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http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/05/22/1148150187665.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

ONE of Melbourne's main suburban rail lines could be sent underground, making way for housing, shops and parkland above as part of a multibillion-dollar proposal before the State Government.

Under the "top-secret" plan, the Glen Waverley line would become a subway through some of Melbourne's most exclusive inner-eastern neighbourhoods.

Existing stations at Heyington, Gardiner, Kooyong and Tooronga would go underground and new "villages" would be built above.

The ambitious project has been proposed by a high-powered consortium, including NAB, Macquarie Bank, builder Thiess and UK architects Nicholas Grimshaw.

If successful, it could become a model for other subways and the creation of "linear suburbs" above them. The consortium is already looking at another potential tunnel project on the Sandringham line.

The Glen Waverley line project would create about 100,000 square metres of valuable new real estate and a development and parkland corridor up to 50 metres wide and more than four kilometres long.

With an estimated market value of almost $4 billion, the project would involve construction of about 1500 apartments as well as restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs, shops, bicycle paths, parks, a European-style square, and a landmark or gateway structure at Burke Road.

Reflecting the political and commercial sensitivity of the project, it has been given a codename — "Operation Double Fault" — in a possible reference to the tennis centre at Kooyong.

The proposal has received a mixed reception in Government ranks, with Transport Minister Peter Batchelor believed to be uncomfortable but others enthusiastic. Similar projects have been carried out in the United States and, on a smaller scale, in Sydney.

The Government, conscious of the development-wariness of residents in surrounding leafy streets, is believed to be concerned about a planning backlash in an election year. One source familiar with the project said: "You could imagine the good people of Toorak and South Yarra just loving a tunnel operation in their backyards and the removal of spoil night and day."

Despite the concerns, the Government has done its own analysis of the idea without full engineering details. It is not clear if a recommendation has gone to ministers.

One Government source said high-rise housing would have to be built to cover the tunnelling and construction costs. But a source close to the project stressed that most of the housing would be low to medium rise, with a 10-level building beside the Monash Freeway at Tooronga the tallest.

Rail owner VicTrack has proposed several smaller developments over rail cuttings around Melbourne but has not acted on them. Its plan for a single office building at the Camberwell station sparked one of the most bitter planning rows in recent years.

Yesterday the Government would not discuss the project, but issued a written statement stressing its community consultation credentials. "As a matter of course, all major proposals in Victoria are subject to careful assessment of their social, economic and environmental benefits and impact," said Government spokeswoman Manika Naidoo. "The Bracks Government consults with the Victorian community on all major planning projects and will continue to do so in the future."

To counter community concerns, the project's proponents will point to local positives, including the removal of notorious level crossings on Glenferrie, Toorak, Tooronga and Burke roads, and a planned net increase in public open space.

Central to the developers' pitch is linking new housing to public transport, as envisaged in Labor's metropolitan strategy Melbourne 2030. A source close to the project said that while the Government was under pressure to extend rail services to residents in outer suburbs, "we will bring the people to train lines".

Opposition major projects spokeswoman Louise Asher cautioned the companies behind the plan against spending too much.

"This Government can't even handle small projects and get them delivered on time and on budget. So I would would advise the proponents to drop it," Ms Asher said. "This Government is quite happy to have the private sector come to the table and spend money on preliminaries then walk away."

Planning Institute of Australia Victorian president Trevor Budge said he was not aware of the specific proposal but believed that building over rail lines could work in Melbourne.

But a source aware of the project described it as "idiotic" and said it had not taken account of risks, including many drains and underground services that would have to be dealt with.


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I'd love this to go ahead - plenty of room for new development.

Maybe they could focus on areas where rail lines are already built in a cutting (South Yarra - Caulfied come to mind, passing our friends at Toorak) so all that's needed would be to put a few foundations in and start building.

An ambitious plan that will never see the light of day would be to build over the railway yard at Dandenong - the rail line at the moment divides up the suburb just as much as a freeway would. It's never been a problem because it's only now that the land south of the station is being developed. And then put that on top of the often-repeated idea to continue building over the tracks beyond Fed Square, but the only thing that would fit there would be parkland.

EDIT: Feel free to merge this with a relevant thread - search is broken, the thread index is out of date and this article could fit into several of the threads.
 

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Champagne Socialist
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crawf_231 said:
What a Stupid Plan
just like most of your posts/threads!!!!1!!!one!!!

_____________

meanwhile.

Developers would obviously get a higher rate of return in those aforementioned areas, but the likelihood of it going ahead and the benefits overall would be far greater if done in conjunction with Dandenong/Springvale triplication.

Caulfield to Hughesdale should be sunk the -whole- way and built over (and quadruplicated), huge scope for open space, concentrated development over Carnegie, Murrumbeena and Hughesdale Stations.

Clayton & Centre roads, as above, just on a smaller scale.

Springvale Road, as above again.

If the government's going to commit $1 billion over ten years (Wank wank) to the project without any private sector involvement as is, here's an opportunity staring them right in the face which would enable them to:

- fast forward the timeframes for construction
- lower the public cost of the project (the government would recoup at least something from selling Air rights, even when their current project doesn't take that into account)
- give one of their policies an almighty kick up the jacksey, and
- make tays happy. :D
 

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^With developer demand for land in the inner to middle suburbs, it should be the ONLY way that grade separations and triplification occur. That way, like with docklands, the government would hold no responsibility for the pace of development, because triplification would be linked to grade separation development projects, which would in turn be linked to market demands.
 

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...........
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This I think is what they should be doing with all inner city-mid city lines in SYD, MEL, and BRIS.

Sounds great, and it's a good way to get more people near railway lines and have less noise!

I had always thought it would be a good trick with freeways and major roads. Do a cut and cover tunnel and then put buildings or Parkland ontop!
 

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The Lilydale/Belgrave lines run through some pretty exclusive suburbs, too. Might be some interesting times ahead. I always thought that the most likely tracks to get built over would be the Jolimont Yards. They're much closer to the city.

I do wonder what this would all mean for new tracks, future expansion and the like for the lines that get buried if projects like this go ahead.
 

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Professional amateur
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That would get rid of a couple of level crossings at the least as well, if it is buried up to Gardiner. Burke Road/ Glenferrie Road especially at peak times! HUGE investment though, I don't know if it will get off the ground...

Stu
 

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There have been numerous discussions about this project over the last year or so in the state government. The plan has been to sink the train line west of Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong to south of High St, Glen Iris removing te level crossings at Glenferrie Rd, Toorak Rd, Tooronga Rd, Burke Rd & High St. There by freeing up the trams along Glenferrie Rd & Burke Rd and the bus along Tooronga Rd.
 

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Go Ahead.....Make My Day!
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it would be nice on the belgrave lilydale line if they fix up the level crossing problems - ( shamozzles / embarrasment ) at blackburn road, springvale road etc - thats a major problem that needs to be a priority.

also, they need a 3rd rail track built from box hill to ringwood to allow better express trains in the peak times

cheers


lozza
 

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Melburnaholic
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one thing to think about is carparks. Most of a train station is taken up by carparks, so these will have to stay even if rail and rail stations are going underground.
(Unless of course they put the parking underground but that's not going to happen.)
 

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Why wouldn't the car parking go underground? There is plenty of land around Gardiner Station to not only sink the station but to also provide underground car parks for the station & the new developments above.
 

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^Yeah if you have to dig a large trench for the rail, it would not be a huge addition to dig a little wider for parking.

In these areas, though, you would hope they would reduce the amount of parking in favour of better cycling facilities.... and of course to take advantage of all of Brack's new buses ;)
 

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Sounds like a good way to eliminate level crossings, upgrade rail infrastructure and build medium to high density housing where it's most needed- where there's good public transport- all mostly without great public expense.

Shades of the way the Americans got their transcontinental railways built: by giving land along the railways to the railway companies to sell to settlers.
 

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Sounds like a fantastic and very ambitious plan.

$4 billion is a big spend, but the value of land and development they'll get back will also be massive.

The associated services and other infrastructure would be a nightmare, but if they've got that all under control, why not?
 

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Lord Melbourne
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sakor1 said:
I don't know if it will get off the ground...

Stu
Or underground :p
Yes it sounds good, but as an easy thing mentioned by Tays, sink Caulfield to hugesdale/oakleigh, and cover up on top of South Yarra to Malvern. Then you get the tracks out of the way, more space for parks/homes/cycle paths and yeah...

Imagine that, no railway crossings from City all the way to oakleigh.
Or the other way to help out the trainline, link the franga line between caulfield and glenhuntly so the trams don't have to sit for 5 mins waiting for three trains going each way to pass, and so it allows trains to speed up over the road (instead of crawling along at 30Kph) If you graded Gelnhuntly and ormond and bently you'd have no crossings untill moorabbin.

Ah well basically the government needs to spend that $10 on public transport alone, not a cent of it on roads, and make that for 5-7 years not 10.
 

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lozza said:
it would be nice on the belgrave lilydale line if they fix up the level crossing problems - ( shamozzles / embarrasment ) at blackburn road, springvale road etc - thats a major problem that needs to be a priority...
Couldn't agree more lozza! I have heard plans of a tunnel being constructed under the Middelborough Rd crossing. Definately the wrong crossing to change. You'd think Springvale Rd would be the first one!
 

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Jason R said:
The Lilydale/Belgrave lines run through some pretty exclusive suburbs, too. Might be some interesting times ahead. I always thought that the most likely tracks to get built over would be the Jolimont Yards. They're much closer to the city.

I do wonder what this would all mean for new tracks, future expansion and the like for the lines that get buried if projects like this go ahead.
It would hopefully mean for Lilydale/Belgrave or Cranbourne/Pakenham that you would at least provide space for four tracks, as was done at Box Hill.
 

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Wow should be ready when i get back home to melbourne in 2019.... It would be great if it happened, but i really just cant see the investment going into.... fingers are crossed though

FCDB
 
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