21 April 2008

Obit for Doncaster rail?

Graeme Davison, writing in The Sunday Age, says the Doncaster rail line is a dead issue.

"Beyond the reach of trains and trams, middle class Doncaster already had the highest level of automobile ownership in the metropolis. Its sprawling haciendas, with long drives and triple garages, epitomised the new model of car-dependent suburbia Australians had copied from the United States."

But despite being fascinated by the automobile, Mr Davidson says there are some worthy PT ideas kicking around.

"A light rail along the wide median of Wellington Road from Huntingdale to Rowville via Monash University's Clayton campus might pay much better than mega-projects such as the multi-billion-dollar cross-city underground or well-meant but flawed projects such as the Doncaster railway."

What PT ideas take your fancy?


Anonymous said...

His arguments confused me and are flawed since the Eastern Freeway has a rather large median strip allowing easy access for rail. Then again, his breed of nut are endemic in this state and all are contributing to this politically pusillanimous spin.

Dave said...

Building heavy rail as infill isn't ridiculous.

Build metro-style (ie shallow tunnels, lower-profile rolling stock to reduce tunnel diameter) and build underground where required. Build along the Eastern, with feeder buses/trams to the main crossroads (ie extend 72 tram to Burke Rd Nth, etc).

If the connecting frequency is good enough, it's easy to hop a tram/bus to the freeway, grab your freeway train straight into the city... too easy.

Davison's premise only works if you assume single-seat journey, ie you have to walk to/from a freeway station.

Given that few do this already for the DART/bus/ParkNRide system, it wouldn't be such a change, and heavy rail usually boosts capacity, speed and reliability of service.