Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Passenger Rail

Caulfield-Dandenong rail elevation opening spaces for parks, cycling path

The final designs for the new spaces that will be opened-up by the elevation of the rail line between Caulfield and Dandenong have been released, revealing plans for 22.5 hectares of landscaped parks, paths and recreation facilities in Melbourne’s south-east.

Along with plans for parklands and seven new recreational areas, a 17-kilometre walking and cycling path will be constructed, extending from Monash University’s Caulfield Campus to the East Link Trail.

Two fenced dog parks will be established in Clayton and Noble Park, while 430 additional car spaces will be provided and over 4000 trees will be planted.

These features will become possible after the completion of the elevation of a section of the Cranbourne-Pakenham Line between Caulfield and Dandenong, which will also allow for the removal of nine level crossings in the area.

“This area of Melbourne has the smallest amount of parkland in Victoria – we’re providing more space for locals and families to come together, exercise and play,” state transport minister Jacinta Allan said.

“Some of Melbourne’s most vibrant precincts are located around elevated rail and this open space will help invigorate shopping and hospitality along the corridor.”

The plans for the new spaces were reportedly designed in consultation with the community and the guidance of an ‘expert panel’ put together for the purpose and led by Royal Botanic Gardens chief Tim Entwisle.

Two thirds of the group’s recommendations were incorporated into the plans, including the inclusion of multi-purpose spaces that could appeal to all age groups.

“I am extremely proud of the work done by our design team and hope these plans can help the community share our excitement for how the rail corridor will be transformed,” project director Brett Summers said.

“While improving congestion and safety will always be at the heart of this project, we are also setting out to transform places and the open space is an amazing opportunity to do just that.”