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Australian Public Transport projects & stuff

For the construction nerds, the Town Hall and State Library stations (which will interface with Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations respectively) are being built with road headers - three caverns at each station and the track tunnel between the two stations will also be build with road headers rather than TBMs. All four TBMs that are building the rest of the tunnels for Melbourne metro project will finish their journeys at either State Library or Town Hall.

Apparently they're 70 metres in at Town Hall - the platforms will eventually be 220m long.

Video... sorry only from facebook (can't find other source):
Back over in Perth, the WA government has published info on the newest branch/line to be built for the Perth Metronet - The ellenbrook line.

The Suburban Rail Loop authority was established this week and work has kicked off on geotechnical investigations to lock down the exact station precinct locations.

First phase is Cheltenham to Box Hill via Clayton, Monash University, Glen Waverley, Deaking University (Burwood).


The "announceable' yesterday was confirmation locations, but in reality these maps havent changed. There was some talk that Glen Waverley wouldn't be the location for the SRL station, but Mount Waverley (which is a more direct route from Monash to Deakin), but GW is now confirmed.
Sydney Metro West, the second full / new metro line had its station locations confirmed recently. Starting in Sydney CBD it will have at least 7 stations and terminate at Westmead (just beyond Parramatta).

All signs point to the same tech as the first metro line (whose first phase is open, second phase is nearing completion of tunneling) and the emphasis is on speed- 20 minutes from the CBD to Parramatta.


You might have noticed there's already a railway line and the new line will parallel it, but the stations are in areas that have developed since the opening of the original railway (which is the second oldest in Australia). Likewise, this will probably be the first phase with a second running from Westmead all the way out to the new Western Sydney Airport that's U/C.

For full context:
And now for something different. Train nerds unite! A driver training video of one of Victoria's faster regional services. Starting in Waurn Ponds (southernmost suburb of Geelong) all the way through to Southern Cross (main regional station in Melbourne). Video shows all the relevant signalling systems the journey goes over, all the max track speeds and the slower-than-max-track-speed corners.

- The video is from 2016 shortly after the Regional Rail Link was opened - the bridge at ~32m30s is the start of the RRL and the train travels on all the new track all the way to the end.
- The 160kph section from Corio (20m50s) to the Regional Rail Link was upgrade last decade.
- The first 13 minutes of the video - the southern section of Geelong - will be duplicated in a few years.
- From Wyndham Vale (outer western Melbourne) to the city, that section of the RRL is already, potentially, up for an upgrade - quadruplication so electrified metro services can be introduced to serve the burbs (what metro is supposed to do) while maintaining regional separation (what the regional rail link was intended to do).
- The Geelong and Ballarat lines (Ballarat joins that video at Deer Park West junction - 47m50s) might be in for electrification as well.
- Another new track pair might be built between Sunshine (52m40s) and the City - in a tunnel - that's if a private Melbourne Airport Rail Link proposal gets up (or the State Gov does a public one with a tunnel) - which might make regional services even faster all the way to the city.

The metro to Wyndham Vale project (Western Rail Plan), electrification to Geelong (Higher-speed trains to Geelong) and Sunshine-City tunnel (Melbourne Airport Rail Link) are all part of the massive amount of studies currently underway and are supposedly going to be released from the end of this year into next, starting with a decision on the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

The train the video was shot on is a Vlocity 160 (Bombardier):
We were drip-fed a bit more information on the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) yesterday.

New animation and media statement saying the line will be operationally-independent from the existing network and will have a smaller scale - 4-5 car trains. Business case/design is still underway (not going to be released til mid next year) but it looks like the State Government is slowly defining what the system will look like.

The size/scale of the trains, especially if you're to use the video as a guide, looks to be similar to Vancouver's skytrain (older parts) or Copenhagen's metro.

Media release:

New Dedicated Trains For Standalone Suburban Rail Loop
24 November 2019

The Suburban Rail Loop will be a twin-tunnel, standalone line that will fully integrate into our existing public transport network, and include a dedicated fleet of quick, high-tech trains to transform how Melbourne moves.

Marking a year since the Andrews Labor Government was re-elected, Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan to announce new details of the Suburban Rail Loop, following 12 months of intensive technical, planning and design work.

The 90-kilometre rail ring will connect every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line, making it quicker and easier to get to Melbourne’s major health, education and employment centres.

It will be built as a separate rail line, meaning it can use state-of-the-art systems from around the world without having to retrofit technology into the existing network – saving time and money.

Passengers will be able to easily transfer across both networks, with the same ticketing system servicing both and up to 12 new stations connecting the existing rail system with the new standalone line.

Being a dedicated line also means the design of the trains that use the line won’t be constrained by the requirements of Melbourne’s hundred-year-old train network.

As a result, the new trains will be four to five carriages long and faster than the existing fleet. Being smaller, means they can turn up more often, and that the platforms will be shorter – reducing the distance passengers need to walk at the station each day to get on the train.

Pre-construction work on the Stage One route from Box Hill to Cheltenham is gathering pace, with geotechnical drilling well underway. Fourteen boreholes have already been dug, with close to 100 to be drilled by mid-2020.

The information collected will help determine the final alignment and station locations for the project, and how it will be built.

Community consultation and market engagement will ramp up next year and construction on Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop is expected to begin in 2022. For more information, visit

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“A year ago Victorians voted for the Suburban Rail Loop and we haven’t wasted a moment getting on with it.”

“This standalone line with purpose-built trains will fully integrate into our public transport network and deliver ‘turn-up-and-go’ services – better connecting people to jobs, education and each other.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

“The Suburban Rail Loop will be a dedicated line with dedicated trains – and it will change the way our city and state moves forever.”

“We’ve removed 30 level crossings, we’re building the Metro Tunnel, and we’re doing the vital planning and design work for the Suburban Rail Loop.”
And now for something completely different!

Take an intercity journey from Geelong's southern suburbs to the centre of Melbourne. (Approximately the same distance as from Brantford to Toronto ~80-90km).

A great driver's training video that's been put on youtube recently.

I mentioned frequencies on Melbourne's rail network in the Crosstown LRT thread, and thought I'd expand on it here.

There's an internal document called the Heavy Rail Network Development Plan ('NDP') the Vic. Department of Transport has that's been publicly released in 2013 and in 2018, prior to the state election, an updated version was leaked to the media in response to the state government unveiling its Suburban Rail Loop policy.

You'll note the SRL doesn't appear on the map - the government responded to the leak at the time that it was "an internal government document, not necessarily government policy. Regardless, I suspect the SRL is now on the latest version of the NDP and the government does, roughly speaking, follow the stages stepped out in the NDP.

The maps below are the 2018 version and basically walk through all the changes to the heavy rail network over time. The maps show the peak frequency per line (or in the case of Belgrave/Lilydale and Pakenham/Cranbourne - the peak services that will run on the trunks after the branches have merged).

Day one of opertions on the Metro tunnel will see the biggest boost of capacity in a very long time because three lines (Pakenham/Cranbourne in the south-east and Sunbury in the west) will be 'taken out' of the existing loop structure, and linked together to form one huge TUAG/metro/subway-like line. Sunbury runs in the northern loop and Pakenham/Cranbourne runs in the Caulfield loop - both those single track loops will see large capacity increases, allowing more services on the Frankston line (which will get exclusive access to the caulfield loop it used to share with Pakenham/Cranbourne) and Craigieburn/Upfield lines (which currently shares capacity with the Sunbury line on the single track northern loop).


The next big stage of network development sees: an airport line (a business case/reference design for this will be released early this year), electrification of the Melton line (the level crossing removal project is already preparing for this, plus a regional project recently saw this corridor duplicated), electrification of services to Wyndham Vale (outer south-west fringe suburb of Melbourne) and the big inner-city project is the Melbourne Metro Tunnel 2 (MM2) - diverting the Werribe line into a tunnel that will be built in two phases - bringing high-capacity public transport to Fishermans Bend which will be developed over 50 years (80k residents, 80k jobs in an area about 3 times the size of Melbourne CBD + Southbank).

The other main project shown in this map is the further reduction / major change to existing loop infrastructure. 2 of the 4 single track loops will be modified so that one becomes a northbound track, the other a southbound track so the Craigieburn and Frankston lines become joined - another crosstown line (like MM1 and MM2). The Upfield line gets extended the furthest extent of Melbourne's Urban Growth boundary (Wallan) and gets cross-linked on existing track with the Glen Waverley line in Melbourne's East.

At this point all lines except for Belgrave/Lilydale and Mernda/hurstbridge are through-routed/cross-town lines - the aforementioned lines will be permanently locked into one direction around the loop (Hurstbridge/Mernda are already locked in a clockwise route, Belgrave/Liydale do the normal into the loop first in morning peak - anti-clockwise and then clockwise from midday onwards through the afternoon peak - Lilydale/Belgrave will probably be permanently anti-clockwise at this point).


In the final stage of the NDP, the MM2 second phase is completed across town to diverting the Mernda line out of the city loop and joining it with Werribee. Also another pair of tracks is built to the south-east for more services (plus it also needs a separate pair to allow regional services a faster journey through the burbs to the city). A new branch off Mernda is scheduled to be added as well.


Many of the projects for the stage 4 map are at various stages and the big one missing - the Suburban Rail Loop - is gearing up to get shovels ready by 2022 - the first phase will link the Frankston line (at Cheltenham), Pakenham/Cranbourne (at Clayton), Glen Waverley (at GW), and Belgrave/Lilydale lines (at Box Hill). Second phase will go from Box Hill all the way around to the airport.

With the project ridership on the SRL, the frequencies shown in the various stages might need more rework because the SRL will induce demand on the existing arteries.
A chunky bit of work is getting done this month, the slowest period of all the months (most people are on their summer holidays from just before christmas into mid-late january).

The last of the major civil and portal works for the Metro Tunnel at South Yarra are getting done and they're replacing trains with buses on the Pakenham/Cranbourne, Frankston and Sandringham lines. Animation of the major track changes:

The next gen of metro trains have also been busy doing night testing on the outer reaches of the Pakenham line between Berwick and the new Pakenham East depot where they'll all go to sleep at night.

Dubbed HCMTs - High Capacity Metro Trains - they're a step change from the existing fleet: they're longer (7 x 20-22m cars, as opposed to current 6 x 20-22m car trains), which increases passenger-carrying capacity. Approximately the same amount of seating capacity as older generations, but far more space for standing room + multiple spaces for wheelchair/disability access.

Daniel Bowen (past president of the Public Transport Users Association) has a good blog and he's done a breakdown of the capacities across the fleet. The official crush figures for the HCMTs aren't included (but other sources are saying 7-car HCMT will be 1380 gross capacity - for planning purposes - and able to crush up to 1800 people).


HCMT testing videos thanks to Railways of Doom (lol) YT channel

Re: the table above, this is a Comeng (introduced in 80s, many upgrades since - including one right now) - via reddit:

This is a Siemens, via flickr:

This is an X'Trapolis, via wiki:,_with_Metro_Alstom_X'trapolis_10M,_2013.JPG


X'Trapolis and Siemens were both introduced around the same time (mid 2000s).
The first of three caverns at State Library station has been complete and had a state gov presser down in it today.



What it'll eventually look like (the other two caverns will be carved out now, and they'll take the trains)



Cross section:


And I added the red circle to this for scale


Town Hall station (to the south) will be built like this too - and the tunnels between them will be dug with road-headers.

Platforms will be 19m wide (huge) and 240m long.
Cost has increased significantly over budget, which I guess isn’t surprising given the ambition of the Metro project and the overall amount of infrastructure being built in Sydney.

^ tis the story of many-a-rail project in AU at the moment.

Here's the video the Victorian Government released back in November when they announced the SRL system will effectively be independent of the existing metropolitan network

One of the first posts I did in this thread had renders of a sunken Cheltenham station... well, the level crossing has been removed and the new station is now.



The new station

Also, Metro Tunnel now has 50% of its tunneling complete. Two TBMs are now being disassembled at the eastern portal and will be trucked back to their starting area (Anzac station) and then be pointed in the opposite direction - this happened at the western portal and those TBMs have finished their first (of three) legs in the new direction.

All the data:

Pic of freshly driven TBM + another being disassembled at the eastern (South Yarra) portal