Engineering, Passenger Rail

Altona Loop works complete; level crossing removed

Melbourne’s Altona Loop train services have resumed following the completion of another level crossing removal at Kororoit Creek Road in Williamstown North, and track duplication works on the Altona Loop.

The level crossing has been removed, while the new dual rail bridge structure is now complete, with train tracks laid and overhead wiring switched on. State transport minister, Jacinta Allan, who visited the site yesterday, said the Kororoit Creek Road crossing was the twenty-sixth removed since the programme got under way in 2015.

“Another level crossing has been consigned to the history books and I congratulate all those who worked hard to finish these upgrades ahead of schedule,” Allan said.

“I’d like to thank local commuters for their patience as these important works were undertaken – that dangerous and congested level crossing is now gone, delivering benefits for those who use both rail and road.”

Kororoit Creek Road, a key transport corridor and part of VicRoads’ principal freight network, is used by approximately 22,000 vehicles a day on average. State Labor MP for Williamstown Wade Noonan said the removal of the level crossing would significantly reduce congestion.

“It’s been great to see the progress at Kororoit Creek Road over the last 37 days – and see those boom gates gone for good – drivers will never again have to put up with those frustrating boom gate delays,” Noonan said.

The new dual rail bridge that now separates trains from traffic consists of 40 L-shaped concrete beams up to 31 metres long. These were transported to the site, craned into place and joined together in pairs to form the U-shaped viaducts. Over 7,000 tonnes of concrete were used and almost 12 kilometres of cable laid.

Works have also included the duplication of a section of track along the Altona Loop, between the Werribee line junction and Kororoit Creek.

Jill Hennessy, Labor’s MP for Altona, said that the works had removed a significant bottleneck on the line.

“In the past, train drivers have been forced to bypass the Altona Loop as a result of delays elsewhere on the network, but the new section of duplicated track will get locals where they need to go safer and sooner,” she said.

Completion of the works required the suspension all train services on the Altona Loop and some services on the Werribee Line at nights and on weekends.

With work wrapping up, a test train ran through the Altona Loop and over the new rail bridges on Sunday night. Train services running to the normal timetable return today.