Level Crossing Removal Project

Level Crossing Removal Project reaches 43 crossings gone milestone

A number of level crossing milestones have been reached across Melbourne.

On the Upfield Line, trains are now running on the newly elevated line, and four level crossings have been removed.

Work has been ongoing on site since late July and has beaten its schedule despite operating under COVID-19 restrictions during Melbourne’s second wave.

The four crossings at Munro, Bell, and Renard streets and Moreland Road will be gone by Wednesday, November 4, improving safety, reducing congestion, cutting travel times, and enabling traffic to move more freely through this area of inner Melbourne.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan on Monday said work was continuing on removing the Bell Street level crossing.

“One dangerous set of boom gates on Bell Street is now gone for good – and we’re now getting rid of its neighbour in Preston, with this notorious arterial road to be totally level crossing-free by 2022.”

In addition to the level crossing removals, two new stations are being built at Coburg and Moreland. The stations will open in mid-December. Until then, and as platforms, station buildings, and customer facilities are completed, services to those stations are being replaced by buses and trams.

“We’ve made great progress over the past five years and we’re not slowing down. We’ve removed 43 level crossings and built 28 new train stations – delivering better connections, supporting thousands of jobs,” said Allan.

Work on open space and landscaping beneath the rail line will continue into 2021.

Work will move further north on the Upfield Line in the next year, with crossings in Glenroy and Preston to go by the end of 2022.

On Saturday, November 1, the Evans Road crossing was the 39th level crossing to go.

A new road bridge over the Cranbourne Line was opened, and Evans Road is the first crossing to go as all level crossing are removed between Cranbourne and the Melbourne CBD by 2025. The Cranbourne Line will also be duplicated, allowing for a train ever 10 minutes.

“Getting rid of the Evans Road crossing is the first step in our massive Cranbourne Line upgrade – removing every single level crossing and duplicating the line to get people in the south-east home safer and sooner,” said Allan.

Cardinia

Cardinia Road level crossing to be gone before the end of 2020

The road bridge over the railway line at Cardinia Road in Pakenham will be gone before the end of the year, months ahead of schedule.

While safety measures have been in place for the Level Crossing Removal Project, the bridge has rapidly been put into place and will open in December following a final works blitz for two weeks.

Originally scheduled to open in 2021, around the clock work programs have led to the final works including laying asphalt, line-marking, and signage installation, to be finalised in 2020.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the project was about moving people around the community more efficiently.

“We promised to ease congestion and make the Pakenham community safer by removing level crossings – and we’re doing that well ahead of schedule, getting people where they need to go sooner by road and on the train.”

Along with the removed level crossing, new pedestrian and shared paths will open sooner, creating connections between the nearby train station and local amenities.

Cardinia Road will be the 44th level crossing removed as part of the Victorian government’s plan to remove 75 crossing by 2025. The boom gates are currently down for a third of the morning peak and 23,000 vehicles travel through the crossing each day. A new bridge will improve safety while reducing congestion and improving travel times.

Work on a new community space will begin in early 2021. Located underneath the road bridge, the space will provide an area for residents to meet, exercise, and relax.

Elsewhere on the Level Crossing Removal project, the Seaford Road level crossing project is leading to improvements to the nearby traffic network, with work on the Armstrongs Road and Railway Parade intersection beginning.

Signalising the intersection will improve safety for users and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

The new signals will be connected to the level crossing to manage vehicle movements to and from Railway Parade. The pedestrian crossing will be similarly clarified.

The works come in addition to the removal of the Seaford Road level crossing in 2018.

At the Glen Huntly site, community feedback is being sought on the design of the future interchange.

Lilydale

Works beginning on level crossing removal and parking upgrades on Lilydale line

Work to remove two level crossings on the Lilydale Line in Melbourne’s outer east will begin in December, the first of eight level crossings to go on the Belgrave and Lilydale lines.

The two level crossings are at Manchester Road in Mooroolbark and the Maroondah Highway in Lilydale. Thirteen crashes have occurred at the crossings with one fatality in the last decade.

As part of the level crossing removal, new stations will be built at Mooroolbark and Lilydale and a construction blitz will be held from December 11 to 20.

Foundations for new rail bridges will be installed, along with new underground cables. Another week long closure is indicatively scheduled for the end of summer in 2021.

“We’re not wasting a minute getting on with our critical works on the Lilydale line – delivering better transport connections for passengers and important local jobs for workers as we begin to recover from the pandemic,” said Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan.

Early works on a new multi-deck carpark at Mooroolbark station are already underway. The new carpark will add 450 new and upgraded spots at the station. A temporary carpark is now open to replace the existing carpark which is being redeveloped until 2022.

“Across the state we’re building more than 11,000 new and upgraded commuter parking spaces to make catching the train easier for everyone – and our new carpark at Mooroolbark will double the station’s current capacity,” said Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll.

The new carpark includes lifts, CCTV, and better lighting, with community feedback providing input to the final design.

Once works are complete, the 53,000 vehicles that use the crossings each day will no longer have to wait while boom gates are down for up to a quarter of the two-hour morning peak.

The existing Mooroolbark station will be moved to the Yarra Valley Railway to continue the rail history of the heritage building.

Works beginning on Hallam Road level crossing removal

Early works have begun on the Hallam Road level crossing in Melbourne’s south-east.

Once complete, a rail bridge will replace the level crossing and a new station will be built to serve passengers in Hallam and the surrounding suburbs.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said that the level crossing removal would complement other transport works occurring in the area.

“We’re freeing up Melbourne’s booming south-eastern suburbs – with the Hallam Road Upgrade, level crossing removals and the Metro Tunnel, we’re busting congestion on busy roads and slashing travel times on trains.”

Early works include the erection of fences and the installation of site offices. Major works are expected to begin at the end of the year. A temporary commuter car park will open to replace spaces lost to the site office which will be located in the station’s southern car park.

Community feedback has so far been included in the updated station design, with a second entrance added to allow access from either side of Hallam Road. Additional bike parking has also been added.

Further community feedback is being south through the Hallam Road Level Crossing Removal Construction Liaison Group, said local member Luke Donnellan.

“We’re excited to see early works get underway on the level crossing project and the new station – and I’d encourage all locals who want to get involved in the project to consider joining the Construction Liaison group.”

The nearby community will be able to notice the effect of removed level crossings with the nearby Evans Road bridge opened in the next week, replacing the level crossing on that road.

The boom gates at Hallam Road are closed for a third of the two-hour morning peak, delaying 20,000 vehicles. In addition, the crossing has had 14 near misses in the past 10 years.