At least 100 beams have been lifted into place on the future Cranbourne-Pakenham line in Melbourne’s south-east, as part of the project to remove nine of the city’s busiest level crossings.
The Caulfield to Dandenong project is being delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Authority, via a contracted alliance of Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and Aurecon.
The project will eliminate nine level crossings on the busiest stretch of the Metro Trains network: the section of double track between Caulfield and Dandenong railway stations, shared by the Cranbourne and Pakenham railway lines.
The Caulfield to Dandenong project also includes the rebuilding of stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park.
In its latest construction update, the LXRA said that as of January 10, a super-sized straddle carrier had lifted over 100 beams into place, weighing up to 400 tonnes apiece.
The beams, lifted with the aid of a pair of two large gantry cranes, will help form a 3.2-kilometre section of elevated railway. Around 70 more beams remain to be lifted, before steel track will be laid.
“Getting these 100 spans in place is a huge achievement, and one our crews should be proud of,” project director Brett Summers said.
“Understanding the complexity of this section, we’ve sourced these innovative machines to achieve the elevated design.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who represents the nearby district of Mulgrave, said the level crossings on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line were “dangerous relics of the past,” which had to be removed.
“My community lives the frustration of these boom gates every single day – I’ve had enough of them and can’t wait to see them gone for good.”
Acting transport minister Philip Dalidakis thanked passengers for their patience as buses have replaced trains across segments of the lines in recent weeks, while intensive crossing removal works have taken place.
“We’re ahead of schedule and the end result will be worth it,” Dalidakis said. “This massive project is creating thousands of jobs here in Melbourne’s south-east, and will allow us to run more trains, more often on the city’s busiest train line.”