Sky rail not an option for removal of Buckley St crossing

 

News article: Sky rail not an option for removal of Buckley St crossing

A SKY rail over a notorious Essendon level crossing has been ruled out as talks progress on the best way to remove the congestion hotspot.

  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
It is a discussion on a news article.

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Exactly - it isn't news. News is something that's happened. This is a colossal pile of opinions.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
News says https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/buckley-st-level-crossing-removal-will-go-ahead-with-road-under-rail-option the rail line will go over the road meaning no real changes to the station and I think this is the right call since the road comes up hill from the west anyhow.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
I'm going to weigh in on this because there's several factors that have been ignored by the original poster.

1. Essendon Station is heritage listed which means it cannot be altered much beyond it's current architecture. In fact, many stations of the same architectural style and vintage around Melbourne are classed as the 'Essendon style'. There is no way Essendon Stn will be pulled down and rebuilt in a cutting - it won't happen - it is a major historical icon of its type. Nor is it suitable for use as an entry point for an underground station.

2. Essendon Station will be a major factor as part of the Melbourne Metro project. It has been mentioned in Melbourne Metro documents that there will be other projects all over the network designed to increase services and capacity, such as the West Footscray 3rd platform for example. Essendon is going to be revamped as a midway terminal station which probably means Platform 1 will be reopened, Platform 2 will be a terminal point, and Platform 3 the bypass of terminating trains. Platform 1 will obviously need some work to make it passenger worthy again but the existing layout and buildings will support this - the platform will have to be extended but with Buckley St going under perhaps this can happen. I don't believe a rail under solution will support 3 tracks or turn-back facilities without a major revamp of above ground infrastructure and buildings..

3. Yes with Buckley St going under it will cause some traffic changes and alterations to bus routes.  Maybe the solution can be to utilise the roundabout in Mt Alexander Rd as a bus/tram interchange - the major bus interchange for the area is down at Moonee Ponds Junction anyway. Again with any rail under solution there would be major alterations to above ground infrastructure.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Essendon Station is a lovely structure and you mention other stations have been built on the same style, can you please advise which ones?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
1. Essendon Station is heritage listed which means it cannot be altered much beyond it's current architecture. In fact, many stations of the same architectural style and vintage around Melbourne are classed as the 'Essendon style'. There is no way Essendon Stn will be pulled down and rebuilt in a cutting - it won't happen - it is a major historical icon of its type. Nor is it suitable for use as an entry point for an underground station.

2. Essendon Station will be a major factor as part of the Melbourne Metro project. It has been mentioned in Melbourne Metro documents that there will be other projects all over the network designed to increase services and capacity, such as the West Footscray 3rd platform for example. Essendon is going to be revamped as a midway terminal station which probably means Platform 1 will be reopened, Platform 2 will be a terminal point, and Platform 3 the bypass of terminating trains. Platform 1 will obviously need some work to make it passenger worthy again but the existing layout and buildings will support this - the platform will have to be extended but with Buckley St going under perhaps this can happen. I don't believe a rail under solution will support 3 tracks or turn-back facilities without a major revamp of above ground infrastructure and buildings..

3. Yes with Buckley St going under it will cause some traffic changes and alterations to bus routes.  Maybe the solution can be to utilise the roundabout in Mt Alexander Rd as a bus/tram interchange - the major bus interchange for the area is down at Moonee Ponds Junction anyway. Again with any rail under solution there would be major alterations to above ground infrastructure.
jdekorte
1. Even if it's heritage listed, it can be altered if a justification is given. Removing a level crossing and improving amenity of the area is sure to be a justification, the heritage listed building could be rebuilt elsewhere as the Moone Valley city council notes in a document to which I linked.

2. I'm sure a rail under solution could even support four tracks. I don't see what Essendon station has to do with the Melbourne Metro because the Craigieburn line will still use the Northern loop.

3. The rail going under will also make a difference simply because vehicles and pedestrians will no longer have to wait for trains. It will also improve the amenity of the area. But road-under will have a similar impact to what road-over has had in flatter areas, apart from walking down and under being eaiser than that walking up and over. Besides, how could a roundabout be used as an interchange.

Rail under will also make it easier to grade separated the level crossings at Park and Puckle streets, as well as the pedestrian level crossing between them.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Essendon Station is a lovely structure and you mention other stations have been built on the same style, can you please advise which ones?
x31
Here is the heritage listing for Essendon Station: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/438

Other stations that are representative of this style are Caulfield, Malvern, Armadale, Toorak, Hawksburn, Camberwell - I'm sure there are a few others.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
1. Even if it's heritage listed, it can be altered if a justification is given. Removing a level crossing and improving amenity of the area is sure to be a justification, the heritage listed building could be rebuilt elsewhere as the Moone Valley city council notes in a document to which I linked.

2. I'm sure a rail under solution could even support four tracks. I don't see what Essendon station has to do with the Melbourne Metro because the Craigieburn line will still use the Northern loop.

3. The rail going under will also make a difference simply because vehicles and pedestrians will no longer have to wait for trains. It will also improve the amenity of the area. But road-under will have a similar impact to what road-over has had in flatter areas, apart from walking down and under being eaiser than that walking up and over. Besides, how could a roundabout be used as an interchange.

Rail under will also make it easier to grade separated the level crossings at Park and Puckle streets, as well as the pedestrian level crossing between them.
Myrtone
Essendon Station is not going to be altered or rebuilt because it won't be altered from it's current form & layout - it is a significant heritage asset to railway architecture and infrastructure in this state.

If you read page two of this Melbourne Metro document (part of the business case (linked below)), you will see that there are several associated projects (Wider Network Enhancements) listed including an Eastern corridor turn-back (probably South Yarra), Gowrie turn-back, Signalling upgrades for the Craigieburn line, Essendon turn-back & Cheltenham turn-back & terminating. There is another project for reconfiguring the Carrum stabling sidings but as the Carrum sidings will be moved to Kananook due to the level crossing removal this project won't be needed. The Cheltenham project will happen as part of the level crossing removal. The reason there are wider network enhancements is because lots of older train sets will be moved off the Sunbury/Dandenong lines once the HCMT's are in operations which means more services on other lines. Please see page two of this document for further information on this part of the Melbourne Metro project: http://metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/40480/MM-Business-Case-Feb-2016-APPENDIX-03.PDF

I fail to see why you're speculating about a rail under solution at Essendon when clearly this isn't going to happen. Any other speculation is clearly outside the scope of the Buckley St project.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Essendon Station is not going to be altered or rebuilt because it won't be altered from it's current form & layout - it is a significant heritage asset to railway architecture and infrastructure in this state.
jdekorte

But what would be wrong with just rebuilding the station buildings elsewhere. It may be a heritage asset, but even heritage buildings can be altered if it is necessary. There are benefits to doing so, in terms of grade separating the crossing while improving the amenity of the area.

I fail to see why you're speculating about a rail under solution at Essendon when clearly this isn't going to happen. Any other speculation is clearly outside the scope of the Buckley St project.
jdekorte

If it "clearly isn't going to happen" why has it been officially proposed?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Other stations that are representative of this style are Caulfield, Malvern, Armadale, Toorak, Hawksburn, Camberwell - I'm sure there are a few others.
jdekorte
And the stations at Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn are all in cuttings. So surely Essendon station could also be rebuilt in a cutting in the same style.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
No Myrtone, just NO !
  stooge spark Train Controller

Myrtone please


The MATHS corridor was built in a cutting in the 1900s so of course they will built that way, Essendon won't be built in that style. And besides, do forget the Mt Alexander road bridge not that far from the station.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Essendon Station is not going to be altered or rebuilt because it won't be altered from it's current form & layout - it is a significant heritage asset to railway architecture and infrastructure in this state.

But what would be wrong with just rebuilding the station buildings elsewhere. It may be a heritage asset, but even heritage buildings can be altered if it is necessary. There are benefits to doing so, in terms of grade separating the crossing while improving the amenity of the area.

I fail to see why you're speculating about a rail under solution at Essendon when clearly this isn't going to happen. Any other speculation is clearly outside the scope of the Buckley St project.

If it "clearly isn't going to happen" why has it been officially proposed?
Myrtone
Did you read the heritage citation for Essendon that I linked in a previous reply? I suggest you do and I've linked it below for your information.

Basically, the heritage aspects of Essendon aren't just the above ground buildings but also architectural designs & features in the main subway, such as the metal support columns which were filled with concrete - an architectural innovation of the time. Also, there are buildings on Platform 1 that are unique. You simply wouldn't be able to recreate these features if the station was moved and/or rebuilt which would destroy the heritage aspect. Can you not see this would happen? Essendon as a station complex has obviously influenced design features in other station buildings of the time.

Here is the link to the Essendon Heritage citation for your information. I suggest you give it a good read: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/438

I couldn't help but notice your assertion that Essendon could be rebuilt in a cutting in the same style. It's as I say above re the heritage architectural features - once they're gone, they're gone. How would you create the heritage features of the station subway when the station is in a cutting? Or even if the station is moved - you can't. Essendon was among the first of this style of station building. The rest, which you rightfully point out were built in cuttings, copied the design. I should actually say they were rebuilt in cuttings because they used to exist at level, but in a different architectural style. They were built in cuttings because that's their location, and they were built after Essendon was completed.

LXRA was faced with a difficult decision re Buckley St. Whatever solution they picked was not going to please everyone. In the end I think they have made the right decision by choosing a road under solution. The reasonings are quite clear: http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/crossings/buckley-st-essendon
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Did you read the heritage citation for Essendon that I linked in a previous reply? I suggest you do and I've linked it below for your information.
jdekorte

Surely it doesn't explain why rail-under has even been officially proposed. Besides, I did skim over it when I looked at that page.

Basically, the heritage aspects of Essendon aren't just the above ground buildings but also architectural designs & features in the main subway, such as the metal support columns which were filled with concrete - an architectural innovation of the time. Also, there are buildings on Platform 1 that are unique. You simply wouldn't be able to recreate these features if the station was moved and/or rebuilt which would destroy the heritage aspect. Can you not see this would happen? Essendon as a station complex has obviously influenced design features in other station buildings of the time.
jdekorte

What buildings are unique?

I couldn't help but notice your assertion that Essendon could be rebuilt in a cutting in the same style. It's as I say above re the heritage architectural features - once they're gone, they're gone. How would you create the heritage features of the station subway when the station is in a cutting? Or even if the station is moved - you can't. Essendon was among the first of this style of station building. The rest, which you rightfully point out were built in cuttings, copied the design. I should actually say they were rebuilt in cuttings because they used to exist at level, but in a different architectural style. They were built in cuttings because that's their location, and they were built after Essendon was completed.
jdekorte

But I thought you were refering to the features most visibile. If the station were dropped, it would no longer need those underpasses. It could be accessed from directly above. Those underpasses are only needed to access a station next to a level crossing without crossing the tracks at-grade. I believe the reason for hertiage listing was to avoid changing the design of the underpass as long as the station is high enough for one.

LXRA was faced with a difficult decision re Buckley St. Whatever solution they picked was not going to please everyone. In the end I think they have made the right decision by choosing a road under solution. The reasonings are quite clear: http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/crossings/buckley-st-essendon
jdekorte

I saw that and it's not clear, it doesn't explain in great detail, or why the railway can't be lowered under the current location.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
At the end of the day Myrtone It all comes down to $$$.

(I don't know the numbers !) but say LXRA plan cost 100 Million and MVCC wish plan cost 1.2 Billion.

Who's going to come up with the 1.1 Billion balance ?

Improved amenity Is never going to generate anything like that balance sum !
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I'm not sure what you mean, but when looked at the long term, costs that aren't ongoing start to seem much less significant. Once again look at this page, it gives a list of reasons why it should be rail under.
They say:

We believe the rail-under-road option is short-sighted and will remove one traffic flow problem while creating many more.

The road-under-rail solution will create a divide between either side of Buckley Street from near Mt Alexander Road in the east to Violet Street in the west, preventing vehicles and pedestrians from crossing Buckley Street except at a short stretch of concourse near the railway line.

It will create the same divide as road-over has done in flatter areas such as Oakleigh, Huntingdale and West Footscray.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Heritage listing is not complete protection, even if a building is heritage listed, it can still be demolished or greatly altered if necessary. Essendon station is going to need to be uprgaded at some point, so why not use this as an opportunity to drop the station. Rail-under would be more benefitial both to pedestrians and bus services in the area.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What're Is the LXRA going to find an extra $1 Billion from to totally rebuild the railway through the Essendon area ?

No one seems to be able to answer this !

The extra revenue from the PoM lease comes up, but that's all been accounted for (probably spent many times over)
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Would rebuilding the railway increase property values in Essendon? If so, the city council in question will get more money from rates, and that will be ongoing. So say they borrow money to cover the cost of certain parts of the project, such as earthworks, and then pay back the loan with the extra rates.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Well out of the financial scope of MVCC !

Artist visual concepts of MVCC dream plan rivals Federation Square (extending that further East Is so far proven to be unviable)

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