Hurstbridge Line Upgrade Stage 2

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A problem being is that timber trestle bridges are VERY expensive to build/repair, the 24inch long 3/4inch bolts for the Cockatoo crk bridge alone coming to something like $13,000 and thats not a particularly large bridge.

woodford
Is there any reason why 3/4 Inch bolts can not be custom made using 3/4 Inch round bar, with a stop welded on one end and the other end put through a threading machine, than heat treated ?
I think it might have more to do with the hot-dip galvanising required and the sheer quantity of bolts needed in the bridges.
LancedDendrite
I believe the bridge team are these days using 3/4 galvinised steel threaded rod cut to the required size, this can be purchased in 3 metres lenghts and its a good deal cheaper than bolts and easier to obtain.

I mentioned the costs to give people an idea of the sums of money involved, from memory the total cost of the Cockatoo crk bridge was around $120,000 in 1997, this is for a 13 span bridge, basicly the same height as the Eltham bridge AND built with out regard to traffic using  volunteers. The cost for the repair could easily greater than 5 to 8 milliion dollars, the work would have to be done at night (which is pain in the neck all over AND adds to the cost) and one still ends up with a single line bridge.

woodford

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

An opinion piece from woodford, you have been warned............

I am all for keeping heritage items in active use, from wide experience from around the world its been found that keeping such items in use is THE best way of preserving them, BUT if society wishs to keep its heritage intact it is up to them to help with the costs. I do not think its particularly fair to say to Metro we want you to spend a great deal of extra money to keep our bridge intact. IF the people wish to keep the Eltham trestle for the future it IS up to them to help raise any funds required.

woodford
  Lockie91 Train Controller

Returning to Clifton Hill for a moment, I was there myself the other day for the first time so had a look.

The Heidelberg Rd overpass appears to have been built, in the wisdom of our forebears, with provision for four tracks, despite the fact there were only two at the time of construction. This has already come in handy once with the 2008 project to duplicate towards Hurstbridge. Unfortunately some bright spark has sold off a tiny but crucial parcel of railway land between the overpass and the station (in the last 10 years, by the look of the buildings) so any fourth track would pass through six “townhouse” living rooms.
potatoinmymouth

Another great example of how short sighted some are in government. is there any room there at all for additional track work? Wording by suggests it will be minor improvements not a fly over. A third platform would be a good start.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

An opinion piece from woodford, you have been warned............

I am all for keeping heritage items in active use, from wide experience from around the world its been found that keeping such items in use is THE best way of preserving them, BUT if society wishs to keep its heritage intact it is up to them to help with the costs. I do not think its particularly fair to say to Metro we want you to spend a great deal of extra money to keep our bridge intact. IF the people wish to keep the Eltham trestle for the future it IS up to them to help raise any funds required.

woodford
woodford
100% agree with you.

I believe the Victorian Government should ensure the ETRB has the necessary skills and funding to maintain timber bridges on heritage railway lines. And the main line Eltham bridge.
  rokaifly Station Master

There is additional track space next to the down south morang track
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Hello All,


The other problem with longer trains are Collingwood / Victoria Park and West Richmond / North Richmond stations. In the case of Collingwood / Victoria Park the solution might be to extend Collingwood in the down direction , build a pedestrian bridge to cross Johnson St and close Victoria Park station. The distance between Collingwood and Victoria park stations is just over a six car train length.

In relation to West Richmond / North Richmond, the solution might be to extend North Richmond in the up direction, and build a pedestrian bridge towards West Richmond station and close West Richmond , which from a passenger ( ok , customer ) safety perspective , leaves a lot to be desired , and has been problematic from a safety perspective for. very long time.

Regards, Radioman.
Radioman
For what its worth, I agree with the above, When looking at maps of the area, its almost the obvious solution.

A couple of points............

Leave the Collingwood station buildings as is and have the platform go from the station buildings to Vere st and as Radioman says put a pedestrian walkway/bridge 300 metres north to Jonhson st and close Victoria Park station.

A second point is there is a major tram route only 300 metres walking distance from West Richmond station, so closing it would not be a major disaster.

Now I do not like closing stations, but in the above cases the stations are very close together and the only alternative is going to cost billions.

As far as I an see there is no way other than tunneling to get 2 express tracks to Clifton Hill, so the above would give some relief.

woodford
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

As far as I an see there is no way other than tunneling to get 2 express tracks to Clifton Hill, so the above would give some relief.
woodford

All the more reason Metro 2 has to begin sooner rather than later. Agree there are some sensible short term gains to be had by rationalising stations and cleaning up Clifton Hill but at the end of the day it will never be possible to service Mernda to an appropriate level as long as it shares a track pair at the city end.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Leave the Collingwood station buildings as is and have the platform go from the station buildings to Vere st and as Radioman says put a pedestrian walkway/bridge 300 metres north to Jonhson st and close Victoria Park station.

A second point is there is a major tram route only 300 metres walking distance from West Richmond station, so closing it would not be a major disaster.

woodford
woodford
I think closing Vic Park in favour of Collingwood is a dumb idea. Collingwood (which is actually in Abbotsford!) has no PT connections and an extremely small catchment due to the river and is not on a major East / West road corridor while Vic Park has Studley Park Road with it's route 200/207 buses running past and serves as a transfer point for many school kids coming from the outer North East attending Xavier and other private schools in the area and linking the train and Kew Junction tram services.

Vic Park is also the first jumping off point for people catching freeway buses from Manningham who want to change for a train to the city and beyond.

Jolimont has a tram stop right outside in Wellington Pde which serves the same route as West Richmond and all trains currently stop there as opposed to West Richmond which sees around half of peak services run express through it.

BG
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Leave the Collingwood station buildings as is and have the platform go from the station buildings to Vere st and as Radioman says put a pedestrian walkway/bridge 300 metres north to Jonhson st and close Victoria Park station.

A second point is there is a major tram route only 300 metres walking distance from West Richmond station, so closing it would not be a major disaster.

woodford
I think closing Vic Park in favour of Collingwood is a dumb idea. Collingwood (which is actually in Abbotsford!) has no PT connections and an extremely small catchment due to the river and is not on a major East / West road corridor while Vic Park has Studley Park Road with it's route 200/207 buses running past and serves as a transfer point for many school kids coming from the outer North East attending Xavier and other private schools in the area and linking the train and Kew Junction tram services.

Vic Park is also the first jumping off point for people catching freeway buses from Manningham who want to change for a train to the city and beyond.

Jolimont has a tram stop right outside in Wellington Pde which serves the same route as West Richmond and all trains currently stop there as opposed to West Richmond which sees around half of peak services run express through it.

BG
BrentonGolding

As much as I like entertaining the idea, I don't think stations that close to the city will ever be closed. West Richmond is the nearest station to the Epworth hospital and the best place to transfer to southbound Hoddle St buses; North Richmond and Vic Park have useful east-west cross connections; Collingwood perhaps but it would sadly be political suicide and of little benefit once you still have the other 3.

I've been looking at satellite imagery (heh beware a sentence that starts like that eh?) and because the line is mostly built on a sloping embankment, there is enough room in the railway reserve in places for a 3rd track if the sides of the embankment were re-enforced and made into vertical retaining walls instead of sloping edges. Perhaps not simple from an engineering perspective but in the realms of possibility surely?

You'd be able to get a 3rd track from Clifton Hill to Collingwood (but not through Collingwood) and from the South side of North Richmond down to the tunnel - there is potentially enough room for a 3rd track through West Richmond by shrinking the Down platform and moving it slightly West. You'd lose the stabling at Vic Park, but surely that land is worth more as a functioning corridor than as train storgage?

With two passing spots you could run as many express trains in the peak direction as you fancied really.

More critically however, is how they will manage trains into Finders St Platform 1 once Mernda opens - they are timetabled with a 3 minute headway and no additional delay, something Metro can seemingly not manage through a single Flinders St platform.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
LeroyW
I've been looking at satellite imagery (heh beware a sentence that starts like that eh?) and because the line is mostly built on a sloping embankment, there is enough room in the railway reserve in places for a 3rd track if the sides of the embankment were re-enforced and made into vertical retaining walls instead of sloping edges. Perhaps not simple from an engineering perspective but in the realms of possibility surely?
You'd be able to get a 3rd track from Clifton Hill to Collingwood (but not through Collingwood) and from the South side of North Richmond down to the tunnel - there is potentially enough room for a 3rd track through West Richmond by shrinking the Down platform and moving it slightly West. You'd lose the stabling at Vic Park, but surely that land is worth more as a functioning corridor than as train storgage?

Beat me to it Leroy.

engineering wise, reinforcing and building up the embankment is the old thinking that has always resulted in the same old "cannot be done".

There is a new game in town (actually it's old hat in smart countries) called Pier and Beam, locally known as "Skyrail".

The piers are built into the downslope of the embankment drilled into the ground until solid foundation , and beams across the top at the same level as the existing tracks. We already have the equipment and expertise.

There is quite a lot of horizontal space, all the way from West Richmond to Clifton Hill, between the tracks and the railway boundary.
Sometimes on the east side, sometimes the west. Not too hard to figure out an alignment to give a smooth line.


After that just need a 3rd tunnel into Jolimont and expand the line into Flinders St.

Station platforms could be tricky but skyrail taught us how to dangle buildings out into thin air.

PS who was the dill that gave all that stable yard at Vic Park (the old briquette yard) to a vegetable patch. Can they get some back?
cheers
John
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

PS who was the dill that gave all that stable yard at Vic Park (the old briquette yard) to a vegetable patch. Can they get some back?
justarider

At a wild guess I’d say it’s most likely still VicTrack land and leased to its present occupiers; seems implausible a parcel that size wouldn’t be developed were it in private hands.

At the same time I’m not sure it’s big enough to be a useful stabling facility. Others may have more knowledge.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
PS who was the dill that gave all that stable yard at Vic Park (the old briquette yard) to a vegetable patch. Can they get some back?

At a wild guess I’d say it’s most likely still VicTrack land and leased to its present occupiers; seems implausible a parcel that size wouldn’t be developed were it in private hands.

At the same time I’m not sure it’s big enough to be a useful stabling facility. Others may have more knowledge.
potatoinmymouth
The vegie patch is fairshare kitchen I think and probably on a peppercorn 1 year rolling lease. That land is def still Victrack (the Down end is used as a dumping ground my Metro for spoils) and is a total waste of a great space, should either be developed into a Park and Ride multi level for Eastern Freeway or better still sold off and turned into apartments.

It is not at the same level as the existing tracks (would love to have seen how they got the parcels vans etc down there when it was a V/Line parcels depot) so would need to be built up at great cost to be used as a yard. The corridor on the other side of the line (bordered by Hoddle / Johnston / Freeway / rail line) is now zoned for 12 stories so you could do the same on the Footy oval side. Great location with the oval, river, train, bike path all within easy reach, these are the sorts of infill sites that VicTrack should be flogging off.

BG
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
Maybe (just maybe) Victrack got their priorities right for once at Vic Park.

As a govt enterprise with a social licence then the appropriate priority should be
1. Use yourself
2. Community
3. Flogg off

Could speculate that Victrack have opted for  temporary #2 while dithering about #1

Since there is already a stable yard (a single lonely track) then maybe there isn't the need for massive ( 6+ trains) to park. Eltham and Mernda better bets.

Stable for 1 or 2 trains should be no big deal to elevate in conjunction with an extra main line.
Could even be part of the suggested multi level car park, a win win.

It always baffles me why anybody would willingly pay BIG bucks for a new apartment overlooking a railway.
But then another one goes up next to Glenferrie (Swinburn) so it must be me out of touch.

cheers
John
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

PS who was the dill that gave all that stable yard at Vic Park (the old briquette yard) to a vegetable patch. Can they get some back?

At a wild guess I’d say it’s most likely still VicTrack land and leased to its present occupiers; seems implausible a parcel that size wouldn’t be developed were it in private hands.

At the same time I’m not sure it’s big enough to be a useful stabling facility. Others may have more knowledge.
The vegie patch is fairshare kitchen I think and probably on a peppercorn 1 year rolling lease. That land is def still Victrack (the Down end is used as a dumping ground my Metro for spoils) and is a total waste of a great space, should either be developed into a Park and Ride multi level for Eastern Freeway or better still sold off and turned into apartments.

It is not at the same level as the existing tracks (would love to have seen how they got the parcels vans etc down there when it was a V/Line parcels depot) so would need to be built up at great cost to be used as a yard. The corridor on the other side of the line (bordered by Hoddle / Johnston / Freeway / rail line) is now zoned for 12 stories so you could do the same on the Footy oval side. Great location with the oval, river, train, bike path all within easy reach, these are the sorts of infill sites that VicTrack should be flogging off.

BG
BrentonGolding
Land available for close to CBD stabling and infrastructure purposes is absolutely invaluable. City stabling saves a lot of positioning workings. Space available for infrastructure laydown close to worksites makes work cheaper and faster. The land is too valuable to dispose of.
However, Metro needs to be given a prod to tidy that area. Yeah, dump the stuff there during a project, but then get back there and dismantle into components to reuse or sell, presently it does not promote a good image for Metro.

And there's sufficient room there without chucking out the Kitchen Garden mob ('though they may have to relocate their vegeboxes).
  Alphabet Train Controller

Location: Moonee Ponds
Not a big fan of the duplication not being a full Greensborough to Eltham job personally. Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen will be a handy duplication, but there's fairly minimal traffic beyond Eltham and it's unlikely there will ever be demand for a significantly better service past Diamond Creek, and duplicating Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen won't help that much.

Montmorency to Eltham is still a pretty large single track stretch.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Land available for close to CBD stabling and infrastructure purposes is absolutely invaluable. City stabling saves a lot of positioning workings. Space available for infrastructure laydown close to worksites makes work cheaper and faster. The land is too valuable to dispose of.
However, Metro needs to be given a prod to tidy that area. Yeah, dump the stuff there during a project, but then get back there and dismantle into components to reuse or sell, presently it does not promote a good image for Metro.

And there's sufficient room there without chucking out the Kitchen Garden mob ('though they may have to relocate their vegeboxes).
Lockspike
The current stabling is actually a single track siding off the Up Main and around half of it is over the Eastern Freeway - the rail bridge over the freeway is in fact 3 tracks and the third is used to stable trains. It takes 2 x 6 car trains, one over the freeway.

So if you were to build a stabling yard on that block the distance avl from the South side of the freeway to the points on the Up Main (Down end of P1) is not very far - 250M max by my calculations - unless you were going to deck over the freeway which would be crazy expensive for little gain.

BG
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Not a big fan of the duplication not being a full Greensborough to Eltham job personally. Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen will be a handy duplication, but there's fairly minimal traffic beyond Eltham and it's unlikely there will ever be demand for a significantly better service past Diamond Creek, and duplicating Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen won't help that much.

Montmorency to Eltham is still a pretty large single track stretch.
Alphabet

On balance, given a choice between full duplication between Eltham and Greensborough or Greenborough-Montmorency and Diamond Creek - Wattle Glen, I think the later is preferable. It allows a 20 minute frequency to Hurstbridge, and provides more redundancy and reliability.

Montmorency-Eltham is a long section of single track but there are no stations, so it's not the length that's the issue but the travel time, which is around four minutes (and probably less)

My perspective on planning: Planning is the task to determine how to allocate scarce resources. It's very easy to say that we should do A, B and C - but the challenge is to invest money in such a way to ensure that the benefits can be maximised. I think that's what is often misunderstood. You could have duplicated Eltham up to the trestle bridge, but the question is whether that additional cost delivers the benefits that are greater than another project that would otherwise not proceed.

No one is saying that in the long term you can't duplicate all the way to the trestle bridge - or duplicate more sections beyond Eltham - but rather at the moment the scope of the project is appropriate given the other projects that also need funding elsewhere on the network. I think given the line has limited patronage growth potential in the short/medium term, the project is well scoped.

Planning is about working out what needs to be done in the future (and ensuring options are preserved), but also working out how to allocate resources to deliver benefits in the best possible way. I think the proposal meets these objectives.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
BG

Really have to wonder what purpose is served by stabling 2 trains at Vic Park.
I couldn't find any time table service that starts at VP
Perhaps it's just a convenient overflow for elsewhere.
With the new yards at Mernda, maybe stabling at VP can dropped off the to do list.

Interesting thing about that extra track over the freeway.
It seems that most of the work for 3 tracks between Clifton Hill and Vic Park has already been done.
A bit of forward thinking ? , Perhaps 3 tracks all the way to City is not really that hard.

cheers
John
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Really have to wonder what purpose is served by stabling 2 trains at Vic Park.
justarider

Same as Burnley, North Melbourne et al, easy to park a couple of sets there between peaks and get them back to Flinders St quickly for the afternoon rush. No public services but if the Metro WTT was still public I think we’d have a better idea.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

What is sacrosanct about the Eltham timber bridge? Is it to be retained as a monument to government dithering on all matters pertaining to railways?

The bridge is an anachronism, get rid of it, completely. If people want to be reminded what a timber bridge looks like, well 'Puff' has several of them.

Besides, the skills to maintain timber bridges are dying out rapidly, literally.

Eltham timber bridge MUST be retained as an operational bridge on the Victorian rail network.

How many people have the knowledge to maintain the timber bridges on Puffing Billy and Walhalla railways? We need the Victorian government to ensure there are at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges.

I am dreaming ,but maybe one day in future, Yarra Valley railway will be extended to Coldstream, and the timber trestle bridges over the flood plain will be restored / rebuilt.

The Victorian Government should commit to maintaining the Eltham timber bridges and the timber bridges on tourist railways, to preserve the rail heritage and make the tourist lines more authentic.
tom9876543
Keep dreaming, FOOL, no timber trestle bridges will ever be built past Coldstream. I will challenge you on this one anytime, having worked and helped restore Wooden Trestle bridges in the section from Healesville to the Tunnel. You do not have a CLUE.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Keep dreaming, FOOL, no timber trestle bridges will ever be built past Coldstream. I will challenge you on this one anytime, having worked and helped restore Wooden Trestle bridges in the section from Healesville to the Tunnel. You do not have a CLUE.
trainbrain

OK Mr Expert, can you enlighten us regarding the Puffing BIlly wooden trestle bridges?

I think everyone agrees that one day, the iconic curved trestle bridge on the Puffing Billy line will need a major repair.

Will the Puffing Billy timber bridge be repaired?
Or will it be replaced by a steel / concrete structure?

I'm sure you have the answer.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Interesting thing about that extra track over the freeway.
It seems that most of the work for 3 tracks between Clifton Hill and Vic Park has already been done.
A bit of forward thinking ? , Perhaps 3 tracks all the way to City is not really that hard.

cheers
John
justarider
My thoughts exactly, a good bit of forward thinking by someone perhaps?

Middle express line from Clifton Hill to just Down side of Vic Park or beyond anyone?

Would be pretty useful in the peaks no doubt.

BG
  woodford Chief Commissioner

What is sacrosanct about the Eltham timber bridge? Is it to be retained as a monument to government dithering on all matters pertaining to railways?

The bridge is an anachronism, get rid of it, completely. If people want to be reminded what a timber bridge looks like, well 'Puff' has several of them.

Besides, the skills to maintain timber bridges are dying out rapidly, literally.

Eltham timber bridge MUST be retained as an operational bridge on the Victorian rail network.

How many people have the knowledge to maintain the timber bridges on Puffing Billy and Walhalla railways? We need the Victorian government to ensure there are at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges.

I am dreaming ,but maybe one day in future, Yarra Valley railway will be extended to Coldstream, and the timber trestle bridges over the flood plain will be restored / rebuilt.

The Victorian Government should commit to maintaining the Eltham timber bridges and the timber bridges on tourist railways, to preserve the rail heritage and make the tourist lines more authentic.
Keep dreaming, FOOL, no timber trestle bridges will ever be built past Coldstream. I will challenge you on this one anytime, having worked and helped restore Wooden Trestle bridges in the section from Healesville to the Tunnel. You do not have a CLUE.
trainbrain
I must apologise TRAINBRAIN in advance, but in the interests of clarity I feel I must make a comment...........

VERY FEW people have done trestle bridge repair and therefore NO IDEA of HOW EXPENSIVE it really is. I know I as surprised at how much the trestle bridges on the  Gembrook extension cost (from memory something in the area of 1.5 Million dollars, more than 50% of the entire cost of the extension). Attacking anyone for being ignorant of the truth does NO ONE any good, carefull and clear education is the way forward.

Its almost certain that rail will get back to Coldstream one day, but as trainbrain says it will be far to expensive to use timber trestles, the replacements will VERY LIKELY be large concrete or steel culverts, these will be  a FRACTION of the cost to use.

woodford
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Keep dreaming, FOOL, no timber trestle bridges will ever be built past Coldstream. I will challenge you on this one anytime, having worked and helped restore Wooden Trestle bridges in the section from Healesville to the Tunnel. You do not have a CLUE.
I think everyone agrees that one day, the iconic curved trestle bridge on the Puffing Billy line will need a major repair.

Will the Puffing Billy timber bridge be repaired?
Or will it be replaced by a steel / concrete structure?

I'm sure you have the answer.
tom9876543
It's called the Monbulk Creek Trestle and it's National Trust listed in addition to being of the most iconic aspects of Puffing Billy. It can't be rebuilt in steel and concrete and will need repairing in time, just as it has had several times in preservation. Fortunately a National Trust listing gives Puff a bit of clout when it comes to getting funding for repairs.

If a timber trestle bridge isn't heritage listed, it isn't worth preserving - simple as that.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Keep dreaming, FOOL, no timber trestle bridges will ever be built past Coldstream. I will challenge you on this one anytime, having worked and helped restore Wooden Trestle bridges in the section from Healesville to the Tunnel. You do not have a CLUE.

OK Mr Expert, can you enlighten us regarding the Puffing BIlly wooden trestle bridges?

I think everyone agrees that one day, the iconic curved trestle bridge on the Puffing Billy line will need a major repair.

Will the Puffing Billy timber bridge be repaired?
Or will it be replaced by a steel / concrete structure?

I'm sure you have the answer.
tom9876543
PB does bridgework as required, all bridges are inspected on a regular basis and any work required is identified, some piles and bridge deck stringers were replaced on the down end of the Monbulk crk bridge not that long ago.

I believe also that PB has all the bridges insured against fire damage, so in case of a bushfire all bridges can be rebuilt as soon as possible.

woodford

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