The new Ormond and Bentleigh stations in Melbourne’s South East have opened ahead of schedule following construction along the Frankston train line to remove three level crossings.

Work to build the new stations involved more than 1,000 staff working around the clock for 37 days to remove the crossings and lower the line so trains could run safely under Centre, McKinnon and North Roads.

The new Ormond and Bentleigh stations follow the opening of McKinnon station in early 2016.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said, “This is the first time in Victoria’s history that three level crossings have been removed at the same time —an incredible effort by everyone, who worked around the clock to make our roads safer and less congested.

“In less than 18 months, we’ve removed four level crossings in Melbourne’s south-east, and started work on getting rid of another 15.”

While Frankston line trains resumed on 1 August 2016, trains will now be able to stop at Ormond and Bentleigh stations, with express services resuming on Monday 5 September 2016.

Local commuters will benefit from new seating, shelters, electronic signs, myki machines and Protective Services Officer facilities at the stations.

“Three new stations built and three dangerous level crossings gone,” Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos said.

“The new Ormond and Bentleigh stations will make it easier for passengers to catch the train and get where they need to safer and sooner.  

“We know disruptions have made it hard for our community recently, so a celebration later this year is a small way for us to say thank you to everyone for their goodwill and patience.”

In the coming months, final works will take place to install lifts, rebuild station car parks, and complete landscaping. Palm trees which were temporarily re-homed will be returned to the area by the end of September 2016.

Throughout June and July 2016, hundreds of people made the most of the bridge decks over the former level crossings to watch the construction progress of this massive project, which was delivered six months early.

Community project ‘thank you’ celebrations will be held at all three of the new stations in late 2016 to mark the completion of these works.

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