Shutdowns – longer occupations, typically from 1 to 3 weeks in duration. Six shutdowns are scheduled between January 2017 and July 2018 and are likely to occur in:
- January 2017;
- July 2017;
- October 2017;
- January 2018;
- April 2018; and
- July 2018.
Note that some minor variation to these dates may occur.
What this information doesn’t tell us is the mix of (from best case to worst): weekend day, school holidays, and “normal” weekday.
But given one of the key reasons for building skyrail along the Dandenong line was minimising disruptions, how does this stack up with the original promises?
The early estimate was 15-20 weekends (eg 30-40 weekend or public holiday days) plus two longer shuts of 9 and 16 days, giving a total of about 65 days.
How does this compare to the Frankston line?
By my calculation the Frankston line shutdowns (for three crossings at Bentleigh, Mckinnon and Ormond) totalled 66 days: 36 on weekends/public holidays, 14 weekdays in school holidays, and 30 normal weekdays.
(But there’s another full weekend closure coming up
this next weekend, so make that 68 days total… so far.)
How many people are affected?
By adding up the PTV Train Patronage (Station Entry) stats for each affected part of a line, including the stations beyond the shutdowns, we can estimate the numbers.
Of course, not everyone boarding along the line travels through the closed section, though most would.
But I’m more interested in how the lines compare, relative to each other, so let’s keep it simple and just use the raw numbers for stations at and beyond the closed section.
Double them to estimate the number of journeys affected each day.
I’ve done the figures for the lines with recent and forthcoming major shutdowns:
|Pakenham/Cranbourne||Carnegie/Murrumbeena temp close||Aug-16||5,900||3,350||2,300|
Important: The weekday figures are based on “normal” weekdays, so a planned shutdown in January 2017 would see fewer people affected, especially if it’s in the earlier part of the month when many people are on holidays.
But it gives you some perspective of how many people are affected. And it’s not hard to see why January and other school/university holiday periods are the least worst time for major shutdowns.
And the Dandenong line has far more passengers involved than any of the others — 60% more than the Belgrave/Lilydale line beyond Box Hill, and 70% higher than the Frankston line, which required 100+ buses to cover just the short section from Moorabbin to Caulfield.
The distance covered by the buses heavily impacts the resources required and the experience for passengers, of course. For several crossings on one line, it might be possible to stagger the works and closures – but equally a “big bang” approach may be better overall.
With the Dandenong skyrail, the promise was fewer disruptions than other methods. The challenge will be for them to meet that promise.