Work to replace level crossings in Edithvale, Chelsea, and Bonbeach along the Frankston Line have been held up due to legacy signalling equipment. Read more
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.
A $1bn upgrade to the Cranbourne Line is one of a number of upgrades to the Melbourne rail network to recently take a step forward.
Duplication of eight kilometres of track between Cranbourne and Dandenong is now underway, in addition to the 11 level crossings already removed.
The duplicated track will allow services ever 10 minutes, increasing capacity by 121,000 passengers in the peak across the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.
Construction crews are working on power, signalling, and drainage upgrades at Merinda Park Station and in the rail corridor from Cranbourne to Greens Road.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said that works will enable a first for the line.
“We’re getting on with the massive Cranbourne Line Upgrade, delivering more frequent services and removing its last four level crossings – making it Melbourne’s first level crossing-free train line.”
Level crossings still to go on the line include the Abbotts Road level crossing, where 25-metre foundations are being drilled into the ground, and the Merinda Park station will be renewed in August. At Evans Road the bridge will remove the level crossing before the end of 2020, restoring connections in Lyndhurst, Lynbrook and Cranbourne West.
Elsewhere on the Melbourne rail network, the federal government has committed $8 million in funding to remove the Glenferrie Road level crossing in Kooyong. The funding will allow the Victorian government to begin a business case, said federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge.
“This funding means we can start vital scoping and early development works for the level crossing removal.”
The $8m comes alongside $2m for initial feasibility studies for level crossing removals at Tooronga Road in Tooronga and Madden Grove in Burnley.
Glenferrie Road has been identified as a high priority level crossing in studies in 2013 by VicRoads and in 2017 by the Victorian Auditor General, in part due to the interaction of trains, trams, and vehicles.
In the west of the Melbourne rail network, two level crossings have been fast tracked to begin construction in early 2021. Level crossings at Fitzgerald Road in Ardeer and Deer Park’s Robinsons Road will be removed by 2023.
At Robinsons Road a road underpass will be built, and at Fitzgerald Road a road overpass will be built to minimise disruptions to train services and allow for upgrades to the Geelong-Ballarat train line.
Safety and congestion have been a concern at both level crossings, with 18 near misses since 2012 and boom gates down for 45 per cent of the morning peak.
With the two level crossings gone, the Mount Derrimut Road level crossing can be removed by 2025, the last between Deer Park and the city.
Victoria is now seeking community feedback on the design of the level crossings.
In Hallam, station designs have been released as part of the removal of Hallam Road level crossing, with a new elevated rail line with access from both sides of Hallam Road. Works is expected to begin at the end of 2020 with the crossing to be removed in 2022.
As some level crossing removal projects begin, others are closer to completion. At Mentone Station, the station will open two weeks ahead of schedule and Cheltenham station is on schedule to open on Sunday, August 16. Frankston line trains will begin running a week ahead of schedule, stopping at Mentone Station from Monday, July 20.
New facilitation at the station include a climate-controlled waiting area, sheltered seating, and electronic passenger information displays to enable smoother transitions between bus and train services. Accessibility and access has been improved and work will now begin on landscaping and active transit connections between Cheltenham and Mentone.
Cheltenham and Mentone stations have also received a five-star Green Star sustainable design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The award has recognised the installation of solar panels, water saving, and rainwater collection facilities.
The Victorian Government is fast-tracking the removal of the Cardinia Road level crossing on the Pakenham line as part of its Level Crossing Removal Project.
The Cardinia Road crossing — one of 17 to be removed from the Pakenham line and 75 in Melbourne overall — impacts over 23,000 vehicles a day according to the state government.
The government has fast tracked the construction of a road bridge to pass over the train line starting later this year, with the removal of the boom gates to follow in 2021. The Cardinia Road level crossing’s boom gates are down for up to 30 per cent of the morning peak, according to a release from the Victorian Government.
The announcement follows the news that eight level crossings from the Upfield and Merda lines in Melbourne’s north would also be dealt with by elevating the lines, creating new open spaces and connections for cyclists and pedestrians.
The Level Crossing Removal Project joined other government bodies such as the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link Project, Rail Projects Victoria and Major Road Projects Victoria as part of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority established as an office of the Department of Transport in January.
The removals represent Victoria’s largest rail infrastructure project to date. The project is also intended to create over 27 new or upgraded stations by its completion in 2025.