Measure twice, cut once at Laverton station

You’d think preventing trains from hitting a new railway platform would be easy – there are standards for how close you can build to the tracks, so following those clearances in your construction drawing, and it’ll just work. However the people who designed the Laverton station upgrades of 2009-10 somehow forgot that, leading to plenty of rework before trains were allowed to run.

Siemens stops for passengers at Laverton station, surrounded by construction

A third platform was built on the northern side of the tracks, while trains continued using the original island platforms on the other side of the tracks.

Looking down on the island platform, to be renumbered 2 and 3

By December 2009 the new track had been laid, but lacking any rail welds or ballast.

Track in the new platform still incomplete, minus rail welds or ballast

While the Werribee end of the new platform featured a staircase up to the concourse, as well as a tall fence along the platform edge, where a passage provided access to the lift.

Down end of the new platform, dunno how a wheelchair will fit between the stairs and the fence

But a few months later in February 2010, the fence was gone.

Fence along platform 1 removed because it was out of gauge

And a few weeks after that, a stair shaped looking sliver of concrete appeared in the station car park.

The removed bit of the stairs to platform 1

While workers were busy chipping away at the bottom end of the staircase.

A section of platform 1 was out of gauge, so the fence was removed and the edge moved inwards, requiring the steps to be cut back so wheelchairs could still get past

The reason for the works – the new platform was “out of gauge” and passing trains were at risk of hitting it, so the platform edge was moved inwards, requiring the steps to be cut back so wheelchairs could still get between it and a shortened platform fence.

VLocity 3VL50 leads a down Geelong service through Laverton station

Footnote

The altered steps are Laverton station are still visible today – when heading down to platform 1, the stairs get narrower just before reaching the last landing.

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6 Responses to “Measure twice, cut once at Laverton station”

  1. Beren says:

    Yeah, see I’m not really seeing it in the original picture. Unless it’s towards where the lift is. It certainly doesn’t appear to be closer then the actual platform itself. And the platform further up doesn’t appear to have been cut back? Maybe the issue here is the fence, someone could put their hand through in the path of the train? Like a child? So, maybe the fence was deemed unsafe? Needs to be further back from train? Simple solution would be to change the fence to like a clear barrier that you can’t put hands through?

    • Marcus Wong says:

      You might be onto something there – the original fence was bolted to the very edge of the platform, while the replacement fence is about 30 centimetres away from it. With all of the concrete dust on the platform from cutting back the stairs, it is hard to tell if the platform also got trimmed.

  2. Laverton says:

    I’m further concerned that the lifts as implemented did not allow a stretcher bed for emergencies, with only stair egress as an alternative. It has already been caught out at least once.

  3. Jacob says:

    On the Regional Rail Link, how are the gaps between the platforms and the train?

    And how will the gaps be when they plan to electrify the RRL.

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