50 level crossings to be removed

 
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Can't wait for the moaning when Skyrail comes to Mordialloc and beyond.
ZH836301
Grade separation plans may get dumped along the sand belt between Mordialloc and Seaford ?
Because It looks like coming to the point where there Is not a political and economic feasible solution to compete the nominated grade separation.

The NoSkyRail mob only want the ground level railways out of sight out mind !

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  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Can't wait for the moaning when Skyrail comes to Mordialloc and beyond.
Grade separation plans may get dumped along the sand belt between Mordialloc and Seaford ?
Because It looks like coming to the point where there Is not a political and economic feasible solution to compete the nominated grade separation.

The NoSkyRail mob only want the ground level railways out of sight out mind !
Nightfire


At this stage, I would say that is very possible.  Having said that though, I live in Seaford, and I've been somewhat surprised at the relative lack of NoSkyRail paraphernalia along here, considering the amount of media noise.  There's a very visible house next to Edithvale station with a bunch of banners, and then another one near Bonbeach...  But's that about it, besides a few window flyers.  There's a hand drawn one in the front yard of a house next to Carrum station.

But assuming that there IS latent opposition (or at least, that there's potential for the Liberal party to stir it up), then there's a very good chance the ALP would just dump the plans.  There is no way to cost-effectively put any of these crossings under, the only feasible way to do the Bonbeach etc section is elevate from before Bonbeach station to past Eel Race Rd.  Edithvale Rd has to go over as well.  Anyone who thinks a sane engineer would build an open trench with a floor below sea level, 50m from the beach, is deluded.  Also the fact than any of the locals think it would be good value for money to spend millions upon millions to build a tunnel under the Patterson River is astounding.

But the sandbelt seats won the last two elections, one for each side, so...  The ALP can't do it without costing themselves a bunch of seats.  The Libs would never spend the money to do it any other way, but they're happy to pump $ into astroturfing the NoSkyRail mob and pretend that they have any intention of putting the crossings under.

Charman and Balcombe Rds need to be done, one way or the other.  They also might still do Seaford Rd and the one between Kananook and Frankston.

Probably the only way out of this, is for the Caulfield-Oakleigh section to be done as soon as possible, and to turn out to be nowhere near as bad as the hysteria suggests.  Then they might take a punt.
  kapow Junior Train Controller

A friend of mine who lives very near the current digging on the Frankston line has a very sudden and very major mouse problem which she attributes to the trenching.

Has anyone else heard of this happening?
falconea
Also with it being winter might help account for the mice issue
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

I think the ALP govt just needs to do a far, far better job explaining the situation, the costs, the risks with ground water etc. to the people of the area. The fact that the sun will still rise the morning after the first skyrail is completed will help, and it probably wouldn't hurt to find out where the funding and the organisation for these anti-skyrail groups is coming from
gb274

There isn't much they haven't already explained.  The ALP have given the public all the information, and the NoSkyRail group choose to imagine it away and find someone to write that "you deserve to know the truth" fantasy engineering garbage on their website, with the encouragement of the Herald Sun and the Libs.  If you ask any of them, they'll all say "yes, they're using cost, groundwater, gas mains as excuses, but we've got this other engineer, who says..."

Robert Doyle is even writing articles fantasising about putting a "strip suburb" above the ground-level "Flemington railway" (not sure what he's even talking about?)  Making ridiculous quotes like "why don't we build suburbs above railway lines, rather than railway lines about suburbs".

It's no secret where the funding is coming from.  The Age ran a feature on the Liberal Party funding the NoSkyRail group a couple of weeks ago, supplying the website, bumper stickers, pamphlets that were dropped in everyone's mail a couple of weeks ago...  The scare campaign along the Frankston line is mostly about trying to unseat Dreyfus - they're banking on voters not being able to tell the difference between State and Federal politics.  And at this point, they might be successful.

You'll also notice the NoSkyRail noise is mainly in middle-class Carnegie and Murrumbeena.  Libs aren't spending cash on Clayton and Noble Park if those areas are going to vote Labor anyway.

The question is then whether they bother funding it post July 2.
  Connex Station Master

Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
  lkernan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
Connex
Here you go:
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
Connex
Yep, now go away.......................
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
Connex

Are you against them across the board?  If it's across a busy highway for example, are you against that?

For everyone here - it's a case-by-base on whether it's worth doing.  If it's in a busy suburb, where it hinders increasing train services because the boom gates are already down 45 minutes of every hour...?  Then you'd be nuts not to want it gone.  If it's in an outer suburb where it sees half a dozen cars a day, then no - it might be a waste of money.

But I spent a time living in Germany, where a) you rarely have them and b) elevated rail is completely normal and no one would bat an eyelid.

So I guess that will colour my opinion.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Well, the big dig is on. And it is very impressive, particularly at night.

Last week was the tidy up, finish, clean up, and set up. The concreting of the beams at the top of the piles at Ormond was only just completed. The final section south of North Road, near Elster Creek, was poured on Thursday. The final section north of North Road, at the extremely northerly end, was poured on Friday. At other locations low key excavation continued - between McKinnon Rd and Elster Creek, around Bentleigh station, and south of Centre Rd. The final portion of the reconstruction of the Elster Creek drain under the western part of Murray Road was completed. Half of Nicholson St (between McKinnon and Bentleigh) was fenced off to give working space, and the remainder was made one way (southbound). Large numbers of lights were attached to the piles. Curiously, one reinforced column for the new Bentleigh station was erected.

Machinery really started to arrive in the second half of the week. A massive machinery dump was created on the EE Gunn reserve north of Ormond, with a smaller dump in the former western car park at Bentleigh. A huge mountain of crushed rock has been stockpiled in the EE Gunn reserve, while a smaller stockpile is situated in the northern carpark at Glenhuntly.

McKinnon Road and Centre Road level crossings were closed to road traffic at 8 pm. By 9 pm work had commenced to remove the boom barriers at Centre Rd. North Road level crossing was abolished with the last train about 12.30, but the road wasn't closed.

By mid Saturday morning all the level crossing equipment had been removed at all three level crossings - boom barriers, cantilevered flashing lights, pedestrian wickets, and relay cabinets. Work was underway removing the overhead. This commenced at the north end of the work site and progressed south. By midday, it had reached McKinnon Rd. At this stage the track was intact, but dismantling work was in progress at Ormond. McKinnon Rd was closed, but Centre Rd was reopened for road traffic during Saturday for the trading. A Metro work train had been parked north of Leila Rd, Ormond, on the Down line for recovery of the concrete sleepers and rail.

By midday Sunday the track had been dismantled and was being recovered. At the north end it was being loaded into the work train. At the southern end the sleepers and rails were being stacked south of Brewer Rd. At this time the signals had not been removed. The newer (temporary) overhead stanchions had been dismantled, but the older ones were still standing. Work was underway at McKinnon and Centre Roads to break up and remove the temporary road surface to reveal the bridge deck underneath. By that evening the bridge deck had been revealed, and both roads were reopened to road traffic on the bridge deck by Monday morning. Traffic is driving on the bare concrete - asphalt has not been laid. During Sunday work started on cleaning up the ballast and beginning to dig - particularly south of Centre Rd.

By Monday evening they were well stuck into digging along the entire worksite and large quantities of earth had already been removed.

The general method appears to be as follows. Large tracked excavators are used to actually dig the earth out. The earth is easily worked, and appears mostly sandy soil with clay patches. I've seen no rocks yet. The earth is loaded into large three axle articulated trucks (too large for street work) which haul the earth along the worksite, perhaps for less than 100 metres, to a transfer location. Here the earth is dumped, and the articulated truck goes back for another load. At the transfer location a bulldozer mounds the dumped earth, and further tracked excavators dig it up and load it into conventional road dump trucks and trailers which are used to take it offsite. Three bucket loads of earth load the dump truck, and another three the trailer. Variations exist at each site, depending on the lead the earth needs to be moved.

To give a specific example: the excavation on the north side of McKinnon Rd this evening. Three tracked excavators. One excavator is used to dig out the earth under the bridge deck. The earth is dumped within reach of the second excavator, which transfers it to a point that can be reached by the third excavator. This excavator loads it into the three axle articlulated trucks - at least two are in use, but no more than four. The articulated trucks take it underneath McKinnon Rd (yes, the bridge has been holed through, at least on the future Up line) to a transfer point about 100 metres south of McKinnon Rd. Here there are two excavators at a transfer station and at least one bulldozer. Each can load a dump truck/trailer in about 2 to 3 minutes.

There has been careful planning of the dump truck routes. At McKinnon, again, the dump trucks approach McKinnon from the east along McKinnon Rd, cross the new bridge, and turn south down Nicholson St. Here they are directed to one of the transfer loading points (there are at least 5) where they are loaded. They continue south along Nicholson St and turn east on Centre Rd. It appears that the intensity of loading is increased at night when road traffic is less. Presumably the earth is stockpiled during the day. To facilitate the dump truck traffic, the McKinnon Rd bridge has been closed each night to normal road traffic.

Other loading points are on Katandra Ave (earth from Ormond north of North Rd), Cadby Ave (earth from immediately south of North Rd), Murray Rd (earth from the approach cuttings north and south of Elster Creek), Bentleigh west car park (earth from north of Centre Rd). The Murray Rd loading point is interesting - the trucks approach from the west along Murray Rd, cross over the railway alignment (where the two loading points are situated), and then continue east along the other half of Murray Rd to Jasper Rd.

Interestingly, the temporary road surface and tracks haven't yet been removed from North Road.

Digging is scheduled to continue for another week.

For anyone interested in watching - and the locals certainly are - the best places are the three new bridges - North, McKinnon, and Centre Rds. During the day, it's interesting just how much earthmoving machinery can be seen. I reckon it's even more impressive at night.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
How long will the Long Island steel train be out of action ?

Will a goat track be opened up through the works, with a few open windows a week to run trains through ?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
Connex
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
The CEO of Watergardens Shopping Centre appeared to be very enthusiastic about plans to remove the crossing - maybe they might even foot some of the bill.
If he's enthusiastic, it's because he won't be picking up the tab.
Further update to the Main Road St Albans  project
Sunbury line  to be closed to all trains between Sunshine and Sunbury from January 2nd to January 9th inclusive with bustitution occurring .
Main Road St Albans to be closed to vehicular traffic from January 2nd to the 22nd inclusive for major works .
   Work continues out here in the west as well.
Furlong Road Level Crossing will be closed from 8 pm Thursday 18th February to 5 am Monday 22nd February .
The station car park on the western side of the line adjacent to the station will be closed at this time . This is the larger of the two car parks at Ginifer .The car park on the Eastern side of the line is being enlarged to cater for the increase in cars using this car park .Unfortunately this WILL make access to the station more tedious for the majority of motorists who drive to the station as they currently use the western side car park .
   This is being done to enable major excavation works to begin preparatory to lowering the line as the line is to go through what is now the car park area .
    There will be a further closure in March / April which will be to enable the construction of the road bridge over the line at Furlong Road .
     The Main Road Level Crossing project in St Albans is also progressing with the bridge being installed ( with it`s ancillary works ) during  the shutdown of the level crossing that occupied 19 days in January
   Furlong Road level crossing closed yesterday and is due to remain closed until April 24th .
 Work has begun excavating under the line to enable the insertion of the bridge decking to carry the road over the tracks        when    the line has been lowered sufficiently .
      Ginifer station car parking has been dramatically altered to allow the works to continue as well but the station remains    open as in St Albans and the there are no planned shutdowns to the trains that I am aware of .
       Work is also continuing at Stans in excavating the trench for the tracks under Main Road and adjacent to St Albans           Station
     As of today all of the site offices have been transferred from the works depot site they have occupied adjacent to, and just south of Ginifer station to a site approx 1/2 Kilometer  north along the line towards St Albans adjacent to Kingsley street
     This seems to be to make room to enable further excavation of the Rail cutting to continue north from Furlong road .
     The offices were also on the site for the new Ginifer station so .moving them will free up room for construction to commence on this as well .
Work in excavating the cutting alongside Ginifer station and under Furlong road is steadily pushing along .
An issue that  I feel will need addressing in future is that due to slewing of the track work and new station to the west of the current line there is now NO provision for off street car parking on this side of the station .
 Ginifer is a well patronised  station in the midst of a residential area and is close to Sunshine Hospital which is rapidly expanding ( East side ) . It also has a large residential catchment to the western side , i.e St Albans South , Cairnlea and areas of Deer Park .
 Prior to the Grade separation work commencing  Ginifer had two car parks , East & West  of the line and the Western side was by far the heaviest used .
 This pattern will continue as even with the improved acess across the line offered by the grade separation project it is still an awkward route to cross the line onto St Albans Road ( Very busy at all times ) to park in the morning and to return in the afternoon will still be diabolical .
The problem is now that ALL the available car parking spots are on the Eastern side of the line and this makes access from the Western side awkward .This is due to space constraints on the site and there is not an easy solution that I can think of . But what is happening and will increase I fear, is on street parking in residential streets on the western side of the line and this forseably WILL become an issue for the local residents as well as commuters
  This may in future force the acquisition of land to provide parking spaces
Crossover
Ginifer Station ( Furlong Rd )
       Lift Shaft installations (2) to occur 18th of July .
        Station Building to be installed on the elevated concrete base that spans the excavation s for the slewed trackbed on the 19th & 20th of July .
        Extensive excavations are continuing from south of Furlong road right through ( Approx 1 Kilometre in length ) to opposite Bent street where the lowered track bed regains the surface and joins the existing track formation .
         The latest information is that the new Ginifer station will be open "Later this year ".
         St Albans station has recently had the lift shafts placed in position as well .
  Connex Station Master

Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
Connex
Yep, now go away.......................
"trainbrain"

Really? I was just voicing my opinion...
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Apparently members of the anti-skyrail group have put their own signs outside polling booths in Murrumbeena & Carnegie, as well as booths along the Frankston line. While I respect their right to not be happy about construction outcomes, it seems a bit counter productive as level crossing removals are very much State projects and this is a Federal election. If there is any influence from anti-skyrail group votes, I suspect it's likely to be minimal to final outcomes.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Apparently members of the anti-skyrail group have put their own signs outside polling booths in Murrumbeena & Carnegie, as well as booths along the Frankston line. While I respect their right to not be happy about construction outcomes, it seems a bit counter productive as level crossing removals are very much State projects and this is a Federal election. If there is any influence from anti-skyrail group votes, I suspect it's likely to be minimal to final outcomes.
jdekorte
Unfortunately there are a whole lot of people who do not understand the separation of State and Federal powers in Australia. The CFA/Union issue is another example of this, and is most definitely influencing votes across Victoria.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

Am I honestly the only one on this site against Level Crossing Removals?
Yep, now go away.......................

Really? I was just voicing my opinion...
Connex
Good for you, you would object to everything    boom boom
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Politically, it doesn't matter whether Labor do it or not - the the idea is already out there.

The crossings will not be done before the election, and the Libs will attempt to whip up hysteria (even though they know they can't be done any other way).  The only defence Labor has is to complete Skyrail on time and show that it is a more than palatable solution.

That said, it's likely of the 3-5 crossings still to be announced for this period (Labor will try to beat their target) at least another one will be along the Frankston line due to the closeness in electoral results between Frankston, Mordialloc, and Carrum (so Seaford Rd, Skye Rd, Cheltenham, or Mentone).

It is likely 'Skyrail' will be implemented for Mordialloc to Eel Race Rd (hopefully with removal of two stations and rearrangement of traffic on Napean Hwy/Station St).
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Politically, it doesn't matter whether Labor do it or not - the the idea is already out there.

The crossings will not be done before the election, and the Libs will attempt to whip up hysteria (even though they know they can't be done any other way).  The only defence Labor has is to complete Skyrail on time and show that it is a more than palatable solution.

That said, it's likely of the 3-5 crossings still to be announced for this period (Labor will try to beat their target) at least another one will be along the Frankston line due to the closeness in electoral results between Frankston, Mordialloc, and Carrum (so Seaford Rd, Skye Rd, Cheltenham, or Mentone).

It is likely 'Skyrail' will be implemented for Mordialloc to Eel Race Rd (hopefully with removal of two stations and rearrangement of traffic on Napean Hwy/Station St).
ZH836301

1. For the first part - are you sure the Caulfield-Dandenong project won't be done before the 2018 election?  They have scheduled most of the other recent ones with extra time so they can claim "finished ahead of schedule".  I can't see this one going late unless the NoSkyRailers find some way of delaying it legally.  

2. Do you mean "for the relevant crossings within the zone Mordialloc to Eel Race Rd" or do you mean "for the entirety of..."?

There are a great deal of crossings in that stretch that aren't on the list (specifically in the immediate vicinity of Aspendale and Chelsea stations).  I would think they would go up and over Edithvale road, then back to ground level through Chelsea, then up and elevated from up side of Bonbeach to just past Kananook Creek.

As for removing stations...  They won't end up with less stations than they have now.  Edithvale, Bonbeach and Carrum will all be re-built though.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Apparently members of the anti-skyrail group have put their own signs outside polling booths in Murrumbeena & Carnegie, as well as booths along the Frankston line. While I respect their right to not be happy about construction outcomes, it seems a bit counter productive as level crossing removals are very much State projects and this is a Federal election. If there is any influence from anti-skyrail group votes, I suspect it's likely to be minimal to final outcomes.
Unfortunately there are a whole lot of people who do not understand the separation of State and Federal powers in Australia. The CFA/Union issue is another example of this, and is most definitely influencing votes across Victoria.
TOQ-1

They were putting up their own "No Sky Rail - Vote Liberal" stuff at Seaford this morning too, and standing cheerfully next to the Liberal Party people handing out the HTV cards.  BUT... in spite of their sound and fury, the seats along the Frankston line they were targeting for a protest vote (Isaacs and Dunkley) have swung TOWARDS the Labor Party tonight.

Similarly, the seats the Liberal Party poured the most CFA-related resources into (Bendigo and McEwen) have also swung towards the ALP - McEwen by 8.2% (admittedly, its boundaries changed a bit and the Lib candidate didn't do himself any favours).

The pundits on the ABC just admitted they grossly overestimated the effect the CFA crisis would have.

The only seat where it looks like Skyrail may have made a difference is Chisholm, but even there the Lib swing was fairly small.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

I would think they would go up and over Edithvale road, then back to ground level through Chelsea, then up and elevated from up side of Bonbeach to just past Kananook Creek.

As for removing stations...  They won't end up with less stations than they have now.  Edithvale, Bonbeach and Carrum will all be re-built though.
Adogs
Though Mascot Av level crossing Is not on the list !

No Government would have the guts to close an existing station, If they did the likes of Middle Footscray and McKinnon would of been lead up on to the scaffold the face the headsman's chopping block.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
I was wondering about whether protests would have any significant impact on voting intentions. The people who live close to the elevated line might fear noise issues, but those a little further away might relish in the removal of the crossing and the perception that their motoring will be less impeded.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
I was wondering about whether protests would have any significant impact on voting intentions. The people who live close to the elevated line might fear noise issues, but those a little further away might relish in the removal of the crossing and the perception that their motoring will be less impeded.
Edith
It doesn't appear to be at this stage. I've had a brief look at the booth breakdown for the seat of Higgins and while there is a slight swing (below 0.25%) to the incumbent Liberal in affected suburbs, across the whole seat there was a sizeable swing to the Greens. In other seats that will be affected by the CD9 skyrail project, it appears that the ALP has kept them. You are right in your assumption that only people close to the railway have voted to support the Liberals who have made no secret about opposing the construction method. Further away, people didn't seem to care and I firmly believe that most people are smart enough to see the difference between State & Federal issues.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

I feel like the Liberals would be secretly happy that it's being done.  The crossings get removed (which they would have never spent the money doing) AND it's giving them easy fodder to attack the ALP with.

It's a win-win for them.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
I feel like the Liberals would be secretly happy that it's being done.  The crossings get removed (which they would have never spent the money doing) AND it's giving them easy fodder to attack the ALP with.

It's a win-win for them.
Adogs
Interesting theory, and you're possibly right. This coming from a former government that could barely get any projects started themselves.
  steve195 Train Controller

Quick (very non-technical, sorry) update from North/Mckinnon/Centre.

The bulk of the excavation appears to be nearing completion. Local streets are still saturated with dump trucks, but interestingly most are without a trailer.
Much of the retaining walls has been covered in shotcrete. The base of the cutting is being covered with some sort of plastic/geomembrane and then gravel above that.
At Ormond, the rough outline of an island platform appears to be taking shape.
McKinnon road is closed to road traffic at night. Tonight, there are two concrete pumping trucks on the bridge, being each fed by a cement truck. There was a queue of 3 cement trucks on the east side when I was there.
Lots of cranes have been set up along the route as well over the past couple of days.

The scale of this project is absolutely mind-boggling.

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