AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Melbourne to double network capacity by 2033

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Public Transport Victoria has released a four-stage plan aimed at boosting Melbourne’s peak-hour rail capacity by 50% within 10 years, and by over 100% within 20 years. </span> <p>The Network Development Plan, released last week, is “a detailed examination of how Melbourne’s train system needs to evolve to meet the needs of the city and of train passengers in the short, medium and long term,” according to PTV.</p><p>“Detailed modelling undertaken by PTV underlines the challenge ahead: annual patronage across train, tram and bus services is forecast to hit one billion trips by 2031,” PTV said.</p><p>“On trains alone, average weekday boardings will more than double to 1.7 million passengers per day.”</p><p>As such, PTV says it has set out to expand the capacity of the existing network, to redesign train services boosting coordination with buses and trains, and to extend the network to serve new growth areas.</p><p>Stage 1 of the plan is to be in place by 2016, and focuses on overcoming immediate critical network constraints while building a foundation for future expansion.</p><p>Key projects include the completion of the Regional Rail Link (including Tarneit and Wyndham Vale stations as well as Southern Cross platforms 15 and 16), the addition of seven new trains, and several others.</p><p>Stage 2, which is targeted for completion within 10 years, aims to introduce a ‘metro-style system’ to Melbourne.</p><p>It includes the completion of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel project, a nine-kilometre tunnel between South Kensington and South Yarra via the CBD and five new inner-city stations.</p><p>Also included in the second stage is the duplication of the rail line to Melton, an upgrade of the Dandenong Rail Corridor, and the addition of 33 high capacity trains.</p><p>High capacity trains for the future network would each be capable of initially carrying up to 1100 passengers each and would be capable to extend to 220m in length.</p><p>Stage 3 is targeted for completion within 15 years, and includes new lines to Melbourne Airport and Rowville, and the delivery of more high capacity trains.</p><p>Stage 4, the last of this new plan, is targeted within 20 years. It features the delivery of even more high capacity trains, the reconfiguration of the city loop to provide seven separate, independently operated lines through the CBD, and the quadruplication of the line between Burnely and Camberwell.</p><p>Stage 4 also features several extensions to the network at its outskirts, to service new areas of development around Melbourne.</p><p>The plan was delivered by PTV chief executive Ian Dobbs to Victoria’s minister for public transport and roads, Terry Mulder.</p><p>“This plan is intended to inform government in its process of policy formulation and PTV recognises that government will set its priorities accordingly,” Dobbs said.</p><p>“I believe this plan represents the most comprehensive strategy for Melbourne’s rail system in 40 years and is intended to maintain and enhance Melbourne’s reputation as one of the world’s most liveable cities.”</p>