Hurstbridge Line Upgrade Stage 2

 
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

OOPS!  Try 4.5 metres.Embarassed Growing up with feet and inches must have caught up with me - you'll get old and stupid one day too!!!!
That has also skilfully put all of my supposed dimensions completely up the creek. I think I'll go have a cup of tea and a good lie down.
Valvegear
I thought it would be a metric/imperial unit error.  I was dragged up in a metric world by family who wouldn't know a centimetre if it bit them on the posterior Rolling Eyes, so I'm quite adept at translating.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Of course, the obvious reason why it escaped undetected was that 14 feet some inches used to be the norm. Even so, that's no excuse for someone who had to adapt to metrics in his job years ago  and is quite used to them. The kindest description is a Senior's Moment. Thanks for picking it up.
  mikealex Station Staff

Instead of all the talk of flying junctions at Clifton Hill going up, and then having the problem of the Heidelberg Rd bridge getting in the way, what about a burrowing junction? So the Down Hurstbridge would swing off to the left just after the platform and immediately start descending. Descending through the site of the signal box, and still descending while passing under the Heidelberg Rd bridge. Given that existing City Loop dives are around 200m, that should let the track get low enough to then swing right and pass under the Mernda lines just past the road bridge. Then start rising again, and with a new bridge over the creek on an upward slope bring the track back to existing level around Urquhart St. Would that all fit with the gradients do you think?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I think that the principle detailed by mikealex is good, but I believe that there just isn't enough space to achieve it. If the Hurstbridge line bears left and descends as he described, the train is going to end up on Queens Parade/High Street/ Hoddle Street road junction, right beside the existing Mernda line overbridge, and it will have nowhere to go from there.
  Goose13 Station Master

Location: Having a sook about Southern cross's western wall
Something I've always wondered being a local with a hypothetical mm2 was whether you could remove the Heildburg road bridge entirely, have hurstbridge above at normal skyrail height, (assuming no issue with grade with the immeadiate merri creek crossing, and have mernda diving where rushal currently is/right after the its merri crossing, (and mabye a chance to get rid of /reduce the really nasty curve radius). Probably totally unfeasable but nice to fantasise about, would improve pedestrian ammenity around clifton hill a ton at the least.
  mikealex Station Staff

I think that the principle detailed by mikealex is good, but I believe that there just isn't enough space to achieve it. If the Hurstbridge line bears left and descends as he described, the train is going to end up on Queens Parade/High Street/ Hoddle Street road junction, right beside the existing Mernda line overbridge, and it will have nowhere to go from there.
Valvegear
https://imgur.com/00VKI0q
https://imgur.com/VDzUwOb

I have no idea why RP won't let me insert Imgur images (endlessly spinning black dots), but hopefully the links above let you see the diagrams.

I agree that it will be tight, but the distance from "A" to "B" is about 185m. As an example, looking at the City Circle Loop entrance near Flinders St station, it manages to descend from ground level to tunnel in about 150m. So at Clifton Hill it should be possible to get low enough to pass under the Mernda tracks in time. Rising back up from "C" will require a new upwards-sloping bridge over the creek, but since this is the old bridge it is probably due for replacement in the not-too-distant future anyway.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

Hi mikealex,
Thank you for using Google maps to do some analysis of what is possible at Clifton Hill.
Google maps is obviously not 100% perfect but it helps a lot.
Your plan is an excellent idea, there is enough room to do it.

Another idea is to build 2 platforms underneath the existing platforms. And then continue tunnel directly to CBD.
There is enough room based on maximum gradient of 1/30 (after curve compensation).
I believe the Belgrave line has 1/30 gradient. Any train that can go to Belgrave climbs 1/30 grades on a regular basis.

The distance from just north of Clifton Hill pedestrain subway to the rail bridge at Merri is approx 147m straight + 135m curved.
1/30 * 147 + 1/33*120 = 8.5 metres descent. (Leaving 15 horizontal metres spare before the bridges.)
I assume the pedestrian subway is 3.2 metres below the current rail lines.
This leaves 5.3 metres for the tunnel and tunnel roof at the entrance, I think this is enough clearance.
The tunnel could easily continue another 50 metres horizontally before the underground platforms commence. This will allow  an extra 0.5 metre descent with low gradient.

Clearly, the Hurstbridge rail line could dive down to underground platforms at Clifton Hill. Then a direct tunnel to CBD.

If the tunnel was built, there could be a new undergound train station at intersection of Johnston St + Smith St, Fitzroy. It would obviously require some property acquisition for the train station entrances.
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

Follow the Inner Circle alignment (but not the Fitzroy branch), just underground.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
In the schemes put up by tom9876543 and Djebel, the common theme is that space where they want to go is extremely tight. In the contributions that both have made, I haven't seen any reference to the radii of curves, for example the swing from underneath the Mernda line back onto the Hurstbridge line after diving off the down end of Clifton Hill station.
The other major factor which both posters have not considered is the equipment needed to do these works. Any space around the actual track alignment is going to be exceedingly small.  Where are you going to park all of the earth moving machines, cranes site offices, meal rooms, toilets et al? Where are your access points from roads to the work sites? Have you had a look at the work sites for the Metro tunnel recently? A huge open area beside Young and Jacksons, another massive site on the original city square, complete with its own two or three storey building and so on.
My recurring theme is that there isn't enough room at Clifton Hill, and I am still to be persuaded into any other conclusion. And; please don't tell me about compulsory property acquisition. The current State opposition tried that with the ill fated Eastern Freeway/Alexandra Parade extension, and got slaughtered at the ballot box. Any attempt to do the same, particularly with the heritage-style, double storey houses on the east side of John Street would be political suicide.
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

In the schemes put up by tom9876543 and Djebel, the common theme is that space where they want to go is extremely tight. In the contributions that both have made, I haven't seen any reference to the radii of curves, for example the swing from underneath the Mernda line back onto the Hurstbridge line after diving off the down end of Clifton Hill station.
The other major factor which both posters have not considered is the equipment needed to do these works. Any space around the actual track alignment is going to be exceedingly small.  Where are you going to park all of the earth moving machines, cranes site offices, meal rooms, toilets et al? Where are your access points from roads to the work sites? Have you had a look at the work sites for the Metro tunnel recently? A huge open area beside Young and Jacksons, another massive site on the original city square, complete with its own two or three storey building and so on.
My recurring theme is that there isn't enough room at Clifton Hill, and I am still to be persuaded into any other conclusion. And; please don't tell me about compulsory property acquisition. The current State opposition tried that with the ill fated Eastern Freeway/Alexandra Parade extension, and got slaughtered at the ballot box. Any attempt to do the same, particularly with the heritage-style, double storey houses on the east side of John Street would be political suicide.
Valvegear
You mean equipment desired to do such works.  It could be done with very little space required, albeit more slowly.  Build on site instead of pre-fab.  Dig by hand.  Just because modern construction companies want to do work quickly and easily using their big boys toys doesn't make the job impossible to do by other means.

As for the previous government -- they were voted out for having done SFA on anything most of their term of office.  If they had even a half-completed East-West link to present to the electorate they probably would have survived.  A line drawn on a map and a few geological surveys?  Not good enough.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

In the schemes put up by tom9876543 and Djebel, the common theme is that space where they want to go is extremely tight. In the contributions that both have made, I haven't seen any reference to the radii of curves, for example the swing from underneath the Mernda line back onto the Hurstbridge line after diving off the down end of Clifton Hill station.
The other major factor which both posters have not considered is the equipment needed to do these works. Any space around the actual track alignment is going to be exceedingly small.  Where are you going to park all of the earth moving machines, cranes site offices, meal rooms, toilets et al? Where are your access points from roads to the work sites? Have you had a look at the work sites for the Metro tunnel recently? A huge open area beside Young and Jacksons, another massive site on the original city square, complete with its own two or three storey building and so on.
My recurring theme is that there isn't enough room at Clifton Hill, and I am still to be persuaded into any other conclusion. And; please don't tell me about compulsory property acquisition. The current State opposition tried that with the ill fated Eastern Freeway/Alexandra Parade extension, and got slaughtered at the ballot box. Any attempt to do the same, particularly with the heritage-style, double storey houses on the east side of John Street would be political suicide.
Valvegear
One would have said the same about the tunnel entrance at South Yarra, yet it is there.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
One would have said the same about the tunnel entrance at South Yarra, yet it is there.
skitz
One wouldn't. How much actual tunnelling was done from the South Yarra end?  None.
The works there are for the tunnel entrance only, and even that takes up more space than there is near Clifton Hill. The tunnel boring machines worked in one direction only. In April and May 2020, two TBMs were launched separately from the Anzac Station site towards the eastern tunnel entrance at South Yarra. TBM Millie broke through at South Yarra in September 2020, and TBM Alice arrived in October. They need a great deal of room to get them in place, bearing in mind that any entrance from Clifton Hill would be starting from ground level via an open cut until it was deep enough to start boring. Just hop into a City Loop train from Richmond or SCS and you'll see what I mean.
Where are you going to tunnel from at Clifton Hill?

You mean equipment desired to do such works.  It could be done with very little space required, albeit more slowly.  Build on site instead of pre-fab.  Dig by hand.  Just because modern construction companies want to do work quickly and easily using their big boys toys doesn't make the job impossible to do by other means.
Djebel
I have been impressed by your writing, but; tunnel by hand? Fantasyland I'm afraid. OH&S would have heart attacks aplenty.  Build on site? You need space. The continuing problem that none of you will address properly, is that there isn't enough space at Clifton Hill.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

This has evolved into the discussion about the potential MM2 tunnel, first of all the MM2 tunnel portal would not be able located in Clifton Hill, simply isn't any room for it. It had to be located somewhere in Northcote, before the Merri creek and go under the creek. Similar to how the tunnel portal in MM1 goes under the Moonee Ponds creek at the western end.

As for the TBMs launching sites, that is actually pretty obvious, you would use the median of Alexander parade to launch the MM2 TBMs at the potential Fitzroy site, and then it would come out at Northcote and then go in the opposite direction towards Parkville.

An underground Clifton Hill station would likely have to have to use Mayor's Park to dig those shafts to allow station construction to happen with access to the main Hoddle street for trucks. This would avoid most acquisition needed.

Those who say this is engineering challenging is correct, but it's only possible doing it this particular way and not saying it will happen or if it stacks up economically just theoretically what an MM2 tunnel would be constructed if it ever went ahead.

I'm all for discussions about short-medium term options and arguing whether the MM2 is needed long term, but the first steps are obvious, try to get as much capacity from the existing system first. Then try looking at expensive more costly options for long term to see whether they stack up.

Anyways another reason you should not put tunnel portals near Victoria Park like some ill suggestions (other than tight spacing), is that is also reserved for a short tunnel for the Doncaster rail line to join up, remember that dead chestnut proposal. Keeping that option open is obviously good for long term planning.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Could the station at Clifton Hill be constructed using mining methods? That way you could minimize the construction footprint.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Could the station at Clifton Hill be constructed using mining methods? That way you could minimize the construction footprint.
railblogger
Probably likely to be easier to do use by having some shafts and then craning in the road headers to minimise construction footprint like how they've done the inner city stations in Melbourne, a cut and cover method would require either a preferred quieter road to be closed (eg Parkville) or wide enough to diverted around (eg Domain). Cut and cover is generally cheaper to use than shafts and mining it via road headers, but generally saves costs in reducing land acquisition costs.

If they planned the MM2 project further they would determine which method would be the most cost effective one to do and stick with that option. I'm not an engineer yet so I'm not sure exactly the processes in the planning on these projects, they generally look at various of options of station locations and construction methods before choosing the preferred option.

MM1 has seen some changes as they refine the design when they were designing the project.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

In the schemes put up by tom9876543 and Djebel, the common theme is that space where they want to go is extremely tight.
The other major factor which both posters have not considered is the equipment needed to do these works. Any space around the actual track alignment is going to be exceedingly small.  Where are you going to park all of the earth moving machines, cranes site offices, meal rooms, toilets et al? Where are your access points from roads to the work sites? Have you had a look at the work sites for the Metro tunnel recently? A huge open area beside Young and Jacksons, another massive site on the original city square, complete with its own two or three storey building and so on.
My recurring theme is that there isn't enough room at Clifton Hill, and I am still to be persuaded into any other conclusion.
Valvegear

I recognise that everyone here, including me, doesn't have engineering qualifications. We are all armchair operators making estimates about what is possible.
However, some statements made on this site are very clearly blatantly wrong.

Not enough room for a construction site at Clifton Hill????? Really??????
Well.... there's a rather large patch of green to the south west of Clifton Hill station..... its called Darling Gardens.
There is more than enough room at Darling Gardens for the construction site.

A TBM could start at Darling Gardens and go to the CBD.
Clifton Hill station can be closed and do cut and cover. To preserve heritage listed buildings, the cut and cover would only be where the existing tracks are and south / south west of the station buildings.
The railway lines would be closed for multiple months and Hoddle St as well.
At the end of the day, using cut and cover is a simple option.
MM2 tunnel entrance can be where the pedestrain subway is now, climbing up to the Merri Creek bridge on Hurstbridge line.

That would be the cheapest most effective way to build MM2.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I recognise that everyone here, including me, doesn't have engineering qualifications. We are all armchair operators making estimates about what is possible.

However, some statements made on this site are very clearly blatantly wrong.

Not enough room for a construction site at Clifton Hill????? Really??????

Well.... there's a rather large patch of green to the south west of Clifton Hill station..... its called Darling Gardens.
tom9876543
There are only two problems with that scheme:-
First - destroying the Darling Gardens just will not happen.
Second -  closing of Hoddle Street - one of Melbourne's busiest arterials. That is totally impracticable, and it wouldn't be many months; it would be years.
It may also come as a ghastly shock to you to learn that some of us do have engineering qualifications. I've used mine to quite successfully make my living in private industry, a competitive field,  for 51 years.

Then there's also a third problem - you have no idea what you're talking about. To completely cock up road, rail and bus travel for years at Clifton Hill is as boneheaded as it gets. Read what some knowledgeable contributors have said and stop making a fool of yourself.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

MM2 aside for a moment as this thread has gone a little sideways. If MM2 goes ahead rationalisation of Clifton Hill will be wrapped up with it. As has been mentioned ad lib, the cost and benefits of this project are fuzzy at best. With COVID19 pushing this project well into the 2030's once demand again dictates it. Lets assume its not happening anytime soon.

As for Clifton Hill, a lot of suggestions have been centred around solving the problem at Clifton Hill itself. As we all know, its a tight space, with some very obvious and challenging engineering considerations. I agree there is a need for four platforms at Clifton Hill, this adds greater flexibility for passengers and operations. So I've taken a leaf out of the LXRA book to deliver my armchair solution.

Build two additional platforms under Hoddle Street, in a similar fashion to they way LXRA builds a station under a former crossing.
Trench both lines, Hurstbridge declining from Merri Creek and South Morang from High Street/Queen Parade. Gradents may require the current rail over to become rail under.

Using the same techniques of sinking piles and peers into the ground to build retaining walls can be used to reduce the amount of time this small section of Hoddle Street would need to be closed. Once bridge decks have been installed works can continue underneath with traffic following over the top. As is done now by LXRA. To achieve the decent, Clifton Hill is moved towards Ramsden Street, with the new South Morang Platforms, new stations facilities sitting under Hoddle Street and new sunken platforms for Hurstbridge built on the current railway reserve. A new station entrance can be constructed in Mayors park, improving the connection to Trams on Queens Parade. Heritage listed station buildings are refurbished and given over to the community, similar to what has been done on the Frankston Line. We now have a brand new station with an underpass and platforms under Hoddle Street. Issue one Solved. Hopefully keeping the NIMBYS happy.

Aquire the commercial building at 420 and 424 Hoddle Street to accomodate the new four tracks and the climb out of the trench.
Modifications to the Roseneath Street overpass may be needed with the gradient. Between Roseneath Street and the Eastern Freeway the reserve is slightly wider and could possibly accommodate four tracks without acquisitions.
New rail bridge over the Eastern, with the rail fly over to be part of this. Track slews and the point work can be accommodated in the VicTrack owned land off Lulie Street, returning to two tracks at Victoria Park sans any conflicts.

This really only solves the conflict at Clifton Hill and like other suggestions, its going to be pricey no matter what you do here. To really justify the expense Moving Block signalling would need to be installed from Clifton Hill to Flinders Street, including the Loop to boost train paths to 32TPH. With this you could effectively run a 3 minute headway to South Morang and Greensbrough. Any such frequency would require the removal off all level crossing, adding more money. To which there will be 13 remaining to Epping and 6 to Greensbrough.

To release the benefits of Clifton Hill, its going to be north of $2 Billion. So it may be sometime before we see any major action at Clifton Hill, with the Government more likely to continue to remove LX on the lines before embarking on a major project that would see trains passing a level crossing every 90 seconds during peak.

Which takes me back to my opening statement. If it is going to be 10+ years before all Level Crossings are removed will successive governments leave Clifton Hill as is until MM2 becomes needed in the 2030's.

Lockie
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

I recognise that everyone here, including me, doesn't have engineering qualifications. We are all armchair operators making estimates about what is possible.

However, some statements made on this site are very clearly blatantly wrong.

Not enough room for a construction site at Clifton Hill????? Really??????

Well.... there's a rather large patch of green to the south west of Clifton Hill station..... its called Darling Gardens.
There are only two problems with that scheme:-
First - destroying the Darling Gardens just will not happen.
Second -  closing of Hoddle Street - one of Melbourne's busiest arterials. That is totally impracticable, and it wouldn't be many months; it would be years.
It may also come as a ghastly shock to you to learn that some of us do have engineering qualifications. I've used mine to quite successfully make my living in private industry, a competitive field,  for 51 years.

Then there's also a third problem - you have no idea what you're talking about. To completely cock up road, rail and bus travel for years at Clifton Hill is as boneheaded as it gets. Read what some knowledgeable contributors have said and stop making a fool of yourself.
Valvegear


Valvegear, please let us know what degree you have, the University and year you graduated. We would like to know about your experience.

Regarding your points:

1) What evidence do you have that destroying part of Darling Gardens "will not happen"? I am sure the government could proceed if it wanted to. Obviously the gardens would be restored after work is finished, it is only temporary.

2+3)
You claim it would take "years" to do cut and cover at Clifton Hill.

Please look at the Sydney Metro West Stage 1 document at:
https://majorprojects.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/prweb/PRRestService/mp/01/getContent?AttachRef=SSI-10038%2120200426T211815.057%20GMT

This document clearly shows the new North Strathfield Metro Station cut and cover will be completed in 12 months.
Other stations will be completed in 15 months.

So your claim of "years" is dubious.

And also look at the map of North Strathfield Metro Station construction site in the document, they have fitted it in a very tight space.

I guess it would be possible to do the cut and cover in less than one year, but obviously expedited construction work is more expensive.

The cut and cover could be done at Clifton Hill in sections so Hoddle St and rail line are not both closed at the same time.
One possibility is Hoddle St is not closed at all, but reduced to only 2 lanes of traffic.
The railway lines could be reduced to only 1 track, the amount of total shutdown can be minimised.
It is very inconvenient, but not impossible.

Your claim that "there isn't enough room at Clifton Hill" is simply wrong, as evidenced by the Sydney Metro West Stage 1 document.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Tom, just go away and write your bad-mannered fairy stories somewhere else. Before you go, read Lockie91's well thought out post.

My qualifications and experience are none of your business. On two occasions they were the business of judges of the Supreme Court of Victoria when I appeared as an expert witness. (I declined a third case due to conflict of interest). Next time, don't make silly statements that none of us has qualifications; all it does is help your already dubious credibility to be shot into even smaller pieces.
In hindsight, I shouldn't have bothered answering your last post; I certainly won't waste time on any more of them.
  Tii Junior Train Controller

MM2 aside for a moment as this thread has gone a little sideways. If MM2 goes ahead rationalisation of Clifton Hill will be wrapped up with it. As has been mentioned ad lib, the cost and benefits of this project are fuzzy at best. With COVID19 pushing this project well into the 2030's once demand again dictates it. Lets assume its not happening anytime soon.
..........
Lockie91
Yes it has gone sideways hasn't it. If we focus back on the current project that would be good. I really only wanted to know what could be done between now and metro 1 opening in 2025 to increase frequency on the CH group, that's within likely scope of budget and time. Further CH junction work is going to be part of a future MM2 if it happens and I can see that is on the never never for now, although I personally would like to see it announced as a follow on project in parts after MM2, but that's for another lifetime. So back to Hurstbridge 2 upgrades. How is it going really. Work has started but I feel it's a slow burner project now and will drag into the 2022 election.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

MM2 aside for a moment as this thread has gone a little sideways. If MM2 goes ahead rationalisation of Clifton Hill will be wrapped up with it. As has been mentioned ad lib, the cost and benefits of this project are fuzzy at best. With COVID19 pushing this project well into the 2030's once demand again dictates it. Lets assume its not happening anytime soon.
..........
Yes it has gone sideways hasn't it. If we focus back on the current project that would be good. I really only wanted to know what could be done between now and metro 1 opening in 2025 to increase frequency on the CH group, that's within likely scope of budget and time. Further CH junction work is going to be part of a future MM2 if it happens and I can see that is on the never never for now, although I personally would like to see it announced as a follow on project in parts after MM2, but that's for another lifetime. So back to Hurstbridge 2 upgrades. How is it going really. Work has started but I feel it's a slow burner project now and will drag into the 2022 election.
Tii
Nothing but minor works at Clifton Hill for the foreseeable future. We might see the turnouts upgraded to concrete sleepers, ballast renewal, maybe some minor signally modifications. There is really nothing you can do to improve a flat junction but remove it. The Stage 2 project always had a 2022 end date, Clifton Hill will be the last thing that is touched.

Lockie
  712M Chief Commissioner

Frequent delays at Clifton Hill are attributed to Up Mernda and Down Hurstbridge services sharing the centre track under the Heidelberg Road bridge which reduces the capacity of the junction substantially. Simplifying the junction by removing this bottleneck would be necessary for any HCS installed between there and the City.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

They should have put in a diamond crossing where up Mernda and down Hurstbridge intersect when the centre line through the station was removed.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

Tom, just go away and write your bad-mannered fairy stories somewhere else. Before you go, read Lockie91's well thought out post.

My qualifications and experience are none of your business. On two occasions they were the business of judges of the Supreme Court of Victoria when I appeared as an expert witness. (I declined a third case due to conflict of interest). Next time, don't make silly statements that none of us has qualifications; all it does is help your already dubious credibility to be shot into even smaller pieces.
In hindsight, I shouldn't have bothered answering your last post; I certainly won't waste time on any more of them.
Valvegear


Valvegear:
You originally wrote:
My recurring theme is that there isn't enough room at Clifton Hill, and I am still to be persuaded into any other conclusion.
Valvegear


We have disputed your statement.
Your response is to refer to Lockie91's post.
Lockie91 wrote a good explanation of how the rebuild at Clifton Hill could be completed:

I've taken a leaf out of the LXRA book to deliver my armchair solution. Build two additional platforms under Hoddle Street, in a similar fashion to they way LXRA builds a station under a former crossing. Trench both lines, Hurstbridge declining from Merri Creek and South Morang from High Street/Queen Parade. Gradents may require the current rail over to become rail under.
Lockie91

I think you should admit your orginal statement was wrong, considering your only rebuttal is Lockie91's post, and ironically it directly contradicts you.

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