As I’ve mentioned before, properly linking the tram and train networks in Melbourne needs to be a high priority. Often, trams will terminate only a kilometre or two from a railway station. Short extensions are required in these situations in order to make better use of existing infrastructure. In the south east, routes 3, 4 and 6 should be extended a short distance to stations on the Alamein and/or Glen Waverley lines. These lines are so close together that extending them is a must. If the government fails to properly integrate train and tram services by undertaking these kind of short extensions, then we as taxpayers are being short-changed by not getting a decent return on our investment. Just a reminder – the operating costs I’ve calculated rely on a linear extrapolation of current maintenance costs. Given the industry faces economies of scale, these estimates are almost certainly far too high.
Route 3 should be extended 1 kilometre along Waverley Rd and Sylvester Cr. to East Malvern Station on the Glen Waverley line. The capital cost would be in the order of $10.88 million, and operating costs would be around $0.84 million per year. The annualised cost of tram purchases would be $610 000 over the service life of the trams.
Route 5 should be extended around 1.4 kilometres to connect with Darling Station on the Glen Waverley line. Capital costs would be in the order of $15.23 million. This is perhaps the least important of the three extensions I’m proposing, but if the government is going to fund the operation of route 5, why waste the money by terminating the route at Bourke Rd., and failing to connect with rail. I would contend that the greater waste of money is funding a tram line but not getting the full benefits it could offer by failing to properly integrate it with the rail system.
The route 6 extension is the longest of the three proposed here. This extension would better serve Glen Iris Station on the Glen Waverley line, as well as provide tram services to Ashburton on the Alamein Line. Around 1.9 kilometres long, capital costs for the extension would be around $20.67 million, and operating costs around $1.6 million per annum. The annualised cost of tram purchases would be $1.16 million over the service life of the trams. High Street would need to be grade separated at Glen Iris Station, but this work may well happen anyway if the proposal to underground the Glen Waverley line goes ahead.
Filed under: trams |