Train control centre slashes commuter delays

 

The Kananook Signal Control Centre at Seaford in Melbourne was commissioned in September during works at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach to lower the train line under the local road network into three new rail trenches and build four new road bridges. Read more

Rail construction works continue to schedule

The building and renewal of rail lines around Victoria is following its planned construction schedule, despite a pause on noise restrictions.

The Victorian government announced on Monday, April 6 that new planning rules will exempt essential businesses from existing noise restrictions.

The exemption allows 24-hour dispatch and delivery during the current State of Emergency and for three months after too. New South Wales and Western Australia have also lifted noise restrictions for construction and logistics operations.

Corey Hannett, director-general of the Victorian Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) said the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Level Crossing Removal works have processes in place to manage construction noise and minimise the inconvenience and impacts of construction on local communities.

“MTIA projects are currently considered essential and we are working with our building partners to deliver our critical infrastructure projects while implementing strict safety measures to protect our workforce and the community,” he said.

For all Victorian project works, the majority of the construction happens during the day, however some 24-hour works will be required. 

“We understand construction can be disruptive and noisy, especially during major works or at night – that’s why we work with residents to find the best solutions and minimise any impacts,” Hannett said.

Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning approved the new planning rules and said the measures are to support essential business outside normal business hours.

An Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) spokesperson said the North East Rail Line upgrade currently complies with all existing EPA noise regulations and will continue to comply.

“Our projects will not have a need to utilise this new exemption,” the ARTC spokesperson said.

“If we are required to undertake night works, we provide notification to impacted properties, which is our regulatory requirement.”

John Fullerton, ARTC CEO said in a recent interview that was broadcasted on Sky News that transport companies are moving as much as they can to boost the flow of essential goods and services.

“Rail is no different, we move around five million tonnes across the continent from the eastern seaboard to WA and a lot of our product involves groceries and the hardware that sits on those supermarket shelves,” he said on Sky News.

Fullerton said rail volumes are up approximately 13 per cent due to the unprecedented demand for goods.

“There is never a better time to invest in infrastructure,” Fullerton said.

“One thing coming from this pandemic is looking at major projects to offer economic stimulus.

“It’s a huge opportunity to improve the transport lengths particularly on the Eastern seaboard.”

New rail bridge in Melbourne almost completed

The Level Crossings Removal Project team has installed major L-beams that make up a new rail bridge, with 60 per cent of the bridge now complete.

The Toorak Road level crossing in Kooyong will be removed six months ahead of schedule by April this year.

Over the past few weeks, the team at the Toorak Road level crossing removal project have been installing 24 of the 40 L-beams that make up the new rail bridge.

The largest beams spanning Toorak Road are 31 metres long and weigh 128 tonnes.

The beams are lifted into place by two cranes weighing up to 550 tonnes and then stitched together to create the U-trough, which the trains will travel on.

Each beam is made in Kilmore, Victoria and delivered overnight 87km to Toorak Road.

Project director Steve Brown told the Herald Sun the rail bridge was taking shape at record pace.

“We’ve installed more than half of it in under a week, and the project is on track to be finished six months ahead of schedule,” he said to the Herald Sun.

Services on sections of the Glen Waverley line throughout March will not run and be replaced by buses, due to works at Toorak Road, Kooyong.

Following ongoing level crossing removals across Melbourne, Hurstbridge Station located in the city’s north-east has started construction on the $2.8 million project to upgrade commuter car parks.

Ace Infrastructure will build the government funded project which will include new and upgraded car park spaces along Graysharps Road west of Hurstbridge Station.

Other improvements coming up on the Hurstbridge line include a new station at Greensborough and the duplication of three kilometres of track between Greensborough and Eltham, and 1.5 kilometres between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen.

Melburnians face a city- wide construction blitz this autumn, including major shutdowns of the Frankston and Upfield lines.

Construction blitz planned for Melbourne’s Frankston line

To pave the way for a construction blitz in Victoria in May, work towards the construction of two new stations at Cheltenham and Mentone on the Frankston line and the removal of three congested level crossings is underway.

“We’re getting rid of these death traps – making Cheltenham and Mentone safer, and delivering brand new stations and more open space,” minister for transport infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said.

“Cheltenham and Mentone are going to have a busy year and I thank residents and traders in advance for their patience during construction, which will deliver more trains, more often.”

The Frankston line will be closed between Frankston and Moorabbin in early to mid-February to enable the removals and continuing work at Cheltenham and Mentone.

Construction on the rail trenches which will lower the Frankston line under Park Road, Charman Road and Balcombe Road started in late 2019.

The crossings are expected to be gone by July 2020, and the new stations will open after finishing works by early 2021.

The works are part of the state government’s $3 billion investment on the Frankston line, which includes the removal of 18 level crossings and 12 new stations. Five crossings have already been removed.