The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project is getting rid of nine level crossings and rebuilding five stations on the Cranbourne Pakenham train line.
The project will reduce congestion on the local road and rail network, and deliver a safer and more reliable train service.
Screens on the rail line will help to reduce noise and offer privacy for houses that directly abut the rail corridor.
Community consultation showed noise reduction, privacy and a consistent visual appearance were all important design aspects for the community.
The elevated structure will feature screens of varying heights to minimise rail noise and the views from the train line into properties. They will also provide a consistent design treatment.
To protect the privacy of residents, the Residential Development Standards (ResCode) were used as a guideline for determining the height of the screens.
The ResCode has been applied to the elevated rail corridor in the following ways:
- 1.7 metre viewing height above the carriage floor
- Ground level horizontal offset zone of nine metres from the train windows
- Screens at a 45 degree angle to account for approaching and turning views from the train
- Consideration was also given to visually sensitive properties such as aged care and childcare facilities to which the ResCode nine-metre zone did not apply.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) used specialist acoustic consultants to predict noise levels under with the new design, and compare these to current noise levels.
The elevated design will result in less noise compared with the current ground level operation of the train line with no noise mitigation features.
Modern construction techniques mean that noise will be greatly reduced compared with many of the older rail lines around Melbourne.
Visual identity and urban design
In addition to minimising noise and protecting the privacy of residents, the screens will provide a consistent visual identity in keeping with the elevated rail.
All about the screens
The screens will be built into the elevated rail structure itself. The multipurpose noise and privacy screens will allow light to get through while ensuring train travellers cannot look down into houses and back yards. Screen heights are tailored to different areas and are up to 2.7 metres high.
The height of the screens has been based on standing height within the train carriage.
Transition screens will be used to eliminate the possibility of overlooking issues as trains approach and depart. In these instances, the height of the screens is gradually increased and decreased.
An interactive model is available for viewing at the Murrumbeena Information Hub and residents along the rail corridor can make an appointment to see what the final structure will look like from their property (subject to change). Samples of the screening material can also be seen at the Information Hub.
Extensive community consultation on the elevated design was undertaken from late 2015 to March 2016. The consultation identified that noise reduction, privacy and a consistent visual identity were all important aspects of the design for the community.