Monday, November 28, 2011

Close the Gates

Oh looky. Can't use get through the gates anymore. Fortunately the pedestrian gates still work and I was able to pop through to the other side with great safety. Safe, because there is person in the little hut to lock the gates closed when a train is coming. That is I assume from first train at around 5 am to the last at perhaps 1am. That would be three staff per day I guess, with more to cover for days off, holidays, sickness etc. What an astonishing waste of money and it has been like this for years.

Two hundred metres closer to the city is an pedestrian crossing without anyone to lock gates. Admittedly it is a modern and safe design, but there is still the onus on the person to check for approaching trains.

Something went wrong with the railway gates and or signalling one day in 2007 and a train hit the manually operated railway gates. They were then temporarily closed, now permanently. As wonderful as the old gates are, and with someone manually opening and closing them, they really are an anachronism.

New Street is a quiet street, quieter perhaps because of the closed gates. It was easy to take a photo standing on the road. The crossing would have surely have been one of the quietest in Melbourne. It is only ranked as number 223 in the level crossing upgrade ranking in Victoria. Yet, it has jumped to already having a $2 million budget allocation for a car underpass to be built.

The residents of Brighton tend to be very wealthy and influential and their local politician clever and experienced. Even so, the decision doesn't follow the usual rule of largess for marginal electorates, but more like payback, perhaps for a supporter or a job well done.

The crossing from the beach side.

Standing in the middle of the ultra quiet New Street. The pedestrian gates where the sign is are looked by a lever mechanism in the lean to next to the gate keeper's hut.

Two hundred metres closer to the city is an uncontrolled crossing. My word, that must be dangerous, even though I can't find any statistics of numbers of people killed while crossing.


  1. "an uncontrolled crossing. My word, that must be dangerous" - an early morning stroll around Brighton on a Sunday will reveal about FOUR cars in every driveway, so maybe none of them ever walk.
    X X X

  2. aaw I used to love that crossing with its attendant. You should know that money talks Andrew!

  3. I'm thinking Andrew - what if one of the attendants in that little manned hut dropped off to sleep!! you can't imagine it would be a very mentally stimulating job.

  4. Some council decisions are a mystery only understood by the people who make them, and even that is pushing reality!

  5. Why bother spending $2 million on a car underpass if the present setup is working ok surely this is a good thing, isn't it? :-).

  6. Ann, I think it would be used as beach access by teens and adults and walking Percy Poodle. Also, not far from a pvt school or two.

    Yep Fen, it was great when the gateperson came out to swing the gates.

    Dianne, just to be technical, I read when researching the post that the system is interlocked, so no green signal for the train unless the gates are locked. I also think, well there used to be, a bell system to alert of an approaching train.

    PDP, there is always a reason, but as you say, it is not made known to us voters.

    Windsmoke, for people who live nearby, it is a very useful access point to the beach road where many would use for commuting.

  7. An attendant! How bizarre!! I'm surprised it's not a tourist attraction!!!

  8. Is a bit really Red. I travelled by tram and then train just to see it.

  9. I used to know someone who worked there around 2006. He was so thrilled by his job that he used to bring his laptop to work and talk to all his mates online between trains passing.

    I recall hearing stories of local residents in 4WDs nearly running over the gatekeepers while they were trying to shut the gates. The gates got smashed around three times before Connex decided enough was enough and they shut the crossing, as every time it happened the line south of Elsternwick had to be closed for a few hours.

  10. Somebody, I would taking a book, a newspaper and a laptop. Very wise.

    Local Brighton residents in 4WDs trying to intimidate the gate keeper? I can't believe that.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.