Public Transport

Progress Street and nearby Nathan Road are both cul-de-sacs. If the boom gates are stuck, and if there is an accident in one of the businesses south of the level crossing, emergency vehicles won’t be able to get through.

I think the level crossing should be kept open, and a link to Fowler Road also built, to provide alternative access for businesses. The area will be quiet during weekends and public holidays anyway.

That’s the legacy of the Ardeer station being on the Ballarat (and now Geelong) line.

The electrification from Sunshine to Melton seems even further away, with the production of the 23 new sets of VLocity trains for this line having commenced this month. Maybe when all these trains enter service then Ardeer station will receive a facelift.

1 Like

I don’t follow these things closely but good to see there is at least a plan to electrify to Melton.

I like the V-Line services, though. You guys have much kinder topography which allows long distance trains to be competitive with road transport, unlike in NSW. The frequency of services is much better too, I think up to 5 trains/day each way Warrnambool- Melbourne vs only 3 trains/day on the Canberra- Sydney route (both are south-westerly outposts, requiring booked seating).

Bungendore-Sydney is a little further than Warrnambool-Melbourne though, but not much in it (I am 293 km from Sydney Terminal/Central; I think Warrnambool is about 270 km from Southern Cross).

Didn’t realise the Sydney - Canberra train went via Bungendore, for some reason I always thought it more or less followed the Federal Hwy route. But does make sense as I knew the CBR train terminates/departs at Kingston.

I bought a car in Canberra in 2022 and flew down to pick it up because the train was booked out! I could have gotten a 1 way rental I suppose.

It’s one of the benefits of Bungendore, having the train service right there. I’ll probably only use it if and when I fly overseas via Sydney, though.

It’s the huge difference I notice coming from Victoria to up here, is the complete lack of frequent inter-city train services. I never realised how spoilt cities like Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon, Seymour etc were to have a relatively frequent train service to Melbourne.

As a comparison, Bendigo is as far in rail miles from Melbourne as Toowoomba is from Brisbane, yet the former has multiple services at good frequencies daily, yet I think the latter only gets the Westlander 2-3 times a week. As you say, topography and travel time play a big part there.

The lack of a decent PT option between Toowoomba and Brisbane is irksome, otherwise it would provide a viable option to escape the worst of Brisbane’s climate. A Stanthorpe Shinkansen would be even better.

Victoria has even re-opened closed passenger lines in the recent past, such as Ballarat-Maryborough and Ballarat-Ararat. Most PT even in Victoria is radial in nature though, so you’re often SOL if you want to get from, say, Ballarat to Bendigo in a hurry (on the weekend, this involves going back into Footisgray). Better than here though, where a PT journey from Bungendore to Bathurst (3 hours by road) involves going through Sydney and takes all day.

1 Like

There is still a rail line from Geelong to Ballarat but it hasn’t had passenger services for a very long time. There was some talk maybe 10 years ago of reconsidering running passenger trains but it never went anywhere. So it’s really left to some limited road coach services for those cross-country routes.

I do agree that V/Line has ignored traffic between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo for far too long. Currently there are only 2-3 coaches per weekday between Geelong and Ballarat, and between Ballarat and Bendigo. I reckon there should be minimum six pairs of coaches per weekday.

Is there the passenger demand for that?

I don’t think there’s direct Geelong > Ballarat > Bendigo connection demand that is sufficient - but those are basically the only links back to the bigger city for the smaller towns in orbit, and service is very poor for them.

For example, if you draw a circle around Geelong, there’s a bunch of towns about 30km out in each direction where Geelong is where you go for major shopping, medical services and the like that just can’t be done in those small towns, but have quite different service levels.

Lethbridge (population ~1100) depends entirely on the Ballarat/Geelong link, Bannockburn (~6500) supplements that with a once a day service on weekday evenings. Inverleigh (~1750) has a once a week on Friday service, that arrives in Geelong at 10am and then turns back around at 2:15pm for the return service, while Winchelsea (~2400) is served by the Warnambool line so gets multiple services every day.

I suspect it doesn’t really matter - most people would just have a car, or work their schedules around being able to use those services that occasionally run.

There’s quite a bit of traffic between Geelong and Ballarat I believe, obviously not to Geelong-Melbourne levels but a bit. The universities in both cities generate a bit of demand for instance, and many uni students don’t drive.

Great point re the smaller towns too, all those towns on the Midland Hwy would depend on either Geelong or Ballarat as their main city, but without driving its hard to get between them.

It’s a similar dilemma for the towns here that rely on Canberra for major services. There’s basically no usable PT at all from Braidwood. Bungendore has the train into Canberra but it’s not meant as a local commuter service. There are a few buses each day into Queanbeyan and one commuter bus each way to Canberra, better than it used to be. Canberra has always been a ‘car city’ though and traffic congestion is only going to get worse.

I am well aware of the Ballarat-Geelong line as- in my youth- I accompanied my father on rail photography trips. I don’t think passenger services will be reinstated here any time soon.

1 Like

Transdev, Keolis Downer and a consortium made up of companies Go-Ahead and Kinetic are the final three on the shortlist for Victoria’s next contract to run the tram system, the largest light rail operation of its kind in the world.

A decision is expected within the next month, and the new contract is to begin in the second half of this year. Keolis Downer started operating the Yarra Trams contract in 2009.

Kinetic Group owns 51% of Go-Ahead. In Melbourne it runs Skybus as well as 52 suburban bus routes.

2 Likes

Would have no complaints if Keolis Downer retain the contract.

Please not Transdev! Their period of running buses in Melbourne was plagued with reliability issues

Public Transport Users Association’s Daniel Bowen was on ABC Radio Melbourne yesterday morning to discuss issues with Melbourne’s public bus network.

1 Like
1 Like

8 car trains every 3 minutes is massive capacity and a huge imbalance vs the rest of the network. Hopefully we never hear the capacity excuse to avoid electrifying melton and Wyndham vale lines. A train every 6 mins to sunbury is more than enough, share the capacity around.

1 Like

Just because 8 car trains can reach 3 minute frequency doesn’t mean it will actually happen. The major reason is that Metro HCMT trains have to share the same tracks with V/Line trains (and occasionally freight trains) between the tunnel portal at South Yarra and the new Pakenham East station. HCMT trains and V/Line trains travel at different speeds and have different stopping patterns. Also, there are only two stations (Westall and Dandenong) where V/Line trains have the opportunity to overtake HCMT trains.

The bottleneck will remain as long as there are direct V/Line services between Southern Cross and Gippsland.

2 Likes

As reported on A Current Affair last night.

When a nearby level crossing at Glen Huntly was removed, residents claim bureaucrats told them that 400 metres of old track that was not meeting safety standards would be replaced as part of the level crossing removal. But that didn’t occur.