Activity around Mitcham

 
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Sorry about the missing images in the post above - I have pasted in the image links using the same technique as I have done for years, but they are no longer appearing. If you click on them you will go the photobucket page and can view the image, but I know it's not as nice as having them in the post. Out of my hands, I am sorry...

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  duttonbay Minister for Railways

We took another look at the works this afternoon, walking to the Rooks Rd crossing and then to Mitcham Road. Despite the non-appearance of the images from yesterday I will continue posting photos in the same way I always have, with the hope that whatever glitch is in the RP code will be fixed and they will miraculously reappear.

The first thing we noticed as we approached the Rooks Road was, looking along the long line of trucks waiting to be loaded with spoil, a monster crane positioned pretty much in the middle of the crossing:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-170136_zpsdd19b7d7.jpg[/img]

We couldn't get very close to the crossing - the whole area between the Station Street intersection and the (former) crossing is a work site. It was interesting to see empty trucks entering the site and climbing up a small hill - a hill which as mysteriously appeared in the last couple of days:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-170441_zps2a074600.jpg[/img]

Tomorrow or Monday we will go the long way, via Mitcham and Whitehorse Roads, to take a look at this crossing from the north side. Perhaps we might be able to get closer to the action.

From there we walked to Mitcham. Lots of work is underway in providing the street access and bus access on the south side of the station. Here is the Simla Street entrance to the carpark - note the nice wide footpath:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-171849_zps7f0521ee.jpg[/img]

What will become the bus stops (I think):

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-172033_zps9823448e.jpg[/img]

The new and the old station:

[[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-172124_zpsc2afcdad.jpg[/img]

Level crossing and overhead stuff unceremoniously dumped beside the formation, now bereft of tracks:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-172450_zps11576faa.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-172503_zps30143446.jpg[/img]

The rails still exist in the crossing, but not beyond in the down direction. It appears as though all the old stanchions have been removed, but oddly some of the new ones, installed when Mitcham was used as the turnback point during the Springvale Road grade separation, still remain:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-172610_zps9fb34a35.jpg[/img]

Metro signalling guys have been and cleared out relay boxes, etc:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-174322_zps69cf4221.jpg[/img]

The rails were somewhat crudely broken:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-174645_zpsf2c36266.jpg[/img]

Looking down (in both senses of the word) towards Heatherdale you can see dirt being moved as the formation is made towards the existing line:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140104-174745_zps7a9a46c9.jpg[/img]

Sorry for subjecting you to 11 photos, but I thought the changes in the 48 hours since the shutdown was worthy of documenting.

Edit: Discovered that if the pasted URL and IMG names fit onto a single line then the images appear. Post fixed to display the images
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Sunday morning update. By 11am the station buildings had been demolished.  This was contrary to information in a newsletter from the project which indicated the station would not be demolished until February. I must admit  could't see why, and removing the old station means that access to the new station from the north may be available when the station is reopened:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140105-105643_zpseb4a0ebf.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140105-105708_zps519dabd5.jpg[/img]

Interestingly, it appeared as though the fluoro lighting underneath the walkway roof was still on, but I can only assume that was simply reflections off the fittings, rather than the lights actually being illuminated:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140105-122011_zps64959e01.jpg[/img]

More detritus - boom barrier remnants:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140105-121049_zps3860cb1a.jpg[/img]
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

reminds of the days of Whelan the Wrecker...............................
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Notice the overhead is also gone
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The overhead catenary was removed on Friday, the first day of the shutdown. The overhead stanchions were removed by Saturday afternoon except for two over the station tracks. All gone now...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
In keeping with the Middleborough Rd grade separation, is that underpass going to be compatible with a three-track configuration?  I'm guessing 'yes'.
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
In keeping with the Middleborough Rd grade separation, is that underpass going to be compatible with a three-track configuration? I'm guessing 'yes'.
don_dunstan

No
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
No
Some rail man

Well how short-sighted... no express track to Ringwood then.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

I beg to differ on the above, from what I can see there is provision for a third rail, have a close look at the old formation and the new lower Mitcham station, the rail alignment has been  swung south, leaving plenty of room on the new down platform to become an island platform.  Nunawading sation has the capacity for a third rail line, Blackburn already has it so has Laburnam.  I work in Norcal Rd. and it is a plain as day that they are leaving provisions for a third track.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

We took our daily walk up to Mitcham yesterday and today. It's difficult to see what is going on down at the station, as the pedestrian access across the bridge is out on the road, with the bridge footpaths being part of the work site, but by standing on tip toes and jumping I can verify that no further track has been laid. Lighting is being installed in the station awnings.

Yesterday the demolistion of the old station continued, with the platform faces well on the way to disappearing:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140106-155930_zps88d0d186.jpg[/img]

Note that the large piles of scrap - bits of the level crossing, stanchions, etc, - had all been removed by yesterday.  Today all that was left of the platform faces was a length constructed out of concrete panels:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140107-163449_zps5321aebd.jpg[/img]

Looking down towards Heatherdale the new roadbed is pretty well completed out as to where it will rejoin the existing track. In the top photograph you can see old (brown) stanchions in the distance, in a position which suggests they will be able to be reused. (If not, why weren't they removed a few days ago):

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140107-163904_zps3de27391.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140107-163754_zpsd30e4da3.jpg[/img]

The cutting on the down side of Mitcham Road is being excavated a slice at a time to allow the cutting wall to be completed:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140107-163950_zps2630a2bb.jpg[/img]

Meanwhile, the southern station frontage along Calcutta Street has had the first sections of bus stops laid, as seen in this view taken from near the Simla Street bridge:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140107-164952_zps374221ee.jpg[/img]

Tucked under the Simla Street bridge we can see insulators all prepared for the installation of the overhead:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140107-165011_zps1ea4e8f2.jpg[/img]

Unfortunately we can't get anywhere near the line between Simla Street and Rooks Road (even the car park on the north side of the line has been taken over by the construction) so I cannot offer any advice on progress in this section. Tomorrow I hope to make my promised visit to the north side of the Rooks Road crossing.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I beg to differ on the above, from what I can see there is provision for a third rail, have a close look at the old formation and the new lower Mitcham station, the rail alignment has been swung south, leaving plenty of room on the new down platform to become an island platform. Nunawading sation has the capacity for a third rail line, Blackburn already has it so has Laburnam. I work in Norcal Rd. and it is a plain as day that they are leaving provisions for a third track.
trainbrain

This may be true of the new station area, but are the cuttings and road underpasses wide enough for three tracks?  It's difficult to judge that from the photos.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Another epistle. Please let me know if you have had enough ... I will still take photos, but don't have to post them here.

I made a major inspection of the works today. Firstly we walked up to Mitcham, then down to the Cochrane Rd overbridge, and back along Brunswick Road. During the afternoon I returned to Mitcham, walked from Whitehorse Rd along a dead-end street to the works between Mitcham and Rooks Road, followed that up with a look at Rooks Road from the north side, and then drove via Springvale Road to Station Street, and walked back to Rooks Road.

From the carpark on the up side of Mitcham (now reserved for site workers) I was able to look along the line towards Heatherdale. Unfortunately an empty truck created more dust than I wanted - I called in later and the view wasn't as good due the arrangement of the various pieces of equipment:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-121930_zpsc94b5bda.jpg[/img]

There's a house off an access road running alongside the railway off Church Street (which, BTW, has no church anywhere in the vicinity), and after walking through the weeds in front of the house I could see where the overhead from the Heatherdale direction was tied off.

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-122826_zpse228f15b.jpg[/img]

I noticed a new signal at the Cochrane Road bridge. Later during my inspection I noticed many new signals - not just being replaced with LEDs, but new masts. I suspect that with no level crossings the line between Nunawading and Heatherdale can be resignalled without the need to have protection of the crossings:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-123838_zps02d13ed6.jpg[/img]

Walking along Brunswick Road there is no fence along the railway, and I was able to grab a photo showing the end of track. As you can see they are working on the roadbed (sub-roadbed?) and as far as the alignment is concerned it all looks done through to Mitcham now. I would guess that sleepers and rails will be brought in from this end. Incidentally, I found it curious that the overhead stanchions are prefixed with an H (for Healesville) while the auto signals are prefixed with an L (for Lilydale):

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-124601_zpsd73f270c.jpg[/img]

The cantilever overhead structure which features in many photos from Mitcham Road is located pretty much at a car park off Brunswick Road. You can see that here it looks like it will be a one-side cutting (a "bench" when on hillsides):

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-125214_zps3f791968.jpg[/img]

My afternoon expedition found that the old formation between the platforms was being filled. The platform faces look like remaining in place for "time team" to discover in a hundred years time, but will obviously be covered over by a carpark and bus stops:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-155208_zpsa4e24ba1.jpg[/img]

Between Mitcham and Rooks Roads the old line has disappeared completely, and the new line is in a deepish cutting. Hardly surprising, since this area was the summit of the old line.  Looking towards Mitcham:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-160601_zps8115390b.jpg[/img]

and looking towards Rooks Road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-160624_zpsf6b87428.jpg[/img]

While I was standing at the fence pondering how to take a photo the ute visible above (a chain-link fencing contractor) drove through the gate and came to a shuddering stop when the driver noticed the drop down to where the formation was. With his ute in my field of view I "snuck" in through the gate and stood beside it to take those photos.

At Rooks Road it is very difficult to get anywhere near the action. The closest you can get is to the front door of the business adjacent to the crossing, where I watched a concrete pump preparing to pour a load. You can see the both sides of the crossing have formwork in place either waiting for a pour, or waiting for concrete to cure. As I walked back to my car I noticed another three similar trucks waiting to be called into action:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-161457_zpsfe3d7e77.jpg[/img]

The end of the existing line at the Nunawading end, with the overhead tied off:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-162737_zps46115097.jpg[/img]

A new up signal being installed, while obviously the down is remaining:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-162826_zps7306fb16.jpg[/img]

Finally, the south side of Rooks Road. It will be interesting to see the level of the road here when the bridge is installed - it looks to me as though there might be a slight hump of sorts:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/RP/20140108-163412_zps83f90eb2.jpg[/img]
  waynes Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
When are these works scheduled for completion?
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

We are doing the Rail replacement our last schedule day is 27.1.2014....................
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Trains are scheduled to be running on Jan 26 (or maybe the shutdown runs to Jan 26, so the first train will 27th). Rooks Road will remain closed for a week or two beyond that. However a lot of the anciliary stuff, like the carpark will take longer to finish off.
  DMU Dave Train Controller

Location: Hawthorn, VIC
"Another epistle. Please let me know if you have had enough ... I will still take photos, but don't have to post them here."


Please keep posting - I am very interested in your updates.  My mother lives near Mitcham station and I have been making semi-regular inspections of the works when I visit her.  But not being a local, I'm missing a lot of the "action", so please keep posting your excellent photos and commentary.


Regards
DMU Dave
  ALMOST610 Station Master

Please keep posting - I am very interested in your updates. But not being a local, I'm missing a lot of the "action", so please keep posting your excellent photos and commentary.
DMU Dave

I agree, it is fascinating to see the amount of progress they are making now compared to all the little bits that was done when the old station was still open, being on Holidays and not having the trains running through Mitcham means I have not been in the area since the start of December and probably wont until the line re-opens again.

Keep up the great work, the more pictures the better.
  S 301 Chief Commissioner

Location: in front of the computer
Please keep posting photos! Smile Untill 11 years ago, Mitcham was my 'home' station (lived down near the end of Church Street, when it was still a dirt road!), it's fascinating (and a little sad) watching these works happening.

Regards
  mk4c Station Master

"But not being a local, I'm missing a lot of the "action", so please keep posting your excellent photos and commentary."
DMU Dave

I am a local and I'm missing a lot of this stuff. Keep up the good work.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
I don't know the area well but I am fascinated by the photos. I gather you now realise how appreciated your work is. Those new stanchions sure look to have space for 3 tracks .
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Thanks to those people who responded to my question. I was conscious that a lot of bandwidth might have been taken up downloading all the photos. I shall continue.

Today's installment. The station building is like watching a new house being built. Things go very quickly as the slab, frames, roof and walls are built, then windows and doors, all done very quickly, and after that you see no obvious progress because everything is being done indoors. Here, partly because of the inability to peer down into the station, but also because the bulk of the big work is done, we are not seeing huge amounts of obvious progress. Lights are being installed (rubbish bins on the platform have already been installed), and today I noticed somebody wiring up the PID on the concourse:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-161223_zps64dfefa0.jpg[/img]

The old platforms have disappeared, covered in lots of clay and dirt. Hardly surprising - Station Street was at a higher level than the platforms, and the new concourse is also at a higher level, so it's likely to be pretty much flat between the two when everything is finished:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-161526_zpsc0bd7d83.jpg[/img]

More cleanup work has been done. There is almost nothing left of the boom barriers now, and the barriers which surrounded them have also been removed:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-161752_zps4258acdf.jpg[/img]

I guess the big news for today concerns the state of the line between the new station and the existing line in the down direction. The view down from Mitcham Road shows that almost all of the "shotcrete" cutting walls have been finished, and everything here looks very nearly ready for the sub-roadbed, etc:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-162750_zps2d870340.jpg[/img]

Further on, close to the point of divergence with the existing line, It would seem as though the roadbed is being laid, which probably means sleepers, rail and ballast may not be far away:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-162226_zpsa4d2d573.jpg[/img]

Out of sight to the left in the previous photo is a massive pile of what I assume to be ballast. It arrived overnight, obviously at some cost to the surface and gutter of Barkly Terrace:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-162323_zps29035608.jpg[/img]

Not just ballast, but sleepers have magically appeared overnight too. Both here, in the compound at the corner of Mitcham and Brunswick Road:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-162902_zpsc1d8dd61.jpg[/img]

and also in the Barkly Terrace ballast dump area:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140109-163020_zpsf133ad51.jpg[/img]
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Today's inspection revealed some "big news".  As forecast yesterday, track is now being laid from the Heatherdale end:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-161129_zps164c7ebc.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-161221_zpsf2069d58.jpg[/img]

The view from Mitcham Road in the down (Heatherdale) direction has been obscured a little by the erection of an overhead portal, but it seems pretty clear that everything seems to ready for the track to be laid into the station, and join the short length already in place at the up end of the platforms:


[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-161433_zpsb1eb9ea7.jpg[/img]

Meanwhile, the old platforms have totally disappeared now as the level of what is to become the car park and bus stops is built up:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-160747_zpsfbba61c0.jpg[/img]

A stroll along Calcutta Street showed the gutters had been poured, at least at the Mitcham Road intersection (allowing room for left-turn and right-turn/straight ahead lanes) and at the Simla Street entry to the car park. I also noted that fences are being installed on top of the concrete walls above the cutting:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-162138_zpscdd88a10.jpg[/img]

Earlier in the day I visited Blackburn, and took the opportunity to check out what had been done to facilitate the transfer of large numbers of passengers from train to bus and vice-versa. My son had mentioned "bridges" at the down end of the platform. You can see here that a scaffolding walkway has been installed off the end of the platform, which then splits to head to the car park on the down side and the bus stops on the up side:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-111713_zps535837d0.jpg[/img]

The express buses to Ringwood leave from the car park to the left, and the stopping all station buses depart from the right. Apparently when a train is arriving at the station Metro staff close the access until the train has come to a stand, which does seem sensible to me, even if perhaps a little frustrating for the passengers:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140110-111756_zps3c619eaa.jpg[/img]
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Yesterday (Saturday) I was unable to visit during the day, but did wander past on the way to our local Indian restaurant for dinner. We could see track being laid from the Heatherdale direction, and I commented that "they will probably have a continuous connection to the track in the station by tomorrow". As we walked down Mitcham Road today the first thing we noticed was parked at the side of the road: two heavy-duty road transporters carrying rail equipment, one of which described itself as a ballast regulator, the other had an unknown function:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140112-102901_zps259b0b15.jpg[/img]

Arriving at the new station precinct we noticed asphalt being laid in the new lane on Calcutta Street, and then by standing on tip-toes I could see that track was indeed continuous at the station:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140112-103345_zps1b276e20.jpg[/img]

Crossing the road we could see that some rails on the up track were still to be clipped into place:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140112-103555_zpsb6fa4b94.jpg[/img]

Looking back at the old station the fill over the old platforms is growing, but perhaps now seems to have reached pretty much the final level, being roughly equal to the level of the station concourse (to the left) and I assume Station Street:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140112-103644_zps6a1d1632.jpg[/img]

After our pleasant Sunday morning cappuccinos the view looking towards Heatherdale from the car park commandeered for the works  shows all the rails and lots of ballast:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140112-115130_zps5ece6985.jpg[/img]

and peering over the overbridge the rails were now clipped into place with rail equipment trundling along. This photo was taken almost 80 minutes after the similar view above:

[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/Mitcham%20Road%20Level%20Crossing%20Removal/20140112-115456_zpsa6d4a770.jpg[/img]

As we left the station area the lorry carrying the ballast regulator passed us, and turned down Barkly Terrace so presumabl;y will be earning its keep shortly (if not doing so already).
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
To duttonbay; I'm going to belatedly join those who have appreciated your reports and photos; please keep them coming as long as you see fit.

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