Best laid transport infrastructure schemes gang aft agley

Last week the State government announced that the Koornang Road level crossing is to be removed, and the railway station rebuilt, meaning that both sides of politics are now committed to getting rid of the crossing. But if history is any guide there is a big difference between such announcements and something actually happening.

In 2006 the then State government announced that a third railway line would be built between Caulfield and Dandenong, which should have been well underway by now. But within a couple of years of the announcement the idea had been put on the backburner (see the Wikipedia article here), only to be revived in 2012 because of the need to accommodate freight traffic associated with the proposed development of the Port of Hastings. In April 2013 The Age reported on the need to acquire property adjacent to the existing tracks to accommodate the third line (see here). However the recent announcement has said nothing about the third line.

As part of the same announcement the State government also committed itself to the removal of the level crossing on Murrumbeena Road, which has long been identified as having a higher priority for grade separation. In relation to the crossing at Grange Road (which admittedly is not the subject of the same delays as Koornang Road and Murrumbeena Road as there is no adjacent station) there is only a commitment to plan for its removal, and likewise with the crossing on Poath Road near Hughesdale Station. However in December 2011 The Age reported that an engineering report commissioned by VicRoads had found that because of their proximity, it was not possible to put the railway line under Murrumbeena Road without doing so at Koornang Road and Poath Road as well (see here). How then can the crossings at Murrumbeena Road and Koornang Road be removed if that is not to be done as well at Poath Road at the same time?

If transport initiatives always became reality, today we would be catching a tram up Koornang Road (see here), there would be a freeway running roughly along the alignment of Murrumbeena Road (as recommended in the 1969 Melbourne transportation plan, as part of the proposed F6 freeway) and a high speed train to Sydney would be running on the old outer circle railway line reservation through Murrumbeena (see here).

5 thoughts on “Best laid transport infrastructure schemes gang aft agley

  1. 1950, and there was a proposal to remove the Koornang Road level crossing due to traffic concerns! There were around 240 level crossings in Melbourne and only 60 have been removed in 64 years.
    Grange, Koornang, Murrumbeena, and,Poath Roads all need to be put underground with provision to take at least 4 tracks so as to provide express and stopping all stations trains. The land above could be sold off for business and housing, and small reserves and a bike path could be provided. Some streets that are presently cut off by the railway could be extended to Dandenong Road so further reducing traffic on those 4 major roads.
    Neerim Road crossing near the racecourse, and Glenhuntly Road crossings need to be removed. Maybe someone could persuade Ms Asher to move to Carnegie.

    • According to this article, the crossing at Murrumbeena will be removed at the end of 2017 … given they are so close presumably the Koornang Road crossing will be done at the same time … everything going to plan!

  2. Pingback: High rise for the station? | Carnegie Life

  3. 2018. Now all the level crossing have been removed Caulfield to Dandenong!
    It has made a huge difference to traffic on Koornang Road in the mornings.
    However, why didn’t they make provision for 4 tracks? To add one or two tracks for express and country trains we have to go through the whole process again!
    Also, why didn’t they remove the Glenhuntly and Neerim Road crossings at the same time they removed the level crossings at North, McKinnon and Centre Roads? It makes no sense. It will cost a fortune to remove them in the future with delays and the inconvenience to passengers. They can easily can run sky rail (3 or 4 tracks) from north of the underpass near Dorothy Ave over Glenhuntly (with a new elevated station) and Neerim Roads and lower it to ground level besides Leamington Cres.
    Frees up vehicles and reduces tram delays on Glenhuntly Road.

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