Fw: Sat.1.1.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sat.1.1.22 Metro Twitter
Aircraft: No ramp access to platforms until late 2021 (pedestrian-underpass works). [no reopening has been announced yet]
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works.
Until 1 January, services on all lines run to different timetables on selected days.
During the Night Network services, buses replace trains on all Metro lines except for Pakenham/Cranbourne.
New Year's Eve: Metropolitan trains will run all night tonight; public transport will be free from 18.00 until 6.00.  Flinders St and Southern Cross will be open all night; loop stations will close at 2.00.
City trams will be affected by a rally in the CBD this afternoon. Plan ahead and make extra time for your journey.
13.53  Lilydale line: Major delays (an ill passenger requiring an ambulance at Croydon). trains may terminate/originate at Ringwood.
- 14.06 The heat will do that.
- 14.22 clearing.
19.01 Werribee line: Major delays  (an equipment fault near Westona).  Trains will run direct from Newport to Laverton.
- 20.27 Buses operating Newport-Westona-Altona-Seaholme -Laverton.
- 23.22 Trains have resumed running via Altona.

Melbourne’s hottest New Year’s Day in more than a decade after ‘quiet’ NYE. Roy Ward, Rachael Dexter and Ashleigh McMillan January 1, 2022

Labor promises $500m for Sydney to Newcastle leg of future high-speed rail. Jennifer Duke January 1, 2022. 500 comments [just a selection reposted]
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will promise hundreds of millions of dollars for a fast rail link between Sydney and Newcastle if Labor wins the upcoming federal election as part of a plan to start a high-speed rail network along the nation’s east coast.
Mr Albanese, who will unveil the plan at a speech on Sunday in the Labor heartland of Newcastle, said a $500 million down payment for the new link between the regional centre and the country’s largest capital city would be provided in his first federal budget. The initial funds would help cover the purchase of land in the corridor, planning and early works but the project would require state government involvement.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese has promised $500 million as an initial fund to start work on the Newcastle to Sydney fast rail.CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT
Labor previously said it would create a high-speed rail authority if it won the upcoming federal election in an effort to launch a “nation building” project running from Melbourne to Brisbane. Trains on the line would run at 350km/h and stop in Canberra, Sydney and other regional centres.
“The growth that we’ve seen outside [capital cities] will accelerate and that growth, when you look at decentralisation, is more attractive for people,” Mr Albanese told The Sun-Herald and The Age ahead of the speech.
He said shorter commutes from regional areas could help with housing affordability, reduce emissions and road accidents from the number of cars commuting and encourage more businesses to move out of the capitals. Cost of living, including property prices, has become an early fighting ground between the Coalition and Labor in the lead-up to the election.
“If you change that dynamic [the length of time it takes to get from regional hubs to capital cities] you change the economics of business locations in favour of decentralisation,” he said.
The high-speed rail network would include stops on the Central Coast and cut a trip from Sydney to Newcastle to 45 minutes. At the moment the trip takes 2½ hours. The initial stage of fast rail would cut this leg of the journey to two hours.
Mr Albanese will also unveil plans on Sunday to provide additional support for after-hours GP access, reversing about $500,000 in cuts. Labor says operating hours have been reduced at after-hours healthcare clinics in areas including Newcastle. The service assists 50,000 patients a year including through 70,000 telephone consults.
During the 2019 federal election Labor suffered a significant swing in the seat of Hunter. In the 2021 Upper Hunter state byelection there was also a notable swing against Labor.
The NSW government has been undertaking planning work to provide a fast rail line between Sydney and Newcastle, with proposals and discussions about the potential of these links under way for years.
In April, former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government was renewing its commitment to faster rail to regional centres. Federal Labor’s plans are in line with existing state plans but would aim to speed up the delivery of the infrastructure.
Mr Albanese said fast rail was a “genuinely transformative project” and would need to be undertaken with the states.
“We’ll provide the funding straight away, but we will sit down with NSW and it would have to be the subject of appropriate conversation [with the state government],” Mr Albanese said. “Sydney is the key.”
When this part of the project was secured, he said there would be scope for the authority to work on a Sydney to Melbourne link where there were clear economic benefits for the investment.
“We’ll have more to say on corridor acquisition and other things [for that part of the link] down the track,” he said.
“The Commonwealth should be playing a role in genuine economic transformation ... and looking for projects that boost productivity and boost the economy.”
* the moral of the story is : No chestnut is ever too old.
* Good on you for proposing Sydney-Newcastle fast rail (https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-promises-500m-for-sydney-to-newcastle-leg-of-future-high-speed-rail-20220101-p59l8m.html). Tim Fischer knew that rail is preferable for nation building than Tony Abbott’s preference for Very Fast Roads or Mike Baird's preference for Very Flash Toll Roads.
That said, there’s a rail project I’d like you to redirect, and that’s the Queensland leg of Barnaby Joyce’s Inland Rail project. Instead of running it from the NSW border at Goondiwindi across to Brisbane via Toowoomba (cost of $6.9 billion due to tunnelling to get down the Toowoomba Range), it should be re-routed northwards to Gladstone (about $4 billion overall). Brisbane is already congested, particularly around Rocklea where the trains will be marshalled, whereas the Port of Gladstone will have ample room for more throughput, particularly as and when coal exports decline in the next couple for decades.
I’d then propose that the $2 billion savings from re-routing the Inland Rail could be put towards a Brisbane to Gladstone standard gauge railway line; at present the standard gauge system line from Sydney terminates at Brisbane, but it could be extended to Gladstone to improve both interstate freight and passenger services.
Meanwhile, Downer Rail is expanding its Maryborough operations with a new fabrication plant adjacent to the Brisbane-Gladstone railway line in Hinkler electorate at Torbanlea - for which a new standard gauge railway line would be greatly beneficial. Now, the major urban centres in Hinkler are Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, both of which turned to ALP at the last state election in part because of Keith Pitt’s enthusiasm for the cashless welfare card - so leaving aside the jobs that a Brisbane-Gladstone standard gauge railway will create, expanding Hinkler’s manufacturing industry might encourage Mr Pitt to be more reasonable.
* High speed rail costs between $20m and $200m per km. Reclaiming urban land and paying compensation is especially expensive. Albo needs to come back when he's serious, $10-20 billion dollars worth of serious.
* $20bn? That's the same amount the government gave away to companies that didn't need help under their Jobs program.
* I would love to see a fast train system here. I get so frustrated after returning from an overseas trip that we are so behind here. I much prefer to travel by train than flying as it's better for the environment. Apart from Dan Andrews government in Victoria the rest seem to have no forward thinking when it comes to infrastructure. Yes, it costs, but it is money well spent.
* Andrews keeps delaying a fast train to Geelong and the airport despite a large contribution promised by the Feds.
* during the 2019 election campaign Morrison spoke about his desire to build a high speed railway between cities. Another broken election promise. You can't have your cake - or railway - and eat it. if it's okay for the Coalition to talk about it, then they have no right to criticizes it when Labor promises it. Even so, I doubt that it will come to fruition. We've heard this plan so many times that it is unlikely to ever by built.
* Let’s hope it happens this time around Australia is like a dinosaur where rail transport is concerned
* You need to compare population numbers, distances and demand and you will find why it isn't commercially viable.
* I love this idea but i wish they didnt call it “Nation Building”. The inevitable Utopia references are painful and whitewash a very sound economic idea
* Finally a politician with a vision! Let’s go for it. If Morrison and Frydenberg had not given billions to companies that didn’t need the money we’d be a third on the way.. Anybody who’s travelled on HST overseas know they are brilliant.
* Albo would have far more credibility if he and the ALP just focused on a FASTER Speed Rail network by upgrading existing lines with duplications, curve easing, overtaking loops and deviations, as done on the main highway network between Brisbane and Melbourne, to allow higher speeds up to 200km/h. It would also be a huge benefit for freight traffic, which hasn't been mentioned, making it more competitive with road transport. The primary objective should be to improve connectivity between the Capital cities and their respective regional centres, not between Capital cities, although those longer journeys would also benefit with significantly reduced journey times compared with what currently exists. One myth that needs to be put to bed is that High Speed Rail will encourage decentralisation to enable a faster commute for workers with jobs in Sydney for example. Conspicuous by its absence, is any mention of the fare structure, which would be prohibitive for regular commuting for all but the wealthy. Fares won't be the same as the heavily subsidised fares now in place. Anyone thinking of moving outside of the existing commuter belt surrounding Sydney, ie the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, would be well advised to seek local employment.
* Perhaps we could buy French TGVs. That might help to assuage their anger at being dudded on the submarines.
* Has anybody asked the planners if they know what a straight line is before they hand over the money for this project? The rail line will be most efficient only if it is gun-barrel straight for more than a couple of hundred yards.
* Reading the comments is really depressing. The total lack of understanding of the difference between a Very Fast Train (VFT) and High Speed Rail is astounding. They are two different beasts. VFT mostly operates on a newly built special purpose track. Very expensive. A HSR runs on improved tracks on improved existing alignments. Not so expensive. HSR is what operates on normal services in Europe and UK. Building one here will just be catching up tp 1960.
* From the comments most people do not want a VFT and are raising very poor arguments. Do not forget the VFT for regional areas was raised by the gold standard premier at the last election. However the VFT would have economic benefits relieving congestion in Sydney as travel would probably be quicker from Newcastle than the blue mountains, Penrith and Campbelltown and maybe by buscfrom the Northern Beaches. They have VFTs in Europe Japan and China where the terrain is more mountings than in Australia. Policies such as the VFT should be welcomed and not ridiculed. You also have to look at the communities that are expanding on the existing line which in the future could also increase is size and expand.
* The VFTrains go slowly enough to stay on the tracks in mountains in France and on the run to Milan through the Alps. The Shinkansen in Japan goes on elevated gradient adjusting tracks that also run to eliminate curves.
In other places in France, the TGV runs on gun barrel straight tracks elevated appropriately to limit gradient issues. They are all pointed to Paris and go in and out morning noon and night from major populations in regional cities.
* ALP must be getting desperate as it is rolled out every election but nothing done when Albanese was Transport and Infrastructure Minister just as he did nothing about Western Sydney Airport.
* Frankfurt to Berlin, a distance of 430 km could be done in about 4 hrs using the 300 km/h ICE - an average of 100km/hr including 1 or 2 stops along the way.
* I used it between Berlin and Frankfurt and it was nowhere near as fast as the French TGV
* So we've had 13 years of a do nothing government. The prospect of a, hopefully, do something government is a comfort. I'm prepared to suspend belief that rail improvement to at least 20th century levels just may happen before I die, which will be in about 10 years.
* The current trains can travel upto 200km/h. What we need is better tracks, especially between Awaba and Morroiset and around Hawsbury area.
* Liberals love toll roads, Sydney has airport toll train....so not unimaginable to ponder toll railway, even $2-$5 cost recovery over years...M1 is at capacity now, especially with all the huge b double trucks...)notice a truck smash each 3 days....)...Population will grow in that region. .so idea has legs..
* In 1990 I took the TGV from Paris to Marseille. 660 kilometres in 4 hours. Today there are between 18 to 20 trains a day. The fastest service is a little over 3 hours. It hits speeds of 320 kms/hr., but not at that speed all the time.
The track is designed to be as straight as possible with slight deviations, mostly indiscernible, spread over very long distances.
I have also taken the TGV from the Alps to Paris. The first hour it winds around the mountains and behaves itself like all good heavy rail should on curvy, hilly mountainous terrain.
At Alberville, an hour into the trip if makes it’s last stop before Paris.
It then goes flat-out like a TGV can go, and it’s a straight shot into the outskirts of Paris in less than 3 hours.
To think that these speeds could be attained between Sydney and Newcastle is fanciful at best and dangerous over-simplification of the worst degree.
Put the Coalition last, they have no idea, no plan and no intention about even looking for a solution (to anything, anytime at all, ever).
* anyone seen the fast train episode of Utopia? Just promise a fast train to get elected, you don't have to deliver.
* Public or Private? If private have anything to do with it they've lost my vote. Given my current experience with the current state government.
* It would have made more sense economically to build a very fast train between Sydney and Canberra and upgrade Canberra airport than to build the second Sydney airport.
* This is Badgerys Creek all over again. In twenty years time there will be still be a raging debate as public enthusiasm ebbs and flows and no high speed rail. And by then the M1 will be awash with driverless electric vehicles.
* How many trains a day running up and down the coast would it take to impact housing affordability? I'm all for high speed trains as a convenient alternative to air travel but I'm dubious about the magnitude of the benefits claimed by Albo.
* Have you ever experienced high speed train travel. It is a no brainer.
* Agree, a no brainer for small countries with large populations, think Japan. Another story for a large country with a small population.
* Horses for courses, themunz, and yes it’s a great way to travel. One has to be safe sitting in any conveyance at high speed. Zipping down to the Hawkesbury and up the other side at 300km/hr might just have some engineering issues.
* Sign up to China's BRI and get the Chinese to design and build the thing. That way its many benefits will have an effect within one generation, the trains will fit through the tunnels and the driver will be able to steer the thing when the sun shines. Oh, and it will be a lot cheaper, too. (btw China have built 40,000 kilometres of high speed rail lines with a design speed of 200–350 km/h.)
* And China will ask for anything in the way to be pulled down as nothing stops their progress. Forget any heritage considerations, natural or otherwise.
* Albo was the one who pushed the upgrade of the Pacific Highway to dual carriageway.
We still have Coffs Harbour chokepoint/bottleneck, where over 12 sets of traffic lights are the only thing stopping the flow of traffic from Brisbane to Newcastle.
Completing the Coffs bypass before 2025 would be great. It has apparently been fast tracked by LNP governments, yet no actual construction timetable, just a contract to be signed later this year.
The travel time by rail from Newcastle to Sydney, has not improved in over 75 years.
* Let’s see the 'big picture’ for Australia first.
* The overall Fast Train Network plan for Australia needs to be adopted by federal and state transport authorities. It involves four lines. All options should be evaluated and the highest priority stage should be built first. This is not the Sydney to Newcastle stage.
* Labour do infrastructure projects, LNP just set up a fund. Yes they run over budget, just watch the uakus subs.
* LNP is the biggest spending, most indebted in Australia's history outside wartime. And what do we see for it? $40 billion money confetti showered on Morrison's mates in the form of Jobkeeper
* Labor builds infrastructure. The LNP privatises it, then claims good budget 'management' based on the one off revenue windfall. Eventually there is nothing else to sell, and a Labor government is called apon once more to build more infrastructure.
* There is huge merit in Melbourne - Canberra - Sydney - Newcastle - Brisbane high-speed rail.  There is no merit in high-speed commuting from Newcastle. Commuting services need stops and convenience. Journey from home to station and station to workplace becomes more important than the time in the train. Why should Newcastle get faster services than Cronulla (or any other suburban terminus)?

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