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 Post subject: Victorian Superhighway
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2009, 21:10 
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http://www.theage.com.au/national/busin ... -iiaf.html

Quote:
Business chiefs call for regional superhighway
PAUL AUSTIN
November 17, 2009
VICTORIA'S main regional cities would be linked by a four-lane superhighway under an ambitious plan to help the state cope with a vastly bigger population.

Victorian business chiefs today will release a state development blueprint that calls on the Government and Opposition to commit to building a duplicated highway over a several-hundred-kilometre arc from Geelong in the west to Ballarat, Bendigo and on to Shepparton in the north before linking with the Hume Highway.

Under the multibillion-dollar plan, to be unveiled at a summit of business and political leaders at Parliament House, road links would also be improved between Geelong and Colac in the Western District, Ballarat and Horsham in the Mallee, and Traralgon and Sale in Gippsland.

The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry document warns that the state's famous ''liveability'' might be jeopardised unless more is spent on the regions.

VECCI chief executive Wayne Kayler-Thomson said taxpayers and businesses must be prepared to invest in the liveability of the state's regional cities as they seek to transform themselves from ''blue-collar towns to lifestyle centres''.

The blueprint amounts to a challenge in the lead-up to next year's election from Victorian business to Premier John Brumby and Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu - who will both address today's summit - to commit to funding major infrastructure projects despite the budget squeeze caused by the global financial crisis.

Business leaders say better road links between regional cities are needed to help reduce their reliance on Melbourne.

Today's summit comes as the latest federal Treasury estimates suggest Australia's population will increase by about 60 per cent over the next 40 years, from 22 million now to 35 million by 2049.

Victoria is growing by more than 1700 people a week, with Melbourne's population expected to rise by 74 per cent, from about 4 million to almost 7 million, by 2049.

Mr Kayler-Thomson is expected to tell the summit that regional Victoria will have to play a major role if the state is to cope with the pressures created by the population boom.

''It is important to have a vision of what Victoria should look like when Melbourne moves ahead of Sydney and becomes Australia's largest city in the 2020s,'' he said.

''Regional Victoria will have an important part to play in absorbing its share of population growth.''

VECCI wants work to start on the superhighway before the 2014 state election.


Just like a very large ring road. Though in my opinion this is necessary if Victoria is to cope with the expected millions. A ring rail would be nice too.


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2009, 13:46 
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We will soon have 2 ring roads. Absolutely no need for a third unless they are planning for Melbourne to sprawl all the way out to Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton. That is not implausible but ridiculous all the same. Freeways don't really discriminate in creating sprawl, they do it just as badly in the country as the city.

The unused infrastructure is already there to provide passenger rail links instead. Ring rail should be provided first and foremost as transit oriented development is much more sustainable and also creates better cities.

Geelong-Ballarat Railway is currently only used for freight but could easily support passenger services.
Image

Reopening the disused Geelong-Ballarat railway to passengers is a no-brainer.

The line to Maryborough from Ballarat will be opened next year.

The Mildura line and Echuca to Shepparton are the missing links which all have existing rail infrastructure which can also be upgraded and used.

Rail use in Victoria is growing rapidly - private vehicle use on the other hand is not. Regional fast rail is significantly faster travel than the car, especially express services.

This sort of proposal is simply an excuse for the road lobby to remain relevant in an era when it is no longer sustainable with peak oil production already confirmed.

There is no way people are going to be able to drive from Geelong to Shep or Shep to Melbourne on a daily basis - now or ever. But providing people with alternative transport options - even just one or two services a day is a viable alternative.

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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2009, 19:50 
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The fact that rail infrastructure is already there is a very persuasive argument for a ring rail. Though you mention people not commuting from Geelong to Shepparton everyday. But that is an extreme example and most commuting would be simply from Geelong to Ballarat.


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2010, 09:28 
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williampitt wrote:
We will soon have 2 ring roads. Absolutely no need for a third unless they are planning for Melbourne to sprawl all the way out to Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton. That is not implausible but ridiculous all the same.

The unused infrastructure is already there to provide passenger rail links instead. Ring rail should be provided first and foremost.

Geelong-Ballarat Railway is currently only used for freight but could easily support passenger services.
Image

Reopening the disused Geelong-Ballarat railway to passengers is a no-brainer.


:roll: its a broad gauge track

useful only if you want to travel on oen of these
Image
or a special vline freight train

conversion to standard gauge the type that runs modern fast trains would be very expensive

http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/rna/map.pdf

ararat to maryborough it more feasible than geelong to ballarat

what is needed is more coach services between geelong ballarat and bendigo
at the moment they only run twice a day at really stupid times


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2010, 10:27 
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fedsquare wrote:
useful only if you want to travel on one of these
Image

In fact you'd have to convert the track to standard gauge if you wanted to travel between Geelong and Ballarat on one of those, because it appears to be an American train - quite apart from the expense of importing the loco and carriages. :)


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2010, 13:44 
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=D> Corio

Back to Fedsquare though, I think you'll find the economics definitely do stack up when compared with the Maryborough line. I believe that line (correct me if I'm wrong Corio) was also Broad and has been progressively converted into Standard at a cost of just $50 million and the new Regional Rail Link has many more kilometres of track still. The distance is longer than Geelong to Ballarat and the population serviced is far greater. The benefits would outweigh the Regional Rail link, though a cynic would probably point out that the Maryborough project went ahead (despite significant delays) as it is directed at a marginal state election seat and also makes some lip service to the election promise to return Mildura's passenger rail service by going half of the way.

I would agree with you on one point though, the bus is terrible. I have enquired twice with VLine about journeys between Ballarat and other regional cities. Not only is the timetable cripplingly limited in this respect, but the buses are horrendously slow and cramped. You'd be better of catching the fast train to Melbourne and then back out to Ballarat, Bendigo or Geelong (can be up to a 3 and a half hour round trip) than catching their bus service.

On another note, its good to see one of my favourite forums - Railpage - returning from the dead
http://www.railpage.com.au/

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