Is there room for a 2nd track and bikepath? Camp Rd Level Crossing Removal. Photo: Kevin Balaam via Instagram
As more people move into Fawkner, indeed into Moreland and Hume muncipalities and along the suburbs served by the Upfield rail line, it becomes more imperative to upgrade the Upfield line.
The Level Crossing Removal at Camp Road will not do anything to improve the service to commuters on the Upfield line. This work has been done for improved traffic flow only. The benefit to public transport users will only come with adding dual track from Gowrie to Upfield, which would allow for an increase in service frequency and reduce a bottlenecks in the public transport line infrastructure.
Yes, there are other bottlenecks in the system such as the city loop, which the Metro tunnel line will help resolve.
So why isn’t the Andrews government and State Labor MP Frank Maguire pushing harder for upgrading the Upfield Line to dual track?
The following interchange in letters between Denis Watson of the Upgrade Upfield Committee and Frank Maguire’s office highlights the issue:
1-in-100 flood mapping for Coburg North along Merlynston Creek
I hope you didn’t have too much planned this weekend. It might be good to stay home and see how waterproof your house is when the thunderstorms start rolling in on Friday afternoon, and are expected to keep on dumping torrential amounts of rain all weekend.
Expect flash flooding in low lying areas. Merlynston Creek at Coburg North is likely to flash flood. Take care if you live in the vicinity of the 1-in-100 flood zone for Merlynston Creek, particularly around Sussex Street and Boundary Road. Visit the SES page for Moreland Council for local Flood information.
Train services on the Upfield line have been disrupted since 15th November, from Coburg to Upfield. There is a replacement bus service, but it doesn’t provide the same utility as the train service lacking the facility for mobility scooters and to take bicycles.
Camp Road has also been disrupted, but will be reopened with the new road bridge over the Upfield line at 6:00am Thursday 30 November.
Train passengers have to continue to wait until Monday 18 December for reinstatement of train services, due to continuing track work, overhead electricity cabling.
Detraining on the Upfield line from a broken down train south of Park St.
I got to experience a broken down train and the community response in helping each other off the Upfield train yesterday.
Because of level crossing removal work at Camp Road trains are only running to COBURG on the Upfield Line. Yesterday I cycled to COBURG and used the Parkiteer cage for my bike and caught the train into the city for an event. Everything was well, and I caught the 5:02 train from Flinders Street.
The problem with my train started occurring after Flemington Bridge station with the train motor seeming to sputter causing jumps. We made it past Royal Park before the engine pretty well died in fits and starts. “You can do it, you can do it” chanted someone in my carriage as the train inched forward in a few splutters of progress.
On November 12 Fawkner held it’s community festival in CB Smith Reserve. By all accounts a festive occasion with some beautiful summer weather.
Darul Elum College – Evans Reserve landswap
I attended Moreland Council on Wednesday night. One of the items for consideration was the land swap with Darul Ulum College and Evans Reserve. Although I have no in principal objection to the land swap – council will not loose any land as part of Evans Reserve – I am concerned about the seven native trees in part of Evans Reserve that will be swapped.
One tree is located towards the north east corner of the land to be swapped, and the other six are in the south west corner of Evans Reserve.
I did get to ask a question, which prompted an addition in the land swap motion later in the meeting. An extra point was added to the motion for Council Officers in the land swap negotiations to try and ensure the seven native trees were saved as part of the deal.
So more car parking for Darul Ulum College (a good thing) but it adds to the urban heat island effect (a bad thing). Saving these seven trees is important if they can be incorporated as part of the expanded car parking, especially given the recent Urban Forest Strategy adopted by Council which stressed the importance of saving trees in the private realm.
No guarantees at this stage, but I am hoping these trees can be incorporated as part of the new car parking land in Darul Ulum College as part of the land swap deal. If not, then the College will have angered local residents.
The College needs to pull their weight when it comes to climate action, even in such a small thing as retaining seven native trees in an extended car park.
It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Helen Lee on 13th September 2017, one of the co-ordinators for the Fawkner Food Swap for the last few years.
Helen has lived in Fawkner since 2009, many of those years with her partner Rachel.
Helen was a swim teacher at the Fawkner Leisure Centre instructing children in water safety and swimming. She had previously done swim teaching at the Brunswick and Coburg Swimming Pools.
She also participated in tree and grass plantings and the bird surveys conducted by Friends of Merri Creek at Bababi Djininang at the end of Jukes Road. She was involved in a local gardening group.
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Sign at bus stop opposite Gowrie Station on Sydney Road
Updated 5th October: with a response from Frank Maguire MP, and response from Level Crossing Removal Authority. Update 9 October with response from Metro Trains re disability access for replacement bus service
Public Transport Victoria and Level Crossing Removal Authority have failed to explain why trains will terminate at Coburg Station instead of Gowrie Station.
Due to Level Crossing Removal activity at Camp Road trains will terminate at Coburg station from 8.30pm Thursday 26 October to the last service on Monday 30 October. A bus service from Coburg to Upfield will replace the train. This disruption will be repeated during November and December.
Unfortunately buses aren’t as friendly for wheelchair users, or for cyclists who use the train. What about people who use mobility scooters? Will they be catered for? These people are particularly negatively affected, as well as regular users of Batman, Merlynston, Fawkner and Gowrie stations.
I don’t see why trains can’t terminate at Gowrie, where there are points north of the station before the M80 bridge allowing a train to go beyond the station then come back heading to the city.
residents oppose development of toxic site
At the Urban Planning Committee last night Council unanimously voted to reject the development application for the toxic site at 102 McBryde Street, Fawkner.
The site owner wanted to erect two 7 metre tall warehouses which would involve drilling 16 holes for the foundations through the clay cap that seals dangerous dioxin contaminated soil.
At a previous information session the environmental auditor that the company employed admitted that test drill holes found levels of contamination consistent with 1995 levels.
Someone with a sense of sign humour at railway bridge
Arising from letters I sent in August, I have had a response from a policy advisor from the office of the Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan dated 18 August 2017 regarding the Upfield Bike Path extension, and it’s not good. There are no plans by VicRoads to extend the Upfield bike path past the M80 ring road, this is despite the dangerous nature of Sydney Road for cyclists through Campbellfield.
Hume Council at their August Council meeting also advocated for VicRoads to build the Upfield bikepath extension.