Overview

Planning is underway to upgrade the Eltham train substation and we are inviting you to have your say on some of the elements of what it will look like. The site upgrade will make it ready for bushfire protection technology, which is being installed on the electricity network.

The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission 2009 made recommendations to reduce the risk of bushfires across the state. Damaged and failing electrical wires are a major cause of bushfire.

In response to the recommendations, power distribution companies are installing technology to the power network that will reduce the risk of triggering a bushfire. However, this technology may cause power surges to infrastructure, such as train substations that are connected to the network.

Train substations need to be ready for this technology to ensure power spikes do not impact your journey. An isolating transformer is being installed inside a Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCL) building and it will work like a shock absorber and protect the train substation from high voltage spikes.

Upgrading the existing substation at 1111 Main Road to make it ready forREFCL technology involves electrical work and the construction of a second building alongside the existing substation to house the REFCL technology.

  • The new building will house an isolation transformer to protect the electrical train network.
  • It will be smaller than the current substation and will be about 9 X 13 metres long and about 3 metres high.
  • Works will include the construction of a retaining wall between the new building and the road and its adjacent footpath.
  • The wall is required to structurally support the earth embankment alongside the building and to prevent access to the roof and surrounds of the new building.
  • The wall will be up to 2.1 metres high adjacent to the footpath.
  • Landscaping works will also be undertaken, with a mixture of plant types to maintain the character of the local area.
  • Works around the building will include improving the driveway and access to enable future maintenance.

Works on site will commence from October 2021 and continue until mid-2022 (weather dependent) and be carried out in consultation with Nillumbik Shire Council as required.

The design of the retaining wall has been developed with consideration for:

  • Safety and the protection of road users and pedestrians, and the substation infrastructure.
  • Ease of construction, maintenance and sustainability.
  • The design elements allow for an opportunity to respond to the neighbourhood character and the natural bushland features that are prominent in Eltham.

The dimensions of the substation and retaining wall will look like the image below. The new wall will sit atop concrete foundations that retain the road and earthworks below road level. Ironbark-coloured concrete panels will rise to 2100mm above the footpath with alternate panels clad in a rusted Corten steel with a laser cut pattern.

We invited the Eltham community to have their say on the design of the Eltham train substation retaining wall on Main Road in Eltham and the results are in.

Here’s what happened:

Response

  • More than 1000 people visited the Engage Victoria site.
  • 161 people responded.
  • Almost 60 people added comments.
  • The retaining wall will be: Iron bark green and there will be an alternating “bush life” pattern and plain wall.
  • The pattern will be used to discourage graffiti.
  • The word Eltham will not be included in the pattern.
  • Plantings will be considered after the wall is in place and influenced by the room available for planting and maintenance issues.

Results

Q1: What is your connection to the Nillumbik community?

  • More than 84 percent of respondents (143 people) live in Eltham/Nillumbik
  • Some 21 percent (35) visit the area often
  • Around 15 percent (25) had friends or family living in the area (25)
  • 11 percent (19) work in the area.

Q2: Pictured below are five coloured pallet options that could be used on the retaining wall along with a selected pattern below. Which of these colour options do you prefer?

Most preferred - Ironbark Green

Ironbark Green attracted 89 votes and more than 55 percent of responses

Ironbark Red was preferred by almost 17 percent of responses (27)

23 respondents voted Ironbark Grey, about 14 percent of responses

There were a total of 161 votes.

Q3: Pictured below are five rusted steel pattern options that could be used on the retaining wall with the selected option above. Which of these patterns do you prefer?

Most Preferred: Bush Life

Bush Life was preferred by 51 percent (81)

Bird Haven was preferred by 20 percent (32)

Tree Towers was preferred by 14 percent (22)

We received 159 votes.

We also received input outside of the survey, which we have included in our analysis.

Decision

Following community feedback, the Department of Transport has decided to implement the following:

  • The retaining wall will be: Iron bark green and there will be an alternating “bush life” pattern and plain wall.
  • The pattern will be used to discourage graffiti.
  • The word Eltham will not be included in the pattern.
  • Plantings will be considered after the wall is in place and influenced by the room available for planting and maintenance issues.