Fw: Mon.12.4.21 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Mon.12.4.21 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains on sections of the Craigieburn line until the last train of Thursday 15 April (level-crossing-removal works).
Werribee station c1910.  Camera VPRS 12800/ P1 item H 5141 [The clothing hints at 1890s]
18.20 Mernda line: Major delays (a trespasser near Regent).
- 18.29 clearing.
- 18.38 trains may terminate/originate at Epping or South Morang.
19.19 Sunbury line: Major delays (police near Ginifer). Trains may terminate/originate at intermediate stations.
- 19.39 clearing.
Hurstbridge line: Buses replace trains Clifton Hill - Macleod from 21.05 until the last train (maintenance works).

‘The future, now’: Solar-powered bus takes first passengers Stuart Layt April 12, 2021

Developers, heritage protectors line up over airport rail bridge plans. Timna Jacks April 12, 2021
Plans to build a viaduct to carry Melbourne’s airport rail link within metres of a historic flour mill have alarmed developers and Victoria’s most influential heritage lobby group.
The state government last month revealed concept designs for the long-awaited, $8-$13 billion airport rail project through the city’s western suburbs. Work is set to start next year, with the line to open in 2029.
The 100-year-old John Darling and Son flour mill next to Albion station in Sunshine.CREDIT:WAYNE TAYLOR
The plans include a 50-metre-high rail overpass that will start near Sunshine station and continue for less than two kilometres along the existing rail corridor.
The twin tracks will soar over Albion station, Anderson Road and Ballarat Road – which is itself an overpass – and pass close to the 100-year-old John Darling and Son flour mill. The overpass will then descend to follow the existing freight line and continue, mostly at ground level, towards the airport.
The Pelligra Group, which own the heritage-listed mill and is planning to spend up to $100 million developing it into a hotel and office space, warned the bridge would cut views from the building “in half” and come within 15 to 20 metres of the structure, creating noise and vibrational impacts.
Any changes to a site protected under the Victorian Heritage Register require a permit from Heritage Victoria, which has yet to receive an application for the overpass.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne has the power to intervene in the process and has done so previously on other major transport projects.
Simon Ambrose, chief executive of the National Trust of Australia’s Victorian branch, said the John Darling building was “one of the most historically significant and intact flour mills in the state”.
“The National Trust would have serious concerns about any proposal which would impact on the integrity of the complex, the ability for it to be appropriately adapted and used into the future, or its visual prominence as a local landmark,” he said. “We expect these issues to be carefully considered as part of planning for the Melbourne Airport Rail project, and for meaningful consultation to be undertaken prior to any decisions being made.”
Pelligra’s chairman, Ross Pelligra, will soon apply for permits to develop the 13,000-square-metre site into a mixed-use facility that will include a 140-room Mercure hotel, 12,000 square metres of office space, retail stores and childcare.
Developers want to turn the heritage-listed mill into a hotel. CREDIT:WAYNE TAYLOR
Mr Pelligra said he backed the airport rail project, describing it as a “game-changer for Melbourne”, but the proximity of the planned overpass to the John Darling mill threatened to disturb the “privacy of the tenants and the patrons of the facility”.
The firm’s development manager, Alex Harratt, said the overpass had already caused concern among prospective tenants.
“All of a sudden those premium hotel rooms facing the railway line are no longer premium because they’re looking at a railway overpass,” he said.
The overpass would undoubtedly dominate the skyline and cut the view from the building in half, he said.
video First images of Melbourne Airport rail bridge revealed See the first images of what a new rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River, to be built as part of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link project, will look like.
Mr Harratt said he was troubled by signs the government would not consider a major upgrade for Albion station, which he described as “one of the worst stations in Melbourne”, being plagued by vandalism and police incidents.
A government spokeswoman said the overpass was the chosen design because it avoided issues involving relocating a jet fuel pipeline and the need to rebuild Ballarat and St Albans roads.
“The elevated rail design at Albion is the best option to deliver Melbourne Airport Rail,” the spokeswoman said.
“We recognise the heritage importance of the flour mills in Albion and so does the community, with this coming through as a strong theme in recent community engagement.”
It comes as Brimbank’s mayor has raised the alarm about signs the Andrews government is walking away from its promise to build a “super hub” at Sunshine station – a project that was set to fuel an economic boom in the suburb.
RELATED ARTICLE Ministers Jacinta Allan and Paul Fletcher unveiled the first images of the new rail bridge to form part of the Melbourne Airport Rail project.  First airport rail images released, as long-delayed project inches closer
* The John Darling mill was built near a rail yard, a hotel at the same site should not have reason to complain. It's a bit like living near an airport runway and then complaining about the noise. The mill site was probably not zoned residential in it's heyday. As a rail enthusiast, I'd probably welcome staying at the hotel. What would Mr Pelligra consider a viable alternative?
* Upgrading Albion station and getting rid of that nightmare intersection at Ballarat Road and St Albans Road would both be great outcomes for us in the local community.
* The trainspotters would love such a hotel with great and uninterrupted views of the high rail pass.
* So let's be clear, the simple version is, there's a developer who doesn't want a railway line near his yet to be built development and is using heritage as a tactic.
* premium and facing a rail line are not really natural bedfellows.
* What a storm in a teacup, honestly they want the building to have an unobstructed view from all angles, thats not reality. Or they knock the buildings down, but thats not to their end game either. Its called compromise. Depending on the angle you look at it there is no obstruction and for goodness sake you cant always it your own way. Grow up people.
* A developer complaining about someone else blocking their view! This is immensely satisfying to us suburbanites trying to protest 6 and 8 story apartment blocks towering over our back yards. When being accused of being a NIMBY, I've always noticed that the development was never in the developer's back yard.
* After a web search which has panoramic views, im pretty sure they're complaining about the more ugly side which already looks at railway line, freeway and modernish warehouses. Developers vs state government, developers trying to maximise profits.
* It's not often that developers and heritage protectors are on the same side. There must be a bucket of public money somewhere.
* Really? People complaining about a train going past old grain silos? If these things have any historical significance at all, I would have thought a airport train which gives visitors a good look at them would be welcomed. Other than rats, no-one is living in them. One day the project is too small and the next it is too big.
* Not sorry.
* The whole point of heritage protection is not only to protect the heritage structure but the curtilage or the surrounds/settings of the structures such as the mill and the bridge. This could have been avoided by rerouting the line away (in a more direct route not the one selected for expediency ) but the government has ignored this in this half baked “solution” - prediction: this will all end in tears and our children will be discussing this in another 50 years...
* The heritage importance of the flour mills in Albion is so important that it's being turned into a money-making hotel by the developers.
* Did the developers not see the existing railway line just outside their front door ?
* The original RFR plans called for a rail overpass at this same location but was ditched due to budget constraints. I know this area well and can assure you that a modern overpass might be a better view from the new hotel than the barren industrial landscape that would confront hotel patrons now.
* a developer worried about heritage? That’s a first.
* Let's not build this waste of money project and save $10 billion and spend the savings on upgrading to electric the Geelong and Melton lines! If the private Airport owners think its such a great idea for them let them build it at their cost!
* It's a dirty old flour mill factory on a railway line in an unloved suburb. If we are going to stop development for every single case, no matter how unworthy, this airport link will never be built
* The airport rail link is long overdue and should not be stopped by a developer whose "views" will be affected by it. I live an inner city suburb where the 9m rule is applied. If someone proposes a building more than 9m from your property boundary and its windows overlook your backyard and enable potential residents to stare into your family room, your objections will be ignored. In this case the development has not yet been applied for or approved and is double the 9m rule so the developer has absolutely no right to protest. They bought near the railway line and should have expected that there was a chance that it could end up with a skyrail above it.
* Get the rail line in, and developers and others can fit around it. It's far more important than some "redevelopment" of a flour mill. Perspective people.
* I love the fact that the elevated rail provides everyone travelling with an unimpeded view of a heritage building such as the flour mill. Rather than disturbing the heritage the rail bridge will provide allow more people to see the building than otherwise. A win, win.
* who cares? No one had ever heard of this flour mill & I can't see how keeping it or not makes any difference to Melbourne. Heritage should be something everyone can appreciate instead of obscure buildings in the middle of nowhere that no one ever sees
* The airport rail project initial concept plan for an overpass in the area around Albion Station is an abomination in design, ignores nearby heritage Darling flour mill, and suggests lazy engineering. Adding an overpass over the existing above-ground Ballarat Road bridge, topped by superfluous hoops for some reason, will dominate, scar and further diminish the potential of the area for the foreseeable future.

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