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Railway Authorities and "The idea"

Most of the area of the strip is Vic Track property with some parts such as the park adjacent to Jewell station leased to the City of Moreland.

The area of concern is defined on its west boundary mainly by non-railway buildings and in short distances at the north by roadways. The east boundary is the Upfield Bike Track with a simple post and rail fence between it and the unused railway land.

Between these boundaries and the operational parts of the corridor are large spaces that are either weed infested or sterile compacted dirt.

This proposal depends on redefined boundaries that will allow these areas to be landscaped and planted, guided by earlier studies carried our for the railway authority and the affected councils. (See "Documents/Upfield Railway Line Habitat Landscape Concept 1998)

It follows that Vic Track, Metro Trains Melbourne and the Department of Transport are needed as convinced supporters.

The park can be a reasonable success with no more cooperation than providing access to land currently unused and weed infested.

We move further towards full success when station precincts including the commuter access ways and such grassed areas as already exist become part and finally get there when railway and other historical elements are included.

There are clear benefits to the railway stakeholders from a fully developed strip.

  • Separation of commuter pedestrian traffic near stations from cycle users.

  • More appealing station appearance.

  • Proposed "toddler proof" fences provide safety for pedestrian users.

  • A nicer corridor for commuters to transit.

  • Need for annual weed mowing eliminated.

  • Provides a showcase for railway historical artifacts.

  • Being a participant in the creation of what could be a park of real significance.

Vic Track position

There is an issue concerning fencing that dates from before Vic Track existed, that requires the minimum distance of a fence from the track to be 3 metres. There are specific reasons given but stronger answers and examples to put that matter to rest.

The reasons given for the requirement are:

  • Maintaining signal sightlines for train drivers.
  • Avoiding tree branches falling on the lines.
  • The need for access for sleeper replacement.
  • A requirement for a 7 ton truck to have access.
  • Protection of railway property.

The answer to these requirements is:

  • Sleeper replacement technology has changed and is an uncommon event. It was accepted in the 1998 study that temporary removal of fence wires was a satisfactory solution. Removal of weldmesh panels is similar.
  • A continuous fence increases safety.
  • Sightlines and the branch issue can be regulated in a management agreement.
  • There are hundreds of examples of encroachments to the 1.5 metre distance.
    • Station platforms
    • Level and pedestrian crossings
    • Overhead wire stanchions
    • Bridges
    • Cuttings
    • Tunnels
  • Most property is already accessible to the public because there is easy access. Control boxes, buildings and most above ground structures are common sites for graffiti.
  • Equipment such as underground cables, earthing points etc. can be specifically protected as part of the "park" management rules.

A short train journey from South Yarra to Caulfield sitting on the left side of the train and looking at the passing trackside will show that the 3 metre rule is unimportant.

Under development.