Suburban level crossing removals

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The three classic lines in Perth still have some level crossings. The newer two were only built recently, and without level crossings. Are there plans to either close or grade separate the remaining crossings on the classic three?

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  LL10194 Station Master

Location: Perth
A few were proposed by the opposition, before they won the election earlier this year as part of 'METRONET'.



https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-election-2017/labor-to-remove-rail-crossings-ng-b88376604z

"The first stage of the level crossing removal program will include Oats Street in Victoria Park, Wharf Street in Queens Park, Caledonian Avenue in Maylands and Denny Avenue in Kelmscott."

On the current PTA website I can find no detail other than a vague reference on the METRONET link:

"• Removing level crossings on the Armadale, Midland and Fremantle lines"

Nothing on the Main Roads website either, but that does have the grade separation for Nicholson Rd which is well underway, to facilitate the Thornlie spur extension which was surely going to happen regardless of the election.

So, nothing quite on the scale of the Melbourne crossing removal project. Perhaps someone else can shed more light on the Perth plans.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
In Melbourne we have more than 100 level crossings, way more than any other Australian city, and more than any other city in the world with a population of over 3 million. If you don't have nearly as many level crossings, than your level crossing removal project will not be to the same scale.

But did any level crossings get removed last time Perth suburban was upgraded, which was during electrification?
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
Denny Avenue grade separation was funded in the last federal and state budgets as part of the Perth Freight Link cancellation - Main Roads has a fact sheet at https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/Documents/Fact%20sheet%20-%20METRONET%20-%20Denny%20Avenue%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal.RCN-D17%5E23355810.PDF

The others mentioned above only have planning money at the moment IIRC.

Additionally, the Moore Street crossing (in Perth CBD) was slated for closure under the previous government (see here), and with the prospect of 30 trains per hour per direction in a few years (assuming the Ellenbrook line happens as planned; 24 per hour otherwise) at peak times I'd presume that keeping it "open" will become untenable.
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
But did any level crossings get removed last time Perth suburban was upgraded, which was during electrification?
"Myrtone"


I'm not aware of any that were replaced during electrification, but a handful of them have been removed since then mainly on the Armadale line (along with the Fitzgerald Street busway on the Fremantle line.)
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Apparently, Perth is the only Australian capital city with a level crossing right in the CBD! Even more of a relic of the steam age than other suburban level crossings.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

I made a map with the level crossings left on Perth's Suburban rail network. BLUE - indicates the first lot of crossing being removed, RED- the rest of them.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ro7pp33eviRb35tb6DAxaFL0aYQ&usp=sharing

A total of 28 level crossings (Not counting the freight, regional services). With 4 being removed in first stage of works. That is a 1/7 of the crossings removed.

Melbourne as a comparison about 180 crossings roughly. 20 crossings removed in first stage. 1/9 of the total crossings removed. But of course   there is 30 in the next stage. So after 50 are removed that 5/18 of the total crossings removed. But still 130 crossings remains.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I looked at that list and three on the Armadale line, the busiest of the classic three, at to be removed. The other is on the Midland line, which has track sharing with interstate as well as country services.

There are only three level crossings between Perth and Freematle stations, all next to three consecutive stations just north of Freematle itself.

Certainly the portion of Perth suburban level crossing to be removed is greater in the portion of Melbourne suburban ones to be removed in the first stage.
  LL10194 Station Master

Location: Perth
Thanks to Myrtone for showing the interest from a distance and starting this thread, thanks also to James974 for the map to make things clear.

As for that crossing in the CBD - some may say that Moore St is still outside the CBD. https://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Victoria got it's gold rush first and Melbourne leapfrogged Perth in development, hence the extensive network with too many crossings. And the small CBD here.

So, for Moore St... I'll try to attach a couple of images, Moore St in 1953 when it seems to be blocked off and Moore St in 1965 with the crossing reinstated.

I have spent some time waiting at that crossing in the 90's and more time in the 2000's as train frequencies have increased. But I will not mourn its loss when it gets closed in the future. For those of us who live or work near by it is just a short cut.

Oh poo. Looking at the preview my attached pics don't seem to work... I'll try anyway.

And the Railpage site just politely told me to go away.

So you will have to trust me about the pictures!

Bum.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Moore street seems to officially be within the CBD, and it's certainly the one of the only two in the whole of Australasia with four electrified tracks. You could attatch the photos somewhere else and link to them!
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Im surprised how little level crossings are on the Fremantle line, since I think that is the oldest line in the Perth suburban rail network.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Our two oldest railways, as of 31 years ago, also didn't have that many level crossings, one of them only had one.

Can any locals explain why the Oat street and Wharf street ones are to be grade separated but not the Welshpool road crossing? Why Denny Avenue but not Armadale road?
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
In Melbourne we have more than 100 level crossings, way more than any other Australian city, and more than any other city in the world with a population of over 3 million. If you don't have nearly as many level crossings, than your level crossing removal project will not be to the same scale.

But did any level crossings get removed last time Perth suburban was upgraded, which was during electrification?
Myrtone
Although it wasn't a grade separation undertaken during electrification, the under grounding of Subiaco railway station and construction of a 900-metre tunnel through the town centre in 1998/1999 removed two level crossings as part of the 'Subi Centro' urban renewal project of former industrial land.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So that explains why there are no level crossings on the inner section of the Freemantle line.
  InTransit Station Staff

In Melbourne we have more than 100 level crossings, way more than any other Australian city, and more than any other city in the world with a population of over 3 million. If you don't have nearly as many level crossings, than your level crossing removal project will not be to the same scale.

But did any level crossings get removed last time Perth suburban was upgraded, which was during electrification?
Although it wasn't a grade separation undertaken during electrification, the under grounding of Subiaco railway station and construction of a 900-metre tunnel through the town centre in 1998/1999 removed two level crossings as part of the 'Subi Centro' urban renewal project of former industrial land.
SEMartin
The Subiaco redevelopment didn't remove any level crossings.  It did remove the Hay Street subway, where the road went under the railway, which had a restrictive height limit (for example, only a handful of Transperth buses were able to fit underneath it).  Putting the railway underground was purely to remove the railway as a barrier in the urban regeneration project.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Considerable civil engineering work and many upgrades came with electrification, yet apparently that wasn't an opportunity to remove level crossings. Can anyone here explain that?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Considerable civil engineering work and many upgrades came with electrification, yet apparently that wasn't an opportunity to remove level crossings. Can anyone here explain that?
Myrtone
No need at the time, train and road traffic were much lower back than.

Electrification more or less saved the suburban network from been closed down and buswayed.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
There had already been plenty of level crossing removals on the Melbourne suburban and especially the Sydney suburban by that time, in fact as far back as the 1920s, if not further. And apparently there was enough road traffic in Perth to build freeways, why not grade separations.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Why not grade separations.
Myrtone
Again, the traffic levels were just not there !

Last week I traveled the Fremantle line a few times and the couple of level crossings on that line delay very few cars.

The Armadale has by far the most congested level crossings.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
If traffic levels were not there, how could building freeways be justified?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
If traffic levels were not there, how could building freeways be justified?
Myrtone
Simple the people lobbied for a quicker road trip In and out of the City, nothing to do with level crossings (other than the new freeways didn't have any)

Level crossing were still probably been built at that time as a quick cheap method of reveling traffic congestion.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Not here in Melbourne (this was the 1990s) and definitely not in Sydney.
  InTransit Station Staff

If traffic levels were not there, how could building freeways be justified?
Myrtone
For the simple reason that the traffic levels to build a freeway in one location do not correlate to traffic levels in an entirely different location...

The equivalent in Melbourne is to ask why Ramsden Street level crossing in Clifton Hill has not been replaced, given there is enough demand to justify building the Eastern Freeway.

The perils of geography are a clue to the survival of so many level crossings.   The Armadale line in Perth travels through the flattest geography of all the suburban lines - hence it is not surprising that it has so many level crossings.  The equivalent to this in Melbourne is west of Newport, or down the Frankston line after Mordialloc, where the terrain is flat and there is little natural assistance for over or under road bridges.

Electrification in Perth - as in many places - had little influence on removing level crossings.  Very few civil works undertaken in conjunction with electrification had any impact on the cost or practicality of removing level crossings.  Frequency of trains did increase, but those issues could be dealt with on a case by case basis with no direct correlation to the electrification program.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
For the simple reason that the traffic levels to build a freeway in one location do not correlate to traffic levels in an entirely different location...
InTransit

The fact is that many rail operators around the world are committed to constructing no new level crossings. Whatever reason for that makes level crossing grade separations more important than other road projects in the same area.

The equivalent in Melbourne is to ask why Ramsden Street level crossing in Clifton Hill has not been replaced, given there is enough demand to justify building the Eastern Freeway.
InTransit

That area is quite hilly. That railway goes over many roads between East Richmond station and just and block from Ramsden street. It goes over Rose street, than slightly uphill to Ramsden street. See below for why this is not quite the equivalent.

The perils of geography are a clue to the survival of so many level crossings.   The Armadale line in Perth travels through the flattest geography of all the suburban lines - hence it is not surprising that it has so many level crossings.  The equivalent to this in Melbourne is west of Newport, or down the Frankston line after Mordialloc, where the terrain is flat and there is little natural assistance for over or under road bridges.
InTransit

The Armadale line is also the busiest and seems to have level crossings with some busy roads. Also, the flat terrain explains, partly, why level crossings were constructed in the first place.

In Newport there is a flyover that replaced an interlocked gated level crossing in 1960.

Electrification in Perth - as in many places - had little influence on removing level crossings.  Very few civil works undertaken in conjunction with electrification had any impact on the cost or practicality of removing level crossings.  Frequency of trains did increase, but those issues could be dealt with on a case by case basis with no direct correlation to the electrification program.
InTransit

I don't get this, especially the last sentence.

Say a road and a railway are built in different directions such as to cross each other:
*The cross on the same level to save initial cost. The crossing is fitted with full-length gates and wicket gates and someone is hired to operate them.
*Decades later, with the full-length gates relpaced by half-length barrier and the wicket gates by automatic pedestrian gates, road and rail traffic are much greater and there are complaints about traffic congestion at the level crossing.

If the road or rail builder (or maybe both) had stretched their budget and built an overpass or underpass, then a level crossing that busy would have been avoided.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

For the simple reason that the traffic levels to build a freeway in one location do not correlate to traffic levels in an entirely different location...

The fact is that many rail operators around the world are committed to constructing no new level crossings. Whatever reason for that makes level crossing grade separations more important than other road projects in the same area.
Myrtone
That's a load of bullcarp.

The building of new crossings and the upgrading/replacement of existing crossings are completely different issues, and therefore subject to completely different policies.

This is even true in Melbourne, there will come a time when the current mass project ends (calling it an Authority doesn't change the fact it's just a project office) and crossing replacement will go back to being approved on a case-by-case basis.

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