The countdown is on to remove the final four dangerous and congested level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong and open another section of elevated rail in Melbourne’s south east.
A team of specialist rail workers will move in from Tuesday night to carry out the last intensive phase of works, hooking up brand new power and signalling, and linking new and old sections of track.
Level crossings at Grange, Koornang, Murrumbeena and Poath roads will all be gone at the end of the works, bringing decades of traffic chaos to an end for those busy thoroughfares.
To allow these critical works to take place, buses will replace trains on sections of the Cranbourne, Pakenham lines from 8pm Tuesday 29 May through to the last service on Sunday 17 June.
The end result will see trains running run on a new 3.2 kilometre stretch of elevated rail between Caulfield and Hughesdale, following the opening of elevated rail at Noble Park and Clayton earlier this year.
Regular services will resume on Monday 18 June, at which time passengers will be able to catch a train from rebuilt elevated stations at Murrumbeena and Carnegie. For Cranbourne and Pakenham passengers, bus replacements will operate between Caulfield and Westall Stations on weekdays throughout the 19-day blitz.
On the Queens’ Birthday long weekend (9-11 June) and on Saturday 2 June (up to 4:00pm), these disruptions will extend all the way to Flinders Street, allowing for extra upgrade works to be carried out to the Caulfield Junction. On these days the Frankston line will also be closed between Flinders Street and Moorabbin Stations.
For Gippsland passengers, coaches will also replace trains for all or part of the journey. Express and semi-express coaches – including free WiFi services direct to Parliament – will operate from 9pm, 29 May and 17 June, to help get passengers to the city faster.
This massive program of level crossing removals combined with power and signalling upgrades is paving the way for the Andrews Labor Government to deliver more trains more often on Melbourne’s busiest train corridors.
These upgrades are just one part of a phased program working towards a new ‘super corridor’ – with bigger, more frequent trains all the way from Cranbourne and Pakenham through to Sunbury via the Metro Tunnel.
The elevated design for the removal of the crossings has minimised disruption and avoided the nine months of rail line closures that would have been required if the line was lowered into a trench.
Passengers are advised to allow extra journey time and consider alternative travel options. For more information visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au/disruptions, or ptv.vic.gov.au to plan your journey.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The end is in sight for the last of these dangerous and congested crossings along the Dandenong line – we said we would get rid of them and that is exactly what we are doing.”
“We recognise that there have been a lot of disruptions along this corridor and again thank people for their patience as we deliver the train network Victorians deserve.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020