes and businesses to be acquired for line
• 9 kilometres in length
• 10– 12 stops
• About 12 homes to be acquired for line
Mr Borger also urged the government to release the final business case for the second stage of the light rail project so that people could understand the rationale for its decisions.
The final business case has been in the hands of the government since at least July last year.
Transport for NSW said in a statement that the government was still considering the business case for the second stage, including the preferred route and the bridge at Wentworth Point.
It did not answer specific questions about when the bridge would be built or how it would be funded.
RELATED ARTICLE Parramatta light rail stage 2 'Sent to purgatory': Parramatta light rail extension starved of funding

No need for expansion of underground tunnels: Cross River Rail CEO. Tony Moore December 23, 2020
The chief executive of the Cross River Rail project has rejected a call for "tunnel stubs" to be built at key points that would add flexibility for future extensions to the rail network.
In October, former CRR planner David Bannister said amendments should be made to the project near Park Road station, near Roma Street station and near the Mayne railyards by March to allow Cross River Rail to be as flexible as possible.
Cross River Rail Delivery Authority Graeme Newton (left) speaks with Transport Minister Mark Bailey and pioneering engineer Professor Else Shepherd.CREDIT:TONY MOORE
He suggested "tunnel stubs" would allow flexibility for the future Acacia Ridge to Port of Brisbane rail freight line.
But Cross River Rail Delivery Authority CEO Graeme Newton, speaking this week during the unveiling of the names of the tunnelling machinery, said the suggested changes were not needed under the new rail track configuration.
"There is a range of different options that have been considered in reaching the conclusion of the design that we have got now," Mr Newton said.
"We always welcome views from people who are coming from an informed position, but at the end of the day we are in the process of delivering the design as laid out in the [2019] reference design and that is what we will be doing."
Minerva Transport Planning Company director David Bannister's suggestions were not incorporated in the final Cross River Rail plan.
Mr Bannister, who worked on the Cross River Rail project from 2009 to 2016, released a report that said the project's rail alignment in 2017 was a superior model and could deliver 30 trains per hour across the city.
Mr Bannister said changes to the project design in 2019 meant Cross River Rail could not deliver more than 24 trains an hour.
Mr Newton said the new Cross River Rail project alignment was able to cope with Brisbane's future Acacia Ridge to Port of Brisbane freight line, which was still being planned.
"The current Cross River Rail alignment provides that suburban rail connection through and provides that rapid connection to the city," he said.
"The previous design - which was the longer tunnel design - was servicing a different methodology.
"The present design is giving that additional service through the CBD."
Mr Newton said the newer design provided extra service for the Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines.
"By providing the service for the Gold Coast line and the Beenleigh line directly through the CBD, it provides that underground station accesses."
An artist's impression of the proposed Woolloongabba underground rail station as part of Cross River Rail.CREDIT:
Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said he disagreed with Mr Newton and believed a rail bottleneck would be created at Dutton Park.
Mr Dow said the earlier "longer tunnel" plan - where the tunnel began at Yeerongpilly, not Dutton Park - allowed the dual-gauge line to become the dedicated freight line through the city.
That plan was changed after concerns were raised about more than 66 Yeerongpilly homes to be resumed.
Mr Dow said the previous model allowed four lines running into and out of the southern end rail portal in addition to the dual-gauge lines, which could be used for rail freight.
"What they have done now with the tunnel starting at Dutton Park-Boggo Road, is you only have two tracks plus the dual gauge between Dutton Park and Yeerongpilly."
Mr Dow said he was surprised by Mr Newton's answer.
"The Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines were going to run through the city regardless."
RELATED ARTICLE The planned new Roma Street Cross River Rail station. Planner who worked on Cross River Rail says urgent changes are needed

Wed.23.12.20 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Tough new troll laws NATASHA BITA
Nowhere to hide for online abusers TROLLS risk six-figure fines for posting revenge porn, bullying children or abusing adults online, under world-first cyber safety laws for Australia.
The world’s toughest takedown laws for online abuse — including new powers to unmask anonymous trolls — will be introduced to federal parliament in the new year.
The new laws will include fines of up to $111,000 for adults who post “seriously harmful content’’ online — such as death threats, menacing messages or revenge porn.
The Morrison government will grant eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant rapid website-blocking power to respond to “crisis events’’, such as the Christchurch shooting, by requesting internet service providers to block access to terrorist and extreme violent content for a limited time period.
Online games, such as Fortnite and Call of Duty, will be added to the social media sites forced to erase bullying messages to children or threats to adults within 24 hours, while social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and gaming platforms will have to erase harmful content within 24 hours, instead of the 48 hours under existing laws protecting children from cyber bullies.
They also will be forced to monitor data and report to the federal government to detect “digital lynch mobs’’ ganging up on victims.
Federal Communications and Cyber Safety Minister Paul Fletcher on Tuesday warned trolls they could lose their homes under the world’s toughest anti-bullying laws.
“In the worst cases we could see people facing significant financial penalties for posting cyber abuse and failing to take it down — $111,000 is a lot of money,’’ he said.
“You should not do or say things online that you wouldn’t do in the physical world.
“Don’t think you can get away with it and nobody knows who you are, because your identity can be uncovered and you can be subject to action by authorities.’’
Mr Fletcher said former television personality Charlotte Dawson had taken her own life in 2014 after being cruelly trolled online. Journalist Erin Molan, AFLW player Tayla Harris and former NRL coach Anthony Seibold have also been victims of online abuse and “pile-ons’’.
The draft Online Safety Bill will give the eSafety Commissioner new powers to force social media companies offering services in Australia to hand over the identification details of trolls hiding behind pseudonyms.
Trolls would be issued a “take-down notice’’ and hauled before the Federal Court, with hefty penalties if they refuse to comply within 24 hours.
The fines could be as high as $111,000 for individuals and $555,000 for corporations such as Facebook.

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