Test trains are running on a brand new section of elevated rail for the very first time, and three more dangerous and congested level crossings are gone forever.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today boarded one of the test trains travelling on the new elevated track, which has removed the Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler road level crossings in Noble Park.
The three dangerous and congested crossings are the first of nine being removed between Caulfield and Dandenong this year.
Each of the crossings were notorious for prangs, road rage and traffic bank-ups with boom gates down for up to 73 minutes in each two-hour morning peak.
Around 150 drivers are undergoing training this weekend to familiarise themselves with the line, with passenger trains to start running on the new track from Thursday 15 February.
Noble Park’s new-look elevated station is also set to open to commuters on Thursday – with some final touches to be made over the coming months.
With old ground level tracks now officially redundant, crews are wasting no time moving in to remove the tracks as they begin to landscape more than eight hectares of open space in Noble Park.
These works will not only boost the area’s parkland and recreational facilities but will also bring huge improvements for residents and business long divided by the rail line.
The Andrews Labor Government has now removed 15 level crossings across Melbourne – making it safer, easier and faster to travel around the city.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“These dangerous and congested level crossings have been holding us back for decades. Not anymore – the boom gates in Noble Park are gone.”
“For too long, Governments have found excuses not to remove these crossings – we got it done, ahead of schedule.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever delivered in Melbourne’s south east – and I want to thank the hard working team who have got this done.”
“We’re not wasting a minute removing Melbourne’s worst level crossings. They’re dangerous, they’re congested and they stop us running more trains on our busiest line.”