50 level crossings to be removed

 
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Speaking of the Level Crossing Removal Authority, when does the caretaker period end? It would be nice to get some media updates from them.
reubstar6
Very soon.

The premier has already started posting media releases again.

This one shows the progress of the Metro Tunnel.
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/getting-on-with-delivering-metro-tunnel/

But I like to question about this one. Is this just promoting their program expansion works? Or is it fast tracking these level crossings to be done at the same time as the ones on the Lilydale line?
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/getting-on-with-removing-two-more-level-crossings/

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  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
Speaking of the Level Crossing Removal Authority, when does the caretaker period end? It would be nice to get some media updates from them.
reubstar6
Browsing various government websites produces results from the Department of Premier and Cabinet which say that "entering into major contracts or undertakings" is not permitted during a caretaker period; see
https://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/policies/caretaker-conventions-2018
and one of the pdfs linked to that page:
https://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/images/documents/Policies/Incoming_Government_-_caretaker_guidelines_updated_-__3_July_2018.pdf

Since Andrews was saying on the weekend, after the preliminary election results showed him being re-elected, that he would sign some North-East Link contracts on Monday suggests that it ends when an election is effectively decided, which is confirmed by Section 1.3 of the pdf linked above and quoted here:

"The caretaker period is the period between the expiration of the Legislative Assembly (or, if it is dissolved earlier, from that date) and either the time when it becomes clear the government has been returned, or the time when a new government is commissioned"

Section 1.6 expands on that a bit:
"If the government is returned, the caretaker period ends when that result becomes clear – that is:
when the Leader of the Opposition concedes defeat; or
when it is clear the government has won sufficient seats in the Legislative Assembly to form government"

Since both have been met Andrews was out of caretaker mode as of early Sunday morning at the latest.

And I agree those caretaker popups on various government websites are annoying. Seems like some website admins are a bit slow on removing them.

Neil

Edit - not sure what Andrews is referring to, in the links True Believers posted, regarding Mooroolbark and Lilydale as no work has began at either; they still haven't decided on how to replace either of them!
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Speaking of the Level Crossing Removal Authority, when does the caretaker period end? It would be nice to get some media updates from them.
Very soon.

The premier has already started posting media releases again.

This one shows the progress of the Metro Tunnel.
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/getting-on-with-delivering-metro-tunnel/

But I like to question about this one. Is this just promoting their program expansion works? Or is it fast tracking these level crossings to be done at the same time as the ones on the Lilydale line?
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/getting-on-with-removing-two-more-level-crossings/
True Believers
"The Belgrave/Lilydale line is the second busiest line in Melbourne.  Removing these level crossings will see faster express trains and less delays and cancellations. The Government has already removed 4 level crossings on the Belgrave/Lilydale line, with work underway at Manchester Road, Mooroolbark and Maroondah Highway, Lilydale."

I have not seen any actual work taking place at either location.  The above statement is ambiguous, but it could mean that the Mont Albert/Union Road crossings should be done before the Mooroolbark/Lilydale ones?
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
If anyone has the time, data and inclination, it would be interesting to see these works plotted on a horizontal time line graph - to see how much overlap between individual projects there was.
Here's the construction works for each of the 29 level crossing removals. One thing I noted is a gap in beginning, due to the government just starting out. As well as another gap during 2017, due to a new batch of level crossing removals (had no previous planning done before 2015). To date the Camp road level crossing removal is the fastest one to kick started and get completed.
Just wondering - what point are you considering the project as 'completed' - the removal of the boom gates, or when all construction stops?
Well to make it clearer for everyone for the graphs above.

The start times are when the site is being established or the early works of construction has started.

The end times are when the level crossings are removed.

Technically the construction continues 6 months after the level crossing is removed.
So if you want to know when each one ends total construction just add an extra 6 months to each crossing.
True Believers
An interesting play on words - what is the difference in meaning between "completed" and "finished"?

I would have thought that a crossing removal was "completed" when trains were able to use the new alignment and road traffic was again able to use the road normally.  It would not be "finished" until all additional work was done, such as footpaths, bus terminals, landscaping, station work, etc., which could take many more weeks.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Ok let me predict when the next crossings will be removed.

Aircraft and Carrum crossings are under construction right now. Will be completed in 2019. 3 crossings gone
Then the rest of the Frankston line crossings that were pledged in 2014 will start construction (all trenches). Estimate date of completion 2020. 5 crossings gone all at once.
The Reservior one has started, so that will be completed by 2020. 1 crossing gone
The Werribee ones plus the extra one at Hoppers crossing plus the aircraft station rebuild, will be completed by 2021/2022. 3 crossings gone

These ones will be done last most likely

The Pakenham ones can be done alongside the 3 crossings pledged in 2014, this one would likely be fast-tracked to be done early as this line is the busiest and the one planned to run into the metro tunnel. So done by 2022. 7 crossings gone

--- At this point 50 crossings removed ---

The ones btw Camberwell and Box hill can be done alongside the 2 pledged on the Lilydale line, this one would be fast-tracked due to being on a very busy rail line. So done by 2022. 4 crossings gone

The Cranbourne ones are to be completed by 2023. 4 crossings gone

There are 3 seperate ones that are left that were pledged in 2014. Another seperated one pledged in 2018. Williamstown/Toorak road/Glenroy road/Gap road. Those 4 should be removed together by 2023/2024

The Upfield and Mernda ones could be co-ordinated together with the 2014 pledge ones and the new additional ones. Completion by 2024/2025.
8 crossings removed


What I am saying is they could shift the priority around for the newly pledged ones to happen before the 2014 ones are finished. Is this a possibility or not?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
The LXRA developed a new 'Site prioritisation framework' shortly before the election, which I assume would give them an excuse to do the crossings in whatever order they see fit. One of the principles is delivery: being able to complete as many projects at once without causing too many disruptions on the same line, including non-LXRA projects scheduled in at the same time.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/publications/prioritising-future-level-crossing-removals-site-prioritisation-framework
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

The Glenroy crossing will go in the next four years. I know that Labor won't be as worried now about losing seats, but the independent Cr Yildiz ran a solid, grassroots campaign, notably with him standing for extended periods of time beside the crossing. If they don't remove it within the next four years it will give voters another reason to vote for the independent who caused a substantial swing against Labor in an election dominated with contrary results.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The Glenroy crossing will go in the next four years. I know that Labor won't be as worried now about losing seats, but the independent Cr Yildiz ran a solid, grassroots campaign, notably with him standing for extended periods of time beside the crossing. If they don't remove it within the next four years it will give voters another reason to vote for the independent who caused a substantial swing against Labor in an election dominated with contrary results.
reubstar6
The same could be said for many crossings in seats with active independent candidates.

I'm not saying it won't be done in the next 4 years, just that it shouldn't be done for that reason.

On the other hand, if in 4 years time we are building up to the next election and Labor are pledging a further 25 crossings again "to be removed over the next 8 years along with the ones we have already nominated" it won't look too good if work still has not started on some of the ones first nominated 8 years earlier.

I suppose, as long as the digging has started before the election gets under way, they are in the clear.
  loopy Locomotive Driver

Has anyone wondered if this thread can have the title changed due to the now 77 crossings being removed?
  loopy Locomotive Driver

Just curious as to what the new layouts to the rebuilt stations adjacent to crossing removals will be?

Pakenham, we know it'll be 2 Metro, 1 V/Line platform. Is it island Metro and side V/Line on current stabling site or??

Also South Gippsland Hwy crossing removal should be rail over, with down Cranbourne track as a fly-under

Also will Surrey Hills [P1/P2 island, P3 side] and Mont Albert [P1 side, P2/P3 island] be both same layouts as today? Will it take 10 months to close the third track like Frankston line in 2016?

Which also reminds me they're probably gonna do that again for the Glen Huntly crossing removals as well
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Has anyone wondered if this thread can have the title changed due to the now 77 crossings being removed?
loopy
At this rate I hope all the 180 crossings are removed from Melbourne by 2050, just as the suburban rail loop opens up.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Especially those awfully dangerous unnamed Hurstbridge line ones. They really inhibit the flow of trains and pose a serious threat to the community.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

hey admin. probably time to start a new thread, this is all old hat and news...……….
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Especially those awfully dangerous unnamed Hurstbridge line ones. They really inhibit the flow of trains and pose a serious threat to the community.
reubstar6
After the 77 crossing removals.

I don't think Hurstbridge line has the most dangerous ones. There ain't many busy ones on the Hurstbridge line, only Diamond Creek one in the outer section. And a few in the Fairfield area.

I would nominate the ones on the Glen Waverly line. And removing the 6 crossings on the northern section of the Mernda line.
Removing a few on the Craigeburn line. And diverting the Upfield line to remove the inner section ones.
  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
@True Believers, where would you divert the Upfield line to?

Everyone keeps talking about diverting the Upfield line into a tunnel to remove the crossings between Royal Park and North Melbourne... but why?
Why not just compulsorily acquire some of the factories alongside the Upfield line on the eastern side and do an above ground route? Get Macauley Road on the Upfield line done, get Arden street on the Upfield line done too.
Much cheaper and doesn’t require the insane amount of capital works a tunnel would.

Not too sure what the deal with Macauley road on the Craigieburn line will be... do the mills intend to keep operating well into the next 50 years? Or are they looking at moving? If they stay, will they be contributing to the capital costs? So many questions, none of which I have the answer to unfortunately.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I haven't really thought too hard about the inner Upfield line before, but I think such a short tunnel wouldn't be worth it. I think it would be far easier to buy up the land and warehouses immediately adjacent to Citylink/The Line between Sutton St and Arden street, slew the line out and elevate the tracks. At the North Melbourne end, you just swap the east sidings with the running lines where you could construct the incline.

For the Craigieburn Line, I am wondering whether the access to the sidings could just be moved to the south? It would mean more complex moves and setting back to access the sidings, but they would be able to be kept and the crossing removed with elevated rail.
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
That might well work but IMHO you'd have to bridge Lloyd St to get the space to do it. Extra cost but not impossible.

Neil
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

@True Believers, where would you divert the Upfield line to?

Everyone keeps talking about diverting the Upfield line into a tunnel to remove the crossings between Royal Park and North Melbourne... but why?
Why not just compulsorily acquire some of the factories alongside the Upfield line on the eastern side and do an above ground route? Get Macauley Road on the Upfield line done, get Arden street on the Upfield line done too.
Much cheaper and doesn’t require the insane amount of capital works a tunnel would.

Not too sure what the deal with Macauley road on the Craigieburn line will be... do the mills intend to keep operating well into the next 50 years? Or are they looking at moving? If they stay, will they be contributing to the capital costs? So many questions, none of which I have the answer to unfortunately.
ElliotProvis
You could aquire the factories and then do a cut and cover along the whole inner section of the Upfield line and put development right on top.

And elevated solution could work too and it's cheaper but since it's inner Melbourne where the land could be very valuable, I think it could be feasible as cut and cover, if the developments above the rail can fund the extra costs required to put the rail underneath.

This of course would require a business case or analysis what's the best option along this section. But with the site going to be developed and the rail line slewed, you may as well tucked it underneath instead of putting it elevated.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
At this rate I hope all the 180 crossings are removed from Melbourne by 2050, just as the suburban rail loop opens up.
TrueBelievers
You don't think you may be getting just a tad ahead of yourself?

What the government are doing just now is fantastic. This level of investment in the network is unprecedented, to assume that it will just continue unabated for the next 30 years is optimistic to say the least.

If Labor follow through (there is nothing to suggest they won't) and they manage to stay in power for 3 terms (which is a good chance) then we can likely expect them to remove 75 to 80 crossings in that time.

Then we start to get into difficult territory. At the moment this project does not have bipartisan support, meaning if or when the Liberal National Coalition get back into No. 1 Treasury Place, then unless they have a major policy shift, they will pull the plug on this whole thing.

Watsons Rd Sunbury, Giffard St Williamstown, Wilson Rd Wattle Glen. None of them see enough traffic to be considered congested or dangerous (the governments catch-cry regarding all crossings they have removed to date) and if the booms at these crossings were down for any longer than they already are I doubt anybody would notice or care, yet they all are on roads that can not afford to be closed. I would suggest they are best kept as they are and there are plenty of others in the same boat.

Then there are other crossings that are just too difficult, like the two on Macaulay Rd, the humdinger at South Rd, Brighton Beach or Ramsden St in Clifton Hill. These and many others like them present very difficult challenges from both a political point of view (NIMBYism) and an engineering standpoint. Again, best left alone, especially when there are plenty out there that don't present the same challenge.

And all of that is without even considering the financial cost with removing all crossings while also building Metro 1, Airport rail, Metro 2, electrification extensions to Wyndham Vale, Melton, Wallan, Clyde and Baxter, and of course the whizz bang SRL. Oh yeah, and high speed rail to Geelong and Ballarat.

Again, 50 crossings in 8 years is a massive undertaking, 75 in 12 years will be outstanding. Then to achieve all of that as well as the other stuff I just mentioned, we can expect to have more invested in Heavy Rail in the greater Melbourne area then we have had in 100 years.

Providing it all gets built that is.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
They got through 29 in the first term. With smarter bundling now part of the mix, I could see them getting through 90 by the end of a hypothetical third term - especially if they come under the scope of another project e.g. Level Crossings on the Melton line might not be removed by the LXRA but by Rail Projects Victoria if they are duplicating and electrifying that line.

Justifying any of the non-congested ones on the Sunbury Line could be done by calling it an upgrade to a full metro standard, or something along those lines.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

At this rate I hope all the 180 crossings are removed from Melbourne by 2050, just as the suburban rail loop opens up.
You don't think you may be getting just a tad ahead of yourself?

What the government are doing just now is fantastic. This level of investment in the network is unprecedented, to assume that it will just continue unabated for the next 30 years is optimistic to say the least.

If Labor follow through (there is nothing to suggest they won't) and they manage to stay in power for 3 terms (which is a good chance) then we can likely expect them to remove 75 to 80 crossings in that time.

Then we start to get into difficult territory. At the moment this project does not have bipartisan support, meaning if or when the Liberal National Coalition get back into No. 1 Treasury Place, then unless they have a major policy shift, they will pull the plug on this whole thing.

Watsons Rd Sunbury, Giffard St Williamstown, Wilson Rd Wattle Glen. None of them see enough traffic to be considered congested or dangerous (the governments catch-cry regarding all crossings they have removed to date) and if the booms at these crossings were down for any longer than they already are I doubt anybody would notice or care, yet they all are on roads that can not afford to be closed. I would suggest they are best kept as they are and there are plenty of others in the same boat.

Then there are other crossings that are just too difficult, like the two on Macaulay Rd, the humdinger at South Rd, Brighton Beach or Ramsden St in Clifton Hill. These and many others like them present very difficult challenges from both a political point of view (NIMBYism) and an engineering standpoint. Again, best left alone, especially when there are plenty out there that don't present the same challenge.

And all of that is without even considering the financial cost with removing all crossings while also building Metro 1, Airport rail, Metro 2, electrification extensions to Wyndham Vale, Melton, Wallan, Clyde and Baxter, and of course the whizz bang SRL. Oh yeah, and high speed rail to Geelong and Ballarat.

Again, 50 crossings in 8 years is a massive undertaking, 75 in 12 years will be outstanding. Then to achieve all of that as well as the other stuff I just mentioned, we can expect to have more invested in Heavy Rail in the greater Melbourne area then we have had in 100 years.

Providing it all gets built that is.
Gman_86
Optimistic? yes
Tad ahead of myself? yes

Liberals have supported level crossing removals just as much as Labor. It's bipartisan to a certain degree. And yes I believe the Coalition will pull through a major policy shift after that devasting loss at the 2018 election.

There will always be non busy ones, just close them up. Eel Race road and Mascot ave are examples in the current list of removals that are closing and not grade seperated.

With smart planning by bundling the crossings which I have noted above. They could easily remove 75 earlier than 2025 estimate date. I expect a probable 90 level crossings gone by 2026 (end of their possible 3rd term).

That's about 1/2 of the crossings gone in 12 years.

Now if the Coalition comes into office they'll probably remove them at a slower rate or not remove them. I'll stick with the option that they will remove those that help them win seats.

Anyways Coalition could stay in for 8-12 years. That's 2034/2038 respectfully.

Even if Coalition removed none. Labor comes back in and removes the rest of the 90 crossings by 2050 (gives them 12-16 years) and opens the remaining sections of their rail loop.

---Ok that was some wild guessing and fun thoughts here.
take this as a grain of salt---
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

I could foresee after the first 75 crossings removed, level crossings on specific lines which would be running at high frequencies (e.g. Melton, Craigieburn, Baxter, Pakenham, Sunbury) being removed as a whole. The two busiest lines before the completion of SRL (assuming Network Development Plan is adhered to) will be the Melton/Sunbury-Pakenham/Cranbourne line and the Craigieburn-Baxter line. If Melton is to be quadruplicated, then surely all of the crossings would have to go anyway. My point is that while I find it highly unlikely that all 180 will go, assuming the first 75 are completed, they will then probably chip away at the remaining crossings based on the line rather than the danger.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
If Labor do manage to stay in for 3 terms, and stay the course on this project, than yes, I do believe 90 is a likely outcome.

Yes, I do believe that after that, there is a likelyhood more will continue to follow and it does make sense that when Metro 1 is in full swing, Melton/ Sunbury - Pakenham/ Clyde will become Melbourne's busiest rail corridor, so that does most likely lend itself to zero crossings along that corridor, but I don't believe that then goes on to equal ALL level crossings being removed across the entire network.

I just don't see it happening.

As I said, some crossings just don't warrant it and some are just too much trouble.

I am still yet to find a reasonable resolution to Macaulay Rd or South Rd that doesn't end up in either a ridiculous re-routing of the Upfield line in to a tunnel from Royal Park to North Melbourne or in the Sandringham line becoming Skyrail-By-The-Bay.

----

On the other-side, I do think the Upfield line being elevated from South of Park st to North Coburg (between Batman & Merlynstone somewhere) would be a great idea, and would remove 15 crossings in one fell swoop (11 of which are not on the current list) or better yet, just go the extra 2km to Gowrie and remove 18. Do this at the same time as duplicating and rebuilding the line from Gowrie to Roxburgh Park for maximum value. Then when Wallan is ready for sparking the the capacity is all there ready to go.

Do that and you may even make it to 100 crossings.

Again, I'm not opposed to doing more, just trying to be realistic.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Liberals have supported level crossing removals just as much as Labor. It's bipartisan to a certain degree. And yes I believe the Coalition will pull through a major policy shift after that devasting loss at the 2018 election.
True Believers

Supported LX as much as labor, you’re having a laugh now. Here’s some history for you guys
1954 Removals were started under John Cain Sr who was Labor which included ones such as Elsternwick, Moorabbin, Newport and Footscray.

The Removals of Nunawading, Epping, springvale and sunshine were announced by Labor under brumby and completed in the Baillieu era. The libs have only I guess announced new st level crossing which cost 5 Million to build.

They couldn’t care less about LX. That’s why they tried and failed with the botched and crappy intersection Removals. Currently, it Labor and only labor that will remove LX. Right now with the way the liberals have been you cannot trust them
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
I find it absolutely intriguing that we are now discussing how many crossing removals can be completed before Labor return to the opposition benches, when four years ago, on this thread, there were any number of posts put up where the author was adamant that 50 removals in 8 years was "impossible".
We are now seriously accepting 75 in 11 years is not only possible but highly likely and that even more may be done if the government pushes on with the concept of removing as many as possible while they have the power!
If the Baxter electrification business case gives that project the green light we lose at least 4 more; another 2 are definitely going when the original line through Bungaree and Wallace closes as part of the current Ballarat Regional Rail upgrade; 2 more with the Geelong portion of Regional Rail; the possibility of Melton electrification going fully grade separated, potentially, removes another 7 or so; the high(er) speed proposals to Geelong and Ballarat would almost certainly eliminate more; and other possibilities that are currently pipe-dreams, not thought of or announced yet, just keep pushing the number up.
Just those numbered above add up to 90 without any more being officially added to the LXRA list.
Granted a number of these are (reasonably) quiet rural roads but does that exclude them from being counted? I would argue it doesn't as fewer chances for road traffic to get in the way of a train is a good thing IMHO. Having experienced only one actual crossing collision in 5 years (in Suicide city as Sth Dynon crews commonly called it back then, better known to most as Shepparton) but with a few close calls, I was lucky compared to others who I heard about while on the job, especially the spark drivers, some of who probably had PTSD after a few years of having to wear idiots who didn't think a train was anything to worry about hitting or being hit by!

Neil

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