Carrum, a suburb south-east of Melbourne, has completely rid itself of potentially dangerous level crossings with the suburb now served by a train running over a rail bridge at a new station.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, and Member for Carrum, Sonya Kilkenny, officially opened the new Carrum Station on 17 February after a two-week construction blitz delivered the project on time and on budget.
During the blitz, a crew of 180 worked around the clock to remove parts of the temporary track, open McLeod Road and connect the new rail bridge to the existing Frankston line.
The Station Street level crossing was used by 12,000 vehicles each day, with the boom gates down for up to 49 minutes in the two-hour morning peak – and the road configuration saw drivers zig-zagging through dangerous level crossings with congestion clogging Station Street and the Nepean Highway.
The new direct connection from McLeod Road to the Nepean Highway opened in early February, slashing travel times and allowing traffic to flow more freely between the Nepean Highway, Frankston Freeway and EastLink.
“The new direct connection from McLeod Road to the Nepean Highway as well as the Station Street bridge is slashing travel times for local drivers,” Ms Kilkenny said.
Thanks to a new intersection and the connection of Station Street over the Patterson River, the dangerous level crossings at Eel Race Road, Carrum and Mascot Avenue, Bonbeach have all been removed.
While construction continues on finishing touches to the station and community spaces, station access will be through the southern entrance near Walkers Road – with the main entrance at McLeod Road to open in mid-2020.
The design of the new station, which is based on community feedback, will enhance the area’s bayside village feel and accommodate coastal weather conditions. It features glass weather protection pods, shelter canopies on the platform and wind screens in entrances.
New community open spaces will be created, including a town square at Carrum Station’s main entrance, a station garden at the southern entrance and a new foreshore park and beach promenade linking Carrum to the bay. More than 80,000 mostly native and indigenous trees and shrubs will be planted later this year.
Ms Allen applauded the project.
“It’s great to see the new Carrum Station bustling with passengers right on schedule – we thank residents and local businesses for their patience during a long construction period to get the job done.”
Preliminary works are also underway in Carrum to upgrade the Frankston-Dandenong and Thompsons Road roundabout with traffic lights are underway, with major works set to begin in the coming weeks.
The Andrews Labor Government’s massive $3 billion investment on the Frankston line includes the removal of 18 level crossings, with five already gone, and building 12 new stations – allowing for more trains, more often.