Grade separation discussions: Dandenong group

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
With a large number of level crossings due to be removed across the Metropolitan area, I realise sometimes level crossing removals along the same line or different lines that are part of the same group may warrent their own thread.

The Dandenong group (Pakenham and Cranbourne lines) is the first to get it's own thread because it has the most level crossings due to be removed, and because all level crossing between Caulfied and Dandenong, hopefully with footpaths as well as roads.
I understand that most of them will be rail under, in spite of the presence of three road overpasses, including the North and Warrigual road overpasses. The most straightforward way to lower the railway under multiple consecutive level crossings it to just lower that entire section, not necesarily at once but in stages. Might it make way for removal of the three overpasses with the roads returning to ground level?

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  doyle Deputy Commissioner

The cost to remove existing infrastructure would be prohibitive it would obviously be a waste Myrtone
  A hat with a toucan 2:ele Junior Train Controller

5 of the stations will be rebuilt, that costs alot already, completly lowering the line costs way too much.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I'm sure raising the roads would be much cheaper, at least in the short term, than lowering the railway, partly due to less digging, and partly because road gradients can be steeper, but I understand that the option won't be taken. I did say it could be done in stages, using revenue generated over time.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Given that construction is supposed to start next year on this project and finish by the end of 2018, time is not of the essence. In fact, I believe most geotechnical testing has already taken place. There seems to be an amount of community consultation taking place which is good to see. Two consortiums have been shortlisted for the project and it's expected the winning tender will be announced soon.

I've linked in the (latest) September LXRA community newsletter, it's worth a read: http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/28622/Caulfield-to-Dandenong-Community-Update-September-2015.pdf
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I know what you are saying but it is possible lower a section of track sometime after previous construction is complete.
  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Before anyone screams blue murder (which inevitably will happen) has anyone considered the possibility of raising the tracks and having them as an architecturally inspiring overpass flying through South East Melbourne? It costs a great deal less, and can much better link the different communities, generating new land below (which, with the right noise insulation) can be used for shopfronts (creating a new stream of income from which profits can be derived) to fund more of these projects.

Although it will take a long time to reap-rewards from creating flyovers, these are far more cost-effective, and just generally more socially cohesive pieces of infrastructure that can contribute to Melbourne far more than underground trenches, which tend to be focused more on providing amenity to drivers, and actually become a drain on the states ever-growing infrastructure budget.

Before anyone says "not possible" look at Sydney's new North West Rail Link that will have large sections of track flying overhead.
Melbourne is currently undergoing growth unlike any other city in Australia. Yet we receive far less federal funding than Sydney. It is genuinely concerning how little interest the Federal government has in helping to establish Melbourne's infrastructure. Jeff Kennett said it best when he argued for governments to be taking out bonds to pay for infrastructure. We've already seen how neoliberalism (the belief that EVERYTHING has to be run at a profit) has failed the US and the UK. Hopefully we're recognise before the housing bubble pops that we can't have it all, and that government debt is actually key to a functioning government. If we start to see surpluses everywhere we will see more homeless people, and a generalised slowing of actual growth in Australia. Sometimes government debt is necessary to help bring social growth and expenditure back up. Lets get back to our Keynesian Economic roots and BUILD BUILD BUILD!
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
But this group already dives under Springvale road. As far as I know, the current projects are rail-under for topographic reasons.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
I can't see a rail over road solution at Clayton & Centre Rd working. As Myrtone pointed out, the topography lends itself to dropping the line - in this case, I think it'll just be lowered from west of Clayton Rd to east of Centre Rd. I haven't been able to attend the information sessions in the area, so cannot confirm this - perhaps somebody else can?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
By lowering the railway, possibly stage by stage, the overpasses in the area could simply be removed.
  A hat with a toucan 2:ele Junior Train Controller

Before anyone screams blue murder (which inevitably will happen) has anyone considered the possibility of raising the tracks and having them as an architecturally inspiring overpass flying through South East Melbourne? It costs a great deal less, and can much better link the different communities, generating new land below (which, with the right noise insulation) can be used for shopfronts (creating a new stream of income from which profits can be derived) to fund more of these projects.
ElliotProvis
As the posts above have said, the Springvale grade sep. has caused this option to be a no go, I do however think that it could have happened if the crossing was seperated with the railway line above. But no, it would do wonders for The ones in Carnegie though.
  Willister Station Staff

Before anyone screams blue murder (which inevitably will happen) has anyone considered the possibility of raising the tracks and having them as an architecturally inspiring overpass flying through South East Melbourne? It costs a great deal less, and can much better link the different communities, generating new land below (which, with the right noise insulation) can be used for shopfronts (creating a new stream of income from which profits can be derived) to fund more of these projects.

Although it will take a long time to reap-rewards from creating flyovers, these are far more cost-effective, and just generally more socially cohesive pieces of infrastructure that can contribute to Melbourne far more than underground trenches, which tend to be focused more on providing amenity to drivers, and actually become a drain on the states ever-growing infrastructure budget.

Before anyone says "not possible" look at Sydney's new North West Rail Link that will have large sections of track flying overhead.
Melbourne is currently undergoing growth unlike any other city in Australia. Yet we receive far less federal funding than Sydney. It is genuinely concerning how little interest the Federal government has in helping to establish Melbourne's infrastructure. Jeff Kennett said it best when he argued for governments to be taking out bonds to pay for infrastructure. We've already seen how neoliberalism (the belief that EVERYTHING has to be run at a profit) has failed the US and the UK. Hopefully we're recognise before the housing bubble pops that we can't have it all, and that government debt is actually key to a functioning government. If we start to see surpluses everywhere we will see more homeless people, and a generalised slowing of actual growth in Australia. Sometimes government debt is necessary to help bring social growth and expenditure back up. Lets get back to our Keynesian Economic roots and BUILD BUILD BUILD!
ElliotProvis
Leading newspapers today report that elevated rail could be a solution for the Pakenhan/Crabourne line as well as bits of the Frankston line. Living close to the Clayton station, I'll freely admit I'm a NIMBY camp as it looks fugly and can't see any convincing argument.

I don't know much about railways, but what are the chances of it (elevated) rails being built? I note that as people have said here, the Springvale station is already underground...how will they accommodate for this? I can't see it being mostly elevated from Flinders St to Clayton and then going underground to Springvale station and then looping back up again? Roller Coaster anyone?

I just can't see the value of elevated rails other than it being purely economic on existing lines that run through built up, established areas. Being objective though, it could be useful"

1. For areas with high water tables e.g. parts of the Frankston line would work well...added bonus would be a better view of the bay area.

2. Airport Link - with few stations required, it could be less intrusive

3. Newer type establishments that are not yet built up...you can build the town around it..
  JasonJones Station Staff

Location: Pakenham, Victoria
I can't see a rail over road solution at Clayton & Centre Rd working. As Myrtone pointed out, the topography lends itself to dropping the line - in this case, I think it'll just be lowered from west of Clayton Rd to east of Centre Rd. I haven't been able to attend the information sessions in the area, so cannot confirm this - perhaps somebody else can?
TheMeddlingMonk

Not in Clayton, Clayton Railway is on top of the hill where Centre Road in goes down a couple of metres of height(Not too sure of ammount)

I thinking of Lowering Clayton Road and the going above Centre Road. That Stops the Gradient of the line from Centre Road to Clayton Station where it plateau out.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Personally, the rail over road should be used in the Caulfield to Oakliegh section since it appears there isn't much room to go downwards. Very similar to sections of the Frankston line where there is SFA room, also allows room for quadding.

Clayton probably could go under, but isn't there a heritage overlay on the station? I'm struggling to make up my mind on Center rd though.

Next station along is Westall (already road over rail), and that's on the level before it dips down for Springvale.

Chandler rd will have to be over judging by the drain/creek/river nearby, but it is a bit closer to Yarraman than probably would be nice.
  slowcoach Junior Train Controller

I predict the level crossing removals will be a bit of everything that most people want out of this upgrade.
- Because there's a rail bridge at Caufield junction and a road bridge (Warrigal Rd) at Oakleigh, it would be viable for an elevated section between Caufield and Oakleigh in order to maintain a smooth ride for Metro, V/Line and Freight trains. On the other hand, a rail underpass would involve cutting down old trees (environmental damage), land and business acquisitions and putting all heritage-listed buildings in jeopardy of demolition along the corridor.
- Next, I think an underpass beginning at least 200m West from Clayton Rd up to at least 200m East of Centre Rd would be the best solution given all the feedback residents shared in the consultation sessions.
- Another rail underpass for Heatherton and Corrigan Rds can be seen as the most viable in that section
- Finally I'm also thinking a rail overpass because of a riverbank about 200m west of Chandler Rd which already has a rail bridge.

The plan also includes rebuilding the following stations given they are adjacent to the level crossings:
- Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale and Clayton
- To be honest, I thought Noble Park would be moved closer to Heatherton Rd for better bus and private vehicle interchange unless the government does not want to incur extra costs (~ Extra $200 million).  
- I hope one day for the sake of the SE residents in the future Oakleigh, Huntingdale, Westall, Springvale, Sandown Park, Noble Park, Yarraman and Dandenong stations would be overhauled to fit 4 platforms. But there could be argument stating premium stations (Oakleigh, Huntingdale, Clayton, Westall, Springvale, Noble Park and Dandenong) would be economically viable to have 4 platforms rather than all stations along the corridor. But that's for a different debate.

I'm sure all of you would support the idea of future-proofing or (even better) construction for 4 tracks to cater for flexibility of rail services
- 2 tracks (Platforms 1 & 2) for Limited express Metro services, Gippsland V/Line services and Freight trains
- Another 2 tracks (Platforms 3 & 4) for Stopping services to e.g. Westall or Dandenong
- In the case of disruption, trains and cars can still move along with minimal interference
- High-capacity signalling to run more trains more often along the corridor
- Replacing all infrastructure including rusty signal poles, overhead wiring and stanchions replacing it with temporary stainless steel signal poles, expanded stanchions to cater for 4 tracks to run underneath.

There are also rumours of a long-awaited rail extension to Rowville via Monash University branching off Huntingdale once the Melbourne Metro Rail Project is near completion. If that is the case, then I predict it will branch off from Platforms 3 & 4 for stopping services given the amount of land construction workers can work with and an adjacent army base close by and minimal disruption for fast trains. That means the days of Bus Route 601 are numbered.

Currently the total cost is roughly $2.5 billion dollars according to the state government but don't be surprised if that figure changes.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
You must admit that it's a conundrum...

I lived in Clayton for a period of time for work, and used to wonder what was the solution for the banked up traffic on both the Clayton and Centre road level crossings.

I used to work 24/7 rosters in an ops centre near Monash, but my main issue was getting to and from work before and after day/afternoon shift, we did the dreaded 3pm changeover, the short distance in my U beaut Corrolla seemed like an eternity at times!!

To cut a long story short, I now live in Sydney, and crossings are no longer an issue, but the traffic remains the same (different problems up here).

I'm no expert, but they just need to spend the bucks and get rid of the level crossings.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Here is a non-political solution.

A levy. (I know it won't get off the ground!!)

It's all happening, a $2 levy for railway crossings, to be paid for by both car commuters and train user's...


Problem solved in year 1?
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Interesting idea.  So a passenger on a line with 5 crossings would pay $10 more per trip than a passenger on another line with no crossings?  How would MYKI work that one out?
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
I'd imagine since Myki readers have a unit ID, as do the cards, it knows card xxxx touched on at reader X,  and touched off at reader Y. It surely knows where all readers are , so it can deduct an accurate fare across zones etc.
Accordingly , software could be written to add a surcharge between readers X and Y capturing those cards only when touched off.
I'm no expert,  but it seems possible to me.

Regards
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I agree with the logic, but I don't like the idea.  If there were to be a levy, then much fairer to spread it over all passengers, not to unduly penalise those who have to use a particular line.  It could be a fixed charge, e.g. $2 per trip ($1 for concession holders) regardless of distance or duration.  And of course, being a levy for a particular purpose, it should be removed when that purpose comes to an end.    (Fares are too cheap anyway, but that's another discussion, which has already been thrashed out in these pages.)
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Interesting development with the announcement today of the elevated rail option. However, I notice there's no mention anywhere of a freight link?

Seems short-sighted to go to such lengths to build these elevated sections without consideration for freight separation for a future Hastings port.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Interesting development with the announcement today of the elevated rail option. However, I notice there's no mention anywhere of a freight link?

Seems short-sighted to go to such lengths to build these elevated sections without consideration for freight separation for a future Hastings port.
michaelgreenhill
Because It Is level crossing removal related project (road project)
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Seems short-sighted to go to such lengths to build these elevated sections without consideration for freight separation for a future Hastings port.
Because It Is level crossing removal related project (road project)
Nightfire
And up until now when new subsurface stations or footbridges were built they were done space left vacant for additional tracks. Where's the free space in this lot?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The NIMBY's are already frothing at the mouth, with THE AGE reporting a protest being held in Murrumbeena today. On the plus side, at least this is set to be complete before the next election so the other mob can't exactly promise to scrap the project when it's already finished.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
I was surprised to see that they plan to elevate the rail for the Clayton and Centre Rd crossings (2km stretch). Wouldn't dropping the line under the two roads make more sense for this section?

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