Friday, April 01, 2011

Trains to swap sides in bold rail-bus plan

A bold plan to close up to half the Frankston line's railway stations and swap the lines that trains use is said be the first priority of Melbourne's proposed public transport authority.

Instead of trains running on the left track towards the city, as they do now, they will run on the right track. Up to half the stations on the line could be closed, with buses providing a service from a nearby major station. The track reversal aligns train platforms and bus doors, allowing easy cross-platform transfer to these new train replacement services.

It is understood that the Frankston line has been chosen to trial the plan. It was selected due to its large number of quiet stations, the presence of parallel roads on both sides of the line in some places and the line's long journey times (just 35km/h under the proposed May 2011 train timetable).

A transport insider understood to be backing the plan said cutting the number of stations would reduce the number of Siemens train speed restrictions on the line, speed travel and improve reliability. Also attractive is that fewer stations means fewer protective services officers will be needed to staff all stations at night.

The faster trip could slash travel time between Frankston and the city to 40 minutes and save several trains during the off-peak which could go to provide a ten minute interpeak service to Dandenong.

Most infrastructure is already in place, with the main outstanding work required being to turn signals 180 degrees around to reflect the reverse line running. The project is being fast tracked for commencement on 1 April, 2012.


Andrew said...

I was half way through the second para before I clicked and my mind was racing at the implications.

Marcus W said...

All you need to do is move platforms to the departure side of the level crossing (like tram platforms stops) and the speed restrictions won't matter at all! ;-)

Loose Shunter said...

A very good and credible post for 1April 2011. Well done PP.


Metro said...

The Frankston Line indeed needs a major rethink and this will be interesting once taking into effect. I'm a bit concerned into railway stations being shut down. Perhaps during peak services - express trains should follow this proposed.

I'm working on a scenario Melbourne Metro Network - incorporating a Peninsula Line therefore should factor this actual proposal into it.