It's quite possible to keep trains running on the Upfield line whilst an extended elevated section is built from Royal Pork to Coburg, albeit with a degraded level of service for extended periods, possibly a few extended station closures and a lot of weekend occupations. LXRA is getting the hang of this now that CTD (Skyrail) is effectively complete and there have been a lot of lessons learned that could be put to good use on such a follow-on project.
This degraded service level along the Upfield line would be best complemented by:
- a preceding upgrade of the Sydney Rd tram service, ....
- A campaign to encourage cycling along the Royal Park - Coburg section ....
- An express bus route from Coburg to Flemington Bridge via CityLink ...
@LD I think you missed my point of "bulldoze the lot" and start again.
The thing that really annoys pax and car drivers during LX removals is the constant
shutdowns and inconvenience. LXRA getting the hang of it is no consolation. A 1 year shutdown would be annoying, but everybody knows exactly what is going on and when it will end.
The approach you suggested (bits here and there) is exactly what LXRA did wrong for the Dandenong line, and if not careful ditto for Frankston.
Going over/under/around ends up wasting a lot of valuable easement space that ends up being useless for anything except a pretty bike path. Quadding Dandenong now will be a nightmare in an easement that originally had plenty of room.
And of course Dandenong/Cranbourne is still not finished, more inconvenience for months/years.
Doing work only to Coburg will not be enough. Still a bunch of LX that have to go, duplication, and V/Line to Roxburg Park will happen eventually. Better to build the whole lot and be done with it. Finished, end, finito, termino - no more to do.
As I've said before, plonking down a long line of piers and beams is a relatively simple process. Just need the concrete factory keeping up.
As for your suggestions about replacement services whilst the work goes on, I completely agree.
A bus terminus in the now empty Ford carpark would make a very attractive option to move cars away from Sydney Rd.