I was going to blog a few quick things from the past couple of weeks. That post grew too big, so I’m splitting it up…
Bustitution is coming
With the number of rail projects underway, it should be no surprise that there seem to be major works happening somewhere, every school holidays.
In fact for the April school holidays there is so much going on that they’ve scheduled some works to happen beforehand, and labelled it an “autumn construction blitz“.
The big (weekday) shut downs include:
- Werribee line (Werribee to Laverton) closed for two days last week for level crossing works at Aviation Road
- Mernda line (Epping to Bell) for four days next week and then again (Epping to Thornbury) for a week in early April for level crossing works at Reservoir
- Frankston line (Mordialloc to Frankston) for three days in early April
- …and the big one: the Frankston and Cranbourne/Pakenham lines (Caulfield to City) will shut for more than two weeks around Easter
And that’s leaving aside a host of evening and weekend closures affecting numerous other lines, as well as V/Line.
One particular unfortunate change from previous shut downs is that recent infrastructure issues at Elsternwick now mean the entire Sandringham line is closed during works, even when they only affect South Yarra.
As usual, it’s worth checking information before you travel, and considering alternative routes rather than assuming catching the replacement buses is the quickest way to get where you’re going.
Cheltenham and Mentone crossings
Last week some details of the Cheltenham and Mentone grade separations were released.
Mentone: One thing I’m less than happy about is that the station entrance will be a long way from the bus interchange. Currently the buses stop right next to the entrance to platform 1.
I hoped this might just be an issue with the artists impression. It’s not.
Cheltenham: I haven’t had a close look at this one yet (there’s precious little detail on either, in fact) but they have gone ahead with the plan to include a third platform.
The existing station has a third platform already. The difference is this one will be connected to the main line from both ends – enabling more operational flexibility. That why there are some references to a “third track” – this will not include an actual third track to Southland (to the north) or Mentone (to the south).
Dandenong area crossings
In both cases these are elevated road over rail – sky road!
The problem with road over rail is it’s generally terrible for pedestrians, making them walk a long way in a hostile environment to get over the rail line.
I don’t know the area well, but this might be more of a factor in Lyndhurst (mostly residential?) more than Dandenong South (mostly industrial?).
Again, the lack of detail means it’s unclear to me if either of them include bike lanes over the bridges.
They both seem to only have a pedestrian path on one side of the bridge, and on South Gippsland Highway, it’s not clear where the existing bus stops will be moved.
If you’ve got feedback about the newly released designs, be sure to send it in via the Level Crossings web site.