50 level crossings to be removed

 
  Llib7 Station Staff

The only negative is a minor visual impact of a bridge

The benefits far outweighs that small negative

https://msd.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/2733112/LXRA-Report_low_resolution.pdf

Sponsored advertisement

  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
I think we should make some noise to LXRP about provision for 4 tracks.

In my opinion the 4 tracks should only go as far as Camberwell, as stated in the PTV network rail plan, helps segregate the Alemain corridor off the line and extra express services beyond.

You could extend the existing 3rd track from Box-hill to Blackburn, since the third track has full provision there.

I don't think there is a need to do anymore track amplifications afterwards, too costly by that point, may as well duplicate the Lilydale end of the line or duplicate some of the outer ends of the Belgrave corridor.
True Believers
Yer Nah.

3rd track to Blackburn sounds so obvious,  you got to wonder why....

The whole express deal for Box Hill up, is to use the centre high speed track. SAS use the outside up & down.

Consider the morning UP.
If you start the express centre track from Blackburn, then board on Platform 2.
The short start SAS boards platform 1.

The returning trains use the down track to platform 3.

So far, so good.

BUT, how do we position the next SAS up ?

That train arriving on the down track must cross over the centre track to reach platform 1.
At morning peak, running 2-3 minute separation : don't think so.
Usual solution = a fly-over.  Very ugly and expensive.

AND the reverse occurs during the afternoon down. A 2nd fly-over to sort that out? Or a 4th platform?

Is your head done in enough?
The train planners at the time of Box Hill rebuild gave up on what to do with Blackburn afterwards,
leaving it to smarter minds in the future: no such luck.

cheers
John
  Jordy33 Locomotive Fireman

I think the solution for 3 tracks to Blackburn is simple. Every train is going to stop at Box Hill, but not turning around / changing ends. I don’t know the platform numbering at Blackburn but I’ll assume UP=1, Centre=2,DOWN=3.

Simply put, tracks would need redesign but really nothing significant.

I’ll explain it like a Morning Peak:
Every single train approaching Blackburn on the UP stops at Platform 1, then either stays on the UP track, or diverges onto the centre express track.

Every train on the Down that intends to travel further Down than Blackburn stop at Platform 3. If a Down train is intending to terminate and form an UP service it would choose Platform 2.

Now this train on Platform 2 might want to form an SAS which means it would move onto the UP SAS track. “But what about trains through Platform 1 (UP) that want to use the express track?” Well there’s a minor conflict point. There’s an option now: Run Express on the Outer UP track, and SAS on the Centre track - only problem would be Laburnum being missed by SAS.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
I think the solution for 3 tracks to Blackburn is simple. Every train is going to stop at Box Hill, but not turning around / changing ends. I don’t know the platform numbering at Blackburn but I’ll assume UP=1, Centre=2,DOWN=3.

Simply put, tracks would need redesign but really nothing significant.

I’ll explain it like a Morning Peak:
Every single train approaching Blackburn on the UP stops at Platform 1, then either stays on the UP track, or diverges onto the centre express track.

Every train on the Down that intends to travel further Down than Blackburn stop at Platform 3. If a Down train is intending to terminate and form an UP service it would choose Platform 2.

Now this train on Platform 2 might want to form an SAS which means it would move onto the UP SAS track. “But what about trains through Platform 1 (UP) that want to use the express track?” Well there’s a minor conflict point. There’s an option now: Run Express on the Outer UP track, and SAS on the Centre track - only problem would be Laburnum being missed by SAS.
Jordy33
Yer nah.

Morning peak, every up train approaching Blackburn will be express , so they all will need the centre track.

Currently the SAS(all short starters) use the centre platform 2, and express use the up line platform 1. Like your suggestion.
They merge after the station, and sort out express track at Box Hill.

With your suggestion, the SAS(platform 2) and the express(platform 1) have to cross each other - during peak.
Merge is messy enough, but a double-cross  is a shambles - can't think of anywhere in Vic that happens.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
I hope they spend a bit more money to extend the decking over the rail trench, like they did at Cheltenham and Mentone station. In that instance it was the City of Kingston that contributed just over $2 Million to make it happen - https://www.kingston.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Media/Works-set-to-begin-on-Cheltenham%E2%80%99s-new-community-space.

Maybe Boroondara/Whitehorse Councils could contribute some money towards this.

Decking could be used as open space / extra parking, particularly from the Union Road end.
John E
Looking from above seems obvious until you look at ground level.

The south car park elevation is about 3m higher than the north side. I doubt trench work is going to level out that discrepancy.

Having said that, decking over beside Union Rd, slope and all, gives space for more shops to match the existing strip on a hill.

cheers
John
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
I'd merge Surry Hills + Mont Albert stations by placing the new station exactly halfway between each and extending the platforms a little to trick the eye. Doubt it would happen but they're really so close together that most people would only have to walk an extra minute or two considering that it's only around "12" minute walk between them currently.
Upven

I think Upeven deserves an award for suggesting this no less than one week before it was announced by the Government.

Whilst I may not agree with the decision, credit where it is due.

Now Upeven, what else do you see in your crystal ball?

Ross
  TrackRailroad Train Controller

Location: Frankston Line
I'd merge Surry Hills + Mont Albert stations by placing the new station exactly halfway between each and extending the platforms a little to trick the eye. Doubt it would happen but they're really so close together that most people would only have to walk an extra minute or two considering that it's only around "12" minute walk between them currently.

Given that all the locals would be really unhappy anyway, an option would be to simply close Mont Albert and provide one station at Surrey Hills. Mont Albert locals would be unhappy, but they would have been nearly as unhappy with a centrally located station anyway. You'd be able to use the existing station carparks, and it wouldn't be that much of an additional walk to the bus or station.

And the answer was to close Mont Albert, move Surrey Hills slightly in the Down direction, and to spin this as a new
'centrally located' station.
It looks better than initially sounded.
It may be 400m from the old station, but actually quite  close to Mont Albert Rd, where the majority of pax are interested.
https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/publications/surrey-hills-and-mont-albert-community-update-december-2020#6696



cheers
John
justarider
I agree the design looks quite well thought through and it is essential to have entrances from both Mont Albert Road and Surrey Hills to maximise the walkability catchment. Given the distance between Surrey Hills and Mont Albert is relatively short I think the new centrally located station is a good outcome. Mont Albert is not a major shopping centre, so it is probably better it is closer to Surrey Hills. I think only 2 platforms should be built with a 3rd express track running through, as in the future I don't think express trains should be stopping at Surrey Hills.

Also the walking/cycling trails between Surrey Hills and Mont Albert is a good idea to improve local connections.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
..... I think only 2 platforms should be built with a 3rd express track running through, as in the future I don't think express trains should be stopping at Surrey Hills.....
TrackRailroad
yer nah,,

like it or not, a lot of pax use their car and park at the station.

Surrey Hills is the major car park for the area. NOT Box Hill, that's too hard and expensive.
About 1/2 to 1/3 of the AM expess stop there, for the very busy pick up.

Watcha gunna do? Make the traffic even worse trying to cram the surrounds of Camberwell or Box Hill with searchers of non-existant parking spots. Those locals and traders would be out with pitch forks and parking inspectors.

cheers
John
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

44th level crossing gone at Cardinia road.


The next one 45th one at Werribee street I believe is a little bit delayed.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

They're absolutely flying towards 75. I wonder if they could push 100 by 2026. It's ambitious but at the current rate doable.
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The Pakenham East Skyrail proposal looks quite good.  Especially the separation of V/line and Metro trains.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/news/two-new-stations-and-pakenham-boom-gate-removals-fast-tracked
Carnot
It might look good, but is it actually good?

The question is why the need for a station at Pakenham East? They'd be mad to build it on the down side of the entrance of the Pakenham East maintenance facility as it would require unnecessary shunt moves for terminating trains, and then you might as well continue the short distance around the corner to Nar Nar Goon where there's plenty of room for car parking and existing access to the freeway. Its not going to be built on the curve under the freeway which then leaves the only location as just on the UP side of the freeway overpass which is within spitting distance of the existing Pakenham station anyway.

Now anyone with access to google maps can see that on the UP side of the freeway overpass on the North side of the line around Pinehill Drive and Ryan Rd, its all very low density housing and on the South side is small industrial area which isn't going to generate many trips. The large open area on the North side between the railway and the golf course is a reserve and water retarding basin, so that's not going to be developed anytime soon.

So after all that, my theory is that the new Pakenham East station is being built primarily for operational purposes for Metro and the HCMT. This thread from back in 2018  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2113207.htm  explains a bit that non-qualified drivers such as fitters can and will be moving trains around the Pakenham East facility and doing preps and so on. The new station would provide a transition point between qualified drivers and fitters etc and could possibly even be built within the facility to avoid any disputes of non qualified drivers driving on the mainline. Looking at google maps at the Pakenham East facility, at the West end there is a dam with two tracks just to the North that look very unusual in that just before they finish in a dead end they come close together as if there should be a point installed. Earth works also suggest that it was going to be or will be extended so maybe this was there plan all along?

Its a bit of different theory but I personally can't see any reason for a station at Pakenham East and details of the why's and where's seem to be non-existant.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

The Pakenham East Skyrail proposal looks quite good.  Especially the separation of V/line and Metro trains.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/news/two-new-stations-and-pakenham-boom-gate-removals-fast-tracked
It might look good, but is it actually good?

The question is why the need for a station at Pakenham East? They'd be mad to build it on the down side of the entrance of the Pakenham East maintenance facility as it would require unnecessary shunt moves for terminating trains, and then you might as well continue the short distance around the corner to Nar Nar Goon where there's plenty of room for car parking and existing access to the freeway. Its not going to be built on the curve under the freeway which then leaves the only location as just on the UP side of the freeway overpass which is within spitting distance of the existing Pakenham station anyway.

Now anyone with access to google maps can see that on the UP side of the freeway overpass on the North side of the line around Pinehill Drive and Ryan Rd, its all very low density housing and on the South side is small industrial area which isn't going to generate many trips. The large open area on the North side between the railway and the golf course is a reserve and water retarding basin, so that's not going to be developed anytime soon.

So after all that, my theory is that the new Pakenham East station is being built primarily for operational purposes for Metro and the HCMT. This thread from back in 2018  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2113207.htm  explains a bit that non-qualified drivers such as fitters can and will be moving trains around the Pakenham East facility and doing preps and so on. The new station would provide a transition point between qualified drivers and fitters etc and could possibly even be built within the facility to avoid any disputes of non qualified drivers driving on the mainline. Looking at google maps at the Pakenham East facility, at the West end there is a dam with two tracks just to the North that look very unusual in that just before they finish in a dead end they come close together as if there should be a point installed. Earth works also suggest that it was going to be or will be extended so maybe this was there plan all along?

Its a bit of different theory but I personally can't see any reason for a station at Pakenham East and details of the why's and where's seem to be non-existant.
jakar
You are correct.

A Metro Station Master has confirmed that the only reason PKE Station is being built is so drivers can get to PKE Depot. I imagine this to be more of a changeover, any remote/automatic shunting will be confined to the depot. Completion is marked for Q1 2023. It does have the added advantage of moving the track work away from Pakenham and I'm sure it will be surrounded by houses a year or so after it is built.

The station its self will most likely sit opposite the Depot to allow easy access for drivers. Where is the question as any new station would need an access road from Oakview Lane or Bald Hill Road. It's quite possible that like most 'Sky Rails' LXRP and Council may be looking to activate the station area with a new park or public plaza. This would make the new PKE Station prime for a large park and ride facility.

Lockie
  Upven Junior Train Controller

The Pakenham East Skyrail proposal looks quite good.  Especially the separation of V/line and Metro trains.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/news/two-new-stations-and-pakenham-boom-gate-removals-fast-tracked
It might look good, but is it actually good?

The question is why the need for a station at Pakenham East? They'd be mad to build it on the down side of the entrance of the Pakenham East maintenance facility as it would require unnecessary shunt moves for terminating trains, and then you might as well continue the short distance around the corner to Nar Nar Goon where there's plenty of room for car parking and existing access to the freeway. Its not going to be built on the curve under the freeway which then leaves the only location as just on the UP side of the freeway overpass which is within spitting distance of the existing Pakenham station anyway.

Now anyone with access to google maps can see that on the UP side of the freeway overpass on the North side of the line around Pinehill Drive and Ryan Rd, its all very low density housing and on the South side is small industrial area which isn't going to generate many trips. The large open area on the North side between the railway and the golf course is a reserve and water retarding basin, so that's not going to be developed anytime soon.

So after all that, my theory is that the new Pakenham East station is being built primarily for operational purposes for Metro and the HCMT. This thread from back in 2018  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2113207.htm  explains a bit that non-qualified drivers such as fitters can and will be moving trains around the Pakenham East facility and doing preps and so on. The new station would provide a transition point between qualified drivers and fitters etc and could possibly even be built within the facility to avoid any disputes of non qualified drivers driving on the mainline. Looking at google maps at the Pakenham East facility, at the West end there is a dam with two tracks just to the North that look very unusual in that just before they finish in a dead end they come close together as if there should be a point installed. Earth works also suggest that it was going to be or will be extended so maybe this was there plan all along?

Its a bit of different theory but I personally can't see any reason for a station at Pakenham East and details of the why's and where's seem to be non-existant.
jakar
Pakenham East has the benefit of servicing a future suburb that will be home to 20,000+ eventually. Just edit the current working plan for the land to incorporate station access.



https://vpa-web.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Pakenham-East-C234-Precinct-Structure-Plan-Dec-2017_exhibition.pdf
  CraigieburnLineUser Locomotive Fireman

The Pakenham East Skyrail proposal looks quite good.  Especially the separation of V/line and Metro trains.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/news/two-new-stations-and-pakenham-boom-gate-removals-fast-tracked
It might look good, but is it actually good?

The question is why the need for a station at Pakenham East? They'd be mad to build it on the down side of the entrance of the Pakenham East maintenance facility as it would require unnecessary shunt moves for terminating trains, and then you might as well continue the short distance around the corner to Nar Nar Goon where there's plenty of room for car parking and existing access to the freeway. Its not going to be built on the curve under the freeway which then leaves the only location as just on the UP side of the freeway overpass which is within spitting distance of the existing Pakenham station anyway.

Now anyone with access to google maps can see that on the UP side of the freeway overpass on the North side of the line around Pinehill Drive and Ryan Rd, its all very low density housing and on the South side is small industrial area which isn't going to generate many trips. The large open area on the North side between the railway and the golf course is a reserve and water retarding basin, so that's not going to be developed anytime soon.

So after all that, my theory is that the new Pakenham East station is being built primarily for operational purposes for Metro and the HCMT. This thread from back in 2018  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2113207.htm  explains a bit that non-qualified drivers such as fitters can and will be moving trains around the Pakenham East facility and doing preps and so on. The new station would provide a transition point between qualified drivers and fitters etc and could possibly even be built within the facility to avoid any disputes of non qualified drivers driving on the mainline. Looking at google maps at the Pakenham East facility, at the West end there is a dam with two tracks just to the North that look very unusual in that just before they finish in a dead end they come close together as if there should be a point installed. Earth works also suggest that it was going to be or will be extended so maybe this was there plan all along?

Its a bit of different theory but I personally can't see any reason for a station at Pakenham East and details of the why's and where's seem to be non-existant.
Pakenham East has the benefit of servicing a future suburb that will be home to 20,000+ eventually. Just edit the current working plan for the land to incorporate station access.



https://vpa-web.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Pakenham-East-C234-Precinct-Structure-Plan-Dec-2017_exhibition.pdf
Upven
Looks like they'll need a bus route or two to the new station when those houses come in. Current walkability doesn't seem great
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Busses continue to replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until 27th December following issues with a "freight line".

From the Level Crossing Removal Authority

"Independent investigators have been working throughout the week to identify the source of the fault and have advised that further work and testing need to be carried out to make sure the system is safe."

For those that missed it, a SG train went through Cherry St crossing, which is in the process of being removed, without the booms and bells working. Luckily no cars or pedestrians where hit in the incident.

All level crossings road traffic in the area are being controlled by traffic control 24/7

Link to the ATSB investigation
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-020/
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Busses continue to replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until 27th December following issues with a "freight line".

From the Level Crossing Removal Authority

"Independent investigators have been working throughout the week to identify the source of the fault and have advised that further work and testing need to be carried out to make sure the system is safe."

For those that missed it, a SG train went through Cherry St crossing, which is in the process of being removed, without the booms and bells working. Luckily no cars or pedestrians where hit in the incident.

All level crossings road traffic in the area are being controlled by traffic control 24/7

Link to the ATSB investigation
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-020/
Galron
@YM-Mundrabilla We have our third incident...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Busses continue to replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until 27th December following issues with a "freight line".

From the Level Crossing Removal Authority

"Independent investigators have been working throughout the week to identify the source of the fault and have advised that further work and testing need to be carried out to make sure the system is safe."

For those that missed it, a SG train went through Cherry St crossing, which is in the process of being removed, without the booms and bells working. Luckily no cars or pedestrians where hit in the incident.

All level crossings road traffic in the area are being controlled by traffic control 24/7

Link to the ATSB investigation
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-020/
@YM-Mundrabilla We have our third incident...
railblogger
Sadly, I was right.
One must wonder, however, about what seems the inevitable  ...................... Crying or Very sad
The Vlocity that 'disappeared' on Ingliston Bank the other day doesn't appear to have hit the ATSB fan as yet?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Busses continue to replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until 27th December following issues with a "freight line".

From the Level Crossing Removal Authority

"Independent investigators have been working throughout the week to identify the source of the fault and have advised that further work and testing need to be carried out to make sure the system is safe."

For those that missed it, a SG train went through Cherry St crossing, which is in the process of being removed, without the booms and bells working. Luckily no cars or pedestrians where hit in the incident.

All level crossings road traffic in the area are being controlled by traffic control 24/7

Link to the ATSB investigation
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-020/
@YM-Mundrabilla We have our third incident...
Sadly, I was right.
One must wonder, however, about what seems the inevitable  ...................... Crying or Very sad
The Vlocity that 'disappeared' on Ingliston Bank the other day doesn't appear to have hit the ATSB fan as yet?
YM-Mundrabilla
Doesn't look like it.

That said though, I do hope that the investigation of this incident in conjunction with the one in SA result in significant overhauling of maintenance procedures otherwise I await the day that someone is killed as a result of malfunctioning equipment.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Busses continue to replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until 27th December following issues with a "freight line".

From the Level Crossing Removal Authority

"Independent investigators have been working throughout the week to identify the source of the fault and have advised that further work and testing need to be carried out to make sure the system is safe."

For those that missed it, a SG train went through Cherry St crossing, which is in the process of being removed, without the booms and bells working. Luckily no cars or pedestrians where hit in the incident.

All level crossings road traffic in the area are being controlled by traffic control 24/7

Link to the ATSB investigation
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-020/
@YM-Mundrabilla We have our third incident...
Sadly, I was right.
One must wonder, however, about what seems the inevitable  ...................... Crying or Very sad
The Vlocity that 'disappeared' on Ingliston Bank the other day doesn't appear to have hit the ATSB fan as yet?
Doesn't look like it.

That said though, I do hope that the investigation of this incident in conjunction with the one in SA result in significant overhauling of maintenance procedures otherwise I await the day that someone is killed as a result of malfunctioning equipment.
railblogger
Clearly something is wrong with the system somewhere.
Hopefully we will not have to wait three years for the ATSB to find out what but in the meantime what is the betting that someone slaps a 5 km/h speed restriction on trains somewhere?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Busses continue to replace trains between Laverton and Werribee until 27th December following issues with a "freight line".

From the Level Crossing Removal Authority

"Independent investigators have been working throughout the week to identify the source of the fault and have advised that further work and testing need to be carried out to make sure the system is safe."

For those that missed it, a SG train went through Cherry St crossing, which is in the process of being removed, without the booms and bells working. Luckily no cars or pedestrians where hit in the incident.

All level crossings road traffic in the area are being controlled by traffic control 24/7

Link to the ATSB investigation
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-020/
@YM-Mundrabilla We have our third incident...
Sadly, I was right.
One must wonder, however, about what seems the inevitable  ...................... Crying or Very sad
The Vlocity that 'disappeared' on Ingliston Bank the other day doesn't appear to have hit the ATSB fan as yet?
Doesn't look like it.

That said though, I do hope that the investigation of this incident in conjunction with the one in SA result in significant overhauling of maintenance procedures otherwise I await the day that someone is killed as a result of malfunctioning equipment.
Clearly something is wrong with the system somewhere.
Hopefully we will not have to wait three years for the ATSB to find out what but in the meantime what is the betting that someone slaps a 5 km/h speed restriction on trains somewhere?
YM-Mundrabilla
Hopefully it won't take three years but even that is better than not finding out at all.

That said I'd be more worried about the chance of the ATSB recommendations actually being implemented.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Had to spend some time in Mooroolbark this morning so took the time to get some photos of what's happening there












There are three piling rigs and the same number of mobile cranes in use, one in the car park and the other two in the rail alignment, one in the south bound lanes as can be seen. The catenary is being transferred to the new stanchions, working from the down end as far as the down end of the platform so far.

Neil
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
The Pakenham East Skyrail proposal looks quite good.  Especially the separation of V/line and Metro trains.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/news/two-new-stations-and-pakenham-boom-gate-removals-fast-tracked
It might look good, but is it actually good?

The question is why the need for a station at Pakenham East? They'd be mad to build it on the down side of the entrance of the Pakenham East maintenance facility as it would require unnecessary shunt moves for terminating trains, and then you might as well continue the short distance around the corner to Nar Nar Goon where there's plenty of room for car parking and existing access to the freeway. Its not going to be built on the curve under the freeway which then leaves the only location as just on the UP side of the freeway overpass which is within spitting distance of the existing Pakenham station anyway.

Now anyone with access to google maps can see that on the UP side of the freeway overpass on the North side of the line around Pinehill Drive and Ryan Rd, its all very low density housing and on the South side is small industrial area which isn't going to generate many trips. The large open area on the North side between the railway and the golf course is a reserve and water retarding basin, so that's not going to be developed anytime soon.

So after all that, my theory is that the new Pakenham East station is being built primarily for operational purposes for Metro and the HCMT. This thread from back in 2018  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2113207.htm  explains a bit that non-qualified drivers such as fitters can and will be moving trains around the Pakenham East facility and doing preps and so on. The new station would provide a transition point between qualified drivers and fitters etc and could possibly even be built within the facility to avoid any disputes of non qualified drivers driving on the mainline. Looking at google maps at the Pakenham East facility, at the West end there is a dam with two tracks just to the North that look very unusual in that just before they finish in a dead end they come close together as if there should be a point installed. Earth works also suggest that it was going to be or will be extended so maybe this was there plan all along?

Its a bit of different theory but I personally can't see any reason for a station at Pakenham East and details of the why's and where's seem to be non-existant.
You are correct.

A Metro Station Master has confirmed that the only reason PKE Station is being built is so drivers can get to PKE Depot. I imagine this to be more of a changeover, any remote/automatic shunting will be confined to the depot. Completion is marked for Q1 2023. It does have the added advantage of moving the track work away from Pakenham and I'm sure it will be surrounded by houses a year or so after it is built.

The station its self will most likely sit opposite the Depot to allow easy access for drivers. Where is the question as any new station would need an access road from Oakview Lane or Bald Hill Road. It's quite possible that like most 'Sky Rails' LXRP and Council may be looking to activate the station area with a new park or public plaza. This would make the new PKE Station prime for a large park and ride facility.

Lockie
Lockie91

The release says that 'metropolitan rail track will be extended by two kilometres', meaning from where it currently ends at Pakenham. This puts the new station on the up side of the Freeway.

The platforms are clearly operational only - Level Crossings does not want to build crossovers on the viaducts, and Metro wants somewhere to turn back the HCMTs without V/Line interference. Given that involves some track amplification, don't expect it to be any longer than it needs to be to save money.

There has never been any mention in any planning documents about a Pakenham East station, and the Pakenham East plan shared was done with no idea it was on the cards.

Really this is just another aspect of putting something that should be part of the Metro Tunnel project off to another authority to keep the books as light as possible. The real question is why Level Crossings aren't taking the same opportunity at Sunbury to try and remove some of the V/Line conflict there.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Drove through Lilydale this morning, so no photos. However, catenary is in process of transfer to the new stanchions. A crew was working on the down side of the LX when I went through but over the LX appears to have been completed. Only one piling rig with supporting crane obvious here, currently on the up side of the LX, about where the pedestrian crossing was. East of the line, the area along William St between Maroondah Highway and John St has been dug down to the existing road level.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
And just like that, the Lilydale piling rig has vanished. It appears that what was done is piling to support the existing track, to enable levelling off the ground on either side of it as the future level for station entry, etc. which is now largely complete on the west side, as well. This will give them a ground level for the elevated support piers without having to drill through more soil than necessary.
The catenary appears to be finished also.

Neil
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Track and signal testing underway today, and for the next several days at werribee. 2x SSR T's (yellow) have the pleasure. Just doing low speed runs through the day. Suggestion they may do line speed runs after 8pm when cherry st road crossing has a posted closure. A lot of the runs are just hanging around Werribee station, however some are going over the new bridge, down to the end of the occupation. There will be a testing standard someone can tell us about, but they would seem to be testing every possible combination of track setup, which seems fair enough. There's quite a few of those, so expect they will be at it a while

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