Missed a spot – Nunawading and Mitcham level crossing removals

With millions of dollars being spent across Melbourne in recent years on level crossing removal projects, it is interesting to see what doesn’t get upgraded. A good example of this can be found between Nunawading and Mitcham – a pair of railway stations that have both been recently grade separated.

Transdev bus #8012 rego 8059AO on a route 902 service at Nunawading

Nunawading station is located next to Springvale Road, with the level crossing being grade separated in 2009-10 at a cost of $140 million. A new station was built on the western side of the road.

X'Trapolis 200M arrives into Nunawading with a down Lilydale service

With brand new tracks passing beneath Springvale Road.

Stairs linking the west side of Springvale Road to the platforms at Nunawading station

And a cutting on the eastern side, using brand new concrete sleepered track to link it back to the existing ground level tracks.

X'Trapolis 932M arrives into Nunawading with an up service

Meanwhile at Mitcham, the station was rebuilt in 2013-14 as part of the grade separation of the Mitcham Road and Rooks Road level crossings – with total project cost of $192 million. A new station was built at the bottom of a concrete trench.

X'Trapolis 102M arrives into Mitcham station on a down Belgrave service

Mitcham Road passes over the tracks at the eastern end of the station, where the newly built tracks return to ground level.

X'Trapolis train departs Mitcham station on a down Belgrave service

While new tracks at the bottom of the concrete cutting continue a kilometre west towards Nunawading, where Rooks Road passes over the top.

Google Street View - trenched railway at Rooks Road, Mitcham

However penny pinching becomes apparent when you look at the tracks between Rooks Road and Springvale Road. Here a section of life expired timber sleepered railway track still remains, where the ground level track was left untouched by both level crossing removal projects.

Life expired timber sleepered railway track between Nunawading and Mitcham stations

However you can’t argue that the section of track was out of scope of both projects – the stanchions that hold up the overhead wires are now modern galvanised structures, which replaced the original rusted steel stanchions erected when the railway line was electrified during the 1920s.

New overhead stanchions between Nunawading and Mitcham stations

Presumably the short section of timber sleepered track was deemed “good enough” to be left untouched as part of both projects, but the stanchions needed to be moved to new locations because the overhead wires in both directions needed to be realigned.

Yet more evidence that level crossing removals are projects designed to deliver benefits to road users, with any improvements for passengers or railway infrastructure being a bonus.


A similar omission is part of the grade separation of Blackburn Road at Blackburn – local residents thought they would get a brand new railway station as part of the project, when the scope of the work only covers relocating the railway tracks to beneath Blackburn Road.

X'Trapolis 71M and 172M cross the Blackburn Road level crossing

Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Missed a spot – Nunawading and Mitcham level crossing removals”

  1. Mike says:

    The local council has been stirring the pot about the Blackburn Rd works and the lack of a new railway station. I suspect their complaint is politically motivated*, as being a regular user of the station for more than 25 years I never expected or saw any advice that the station would be rebuilt. During the community consultation process I asked the question as to whether the station would be relocated, like happened at Nunawading, and was told the station was not being moved or rebuilt.

    I don’t think Blackburn needs a new station. Indeed I find it a more pleasant environment than many of the recently built stations around the network.

    * I observe (unless I’m mistaken?) that some of the noisy councilors have stood as Liberal candidates at elections in the past, and we now have a Labor state government. Hence my suspicion about the complaint being political. Although the irony is that it was the previous Liberal-National state government that scoped and funded the Blackburn crossing removal.

  2. Dark Knight says:

    Let’s not forget both projects has no provision for a possible third rail towards Ringwood.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I believe the south side of Nunawading station has ‘passive provision’ for additional tracks – presumably the dirt slope gets dug out to provide space.

      As for Mitcham station, good lack there – it’s just a narrow and very deep concrete trench!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *