Activity around Mitcham

 
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

Back on topic, went for a look during middle of the day on friday and saw rails laid beneath Rooks Rd with the base being laid in the gap between the two railheads. Looked like approx 200metres of rail needed to fill the gap. I reckon by now, sunday night, rails will be connected.

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  duttonbay Minister for Railways

After quite an interval due mainly to the hot weather, it's time for an update on progress.

The bulk of the obvious work for people on Mitcham Road has been related to the Calcutta St/Brunswick Road intersection. This morning on the way for coffee three quarters of Calcutta was dirt, on the way back there was some asphalt, and this afternoon the asphalt matched the level of the other quarter. Fast work, but not railway related.

The overhead towards Heatherdale has had the contact wire installed, but not yet the droppers:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-110022_zps97e844df.jpg[/img]

Views down into the station are now impossible, even if the footpath was being used rather than the roadway, as fences and barriers are being installed. Here you can see the fence on top of the concrete, with workmen installing the barrier to protect those trying to win the Darwin award by jumping onto the overhead. This view also shows a couple of the traffic lights:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-110329_zpsbc6e6159.jpg[/img]

Looking from the (northern) Station Street entrance - the future bus entry according to "Mr Traffic" with his Stop/Go sign - we can see how the surface above the old railway and platforms has been built up so that everything is at the same level:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-122136_zps76f83b42.jpg[/img]

Bus bays are being concreted on the north side:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-122410_zps8785f5c1.jpg[/img]

Meanwhile, on the south side bus shelters have been installed:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-124341_zps2cbfcf4d.jpg[/img]

Looking through the station concourse from Calcutta towards Station Street:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-124635_zps0bf9dfd4.jpg[/img]

The Simla Street bridge (car park access) is about to have the very wide footpath poured. It's interesting that there is an "overhead" type of barrier on the left hand side of the bridge, and (currently) a simple beam on the predestrian (right hand) side.

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-124933_zpsed491fb2.jpg[/img]

Along Station Street - the other one, at Nunawading - sundry track machines are waiting to be called into action:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-172841_zps041d2185.jpg[/img]

What looks the pommy cricket team deciding on a fielding position, as a whole bunch of high-vis vests watch rail welding. I think this is where the new line joins the old, perhaps the last such weld of the project. Certainly they had all disappeared 30 minutes later, rather than moving onto another join. This photo also illustrates the old signals (on the left) and the new, tip-down ladder-less masts used these days (right).

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-173109_zps7a0cd604.jpg[/img]

Once there would have been trains of QRs dumping ballast - now this:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-173421_zpsa8bebf46.jpg[/img]

There are some interesting overhead structures, with dumpy masts presumably waiting for a girder to make a portal, while in the background are double hangers. (for want of the correct term)

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-173516_zpse7faf3fa.jpg[/img]

Looking along the new line towards Nunawading from near Rooks Road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-173908_zpse5c52698.jpg[/img]

and looking towards and under Rooks Road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-173834_zpsff32d5cf.jpg[/img]

A telephoto showing the track running underneath Rooks Road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-173801_zps6bb21ce6.jpg[/img]

Finally the Rooks Road bridge. It looks to me as though it will be 300mm or more higher than the existing road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140119-174138_zps7da79390.jpg[/img]

There has been little work done yet on the overhead from the Nunawading end, but work is progressing quickly on the track. We received a flyer in the letter box advising that there will an opening "open-day" on Saturday, 10am-2pm, which might be difficult for me to attend. I shall certainly drop in on Sunday when I should be able to photograph some passing trains.

It's been just 17 days since the last train through the old station - the work since then has been amazing to watch, with another 6 or so to go.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
The flyer is available on the Metro site -     http://www.metrotrains.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Mitcham-Station_25-JAN-Flyer.pdf
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

We finish our bus contract on Friday arvo, just as well as some schools are resuming tomorrow, whhich takes nine drivers out of the equation................
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Visits to Mitcham over the last couple of days have seen a hive of activity, as workers beaver away furiously to finish the station by Saturday's opening.

The overhead on the Heatherdale side has had the droppers fitted, and now looks (to me) to be ready to go. No photos here - they don't really show the droppers that well - you will have to take my word for it.

As various bits and pieces have been removed, and new bits added, at Mitcham Road, it's possible to get a very small view of the track on the up side of the station from the bridge. When work is complete this view will still be there, but looking through the "Darwin protector" won't make the view any easier:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140120-184127_zps480405f7.jpg[/img]

For a long time there has been roof-high scaffolding at the down end of each platform roof. This has now been removed, allowing a view of the station pretty much as it will be:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140121-153837_zps0123fd65.jpg[/img]

Over at the Station Street side the bus stops have had a much wider concrete roadway than on the south side, where the bus stops abut Calcutta Street. I will be surprised if these bus stops are ready by Saturday (no photo).  The view today of the station shows a new Myki machine which wasn't there yesterday:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140121-154848_zps19d58d57.jpg[/img]

The view from the south side also shows a Myki machine. I wonder whether there are more on the inside faces of the buildings?  

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140121-160830_zps258e4ffd.jpg[/img]

This view of the Simla Street bridge shows the footpath finished, asphalt laid between the cutting wall and the concrete bus stops, and workers erecting the bus-stop lighting:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140121-161600_zps50766244.jpg[/img]

Although the station will open on Saturday, there's still lots to do. The rails through the old Mitcham Road level crossing still remain, and the road drops down from the bridge to the crossing. The road surface at the northern edge of the bridge is about 300mm below the footpath level, so the road will be built up and basically be flat throughout. I suspect this might require one or two overnight closures, or a weekend, of Mitcham Road. There has been no work done at all on the carpark, other than shifting lots of dirt to come up with a level surface, but there's no sign of any asphalt yet.

That's enough for now - tomorrow I will check out the Rooks Road end of the works again.
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

Expect to see testing and training trains out and about after midday Thursday, no set schedule though, times 1200 through to 0400 Friday
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

We took our morning coffee at Station Street (the cafe) and then walked along Station Street (Nunawading), not to be confused with Station Street (Mitcham).

The most obvious difference between today (Wednesday) and my visit on Sunday is that the overhead is now in place. This bloke seemed to be either inspecting things, or this was the last job he had to do, because after doing "whatever" here he came down to ground:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-115006_zps95fb5ff2.jpg[/img]

Metro drivers (or Connex depending on which hi-vis vest you were looking at) are taking a look - presumably as a precursor to beginning running the test and training trains:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-115349_zpsfffa4038.jpg[/img]

The view from the Kitchen place car park shows them still tidying up the ballast. That stumpy post mentioned on Sunday has now morphed into a complete overhead portal:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-120121_zpsc386597d.jpg[/img]

This crop of a photo taken through a fence (and through a tree) shows the Rooks Road bridge. You can just make out the arched overhead protectors fitted here:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-120555_zps25b00ed2.jpg[/img]

Finally, at Rooks Road itself the difference in height between the surface of the bridge deck and the old road is very obvious:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-121129_zps0e1aaf0b.jpg[/img]

With the report above from Bullucked of test trains commencing sometime tomorrow afternoon, I guess I shall take an afternoon stroll to see what I can see...
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Late this afternoon we visited Mitcham. There'a an awful lot of activity around the areas which need to be finished by Saturday's opening, but otherwise it seems surprisingly quiet.

It would appear as though there will be an asphalt footpath running down Calcutta Street from the station to Mitcham Road. The preparation is the same as it was at the bus stops, where such a footpath has been laid from the station. Note the bike shed - this was installed in the last 24 hours:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-175711_zps3b4ac7ea.jpg[/img]

The bus entrance from Station Street has had some gutters poured, although as yet there is no sign of a turning loop and exit:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-180633_zps31c68e75.jpg[/img]

I like this view of the new station from Station Street - especially the "Keep Out Demolition" sign. How long do they expect this station to last Smile

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-180649_zps16e385f1.jpg[/img]

I suspect that by the time of the opening on Saturday, there will be pedestrian access to the station along Calcutta Street from Mitcham Road, and from the Station Street entrance. I don't think that the south side bus stops will be ready, although they are much further progressed that those on the north. There's no car park to think about opening.  It's not even certain that the Calcutta Street/Brunswick Road intersection traffic lights will be operational, but if there are no buses there's no real call. There will still be hi-vis traffic people around.
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C

Metro drivers (or Connex depending on which hi-vis vest you were looking at) are taking a look - presumably as a precursor to beginning running the test and training trains:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140122-115349_zpsfffa4038.jpg[/img]
duttonbay

You see that a lot around the network. Denis Nathpine will be spruking his first original public transport project to be completed on Saturday I bet.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Unless the photos are playing tricks on me, is that curve out of Mitcham going to have a speed restriction? It looks about as sharp as Laburnum out of the tunnel.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
You see that a lot around the network. Denis Nathpine will be spruking his first original public transport project to be completed on Saturday I bet.
Some rail man

Hardly much of a public transport Improvement project, It's mostly a road and community Improvement project.

What has Denis done for public transport other then.

Some new trains orders
A new station at Talbot
PSO's
New crossing loop on the Warrnambool line
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Unless the photos are playing tricks on me, is that curve out of Mitcham going to have a speed restriction? It looks about as sharp as Laburnum out of the tunnel.
"Heihachi_73"

I don't think so. Remember that photo is taken from Mitcham Road, and is a crop from an already "telephoto" image, so effectively a very long focal length. Photos of that sort compress distance, which means curves are tightened.

Incidentally, I heard this morning that the "scaffolding bridge" at Blackburn will be removed from 8pm tonight, so tomorrow's commuters will be funneled through the subway. I guess if test and training trains are to run today, and assuming they don't run wrong line (which would hardly be training) they will need to reverse somewhere, and Blackburn is the first spot on the up side of Mitcham.
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

With usual precision nothing ever goes to plan!  
First test train left Ringwood at 1813 with 861M at the front, running on the UP line as far as Nunawading and then back. They ran at least 3 on each line.
In reply to the above post from Duttonbay, yes, the ramp at the down end of Blackburn is being removed Thursday night and driver training trains will begin running Friday morning.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I made my usual visit to the station this afternoon. Lots of "tidy-up" work done, and being done. The asphalt path down Calcutta Street to Mitcham Road looks like it may be laid tonight or perhaps tomorrow. Bus stop signs and timetables (wrapped in plastic) have been erected at the south side bus stops. The no standing/P2 sign for the "kiss and ride" parking has also been planted.  On the north side the large Metro "Mitcham Station" sign is now up, and the bus entrance has been sealed. There has been some work on sealing the pedestrian side of the bus stops, but they are some days away from being ready - apart from which there's no exit for the buses yet.  All the traffic lights at the Calcutta St/Brunswick Rd/Mitcham Rd intersection have been installed, and the various line markings are in place. No idea when it will be switched on. In any case, there's another layer of asphalt to be laid on top of everything, most likely not until the level crossing is totally buried and Mitcham Road becomes nearly level.

It's just about ready for Saturday - I will head up there again tomorrow, probably not Saturday, but definitely on Sunday.
  Docklander Beginner

I also went for a look today. Pic is taken west of Rooks Road looking towards Rooks Road with Mitcham Station further on. I'm a little surprised that they didn't remove more of the existing track to get rid of an apparent hump before the new dive under, but presumably it was a question of time and money.

[img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3791/12100833566_ca251b8e27_c.jpg[/img]
Rooks Road, Mitcham on Flickr
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
"I'm a little surprised that they didn't remove more of the existing track to get rid of an apparent hump before the new dive under, but presumably it was a question of time and money"

The design of the project would of had to meet a required maximum gradient and minimum curve radius, so once that was meet that's as far as the project needed to go.

It must be acknowledged that Rooks Road needed to be grade separated In tandan with Mitcham Road (though on It's own It wasn't was hardly justified as a urgent crossing to remove from a safety risk / congestion point of view) because the grades coming out of the new Mitcham station towards the original Rooks Road crossing would of be unworkable.
  Damn Locomotive Fireman

I work opposite Blackburn station and there's been two trains come through since around 8a. One heading up going slow, the other heading down coming through in express mode (fast & on the whistle).

And even a few 'up' trains coming in on the middle track, haven't seen that before!
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Lots more tidy work seen at Mitcham this afternoon. The Calcutta St/Brunswick Rd/Mitcham Rd traffic lights are working, and there are lane markings on the roadways. The temporary pedestrian crossing on the north side of the old level crossing has been removed. Pedestrian access on both sides of the Mitcham Road bridge is on the footpath, rather than out on the road.

A row of what I assume are light posts have been erected along Calcutta Street, which is interesting because there are also lights on the fence above the cutting walls. A crane was also assisting workmen erect thicker posts - no idea what these are for either:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140124-144631_zps81f9ef8b.jpg[/img]

Looking down into the station platforms, there are two PIDs on each, and also two bus-and-train PIDs have been installed, one for each set of bus stops. I assume there is also a PID on the station concourse, between the two buildings:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140124-150804_zpse4706fcb.jpg[/img]

A couple mini-marquees have been set-up for tomorrow's festivities. This photo also shows one of the thicker (light) posts, and the pedestrian access from Station Street from tomorrow:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140124-150204_zps93204912.jpg[/img]

We had quite a long chat with an engineer. I was able to clarify the situation with buses - all of them, whether coming from the north or the south, will enter from Station Street, pull up to their stop (on either side of the railway) and depart via Calcutta Street. We also discussed the provision of lifts. Because the minister did not make the decision until late in the design/construct process, the lift will not be installed until probably end of August. Currently a manufacturer has not been chosen, and once that decision is made the supplier and the project team will finalise the design. We were told that the lead time for a lift is 32 weeks, which suggests to me that end of August might be optimistic. Work will begin on constructing the lift wells (behind hoardings) from March. He expected the carpark to be opened towards the end of March.

Once Rooks Road is opened (still a week or two away) then work will begin on removing the drop down to the old level crossing - levelling Mitcham Road. The engineer was hopeful that most of the work could be done with lane closures, but suggested that there might be one weekend road closure.

I have seen a train pass through (and heard a couple), and given the comment from Bullucked about the first train through, yesterday, I suspect this bevy of hard-hats was waiting for that event. Hidden is a camera on a tripod - photo taken at 5:30pm.  There was another group at the Simla Street bridge:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140123-173050_zps3496f829.jpg[/img]

So, the opening day is tomorrow. The first train I can photograph will be on Sunday.  From now it will be weekly updates rather than daily. I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting this project.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Thank you for your efforts duttonbay, it's been very informative and interesting. I live on the other side of town where I get sporadic glimpses into the Springvale project. It's been great to see the work progressing on the Mitcham project.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Just heard an X'Trap heading towards Heatherdale while I was walking back from Ringwood Square Coles.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

How long will the platforms be? Long enough for a 6 car set or longer?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

As far as I can tell (without looking at a stopped train) the platforms are (I can't comment about what will be eventually) 6 cars long.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I took my first look at the newly opened station today. Forgot my camera. Buses are using the new bus stops on both sides of the station, although there are (as yet) no bus shelters for the north side stops. Presumably these will be added. There are seven PIDs covering the bus stops and station concourse area, all showing the next four trains. Those on the north-side bus stops also show the 907 smart bus departures.
There is a cafe, but it's not clear whether it will be ready to open by Monday's morning peak.

Not much else to report.  I shall go back with my camera some time this week, unless someone else uploads some photos of the new station.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
I did a bit of a train tour through Mitcham and later visited the Springvale works.  I find it interesting how Mitcham, Springvale, and Nunawading stations seem to be on the top of hills and that with a short cutting on either side, the stations can just be dropped down.  On the same basis, Clayton would be easy to lower as there is a slope on the down side than can be easily excavated, delaying the climb until on the up side of the station.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Heatherdale is also near the top of a hill, but for whatever reason they just plonked new "buildings" (more like a glorified bus shelter) on the 1950s platform and left Heatherdale Rd unchanged. Granted, you can use Molan St or Ea$tlink to bypass the level crossing, but there was still room for improvement there.

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