Building Melbourne's Useful Network Part 75: Should we have a new Keilor East Station?

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 02 Jan 2021 15:18
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Keilor East once had a station and a series of sidings into a military complex establishment which stored munitions I believe.

The main road on the boundary is called Military Road and I guess now the site has houses all around it according to google maps the call for this new station could be of value

Regardless of the airport rail line why not consider passenger trains between Jacana and Newport on the BG with several stations between the majors?

Building Melbourne's Useful Network Part 75: Should we have a new Keilor East Station?

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  mrmarcus Station Master

As I said on the airport thread, the issue is that the line runs around the very back of the suburbs there. It's mostly just local streets and housing backing onto the line, with some industrial areas as well. There's really nowhere obvious to build stations that would allow useful access and high patronage.

The one exception is around Airport West S/C. Maybe that might be feasible if it's located in a such a way that it can reasonably serve the Shopping Centre, Airport West, Strathmore North, and Gowanbrae. But is it worth electrifying the line for one station?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I agree.

Aside from Airport West near the Westfield, there isn't anywhere really screaming for a station. Between Airport West and Jacana, the only residential area is close enough to Glenroy station to not be worth the bother. Between Airport West and the Maribyrnong River one side of the line is industrial and the other side is residential rear boundary fences.

When you then cross the river, both sides of the railway are industrial until you get within a close enough proximity to Albion station to cancel out the need for a new local station.

When you then look at the Sunshine to Newport section, things don't improve. Between Sunshine and the West Gate Freeway is all heavy industry. South of the freeway, there is potentially a case for a station at South Kingsville near the Kernot St level crossing, but that is about it.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
As I said on the airport thread, the issue is that the line runs around the very back of the suburbs there. It's mostly just local streets and housing backing onto the line, with some industrial areas as well. There's really nowhere obvious to build stations that would allow useful access and high patronage.

The one exception is around Airport West S/C. Maybe that might be feasible if it's located in a such a way that it can reasonably serve the Shopping Centre, Airport West, Strathmore North, and Gowanbrae. But is it worth electrifying the line for one station?
mrmarcus

Airport West near the shopping centre could do with a service and also Keilor East with a walkway to the suburb.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
...and also Keilor East with a walkway to the suburb.
bevans
I'm not too sure how familiar you are with the area, but the existing rail corridor through Keilor East is not really suited to a commuter station.

For a start, the location suggested in the attached article for a new Keilor East Station is North of the Calder Fwy, and therefore not even in Keilor East, rather it's in Airport West.

Between the Calder Fwy and Keilor Park Drive there is no space along the corridor for a decent modern railway station, especially once the new tracks for the airport line are laid alongside the current freight line. Ford context, the broad gauge line here becomes dual gauge as a part of the Tullamarine passing lane, so any Airport line will be required to have its own dedicated tracks here, even if they utilise the existing broad gauge alignment elsewhere. This will not leave any space North of Keilor Park Drive for any station.

Any station for Keilor East would be best located South of Keilor Park Drive and North of the Maribyrnong River Viaduct. On the Western side of this location is the M80 Western Ring Road, there is a decent sized reserve that could be utilised for a station car park etc, on the immediate Eastern side is the Standard Gauge line and east of that is the rear boundary fences of the residential properties of Stirling Drive. Any pedestrian access from Stirling Drive would only be possible with compulsory acquisition.

I'm not saying the good folk of Keilor East don't deserve a heavy rail option, I'm just saying the current freight corridor is not ideally located.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
It seems like people are crunching up against two competing requirements: a fast airport service (less stations along the route) vs. a more useful rail network (more stations along the route).  We're ending up with funny solutions like putting one extra station in which seems the worst of both worlds.

I think we can actually achieve both: Looking to the (very) long-term, part of the issue here is that a station close enough to Airport West SC (ideally you'd put it just across Westfield Drive) skews the preferred alignment too far East and you have to back track to get the Airport proper.  If you could somehow get a sensible station location in there then I think the long term -perfect world- solution would be:
  • Bendigo and Seymour VLine routed via the Airport, express to Sunshine, Footscray and city (giving you the fast airport service)
  • Aiport Line metro stopping at Airport West, Keilor East (wherever it goes) and Sunshine North (junction of Furlong and McIntyre Rd) and then Sunshine and continuing into the Metro tunnel.


I think we first just get the alignment right and the track built to the Airport, but acquire/prepare what is needed for the 3 intermediate stations along the way (as well as the continued tunnel out the other side).

Thoughts?
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Keilor East once had a station and a series of sidings into a military complex establishment which stored munitions I believe.

The main road on the boundary is called Military Road and I guess now the site has houses all around it according to google maps the call for this new station could be of value
bevans

Munistore. And, yes, it did store munitions. From memory, the last military use of the complex was to store naval shells during the Vietnam war. There was never much to the store - the core of it was about four or five sheds laid out on a gentle curve so a Japanese aircraft couldn't line up and get the lot in one strafing run.

The store (and siding) was opened during WWII and 'closed' in the early '70s. In fact, the siding was severed for the standard gauge and a dual guage crossing was never installed (despite the signalling diagrams). There was never a station there, and even the signalbox was only ever opened for traffic into the ammunition store. It wasn't even permanently staffed. Traffic was tripped from Tottenham yard.

It's almost impossible to see any sign of either the ammunition store or siding today. The southern boundary of the store was roughly where Keilor Park Drive is today, and the junction for the siding slightly to the south of that. The eastern boundary was Milleara Drive. Looking at Google maps, there is a very sharp discontinuity in the road network between Clarks Rd and the railway, and I'd be willing to bet this marks the boundary of two subdivisions, and hence the northern boundary of the store.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
As others have noted, Airport West is located in a really difficult area when it comes to heavy rail, but Airport West wouldn't really need a train station if route 59 could be dragged kicking and screaming out of the W class era into the 21st century light rail era.

For example, why on earth is there a 30 km/h speed limit on dedicated tracks in the middle of nowhere at the outer end? The timetable also backs it up by making sure you don't floor it otherwise you will be a mile in front by the time you reach Keilor Rd. And aside from Keilor Rd through to CityLink, it's pretty much a segregated tramway all the way to the city after that too, only stopped by traffic lights and way too many tram stops too close to one another. Even the shared road section isn't too bad, compared to other places like Victoria St (North Richmond-Victoria Gardens), Toorak Rd (route 75 east of the Alamein line) or the entirety of Glenferrie Rd, which are an absolute nightmare at any time of the day or night.

There's not much work that would be needed to bring the 59 up to proper light rail standards as the infrastructure is already there, including accessible platform stops on a route that only ever runs B2s and Z3s. The only real improvement to the 59 after that would be to kill off most of the intermediate tram stops between major roads or intersections (in some parts, they're every 100m or so, it's ridiculous), get VicRoads to fix the traffic light sequences (good luck), straighten out the route by letting it stay on Mt Alexander Rd instead of deviating through Fletcher St/Pascoe Vale Rd (similar to how the 58 was straightened out along Toorak Rd West - yes, it means that a number of trees on Mt Alexander Rd would become wood chips), and extending the 82 along the latter to cover the 59's old deviation.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I agree.  The track condition along the ballast tracks is really bad.  Also a short extension to Gladstone Park will mutually benefit both.  It will also allow the Airport to Airport West bus to be shortened to Gladstone Park so it can operate more frequently, if the tram route can't be extended to the Airport.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Put a tram/train interchange station where it's convenient/cheapest for the flyover for the airport rail over the ring road. Run the tram along the Calder Fwy/Keilor Rd to the Ring Road, then follow the goods line to the Westfield, with a stop at the new train station. Then link it back to the 59 terminus to create a loop. Route 59 goes clockwise and Route 60 goes anti-clockwise for the loop. Run one of them direct via Mt Alexander Rd and the other via the current route as to not lose that connection.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Put a tram/train interchange station where it's convenient/cheapest for the flyover for the airport rail over the ring road. Run the tram along the Calder Fwy/Keilor Rd to the Ring Road, then follow the goods line to the Westfield, with a stop at the new train station. Then link it back to the 59 terminus to create a loop. Route 59 goes clockwise and Route 60 goes anti-clockwise for the loop. Run one of them direct via Mt Alexander Rd and the other via the current route as to not lose that connection.
John.Z
Not so sure how you would go squeezing a tram along Keilor Rd but I like the 59 extension idea...
An elevated Airport West station goes as far East as possible before you have to swing across the Ring Road, joining a 59 tram extension that takes you up along the goods line past Westfield and around to the current terminus. Harmonise the departures and frequency for a proper interchange.
Keilor East station goes down near Keilor Park Drive; Sunshine North station further along again - Metro trains are SAS, through routed VLines from Bendigo and eventually Seymour run express.  Might be a tad more than the $10B but gee it sorts out the North West in a huge way.
Solved Cool.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
It seems like people are crunching up against two competing requirements: a fast airport service (less stations along the route) vs. a more useful rail network (more stations along the route).  We're ending up with funny solutions like putting one extra station in which seems the worst of both worlds.

I think we can actually achieve both: Looking to the (very) long-term, part of the issue here is that a station close enough to Airport West SC (ideally you'd put it just across Westfield Drive) skews the preferred alignment too far East and you have to back track to get the Airport proper.  If you could somehow get a sensible station location in there then I think the long term -perfect world- solution would be:
  • Bendigo and Seymour VLine routed via the Airport, express to Sunshine, Footscray and city (giving you the fast airport service)
  • Aiport Line metro stopping at Airport West, Keilor East (wherever it goes) and Sunshine North (junction of Furlong and McIntyre Rd) and then Sunshine and continuing into the Metro tunnel.


I think we first just get the alignment right and the track built to the Airport, but acquire/prepare what is needed for the 3 intermediate stations along the way (as well as the continued tunnel out the other side).

Thoughts?
LeroyW
Better still - actually build the tunnel out the other side as you can build the stabling there.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

A station is definitely needed in Keilor East. A lot of conversation on here has been about poor walk ability and catchment. Just like most of Melbourne's older suburbs and even new suburbs, there is a core 'activity centre' where access to PT is great, the further you get away from the centre, walkability falls right away. The last mile then moves to the leper of PT in Melbourne... Busses. Keilor East/Airport West is no different.

Unfortunately there is no way to have a direct station link to the areas two main activity centres, Westfield Airport West and Milleara Road. All is not lost. As Peter has explained a Keilor East Station located South of Airport Drive (Between Etzel & Harrington Road) and a reform of the local bus route will give the current black hole some of the best PT in Melbourne. Throw in a park and ride with a few hundred car spaces for good measure. The suburbs of Keilor Park, Keilor, Airport West and East Keilor now have a train service every 10 minutes only a short bus ride away, a catchment north of 50,000 people. The benefits far out-way the additional 90 seconds the train will take to reach the airport.

I don't see there being great need for a Sunshine North Station, the area is a stones throw from Ginfier and Albion Stations. Local bus routes would already be doing the work. Very little actual ridership, more just shifting commuters from current stations.

*Foam Warning*

If we wanted to get real serious about improve PT and connecting suburbs to employment the government could reroute the Line 59 Tram via Moore with a new super stop at Rodd Street for far better access to Westfield. Continue down Moore Road to the railway reserve and run parallel to Keilor East Station. Airport West, Niddrie, Essendon North and Essendon Fields are now connected to heavy rail. The area is linked to Sunshine NEIC and rail services through this hub can access the area with a change of service. This also connects the line 59 to the airport.

More broadly, Line 57 Tram needs to be extended firstly the 1.5Km to the Avondale Heights shopping area. Then continue the 5Km down Milleara Road connecting all of the areas retail, employment and schools together. All of which are high trip generators for local short trips. Highpoint is also a major employer for the area. If we want to go further you could turn the tram right down Woorite Place to collect the hundreds of PEGS students, cross the freeway at Moorna Drive and connect into a new Keilor East Station. Once again, half a dozen suburbs are now connected to heavy rail. A 10 - 15 minute tram ride then change to a 20 minute train trip to the city.

Now thats enough foam from me.

Lockie
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
It would be nice if Melbourne had multiple CBDs in the same way that Sydney does - there is some movement towards it with the National Employment and Innovation Clusters, but because they are playing catch up, it is hard to build heavily rail between them. Perhaps in 30 years once stage 1 of SRL has proved itself more orbital ideas might be possible.

E.g. A line from Newport to Jacana, while needing new tracks and probably changes to Sunshine, would be able to provide a good link for Western Suburbs to main lines.

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