Fw: Sun.11.4.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sun.11.4.21 Metro Twitter
From today we're updating metropolitan bus timetables to connect better with the new train timetables. See https://bit.ly/3lVrhn0
Buses replace trains on sections of the Craigieburn line until the last train of Thursday 15 April (level-crossing-removal works).
Buses replace trains Macleod - Hurstbridge until the last train (works).  From 20.05 buses replace trains Clifton Hill - Hurstbridge.
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Sunbury until the last train (maintenance works).
Sunbury/Craigieburn/Upfield lines: All trains run direct to/from Flinders St all day (maintenance works). From loop stations, take a Flinders St train pfm 1.
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: All trains run direct to/from Flinders St from 21.00 until last train (maintenance works).  From loop stations, take a train from pfm 4 to Richmond.
13.59 Hurstbridge line: Buses to replace trains Clifton Hill - Macleod (a fallen tree branch on tracks). Buses have been ordered, but may take over 60 minutes arrive.  Consider alternatives.
- 14.07 See https://bit.ly/1p74boT for alternatives.
- 14.27 Buses may take over 30 minutes to arrive.
- 14.39  Trains have resumed.
22.05  Lilydale/Belgrave/Alamein/Glen Waverley Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston/Sandringham lines: Major delays (police near Richmond).
- 23.07 clearing
22.07 Werribee/Williamstown lines: Major delays (police near Southern Cross).
- 23.08 clearing

New cases Reported Apr 11 (Updated 1.17pm): 0 locally acquired; 9 in hotel quarantine

Fears plan for Sunshine rail ‘super hub’ will be watered down. Timna Jacks April 11, 2021
A promise by the Andrews government to build a transport “super hub” at Sunshine station that would fuel an economic boom in the working-class suburb may not proceed, putting the government on a collision course with a council in Melbourne’s west.
Staff from Rail Projects Victoria told Brimbank councillors in a private briefing two weeks ago that upgrades to the station as part of the $8-$13 billion airport rail project would be treated predominantly as a “transport infrastructure-led project” rather than an opportunity for urban renewal, Brimbank Council’s mayor Ranka Rasic has said.
Sunshine railway station in 2018.CREDIT:JASON SOUTH
Councillors walked away from the briefing with the impression that upgrades to Sunshine and Albion stations would be “relegated to secondary priority”, Cr Rasic said. It comes as state and federal governments have removed references to Sunshine station being a “super hub” in press announcements and departmental websites.
When the Andrews government announced before the 2018 state election that it would build a rail line to the airport, Premier Daniel Andrews promised this would include a major redevelopment of Sunshine station, turning it into a key transport hub for regional, suburban and airport passengers.
At one of several airport rail press conferences at Sunshine station in 2018, Mr Andrews said Sunshine would have a “much-expanded station, a much bigger station” that would include residential and retail development.
“There will need to be a really big redevelopment here,” he said. “The really exciting part is this could include retail, housing, all sorts of different options. We can create one of those brand new spaces if you like, and see a real boom for this area from economic activity.”
A proposed new rail bridge at Ballarat Road, unveiled by the Victorian and federal governments last month as part of the airport rail project.CREDIT:RAIL PROJECTS VICTORIA
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said that same year that Sunshine station would be “another Southern Cross” and require “significant redevelopment”.
But mayor Cr Rasic, wrote to Ms Allan on March 29, raising alarm about signs the government is turning away from these promises.
In the letter, Cr Rasic warned abandoning plans to build a “super hub” at Sunshine would stymie desperately needed economic growth in a suburb particularly disadvantaged by COVID-19.
“The continued watering down of the role of Sunshine station in the project has provided council with the impression that any tangible and timely benefits associated with Melbourne Airport rail are likely not to be seen or experienced by Brimbank residents and the western region for many years to come, if at all,” Cr Rasic said.
The letter was sent on the same day the government released concept designs for a new bridge over the Maribyrnong as part of the project but did not mention plans to develop Sunshine or Albion stations.
“Today’s announcement, coupled with a briefing we received from [the] Department of Transport last week, again highlighted a changed narrative and diminution from previous commitments,” Cr Rasic wrote.
Rail Projects Victoria told councillors in the briefing there may be little opportunity for community feedback on the major build, while the government does not appear to have developed a master plan for Sunshine station, despite construction starting next year.
This has raised fears about poor planning and comes as developers have called for more transparency on plans along the rail corridor, where nine major developments are being proposed, including nearly 2500 residential units, two hotels and $230 million in construction activity.
Developer Orb Property Partners, which owns property along the alignment, has called for a “more collaborative approach” on Sunshine station’s design in a public letter to the council in response to a new draft strategy on upgrades needed in Sunshine by 2050. The firm warned “council and private landowners are being kept in the dark about Rail Projects Victoria plans for the airport rail link and the Sunshine super hub”.
Brimbank Council’s 2050 strategy – which was based on submissions by more than 2000 locals and endorsed by former premier Steve Bracks, the former Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and a slew of major developers – shows a major station precinct uplift could bring $8 billion of investment and 50,000 new jobs to Sunshine.
The strategy envisions specific upgrades for airport passengers that would include “check-in” facilities, luggage storage, waiting lounges and a tourist visitor centre. The precinct would include cafes, restaurants, shops and offices, and artwork. Long-neglected Albion station would undergo a major redevelopment, which would include better connections with Victoria University and cycling and walking paths to Sunshine station.
Ballarat Road – which will now have an airport rail overpass built above it – was set to be a multi-modal corridor, including light rail, dedicated bus and cycle lanes and a tree-lined boulevard with high pedestrian amenity.
A government spokeswoman said Sunshine station would be “one of the most important transport interchanges in Victoria” and the government would make further announcements about its design soon. She called the station one of the state’s most important interchanges.
“We’re continuing to look at the wider transport precinct at Sunshine,” she added, promising the government would have more to say soon on “this thriving centre in Melbourne’s growing west, and how the community can have their say on the project”.
She said once the airport rail link and other projects were operational, there would be the ability for “more than 24 trains an hour [to run] through Sunshine to the city during the peak hour as well as V/Line services”.
A business case for airport rail has been under way since 2018 and was supposed to be released last year, but is not yet complete.
RELATED ARTICLE A 2019 artist's impression of the station that could be built at Melbourne Airport. Melbourne Airport rail line to soar high over Maribyrnong River
RELATED ARTICLE Ministers Jacinta Allan and Paul Fletcher unveiled the first images of the new rail bridge to form part of the Melbourne Airport Rail project.  First airport rail images released, as long-delayed project inches closer
* This is always the case, liberals will never invest out west as they never win, labour never invests as they never lose. Better to be in an eastern growth corridor.
* The end of the article suggest that Council's fear may be unfounded and that the superhub at Sunshine will happen.
* The Andrews administration is long on rhetoric but short on sensible outcomes.
* Good plan. Focus on the main issue, the airport line.
* I'll wait until the plans are released before I start criticising them.
* Labor is interested only in developing S-SE Melbourne as it hopes to make inroads into Lib heartland and thus it takes granted the Central North (which is only part of Melbourne not to have Selective schools unlike Melbourne High and The MacRobertson in Melbourne, Nossal in Berwick and Suzzanne cory in Werribee) and Western side also granted. Most of the Right-Centre Labor MP's comes from S-SE. Absolutely rubbish to not develop Epping and its north area.
* This is to be expected - when the State government adds up the cost of all the mega projects and all the cost of highly paid additional staff they have hired in departments like Jobs Precincts And Regions there will be a reckoning and a watering down (like last weeks disappointing Suburban Rail “half loop” announcement) of “big build” projects because what are they going to pay for all these projects with? There needs to be a full audit of the business cases for these projects which we will be paying for forever...Stop making fly through videos and tell us what you’re really planning Mr Andrews
* I wonder if by the time the airport link opens there will be any airlines left flying. The world has changed a lot since this was announced.
* A beat up! The Airport Rail link wont be finished for at least 10 years or maybe longer and Sunshine will still need an upgraded Station!
* Agree. The airline industry might just recover in ten years. Then again, maybe it won't

Turning old bus shelters into a stylish shed. JO MCCARROLL APR 11, 2021

How a microscopic particle could improve your Sydney commute. Tom Rabe April 11, 2021
An atom suspended by magnetic forces inside a Sydney University lab could revolutionise the city’s transport network, the NSW government hopes.
The microscopic particle is “trapped” inside the most powerful computer in the southern hemisphere, a multimillion-dollar quantum machine paid for in part by the United States Department of Defence.
Professor Michael Biercuk and NSW Transport Minister inspect a quantum computer at the University of Sydney.CREDIT:BROOK MITCHELL
“The trick is what’s happening inside that box,” Q-CTRL founder, chief executive and Sydney University Professor Michael Biercuk said, pointing to an ion trap on a sprawling table of machinery and lasers.
“We can put information into the atoms and then the way you tickle them with the laser pulses is what gives you the quantum process.”
That process has the potential to untangle, in minutes, complex traffic, crowding or scheduling problems on Sydney’s transport network that would currently take days, Professor Biercuk said.
“It’s all a matter of solving the problem in a time scale that is useful to the people that are impacted,” he said.
The most powerful quantum computer in the Southern Hemisphere is seen at the University of Sydney Nanoscience Hub.CREDIT:BROOK MITCHELL
“We’ve learned how quantum computers can be used to solve certain mathematical problems, and those mathematical problems are the basis of how we try and route buses and trains and transport networks.”
The NSW government has signed a commercial partnership with Q-CTRL, which will feed live Transport for NSW data into its quantum machines and develop processes over coming months which would allow the network “self-heal” in real time.
“We don’t know how powerful it truly is until we start to see the data put in and ultimately what comes back in terms of real-time responses,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
“It will be as impactful as a new motorway or a new railway line in the future how this technology is used.”
Mr Constance said the new technology would allow the train, bus and motorway networks to “talk to each other” during crises.
He said future applications of the technology could include mapping all transport modes and crowd movements in real time, and automatically updating the public transport schedule to solve disruption issues.
Mr Constance said the technology would prove useful during periods of mass-crowding, including New Year’s Eve or Sydney’s Vivid Festival.
“There’s not a day that goes past without dozens and dozens of problems on the transport network,” he said.
“What this will give us the ability to do is shift people around the network more seamlessly to avoid the problems and predict where we’re going to see the challenges.”
Professor Biercuk said no one knew until recently that quantum computers could be useful for transport networks.
“Now we know it’s useful and the question is how can we make it most useful for the problems we really care about. Things are changing extremely rapidly,” he said.
The government is paying Q-QTRL just over $150,000 proof of concept partnership, which has been undertaken as part of the state’s Future Transport Technology Roadmap.
* Meanwhile back in the real world, "Trains are running late and out of timetable order. We apologise for any inconvenience".
* They haven't shown any ability to code regular computers to get the transport system anywhere near as efficient as many overseas. Why would a new computer, that no one really knows how to use properly, suddenly make them competent?
* If this computer is so clever, perhaps it should be used to develop a reliable teleporting system. All our transport problems will become a distant memory.
As a one-off special discount, I'm prepared to offer the government advice on how to solve Sydney's transport problems for just 100,000, plus GST.
Hint: It's something to do with satellite cities and high speed rail connections. Adding more and more people to the Sydney Basin might be profitable for developers, but doesn't help with congestion.
Getting all the networks to talk to each other sounds a bit like the idea of on-demand buses from your doorstep. How's that going?
* You don't need a quantum computer to solve public transport issues. You need to listen to the highly trained and qualified staff of Sydney Trains and Transport for NSW rather than continually build boondoggles favoured by the particular Minister of the day!
* We don’t need a quantum computer to know where the Liberal party is going to increase transport spending: in areas that favour their developer, landlord and big business mates.
* At least they are investing in public transport which is a lot more than the ALP ever did in Sydney!
* If you have a look at the letter in today's SMH by former Campbelltown Councillor Frank Ward, you will see that developers don't seem to care about public transport provision; they just want to sell houses.
* Will the government than ignore such advice on before of political expediency was they do often have done in the past, or will the Oracle just tell us to build more non-free freeways?
* If Usyd can get a Quantum computer up and running with say 50 atoms then more than transport is going to going to change. Current 256 bit encryption systems, based on factoring prime numbers, may no longer be secure. Plus they will be able to make a fortune mining crypto currency! At least until the rest catch up.
* So spreadsheets that were used for “rorts” can now be replaced by a quantum computer, making it impossible to detect them unless you also have one. I guess that’s what you call progress!
* The quantum computer might optimise the existing network infrastructure. For the overall network design we need a better class of politicians and planners who respond to society's needs and not the needs of donors and political ideologies
* What a bunch of negative Nellies we are today. Computer control of traffic has been used in Sydney since the 1970s. The place would be a giant parking lot without it. Surely it is worth the government investing a mere $150k in a proof of concept? That's all that's happening. Why the criticism?
* Bit of a concern this is a partnership with the defence force of a foreign power.
* Now to make it the size of today’s smartphone. How am I supposed to respect this brain-on-a-bench?
* With this computer you can kiss timetables and scheduled stops "goodbye". The computer's job is to minimise staff overtime - get the train back to the depot on time.
* A futuristic computing technology to solve over 100 years of government failing to plan for this moment. We will have to wait for an even more powerful computer to answer that one whilst I bet it has something to do with politicians, self and vested interests.
* Many will see this as yet another cringeworthy political ‘announcement “ and be sceptical about outcomes.TfNSW has spent many billions of dollars on IT over the past 5 years, and has been the subject of numerous reports and audits about flawed IT roll outs and initiatives - for example the ongoing ERP and EAM saga which has been the subject of adverse Auditor General Reports. It really is time for a parliamentary inquiry as to how much has been spent and why the cluster keeps stumbling from IT crisis to crisis.Insides will recall before the ongoing restructures under the current Minister (and indeed Ms Berejiklian before him ), RMS had developed its own information system, PTIPS, which was successful and which has been sold internationally.
* In the early 70s I went to a seminar on this emerging thing called computing, The overall, dominant message was garbage in, garbage out. It still holds. You can have the most powerful machine with the most extensive programming algorithms. But they're totally dependent on the veracity of the input. That's the bloke driving the keyboard.
* Another transport announcement by the worst Transport Minister ever. Another plan somewhere in the cloud that will never come to fruition. Another deflection, another advertisement for the state government to take everyone’s eye of the real game. The taxpayers money wasted in the Ministers transport programs.
* For a moment I thought it was April 1st, especially when I saw Constance in the picture. I imagine the super computer is now called Quantum McQuantumface. Don’t let it near the government’s pork barrels!
* Yet more technofizz when the real problems are essentially political and economic in nature. The real problems facing transport in Sydney are not going to be readily fixed by some complex mathematics and quantitative analysis no matter how rapidly the computer can be made to function. This is just a lab coat fixation. The NSW Government is just barking up the wrong tree !
* No doubt the technology is ground breaking but NSW governments of either party are not actually interested in public transport which is seen as a cost not a benefit to society unless it is a headline opportunity. The somewhat outrageous salaries paid to some public transport workers does not help it must be said.
* This government already knows the answer to all transport problems is to build more toll roads. Really don't need a quantum computer for that
* They want to look like they're trying. A super-computer could do the same work. They just need to hook it up to the lights and be able to track peoples travel intentions. Possible if people switch on an app in their phones.
* "More toll roads". Seriously? The government needs to concentrate its resources on building the NSW Fast Train Network and the NSW Metro Train Network.
* What does the computer say about tunnels that are too small for trains, light rail systems that are slower than the busses they replace, busses that catch fire, ferries too high for bridges? Computer says “No.”
* Get rid of Andrew Constance and his boss.
* Problem with quantum computing is that it needs very low temperatures to operate. Unrealistically low. A significant detail omitted here, and probably from their grant application too!
* It follows that now we do not need to spend billions of dollars on underwater tollroads. Another reason why the proposed expensive and inefficient Sydney Harbour motorways should be terminated immediately.
* Peak hour traffic should be treated as if it were water flowing through pipes. Traffic lights, hold ups at stations all contribute to gridlock.
* So what’s a quantum computer?
* Most conventional computers answer a series of simple binary questions in their calculations, basically yes or no, 1 or O. The more complex the problem, either you need a much bigger computer or it will take longer to complete. A quantum computer can think in ranges and is thus more powerful and can solve more complex calculations.
* It'd be better if they built one based on infinite probability drive. Even better than quantum!
* I'm hoping it's something that cares.
* has anyone tried to use the transport on line how to from A to B , I find it useless , I rung up once and told the person answering I could do the journey on 2 buses instead of 4 or 5 they recommended , they didn't sound like they cared .
* Google maps directions are pretty good, especially in a strange city.

Sun.11.4.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun' Bridge over troubled crossing. MITCH CLARKE
A NOTORIOUS level crossing in Melbourne’s west will be replaced with a 2km rail overpass a year ahead of schedule.
The Victorian government will announce on Sunday that construction of the new bridge over Mt Derrimut Rd will begin by the end of the year.
A new Deer Park station, with 150 upgraded car spaces and bike facilities, will also be built.
Up to 23,000 motorists travel through the congested and dangerous crossing daily, with mass traffic delays a fixture in peak periods, when multiple trains on the Geelong and Ballarat lines pass through.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the suburbs of Deer Park and Ardeer would be “completely level crossing free” by 2024.
“More trains than ever are now running on this part of the rail network — so it’s essential we get these crossings gone for good as soon as possible,” Ms Allan said.
Kororoit MP Marlene Kairouz added: “Right now, the Mt Derrimut Rd level crossing dominates the way people commute, shop and even send their kids to school. It is absolutely time for it to go.”
At Robinsons Rd, three piling rigs will soon begin to drill 118 circular foundations that will support retaining walls for the new road underpass and rail bridge.
Locals will be able to have their say on concept designs for the project, as well as providing feedback around the new Deer Park station.

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