Activity around Mitcham

 
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I second the 'thanks' for those photos.  The cutting does indeed look wide enough for three lines but there would be no room for maintenance tracks next to them by the looks - it would be a tight squeeze.

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  duttonbay Minister for Railways

We delayed our tour of inspection today until close to 9pm, in deference to the heat. Looking over the bridge from Mitcham Road showed equipment in the station tracks, and looking in the direction of Heatherdale showed what looked like finished track. I'm sure there's still lots of work to be done with the alignment and ballast, etc, but it looks pretty good. The crane in the background is moving the concrete walls (which are installed on top of the cutting) from trucks to the ground, ready for another day.

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140113-204556_zpse3349cb2.jpg[/img]

We walked along Calcutta Street, noting that the sealing is complete (just the normal top layer - the inch or so remaining between to of asphalt and the gutter remaining to be done later.) All the barriers have been removed, and with no workers anywhere near me I felt quite safe to walk across the street and the future bus stops to take a look down to the station. I had a nice view of the track equipment:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140113-205400_zpsd7de06bc.jpg[/img]

I then walked alongside the cutting wall and fence to Simla Street. and took a photo looking down into the station from the up end. Note that a signal is in place at the up end of the up platform:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140113-205528_zpsb6e0b73f.jpg[/img]

Finally, I crossed the Simla Street bridge to try and take a look into the cutting on the up side of the station, but the water main obscures the view. By standing on tip toes I was able to take this horrible, shaky photo, which does at least verify that no track has been laid as yet on this side of the station:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140113-205644_zps0fce8be7.jpg[/img]

Around this time my wife called out to me - there was a "no public access" sign at Simla Street, but because I had followed the cutting I was inside the sign and didn't see it. Apologies if anybody is offended, disturbed or concerned by me being on the site.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Driving one of the replacement coaches, I spoke to a Metro and a work Dude, it appears thay are 2 - 3 days ahead of there work, could be finished by next Wednesday arvo, time will tell................I am over doing rail replacement, one thing that makes it all worthwhile. The females of our species are very ezy on the eye. Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time for a coldie.....................
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I assume that Mitcham will be straight railed when the track work Is complete ? (no turnback or siding to be provided)
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

Driving one of the replacement coaches, I spoke to a Metro and a work Dude, it appears thay are 2 - 3 days ahead of there work, could be finished by next Wednesday arvo, time will tell................I am over doing rail replacement, one thing that makes it all worthwhile. The females of our species are very ezy on the eye. Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time for a coldie.....................
trainbrain

Wonder if they'll drag a few trains through with a Loco for the workshops, just like they did with the Middleborough Road separation?
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

I assume that Mitcham will be straight railed when the track work Is complete ? (no turnback or siding to be provided)
Nightfire

Yes, you can assume this to be correct.
Flexibility is over rated!
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

In deference again to the heat, we skipped our inspection yesterday, and walked up to Mitcham after 8:30pm tonight.  We were not able to use the western side footpath across the bridge due to equipment blocking the way, but the view from the easter side showed work beginning on the overhead:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140115-203607_zps5198248a.jpg[/img]

The view from the workers' carpark showed a "hump" in the alignment, something I wasn't expecting, nor had noticed previously, presumably due to all the various track machines in the way:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140115-203950_zpsdda16618.jpg[/img]

Meanwhile, the old station site now has dirct covering it completely, all the way to Mitcham Road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140115-204309_zpscdaffd97.jpg[/img]

Nothing else to report. Signage indicates the new station is meant to open on Jan 25, only ten days away, so another visit to the Rooks Road end is called for. Not in 44 degrees though - perhaps on Sunday. If they are 2-3 days ahead of schedule, as mentioned above, then there should be significant progress to be seen there.
  trestle_nutter Train Controller

Location: Yarra Valley
I assume that Mitcham will be straight railed when the track work Is complete ? (no turnback or siding to be provided)
Nightfire

the days have long gone of cement hoppers parked in the siding & the Willis bus from Vermont turning around where the station & cutting now is........great photo of the rails leading into the dirt
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Would the Mitcham level crossing removals be the last level crossing removal works on the Ringwood line that would need the railway re graded ?

Level crossings remain at

Union Road, Surrey Hills

Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert

Blackburn Road, Blackburn

Heatherdale Road, Mitcham

Looking at these crossings, they are all mostly on minor local roads, they could be grade separated by building by passes of the crossings.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
According to the VicRoads Level Crossing Removal Projects page, Blackburn Rd at Blackburn is another project that is in the planning stage.
http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/RoadProjects/LevelCrossingRemovalProjects/PlanningAndPreconstruction/BlackburnLevelCrossingRemoval.htm

Although not in the section between Camberwell & Ringwood, the Mountain Highway/Scorseby Rd crossings at Bayswater are also in the planning stage - this one would be interesting given the presence of a maintenance depot at the station.
http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/RoadProjects/LevelCrossingRemovalProjects/PlanningAndPreconstruction/BayswaterLevelCrossingRemovals.htm
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

Although not in the section between Camberwell & Ringwood, the Mountain Highway/Scorseby Rd crossings at Bayswater are also in the planning stage - this one would be interesting given the presence of a maintenance depot at the station.
http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/RoadProjects/LevelCrossingRemovalProjects/PlanningAndPreconstruction/BayswaterLevelCrossingRemovals.htm
jdekorte

The original whispers surrounding the Bayswater removal were the maintenance facility was going to be moved inits entirety to Lilydale. More recently, and this is what I believe is going to happen, is that the maintenance facility will stay where it currently sits, the cutting for the separation will be dug through the existing carpark to go under the 2 roads and there will remain an at grade level crossing for the lead into the yard.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
More recently, and this is what I believe is going to happen, is that the maintenance facility will stay where it currently sits, the cutting for the separation will be dug through the existing carpark to go under the 2 roads and there will remain an at grade level crossing for the lead into the yard.
Bullucked

Well that's just silly Isn't It !

Spend a bucket load of cash to remove Mountain Highway level crossing, only to leave a railway crossing still In place !

Some clueless car driver would still manage to crash In to a train running In or out of the maintenance facility.


How come crossing In the Belgrave line are higher up the pecking order then crossings on the Dandenong line ?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Well that's just silly Isn't It !

Spend a bucket load of cash to remove Mountain Highway level crossing, only to leave a railway crossing still In place !

Some clueless car driver would still manage to crash In to a train running In or out of the maintenance facility.


How come crossing In the Belgrave line are higher up the pecking order then crossings on the Dandenong line ?
Nightfire

Removing the mainline level crossing gets rid of the vast majority of train movements across Mountain Highway. Most of the maintenance movements would occur outside of peak hour I imagine, so the level crossing would essentially appear removed from a motoring commuter's perspective.
I'm still not sure myself as to what they will do with the maintenance depot; when I once bought the topic up with Andrew Lezala he mentioned Lilydale as the site of a future maintenance depot but nothing on what would happen to Bayswater.

Another thing to note is that the Bayswater project is a triple-whammy like Mitcham - you get a new station and two (major) level crossings removed in one project and in a single occupation. That's good value for money.

The Dandenong line has a much higher patronage and the presence of Vline and freight traffic through it, so any occupation (like the Springvale level crossing removal) has a much higher cost compared to an occupation on the Belgrave/Lilydale lines. I agree that the Dandenong rail corridor should be a very high transport funding priority though - certainly higher than the East-West Link and perhaps even higher than Melbourne Metro. That line is in dire need of traffic separation, signalling upgrades and total grade separation.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The Dandenong line has a much higher patronage and the presence of Vline and freight traffic through it, so any occupation (like the Springvale level crossing removal) has a much higher cost compared to an occupation on the Belgrave/Lilydale lines. I agree that the Dandenong rail corridor should be a very high transport funding priority though - certainly higher than the East-West Link and perhaps even higher than Melbourne Metro. That line is in dire need of traffic separation, signalling upgrades and total grade separation.
LancedDendrite

Marginal electorates.

Mitcham is one but there aren't many along the Dandy corridor; Frankston has plenty so the precious few $$$ there are for PT have gone there even though it's not the most urgent problem.

Dandy will also require enormous sums to bring it up to any kind of proper modern standard; three tracks quoted at a billion plus to the last government and there's limited financial potential with Public Private Partnerships.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Dandy will also require enormous sums to bring it up to any kind of proper modern standard; three tracks quoted at a billion plus to the last government and there's limited financial potential with Public Private Partnerships.
don_dunstan

A billion plus for a third track? That sounds a wee bit ridiculous - does that have extras like grade separation built into that? You should be able to quadruplicate for that price.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

No visit to Mitcham with a camera today, but I did drive along Mitcham Road and across the bridge. The only progress obviously noted is the beginnings of the traffic light installation at the Mitcham Road/Brunswick Road/Calcutta Street corner. I might not be out and about now until Sunday.
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

Would the Mitcham level crossing removals be the last level crossing removal works on the Ringwood line that would need the railway re graded ?

Level crossings remain at

Union Road, Surrey Hills

Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert

Blackburn Road, Blackburn

Heatherdale Road, Mitcham

Looking at these crossings, they are all mostly on minor local roads, they could be grade separated by building by passes of the crossings.
Nightfire

I would not class any of these as "local" roads.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I would not class any of these as "local" roads.
northbritish

I do, as they are not main thoroughfares.

Such as Blackburn Road could be grade separated using a horse shoe curve, dipping the road under the railway, that would provide local unhindered road access across the railway, but at the same time disencouraging the road to be used as a main North South thoroughfare (the road Intersections are not set up for this traffic)
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I was able to drive along Station Street today. As yet there are no rails laid, but the road-bed is being prepared. There are piles of sleepers around, so I suspect it's not far off. Early work is progressing on the overhead too, with the pulleys used to install the catenary wire in place.
  merlin Chief Commissioner

Location: North East Adelaide
Such as Blackburn Road could be grade separated using a horse shoe curve, dipping the road under the railway, that would provide local unhindered road access across the railway, but at the same time disencouraging the road to be used as a main North South thoroughfare (the road Intersections are not set up for this traffic)
Nightfire


Blackburn road is up for grad sep. http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/RoadProjects/LevelCrossingRemovalProjects/PlanningAndPreconstruction/BlackburnLevelCrossingRemoval.htm
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Blackburn road is up for grad sep. http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/RoadProjects/LevelCrossingRemovalProjects/PlanningAndPreconstruction/BlackburnLevelCrossingRemoval.htm
merlin


I think that the plan is to put rail under Blackburn Road, further easing the grade between Nunawading and Blackburn. Minimal disturbance to the road that way, although there may be issues if they want to provision space for a third track in future. I would expect the Blackburn Rd project would also come with a rebuild of Blackburn station - hopefully removing the old subway with any luck.
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
Will Tony Abbott fund Grade Separations? NO
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Both the up and down tracks up near Ringwood have been replaced with new rails and concrete sleepers, ending at the turnout (the tracks at platforms 2 and 3 are still the old rails and mostly rotten/burnt/broken wooden sleepers). Additionally, the fencing on the south side of the track has been removed, as seen in the second photo. I haven't checked further up the line yet.

Looking towards Heatherdale:
[img]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/543/zpim.jpg[/img]
Looking towards Ringwood:
[img]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/607/3h4n.jpg[/img]
  TedHanson Junior Train Controller

Will Tony Abbott fund Grade Separations? NO
Some rail man

Being road projects rather than rail projects, there is a slim chance that he will.
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

Back on topic, went for a look during middle of the day on friday and saw rails laid beneath Rooks Rd with the base being laid in the gap between the two railheads. Looked like approx 200metres of rail needed to fill the gap. I reckon by now, sunday night, rails will be connected.

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