FourFourSeconds ago, we were talking about train travel, with a new rail upgrade, and an all-new train line being built to take the train into new markets.
But now, as the new season approaches, the railways are gearing up for another big change.
With the end of winter and the start of spring, the rail network is set to be expanded again.
And it looks like the Government will be spending more on trains in the near future.
So how much more will the Government spend?
Well, it’s already committed $100 million to upgrade the signalling system in Victoria’s major rail corridor.
The new signalling system will see the number of trains to and from the new stations in Sydney increased to 60,000.
That means trains can go faster, faster, faster.
But it’s a big jump in frequency and frequency increases are not new.
In 2017, the Government introduced a major upgrade of Victoria’s rail network, which saw trains travel at up to 7kmh in the city centre.
That new upgrade was designed to accommodate the increased frequency and speed of trains.
And with a rail network that is already at capacity, the new signalling upgrade will likely see trains travel further and further apart.
What’s more, the Department of Transport says the new signals will make the network more reliable.
So, what does that mean for Victoria?
Victoria’s new signalling upgrades are expected to see more trains travelling in Victoria, but also, in turn, more congestion.
As we’ve already seen with the new Sydney Rail Link, the current signalling system is only good for 70 to 80 per cent of the journeys that are actually made on the network.
When trains are arriving at a station, they can’t just stop at any time and wait to cross the track.
For that reason, it takes them some time to cross.
This is where the new Melbourne Rail Link comes into play.
It will see trains use the new signal system to go straight into the station and onto the platform, before being stopped and re-entered into the network once they’re safely on the track and safely on their way.
Victoria has also committed $60 million towards the expansion of Victoria Street, the only section of the rail corridor that has not been upgraded to use the signalling upgrade.
Because Victoria Street is the only one of the major corridors that has never been upgraded, it will have to be rebuilt and widened.
However, that is expected to take some time.
With the existing signalling system failing, the next step for the Government is to find a way to upgrade trains into the next major market.
Transport Minister Anthony Roberts said the new upgrades would be part of a plan to make Victoria’s network more robust, and to improve safety for commuters and passengers.
He said it would allow Victoria’s trains to run at speeds of up to 10kmh.
“The new trains will increase capacity and safety and also make our railways more robust,” Mr Roberts said.
One of the first things we will be doing in the new year is to invest in new signalling and signalling upgrades for Victoria’s existing and new rail corridors.
There will be a significant investment in the signalling upgrades to be made, and I would expect the investments to begin with the Melbourne rail link.
Mr Roberts said this will see train speeds increased from 7kmph to 15kmph, with trains travelling faster on Victoria’s main rail corridor and more regularly on the Victorian Underground.
Once this investment is complete, Victoria will see a significant increase in the frequency and length of trains travelling into Melbourne and Sydney.
Now, with the introduction of Melbourne RailLink, Victoria has become the first state in Australia to see significant investment into the signalling of its rail network.
But that doesn’t mean Victoria will be the first to have this investment in a major market like Melbourne.
New South Wales is also planning to spend some of the $100m from the next $100 billion rail investment.
According to a report by the Australian Strategic Transport Advisory Council (ASCAC), the State is set for $3.4 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 10 years.
While the money may seem like a lot, the State’s State Infrastructure Commission estimates that the State will have enough cash to fund all the new infrastructure that will be required to operate the new rail network for 20 years.
That’s about $60 billion over the course of the next decade.
How many trains will Victoria have to carry?
In the next five years, the state’s rail transport system will have capacity for a further 7,600 trains.
And that means there will be at least 6,000 more trains to carry into and out of Melbourne and Melbourne’s CBD.
What about the trains that won’t be running anymore?
Transporting people to and fro isn’t the only reason why trains aren’t running in Victoria.
With an ageing population and a declining workforce, trains