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Registered Melbourne
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Channel deepening to the Port of Melbourne has been a hot topic here, but meanwhile a large project on the landward side of the port has received little attention at all.

The problem: this level-crossing: The bridge above is part of "CityLink".



This is the only (single track but dual gauge) track into the Port of Melbourne. Here, what is ostensibly "The Ghan" passes the silos at Appleton Dock:



These trains are up to 1.5 km long, cross Footscray road at 15 km or slower, and hold up traffic for up to 15 minutes as they cross. More of the same train: I had plenty of time to photograph it :





The road they cross- Footscray Road- has to carry all road traffic in and out of the port. Considering the Port of Melbourne handles nearly 40% of the nation's container traffic off ship, this is a pretty poor situation. Francis Street Yarraville- which indirectly feeds into this- handles over 6,000 trucks per day, despite a truck curfew at night.

The solution- and this has to be Victoria's most pressing grade separation project, and its most expensive- raise the 6 lanes of Footscray Road (it actually has 4 additional service lanes as well), put in four rail tracks to the port to replace the current single track, and build an intersection on top of the rail tracks (rail yards at the top of the photo, CityLink on the right):




(aerial photo & legend from Ministry of Transport website)

Progress to date:

Although I live close by, I hadn't seen what was going on here until this afternoon: work started August 2007, and the project is scheduled for completion mid-2009.

There was quite a large bridge where there had been no bridge last time I was here: note the elevated side-road to the right.



This bridge will carry the southern (west-bound) lanes, and is scheduled to open "mid 2008". They were fitting concrete panels to the side of the structure:



Side-view of this overpass: another bridge will be constructed to left of this for east-bound traffic.



Additional bridge leading to a second elevated intersection in the docks area (on the left): the new Footscray Road Bridge is behind me now:



The eastern docks access viaduct- to Appleton Dock- had most of the piers up, but had a long way to go: Bolte bridge in the background, and quite a bit of carbon in the air:



No sign of new railway track yet, but it was obvious from the orientation of the bridge pylons where they were intended to go. Clearly they will have to wait until the second bridge in Footscray Road has been constructed: project completion date: some time 2009. Seems to be roughly on time.
 

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derp
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Good project profile Yardy.

Just to clarify, that train pictured you said was the Ghan - it's not really. There's two NR type locomotives that are painted in the Ghan livery and at least one operates the Ghan, whilst the other wanders around the SG network on other jobs.

From this post, I realise I've spent too much time on Railpage. :lol:
 

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You like your NRs do you Yardy? ;)

Pity that the Webb Dock line is still in disuse - and it was only built in 1986.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good project profile Yardy.

Just to clarify, that train pictured you said was the Ghan - it's not really. There's two NR type locomotives that are painted in the Ghan livery and at least one operates the Ghan, whilst the other wanders around the SG network on other jobs.

From this post, I realise I've spent too much time on Railpage. :lol:
I've been on the Ghan, crazyknightsfan ... that's why as an afterthought I added the word "ostensibly".
 

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Registered Melbourne
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You like your NRs do you Yardy? ;)

Pity that the Webb Dock line is still in disuse - and it was only built in 1986.
Pity indeed. I just went out and shot what was there, BroadGauge.

Some more photos from Footscray Road:

Coode Island, a favorite for overseas tourists here:



Container stacks:



I've wondered for a while just how high they will stack these things: I found a pile of seven, and then one eight-high :



Swanston Dock East:

 

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Nice photos Yardy.

Good to see that nobody was making gestures towards you from inside any trains this time ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice photos Yardy.

Good to see that nobody was making gestures towards you from inside any trains this time ;)
Actually ...



This guy demanded to have his photo taken, with his muscles on display, and "the city skyline in the background" !

I did it for you mate ... now you find it!

:cheers:
 

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Regulator
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Is it true that the containers are never returned and just stockpiled at docks?

I heard on the radio about a guy building a house of them, lol.

Great pics and info. Drove past there not long ago and the speed limits exist for most of the length of Footscray Road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
^^^ I'll check that out ...

I often wonder when I see so many containers stacked around the PoM: it would be a good intellectual exercise for kids (or adults) to make an estimate of just how many there are here.

Doubt that there are many hoboes living in there, though ... ten years ago (during the big stand-off with Peter Reith) I took photos on streets I can't set a foot on now. Lately, even the street-directrory has changed the whole area to pink, or pink stripes: verboten.

Rumour had it that the PoM was an actually a very cheap place to store containers ... which is maybe why they're even eight-high now ... wouldn't happen in NYC.

Next year?
 

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I doubt the containers are never returned. There are companies that own them, I don't see why they wouldn't want them back. It might be that they don't need them at the moment, or they are waiting for a large enough pile that they can ship them somehere else in a bulk load? I don't know but they would be worth something in scrap metal at the least if they weren't wanted.
 

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Slightly off topic I know, but with an imbalance of countries with net imports and net exports, a lot of those shipping containers travel empty from the net importers back to the net exporters, and it's effectively a waste of energy and space when it's more economical just to scrap them and build new ones where they are needed. On Eco Report this weekend they were talking about some places using old containers and converting them into buildings like lego blocks, rather interesting. Some entrepreneur in China has also found use for empty shipping containers by transporting waste from America and recycling it to create new goods.
 

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Potentially a dumb question, but given the approach to rail related projects in Victoria, not all that silly I dont think.

Anyway

Is the overpass being built with Double stacking in mind?

Yes, I know double stacking can't happen in Victoria at present, but in the future, it should be do-able. I would hope this overpass is being built with the future in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For those that missed it, west-bound traffic from the Melbourne CBD along Footscray Road was switched to the new overpass featured above a week or two above:



The view from the opposite direction. At the top of the bridge, at least one side-viaduct into the docks area to the right is functioning; the other still needs quite a lot of work:



The west-bound lanes of Footscray Road are now being cut-up (in 10 metre sections or so by the look of it), prior to its removal in order to construct a parallel road viaduct to carry east (city-bound) traffic. That strange thing in the sky in the background identifies the Melbourne (wholesale) Flower Market.



The centre of the viaduct. The large openings in the foreground will carry the new rail lines into the port, and do look high enough to carry double-stacked containers. There will be a rail junction to the left here, with double tracks running under the viaducts to the extreme right and also less acutely from the angle of vision to Appleton Dock:



Construction of a service road, which will presumably connect under the bridge with that on the opposite (left-hand) side:



Fitting the bridge parapets. There is a very popular cycle path here: I'm not sure whether it will go over or under the bridge.

 

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oh port of melbourne
last time i was there, i was boarding the Spirit of Tasmania
 

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̙͈̩ͫ̎Ż̌ͫ&
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Where are they going to run double stacked containers to?

From Appleton Dock to Dynon? Lol.
 
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