Lilydale Rail Crossing review and thus future of Meto rail returning to Helaesville

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

And how would you go about it if the calls were made?
Valvegear

Close the intersecting road, thereby removing 95% of traffic light activations for a fraction of the cost of removing them.

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  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

If it really is " a crossing with relatively small traffic volumes, on a relatively low frequency railway", then why is this crossing on the list for removal?  Why does the LXRA website say "The Maroondah Highway level crossing is used by 29,000 vehicles each day and is a major safety hazard for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers."?

Politics - Evelyn only needs a 3% swing to switch from Liberal to Labor.
Unlike some, I would hesitate to use pejorative terms such as "rubbish", but ......

As has been pointed out in this thread, the State seat of Evelyn is not "safe" for either party, and can change hands at any election, for reasons which have never had anything to do with the proposed removal of a level crossing.  It's also worth mentioning that many users of the Lilydale crossing neither live nor vote in the Evelyn electorate, and therefore have little interest in local politics.  

The crossing is on a major route from the eastern suburbs to the east and north, and locally among others it services traffic to and from Yarra Glen, Healesville and Warburton - none of which is in the electorate of Evelyn.  More broadly, it also forms part of an "alternative Hume Highway" from the eastern suburbs to and beyond Benalla, via Yarra Glen, Yea and Maindample.  If you don'r believe that, ask why the town of Yarra Glen was bypassed for trucks.  Such users have even less interest in local politics.  

In winter the Maroondah highway through Lilydale also services traffic from the eastern suburbs to Mt Buller and other snowfields, and once again many of those motorists do not live in Evelyn and have no interest in local politics.  On the other hand, they do have an interest in getting through an often congested crossing with minimal or no delay.
Lad_Porter
I hate to inform you the so called Yarra Glen bypass doesn't really exists, it is shall we say a pretend by pass.  The original bypass was planeed to go from St Huberts Lane and cut across country to the current round about on the Yarra Glen =Healesville Rd,  As you say you are a local yokel the owners of the land protested and further more , VicRoads realised they would have to build an expensive rail over road bridge.   This has resulted in a cheap so called bypass as all traffic still has to come into Yarra Glen.   More waffle from you  that just keeps on coming.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I totally agree that the original design was compromised.  But I live in Yarra Glen, and I know which way the big trucks go now, and other through traffic.  They now DO NOT go down the main street, past the pub and shops, which was the original idea for the diversion.  Of course it could/should have been done better, no question, but what is there works well enough.  To say that "all traffic still has to come into Yarra Glen" is really incorrect - unless they want fuel, or a pizza on the way to the snow.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

I drive through Yarra Glen every morning and afternoon, there are still a lot of semis and B doubles that still come thru YG rather than take the scenic route.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
And how would you go about it if the calls were made?
Valvegear
As stated, moving station to the south is the most economically feasible option.

However if you were desperate to remove the crossing at all costs, road under would be the cheapest option, due to the width of the road alignment and ease of diversions, along with the difficulties of the alternative.  To raise the railway over the highway, there would either need to be substantial earthworks raising the yard, or stabling would need to be moved farther to the north (with additional grade separations if space south of Beresford Rd is not sufficient), plus heritage elements of the existing station would be destroyed.

(edit - misread post)

The economic benefit of removing most road intersections cannot be justified, which is the same case as for relatively lightly used crossings like the Mooroondah Hwy.  Grade separations should really be restricted to situations where frequencies are leading to crossings being occupied more than they are free, or where there is some other benefit (such as the issues associated with the tram crossings).
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Road under would be sensible, and should require little change to existing railway infrastructure, so that the existing station and stabling could continue to be used.  No point moving the station in this case.  The rail bridge would need to be wide enough for two tracks (duplication from Mooroolbark) and long enough for four lanes of traffic.  There are service roads on both sides of the highway and both sides of the crossing, where shops and businesses are located, and these should not be impacted provided access is provided from the lowered highway.  There would be difficulties with road access to/from the car parking and the bus terminal, but these could be overcome.

No doubt the LXRA has something in mind by now.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The service roads could be used to access the car park and bus interchange...
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

Problem with lowering the road at Maroondah Hwy is that a creek still flows near  the pedestrian crossing between Maroondah Hwy and John st, it being underground, a fair bit of drainage work will be required.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Problem with lowering the road at Maroondah Hwy is that a creek still flows near  the pedestrian crossing between Maroondah Hwy and John st, it being underground, a fair bit of drainage work will be required.
trainbrain
There's actually more to it than that, because the highway already has a descent towards the railway line on both sides.  On one side there is the descent from Anderson St, across the creek as mentioned, and on the other side there is the descent from Chirnside Park.  Given that you would need at least a four metre clearance under the railway, the additional gradients could preclude a road-under solution.  Don't know, just mentioning it as a possibility.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
The economic benefit of removing most road intersections cannot be justified, which is the same case as for relatively lightly used crossings like the Mooroondah Hwy.  Grade separations should really be restricted to situations where frequencies are leading to crossings being occupied more than they are free, or where there is some other benefit (such as the issues associated with the tram crossings).
ZH836301
So which of the crossings already removed should not have been done?

BTW, it's "Maroondah", not "Mooroondah".
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

The economic benefit of removing most road intersections cannot be justified, which is the same case as for relatively lightly used crossings like the Mooroondah Hwy.  Grade separations should really be restricted to situations where frequencies are leading to crossings being occupied more than they are free, or where there is some other benefit (such as the issues associated with the tram crossings).
So which of the crossings already removed should not have been done?

BTW, it's "Maroondah", not "Mooroondah".
Lad_Porter
might wanna have a closer look old Frankies spelling, a wee bitta  tongue in cheek.perhaps.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Problem with lowering the road at Maroondah Hwy is that a creek still flows near  the pedestrian crossing between Maroondah Hwy and John st, it being underground, a fair bit of drainage work will be required.
trainbrain

Personally, I've not understood why they don't simply have a road overbridge at the Maroondah Hwy.

The road easement is 3 chains wide. Currently it has room for four lanes of through traffic, and an access road on each side. Each access road is two lanes in width and has parallel parking on one side and angle parking on the other. Don't forget the plantations between the through lanes and the access roads.

Without affecting the current access roads (and parking) there would easily be room for a four lane road over bridge.

Cheap and simple. No need to alter the railway line, station, or bus terminal at all.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

3 chains wide
historian

I'm sorry Historian but as an ignorant young person please fill me in on what sort of measurement this is.
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

The Lilydale town centre needs a bypass. The old proposal via Melba Avenue, (road over rail) seems to have been overtaken by development. Using the rail reservation for a road bypass at ground level and skyrailing the train, or vice versa, might have to be considered.

Most cars heading for the Melba Highway (Hume Highway alternative) divert via Lilydale Airport. Trucks can’t, because of the load limits. The attractiveness of the Melba, Goulburn Valley, Maroondah and Midland Highways route to Benalla will decrease significantly when the NE Link opens. It will be quicker and easier, but perhaps not cheap, for traffic from the Eastern Suburbs to use Eastlink, Eastern Freeway, NE Link and Ring Road, particularly for trucks (eg not having to drag themselves up the hill to Castella).
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

3 chains wide

I'm sorry Historian but as an ignorant young person please fill me in on what sort of measurement this is.
reubstar6
60 metres.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
3 chains wide

I'm sorry Historian but as an ignorant young person please fill me in on what sort of measurement this is.
60 metres.
duttonbay
A chain is 22 yards - the length of a cricket pitch from stump to stump is 22 yards or one chain.

And yes, a 3 Chain Road is approx 60M wide. Just ask Lee Kernaghan!

BG
  tom9876543 Train Controller

The Lilydale town centre needs a bypass. The old proposal via Melba Avenue, (road over rail) seems to have been overtaken by development.
kitchgp

Hmmm sorry, but what drugs are you on? "overtaken by development"???
I looked at Google Maps and it appears the "development" on Melba Avenue is a car park / bus stops for the Lilydale High School.
The bus stops can be rebuilt as parallel parking on access road (access road would need to be approx 6-7 metres wide).
The car parking can be moved south west of current location, between rail line and existing industrial building.

According to Google, it seems Melba Avenue is 70 metres wide.
There is plenty of room to build a bypass road (reserve room for 8 lanes) plus 2 access roads.

The best option is to build the Lilydale Bypass Road as shown in Melways / street-directory.com.au.
Then simply close the railway crossing near the station (make it pedestrian only). Cars can go via John St.
Rebuild of station is NOT required.
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

It's more the increase in congestion along Anderson Street and the Anderson and Main Street intersection. Making B-doubles stop and do a right turn, whereas they previouly they went straight through, won't help either.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
It's more the increase in congestion along Anderson Street and the Anderson and Main Street intersection. Making B-doubles stop and do a right turn, whereas they previously they went straight through, won't help either.
kitchgp
Building the Lilydale Bypass would be handed off to Major Road Projects Victoria instead of LXRP and the Anderson St/Main St intersection would be reconfigured. The Cave Hill Rd/Maroondah Hwy intersection would also need signalising to cope with virtually all of its traffic moving westbound onto Maroondah Hwy and vice-versa.

So under the Lilydale Bypass plan you remove perhaps two level crossings (assuming that Melba Ave is dealt with at the same time) but are also building a new arterial-standard bypass with two, maybe three intersections to boot ($$$) and reconfiguring two additional intersections (Anderson St & Main St, Cave Hill Rd & Main St) ($$). At the end of the day the costs will come up as similar to that of a rail-over solution, albeit spread out through the large scope increase of the project.

Personally, I've not understood why they don't simply have a road overbridge at the Maroondah Hwy.
Historian
It might fit physically but it is the least palatable option to the locals (and Yarra Ranges Council). It would need quite a lot of money spent to make a design that would meet their requirements - you'd be looking at an extended split viaduct (2 lanes each) with only a small amount of relatively cheaper earthen embankments in order to reduce the shadowing and general visual bulk of such a solution. It'd work, but you're not looking at saving a significant fraction of the costs relative to rail-over.

But hey, at least both of those proposed solutions would actually remove the level crossing!
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

The Melba Avenue Bypass proposal has been around for about 30 years and needs to be re-evaluated. The effect of dumping traffic in Anderson Street to mix with traffic from Canterbury Road and Mt Evelyn needs to be looked at, eg an extra major intersection for a start. Most of the southern leg will have to be elevated to get over the rail line and to provide a shallow enough gradient to get up the hill. Any intersections will require ramp access.

Anyway whatever is decided, both the bypass and LX removal need to be considered together. Just removing the LX will increase the congestion in the town centre.  It all seems rather expensive and complicated. Good Luck.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Personally, I've not understood why they don't simply have a road overbridge at the Maroondah Hwy.
It might fit physically but it is the least palatable option to the locals (and Yarra Ranges Council). It would need quite a lot of money spent to make a design that would meet their requirements - you'd be looking at an extended split viaduct (2 lanes each) with only a small amount of relatively cheaper earthen embankments in order to reduce the shadowing and general visual bulk of such a solution. It'd work, but you're not looking at saving a significant fraction of the costs relative to rail-over.
LancedDendrite

I certainly wouldn't dispute the fact that it would be the least palatable option to the locals.

I would suggest that you might be overstating the design required. I come back to the fact that this is a 3 chain (60 metre Smile road reservation. It's very wide. Effectively there would be a normal road on each side of the overbridge. There would be no issues with shadowing, and even the visual bulk would feel less due to the distance from the footpaths.

On the western side of the line there are only light industrial shops, and a manufacturing plant. Even on the eastern, much of the street frontage is a bunnings. So limited scope to affect local businesses.

The road is so wide that there is limited scope to cross the road anyway. There is only one foot crossing - and that's quite close to the railway and would easily be accommodated by a tunnel under the embankment.  The plantations mean that any road traffic has to go the length of the block.

The locals may not like it, but I absolutely can't see any reason to spend the money building a huge railway over grade separation.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Personally, I've not understood why they don't simply have a road overbridge at the Maroondah Hwy.
historian

Historian, building a road bridge at existing Maroondah Hwy crossing is simply a bad idea.
It is a clearly a better option to build road bridge over railway as part of Lilydale bypass.
The reason why it is a better option is simple - it will win votes for the government.
All the people who live in Coldstream, Healesville, Yarra Glen and beyond, do NOT want to drive through centre of Lilydale at 50km/h.
People living in eastern side of Lilydale don't want to drive through the centre of Lilydale.
Even if Lilydale bypass costs slightly more than other options, getting more votes will make it the best option for government.
Build the Lilydale bypass and the government will remove 2 level crossings plus get more votes. QED.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Lilydale Bypass is an old project - like the Healesville Fwy and Cranbourne Bypass, interest by VicRoads has dissipated.

It's just a crossing that fails to rate high in the priorities list when considering both rail and road use.
  ngarner Junior Train Controller

Location: Seville
Maroondah Hwy Crossing is ranked at #56 of the 2008 level crossing list that Daniel Bowen published on his web site some time ago. This ranks it as more dangerous than many of the following crossings already removed; i.e.
Rooks Rd Mitcham, Heatherdale Rd Heatherdale, Melton Hwy Sydenham, Centre Rd Bentleigh, Anderson Rd Sunshine (pre RFR), Burke Rd Glen Iris, Poath Rd Hughesdale, Murrumbeena Rd Murrumbeena, McKinnon Rd McKinnon, Mountain Hwy Bayswater, Abbotts Rd Dandenong Sth, Taylors Rd Keilor Downs, Thompsons Rd Lyndhurst, Kororit Creek Rd Willliamstown Nth, Camp Rd Campbellfield to name only some.
Discounting those removed since 2008 it now sits at #34 of which only 11 have not had any commitment made to remove.
I don't see how that fails to "rate high in the priorities list".

Neil
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
29,000 vehicles per day....

Rail use is going to increase.  At present, in the off peak on weekdays, a Down train arrives every 30 minutes, and a few minutes later an Up train departs.  This puts the booms down twice in fairly rapid succession, made worse because the Up departure is triggered manually, I believe (could be wrong there) and not by an approaching train.  In any case, the crossing activation for the Up departure often starts well before the train actually departs, causing long queues (and impatient drivers) on the road.  

That's as of now, off peak.  It's foreshadowed in another thread that there will be timetable changes on April 1st, and that one of these changes will be a 10 minute service to Ringwood.  This will mean a 20 minute service to Lilydale (as now, at weekends).  Trains will arrive and depart, as above, every 20 minutes, with obvious implications for boom gate down-time.

Add to that the effects of the duplication, when it arrives, almost certainly resulting in even more train movements.

Lightly used?

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