50 level crossings to be removed

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
IMHO, level crossings (and heavy trucks using them) are currently the single greatest risk for rail accidents in Australia. This is especially true in the country. This is a particular problem in Victoria as we have a relatively large passenger network, hence the risk to passenger trains is relatively high.
"historian"

And the level crossing count is being reduced.

Boom barriers are an extremely effective mechanism for mitigating this risk (note: not eliminating it, as Dandenong South showed). This is because the booms are an excellent signal for road traffic - far better (IMHO) than the flashing lights during daylight. They are easily seen when vertical, the movement to horizontal attracts attention, and drivers have a reluctance to drive through a physical barrier when they are horizontal.
"historian"

The wheel operated gates we used to have on level crossings near signal boxes were more effective for mitigating this risk. In addition to interlocking with protecting signals, they covered the full road width on train approach so it was impossible to zigzag around them.

IMHO, extending boom barriers to more crossings is probably the single most effective thing the government can do to reduce risk. The barrier to doing so is cost, both the initial installation and ongoing operating/maintenance costs.
"historian"

Reducing the number of level crossings would help. Some level crossings with very light road traffic might as well be converted to user worked gates or barriers.

In proposing full barriers, you are proposing to very substantially increase the installation, maintenance, and operating costs. The resulting increase in safety at *that* level crossing is (again IMHO) relatively minor. Again, IMHO, the government would get a far better safety benefit by using the same money to equip more level crossings with half barriers.
"historian"

How much would be increased with having twice as many barriers. These barriers would cover the footpath as well as road between them, so no need for separate pedestrian gates.
Being operated by a person who can see the crossing means that no emergency exist gates for pedestrians would be needed either.
On a narrower road, a full barriers crossing might only need two barriers, like those on a half-barrier crossing, only longer and skirted.

How did replacement of swing gates with automatic half-barriers effect maintenance costs. Hand gates weren't interlocked with signals and lacked secure lockings and so replacing them with automatic half-barriers may have increased safety despite the hand gates covering the full road width.
But I suspect that replacing interlocked gates by those half-barriers would have decreased safety.

A couple of final points. We're never going to be able to afford to equip all crossings with boom barriers. A truck/train collision could happen at any occupation crossing. So we're not going to be able to eliminate the risk using boom barriers. But we can equip crossings with poor sighting and even a low level of truck movements.
"historian"


Maybe if we reduce the number of crossings we could fit booms to all the ones that remain.

Finally, if you are looking at safety, IMHO the money spent on level crossing elimination in Melbourne would have been far better spent on boom barriers in the country. But these eliminations were never about safety. They were about reducing road congestion and road vehicle wait times. Full barriers would substantially increase both.
"historian"

Some of them, such as the Caulfield-to-Dandenong ones, are about unlocking rail capacity.

If we had fewer level crossings, all on the least busy lines, then full barriers could be used without creating more traffic problems.

Actually, at level crossings where road traffic is very light, full-barrier crossing maintenance costs can be reduced simply by keeping the barriers closed by default. This also makes it easier for the person operating the crossing to keep an eye on every road user crossing at that location.

Suppose we reduce the number of level crossings, this itself having priority over all other road projects, and fit controlled full barriers to the ones that remain.

Sponsored advertisement

  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Myrtone
This thread is solely on about the removal of 50 crossings in Melbourne network and other future level crossing elimination. Other methods such as providing full gates on existing crossing is not in the scope of the thread. But anyways to clarify:

Here's a breakdown on Benefits and Disadvantages of each solution

Removing a crossing
In general
Pros:
Reduces road congestion
Enables more bus/tram services
Enable more train service*
Improves walkability and cycling
No safety issues

Cons:
Very expensive
Very Disruptive

If trench
Enable Redevelopment (value capture)
Out of view for residents

If Elevated
Improves Connectivity
Cheaper to build
Less disruptive

Road overpasses/road underpass
Very cheap compared with other options
Very little connectivity
Best suited in Industrial areas

*Only if all or most of level crossings are removed on a single line (applies to Sunbury and Dandenong lines)

Current Boom Gates
Pros:
Already provide motorist warning
Prevent most crash if were not installed
Quick enough to come down and up

Cons;
Congestion
No connectivity
Don't prevent all crashes

Myrtone's magic solution: Full gates
Pros: Removes all crashes

Cons:
Congestion
No connectivity
High cost to run and build at every crossing

Summary:
Despite High cost and disruption of removing crossings in Melbourne's busy 50 crossings the benefit outweigh the cost and each solutions has it's own good or bad. The current Boom Gate are doing what they are designed to do give warning to motorists and prevent most of the crashes. The crashes that happen currently are most due to stupidity and lack of self awareness. The cost of replacing the remaining crossings with full gates do not outweigh the benefits of helping the minority idiots on the road.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

On topic here, 8 crossing removed last year (Burke road crossing + 3 in Bentleigh/Ormond area, 2 in St Albans, 2 in Bayswater)
3 crossing removed this year (Blackburn + Heatherdale crossing, Melton Highway boom gates will be removed in late 2017)
10 crossings gone in 2018 before the state election (9 Dandenong + Thompson crossing)
Total of 21 which meets the target of 20, with many under construction. Funding is secure, but it will be interesting if they lose the election. Another point is that the Government has hinted more removals before 2018 election but confused how that is possible if they have not even finish with the original 50 + 2. Another thing, there is like no mention anyhow on the extra 2 crossings added to the list, maybe wanted to stick with the 50 number. 52 crossings doesn't have the same flow as 50. Will be interesting what will appear in the next budget, Cranbourne duplication is a project that must happen, otherwise the Dandenong rail upgrade will be a waste. It will make sense due to the feedback on level crossings and how they are gonna extend the platforms. 2 level crossings/station extensions with duplication at the same time would mean disruption happen at once instead of staggered.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Why waste money on the level crossings that far out of town at Edithvale and Bonbeach if there are environmental issues. Just leave the level crossings in place and concentrate on areas that will reduce congestion and allow an increase in capacity.
  lkernan Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Why waste money on the level crossings that far out of town at Edithvale and Bonbeach if there are environmental issues. Just leave the level crossings in place and concentrate on areas that will reduce congestion and allow an increase in capacity.
simstrain

You'd lose an election in a second.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Why waste money on the level crossings that far out of town at Edithvale and Bonbeach if there are environmental issues. Just leave the level crossings in place and concentrate on areas that will reduce congestion and allow an increase in capacity.
simstrain
Marginal seats. And the government is stubborn to keep with it's 2014 election promises, so they aren't gonna change the list of 50 level crossings. But good news is that Government will announce more crossings on top of the 50 and they will be probably the ones that have been criticised for not making the list. Eg; Glenhuntly crossing, the one at Burnley and probably do the last two on the Ringwood line.
  Crossover Junior Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
Just gonna state how the level crossing removal program is going
10 level crossings removed (all rail under road)
9 level crossings on Dandenong line in progress (rail over road)
-Pillars are getting placed
-Crane is getting built up
-Completion in 2018
2 Level crossings in early construction stage at Melton highway and thompson road (road over rail) finish in 2018
3 Level crossings planning Kokoroit creek road, Abbot road, and Rosanna (rail over road) finish in 2019
-Includes partial duplication at Altona
2 level crossings planning Camp road, Grange road Alphinton (rail under road) finish in 2019
2 level crossings at Skye road and Seaford road (rail over road) finish 2019
3 level crossings at Essendon, Eal race road and Station street (under consultation) finish in 2019
2 level crossings at Charman road and Balcome road (rail under road) starts in 2018
2 level crossings at Eithdale and Bonbeach (rail under road, but EES may overrule this) starts in 2019
15 level crossings under planning/consultation (under investigation)

So in other terms:16 rail under road, 2 road over rail, 14 rail over road, 18 still unsure. What a nice balance of trench and elevated rail.

Note: Park road is also getting removed but not part of the original 50 (rail under road) completed in 2019
Also Duplication of Heildeburg is a seperate project
James974
         Notification has been received that major works begin on the Keilor - Melton highway level crossing next week
These works initially are for footings for the Road bridge .
  Adogs Train Controller

I'm going to take a punt that the plan is actually that they're ultimately expecting NOT to grade sep Edithvale and Bonbeach at all.

Putting them rail-under is a) crazy engineering-wise and b) probably going to get nixed by the EES.  But there is, of course, c) keeping the NIMBYs happy in the marginal sandbelt seats.

But they will much around with pushing paper around in circles until after the next election (which at this point, I can't see the Libs getting back in), at which point they will say "EES says no", and chuck it in the too-hard-basket.  

Other possibility...  depending how their margin is at the next election, just Skyrail it and tell the locals south of Mordialloc to deal with it.  Either way, I'm not expecting them to actually get built the way they look on paper at the moment.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

I'm going to take a punt that the plan is actually that they're ultimately expecting NOT to grade sep Edithvale and Bonbeach at all.

Putting them rail-under is a) crazy engineering-wise and b) probably going to get nixed by the EES.  But there is, of course, c) keeping the NIMBYs happy in the marginal sandbelt seats.

But they will much around with pushing paper around in circles until after the next election (which at this point, I can't see the Libs getting back in), at which point they will say "EES says no", and chuck it in the too-hard-basket.  

Other possibility...  depending how their margin is at the next election, just Skyrail it and tell the locals south of Mordialloc to deal with it.  Either way, I'm not expecting them to actually get built the way they look on paper at the moment.
Adogs
It's a matter of wait and see, if the EES is not successful, it will be forced to put it rail over road, then the government can't be blamed for elevated rail. This political strategy to make the frankston line as consulted and more considerate than the rest is because the seats there are very marginal. Many seats on frankston line lost by Labor in 2010 and were gained back in 2014, since in the polls they're neck and neck they don't want to lose any seats. In fact when they add the 10 crossings to their list of 40 trying to aim for 50, They decided wisely to add Bentleigh and McKinnon level crossings at the same time with Ormond, but left the two in Glenhuntly. This is because the two level crossing were in the marginal Bentleigh seat.

If they do not remove the crossing the government would receive backlash everywhere since they are committed on their promises even the ones that contradict each other (east west link/no compension paid). I believe if they not remove the crossings, people would lose trust in the current government. Yes, the actions that current government are very decisive and lead to backlash but that the team strategy to make them a proactive government and able to make tough decisions. Cancelling East west link project took major backlash, but it showed the premier that he able to stick to his promises. Skyrail was a tough call to make but for the greater good needed to be done since otherwise resulted in major shutdown. As you know the previous government rail under solution only covered half of the dandenong corridor and the rest unknown and privatised plan.

I think this government will serve quite a decent term of government by the progress they are going. As I said they are very committed to stick with their promises back in 2014. Look back on Mernda rail, it's getting done, Caroline springs station, ohh that opened and Southland station progress coming along nicely. Although media and opposition think current government has no idea what it is doing, it actually they have a plan. Can't wait to see all the crossings removed, it will change the whole of Melbourne, all that needs to be done is political will to increase the frequencies of trains all times of the day. Huge Timetabling changes for Melbourne train were going to be done back when RRL happened but once again, it is the Frankston line not going through the loop in the timetabling that is delaying the process for more trains. That only criticism for current government is that they are too cautious with the Frankston line, which only delays significant works from happening.
  N463 Locomotive Fireman

They could also be delaying until the first elevated rail project is finished, so that people can look at the finished project and (the government will be hoping) decide that it isn't so bad after all. In which case elevated rail may become are more politically acceptable option...

N463
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Having just looked at google earth. I think rail over is the only way at Edithvale. It is that flat and so close to the beach that rail under would be dangerous and leave the newly formed ditch in danger of constant flooding if an extremely expensive drainage system wasn't also included.

If we won't put heavy rail in a ditch in Newcastle then why would even think about putting a ditch in this area that is 50 metres from the beach. Either leave the level crossings or go rail over road.
  Valvegear The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Having just looked at google earth. I think rail over is the only way at Edithvale. It is that flat and so close to the beach that rail under would be dangerous and leave the newly formed ditch in danger of constant flooding if an extremely expensive drainage system wasn't also included.
"simstrain"
Exactly. The site would need continuous spear-point de-watering during construction. Once operational, it would need a pumping system consisting of two separate sets; one working and one stand-by. A power failure, and the railway is under water in no time.
  Adogs Train Controller

Having just looked at google earth. I think rail over is the only way at Edithvale. It is that flat and so close to the beach that rail under would be dangerous and leave the newly formed ditch in danger of constant flooding if an extremely expensive drainage system wasn't also included.

If we won't put heavy rail in a ditch in Newcastle then why would even think about putting a ditch in this area that is 50 metres from the beach. Either leave the level crossings or go rail over road.
simstrain

If you've only looked at it on GoogleEarth, I can tell you it's even more problematic looking at it in real life.  

I drive past it to-from work a couple of times a week - and as far as I can tell, Bonbeach would be an even bigger problem than Edithvale.  At the Edithvale crossing, the trench would be at or just above sea level (but 50m) from the beach, whereas at Bonbeach the bottom of the trench would be about a metre BELOW sea level.

Furthermore, where at Edithvale the dune (which the line follows along the top of) is on a bit of a rise, at Bonbeach the surrounding area is pretty flat.  Meaning that a trench blocking the groundwater flow to the bay may well cause flooding/subsidence problems for the houses immediately east of the line.  

But hey...  I wasn't the one doing the soil samples, so I don't really know.  But I'd be stunned if this wasn't the case.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Having just looked at google earth. I think rail over is the only way at Edithvale. It is that flat and so close to the beach that rail under would be dangerous and leave the newly formed ditch in danger of constant flooding if an extremely expensive drainage system wasn't also included.

If we won't put heavy rail in a ditch in Newcastle then why would even think about putting a ditch in this area that is 50 metres from the beach. Either leave the level crossings or go rail over road.

If you've only looked at it on GoogleEarth, I can tell you it's even more problematic looking at it in real life.  

I drive past it to-from work a couple of times a week - and as far as I can tell, Bonbeach would be an even bigger problem than Edithvale.  At the Edithvale crossing, the trench would be at or just above sea level (but 50m) from the beach, whereas at Bonbeach the bottom of the trench would be about a metre BELOW sea level.

Furthermore, where at Edithvale the dune (which the line follows along the top of) is on a bit of a rise, at Bonbeach the surrounding area is pretty flat.  Meaning that a trench blocking the groundwater flow to the bay may well cause flooding/subsidence problems for the houses immediately east of the line.  

But hey...  I wasn't the one doing the soil samples, so I don't really know.  But I'd be stunned if this wasn't the case.
Adogs
This why an EES is needed on Frankston line, those no Skyrailers saying no EES on Dandenong line is stupid since there are no major environmental impacts on the Dandenong line (and they lost the court case too). The section where Bonbeach and Edithvale lies very close to a beach and the wetlands on the other side. Highly likely it will be a rail over solution, if EES says it is not worth the hassle for rail under road. It's ok if they change the mind, they have concept designs for both solutions, I'm surprised that rail under road is still being considered after all the soil samples. Like for Seaford and Overton they have tests showed that trenching wasn't worth it due to water catchments/wetlands, don't know the difference at Bonbeach and Edithvale.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

8 level crossings fastracked in state budget, means removal of 28 Level crossing by 2018, according to the lastest news. There is more interest in expanding the scope of works to remove more than the 50 promised.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I'm guessing the Werribee line crossing removals will all be elevated road over the existing railway, due to the presence of the ARTC mainline and flooding Issues In the area.

The residents won't like It (as they will demand the railway be put out of sight out of mind)

But tough !
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Video released by LXRA, 5 more crossing to be under construction this year (note forgot to add Essendon crossing on the overall map), with 7 crossings* under planning and to be done later, Essendon would be the last to start construction, since still in the final stages of planning. Looks like they've added Skye Road since the two packages were put to tender back in September 2016.

*Essendon is in final stages of planning so technically 8, but will also start construction this year according to the schedule.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqV5FT-v7Q4&t=0s
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Is it true that some here actually work for the LXRA?

Hopefully Altona junction will be grade separated at the same time as the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Is it true that some here actually work for the LXRA?

Hopefully Altona junction will be grade separated at the same time as the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing.
Myrtone
Altona junction is not getting grade separated at the same time as Kororoit Creek Road level crossing unfortunately, sorry to let you down. But it was mentioned in the consultation report, but the LXRA response was "not in the scope of the work".
  John.Z Junior Train Controller

Is it true that some here actually work for the LXRA?

Hopefully Altona junction will be grade separated at the same time as the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing.
Altona junction is not getting grade separated at the same time as Kororoit Creek Road level crossing unfortunately, sorry to let you down. But it was mentioned in the consultation report, but the LXRA response was "not in the scope of the work".
James974
This is what annoys me about the LXRA. The government has given scope to keep status quo minus a level crossing, not how can we use consturction in the most economic fashion. Just look at the CD9 removals to see what could be done, but isn't /rant
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Is it true that some here actually work for the LXRA?

Hopefully Altona junction will be grade separated at the same time as the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing.
Altona junction is not getting grade separated at the same time as Kororoit Creek Road level crossing unfortunately, sorry to let you down. But it was mentioned in the consultation report, but the LXRA response was "not in the scope of the work".
This is what annoys me about the LXRA. The government has given scope to keep status quo minus a level crossing, not how can we use consturction in the most economic fashion. Just look at the CD9 removals to see what could be done, but isn't /rant
John.Z
As I said the LXRA is on a set budget, if they spent it on extra improvements onto the rail network, it would be need extra fundings from you know who. This is why the Carrum stabling, Hurstbridge duplication and planning studies are considered seperate in the budget. If the Government doesn't have the commitment on the extra money spent onto extra investment, then it gets left out, Cranbourne and Upfield partial duplication. The Quadding is ok not be left out for now and is because of the billions dollars of investment into installation of better signalling and longer trains. Obviously whenever the Cranbourne line is upgraded and extended and the Trafalgon Line gets duplicated, then I see the Quadruplication viable. Yes what should happen first is a business case for these projects and planning to be in place when projects are seen to be positive return.
  Crossover Junior Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
Video released by LXRA, 5 more crossing to be under construction this year (note forgot to add Essendon crossing on the overall map), with 7 crossings* under planning and to be done later, Essendon would be the last to start construction, since still in the final stages of planning. Looks like they've added Skye Road since the two packages were put to tender back in September 2016.

*Essendon is in final stages of planning so technically 8, but will also start construction this year according to the schedule.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqV5FT-v7Q4&t=0s
James974
  Crossover Junior Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
Video released by LXRA, 5 more crossing to be under construction this year (note forgot to add Essendon crossing on the overall map), with 7 crossings* under planning and to be done later, Essendon would be the last to start construction, since still in the final stages of planning. Looks like they've added Skye Road since the two packages were put to tender back in September 2016.


*Essendon is in final stages of planning so technically 8, but will also start construction this year according to the s
there is quite  a bit of local agitation and anxiety in Essendon over the disruption likely to occur during the construction work that will occur at Buckley Street once it gets started .Essendon station is heritage listed and is quite close to the crossing so the design that is finalised will be very interesting to see.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Yes Essendon solution is a road under solution, many people are not happy with the result, due to previous assessments by the council showing rail under road was possible, probably in the plan was to relocate the station, i don't know, anyone welcome to clarify . But there is constraints on the heritage value of Essendon station and the other solutions would require going around the station or moving the station south, but they required either mass acquisition or major realignment of the bridge at Mt Alexander Road.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Essendon station is heritage listed, so what better time to dig it up, move it out the way and turn the old station into a tourist attraction or community centre. Platform 1 is useless enough as it is.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: