Saturday, June 07, 2014

Napthine Govt spends more on Frankston line upgrade than all other lines combined

Melbourne's metropolitan rail network is in a chronic state of disrepair. The entire system needs a complete overhaul after decades of neglect.  Signals regularly fail,  tracks buckle in the heat, and most stations lack adequate shelter.

No new suburban train lines have been built in Melbourne since the Glen Waverley line in 1932. Critical rail projects that should now be servicing growing communities where over a million people don't have close access to trains include the Rowville line (including Monash Uni and Chadstone), the Doncaster Line (if the East West tollway tunnel proceeds it may never be built).

It is galling to see the Napthine government, driven by politics and its desire to be re-elected, has allocated more funding ($100m) on one line than all other lines combined.

The Bayside Rail Project, that services the marginal seat of Frankson, includes upgrading tracks, repairing overhead wires, painting stations, works on signalling and level crossings and installation of new SPOT monitoring systems which replace mirrors with cameras to provide train drivers with a better view of passengers getting on and off trains at platforms.

The harsh reality is that these type of works are urgently required on all sixteen existing lines. At a rough estimate this could require 1 to 2 $billion.

The overall scope for all Metropolitan rail network projects is:
  • $177 million for eight X’Trapolis trains and associated stabling and signalling. The trains are due to begin running on the network from 2015.
  • $66 million to upgrade the Ringwood station precinct.
  • $2 million to plan for high capacity trains, which will be able to carry more than 1100 passengers.
  • $4.5 million in 2013-14 to develop the pilot High Capacity Signalling project on the Sandringham line.
  • $100 million to upgrade the Frankston line, with additional track, signalling, power and maintenance facility and station upgrades to improve service reliability and enable X’Trapolis trains to run on the Frankston, Williamstown and Werribee lines. 
  • $78 million to continue the rollout of Protective Services Officers (PSOs) at train stations.
  • $10 million to construct a four-level car park at Syndal Station on the Glen Waverley line.
  • Significant funding for the construction of a new train station at Southland, subject to finalisation of commercial negotiations with the owners of Southland Shopping Centre.
100m is allocated to the Frankston line project while only 80.5m is allocated to projects on other specific lines (specific line projects in bold).

While this expenditure on the Frankston line is worthwhile and well overdue, its a great pity that the rest of Melbourne's rail network gets virtually nothing yet again.

We clearly need to separate politics from transport planning to avoid decisions being driven purely for political gain.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Peter, it has taken w while to track down a place that i can contact you. I hope this works. You have a wiki page on Argo street with a photo of us all. You ask the question on that page is there anyone around from the school. There is however no where to answer that question on the page (or at least not that I could locate). Perhaps an email address or a link would be a good idea. Anyway, I am Penelope Ralston. I am the one in the front row covering my eye. I am on facebook under the name of Penelope Mac if you want to say hi - send a 'friend request'. I would be keen to get in contact with others from the School. Cheers Penelope