A massive 60 metre-long wheeled carrier is about to start work on the Andrews Labor Government’s Caulfield to Dandenong project, which will remove nine of Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today to inspect the ‘straddle carrier’ – a high-tech machine that will pick up beams from the Murrumbeena assembly area, carry them along the line and set them down on top of huge columns – creating the new elevated line through Melbourne’s south east.
The straddle carrier is longer than an Olympic swimming pool and the only machine of its kind in Australia.
It has been specifically devised to build the new track in the narrow, 3.2-kilometre section between Carnegie and Hughesdale without stopping trains and without the need to compulsorily acquire a single property.
Two huge gantry cranes have already started building the new rail line near Murrumbeena Station. The straddle carrier will extend the structure up the line towards Carnegie, then down the line to Hughesdale.
The nine level crossings between Dandenong and the city on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line are some of Melbourne’s worst, with boom gates down for up to 82 minutes in the morning peak.
The Labor Government’s Caulfield to Dandenong project will remove every one of these crossings, build five new stations and create 11 MCGs’ worth of new parks, paths and public open space.
The massive project has created 2,000 jobs, with 4.7 million work hours already complete. It has also provided skills and opportunities for 200 apprentices, and created 200 jobs manufacturing concrete segments in Pakenham.
The Labor Government isn’t wasting a moment removing 50 dangerous level crossings across Melbourne. Ten are already gone, and work is underway on a further 15.
All nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong are set to be removed by the end of next year. For more information, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This high-tech machine will build the new rail line while trains keep running, removing these dangerous and congested crossings sooner.”
“These crossings clog local streets, put lives at risk and stop us running more trains on Melbourne’s busiest rail corridor – we said we’d get rid of them and we’re getting on with it.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We’re using cutting-edge, Australian-first technology to build this massive project with the least possible disruption to drivers, passengers and the local community.”
Quote attributable to Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos
“The new elevated line will be safer, quieter and create kilometres of new parks, paths and open space in our community.”