(With apologies to The Jam)
While we endure the train replacement buses, work is moving along on the Bentleigh-Mckinnon-Ormond trench.
It’s really impressive to see – I worked out you can see all three bridges from the Brewer overpass; with a zoom lens, that is. (This won’t be the case once the station buildings are constructed.)
(As always, click the photo to see it larger at Flickr. Once there you can click again to see it zoomed in.)
Works are continuing 24 hours a day. Most of the digging has been completed, and works in the trench itself are proceeding at the three station sites.
First a base level of concrete goes in, a working surface, then a thicker layer is added, in part to weigh down and seal the station, as the new Bentleigh station will be below the water table (the same applies at Mckinnon; Ormond is above the water table).
But if you think it’s impressive from street level, it’s just amazing inside it.
Thanks to the Level Crossing Removal Authority and local MP Nick Staikos I was lucky enough to take a look inside the trench on Thursday night.
Once wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), to get down there you take one of these stairwells.
On the bottom of the trench you get a perspective completely different to what you see at street level. It’s amazing to think that just a couple of weeks ago trains were passing through here at ground level.
Here’s a quick video:
800-1000 workers are on the job at any one time doing various tasks, and I was amazed at the level of co-ordination that must go into it.
On top of the thick layer of concrete, ballast and track and platforms will be built. The ballast is apparently being sourced from Deer Park. The supplier is likely to be pretty busy over the next few years with all the level crossing removals going ahead (though ballast won’t be used on the Dandenong line). It’s a reminder that there’s a huge supply chain feeding these projects.
The rain this week has apparently slowed down the project a little bit, but overall it’s still going well. Construction of the platform at Ormond has commenced, as well as laying of track at the Glenhuntly end.
I’m not a construction geek, but it’s all incredibly impressive. I’m told over the 37 days of the big shut down, they will spend $100 million.
The buses this week have been mostly smooth, though there have been some hiccups… it’ll be good when it’s finished.