Fw: Fri.12.3.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Subject: Fri.12.3.21 daily digest



Fri.12.3.21 Metro Twitter
8.25 Upfield line: Delays up to 30 minutes (vandalism between Brunswick & Jewell). The issue is safety critical; maintenance staff are expected on-site within next 20 minutes. Consider route 19 trams.
- You shut the train line down for eight months last year and still an absolute basket case - look forward to being crammed into a tram now, thanks
- 8.37 We have staff on site in the last few minutes; we may have trains running very soon.
- 8.41 You left us sitting at Coburg for 20 mins with announcements no-one could understand because the PA is rubbish, I won’t bother next week
- 8.44 Initial delays up to 30 minutes  are expected to clear quickly.
- 8.47 Safety of passengers is our number 1 priority.
10.13 Buses will replace trains between Frankston and Mordialloc (Fire/Rescue Victoria action).  Buses have been ordered, but may take over 60 minutes to arrive.  Consider alternatives.
- 10.24 See the PTV website [link given].
- 10.28 It’s a gas leak. This will likely be a lengthy disruption, potentially hours.
- 10.32 The issue is ongoing. Trains may be held at available platforms, altered or cancelled.
- 10.44 Surely by now you would be better off telling us when trains replace buses. Buses seem to be the norm on this line these days, at least for the past 4 years.
- 11.30 Edithvale: Because of an issue in the area, buses will depart from Nepean Hwy, and not the normal Station St location.
- 11.39 Trains have resumed.
14.38 Glen Waverley Line: Major delays (an equipment fault at Kooyong).  Trains may be held at available platforms. 
- 15.02 clearing.
17.23 Werribee/Williamstown lines: Major delays (heat-related speed restrictions).
- How? It’s 28 degrees.
- The tracks are forged using the cheapest chocolate available.
- It’s a localised heatwave affecting just the western suburbs. Maybe JaneBunn can explain?
Buses replace trains city - Oakleigh from 20.30 until the last train of Sun 14 Mar.
Buses replace trains Dandenong-Cranbourne from 20.30 until the last train of Wed 17 Mar (works).
Frankston line: Buses replace trains City - Moorabbin from 20.30 until the to last train of Sun 14 Mar (works).
Buses replace trains Macleod - Hurstbridge from 21.00 until the last train of Sun 14 Mar (duplication works).
Mernda/Hurstbridge lines: All trains run direct to/from Flinders St from 21.00 until the last train (maintenance works). From Loop stations take a tram along Swanston St to Flinders St [ignores Parliament and Flagstaff]

Latrobe Valley residents look for glimmer of hope beyond brown coal. Benjamin Preiss March 12, 2021

Deal to attract 500 workers to Latrobe Valley on brink of collapse Benjamin Preiss March 12, 2021

Tourism Minister requests four more Victorian destinations in half-price flights scheme. Michael Fowler March 12, 2021

Manhunt after train hits truck, alleged copper wiring theft investigated. Sarah McPhee March 12, 2021
Police are investigating whether two men who left the scene of collision between a truck and a train in Sydney’s south-west on Friday were allegedly stealing copper wiring.
Emergency services were called to railway tracks on Rumker Street, Picton, about 3pm following reports of a collision between a passenger train and a truck.
The train and the truck collided on Friday afternoon.CREDIT:NINE NEWS
Police believe the vehicle was either parked or had stalled on the tracks when it was hit by the Southern Highlands Line train, carrying about 30 people.
“One person has been treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics for non-life threatening injuries,” NSW Police said in a statement. “The driver of the truck and his passenger had left the scene prior to police arrival.”
Acting Inspector Dan Bennett, of Camden Police Area Command, told the Herald on Friday night the alleged theft of copper wiring will form part of their investigation.
He said officers seized and towed the truck, which will undergo forensic analysis including fingerprinting.
The alleged theft of copper wiring will form part of the police investigation. CREDIT:NINE NEWS
Passengers were helped from the train and services were suspended in both directions between Moss Vale and Campbelltown.
Customers were asked to delay any non-essential travel on the line and buses were sent in to assist.
* 15.19 Because of a vehicle on the tracks at Picton, trains are suspended in both directions between Moss Vale and Campbelltown.  Buses are being organised to run a replacement service, no eta.
* 16.50 Replacement buses will be arriving at Campbelltown within the next 10 minutes. One bus will be arriving at Moss Vale within 10 minutes, with additional buses to follow from ~17.30. 
* 18.05 Buses are replacing trains in both directions between Moss Vale and Campbelltown.
* 20.49 Trains are now resuming. 

Cost far outweighs benefit: Sydney’s $11b airport rail link slammed Tom Rabe and Matt O'Sullivan March 12, 2021. 207 comments
The NSW government’s justification for building a rail line to Sydney’s second airport has been savaged by the country’s peak infrastructure body, which warns the cost of the $11 billion project will far outweigh its benefit.
In a report released on Friday, Infrastructure Australia said the cost of building the airport rail line outweighed its benefits by $1.8 billion, adding that those benefits detailed in the government’s business case for the project “may be overestimated”.
The rail line is due to be completed in time for the opening of Western Sydney Airport in 2026.CREDIT:BROOK MITCHELL
The scathing assessment by the independent body found the business case was based on several flawed assumptions, including forecasts for the number of people who will move to live near the airport rather than the Central Coast or Wollongong.
“There is insufficient evidence that the economic, social and environmental benefits of the project would justify its costs,” the report said.
It has prompted Infrastructure Australia to not include the rail line in its list of the country’s priority projects.
The 23-kilometre rail line, which was a cornerstone of the Coalition’s 2019 state election campaign, is due to open in 2026. More than 60 properties will be fully or partially acquired for the project, causing an uproar from small landowners in areas such as Orchard Hills.
Infrastructure Australia found only 18 per cent of the rail line’s benefits will be for public transport users. Instead, the majority of benefits “are from the value of land increasing”.
Many large landowners around the site of the airport and along the rail line corridor have made windfall gains from the value of their properties soaring.
The report found the business case is based on more than 60 per cent of the total project benefits coming from urban development early on, despite forecasting demand for the metro line to be relatively low for the first 15 years of operation.
The government has forecast low demand for the rail line in its early years, with passengers filling fewer than two of every five seats during peak travel periods in 2026 when it opens.
An artist’s impression of one of the six stations on the airport line.CREDIT:NSW GOVERNMENT
Demand for the line from St Marys to the airport at Badgerys Creek is projected to rise to about 80 per cent of the line’s capacity by 2056.
The report also warned that the cost of building roads and other infrastructure to clear the way for the construction of homes and businesses was “not fully included in the project costs”.
The decision to build the line in a north-south direction was questioned in the report, which pointed to a 2018 scoping study that suggested alternate routes to the east may perform better.
“There was insufficient evidence in the 2018 study that a rail service for the north-south corridor would be the most appropriate option at this time,” it said.
The report highlighted that transport links needed to be bolstered in the city that will emerge around Western Sydney Airport.
But it warned there is “a material risk” that overarching plans for the so-called Western Parkland City vision would not be realised without more comprehensive funding.
The report’s release comes a day after two major design changes were revealed for the M12 motorway, which will link the M7 motorway to the new airport by 2026.
The cost of the M12 motorway has now risen from $1.2 billion in 2015 to more than $2 billion. The new variations will cost more than $280 million.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance was contacted for comment.
RELATED ARTICLE Orchard Hills residents Christine and Jason Vella. ‘Sickening to watch’: Scale of acquisitions for airport line upsets landowners

Fri.12.3.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Letters:
* Renewables for all. It's fantastic batteries in EVs will soon be powering the appliances in our homes (“Car power in home”, HS, 10/3). But for those who cannot afford an EV, or even a car, and do not own a home, or even a garage, there’s little to get excited about. And this is just not renters or people on low incomes. It is also people who live in the inner city and park on the street. While Australia is doing well rolling out renewables, we can learn much from other countries about how to make renewables more accessible to all. The scheme in SA providing 3000 social housing residents with rooftop solar and Tesla home batteries forming a virtual power plant is a brilliant example. Making renewables more accessible will accelerate our national emissions reduction and lower utility costs for those who need it most.
* Power hikes ahead. SO Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio is “confident” the closure of Yallourn power station won’t lead to electricity supply issues or price hikes — really, minister? Didn’t prices go through the roof when Hazelwood was closed? Energy Australia will build a 350MW battery, which only represents 24 per cent of what Yallourn puts out. In other words, there will be an actual drop in supply of 17 per cent across Victoria. Not only will there be job losses but price hikes as well.
* State’s dim future. YALLOURN power station closing in 2028 is another massive blow to Victoria. With Hazelwood closing in 2017 and taking away 25 per cent of our state’s power-generating capacity, the Yallourn closure takes away another 22 per cent. And while Energy Australia has announced a big storage battery, it will only provide 24 per cent of Yallourn’s outpost for short periods, the result being massive price rises and probable blackouts in heatwaves. Potential business investors will see this as a red flag to investment in any power-intensive enterprise.
* BRIAN Durrant (YV, 9/3), I can say first hand PSOs do ride the trains and police the wearing of masks.

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