Unlocking The True Potential Of Our Rail Corridors
This is an excellent follow-up to the article in our recent Active Whitehorse News.
A LESSON ON UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF ELEVATED RAIL: CAULFIELD TO DANDENONG LEVEL CROSSING REMOVAL – Refer Aspect Studios for full article
The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project presented an opportunity to develop an approach that unlocked the true potential of the rail corridor as a key structural element of the city.
In addition to meeting its core purpose of improving vehicular flows and intermodal public transport functionality, the simple move of elevating the rail tracks has facilitated a complete transformation of the role that the corridor plays within the urban fabric of Melbourne. The focus of the project immediately broadened beyond a singular focus on cars and public transport to become a significant public open space and active transport project for Melbourne.
Elevating the rail line released an enormous 22.5-hectare tract of land that would otherwise have been locked away by the rail tracks. The usual visual clutter of the tracks and associated gantries was consolidated on a sensitively designed viaduct, freeing up the ground plane to be developed as a linear park and opening up previously cluttered views along and across the corridor at ground level.
Liberated from the need for security fencing, and with the usual constraints of planting in proximity to rail lines relaxed, the rail corridor has been reclaimed by over 4,200 trees that frame a series of new civic spaces and the 12-kilometre long regional Djerring Trail. As an added benefit, once it reaches maturity, this tree planting will filter views towards the elevated viaduct.
No wonder many in Whitehorse feel short-changed by the LXRA solution between Box Hill and Ringwood where long rail trenches have, “entrenched” the division to a community that a rail line can cause.
Read the last Active Whitehorse News article about the planned LXRA level crossing removal at Mont Albert and Surrey Hills, and consider whether a trench or Skyrail solution would be better.