50 level crossings to be removed

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria

Anyways St-Albans is like Oakleigh, it's a community hub, with shops and retail. If the road bridge was built like before the development, there would be no local amenity and the shopping strip wouldn't exist.
True Believers
Yes, the development would have been elsewhere.

There are examples of similar road bridges having been built before development, look at the outer section of the Craigieburn line.

And speaking of Craigieburn, there is a bridge over Craigieburn bypass which cost about $36,300,000 in today's currency and the price tag included that of a lot of sculptural noise wall, landscaping and a light show.

If you look further back, a lot of embackments and trenches were built to remove level crossings. There are about as many elevated track as there are trenches. Believing there are more trenches than elevated track is not reasonable. Embackments are part of Elevated rail...
True Believers
I don't think of a railway on an embankment as elevated rail, the ground level on an embankment is higher than to the sides.

Even the so called "skyrail" has embackments, it just has more bridge, that's the only difference.
True Believers
No embankment, the ground level is the same as to the sides, just the tracks are above ground level.

Building a house is cheaper than that over expensive pedestrian bridge over the trench. It's not even a huge bridge and it costs 1 million. Just imagine covering the whole trench, oh dear that's many millions of dollars covering a trench.
True Believers
The one in Box Hill only cost $754,000, under a million. Also, I find it hard to believe a much bigger house would cost less than that. It doesn't need nearly as much material and as far as I can see, there are no engineering challenges in building a footbridge over a railway cutting with no supports in the middle.

That's why elevated rail is superior for connectivity, no-one can dispute this. it's just too expensive to cover a trench.
True Believers
And yet there didn't use to be any viaducts in suburban Melbourne, but plenty of cuttings and embankments, these being about equally common.

Sponsored advertisement

  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The Dandenong elevated rail has Embankments, maybe you should have a look.

Yeah railways raised on an embankment with bridges across the roads, is a type of elevated rail.

You could build about 4 houses for the ped bridge over the trench.

There are viaducts over Melbourne.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The Dandenong elevated rail has Embackments, maybe you should have a look.
True Believers
Are there any photos that show them?

Yeah railways raised on an embackment with bridges across the roads, is a type of elevated rail.
True Believers
But that fact is that it is no less of a divide than a cutting.

You could build about 4 houses for the ped bridge over the trench.
True Believers
Is that really credible? A tiny bridge over a railway embankment doesn't need nearly as much material, and there are no engineering challenges.

There are viaducts over Melbourne.
True Believers
No, there are embankments.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

What exactly would you call the tracks between Flinders St and Spencer St then, Myrtone? You know, the ones from the late 19th century?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
What I said is that there used to be no rail viaduct in suburban Melbourne, that viaduct is not in suburban Melbourne. There were already plenty of rail bridges, but none were nearly as long as the viaduct by Flinders street.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

What I said is that there used to be no rail viaduct in suburban Melbourne, that viaduct is not in suburban Melbourne. There were already plenty of rail bridges, but none were nearly as long as the viaduct by Flinders street.
Myrtone
So the Eltham Trestle bridge doesn't count?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
That is a pointless argument.
It is not if you are into alternative history.
Myrtone
Alternative history? Also known as fantasy.

Last I looked, this was a discussion about reality.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So the Eltham Trestle bridge doesn't count?
True Believers
I didn't think of that one, I can't recall it. I wasn't sure if it counted as a viaduct, but it is certainly not nearly as long as the Flinder's street one.
So, before the recent level crossing removal project in the southeast (Cranbourne and Pakenham lines), there were indeed hardly any viaducts in suburban Melbourne and none nearly as long as the Flinder's street one.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Talking about what type of method was used in the past though is largely irrelevant, because the outer suburbs have been shaped by rail more than rail has been shaped by the suburbs.

The inner sections are trenched or built on embankments because labor in the 1800s when the railways were being built was much cheaper and did not involve the same level of technical assessment and skill it does today.

When the suburbs started spreading in the middle of the 1900s, the railways were already established, The Bendigo Line went all the way to Bendigo and beyond, the Gippsland Lines went all the way out. Suburbs grew up around stations and the line that already existed. The automobile meant that people could live further from the town centre, even if it developed at a station, so houses were built further apart. There were less automobiles - you'd be lucky to have one per family, so there was not the level of car traffic there is today. Having a level crossing in the middle of the town was manageable for rail operators and drivers.

Over time rail patronage fell and automobile use rose. Some lines today still do not have the frequency they had in the middle of last century. Removing a crossing might have been a good idea, but in some cases the disruption of this was rejected by the local residents. See Marcus Wong's blog on this.

Level crossings only become an issue once the traffic movement becomes very inefficient or dangerous (as was the case in St Albans), or the railway line is to be very frequent (as is the case between Caulfield and Dandenong). In each case the method of grade separation should be decided by considering a whole range of factors. Basing anything on historical precedent is a bad idea, as each individual location will have different needs.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Talking about what type of method was used in the past though is largely irrelevant, because the outer suburbs have been shaped by rail more than rail has been shaped by the suburbs.
TOQ-1
I'm not sure what being "shaped" is supposed to mean in this case.

The inner sections are trenched or built on embankments because labor in the 1800s when the railways were being built was much cheaper and did not involve the same level of technical assessment and skill it does today.
TOQ-1
Look at the Surry Hills and Mont Albert. In spite of how cheap labour was back when the line was built, the line runs over a hill and crosses both Union and Mont Albert roads on the same level rather than running through the hill and under them.
It was the same at Heatherdale until a very recent grade separation work and under the Andrews Government. Surely a line through a hill and under a road makes more sense that a level crossing with the line uphill towards it on both sides.

When the suburbs started spreading in the middle of the 1900s, the railways were already established, The Bendigo Line went all the way to Bendigo and beyond, the Gippsland Lines went all the way out. Suburbs grew up around stations and the line that already existed. The automobile meant that people could live further from the town centre, even if it developed at a station, so houses were built further apart. There were less automobiles - you'd be lucky to have one per family, so there was not the level of car traffic there is today. Having a level crossing in the middle of the town was manageable for rail operators and drivers.
TOQ-1
But even before the car, there was road traffic, think of pedestrians, draft animals and wagons drawn by them, also trams in some places. In fact, back when having a level crossing in the middle of town was manageable for rail operators, etc, was a time when they still had manually operated gates and no lights or bells.
The replacement of these gates by barriers that can only cover half the road, and along with that, the addition of flashing lights and bells, only came after growth of motor traffic.

Over time rail patronage fell and automobile use rose. Some lines today still do not have the frequency they had in the middle of last century. Removing a crossing might have been a good idea, but in some cases the disruption of this was rejected by the local residents. See Marcus Wong's blog on this.
TOQ-1
Apparently, the proposal at that time by the Country Roads Board (now Vic Roads) was road overpasses in that area, when they could have just flattened the gradients and lowered the tracks. And according to that blog entry, a program to remove level crossings began in the 1950s, and while not mentioned in that entry, automatic crossings were introduced in that same decade.

Level crossings only become an issue once the traffic movement becomes very inefficient or dangerous (as was the case in St Albans), or the railway line is to be very frequent (as is the case between Caulfield and Dandenong). In each case the method of grade separation should be decided by considering a whole range of factors. Basing anything on historical precedent is a bad idea, as each individual location will have different needs.
TOQ-1
Level crossings have now been an issue for decades.

By the way, it is my understanding that the replacement of handgates and interlocked gates was, for the most part, a cheaper alternative to removing the wooden gated level crossings altogether.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

By the way, it is my understanding that the replacement of handgates and interlocked gates was, for the most part, a cheaper alternative to removing the wooden gated level crossings altogether.
Myrtone
Certainly a good thing that the cheaper option was able to be put into place, given that the most common method of removing level crossings in the second half of the 20th century was to close the railway.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It’s no use opining about what should have been done in the good old days. One of the factors simplifying LX removals was the demise of the suburban goods yard. Embankments (viaducts) and cuttings (tunnels) resulted in yards requiring zig-zag access such as Victoria Park and Toorak respectively.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Pretty ludicrous that the Surrey hills NIMBYs managed to stop them doing the removal of the Union Rd LX decades ago because it would be elevated like Canterbury and they didn’t like that.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some comments on history...............

Back when the railways were built in Australia, cuttings and embankments WERE NOT CHEAP. THe line to Hawthorn was completed in  1861, the only assistance for earth moving other than picks, shovels and horse and cart was blackpowder. A safe high explosive was not invented till 1867.

Back then cuttings and embankments were CLOSELY associated, as the waste from the cutting COULD NOT BE TAKEN FAR. AN examination of all lines constructed at this time will show an embankment was NEVER far from a cutting. If an embankment was required and there was no obvious cutting, a cutting was formed by bending the line into the closest hill.

Another related aspect is that timber trestle bridges were cheaper to build than a large embankment.

woodford
  kapow Junior Train Controller

Pretty ludicrous that the Surrey hills NIMBYs managed to stop them doing the removal of the Union Rd LX decades ago because it would be elevated like Canterbury and they didn’t like that.
ptvcommuter
It's ludicrous that you comment on this without knowing the facts, it was never going to be a rail bridge like what we have at Canterbury, it was to be a road overpass which would of been a terrible outcome for the local area.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
It’s no use opining about what should have been done in the good old days.
kitchgp
It is if you are into alternative history.

Pretty ludicrous that the Surrey hills NIMBYs managed to stop them doing the removal of the Union Rd LX decades ago because it would be elevated like Canterbury and they didn’t like that.
ptvcommuter
Then again it is pretty ludicrous that Victorian Railways (V.R), who ran our railways at that time, didn't propose lowering the line.

It's ludicrous that you comment on this without knowing the facts, it was never going to be a rail bridge like what we have at Canterbury, it was to be a road overpass which would of been a terrible outcome for the local area.
kapow
And given the rail gradients in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert, rail under just makes more sense. The railway would have gone through hill and under Union and Mont Albert roads instead of over the hill and crossing them on the same level.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
It is if you are into alternative history.
Myrtone
Could you please get rid of this nonsense. There is no such thing as alternative history. There is history, and there is fiction. One is fact and the other, obviously, is not. If you want to deal in fiction, write a novel, but don't insult our intelligence by putting up the idea that "alternative history" has any relevance here. It doesn't.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Pretty ludicrous that the Surrey hills NIMBYs managed to stop them doing the removal of the Union Rd LX decades ago because it would be elevated like Canterbury and they didn’t like that.
It's ludicrous that you comment on this without knowing the facts, it was never going to be a rail bridge like what we have at Canterbury, it was to be a road overpass which would of been a terrible outcome for the local area.
kapow
Not just a simple road overpass either. It was planned as an extension to Warrigal Road, with many properties needing to be acquired between Canterbury Road and Union Road on the north side.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
It’s no use opining about what should have been done in the good old days.
It is if you are into alternative history.

Pretty ludicrous that the Surrey hills NIMBYs managed to stop them doing the removal of the Union Rd LX decades ago because it would be elevated like Canterbury and they didn’t like that.
Then again it is pretty ludicrous that Victorian Railways (V.R), who ran our railways at that time, didn't propose lowering the line.

It's ludicrous that you comment on this without knowing the facts, it was never going to be a rail bridge like what we have at Canterbury, it was to be a road overpass which would of been a terrible outcome for the local area.
And given the rail gradients in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert, rail under just makes more sense. The railway would have gone through hill and under Union and Mont Albert roads instead of over the hill and crossing them on the same level.
Myrtone
can you PLEASE give up this rubbish that the Ringwood line should have been done as grade separated.
It was not done for very good reasons at the time. Your idea of "Sense" is not that of those who actually built stuff.

Separations cost a LOT of money, even in the 1880's, and there was NO NEED.
At the time Mont Albert Rd and Union Rd were little more than farm access roads

The IMPORTANT crossing have been done over the years as the need arose.

Burke Rd Camberwell was not done until 1919. Canterbury Rd in 1968. Station St in 1983.
The last remaining 2 have never rated in the importance scale. They still are minor.
Only now being done to complete the set and improve the time table.

As an aside, the NIMBY's do have valid concern with any grade separation.
With the last 2 LX gone, the traffic (which now avoids those LX like the plague) will become a horrendous rat race.

cheers
John
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
It is if you are into alternative history.
Myrtone
History is the study of the past.

Alternative history is nothing more than fictional fantasy.

If fantasy is what you want to discuss, take it to the armchair operators section of the forum.

The rest of this forum is for the discussion of reality, not fictional fantasy.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

RE: Value Capture

With Gardiner and Ormond having proposed development next to the station how much extra does it cost to make the trenched station covered over allowing development, not technically a shallow trench but similar to how Boronia goes underground.

Think this would work at Tooronga, Hampton, The Sandringham Line Stations, Moonee Ponds and Highett when of course these are announced in the coming years
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

RE: Value Capture

With Gardiner and Ormond having proposed development next to the station how much extra does it cost to make the trenched station covered over allowing development, not technically a shallow trench but similar to how Boronia goes underground.

Think this would work at Tooronga, Hampton, The Sandringham Line Stations, Moonee Ponds and Highett when of course these are announced in the coming years
ptvcommuter

It costs quite a lot, usually quite a lot more than they'll make back.

They built the deck at Ormond, but I'm not sure if they've actually built on it yet, or if anyone will actually make any money doing so.

It's a nice idea that keeps getting trotted out by people who want trenches (and the NoSkyRail mob) but ultimately the economics don't usually stack up.
  drunkill Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The full height ormond development got knocked back by planning afaik, it is currently caught up in vcat appeals. The deck is still empty years later, it should at least be turned into temporary baksetball courts or something.

It will end up losing money if they can only build a shorter development (5 levels instead of 8)

Decking is expensive as hell and not at all worth it in 95% of cases. Look at the Fed Square East proposals over the last decade, not worth decking the railyards for valuable edge of city land for corporate headquarters. Let alone Highett or Tooronga.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Decking is expensive as hell and not at all worth it in 95% of cases. Look at the Fed Square East proposals over the last decade, not worth decking the railyards for valuable edge of city land for corporate headquarters. Let alone Highett or Tooronga.
drunkill

Indeed, this is the best example of all.  If they can't make the numbers work for decking over a railway in the middle of the city, it's unlikely to work anywhere else.  Fed Square was a slow, complicated and expensive build too.

If you're ever in Berlin, check out the east-west S-Bahn viaduct.  It's an elevated railway from the 1920s (I think), about 16km long, built out of brick.  The whole viaduct is a series of vaults, which are used for shops, restaurants, nightclubs etc etc.  Brilliant.  One of my favourite constructions in a city full of interesting buildings.

My point being that generally elevated rail offers far greater value capture and cityscaping opportunities than trying to deck a trench.
  John.Z Chief Train Controller

Decking is expensive as hell and not at all worth it in 95% of cases. Look at the Fed Square East proposals over the last decade, not worth decking the railyards for valuable edge of city land for corporate headquarters. Let alone Highett or Tooronga.

Indeed, this is the best example of all.  If they can't make the numbers work for decking over a railway in the middle of the city, it's unlikely to work anywhere else.  Fed Square was a slow, complicated and expensive build too.

If you're ever in Berlin, check out the east-west S-Bahn viaduct.  It's an elevated railway from the 1920s (I think), about 16km long, built out of brick.  The whole viaduct is a series of vaults, which are used for shops, restaurants, nightclubs etc etc.  Brilliant.  One of my favourite constructions in a city full of interesting buildings.

My point being that generally elevated rail offers far greater value capture and cityscaping opportunities than trying to deck a trench.
Adogs
Flinders St Station is an example of this at the western end too.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: