Throughout Greater Melbourne a level crossing removal programme has been underway, where trains meet motor traffic and trams. The separation between road and train is very expensive but will only become more expensive if left. It would have been cheaper to do this a couple of decades ago. Both material and labour costs are so high at the moment, but the programme presses on.
A cynic might suggest that trains are dropped into a trench in very politically sensitive Labor marginal seats and overhead trains are for everywhere else.
I see the overhead trains known as Skyrail somewhat of a visual blight but a lot of thought has put into what sits under Skyrails and the result with public facilities and cycle paths has been quite good. And Skyrail has nothing on the blight of elevated motor car freeways.
Some level crossings delay so few cars and are deemed quite safe so won't be changed and I agree with this.
I visited the Skyrail on the Upfield line before it was completed it was shaping up well enough. A few weeks ago I visited Coburg Station and honestly what I saw I thought was terrific and I think quite typical of what has been done elsewhere. Here are a few photos. I did not really have a blog post focus when I visited and I wish I had taken more photos. There was a nice grassed area with some bench seating but the seating was unshaded. There were also seats in the shade of the overhead railway, along with a very busy bike path. It is a nice space.
The only problem with the station is the train service. I had just missed a train and it was a twenty minute wait until the next one. When the under construction Metro tunnel opens in 2025, there will be a massive timetable change for all Melbourne trains and hopefully we will see an improved service for the Upfield train line.