Major Projects & Infrastructure, Passenger Rail

Vic rail crossing to be upgraded

A project in Ballarat is set to permanently improve a key rail crossing with the existing signalling system replaced with new modern technology.

THE Lydiard Street rail crossing in Ballarat is to be upgraded and reopened following detailed development design that will ensure the safety and reliability of the crossing.

The Victorian Budget 2021/2022 is to invest $10.5 million to reopen the Lydiard Street level crossing safely, with a half-boom barrier crossing and upgraded signalling system.

While a final design for the upgraded crossing is being developed, work is already underway for a temporary solution to reopen Lydiard Street that will involve half boom barriers being connected to the older manual signalling system.

This project will not only reopen the road – once complete, it will permanently improve the crossing with the existing signalling system replaced with new modern technology. This upgrade will make travelling this stretch of road easier and safer for everyone by automating the opening and closing of the crossing and reducing the amount of time the crossing is closed to traffic.

Once the final design for the crossing has been completed and approved, it will be shared with the community ahead of works getting underway in the second half of 2021.

The upgrade will pay tribute to the rich history of Ballarat, with V/Line, the Department of Transport and a specialist heritage advisor working closely with Heritage Victoria on final design for the crossing.

Reopening the crossing to traffic will ensure that locals and visitors alike can once again use Lydiard Street – one of Ballarat’s most important north-south connections – to access local businesses, jobs, education, sports and social events.

These upgrades are the outcome of a wide range of specialist assessments and investigations following an incident involving the crossing in May 2020.

“We know that the closure of this crossing has been incredibly frustrating and the project team will now work as hard as they can to get Lydiard Street open quickly and safely,” said public transport minister Ben Carroll.

“These upgrades will ensure that the crossing is in line with modern safety standards, while still recognising the heritage that is intrinsic to Ballarat.”

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison thanked the community for “its patience while we worked towards a safe solution for the Lydiard Street crossing”.

“With detailed plans now in place, we will continue to move forward and get Lydiard Street open as soon as possible,” Addison said.