Fw: Tues.5.7.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

----- Forwarded message -----

To:australiantransportnews@... australiantransportnews@...>
Sent: Wednesday, 6 October 2021, 07:36:54 pm AEDT
Subject: Tues.5.7.21 daily digest


 "210706Tu-Melbourne'Age'-coal.jpg"  with ATN



Tues.6.7.21 Metro Twitter
Aircraft: No ramp access to platforms until late 2021 (pedestrian-underpass works).
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works.
Buses replace trains between North Melbourne/Sunshine and Sunbury stations at select times until the last train of Thursday 8 July (works). See https://bit.ly/3gY61fe
Argyle Avenue, Chelsea closes at the level crossing until Friday 9 July as part of level-crossing removal works. Use the Bondi Road or Chelsea Road crossings. see http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions/argyle-avenue-chelsea-level-crossing-closure
St Kilda Road is closed between Flinders Street and Southbank Boulevard until early Monday 12 July (YT renewal work). Southbank Boulevard is closed between St Kilda Road and Sturt Street. see http://yarratrams.com.au/projects/st-kilda-road-and-southbank-boulevard-melbourne
Keep your eyes out for this special tram, 'Mookies Around the Watering Hole' by First Peoples artist Aunty Zeta Thomson going through Stonnington on the following routes 5, 6, 58 and 72,  It is one of the Art Tram series.
We're ready to board the 1940 Royal Australian Air Force recruiting train. 
13.16  Moorabbin: All trains will not stop at Moorabbin until further notice due to a VictoriaPolice request. Passengers are advised to consider alternative transport to connect with trains at Highett or Patterson.
- 13.24 Trains have resumed stopping
15.05 Southern Cross: Trains will depart from altered platforms (an ill passenger requiring ambulance assistance). Werribee/Williamstown trains will depart from pfm 12; Pakenham/Cranbourne trains will depart from pfm 13.
- 15.13 Trains have resumed normal platforming.  Pakenham/Cranbourne trains depart from pfm 1; Werribee/Williamstown trains depart from pfm 14.
16.21 All lines: Minor delays (an overheight vehicle striking the viaduct at the intersection of Flinders St and Spencer St).
- 16.28 Lanes are blocked northbound and westbound. Several tram routes are disrupted.
- 16.30 Burnley group: All trains direct to/from Flinders St.
- 16.30 Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: All trains direct to/from Flinders St
- 16.33 Burnley group: Trains resuming via the loop, with minor delays.  Some trains may run direct from Flinders St.
- 16.33 Pakenham/Cranbourne: lines: Trains resuming via the loop, with minor delays.  Some trains may run direct from Flinders St.
- 16.34 Sunbury/Craigieburn/Upfield lines: Major delays through Southern Cross.  Trains may run direct from Flinders St.
- 16.35 Werribee/Williamstown/Frankston lines:  Major delays through Southern Cross.  Trains may terminate/originate at intermediate stations.
- 16.36 Mernda/Hurstbridge lines: Trains resuming via the loop, with minor delays.  Some trains may run direct from Flinders St.
- 17.12 All northbound and westbound lanes have been reopened.  Trains and trams have resumed normal service.
- 17.30 Metropolitan trains: Delays clearing.  Trains may run direct to/from Flinders St, or terminate/originate at intermediate stations.
- 17.54 Sandringham line: Major delays due to 'operational requirements' at Flinders St.  [This line runs independently.  How can Metro not cope?]
- 17.56 What’s this got to do with Sandringham trains? They don’t go to Southern Cross.
- 17.56 There’s a train sitting at platform 13. Get a driver on it and get it out of here! Been 30 min!
- 17.59 the issue has resulted in significant delays across the entire network, resulting in crews and drivers out of position.
- 18.00 Next time can someone make an announcement to that effect so we can then decide whether to choose a different mode of transport?
- 18.02 We are following up re announcements. Updates can also be found via our website and notify
- 18.03 How significant? I’ve been sitting on a stranded train between Richmond and Flinders St for 25 minutes.
- 18.06 It’s been more than 30 mins sitting here on a stranded train with out any announcements at all. Beyond ridiculous.
- 18.14 Has your train moved into a platform yet?
- 18.32 very unfortunate that no customer service announcements were made to Frankston line passenger to change at Caulfield for Dandenong services running express unhindered to South Yarra whilst Frankston trains sat at MATHS stations.  Please lift your game.
- 18.47 wtf is happening on the Pakenham Cranbourne lines. absolute chaos and confusion at Flinders St.
- 18.53 The earlier disruption to the service has also displaced both train crews and consists from their necessary locations to commence services at terminals.
18.10 Lilydale line: Minor delays (police in the Mooroolbark area).
- 18.16 clearing
18.45  Hurstbridge line: Major delays (police near Diamond Creek). Trains may terminate/originate at Eltham.
- 18.52 Delays clearing.  
Buses replace trains South Yarra - Sandringham from 20.15 until the last train (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Upfield from 20.35 until the last train (maintenance works).
Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: All trains run direct to/from Flinders St from 21.00 until the last train (maintenance works).  From loop stations, take a train from pfm 4 to Richmond.
Werribee/Craigieburn lines: All trains terminate/originate at Southern Cross from 21.00 until the last train (maintenance works).  From Flinders St, take a train from pfm 1, 2 or 3 to Southern Cross.  [Loop stations not mentioned, possibly Sunbury train, terminating at North Melbourne].
Frankston line: All trains will terminate/originate at Caulfield from 21.00 until the last train (maintenance), chhange to from a Pakenham/Cranbourne train, stopping at all stations.
Buses replace trains Ringwood - Lilydale from 22.30 until the last train tonight (level-crossing works).

Commuter chaos after truck gets stuck under train bridge. David Estcourt July 6, 2021
Sections of Melbourne’s rail network were thrown into chaos on Tuesday after a truck was wedged under a rail bridge between the city’s main train stations.
Lanes of traffic and trams were blocked on northbound and westbound roads near the intersection of Spencer Street and Flinders Street in the CBD, with the truck wedged under the bridge that sits between Southern Cross and Flinders Street stations.
Sections of Melbourne’s rail network have been thrown into chaos after a truck was wedged under a rail bridge on Tuesday.CREDIT:DOUGAL BEATTY
The incident forced the cancellation of several train services and others to be delayed during the afternoon peak.
DoT sait that the truck was cleared about 5pm and that major train lines were experiencing residual delays.
They advised commuters to check the PTV app before travelling.
The 12, 58, 70, 75, 96 and 109 trams were brought to a standstill immediately after the accident but had resumed services after 5pm.
Yarra Trams said their services were experiencing ongoing delays and that they were working to restore normal frequency.
Emergency services had responded to the site on Tuesday afternoon.

Taxpayers lose out when governments rush transport projects. Marion Terrill and Lachlan Fox July 6, 2021
Australia’s state and federal governments have developed a costly habit of rushing major transport projects to market. The premature decisions are often made for political purposes, but invariably the taxpayer is left to pick up the tab.
The pork barrelling and cost blowouts on suburban train station carparks are only the latest example. A recent Auditor-General report on the selection and funding of carpark projects through the $4.8 billion federal Urban Congestion Fund concluded that the approach used “was not designed to be open or transparent”, and the steps taken to identify and fund projects were “not appropriate”.
The Morrison government paid $42 million up-front for four commuter carpark projects.CREDIT:SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Instead of making proper assessments, the Morrison government rushed. In a search for votes, it paid $42 million up front for four commuter carpark projects, “prior to any of the four projects being fully scoped”.
Rushing to market means risks are not identified or mitigated, and problems are not fixed.
Grattan Institute research shows that 28 per cent of major infrastructure projects – those valued at $1 billion or more – end up costing more than governments claimed when contracts were signed, and when they do the average blowout is more than $600 million. The price of a quick political win is often a long, slow and unnecessary budget sink.
When governments pursue risky infrastructure projects, they must at least set themselves up for success by doing adequate planning and discovery. Failing to do so only leads to expensive mistakes that could have been dealt with far more cheaply at the project’s conception.
Governments rush projects for various reasons. Winning votes is certainly one. In the case of the commuter carpark funding, the decision was made the day before the 2019 federal election was called, and the money was overwhelmingly directed at Liberal or marginal seats.
But governments also rush projects in the pursuit of the image that they “gets things done”, and because they cannot tie the hands of future governments. If a government fails to get a pet project started within its term of office, there’s every chance the next government might cancel the project altogether.
Whatever the reason, as the commuter carpark scheme reminds us, a decision to rush only leads to hurt in the long run. The scheme has already blown out by $20 million before construction has even begun on three of the four projects.
This example of rushing projects instead of scoping and planning is not an isolated incident.
The West Gate Tunnel project has had significant delays and cost increases.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO
The Victorian government failed to notify utilities of the West Gate Tunnel project’s status under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009. The result has been significant delays and cost increases, which have led to arbitration between the government, Transurban and the construction consortium.
In Sydney, the NSW Auditor-General criticised the CBD and South East Light Rail project’s “inadequate planning and tight timeframes”, after the construction company claimed the government failed to pass on crucial information about underground conditions. In June 2019, the NSW government paid the contractors an extra $576 million in compensation.
The Queensland government rolled out its New Generation Rollingstock trains in December 2017, to meet a timetable dictated by the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It was too hasty: the trains failed to comply with the government’s own disability legislation, and ultimately required refitting, at a cost of $361 million.
Governments sometimes suggest that if they didn’t move quickly, nothing would ever get built. But when governments rush to market it’s often unclear whether there is a genuine imperative to build the project.
Cost overruns are far more likely than cost underruns.CREDIT:DEAN SEWELL
Cost increases caused by rushing to market may mean that the cost-benefit equation used to justify building the project in the first place no longer stacks up. As Grattan Institute has shown, cost overruns are far more likely than cost underruns, and this is particularly the case when projects are rushed.
What can be done to break this costly habit of rushing megaprojects to market? Instead of grasping for votes, governments need to assess projects on their merits and only fund those that can withstand scrutiny. Problems often arise due to site conditions, such as contaminated soil. Governments should do better discovery of underground conditions prior to building, and should certify these results to potential bidders. Where it is economical to reduce future risks and costs, governments should also conduct more early work on sites.
Governments have a responsibility to spend public money wisely. Rushing into political projects or “nation building” megaprojects neglects this responsibility. To get value for money on transport projects, we need governments to go back to basics – to plan, prepare and justify before a shovel even hits the dirt.
Marion Terrill is the program director and Lachlan Fox is an associate in the Transport and Cities Program at the Grattan Institute. Their recent report, Megabang for megabucks: driving a harder bargain on mega projects, is available at Grattan.edu.au
RELATED ARTICLE The Croydon railway station in Melbourne is one of the car parks promised to be upgraded as part of the government’s program. There’s every reason politicians’ pork-barrelling should be made illegal
RELATED ARTICLE Dunkley MP Peta Murphy at Kananook station with opposition transport spokesman Andrew Giles. ‘It could never have been built’: Labor pinpoints holes in the pork barrel
* Perhaps if we had a truly independent infrastructure body Perhaps if politicians had to be accountable and fear much more than just becoming voted out at the next election. Perhaps the media should be a little more careful and actually report both sides of these stories. Perhaps our governments should grow up a ;Tuttle and get beyond short term win, long term loss
* Vote buying is what Morrison does best and it works regardless of the good of Australia.
* No Government can be trusted where there is an opportunity for political gain and there needs to be an independent body that assesses, prioritises and approves these projects. Not only would we then get the projects we need but perhaps we would also get a more realistic budget.
* A little closer digging might reveal that funds such as the '$4.8 billion federal Urban Congestion Fund' are really just created for one purpose, pre election pork barrelling. And pork barrelling is almost always rushed to try and hide it from scrutiny until after the election.
* The way the Andrews government has managed major budgets and due process with items like environmental report requirements has been a disgrace. Worse it has cost the state billions of dollars on seemingly every project current being run. The only bigger disgrace is the faux consultation process they run with local communities affected by these projects.
* East-west link - designed as a political wedge; benefit to cost ratio of 0.45 (IIRC), and likely overestimated. None should be built without a BCR significantly greater than 1.0...preferably greater than 2.0. Westgate tunnel - no business case. BCR? Who knows...public tolling on roads across greater Melbourne extended by TEN YEARS in addition to up front costs. This is tax by another name. The suburban rail tunnel is similarly lacking in proper analysis - including any consideration of alternatives. The Regional Rail Link in Victoria, started under Bracks or Brumby, with a contribution from the feds under Gillard was crippled under Ballieu / Napthine, and ran overcapacity no sooner than it commenced, due to the massive population unloaded into the western suburbs, with hundreds of thousands more to be added. Governments have proven over the long term that they are poor custodians of public transport infrastructure projects. I fear that the major beneficiaries of the Victorian transport projects have been the CFMMEU, albeit that the level crossing removals have largely been a welcome change to Melbourne. Local councils are no better. The waste is staggering.
* Everything in this article is essentialy "common sense". However, our politicians are very reluctant to make the necessary reforms. We need much more input from, genuinely independent, infrastructure experts who do have the common wealth and good foremost in their deliberations. We need formal procedures legislated for and we also need a Federal Anti-Corruption Body with real teeth to ensure that good practice is not deviated from. We also need quality media such as Nine to maintain an unrelenting campaign. I'm sure that the readership no matter their party leanings would fully back you in this.
* And ~AUD60b NBN flop = National Bored Band, a hodgepodge, back to the past network designed for transcendental meditation gurus. Some of the people in government don’t seem even qualified to do home reno’s.
* The elephant in the room you haven't discussed is how these types of projects are nowadays 'funded' as a Public Private Partnerships (PPP's) model whereby private firms are paid ridiculous premiums to build / maintain an asset at the expense of the taxpayer. There's not a single example ANYWHERE where a PPP funding model has financially benefited the intended recipients. ie the taxpaying public.
* More to the point who gets the contracts and who do they make political donations to? ICAC now
* But these weren’t transport projects; they were simply cynical targeted vote buying exercises at the expense of the citizenry. Despicable. But then, what would you from this completely unprincipled “commonwealth” government?
* Then of course there is the other big project pushed by both the state and federal LNP governments - the E-W Link. Neither have accepted that this project has been rejected in 2 state elections and they insist in punishing Victoria for not accepting the E-W Link. But clearly the LNP have given up on Victoria, as they believe that winning enough seats through coal mining in NSW & QLD, will give them enough seats to ignore Victoria.
[There is some truth in this article.  Equally, Grattan has been just as bad in knocking worthwhile projects.  Like most economists, it hates spending any money on transport.  The Grattan voice was recruited from the world of economics, not the world or transport engineering or even the world of transport users.  Infrastructure Australia is just as bad.]

JULY 6 2021 Latrobe and Hunter regions both have coal stations, but one has far worse mercury pollution

Train chaos: Truck hits bridge between Flinders St and Southern Cross. Josh Fagan July 6, 2021
A truck has slammed into a rail bridge at the corner of Flinders and Spencer streets, sparking delays on multiple train lines.
The truck that struck the rail bridge on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Indiana Hansen/Twitter
There are major delays on multiple train lines after a truck crashed into a rail bridge between Flinders Street and Southern Cross Station.
Multiple train lines were affected on Tuesday afternoon as Metro Trains encouraged passengers to allow for extra travel time.
At 5pm there were cancellations on 11 lines and major delays on three other lines.
Department of Transport said at 5pm all northbound lanes were reopened on Spencer Street after the truck hit an overhead rail bridge.
Flinders Street also reopened westbound.
Trams on routes 12, 58, 70, 75, 96 and 109 were brought to a halt but had resumed normal services by 5pm, although residual delays were expected.
* What chaos, seriously no one going into the city.  
* Just let down his tyres and back it out.....problem solved
* We get so many trucks hitting bridges because VicRoads do not test drivers the driving schools do - we train you we test you it needs to change
* 19th Century infrastructure hardly makes for a neat fit.
* Another reason to keep working from home. This happened right on peak hour. My 45min journey home would've easily turned into 1.5hrs. Forget masks in offices - fix the public transport system! No one is missing their commute. NO ONE.
* I cannot believe that this accident called a halt to the multiple train lines. It was some flimsy  semi made of fibreglass! How the hell does that compromise the strength of the structure. Beware kids on bikes next.    
* No more large trucks in Flinders St, Spencer St or narrow CBD thoroughfares.
* Enforce the bloody law.
* Maybe if they had to get tested once they arrive here instead of getting a license from a box of cereal
* This what happens when you employ unqualified steering wheel attendants who have no idea and pay no attention to their obligations of road rules.
* Stop trucks coming in City and Southbank  let them use Monash fwy
* I agree with most comments I get my heavy vehicle license 3 years ago driving a western star tipper, I had no idea when I got there ,,I got the knowledge test in a breath , driving I passed but still really had no idea how to drive a big rig and still don’t but my license says I can !!! But I can still drive a mini bus with 12 or more
* The job trainers take the Government cash but deliver b/all actual driving experience other than driving around the shortest nearby block.(Think North Shore Geelong for starters!)
* I wonder if I can find a truck licence, in the Corn Flakes box tomorrow morning?
* At some point we are going to need to put in laws to stop these kind of events from happening. It would also be good to enforce those laws. Truck drivers have gone from being the best drivers on the road to the most dangerous.
* And why do you think that is?
* 2021 and this still happens. Shambolic.
* Another one. Again.
* Truck drivers aren't too smart.
* A very expensive day for someone.
* There are way too many occurrences like this -  trucks hitting bridge supports, trucks jammed under bridges - they all cause traffic chaos in the area and this time, disruption to trains. Drivers either don't know or don't care about whether their truck is too big or too high to pass underneath.  It's  time to tighten up and ,make it more difficult to get a heavy vehicle licence in the first place  as well as handing out some licence cancellations and heavy fines for cases like this.  Over to you, Vicroads!
* Any professional truck driver who hits an overhead bridge should lose their licence for 12 months. Far too many truck drivers on the road who simply can’t drive. In days gone by our truckers were the best drivers. What do you expect when they get a licence after 5 hours of driving lessons!!
* The drivers who drive in the back of beyond are still good, though few people see them because Australia is one of the most urbanised countries on earth. Let’s face it, who would want to drive a truck around the city.
* And/or are from overseas
* I'd say that's a lot of the problem. Same with car drivers on international licences.
* Unfortunately truck drivers are taught to get their licence, and more importantly they should know the dimensions of the truck they are driving especially the height!
* No idea where they are .. any idea how to drive a truck? 
* This is 100% the fault of a motorist but all people will remember is another disruption to trains.
* There's a gantry showing clearance height. Why are some drivers so cavalier with their driving?
* Oblivious, that's why.
* The clearance height is written only in English...and so many truckies use their phone while driving.
* just another reason why we office workers don't want to return to the office 
* My thoughts exactly.

A $4bn project to speed up trains between Geelong and Melbourne is still a long way down the track. Matt Johnston July 6, 2021
Geelong fast rail has been talked about for years and has $4 billion in funding but it’s going to be a slow road to opening.
video: Morrison and Andrews governments announce $4 billion Melbourne and Geelong rail link. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews have made a multi-billion dollar announcement confirming a faster rail service…
A $4 billion project to slash train travel times between Geelong and Melbourne is unlikely to be finished until the end of the decade.
The timing of the Geelong Faster Rail project, designed to reduce travel times to 50 minutes from current peak service times of just over an hour, is being tied to the construction of a new Melbourne Airport Rail line – set to open in 2029.
Public transport advocates and the state opposition have questioned the long wait for benefits that were raised in 2018, and became a federal election promise the following year.
The Andrews Government, which is in charge of scoping the build and is starting geotechnical drilling in two weeks, is remaining tight-lipped on whether the opening date could be brought forward.
Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison at Geelong Train Station in 2019 announcing funding for fast rail. Picture: Alan Barber
Faster rail between the two cities will be achieved by upgrading the Werribee corridor, with 70 companies recently putting forward registrations of interest for the major project.
The Andrews and Morrison governments have each pledged $2bn to get it built.
Melbourne Airport Rail, which will cost $8-13bn, is on a different alignment and will run via Sunshine station and the new Melbourne Metro Tunnel.
It is also jointly funded, with each government pledging up to $5bn.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said it was unclear why the two would be linked for timelines, but that it could be an issue of resourcing.
He said level crossing removals on the Werribee corridor are already advanced, although COVID-19 had thrown up questions about when some projects should be delivered.
The Andrews Government said that construction timelines for the two projects are likely to “generally align” but that there were a number of options being investigated for Geelong.
“Melbourne Airport Rail and the first stage of Geelong Fast Rail will deliver huge benefits for regional Victoria and deliver more transport options for Melbourne’s booming west,” she said.
Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis said the plan for fast rail to Geelong was like “a mirage floating out in the distance”.
He said the coalition has promised in 2018 to deliver 32 minute services within four years.
“Labor’s plan for a Werribee based fast rail in a decade still has no easy way into central Melbourne and on some of the government proposals appears to be dependant on a version of another Metro tunnel,” he said.
“A fast Geelong rail should not have been held ransom by Labor to suburban upgrades that are on the Never Never.”
More Coverage
Delivery date unknown for Geelong fast rail
Fast rail to slash commute between Melbourne and Geelong
* Seriously. How the hell can anyone justify spending $4 Billion to save 10 minutes. This is beyond total madness.
* how about making some parking spots at Southern Cross for V line.... that should solve the snails pace arrival problem.
* Hundreds of people here saying 4b to save 10 min , will they listen, NO.
* I’m just waiting for one of Chairman Dan’s “big build “ projects to be finished, just one. Leaving aside budget and time blowouts what has this mob achieved? And to the we could have been driving on the East-West Link now.
* An above ground direct rail link is the only time poor solution.Best steam train times from the 50's is otherwise what this third 'upgrade 'will down the track provide.
* 4 billion plus payday to the Unions to achieve very little.
* Should Jacinta resign for yet another failure. Isn’t she the one who ordered new trains and the wheels didn’t fit our tracks?
* Let's all hope that unlike the Bendigo line it is able to be used during hot summer days.
* I think it is really nice that those who voted for "Despot Dan" and his leftie cohorts are the ones that are suffering the most from his decisions.  Enjoy your wait for the train - hope you brought a really big book to wile away the time - you will have plenty of it!!
* Fast?  That is neither fast nor worth 4 billion dollars. That trip should take 20 minutes max on a fast train. Go to Taipei, Tokyo or many other cities and not just in Asia, and you will ride a fast train. Pathetic.
* Is it really worth spending $4bn. just to cut 10 minutes off the Geelong-Melbourne train trip.
* When are they going to stop talking about fast rail it won’t happen . Give it a rest .
* Not sure how that can be called a fast train? I guess if it is more reliable than VLine that would be somewhat of a win. $4B seems like a lot of money but in the grand scheme of State government spending it’s rather small, so one can’t expect much. I think a proper solution would be a trip in 15 minutes, but would probably cost more like $40B (or more).
* Must be an election around the corner if the fast train raises its head in the media.
* If we are very very lucky we will get the watered down version like the NBN. More trouble than it’s worth. Just keep us in a 3rd world rail system that we are already used to.
* Is a 10 minute saving worth the money? Sounds like an emulation of the very fast train to Ballarat fiasco.
* I recall there was the Regional Fast Rail Project back in the early-mid 2000s announced by Labor, and which covered Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Traralgon.  Nothing ever really happened - just a few studies to keep some bureaucrats busy ticking boxes.  So, here we go again, another announcement to garner votes for the State election in November 2022.  Yawwwn.  Brush up on resumes Labor, you'll need them after November 2022.
* $4b to save 10 minutes travel time? Only in Victoria.
* FAST TRAIN? Yes sure, a fast train would chop more time off the trip than this one is planned to do. Get real! That is not a fast train.
* 'Slow boat to China'
* it will still be slower than when steam trains operated on the same route 100 years ago!
* So many factors already compromised. They just finished a shirt cut via Sunshine and now want to go back to Werribee for a marginally faster service. Spend it on the worst line in the state that runs to Seymour if they're serious about regional development
* They created the 'short-cut' around to Sunshine, but added on two metro stations. The trip is now SLOWER than it ever was. The metro stations was ALWAYS the plan.
* I used to commute from Geelong to Melbourne many years ago in the red rattlers and it was spoken of even then. But I still got to and from Spencer St. and North Geelong stations on the Geelong flyer in never more than an hour with stops at just Newport and North Melbourne. And always got a seat which doesn't happen these days. Now at age 61, I have no expectation of ever seeing it in my lifetime.
* 4bn to save 15 minutes, and that's if the labor/union workers don't run it over budget. Would be closer to 10bn or more if it gets the go ahead
* True but it would good to be connected to Melbourne airport.
* As much as everyone bags China, Australia needs to get China onto it as they know how to get things done quickly and on budget.
* at a cost of workers lives and slave like conditions, no thanks this is Australia for a reason
* not china but japan yes
* So does Japan - I know who I'd rather have help.
* Always thought a train that diverted through Deer Park was adding unneeded minutes onto a journey
* Fast rail to Geelong achieves nothing.  The gain in time is trivial, and does not justify the cost. What has to be measured is the overall house to station to station to workplace time.  On a journey of that length, platform to platform isn't a significant part  of the journey.  There is no reason for Geelong to be faster than any electrified terminus.  Fast rail counts for intercapital travel, and for regional centres beyond 200 km.  Right now, Geelong could be faster if the trains weren't running as suburban trains to Wyndham Vale.
* There are other efficiencies that can be made to improve the service, such as improved passenger comfort, wifi and so on. If it is a good experience the extra ten minutes might just be time well spent.
* Ten minutes saving from what they call a 'fast train' is an embarrassment. Let's hope the rest of the World do not hear it called that.
* Currently ' just over an hour'. You're kidding. It was 4 years ago but since it's been pushed onto the suburban network it's now closer to 85 minutes.
* It was only an hour to Geelong 60 years ago when it was Steam Hauled. But then it only stopped at Newport, Werribee and North Geelong
* Regular passengers have consistently said they want greater capacity, reliability and frequency in the Geelong - Melbourne rail service, not the marginal increase in speed that will result from the current project. Meanwhile, the Coalition's promise of a 32-minute Geelong to Melbourne travel time is a total fantasy.
* We can't settle for mediocre... 9 years, $4bn to maybe save 10mins... Don't settle for this, we can do better! Time creep, budget blowouts and marginal benefit sacrifices will have us in the same place in 10 years at the cost of who knows what! Demand better! 
* A 10 minute improvement is hardly "slashing" the travel time. Perhaps we should ask the Japanese or Chinese to build it. They know how to construct bullet trains.
* If you ran an express no stop service from Geelong station it would be 54 mins already… this is a joke - you can drive to the city in the same time 
* 50 minutes is that a joke?
* This and Metro tunnel 2 should be ahead of the Suburban Rail Loop white elephant
* That $4B would be better spent bringing the entire regional network up to scratch. It has been completely neglected by successive state labor governments for the better part of two decades because there are no votes in it for them.
* It should be Bullet Train, to Regional Centres not slow train. If China can build a 1500 capacity hospitals in 2 weeks, why do we take so long? Maybe that was the “Belt & Road Initiative” that was blocked by Scomo? It’s great we have all this infrastructure being built. But we need the Bullet Train Model, not the slow model.
* I would not want to be going to a hospital for 1500 that was built in 2 weeks.
* Fast Rail?
* Fast rail from Gippsland to Melbourne has been promised for almost 40 years now. It's not going to happen.
* I live in Geelong and have been hearing about a fast rail to Melbourne for as long as I can remember. I totally agree. Won’t happen!
* I've lived in Geelong for close to 30yrs with 20 of them spent traveling to Melbourne by train.....we've had 4 "Fast Train upgrades" in that time frame including the building of a dedicated line bypassing Werribbee, Newport etc and now we are going back to the future....$4Bn to shave 10 - 15 minutes of travel time is a waste of money.
* $4 Billion to cut just 10 minutes off travel times, gee who can wait for such an advancement is speed in our train network. But these trains will use the same lines as those coming from Geelong now, so where is the time saving going to come from? Will all trains in front of these "express" trains be pushed onto sidings to let them go past?
* Of course its a good idea , but it take 3 decades to decide on an Airport line and then 10 years to build it. Maybe we need the Chinese to come down and do it in twelve months. I find it just unbelievable how long it takes some obvious  things to happen here. Meanwhile on the Mornington Peninsula I'm glad I only use the Geelong road once every couple of months. 
* Why bother when other regional areas need a train line. Doesn’t add up to me
* Here we go again - even if it does get built the muppets will run it on the existing suburban lines!  Go and look at Japan, or China, and see how it's done properly. That trip would take 20-30mins over there, and make the expense worthwhile. It's needed, along with the fast rail from other regional areas like Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland... 
* Yes , I miss train travel in Japan, 6 star in every respect. 
* Fast train, B S. This trip has been done in fifty minutes since the 1960s.
* I can recall travelling over 40 years ago in the old red rattler carriages from Geelong to Melbourne - no heating in those days but there was express that left Geelong, stopped at Nth Geelong then onto Spencer St. The slow bit was getting through the shunting yards at Nth Melbourne but the journey was 51 minutes. This was a regular daily service on the timetable! Oh and there was a similar service from Spencer St to Geelong..
* brother and I would drive from Torquay to catch it. Total travel time was 1hr and 20mins including parking.
* How typical of all sides of government but especially Labor…over budget, delayed and well after time when it’s needed now.
* libs were never going to build this because when in power they were a rabble and a one term government
* Billions $$$ and a nine year wait to shave off around 10 minutes! Crazy.
* 4 years of doing nothing when in power didn't help either David Davies.
* first it was not 4 years, and the libs spent most of their time fix ing the myki stuff up. Don't blame the libs labor has been in control 18 of the last 21 years.
* Four billion dollars to save 10 minutes travelling time!! Sounds like a waste of money.
* Remember when they put the "fast train" to and from Ballarat. It now takes longer than it did before, stops and all the metro stations on the way in, all while you pay over $40 return and can't get a seat.
* How about fix all the vline trains so they run on time, have enough carriages and not be constantly faulty.
* The time to get to Geelong on the train has not changed in 30yrs.  It still takes an hour in the "VLocity" trains which was the same as the old N class loco and carriage consists when I was a kid. The problem is that it takes too long to get out of the Spence St rail yard and past the outer suburban stations and then they still they have to slow for crossings.
* What a ridiculous prospect to spend $4b to save 10 minutes. This was designed to try and save Sarah Dolittle’s seat. People don’t mind the train ride. It’s the time spent from Footscray to Spencer St that is the real problem. They would be better to electrify the line through to Wyndamvale and get that extension off the VLine network and onto the Metro network. That would save 6 minutes for a start.
* Seriously $4bn to shave off 10 minutes!...madness. Surely we have more important things to spend public money on
* Money wasted on old technology. Why not spend money on new technology.
* 50 minutes...wow hardly a fast train. 20 minutes using magnetodrive and we are starting to talk
* Waste of money.Build East West Link.
* 50 minutes? You would be expecting it to take 25 for that price. Ridiculous
* How about they reduce time to get from Frankston to the city, it is ridiculous that the travel time has increased over the last 20-40 years, even express trains that took around 47 minutes around the late 90’s now take around 55 minutes pre pandemic. Additionally Frankston needs a larger car park, pre pandemic if you were not at the station prior to 6.25 am you could not get a car park.
* 4 billion dollars to decrease your travel time by ten minutes. I hardly think that should be called fast rail. Lot of money for not much return.
* Empty promises by labor; another good reason to vote them out at next years election, you won’t get a true fast rail unless there’s a change of government.
* I'll wager Andrews will not be so tight lipped in the lead-up to the state election, it will be all go go go and shovel ready.
* One thing is guaranteed. If Labor has anything to do with it, it will never happen. They’ve had three goes so far at giving us a “fast rail service”, and have stuffed it up every time. 
* Who wants to go to Melbourne anyway?
* Reduce travel times by around 20 minutes , what part of very fast train don’t you understand? By European standards this should be a 30 minute trip!!
* Pity there is not the same interest in improving the Traralgon line which suffers from crawling behind metro trains for most of the metro journey.
* It will never be fast rail. Look at a Japanese inter city timetable for fast trains, we could call ours snail train if it ever gets built.
* Geelong is a safe Labor seat both Federal and State. Labor have held it for over 30 years and the Libs will never win it. Labor treats it with contempt so nothing will be done. We need a hospital in the north and they give a 20 bed day stay. Thank you Mr Marles and Mr Uren.
* $4 billion to reduce travel time by 10 minutes - is this a joke?
* How does 4bn to save 10 minutes even equate? What a total waste of money and resources. If someone is relying on 10 minutes they need to reorganise their lives better. Put this money into a better road system. At least then the majority of tax payers will reap some rewards.
* It's a waste of time and money unless its a truly fast train (30 mins) whats the point of doing all the construction for approx. 15% saving in time. If the money is spent on such a minimal gain it will remain that way for another 100 years.
* It will never happen! And 50 mins how is that fast?
* The Liberals we can deliver this in 4 years and smash the travel time to 32 minutes , may as well say pigs can fly if you know you will never be put to the test.
* it will never happen. election promises..people were duped.
* It’s something that Labor will continue to pull out of their election promise hat every time to sucker the voters, but then never actually deliver.
* these politicians are all liars and full of deceit This current crop have no idea of reality or the truth and they actually believe their lies are the truth ( heaven help us ) Nearly 60 years ago I first heard of the fast train to Sydney [this will never happen ] then we got a clap trap EXT train that will do an amazing 130km/h [ in Asian countries 300 plus km/h ] I have been married 53 years and when married Tullamarine was ready to open and they were going to have a rail line to there again its never eventuated ( but in the never ending planning {procrastinating] process ) I don’t believe I will ever see it in my lifetime And now for probably for around 10 or so years the government have been telling us a FAST TRAIN to Geelong on all accounts if they keep going This will be a flop unless they do as other countries do and SPEND MONEY an have dedicated services not running it through the urban clogged current network and unless they can guarantee a service that will deliver a 30 to 35 minute service then its money poorly spent I sit back and laugh at the visionless planners and politicians who have NO INTESTINAL FORTITUDE to stand up to the environmentalist blinkered rabble who also have no idea of what happens with all the unintended consequences of their actions
* 9 years to make it 50 mins. Can drive there in the same time, wheres the benefit?
* Obviously never driven there during ANY weekday.
* Meanwhile people in Mornington would just like their train service back.
* Exactly. It is NOT fast rail if it's still 50 minutes. If anything at all, it's a full circle back to previous times prior to the disaster that is regional rail link.
* Why doesn't someone use a little initiative? Fast suburban rail is a pipedream as long as it only duplicates existing alignments. Why not bore an underground dual track from Tullamarine to Geelong with two intermediate stops only at Melbourne Central and Avalon Airport. Then see where next.
* And the price for the privilege of standing up all the way to Melbourne is astronomical. Which will only dramatically increase in the future to pay for it.

Show full size
210706Tu-Melbourne'Age'-FlindersStViaduct-stuck.truck-ss  |  640W x 427H  | 210.63 KB |  Photo details
Show full size
210706Tu-Melbourne'HeraldSun'-FlindersStViaduct-stuck.truck  |  640W x 360H  | 242.1 KB |  Photo details
Show full size
210706Tu-Melbourne'HeraldSun'-Vlocity-ss  |  640W x 360H  | 199.67 KB |  Photo details
Show full size
210706Tu-Metro-Twitter-art.tram  |  800W x 320H  | 269.21 KB |  Photo details
Show full size
210706Tu-Metro-Twitter-FlindersStViaduct-stuck.truck  |  640W x 363H  | 216.03 KB |  Photo details