Springvale Road, Springvale grade separation update

 
  Bobman Locomotive Fireman

Plans for level crossing separation revealed

THE first plans for the long-awaited Springvale level crossing grade separation have been released.

Vicroads showcased four draft design plans at a public meeting last week.

A proposal to move the station north of the present railway line, and build a train tunnel 6m under Springvale Rd has been touted as the most effective option.

Vicroads project director Andrew Williams said this option would also allow for more tracks to be built in the future.

‘ ‘We’re looking at ways of minimising obstruction,’’ Mr Williams said.

‘‘There will most likely be a need to close down the road for work but we’re seeing whether we need to close down the road completely.’’

The station building would move about 20m north, effectively swapping the car parking area for the station building.

Other, more complex, options include a southern alignment which would require acquisitions of shops on Victrack land on Queens Ave, and a road tunnel under the railway l ine which would reduce Springvale Rd to one lane each way.

The station will comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and include Springvale Rd access. Draft design images were not yet available for publication.

Mr Williams estimated construction would take between nine and 12 months and begin after May, once the State Government budget was released.

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  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

Not denying you one bit, but, source? I want to read more you see Smile
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
I attended the Thursday night meeting, and discussed the designs with the various VicRoads enginners. There were no Department of Transport or VicTrack representatives present, at least in their official capacity.

Four options were presented. The first three had the railway in a cutting, either on the existing alignment, or north, or south of the existing track. The fourth option involved putting Springvale Road underneath the railway, with the side streets connected up in various ways. The resulting road map would've been very similar to what Oakleigh ended up with in the mid 1970's.



No consideration was given to elevating the road, and rightly so, but no consideration was given to elevating the railway either, and that disturbed me. The main concerns the VicRoads personal I talked to raised, involved noise and local aesthetics, both of which I consider irrelevant in the long-term, when the area will likely have multi-storey buildings all over the shopping centre. Most of the points I raised in favour of elevated stations were glossed over without adequete replies, and I got the impression that VicRoads was only looking towards the next ten years, and not beyond. Reading between the lines, it seems the key reason why elevated railway has not been considered is political, because there is no engineering reason why it couldn't be done.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with elevated stations in principle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmB53ryu6ZA

As for the options in which the railway will be placed in a cutting, the model will be very similar to Nunawading. The main difference is that apparently, they will build two side platforms rather than one island platform, on account of curvature, although the maps didn't indicate that clearly enough. My preference is always for one island platform with two tracks either side (express outside) or for two island platforms where interchange between trains is important. They were also not sure whether or not they were going to provide a non-platform-side entrance/exit with unpaid-area underpass, as is provided at Nunawading. This is a shame, but they justified this on cost grounds.

One positive outcome of the night is that rather than the style at Nunawading, where the bridge only covers the existing tracks and any extra tracks would require another bridge, I suggested that they build a full-width bridge from Sandown Rd to Queens Ave, even if the unused half of the bridge remained full of dirt underneath; this means that when a future quadruplication takes place, the works will not have to be repeated.
  Bobman Locomotive Fireman

Not denying you one bit, but, source? I want to read more you see Smile
"heisdeadjim"


Dandenong Leader, but they haven't put a link online Sad
  balikoy Chief Commissioner

Reading between the lines, it seems the key reason why elevated railway has not been considered is political, because there is no engineering reason why it couldn't be done.


or economic.   There is probably a better potential for construction contractor overcharging and excessive profit margins  on a tunnel scheme rather than an elevated scheme.
  Skipdaddyo Chief Train Controller
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
My vote is putting the road under.

It would have these three advantages....
....should be cheaper
....would also grade sparate against the road that runs alongside the railway.  So you increase the advantage to those people also
....I as a train passenger would not be required to see nothing else but dirt walls all along my journey.


So, I vote very strongly for that one option.
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
putting the road under ...should be cheaper
"tranzitjim"

Although I don't have numbers to back this up, my gut says that elevating should be cheaper because you're moving the railway vertically by only about half the height.

There's also no need for earthmoving equipment other than to put in bridge pylons, and the job overall would be much faster.
  Highrise Assistant Commissioner

putting the road under ...should be cheaper
"tranzitjim"

Although I don't have numbers to back this up, my gut says that elevating should be cheaper because you're moving the railway vertically by only about half the height.

There's also no need for earthmoving equipment other than to put in bridge pylons, and the job overall would be much faster.
"SteamtoStay"
You draw a pretty picture, but really don't have the faintest idea about anything, do you?

In the grand scheme, it's actually cheaper to put the railway in a cutting, firstly the ability to pay for itself by the amount of clean fill from digging the cutting out, and the potential and relative ease of building above a railway that is already lowered. This ability is all but removed by putting the railway on a bridge, not to mention the cost of bridge maintenance.
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
In the grand scheme, it's actually cheaper to put the railway in a cutting, firstly the ability to pay for itself by the amount of clean fill from digging the cutting out, and the potential and relative ease of building above a railway that is already lowered. This ability is all but removed by putting the railway on a bridge, not to mention the cost of bridge maintenance.
"Highrise"

There's nothing wrong with putting a building over an already-elevated railway. In fact the end result can be better, because there's less time (less vertical travel) between the railway and the various destinations.

Bridge maintenance would be more-or-less the same as the cost of the Springvale Rd bridge over the rail alignment if the latter were in a cutting; the rest of the rail alignment could either be built on top of a set of shops, like Banana Alley or around Glenferrie/Auburn, or it could be placed on an embankment.

You're right that I did not consider the sale price of the dirt that is excavated from the project - but seriously, how much is dirt worth these days?
  Highrise Assistant Commissioner

In the grand scheme, it's actually cheaper to put the railway in a cutting, firstly the ability to pay for itself by the amount of clean fill from digging the cutting out, and the potential and relative ease of building above a railway that is already lowered. This ability is all but removed by putting the railway on a bridge, not to mention the cost of bridge maintenance.
"Highrise"

There's nothing wrong with putting a building over an already-elevated railway. In fact the end result can be better, because there's less time (less vertical travel) between the railway and the various destinations.

Bridge maintenance would be more-or-less the same as the cost of the Springvale Rd bridge over the rail alignment if the latter were in a cutting; the rest of the rail alignment could either be built on top of a set of shops, like Banana Alley or around Glenferrie/Auburn, or it could be placed on an embankment.

You're right that I did not consider the sale price of the dirt that is excavated from the project - but seriously, how much is dirt worth these days?
"SteamtoStay"
Problem is, you put a building over an already elevated bridge, you lose floor space if development is limited to a certain number of stories, lowering the railway means developers can get maximum bang for buck.
  Bobman Locomotive Fireman

My vote is putting the road under.
"tranzitjim"


Then if a truck hits the bridge and trains are out of action, that would put a nice dent in your day.

Given the amounts of heavy vehicles that do traverse Springvale Road and the amount of work involved in putting the road under would cause, it's probably not the best option. That and rail under road is much more attractive for the area.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Rail under is easily the best option, especially if done as a tunnel. That way the land above can be reclaimed for any chosen reason, carpark, parkland or real estate. Elevated railways are seen by the public as unsightly (even though they can be done other ways to avoid this) and as has already been mentioned, you run the risk of some nit driving his vehicle into any low bridge.

Most people (ie:- not gunzels) don't really want to see railway infrastructure they want it where it can be used, but not seen or heard, this way a Tunnel provides the best solution
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
Problem is, you put a building over an already elevated bridge, you lose floor space if development is limited to a certain number of stories, lowering the railway means developers can get maximum bang for buck.
"Highrise"

I don't see why it makes a difference. In both cases it's possible to put pylons on either side of the track as required, to support a building.
  712M Chief Commissioner

So will 4 tracks run through the new station? Also will access to Westall Maintenance Centre still be available from the down?
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
Why can we not do a road tunnel, and sell its airsapce for development?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Probably no reason at all. But remember that lowering the railway means that the road network at ground level is unchanged. Access from the various side roads is as it is now - possibly better without the need to worry about the level crossing. Shops can remain where they are (most of them, anyway).  

Lowering the road means that the side roads need to take convoluted routes to reach the main road, and shops along the lowered section of the road lose access - realistically, in order to fit the tunnel in, they would be lost totally in order to fit in a dual tunnel.
  electric Chief Train Controller

Location: Ist mir egal
I'd suggest that it's probably more costly to put rail over road, because rail bridges must be significantly stronger and heavier. Even more so if you wanted to put an apartment on top of all of that.

These calls for "apartmentzzz!!!!1!111" appear to be a recurring theme...
Not every railway station has to have a 20 storey building on top of it...
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
Just a 20 storey carpark instead....

As for road under and local street access - half the moves are prohibited anyways. You cant turn right at all. Putting Springvale road under sets even more in stone
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
Why can we not do a road tunnel, and sell its airsapce for development?
"tranzitjim"


Because it's about a billion times cheaper to built anywhere else in the area. No one wants to pay the astronomical costs to build over railways. It's just too expensive. It's still cheaper to build next to the track than on top of it.
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
So will 4 tracks run through the new station? Also will access to Westall Maintenance Centre still be available from the down?
"712M"

1) No in the short term, provision for 4 (or 6!!) tracks later.

2) Yes.
  712M Chief Commissioner

So will 4 tracks run through the new station? Also will access to Westall Maintenance Centre still be available from the down?
"712M"

1) No in the short term, provision for 4 (or 6!!) tracks later.
"SteamtoStay"


Why later? Extra tracks are needed now, so why not do Westall - Sandown Park (which is already half done) now to save time and money later?
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
Extra tracks are needed now, so why not do Westall - Sandown Park (which is already half done) now to save time and money later?
"712M"

The extra tracks are not needed now. Westall to Caulfield is far more important, and perhaps even more important than that is the Sunshine to Southern Cross portion of the RRL.

So long as the road bridge over the railway is designed for enough tracks to run underneath it (unlike Nunawading), any extra costs involved in adding tracks in the future will be minimal.
  balikoy Chief Commissioner

Lowering the main road  would mean grade separation for the road next to the railway line.   That is likely to reduce congestion not make it worse.

And remove a lot of the traffic will improve the shopping amenity too.
  Westernport Assistant Commissioner

Location: Not In Service
And remove a lot of the traffic will improve the shopping amenity too.
"balikoy"

It could make it worse actually.

Springvale is already hard enough to drive through, let alone find a park, on a weekend. Removing the level crossing could potential increase the amount of traffic entering Springvale for shopping purposes.

I don't think a car has ever made it unscathed out of the Springvale Central S/C.  Laughing

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