transport

V/Line Geelong and the “good old days”

I'm working on some more substantive posts, but meanwhile, here we go again: a random claim that the trains used to be faster than today. "In 1955 it took under one hour to travel by train to Spencer St station (Southern Cross). In 2017 it takes 70 minutes. Hmmm. Something is wrong with this picture." - Glenn, reader comment in The Geelong Advertiser Yes indeed something is wrong with this picture

transport

Flat junctions cause problems, but so does poor timetabling

In today's Age, former National Party leader and Deputy PM Tim Fischer is quoted as saying the new Regional Rail Link should have had a flyover where the Geelong and Ballarat lines converge. And due to congestion, trains sometime have to wait for five minutes for the track to be clear, he said. "Nobody builds major commuter junctions anywhere in the world without grade separation. It has now

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

V/Line: a ride on RRL, and 24-hour time… mostly

I finally took a ride on the Regional Rail Link last night. In summary: Trains from the city to Geelong depart regularly, but from numerous platforms -- when I was there in peak, it was 5A, then 7A, 15A, 1, 3A... and when I'd been there at lunchtime, 2B had also been in the mix. It wouldn't hurt to have some consistency. As it is, if you just miss a train, you're likely to have to backtrack a l

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

RRL – good news its open (thanks to the GFC?)

I've been watching The Killing Season, the story of Labor and the switches in power between Rudd and Gillard. It's really good, and episode one goes into some detail about the Global Financial Crisis, and the Rudd/Swan stimulus packages (two of them, totalling almost $60 billion) to fight it off. The stimulus package was intended to spend money fast -- the school halls and home insulation progr

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

Where are the ads?

Before you read too much of this post, play the video and (assuming you haven't seen it before), see how long it takes you to work out what it's an ad for. ... Gosh, isn't it optimistic! And I'm finding it really catchy. Even the bloke at the end seems pretty happy, perhaps with good reason. That ad seems a bit long for television; perhaps it was in cinemas, or perhaps it was onlin

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Victoria’s first 21st century rail megaproject: benefits from Regional Rail Link

Victoria's first big 21st century rail megaproject is almost complete. Regional Rail Link was started and mostly funded by Labor (State and Federal, in part as stimulus money during the Global Financial Crisis), and largely built under the State Coalition. Construction itself is now complete, with driver training and other preparatory work happening ahead of the expected opening in April June.

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Regional Rail Link tour part 2 braindump

About a year ago, a group of us from the PTUA went on a tour of the Regional Rail Link, a massive 50 kilometre-long rail project providing new tracks from Southern Cross, via Footscray and Sunshine, then along a new corridor through Melbourne's new outer-western suburbs to West Werribee. The project will provide extra track capacity for V/Line trains on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines i

transport

My brain dump from a look around the Regional Rail Link project

Last Saturday some of us from the PTUA did a tour of the Regional Rail Link project. Here are some photos and notes. The RRL project, for those who haven't being paying attention, is basically a brand new railway from somewhere west of Werribee, through new stations in the fast-growing suburbs of Wyndham Vale and Tarneit, then joining the Ballarat Line west of Deer Park, heading in through Suns

transport

Regional Rail Link: Melbourne’s first brand new suburban train line since 1930

It's often said that there hasn't been a suburban rail line built in Melbourne since the Glen Waverley line opened in 1930. To be precise, that year it was extended from Darling to Glen Waverley. Others built or extended since then have either been electrification along existing lines, or re-openings of lines along old alignments: Werribee, Sunbury, Craigieburn, Cranbourne. The City Loop was

transport

Vicroads and their decades-long plans for road widening

Say what you like about VicRoads, they know how to do forward planning. For example, there's a stretch of Ballarat Road in Footscray, just west of where the dual carriageway ends, where this is a common sight: Lovely, isn't it. Derelict wasteland, left to rot. A look at Google's aerial view reveals quite a few empty properies along the street. In a classic case of salami tactic