This week the Herald Sun ran a piece titled “Suburban sky rail: Spin vs reality”, featuring ugly examples of elevated rail in Melbourne, covered in graffiti and littered with rubbish. For the purposes of comparison, here are some equally unattractive examples of railway lines being sunk beneath the road.
We start at Footscray, where the tracks at both ends of the station run in a ‘slot’ beneath the road.
The cutting at the city end was recently expanded to six tracks as part of the Regional Rail Link project, but the graffiti vandals have already left their mark.
Even a steam train chugging past doesn’t make the cutting look any nicer.
Windsor is another railway station located below ground – with a brick walled cutting runs between Chapel Street and Dandenong Road, covered with graffiti.
The tracks between East Richmond and Burnley are located in a concrete walled cutting beneath the streets of Richmond, where graffiti features heavily.
Even when the graffiti finally gets painted over, it reappears soon after.
Nearby at South Yarra, the railway towards Caulfield passes beneath Chapel Street next door to the Jam Factory and again, graffiti and litter features.
At Camberwell the tracks were lowered beneath Burke Road almost a century ago, but the brick walls that line the cutting are still a magnet for graffiti vandals.
The concrete walls on the other side are just as unsightly.
And don’t think putting railway tracks underground is a way to stop graffiti – even the City Loop tunnels are full of painted scrawl.
A graffiti covered railway viaduct gives passengers a clear view across suburbia, with the ugly side facing local residents and road users; while a graffiti covered railway cutting hides the urban blight at the bottom of a hole, where only train passengers will see it.
Sounds like the Herald Sun is pandering to their key demographic of road users and NIMBYs, and doesn’t give a stuff about people who actually use public transport?
From the original Herald Sun piece:
Proposed sky rail plan under cloud after existing elevated lines revealed as vandalised eyesores
February 10, 2016
Kara Irving and Tom Minear
the Premier’s vision of a “beautiful” parkland oasis beneath the proposed Cranbourne-Pakenham sky rail is under a cloud as it emerged that existing elevated lines are neglected and vandalised.
Premier Daniel Andrews has promised “community open spaces, parks, playgrounds and netball courts” beneath the controversial tracks, being built to remove nine level crossings. But a Herald Sun analysis has exposed a reality of concrete pillars and elevated track beds covered in ugly graffiti tags.
West Richmond, Clifton Hill, Hawthorn, Oakleigh, Gardenvale, Elsternwick and Balaclava overpasses have all fallen victim to vandals and open spaces have become desolate litter-strewn wastelands avoided by residents and traders.