melbourne train

Victoria has removed a total of 54 level crossings, putting the Level Crossing Removal Project one year ahead of schedule.

The target was reached following the removal of the level crossing at Bondi Road, Bonbeach, and with the removal of four more level crossings at Chelsea and Edithvale.

A total of 85 level crossings are set to be removed across Melbourne by 2025 to improve safety, reduce congestion and create capacity for more trains, more often.

The milestone follows the removals at Manchester Road, Mooroolbark and Maroondah Highway, Lilydale, and two new railway stations open for passengers at Lilydale and Mooroolbark in November 2021.

Accessibility at both stations has been boosted with new lifts and stairs, platforms with canopies to shield people from the weather, accessible entrances and 24-hour staffing.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “We said we’d make the Lilydale line level crossing free by 2025 and that’s exactly what we’re doing – now we’re two level crossings down from reaching that milestone, which can’t come soon enough.”

Victorian Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk, James Merlino, said, “We’re thrilled these dangerous and congested level crossings are now a distant memory – they’ll slash travel times and make roads safer for 53,000 motorists that use them each day.”

Work has also progressed on Mooroolbark Station’s 900-space multi-level car park, the largest to be built under Victoria’s Car Parks for Commuters program. It will include CCTV and improved lighting, and will double the number of car parking spaces for passengers when it opens in 2022.

From Monday 22 November, train services will resume along the full length of the Frankston line, which is one of Melbourne’s busiest, and the new Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach stations will open after ten weeks of major works.

The workforce got rid of five level crossings by lowering the Frankston line under the local road network and into three rail trenches, each around 1km long and up to 7m deep. 

Four new road bridges were built above the trenches at Edithvale Road, Edithvale, Argyle Avenue, Chelsea, Bondi Road, Bonbeach – and the new east-west link across the rail corridor at Thames Promenade, Chelsea.

While the new stations are open, crews will remain in the area until mid-2022 completing car parking, planting and landscaping works around the stations including more than 800 trees and 85,000 shrubs, groundcovers and grasses to enhance the area’s coastal look and feel and install walking and cycling paths to create more than 11km of continuous shared user path from Edithvale to Frankston.

The boom gates at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach had previously been down for up to 40 per cent of the morning peak, causing delays for commuters including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.  

In addition, more than 40,000 commuters use the Frankston line every day and current network plans to increase the number of trains running on the Frankston line meant the boom gates would be down for even longer without the project.

Work on the project will continue into 2022, including new car parks, community open spaces, landscaping and artwork.

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