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Australian Public Transport projects & stuff

addendum: it's single track - the existing tunnel is now the down track, the new tunnel is the up track (down = away from Melbourne, up = towards Melbourne).
Any thoughts on it being so much larger than need for single track?
On stantec's site it says a "fourth set of tracks" - I assume they just mean a fourth track?
To help increase capacity on the Kitchener Corridor, which passes under Highway 401/409 through a tunnel, infrastructure upgrades are required:
  • Construction of a second tunnel under Highway 401/409 to accommodate two additional tracks, future signaling and communications infrastructure; [...]
No idea really!

I know this is the AU thread, but it'd be hard to go back through the mega threads on the project - so I'm just going to ask the question here :D

The georgetown project you mentioned before, I take it that this will be electrified (according to that link just above). But just wondering about why the highest frequency stops at Bramlea and not Brampton which appears to be more centrally located - where you can do what you guys do better than any of us in AU, and build a proper bus feeder network to the station.... any reason why Bramlea appears to be the frequency terminus and not Brampton?


I haven't caught up on the electrification/Metrolinx thread in a while.
any reason why Bramlea appears to be the frequency terminus and not Brampton?
Ownership of RoW. Brampton sits on a stretch of the corridor alignment from Toronto to Kitchener not owned by Metrolinx, but retained in full title by CN Rail. Bramalea, although 'on the edge of town' just straddles the line ownership, but can have a dedicated Metrolinx track(s) extended to it, and that's the plan. Brampton by-pass is a whole other complicated issue. I'll see if I can find a link that discusses it. It's a massive knot in Toronto's passenger rail conundrum that is ultimately a case for the "Missing Link" which you'll find a string for at this site, and lots online.

This allows me to illustrate a massive difference between Oz think/practice and Ontario/Cdn one: Any major Oz city would realize: 'We've got to do a freight by-pass there to free up the entire system'. Ontario? And Canada? ....those damn crickets chirping costs money. I have to leave it at that, it's an emotional/political issue. But it's a damn good question and an obvious one to outsiders.
I haven't caught up on the electrification/Metrolinx thread in a while.
It's painful. There is no news. It's Ontario, and the Premier and his puppet masters are societally challenged.
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It's been 40+ years since we've seen this kind of construction in the city - Melbourne Metro's State Library station - the platforms for that will be under Swanston Street (running top to bottom on right of first image) and interface with the existing Melbourne Central platforms (which are under La Trobe street - the street running left right at the bottom of the first image).



Museum station (now known as Melbourne Central) under construction in the 70s, the car/tram diversion is La Trobe Street:


The authorities were happy to cut and cover in the CBD 50 years ago, not today though - State Library and Town Hall (which interfaces with Flinders Street) are both being built with road headers / caverns whilst leaving Swanston Street untouched. They are occupying certain building sites and at State Library, in the first image above, two streets have been occupied for northern entrances.


Anzac (southernmost station), Parkville are both cut and cover directly under streets and North Melbourne (westernmost station) is a cut and cover but it's contained within an entire site just off two streets. North Melbourne's station land is almost all owned by the state government and they'll be doing a lot of TOD over the next 15 years.
@tayser: You do realize you're taunting us now? Envy doesn't do the reaction justice...

What boggles me is how the more conservative Ozzies can be generations ahead of us without the fetters of reactionary neo-cons (as opposed to rational conservatives) holding them back. Some of the difference comes down to historical rail factors, and the nature of confederation in Canada (the loosest of any Western federation) but that can only be part of it at best. The rest is due not to economics, but politics and public mindset.
Hey, the Ontario Line - if it gets up will be something similar to Melb Metro.

Prior to the last year's state election, and prior to the ALP unveiling the Suburban Rail Loop, many people were behind the Melbourne Metro 2 concept. It's basically doing the same thing as the main Melbourne Metro project now under construction: focused on inner-city cross-rail services but dragging two large suburban lines into one. Melbourne Metro connects south-eastern suburbs to north-western suburbs, Melbourne Metro 2 would connect south-western suburbs (Werribee line) to the North/North-Eastern suburbs (Mernda) with two interchanges (like Melbourne Metro) with existing city loop stations but open up new areas of the inner-city: Fishermans Bend (2 stations) and Fitzroy (1 station) as well as interchanging with Melbourne Metro 1 at Parkville.

Melbourne Metro 2 was not on the platform (pardon pun) for the ALP in the last election but since then there's been snippets said on it that Melbourne Metro 1 needs to get done first (perhaps it'll be on the platform (again, pardon another pun) for the next state election in 2022?).

All of this rail building in Vic is centre-left, of which in Victoria, the left-wing faction of the ALP is dominant (the right wing faction of the ALP has been in disarray for a while and was dominant through the 90s, 00s and early this decade).

The Liberal party doesn't have a formal factional system like the ALP, but there are two broad ones: small-l liberals (closest thing we have to Canadian (Ontarian?) Liberals) who are in the minority and the tories who are in the majority. The Tory faction has been going further right and to be honest we've already had our Trump-moment with Tony Abbott firstly as an opposition leader (late 2000s) until he became PM in 2013 until he was dumped for Malcolm Turnbull before the 2016 federal election. Tony Abbott got the boot at the federal election the other week by a conservative independent, and thank f*ck for that.

The ALP probably best fit in with the NDP in Canada (they affiliated with the same global progressive alliance) and the Liberals in AU are far more aligned to the CPC rather than the same namesake party in Canada.

Also, mandatory voting, the preferential voting system for the House of Representatives mean that parties are forced to pitch themselves for the centre to win government. Yeah there are racist parties like One Nation and small off-shoot parties like the Australian Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, but they are fringe and barely attract over 5% of the national vote which all but rules them out of winning a House of Reps seat but may see them get a Senate seat (because the electoral system for the Senate like all proportional systems allows for more diversity).

I must stress though: Even though they come from the same structures (Lib and Lab parties have state branches and they're federated), state parties for both Lab and Lib will differ: for instance, but both parties are keenly aware that at the state level, everyone wants to see them do things - that's what turfed the last Liberal government out in Victoria (2014).
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On the national level, I'm finding this one of the better if not best comparison and warning for other analogous nations for lessons to be learned:
19 MAY 2019
Morrison’s miracle: why the Australian Labor party suffered a crushing defeat
The election is one of the most spectacular, and unexpected, results in Australia’s political history.

The analogies are made to the UK major parties, but of course, things are fracturing at a furious rate in Blighty right now. On a national level, I see a lot of lessons for Canada in this election.

Comparisons to Ontario appear more nebulous, if applicable at all. To try and define Ontario's present regime is difficult, save it being very reactionary right. For instance this:
Hey, the Ontario Line - if it gets up will be something similar to Melb Metro.
At this point in time, I and many others have less belief that this is real then when it was announced two months ago. We appear to have a Phony Government. Virtually nothing they say or do can be believed. They don't even believe it themselves, because there's nothing to believe. They make it up as they go along.

I could live happily with a rational right of centre regime. Ontario has been governed very successfully by a number of them, colloquially called The Blue Machine. Good, slightly right of centre but progressive and enlightened regimes. This certainly isn't one, and some of those most outraged are the Conservatives I've just described.

To put it more bluntly as per transit: The Ontario Line doesn't exist in any shape or form. It's a construct alright, of someone's imagination. I have to leave it there for now, events will bear out my claims, already are to some extent, e.g:
National Pest's Financial Post sub-publication has an excellent article:
The good times are over for the Australian economy, and Canadians would be wise to take note
Now, the average Canadian might not be too concerned about a slowing in the world’s 14th-largest economy. But maybe we should pay closer attention, here in the world’s 10th-largest economy. After all, in many ways, Canada and Australia are mirror images of each other — close in population and economic strength, both highly exposed to commodity markets and global trade, and, perhaps most importantly, both grappling with the hangover of overheated housing markets, slow wage growth and soaring household debt. If, indeed, Australia is headed for a downturn after nearly three decades, it might hold some lessons for how our economy might end up — or avoid ending up — in the same boat.[...]
Except the part where he says the Australian and Canadian economies are comparable.

Australia is considerably more productive than Canada:

Australians are almost twice as wealthy as Canadians:

Australia’s total government debt to GDP is less than half Canada’s:

If you’re envious of Australia’s superior infrastructure sitting in Toronto, try living there part of every year. It’s so depressing to return to Toronto from Sydney in what we euphemistically call spring. Sure the GTA has been a total planning and governance mess since the 1970’s and that’s a big part of our problem. But we also pay much less attention to growing our economy than they do Down Under. We’re poorer and it really shows.
It’s so depressing to return to Toronto from Sydney in what we euphemistically call spring.
They can say all they like about the "dangers of Sunshine". It's the opposite that's the danger. That alone is a *huge* plus for 'quality of living' for me. I'm a distance cyclist, and Winter's killing me.

Here's something to cheer both of us up:
Scientists find some whales tan to protect themselves from sunburns ...

Aug 30, 2013 - VANCOUVER — Some pale whales appear to tan in order to protect themselves from sunburn, says a new study. ... They found that higher melanin levels in the whale's skin correlated with lower levels of skin lesions and DNA damage, suggesting melanin protects the ocean mammals from sun ...
I've been away in Yoo-rup for the past couple of weeks. Things have been busy on Melb Metro - 2nd (of, I think, 3?) shutdown in South Yarra area has seen Sandringham line tracks ripped up so they can build the roof of the tunnel decline right near the portal. Presumably so they don't need to pester with the Sandy tracks during the third (and final, I think) shutdown that will connect the tunnel decline to the Pakenham/Cranbourne pair (left-most track pair in first image below).


More construction pr0n.

How to extend an existing station's access radius, exhibit A. The Town Hall station platforms will be under Swanston Street and this access point will effectively move the nearest paid area access point to the entire Flinders Street-Town Hall complex about 250m away from where you currently access Flinders Street (you can see the dome on right).


We have nothing like PATH here, but I'm fairly certain this will be Melbourne's biggest underground pedestrian subway network when complete. There's going to be 3 new entries to the entire Flinders Street-Town Hall complex - the one in the foreground, one on the western (right) side of Swanston Street (can see the small blue crane) and another at Federation Square (behind St Paul's Cathedral in this shot).

Excluding all the access points, all station construction will occur with road headers building multiple caverns directly under the street. Initially they thought of cut and cover but the tram tracks on Swanston Street just carry far too many people.

At Parkville, like at Anzac, it's cut and cover initially but they're racing to get roofs done first so they can then re-open streets.

Interesting new data from the NSW Government re: the first month of operations on Sydney Metro (phase 1).

North West Metro marks one month as TBM prepares to go under the harbour
Published26 Jun 2019
More than 1.8 million journeys have been completed in the first month of operation on the new North West Metro, which has already helped to ease pressure on our roads and the existing rail network.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the North West Metro has been an incredible success and it is just a taste of what is to come with the turn-up-and-go services being extended under the harbour and through the CBD.
“Since opening one month ago there has been an average of 65,000 journeys on weekdays, taking people off motorways, buses and the existing rail network,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Over the past month 20,000 fewer cars used the M2 compared to the same time last year and up to a 20 per cent fall in usage at key stations on the T1 Western Line.
“This demonstrates the enormous community benefits of Metro and now delivery of the next stage is underway, with a Tunnel Boring Machine almost ready to start digging the second harbour rail crossing.”
Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Kathleen will be launched from Barangaroo next month to dig the historic rail crossing deep under Sydney Harbour.
Ms Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance joined workers 30 metres underground to complete the final inspection of TBM Kathleen.
“Not since Bradfield delivered the Sydney Harbour Bridge almost a century ago has there been a vision for public transport on the scale of Sydney Metro,” Mr Constance said.
“Now, TBM Kathleen is shaping Sydney’s future as she gets ready to build the first railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour.
“This is the next stage of Sydney Metro which will deliver a turn-up-and-go Metro service stretching 66 kilometres from Rouse Hill in the North West to Bankstown in the
South West and the CBD in between.”
The 975 tonne tunnel boring machine was assembled deep under Barangaroo and will start digging the first of twin one-kilometre tunnels, 40 metres below the Harbour at its deepest.
This specialised TBM is named after Kathleen Butler, who played a vital role in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the technical advisor to legendary engineer John JJC Bradfield.
TBM Kathleen will join the four borers currently digging from Marrickville and Chatswood towards the harbour’s edge.
Together, all five TBMs will deliver twin 15.5 kilometre rail tunnels for Australia’s biggest public transport project.
The first stage, North West Metro, opened one month ago with Opal data revealing:
  • An average of 65,000 trips on weekdays;
  • After the opening fare free day, Thursday 30 May was the busiest day on the Metro with 75,000 trips;
  • Tuesday 18 June was the busiest morning peak with 23,000 trips;
  • Tuesday 28 May was the busiest afternoon peak with 28,000 trips; and
  • More than 7000 metro train services have run so far.