50 level crossings to be removed

 
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Cardinia Rd works will be complete on December 7th, "months" earlier than proposed - Cardinia Rd
Stonnington Council are putting up the money for replacing those crossings, are they? Once the money from the leasing of the Port of Melbourne runs out the number of LX replaced will drop substantially, unless Dan decides to borrow from somewhere/someone to keep the program going. Interesting that LXRP are doing a business case.
As far as I'm aware there were no business cases generated for any of the 75 being removed. Instead of spending money on consultants it was spent on getting things done; a much better use IMHO.

Neil

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  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Cardinia Rd works will be complete on December 7th, "months" earlier than proposed - Cardinia Rd
Stonnington Council are putting up the money for replacing those crossings, are they? Once the money from the leasing of the Port of Melbourne runs out the number of LX replaced will drop substantially, unless Dan decides to borrow from somewhere/someone to keep the program going. Interesting that LXRP are doing a business case.
As far as I'm aware there were no business cases generated for any of the 75 being removed. Instead of spending money on consultants it was spent on getting things done; a much better use IMHO.

Neil
ngarner
There is a business case for the first set of 50 level crossing that initiated 2 years after the program was well underway.

The extra 25 level crossings didn't include a business case but did follow many of the audit's recommendations to select sites that achieved their goal, instead of selecting them for political reasons like the first set of 50.

Looks like they're more cautious how they spend money for additional sites, as less crossings remain on the network
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Kooyong and Burnley might happen eventually.

Kensington and Macaulay will probably never happen.  Both would be engineering nightmares (for different reasons) and in the case of Macaulay probably straight-out impossible.
I've actually seen a design, but it would definetely be expensive (Macaulay). Kensington i don't get what the issue is
MetroManMelbourne

I mean, technically, so have I - it involved diverting the Upfield line from somewhere between Royal Park and Flemington Bridge into a tunnel for the last few kms into the city!  

But that was a thought experiment that won't happen.

I guess you could move the line about 20m to the east so it's out from under CityLink, then raise it, but you'd be buying up a lot of land to do it, which could be much better spent elsewhere.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

With the Macaulay Rd crossing in Kensington, would it be possible for them to go with a rail over solution and relocate the entrance into the mills to the up end? They might be able to even get creative by putting the entrance under the overpass if need be.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
Interesting that LXRP are doing a business case.
As far as I'm aware there were no business cases generated for any of the 75 being removed. Instead of spending money on consultants it was spent on getting things done; a much better use IMHO.

Neil
ngarner

The only reason that LXRP are doing a business case is because it was funded by the Federal Government to do a business case for removal of the level crossings at Glenferrie Rd, Tooronga Road and Madden Grove as part of a pork barreling exercise in the leadup to the last election.

I find it interesting that LXRP are actually proceeding with this given there was never a commitment from the State.  

It is also interesting that the press release from Stonnington Council still refers to LXRP as 'LXRA'.  They haven't been called LXRA for over 12 months which makes me question how seriously LXRP are taking this business case.  I think they have other priorities to deal with at the behest of their State Government masters.

The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) is preparing a business case for the removal of the Glenferrie Road, Kooyong and Tooronga Road, Malvern level crossings. Council has also asked the LXRA to investigate the removal of the level crossing at High Street, Glen Iris.
Stonnington Council

Ross
  MetroManMelbourne Beginner

Location: Somewhere in Melbourne
Kooyong and Burnley might happen eventually.

Kensington and Macaulay will probably never happen.  Both would be engineering nightmares (for different reasons) and in the case of Macaulay probably straight-out impossible.
I've actually seen a design, but it would definetely be expensive (Macaulay). Kensington i don't get what the issue is

I mean, technically, so have I - it involved diverting the Upfield line from somewhere between Royal Park and Flemington Bridge into a tunnel for the last few kms into the city!  

But that was a thought experiment that won't happen.

I guess you could move the line about 20m to the east so it's out from under CityLink, then raise it, but you'd be buying up a lot of land to do it, which could be much better spent elsewhere.
Adogs
probably the only way to do it is dig a trench on the existing alignment and then cover it. but even covering doesn't remove the issue of the creek, and it would be expensive, so i doubt it will happen. then again, as early as 1863 when the metropolitan line was being built in london, they were building cut and cover train lines next to water bodies.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

This is quite interesting news.

"The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) is preparing a business case for the removal of the Glenferrie Road, Kooyong and Tooronga Road, Malvern level crossings"

https://www.connectstonnington.vic.gov.au/lxra
True Believers

The consequence of last year's Federal Election Higgins and Kooyong electorates pork-barrelling:
https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh-frydenberg-2018/media-releases/congestion-busting-glenferrie-road-level-crossing

Whilst money has been provided for a business case, it'll be interesting to see who is expected to provide the $600 - $800 million to finish the total project.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
This is quite interesting news.

"The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) is preparing a business case for the removal of the Glenferrie Road, Kooyong and Tooronga Road, Malvern level crossings"

https://www.connectstonnington.vic.gov.au/lxra

The consequence of last year's Federal Election Higgins and Kooyong electorates pork-barrelling:
https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh-frydenberg-2018/media-releases/congestion-busting-glenferrie-road-level-crossing

Whilst money has been provided for a business case, it'll be interesting to see who is expected to provide the $600 - $800 million to finish the total project.
kitchgp
You couldn't really call the business case "pork-barelling".
The usual implication of that term is deliverying something: not so with Josh baby, its a promise to see if they might promise something sometime, preferably by some-one else.

Interesting justification
The 2013 VicRoads study showed that the Glenferrie level crossing was one of the worst in the area
Josh Fredburg presser
So out of the 4 LX in the area, it's not top of the list anyway?
Unlike the 2 already gone (Burke Rd, Toorak Rd). Far busier, and it wasn't Josh that paid for those.

Just politics as usual. Might one day be believed if he does "show me the money".

cheers
John
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Consultation has started for Glen Huntley removals.

Of insert is the acquisition of nine properties near Queens Ave & Neerim Road to facilitate a trench that contains 4 tracks, one additional then is currently there. The project boundary runs all the way from Caulfield to Ormond Station, with todays media release mentioning track & Signalling upgrades at Caulfield.

So, foamy questions. Will Glen Huntley get a fourth platform to accommodate the extension of the fourth track? Im not even sure what benefit if any this would add. And, What track upgrades are likely around Caulfield?

There are already four tracks from just north of Neerim Rd - the fourth track is the goods refuge track extending into Caulfield.

I read this as confirming that the refuge track will be retained in the grade separation. At the moment the goods refuge is hard up against the property boundry on the western side of the line between Neerim Rd and Lord St. Presumably the properties to be resumed are those on the western side of the line to provide space for the retaining walls.

It's not a cheap area. Each of those properties would probably be around $2 million, and the commercial property even more - so you could be looking at around $20 million. You could recover some of this by reselling the unused land after the project was completed.
historian
It seems very strange and expensive exercise to acquire nine properties totalling more than $10 million to accommodate the refuge in the trench.

The current refuge is 150m from Neerim Road, about what is needed for the current track to decline to pass under the road. So why wouldn't LXRP raise Neerim Road slightly if clearance was an issue or shave a few meters of the current refuge. Both options are far cheaper than acquiring nine inner city properties.

I'm sure there in method in their madness.

Lockie
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

This is quite interesting news.

"The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) is preparing a business case for the removal of the Glenferrie Road, Kooyong and Tooronga Road, Malvern level crossings"

https://www.connectstonnington.vic.gov.au/lxra
It also notes that "[the] Council has asked the LXRA to investigate the removal of the level crossing at High Street, Glen Iris."

Here are some of my thoughts on what options might work best at these locations:
  • I think rail under is better at High Street as the line is going down into a trench in the up direction at Burke Road and also goes somewhat downhill towards Darling Station when leaving Glen Iris.
  • Tooronga Road has Gardiner being in a trench past the small pedestrian bridge nearby with the railway line also already being in a shallow cutting both being in the down direction of the station. The ramp for the elevated rail over Toorak Rd is a bit further away than it appears so rail under could work.
  • Glenferrie Road is interesting as the line is on an embarkment in the city direction next to the tennis courts towards a road underpass just as you reach the sports fields of St Kevin's and after that the railway line starts to drop down towards Heyington station. Going under is a bit more difficulty with the embarkment being quite narrow while going over means dealing with having the tram overhead possibly attached to the bottom of the bridge.
  • Both Tooronga and Kooyong stations have curved platforms which need to be built straight in accordance with current regulations so there will have to be some railway line alignment changes I think regardless of what option they choose for those two locations.


At neither of these three locations can I see a road option being feasible due to the layout with shops and side streets being nearby though I am happy to be proven wrong here.
Also, to those wondering why Madden Grove at Burnley near the stabling sidings is not included, the reason is that it falls under a different Council namely the City of Yarra and the news is from the City of Stonnington.
Op Kronos

I think you should look more closely at what Stonnington has put up on the page.

They are pushing for rail over sollutions as this will deliver more open space in a council area that has the least.

"Council has advocated for ‘ rail under’ designs in the past. However, recent experience shows a 'rail over’ solution like that in Toorak Road can have some great positive advantages when compared to a ‘rail under’ option.
A well-designed, ' rail over’ option allows for the active use of newly created open space under the rail bridge and can provide more opportunities for recreation, landscaping and community facilities.
A ‘rail under’ option utilises a trench cutting construction method and not a rail tunnel. They can have complex design implications during construction that impact the affected area for prolonged periods."

They have even thrown in some pictures of Carrum, Seaford and Skyrail showing all the wonderful benefits of parks under railways. For good measure there are pictures of a vandalised trench as well as heavy machinery digging out a trench.

Rail-over is possible at all locations.

Kooyong needs to be relocated to the West of Glenferrie Road, waiting commuters get a view into Kooyong tennis club. Super Stop for the tram and open space for the locals.

Tooronga need to be moved to sit above Tooronga Road, so the rail can be re aligned to meet current standards. The current station is less than 900m from Gardiner. Moving the station will reduce this even further.

Glen Iris is pretty simple, creates open space for the small retail area around the level crossing. They might even extend the No.6 tram 100m to the station.

See If Stonnington gets what they want out of this business case.

Lockie
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It's a pity Blackburn wasn't rail-over. It would have opened up the shopping area nicely. Probably meant the extra cost of a new station (although that would have eliminated the flooding).
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

It's a pity Blackburn wasn't rail-over. It would have opened up the shopping area nicely. Probably meant the extra cost of a new station (although that would have eliminated the flooding).
kitchgp
Lots of things would have been nice all over the place during the LXRP.

For better or worse, it was decided that removing more LXs cheaply, rather than doing fewer, but doing them really well, was the preferred option.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It's a pity Blackburn wasn't rail-over. It would have opened up the shopping area nicely. Probably meant the extra cost of a new station (although that would have eliminated the flooding).
Lots of things would have been nice all over the place during the LXRP.

For better or worse, it was decided that removing more LXs cheaply, rather than doing fewer, but doing them really well, was the preferred option.
Djebel
Yes the NIMBY's wanted the solid gold option for their community regardless of the cost, many of them were bitterly disappointed with the outcome.
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

It's a pity Blackburn wasn't rail-over. It would have opened up the shopping area nicely. Probably meant the extra cost of a new station (although that would have eliminated the flooding).
Lots of things would have been nice all over the place during the LXRP.

For better or worse, it was decided that removing more LXs cheaply, rather than doing fewer, but doing them really well, was the preferred option.
Yes the NIMBY's wanted the solid gold option for their community regardless of the cost, many of them were bitterly disappointed with the outcome.
Nightfire
The people demanding the Dandenong and Frankston line skyrail be put completely underground (not in a trench -- in a tunnel) were idiotic.

But more minor things could have been done on individual projects that would have had a big effect.  E.G. the level crossing near my parents house was removed.  This has had no effect on traffic flow, because starting 30 seconds after each train the pedestrian lights are triggered repeatedly, This stops traffic flow as effectively as the level crossing ever did.  A short pedestrian underpass (12-15m) would have made all the difference in the world, but LXRA wouldn't have a bar of it.

Of course now it would cost a fortune to retrofit it, but if it had been incorporated into the design from the start the additional costs would have been minimal.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
With the Macaulay Rd crossing in Kensington, would it be possible for them to go with a rail over solution and relocate the entrance into the mills to the up end? They might be able to even get creative by putting the entrance under the overpass if need be.
reubstar6
I've done a quick brainstorm on how I've always thought it could be removed as a google map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=11ENRFEeCqUEs0AnBJBPiMjeJQ_F1IHV4&usp=sharing

I don't think there's actually that much property that would need to be acquired - the hardest part is that it is all inner city land.
However, if it is elevated, potentially you could put commercial space back in underneath the rail bridge, and maybe even on top of where the line is currently. I don't think the types of businesses that are there at the moment - plumbers, construction specialists, delivery companies would really mind being under a bridge as they're mostly warehouse type stores.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
With the Macaulay Rd crossing in Kensington, would it be possible for them to go with a rail over solution and relocate the entrance into the mills to the up end? They might be able to even get creative by putting the entrance under the overpass if need be.
I've done a quick brainstorm on how I've always thought it could be removed as a google map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=11ENRFEeCqUEs0AnBJBPiMjeJQ_F1IHV4&usp=sharing

I don't think there's actually that much property that would need to be acquired - the hardest part is that it is all inner city land.
However, if it is elevated, potentially you could put commercial space back in underneath the rail bridge, and maybe even on top of where the line is currently. I don't think the types of businesses that are there at the moment - plumbers, construction specialists, delivery companies would really mind being under a bridge as they're mostly warehouse type stores.
TOQ-1
The Incline ramp at the Northern end would need to start around Manningham Street and Incorporate a new Flemington Bridge Railway Station.
Basically the railway would be relocated from under the freeway to elevated beside It.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

With the Macaulay Rd crossing in Kensington, would it be possible for them to go with a rail over solution and relocate the entrance into the mills to the up end? They might be able to even get creative by putting the entrance under the overpass if need be.
I've done a quick brainstorm on how I've always thought it could be removed as a google map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=11ENRFEeCqUEs0AnBJBPiMjeJQ_F1IHV4&usp=sharing

I don't think there's actually that much property that would need to be acquired - the hardest part is that it is all inner city land.
However, if it is elevated, potentially you could put commercial space back in underneath the rail bridge, and maybe even on top of where the line is currently. I don't think the types of businesses that are there at the moment - plumbers, construction specialists, delivery companies would really mind being under a bridge as they're mostly warehouse type stores.
The Incline ramp at the Northern end would need to start around Manningham Street and Incorporate a new Flemington Bridge Railway Station.
Basically the railway would be relocated from under the freeway to elevated beside It.
Nightfire

Yes, basically that.  You'd have to realign the whole thing from Flemington Bridge almost all the way into Nth Melbourne.  Can't see it being worth the effort.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

Yes, basically that.  You'd have to realign the whole thing from Flemington Bridge almost all the way into Nth Melbourne.  Can't see it being worth the effort.
Adogs
Yes It's a big expensive project to eliminate 2 level crossings.
  slowcoach Junior Train Controller



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MJWiPV_JnY&ab_channel=levelcrossings

LXRA has fast-tracked Glenhuntly and Neerim Rd level crossing removals to begin next year. The chosen method is Rail-Under-Road.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAf-2PHT6qY&ab_channel=levelcrossings

Progress video on Werribee Street LX Removal with 3 pairs of concrete beams placed into position above the road.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMduGgp3o2o&ab_channel=levelcrossings

On October 30, Evans Rd road bridge in Lyndhurst has officially opened to drivers and pedestrians after it was closed for 15 years. It has provided a new vital north-south connection across the outer south-eastern suburbs.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFMdKbXIrlM&ab_channel=levelcrossings

Trains have resumed running on the Upfield Line along the new concrete bridge from Moreland to Coburg. Moreland & Coburg stations will be open to customers in the middle of December 2020.

As of this post, 43 level crossings have been removed since 2014.
  Peter Spyker Train Controller

I went for a bit of a ride along the new Upfield Skyrail a couple of days ago, and I didn't spot the Coburg crossover. Where is it now?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

According to VicSig, on the north side of Coburg, at the start of the ramp. It would appear Down trains terminate at Batman (Platform 2) and Up trains at Coburg (Platform 1).

https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Coburg
https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/location/Batman
https://vicsig.net/infrastructure/line/Upfield (at the bottom)
  slowcoach Junior Train Controller



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWbApDGAAbM&t=317s&ab_channel=MelbourneRailwayVideos

A youtuber named 'Melbourne Railway Videos' posted a passenger-view video of the Coburg-Moreland elevated rail section. Notice the crossover near the start of the video.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Update from Werribee

Werribee St

All the bridge beams placed and works to fully connect them to each other is continuing. BG track machines noted at the down end of the works on new track leading to the down end of the bridge. Couldnt see clearly, but one expects new (or old track put back) was being tamped. On track to be commissioned in the BG line shutdown at the end of the month.

Cherry St.

Approaches on the north side continuing to be worked on. not been on the south side to see, but last time i was the aproach had not progressed much

Hoppers Crossing.

Work has restarted on the works an old melbourne rd. car parks have been moved to a vacant block of land near the station (they went to the trouble of sealing/lighting, hope they leave it there when they are done, it will get used) so a new Pedestrian crossing can be build on the down side of the station and existing crossing. Where the road is going, cranes have been brought in and it would seem they are working on footings for the bridge. The motel earmarked for demolition, and car yard next to it that has also been acquired seem to be continuing to trade, however i cant see that remaining for much longer, unless the intention is to allow the motel to trade through Christmas, and demolish afterwards. will see.

Week long shutdown of the BG at the end of the month into December. expect new track at Werribee st to be connected and commissioned. Not looked at ARTC to see if there's any shutdown of the SG line during the same period to connect up the the new bridge. currently running on a temporary alignment just to the north of the works. Imagine it wont be far behind this period, if it not happening otherwise. Not sure what else they will be doing during this shutdown. possibly electrical works at Hoppers Crossing. will see i guess.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Victoria Liberals now wanna endorse the level crossing removal project, with them picking the next 25 level crossings they wanna add to the list. Only thing I'd note is a lack of level crossing removals targeted on the Werribee line and the Northern lines.

And also some level crossings on the Belgrave, Lilydale and Hurstbridge lines are probably not the worse of the bunch.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/state-opposition-calls-for-more-level-crossing-removals-to-boost-jobs-with-100-in-the-gun/news-story/b9a76a231367c1f376a202647655518d?btr=49ac7b6ce39e56b727428f934b18cd68

News is paywall so I've listed what they've picked to be removed.
Frankston line:
— Warrigal Road, Parkdale
— Highett Road, Highett
— Wickham Road, Highett

Lilydale line:
— Dublin Road, Ringwood East
— Coolstore Road, Croydon

Glen Waverley line:
— Madden Grove, Burnley
— Glenferrie Road, Kooyong
— Tooronga Road, Malvern
— High Street, Glen Iris

Hurstbridge line:
— Marshall Street, Ivanhoe
— Main Hurstbridge Road, Diamond Creek.

Alamein line:
— Riversdale Road, Camberwell
— Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell

Belgrave line:
— Alpine Street, Ferntree Gully
— Railway Ave, Ferntree Gully

Baxter/Stony Point line:
— Moorooduc Highway level crossing to prepare for Baxter electrification.

Craigieburn line:
— Macaulay Road, Kensington
— Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds
— Park Street, Moonee Ponds

Sunbury line:
— Calder Park Drive, Calder Park

Upfield line:
— Barry Road, Campbellfield

Pakenham line:
— Officer South Road, Officer

Sandringham line:
— Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea
— South Road, Brighton

Mernda line:
— Keon Parade, Reservoir
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Good to see the Libs finally coming to the party. Whether any of these would actually end up being removed under a hypothetical Liberal government is another matter - we all know their record.
Most of them actually don't look too bad. There's clear bias towards the east which is to be expected but it's not like Labor hasn't had some incredibly politically motivated crossing removals like on the Franga line.
Given the recent announcements about Geelong Fast Rail, I would like to see as many of the remaining Werribee line crossings (excluding the Altona Loop) go as possible, perhaps instead of the ones way out on the Belgrave or Hurstbridge lines or the Sandringham line ones they have proposed at least in the short term. I would also prioritise getting rid of all of the Pakenham and Sunbury line crossings so that the Metro Tunnel can run level crossing free. We should focus more on the train capacity side of things in removing the crossings that limit frequency the most.
From this it seems pretty clear that level crossing removals are here to stay in Melbourne. They are popular, and while they might potentially have limited benefits compared to other projects, they provide that feeling of satisfaction that you know longer have to worry about the crossing on your commute/journey. Hopefully the Libs have ditched their ridiculous road intersection plan as part of this.
I would expect Labor to commit to removing an additional 25 level crossings by 2030 anyway by the next election, with this hopefully including more of the crossings I mentioned.

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