level crossings in Melbourne

 
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Gman_86Actually it was earlier than that. After one of the World Wars (first I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong) New South Wales elected to spend their war surplus on removing the vast majority of their level crossings.
I would suggest rephrasing this to say "During the Great Depression as Unemployment Relief Works..,

Some of the major level xing elimination works seem to have taken place in the 1930s, such as North Strathfield, West Ryde, Parramatta Road near Harris Park.

Unsure dates might include North Goulburn, where an original dogleg bridge has been replaced by a newer straighter bridge.

At the station ?________? between Joppa Jn and Bredalbane a level xing seems to have been replaced by a dogleg, replaced in turn by the freeway bridge.

Bridges built on the Main South during duplication and regrading works were carried out between say 1912 and 1928, which is post WW1.

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  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
Early in the 20th century, some of the most heavily used suburban lines in Melbourne were grade separated at huge expense.

* The Caulfield line was sunk and raised, and I think there are no level crossings at all between the city and Caulfield?

* The Camberwell line was also raised in some places and sunk in others, so the only level crossings are in the completely flat area near Burnley station.

* A totally new line was built from the city to Clifton Hill, featuring tunnels and high embankments with only one level crossing to the south of Clifton Hill station.

So our ancestors did a pretty good job a century ago, most of the level crossings today are in flatter suburbs that have become densely populated since the war.
Bogong
Our ancestors set a fine example. However, our politicians can only imagine new freeways. Lived in Carnegie for many years and the situation with the level crossing was terrible with waits of 20 mins becoming more and more common at peak hour.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Sydney being more hilly than Melbourne, which is flatter, has more cuttings and embankments that lend themselves to the construction of overbridges and underbridges, respectively. Thus Sydney had fewer level crossings in the first place. Many of these bridges would have probably been added with electrification in the 1920s, when major works such as widening of track centres to 12 feet (3.66m) were carried out. Such changes where not documented in the Weekly Notices, so dates are basically unknowable.
awsgc24

There may have been more level crossings in Sydney, that might be inferred by even the earliest Gregory's Street Directory, which goes back to "only" 1920s. Level crossing, including some private ones, may have been more common before the 1920s.

The hills of Sydney may, however, have restricted the location of these hidden level crossings to places where cuttings become embankments and the tracks are at the same level as the ground on either side.

These level crossing might be small pedestrian types and not necessarily larger road vehicle types.

One newspaper article of 1898 refers to "four or five level crossings" between Gordon and Lindfield, where the Commissioner was considering the construction of a new station at Killara (between Gordon and Lindfield) in exchange for the closure of those level crossing and the need for costly gatekeepers.

Fortunately, these same hills create good locations for overbridges and underbridges at slightly different locations compared to those level crossings.

Fencing of this era was probably post and rail types, rather than more modern chicken wire, and relatively easy to climb under, over or through.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
There is something to consider about the historical elimination of level crossings in Melbourne, in particular those that would have been on the MATHS section between Caulfield & South Yarra and also related to Glenferrie - tramways. I was recently reading a book about the history of the Malvern & Prahran Tramways Trust which historically was one of the more dynamic and forward thinking trusts that sprung up around Melbourne in the early 1900's. Apparently there were issues with the planned building of tramway services that would require level crossings with train lines, a situation that railway commissioners found intolerable. So when the building of the trusts' lines on High Street and various other roads, the decision was made to regrade the line on the MATHS section to avoid conflicts. The same decision was reached later for Glenferrie as at the time the line between Hawthorn & Camberwell had numerous level crossings. Also, given that the grades at the time for the railway between Hawthorn & Camberwell were problematic the decision to regrade this part of the line served two purposes nicely.

There are still four tramway squares in Melbourne that desperately need to be eliminated. I believe the Vic. Government has started design work on Burke Road - given it's close proximity to High Street one wonders if that shouldn't be done as well. Glenferrie Road at Kooyong needs to go. Glenhuntly Road/Neerim Road is probably doable. I'm sure a solution could be found for Riversdale.
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
There is something to consider about the historical elimination of level crossings in Melbourne, in particular those that would have been on the MATHS section between Caulfield & South Yarra and also related to Glenferrie - tramways. I was recently reading a book about the history of the Malvern & Prahran Tramways Trust which historically was one of the more dynamic and forward thinking trusts that sprung up around Melbourne in the early 1900's. Apparently there were issues with the planned building of tramway services that would require level crossings with train lines, a situation that railway commissioners found intolerable. So when the building of the trusts' lines on High Street and various other roads, the decision was made to regrade the line on the MATHS section to avoid conflicts. The same decision was reached later for Glenferrie as at the time the line between Hawthorn & Camberwell had numerous level crossings. Also, given that the grades at the time for the railway between Hawthorn & Camberwell were problematic the decision to regrade this part of the line served two purposes nicely.

There are still four tramway squares in Melbourne that desperately need to be eliminated. I believe the Vic. Government has started design work on Burke Road - given it's close proximity to High Street one wonders if that shouldn't be done as well. Glenferrie Road at Kooyong needs to go. Glenhuntly Road/Neerim Road is probably doable. I'm sure a solution could be found for Riversdale.
jdekorte
Melbourne is the only city in the world that has trams crossing trains lines on the level. The situation should have been fixed 60 years ago.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Yes it should have been "fixed" many years ago but now gives us a unique piece of transport infrastructure.  Glenhuntly is the only location at which three rail tracks cross two tram tracks adding to the individuality of that location.

The required speed limits are low but the actual delay to a train - given that apart from a few peak expresses at Glenhuntly all trains using them are braking to stop or accelerating from a start at the station - is fairly minimal.  Even the Frankston expresses would probably not save a whole minute if they could run through at the normal line speed.

So is it worth the cost of grade separation now when there is no major delay to either road or rail at most of these location?
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
Yes it should have been "fixed" many years ago but now gives us a unique piece of transport infrastructure.  Glenhuntly is the only location at which three rail tracks cross two tram tracks adding to the individuality of that location.

The required speed limits are low but the actual delay to a train - given that apart from a few peak expresses at Glenhuntly all trains using them are braking to stop or accelerating from a start at the station - is fairly minimal.  Even the Frankston expresses would probably not save a whole minute if they could run through at the normal line speed.

So is it worth the cost of grade separation now when there is no major delay to either road or rail at most of these location?
Gwiwer
Yes very much so because road and tram users are greatly delayed causing extra unwanted pollution.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
There may have been more level crossings in Sydney, that might be inferred by even the earliest Gregory's Street Directory, which goes back to "only" 1920s. Level crossing, including some private ones, may have been more common before the 1920s.

The hills of Sydney may, however, have restricted the location of these hidden level crossings to places where cuttings become embankments and the tracks are at the same level as the ground on either side.

These level crossing might be small pedestrian types and not necessarily larger road vehicle types.

One newspaper article of 1898 refers to "four or five level crossings" between Gordon and Lindfield, where the Commissioner was considering the construction of a new station at Killara (between Gordon and Lindfield) in exchange for the closure of those level crossing and the need for costly gatekeepers.

Fortunately, these same hills create good locations for overbridges and underbridges at slightly different locations compared to those level crossings.

Fencing of this era was probably post and rail types, rather than more modern chicken wire, and relatively easy to climb under, over or through.
awsgc24
Sydney had quite a few overpasses constructed in the 1970-80 period mostly in flat areas along the Western and South lines eliminating all but a few level crossings. That program may have been helped along by the post-Granville focus on rail.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
I think there are less than a dozen total level crossings in the entire Sydney network IIRC
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I've heard that there are a dozen and two actually, Sydney does have of course many more railway stations, which is the opposite of the statistics of railways in Greater Melbourne.

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