The Geelong service runs exclusively on a large section of track that is relatively new.SBD wrote: ↑Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:58 pmThis might be going to move over to the rail thread...Goodsy wrote: ↑Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:30 pmMust have been the substitute bus service, but even still your comparisons are pretty sad. Express to Gawler should be under 30mins.Norman wrote: ↑Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:43 pm
From memory, an express service between Adelaide and Gawler took about 45 minutes, while the express between Southern Cross and Geelong takes about 53 minutes.
An all-stop serice between Adelaide and Gawler is about 55 minutes, while Melbourne to Geelong all stops takes 1 hour and 8 minutes.
You might be looking at the Gawler substitute bus timetable?
That's a bit of an unfair comparison.
Firstly, the topography is completely different. There is a reason why the original trains to Victor Harbor went via Mount Barker.
Second, Geelong is an industrial city with a population of 225,000 people. Victor Harbor is a residential town with a population of 15,000 people.
If Geelong should be compared to anything, it should be Port Pirie, Newcastle or Woolongong.
How do express trains overtake all stops trains between Geelong and Melbourne? Do they have a separate pair of tracks all the way, in a corridor twice as wide, or do they work the timetable carefully enough that the express overtakes in passing loops while the all-stops train stops at a station?
How many stations on the line have enough space for this expansion? Smithfield, Salisbury and Dry Creek? As sexy as it might be to have fast trains to the outer suburbs, they would contribute to the urban sprawl many people want to avoid. A fast non-stop train from Adelaide to Gawler would effectively make it quicker to commute from Gawler to Adelaide than from Elizabeth or Salisbury. All-stops trains would encourage people to choose to live and work only a few stops apart instead of always at the ends of the line.
Back to the Geelong comparison, we need government policies that encourage people to live and work in cities other than Adelaide, then provide intercity transport for occasional trips, not for commuters. There is no decent port (nor a site to build one) between Adelaide and Portland, so perhaps we need to work out how to encourage development at Wallaroo, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln or Ceduna. They all get bulk handling ships, but I don't know how constrained the ports really are. None presently have container or roll-on roll-off facilities.
For decades the Geelong train would travel up and down the Werribee line, only stopping at North Melbourne, Footscray and Werribee. From Werribee, it is a 20 minute journey to Geelong.
It was about 10 years ago we had the Regional Rail link project which dramatically improved regional rail. The Geelong line was a huge part of this project, and a new section of track (known as the Tarneit link) was laid allow Geelong services to bypass the Werribee line, as well as to service emerging peri-urban developments.
The time it takes to go between Geelong and Melbourne hasn't changed, but the services are more reliable and more frequent.