50 level crossings to be removed

 
  a hat with a toucan Station Master

Firstly, please, can you get my nick right, this is not the first time you have misspelt it, I am beginning to think it is deliberate.

From the ever reliable Wikipedia, the definition of an internet troll is: "In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[size=1][1][/size]extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[size=1][2][/size] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion,[size=1][3][/size] often for their own amusement."

Myrtone fits this perfectly, by constantly posting personal opinions which have been constantly and repeatedly shown, by multiple posters, to be wrong, but then continues to argue his position despite having been categorically proven to be wrong.

Examples where Myrtone has continued to argue (well beyond the point where they have been well and truly shot down in flames) include: DD trains for Melbourne; Bypass of the Upfield line to avoid Royal Park; The decision to have a different rolling stock/operational regime for the NWRL in Sydney; His constant argument that there should only be one railway station per suburb, whilst totally disregarding the individual traffic demands of each suburb which might create the need for multiple stations; That level crossings do not reduce line capacity on rail corridors (unless there are external political pressures, which exist on the Dandenong line, but not out west, where he is arguing about at the moment).


There may be others which I haven't seen. Each and every one of these arguments has been shot down, by multiple posters (at least five or six on each and every occasion) with totally sound and rational arguments, yet Myrtone  keeps coming back and arguing his point, totally ignoring the arguments that have been put in front of them.

That is arguing for no other reason than to argue, and that fits the definition of trolling.



Dave
thadocta
Ok, you win, all i was really annoyed about was you posting a off topic post on this thread, that was all. But seeing as you rebuttled with this and the previous one, i will go on. No, the naming was not delibriate, I am incredibly stupid and cannot spell, so thats one thing off the list. Why do you constantly mention Myrtone being the only one that does this? I have seen other people doing the same thing, so why  are they pointed out? Because you dislike them? As for the definition, i do vaguely know what troll means, but nothing else. I noticed that one ofthe things a troll does is to post something off topic, which you seem to be doing here. And you seem to be trying to get a response from  Myrtone. I rest my case.

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  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Both of you can rest that case, by the way, here is a list of level crossing removals that at least have the potential to improve transit services:

* Bourke road, Glen Iris - Grade separation of tramway and railway
* Two level crossing removals on the Sunbury line - More trains between Watergardens and the CBD as the number of tracks and signalling capacity will now be the only limits.
* Nine level crossing removals on the Caulfield-Dandenong corridor - Road authorities can no longer limit the frequency of trains on this stretch. May also benefit a number of bus services in the area.
* Moreland road, Brunswick - Tramway may be extended over the railway.
* Toorak road, Kooyong - New tram-link between Glenferrie and Camberwell roads.
* All crossings between North Melbourne and Essendon, not just Buckley street - More trains between city and Essendon  most of the time, or on certain occasions, more trains serving Flemington, Puckle street tramway reinstated, this time extending over the railway.
* High Street, Glen Iris - Tram extension to the end of High street.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Both of you can rest that case, by the way, here is a list of level crossing removals that at least have the potential to improve transit services:

* Bourke road, Glen Iris - Grade separation of tramway and railway
* Two level crossing removals on the Sunbury line - More trains between Watergardens and the CBD as the number of tracks and signalling capacity will now be the only limits.
* Nine level crossing removals on the Caulfield-Dandenong corridor - Road authorities can no longer limit the frequency of trains on this stretch. May also benefit a number of bus services in the area.
* Moreland road, Brunswick - Tramway may be extended over the railway.
* Toorak road, Kooyong - New tram-link between Glenferrie and Camberwell roads.
* All crossings between North Melbourne and Essendon, not just Buckley street - More trains between city and Essendon  most of the time, or on certain occasions, more trains serving Flemington, Puckle street tramway reinstated, this time extending over the railway.
* High Street, Glen Iris - Tram extension to the end of High street.
Myrtone
You know, it's great that you've had a look through the list of 50 crossings that are currently slated to be removed, but beyond this is idle speculation. We can only go by what is on that list - that's the scope of the project. Nothing more.

There's no mention of tram line extensions, that's speculation and beyond the scope of this project.

Yes, crossing removals will help road congestion but the rail system needs wholesale improvement of the signalling system in order to run more trains.  I believe this fact has been mentioned by other in this thread. Being no expert myself I can only assume this is correct.

Call me narrow-viewed but I only go by what's around me and what's currently happening. I'm not really into speculation - I think that belongs in another thread.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Yes, crossing removals will help road congestion but the rail system needs wholesale improvement of the signalling system in order to run more trains.  I believe this fact has been mentioned by other in this thread. Being no expert myself I can only assume this is correct.
jdekorte

I am almost certain that most sections of track, including any with even one level crossings, bear much less frequent trains than the current signalling system allows. That doesn't mean you can increase the effective capacity without level crossing removal.
In fact, it seems likely that improved signalling might not increase the effective line capacity without removing level crossings. 20tph is only accepable on grade separated track.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I am almost certain that most sections of track, including any with even one level crossings, bear much less frequent trains than the current signalling system allows.
"Mrytone"
I'm sure that yet another of your almost certainties is a great comfort to all of us who deal in facts.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Suppose the frequency of trains over a level crossing were as high as the current signalling system allows. Then the crossing would be closed for the entirity of the busiest times. Our signalling system, so I've heard, allows more than 20 trains an hour. But surely 20 per hour over a level crossing would be unacceptable.
I don't see how this is an "almost certainty."
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I am almost certain that most sections of track, including any with even one level crossings, bear much less frequent trains than the current signalling system allows.
I'm sure that yet another of your almost certainties is a great comfort to all of us who deal in facts.
Valvegear
Wasn't that the reason why there aren't more trains on the Dandenong line?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
One question would be why the grade separations between Caufield and Dandenong weren't carried out in the 1950s, when the catenary was extended as far as Morewell. Was it proposed at that time?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
One question would be why the grade separations between Caulfield and Dandenong weren't carried out in the 1950s, when the catenary was extended as far as Morwell. Was it proposed at that time?
Myrtone
The Gippsland line was electrified for freight, not for passengers. It allowed for the use of electric locomotives that were much more powerful (and easier to procure, given the issues with getting US$ at the time) than the diesel locomotives of the 1950s.

Congestion wasn't a problem in the 1950s. Cars were only just becoming a mass-market item in Australia at the time and the massive drive-in, drive-out suburbs were only just beginning to be built. Dandenong was more like a large country town in the 1950s; it wasn't a suburb of Melbourne like it is today.

Because they weren't running trains every 5 minutes in peak hour through those level crossings, traffic frequencies didn't justify grade separation. Even if they did, it was up to the Country Roads Board, the 'Board of Works and/or State Parliamentarians to complain to the VR.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The Gippsland line was electrified for freight, not for passengers. It allowed for the use of electric locomotives that were much more powerful (and easier to procure, given the issues with getting US$ at the time) than the diesel locomotives of the 1950s.
LancedDendrite

What has US dollars to do with an Australian locomotive purchase? Didn't they have some VLine passenger trains also hauled by electric locomotives.

Congestion wasn't a problem in the 1950s. Cars were only just becoming a mass-market item in Australia at the time and the massive drive-in, drive-out suburbs were only just beginning to be built. Dandenong was more like a large country town in the 1950s; it wasn't a suburb of Melbourne like it is today.
LancedDendrite

But there sure was plenty of street transport, and pedestrian traffic. Might there have been more grade separations had it been for more foresight.
An earlier extension of what's now called the Glen Warely line was deliberately built without level crossings, even before cars were a mass market item. So it seems that VR had some opposition to level crossings even back then, as they deliberately avoided new level crossing construction.

Because they weren't running trains every 5 minutes in peak hour through those level crossings, traffic frequencies didn't justify grade separation. Even if they did, it was up to the Country Roads Board, the 'Board of Works and/or State Parliamentarians to complain to the VR.
LancedDendrite

But even at the time, there would have been limits to train frequency over level crossings, and back then, when they all had manually controlled swing gates, those limits would have been lower, just as (I believe) they still are in the British Isles, at least at controlled full barrier crossings, which are closed for as long as 3 minutes before the arrival of the fastest train.

What were train frequencies at that time? This stretch of track was shared by:

*Suburban trains to Dandenong
*Country trains both to South Gippsland and through Bairsdale.

So it seems that they didn't realise how busy it would become only a few decades later. Apparently there was a grade separation in Oakleigh and in Huntingdale later on.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
What has US dollars to do with an Australian locomotive purchase?
Myrtone
Restriction of US currency supply meant that the Victorian Railways could not buy all the US diesel-electric locomotives that it wanted. The much easier availability of UK currency meant that British electric locomotives were an easier purchase to make, helping tip the balance in favour of electrifying the Gippsland line.

At the time, the Federal Government had ultimate control over foreign exchange. The Feds restricted supplies of US currency as part of a 'buy Empire' policy. This meant that it was hard for the Victorian Railways to procure the US diesel-electric locos that they wanted. (This was also one of the reasons why the VR were buying new British-built steam locos at the same time as their first diesel-electric locos)

Briquette traffic on the Gippsland line was year-round, high volume traffic that went to destinations in suburban Melbourne that were already electrified such as Newport Power Station and the Heinz factory in Dandenong. This freight justified electrification out to the Latrobe Valley.

Consequently, the VR bought British electric locomotives to haul briquette (and passenger) traffic on the Gippsland line, allowing them to conserve US currency to buy B class locos to use on other routes.

An earlier extension of what's now called the Glen Waverley line was deliberately built without level crossings, even before cars were a mass market item.
Myrtone
In the case of the Darling-Glen Waverley extension, the VR was building a suburban electric railway from scratch, allowing them to use steeper grades and avoid the construction of level crossings.

Caulfield-Dandenong was opened before the first ever internal combustion engine car was built.

But even at the time, there would have been limits to train frequency over level crossings, and back then, when they all had manually controlled swing gates, those limits would have been lower, just as (I believe) they still are in the British Isles, at least at controlled full barrier crossings, which are closed for as long as 3 minutes before the arrival of the fastest train.
Myrtone
You're making a mighty big assumption that the VR cared about road traffic congestion around level crossings.

What were train frequencies at that time?
Myrtone
Go do some research: http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/tthome.html
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Restriction of US currency supply meant that the Victorian Railways could not buy all the US diesel-electric locomotives that it wanted. The much easier availability of UK currency meant that British electric locomotives were an easier purchase to make, helping tip the balance in favour of electrifying the Gippsland line.
LancedDendrite


Weren't some diesel trains made in the UK?

Briquette traffic on the Gippsland line was year-round, high volume traffic that went to destinations in suburban Melbourne that were already electrified such as Newport Power Station and the Heinz factory in Dandenong. This freight justified electrification out to the Latrobe Valley.
LancedDendrite


But it somehow didn't justify level crossing removal, obviously a lack of foresight.

In the case of the Darling-Glen Waverley extension, the VR was building a suburban electric railway from scratch, allowing them to use steeper grades and avoid the construction of level crossings.

Caulfield-Dandenong was opened before the first ever internal combustion engine car was built.
LancedDendrite


But there were horse drawn road vehicles, so there was still some road traffic.

You're making a mighty big assumption that the VR cared about road traffic congestion around level crossings.
LancedDendrite


Regardless of whether the rail operators cared about road traffic congestion, they would have cared about the cost of employing a gatekeeper to operate the gates, which, being ongoing, adds up over time.

I gather that the roads were there first and the railways were built across them later, surely VR was opposed the new roads being built across existing railways, just as they were opposed to tram/train level crossings.

If a railway operator builds a new railway across an existing road on the same level, don't you think they would only be allowed to do so on the condition that there is some limit to train frequency?
As for the crossings of the time, the gates had to be swung round, closing off the road a certain amount of time before the train arrived at the crossing. You simply must have train headways much longer than the interval between swinging round the gates and the train arriving at the crossing.
In those days, the signalmen and gatekeepers had to each wait for a gap in the traffic before swinging round the gates, thus needing to anticipate the train's approach much further in advance than the automatic block signalling does today.
As far as I know the crossings in the suburban area worked as follows; when a suburban train arrived at one station, every set of swing gates before the next station were swung round, and the wicket gates locked, before the train departed.

If you try to run 20 tph over a swing gate level crossing during the busiest times, the crossing would be closed for the whole of every peak period. Doesn't sound very realistic.

I read what you wrote above, and I know they didn't run trains that frequently over the crossing, but that limit would still have been there, it's just they the train frequency at the time would have been under that limit.
Now I know that rail traffic along the corridor dropped off shortly before the catenary was cut back. But might have it remained higher if all level crossings between Calufield and Dandenong been grade separated by then, if they had, surely more freight would have gone by rail.

I checked the timetables page, which I haven't seen before, but research can be a challenge, it's not clear whether it's referring to the passenger trains or also freight trains.
I assumed you already know the trains frequencies, having done the research previously, but it's best you either answer or allow someone else to do so, I'm not asking anyone to do any research here, I'm just anticipating that someone here already knows, even if it isn't you.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Work on the ground commenced this week on the Frankston line grade separations.

Vegetation removal started on the East side of the line starting just north of the Dorothy Ave underbridge and extending past Ormond station to Murray Road. The mature palm trees are to be dug up and stored somewhere and returned.

On the east side of the line south of North Road (Ormond), Cadby Ave has been reduced to one lane (with no parking). The remaining section, and the former bike path, have been fenced off and covered in gravel. Piling for the retaining walls will commence in this section soon.

Trenching work has commenced in the western car park at Bentleigh for a 'combined services route' (i.e. multipurpose cable route - definitely signalling and telecommunications, probably the 22kv power supply).
  historian Deputy Commissioner

The September community update newsletter for the Frankston line grade separations gives an indicative project plan.

Current activities starting are construction of the retaining walls along Katandra Rd and Cadby Rd (east of the line, north and south of Ormond respectively) and construction of a combined services cable route. Two piling rigs will be used.

Major closures (rail and road) are expected in:
late November (three weekends) during which the North Road bridge deck will be worked on
late January (9 or 12 days Smile during which the North Road bridge deck will be completed and the McKinnon deck started
early March (3 days) when McKinnon and Centre Roads will be closed for services, signalling, and overhead works
Easter (8 days) to complete the McKinnon and Centre Road bridge decks

The stations (Ormond, McKinnon, and Bentleigh) will be closed progressively in late 2016 for construction work, with a 5 week closure over the December/January period. The line will then reopen, but the stations won't reopen until March 2017.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Restriction of US currency supply meant that the Victorian Railways could not buy all the US diesel-electric locomotives that it wanted. The much easier availability of UK currency meant that British electric locomotives were an easier purchase to make, helping tip the balance in favour of electrifying the Gippsland line.
Weren't some diesel trains made in the UK?
Myrtone

Yes. In Victoria, the F class diesels and the Walker railcars.

But in the '50s, the UK higher horsepower diesel locomotives were diabolical. The US technology package, particularly EMD, was far superior. This was mostly because of the research and development EMD (and GM behind them) had done, and because of the construction experience. The UK rail supply industry was largely limited to a very small number of pilot diesels and dinky little shunting engines.

The VR made the correct decision in going for the US. When the BR moved to diesels, they wasted an enormous amount of money on poor designs and poor engines.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

You're making a mighty big assumption that the VR cared about road traffic congestion around level crossings.

Regardless of whether the rail operators cared about road traffic congestion, they would have cared about the cost of employing a gatekeeper to operate the gates, which, being ongoing, adds up over time.

I gather that the roads were there first and the railways were built across them later, surely VR was opposed the new roads being built across existing railways, just as they were opposed to tram/train level crossings.

If a railway operator builds a new railway across an existing road on the same level, don't you think they would only be allowed to do so on the condition that there is some limit to train frequency?
As for the crossings of the time, the gates had to be swung round, closing off the road a certain amount of time before the train arrived at the crossing. You simply must have train headways much longer than the interval between swinging round the gates and the train arriving at the crossing.
In those days, the signalmen and gatekeepers had to each wait for a gap in the traffic before swinging round the gates, thus needing to anticipate the train's approach much further in advance than the automatic block signalling does today.
As far as I know the crossings in the suburban area worked as follows; when a suburban train arrived at one station, every set of swing gates before the next station were swung round, and the wicket gates locked, before the train departed.

If you try to run 20 tph over a swing gate level crossing during the busiest times, the crossing would be closed for the whole of every peak period. Doesn't sound very realistic.

I read what you wrote above, and I know they didn't run trains that frequently over the crossing, but that limit would still have been there, it's just they the train frequecy at the time would have been under that limit.
Now I know that rail traffic along the corridor dropped off shortly before the catenary was cut back. But might have it remained higher if all level crossings between Calufield and Dandenong been grade separated by then, if they had, surely more freight would have gone by rail.
Myrtone

It's more complex than you have portrayed.

Yes, the railways did care about the cost of staffing level crossings. That's why they got rid of most of the hand gates - starting with not generally providing them on new lines from 1887, to wholesale removal during the 1890s. When road traffic began to substantially increase in the '20s, the preferred solution at medium traffic level crossings were automatic mechanisms (wig wags, then flashing lights), with gates only provided at busier or dangerous crossings.

With the increase in road traffic from the '50s, the preferred road control method was flashing lights outside the built up area, and boom barriers in urban areas provided road traffic wasn't excessive. But boom barriers were expensive (particularly if the controls were complex), and staff were still cheap - particularly if they could also sell tickets, or were simple gatekeepers.

The main driver for grade separations in the '50s and '60s was road congestion. This is why funding for the grade separations was typically split between the road authority, the VR, and the local council. But most suburban roads weren't that congested. The VR took continual flack from local councils (and individual residents) in the '50s and '60s over the length of time gates were closed. They investigated complaints - often finding that individual signalmen were getting lazy over swinging the gates promptly behind trains or between trains. But not always - often it was found the signalmen were doing their best. Complaints about the length of time boom barriers were closed (or flashing lights operating) were notable by their absence in the '50s and early '60s.

Grade separations largely stopped in the '70s as communities started to object to the road being moved from ground level, with the consequent disruption to local shopping centres. Warrigal Rd, Oakleigh, is a good example of the problems of the 'cheap' construction that completely destroyed the shopping area around Warrigal Rd. The CRB largely stopped bulldozing road widenings through suburban areas about the same time for much the same reason. Blame or praise Rupert Hamer if you want.

Population density in the middle suburbs has been steadily increasing for the last decade or more. It's not surprising that battles are starting to occur over level crossings.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Yes, the railways did care about the cost of staffing level crossings. That's why they got rid of most of the hand gates - starting with not generally providing them on new lines from 1887, to wholesale removal during the 1890s. When road traffic began to substantially increase in the '20s, the preferred solution at medium traffic level crossings were automatic mechanisms (wig wags, then flashing lights), with gates only provided at busier or dangerous crossings.
historian


But handgates were still common througout the suburban rail network in the 50s and 60s, with intelocked gates at crossing adjacent to signalboxes, and the Upfield line still had plenty as late as 1997.

With the increase in road traffic from the '50s, the preferred road control method was flashing lights outside the built up area, and boom barriers in urban areas provided road traffic wasn't excessive. But boom barriers were expensive (particularly if the controls were complex), and staff were still cheap - particularly if they could also sell tickets, or were simple gatekeepers.
historian


Also, the swing gates covered the full road width on train approach, while the boom barriers that replaced them only cover half the road, and aren't even skirted. In the British Isles, where swing gate level crossings were also the predominant type, the first automatic crossing was installed as late as 1961, and since then, many of their gated crossings have been upgraded to controlled full barrier, same physical protection on train approach as swing gates.

The main driver for grade separations in the '50s and '60s was road congestion. This is why funding for the grade separations was typically split between the road authority, the VR, and the local council. But most suburban roads weren't that congested. The VR took continual flack from local councils (and individual residents) in the '50s and '60s over the length of time gates were closed. They investigated complaints - often finding that individual signalmen were getting lazy over swinging the gates promptly behind trains or between trains. But not always - often it was found the signalmen were doing their best. Complaints about the length of time boom barriers were closed (or flashing lights operating) were notable by their absence in the '50s and early '60s.
historian


How can complaints about the length of time boom barriers were closed be made notable by their absence?

Grade separations largely stopped in the '70s as communities started to object to the road being moved from ground level, with the consequent disruption to local shopping centres. Warrigal Rd, Oakleigh, is a good example of the problems of the 'cheap' construction that completely destroyed the shopping area around Warrigal Rd. The CRB largely stopped bulldozing road widenings through suburban areas about the same time for much the same reason. Blame or praise Rupert Hamer if you want.
historian


Oh so there was a level crossing removal program earlier on but it was stopped becasue it took away business. Are you refering to disruption during the project or ongoing?
I'm not so sure it's a good idea to exchange the value of removal of a level crossing for that of a shopping location. If you remove level crossings over busy roads, you may be able to close nearby crossings that are less busy.

For example with the grade separation of the South Gippsland highway level crossing, probably overdue even when booms were installed, along with an extension to Fowler road over the creek, the Progress street level crossing could be closed.

Population density in the middle suburbs has been steadily increasing for the last decade or more. It's not surprising that battles are starting to occur over level crossings.
historian


And had there been more grade separations earlier, then there would be no such battles.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Yes, the railways did care about the cost of staffing level crossings. That's why they got rid of most of the hand gates - starting with not generally providing them on new lines from 1887, to wholesale removal during the 1890s. When road traffic began to substantially increase in the '20s, the preferred solution at medium traffic level crossings were automatic mechanisms (wig wags, then flashing lights), with gates only provided at busier or dangerous crossings.

But handgates were still common througout the suburban rail network in the 50s and 60s, with intelocked gates at crossing adjacent to signalboxes, and the Upfield line still had plenty as late as 1997.
Myrtone

Perhaps you are unaware that until 1887 it was standard practice in Victoria for all level crossings to be provided with gates. Every tinpot country lane in the State had a set of gates with associated gatehouse and gatekeeper. Almost all of these gates were swept away during the depression of the 1890s. The (relatively) small number that were left were the busy or dangerous crossings. Most crossings in the built up Metropolitan area fell into one of these two categories.

Gated crossings could only be replaced by boom barriers or grade separation. The VR had a program to replace gates with boom barriers, but the rate of replacement, of course, was limited by available funds. So, yes, handgates (and interlocked gates) were still common in the suburban area in the '50s and '60s.
  historian Deputy Commissioner


Grade separations largely stopped in the '70s as communities started to object to the road being moved from ground level, with the consequent disruption to local shopping centres. Warrigal Rd, Oakleigh, is a good example of the problems of the 'cheap' construction that completely destroyed the shopping area around Warrigal Rd. The CRB largely stopped bulldozing road widenings through suburban areas about the same time for much the same reason. Blame or praise Rupert Hamer if you want.

Oh so there was a level crossing removal program earlier on but it was stopped becasue it took away business. Are you refering to disruption during the project or ongoing?
I'm not so sure it's a good idea to exchange the value of removal of a level crossing for that of a shopping location. If you remove level crossings over busy roads, you may be able to close nearby crossings that are less busy.
Myrtone

No, I didn't say that the level crossing removal program was stopped because it took away business.

It stopped because the communities objected to the demolition of shops and houses to build the overpass, and the resulting concrete wall blocking access to what remained. Essentially, this destroyed the amenity of the area around the level crossing. The Warrigal Rd overpass at Oakleigh is a good example - what do you think was on the space now occupied by the overpass?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Perhaps you are unaware that until 1887 it was standard practice in Victoria for all level crossings to be provided with gates. Every tinpot country lane in the State had a set of gates with associated gatehouse and gatekeeper. Almost all of these gates were swept away during the depression of the 1890s. The (relatively) small number that were left were the busy or dangerous crossings. Most crossings in the built up Metropolitan area fell into one of these two categories.
historian


That appears to be based on standard practice in the UK, back then we were still part of the British empire. I believe that the British Isles retained this practice until much more recently, maybe as recently as 1961, when their first automatic crossing was installed.
Apparently the least busy sets of gates were closed to road traffic by default, which would have been a great thing if road traffic is very light.

That said, I also believe that British railways already had fewer level crossings per mile of trackage, especially within urban areas, than we still do today.

Automatic mechanisms, first wigwags and later flashing lights, originated in the United States of America, and we just copied them. I imagine that manning every level crossing in North America would have been impractical.

Gated crossings could only be replaced by boom barriers or grade separation. The VR had a program to replace gates with boom barriers, but the rate of replacement, of course, was limited by available funds. So, yes, handgates (and interlocked gates) were still common in the suburban area in the '50s and '60s.
historian


I don't get the point of the first sentence. I do wonder if full barriers, still operated from a signalbox, often with closed circuit television, might have been a better replacement.

No, I didn't say that the level crossing removal program was stopped because it took away business.
historian


Thanks for the clarification.

It stopped because the communities objected to the demolition of shops and houses to build the overpass, and the resulting concrete wall blocking access to what remained. Essentially, this destroyed the amenity of the area around the level crossing. The Warrigal Rd overpass at Oakleigh is a good example - what do you think was on the space now occupied by the overpass?
historian


That decision basically assumed that the value of level crossing removal could be exchanged for the value of the amenity of, in this case, quite a small area.
Sure, it might demand building demolition and block some access near the level crossing, but grade separating a busier level crossing may mean that a less busy nearby level crossing can simply be closed, which may improve amenity elsewhere.
Were any other level crossing removals between Caulfield and Dandenong planned at the time the Oakleigh and Huntingdale overpasses were built? Had all twelve level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong been removed at that time, and maybe there would have been more frequent trains on the South Gippsland line and that line would have remained open. Or maybe freight traffic along that corridor would not have dropped off as much. If it's grade separated, then frequency of trains would only be limited by the signalling capacity (something like 20 per hour) and thus more of a motivation to transport by rail rather than by road.
As for the Warrigal road overpass, I am not familiar with that area, even today.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Another example of a road over grade separation is Geelong road, West Footscray. The railway has run under Nicholson and Albert streets since the 1920s, but runs over Victoria street. Had it not been for that in-between bridge, then removing that crossing could have been as simple as extending the cutting. In that case, the crossing removal would have added to the amenity of the area. Both John and Windsor streets could have been rejoined. But that crossing removal, and another later on in Tottenham most likely did allow more trains between Sunshine and the CBD, since there are no more public level crossings between those places.
In spite of previous objections to road-over grade separations, it was considered for Burke road, Glen Iris, but the rail under option was taken.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
The September community update newsletter for the Frankston line grade separations gives an indicative project plan.

Current activities starting are construction of the retaining walls along Katandra Rd and Cadby Rd (east of the line, north and south of Ormond respectively) and construction of a combined services cable route. Two piling rigs will be used.

Major closures (rail and road) are expected in:
late November (three weekends) during which the North Road bridge deck will be worked on
late January (9 or 12 days Smile during which the North Road bridge deck will be completed and the McKinnon deck started
early March (3 days) when McKinnon and Centre Roads will be closed for services, signalling, and overhead works
Easter (8 days) to complete the McKinnon and Centre Road bridge decks

The stations (Ormond, McKinnon, and Bentleigh) will be closed progressively in late 2016 for construction work, with a 5 week closure over the December/January period. The line will then reopen, but the stations won't reopen until March 2017.
historian
There appears all to be some concern as to the potential effect on traffic.  Not least the large number of replacement buses which will be required to cover the peak-time service.  Unlike the Ringwood corridor when one crossing at a time was worked on and traffic disruption was confined, in the main, to a single major intersection for this project three crossings which involve two major roads are to be closed at the same time.  There will be no major road open to cross the railway between Patterson Road and Glenhuntly Road neither of which is capable of taking the volume of traffic which uses North Road let alone the other as well.  

Replacement buses are as likely to cause congestion in this scenario as to be caught up in it.

McKinnon isn't a busy crossing but has to be done at the same time because it sits between Ormond and Bentleigh.  To leave it would be to create alps on the railway as it dropped from Glenhuntly to Ormond, rose to McKinnon, dropped again to Bentleigh and rose to Patterson.

This project will test the construction teams, those engaged in providing replacement services and the mettle of the travelling public.  It is far bigger than anything Melbourne has seen in recent years.  There will be no open station between Patterson and Glenhuntly for at least four months despite trains running through for all but a few weeks.  The pattern of rail service provision during the extended closures has yet to be announced at least in public.  

Frankston line customers are getting used to there being no trains at weekends.  There have been occupations roughly every second weekend all this year while the Bayside Rail Project effectively rebuilds the line.  On some occasions buses have replaced everything from Moorabbin through to Stony Point.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

More on the Frankston line...

They have erected a monstrous screw piling machine at Cadby Rd (east of the line, south of Ormond).

Katandra Rd (east of the line, north of Ormond) has had the northbound lane closed. Trenching work was done earlier this week for the cable route, and now they are laying gravel for another piling machine. Most of the vegetation has been cleared from the lineside on the east side of the line, and the first couple of palm trees have been relocated to a storage facility (I kid you not).

The first road closure occurred last weekend when McKinnon Rd was closed Friday and Saturday night for trenching works.

Vegetation removal works has begun south of McKinnon on the west side of the line (again leaving the palms - two different types here). A piling machine and crane has been placed at the dip between McKinnon and Bentleigh.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

McKinnon isn't a busy crossing but has to be done at the same time because it sits between Ormond and Bentleigh.  To leave it would be to create alps on the railway as it dropped from Glenhuntly to Ormond, rose to McKinnon, dropped again to Bentleigh and rose to Patterson.

This project will test the construction teams, those engaged in providing replacement services and the mettle of the travelling public.  It is far bigger than anything Melbourne has seen in recent years.  There will be no open station between Patterson and Glenhuntly for at least four months despite trains running through for all but a few weeks.  The pattern of rail service provision during the extended closures has yet to be announced at least in public.  
Gwiwer

But that's exactly what they are doing. To quote Thomas Bent (the original one), the line will, in fact, be like a series of sawteeth. It will dive to pass under North Road, climb ground level to cross the north branch of the Elster Creek (at Murray Road), dive again to pass under McKinnon Rd, climb to ground level to cross the south branch of the Elster Creek (near the substation), before diving a final time to pass under Centre Rd. It will make running the steel train interesting (if it is still running by 2017).

As to the rail replacement services, we'll see. I suspect the provision of services might evolve over time.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
McKinnon isn't a busy crossing but has to be done at the same time because it sits between Ormond and Bentleigh.  To leave it would be to create alps on the railway as it dropped from Glenhuntly to Ormond, rose to McKinnon, dropped again to Bentleigh and rose to Patterson.

This project will test the construction teams, those engaged in providing replacement services and the mettle of the travelling public.  It is far bigger than anything Melbourne has seen in recent years.  There will be no open station between Patterson and Glenhuntly for at least four months despite trains running through for all but a few weeks.  The pattern of rail service provision during the extended closures has yet to be announced at least in public.  

But that's exactly what they are doing. To quote Thomas Bent (the original one), the line will, in fact, be like a series of sawteeth. It will dive to pass under North Road, climb ground level to cross the north branch of the Elster Creek (at Murray Road), dive again to pass under McKinnon Rd, climb to ground level to cross the south branch of the Elster Creek (near the substation), before diving a final time to pass under Centre Rd. It will make running the steel train interesting (if it is still running by 2017).

As to the rail replacement services, we'll see. I suspect the provision of services might evolve over time.
historian
Yes, the geology of this area is going to present a challenge given the high water-table, drains, and Brighton Sands. I had a read of the Community Information Session slides (from 29/07/2015) (http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/17876/North_McKinnon_Centre_information_session_July_2015.pdf) and they are probably not exaggerating the geologic challenges. However, given the line appears to have a rising grade from Bentleigh to Ormond, having the line dip under roads and rise over drains means that the current grades will sort of be reversed. On a side note, I found a map of the Elster Creek catchment and it's very interesting - you can see where the creek, which is now mainly underground drains, crosses the line. Not sure how they are going to reroute the drain just south of Bentleigh Station given that this is where the line will be lower than road level.  Here is a link to the catchment map: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bypzy-cVyxwtNjY0NjUzYjYtY2ExYy00ZmQ3LWE4ZjAtODYwNmQwMjFhZWIz/view

It's been very interesting on my travels up and down the line seeing the work get started. The main works depot hasn't been set up at E.E. Gunn reserve, but satellite work sites are already in operation at Glenhuntly (Neerim Rd), Ormond and Bentleigh.

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