Making The Werribee Line Level Crossing Free

25 October 2022

More of Melbourne’s dangerous and congested death traps are set to go, with the Andrews Labor Government today pledging to make the Werribee Line level crossing free – paving the way for more trains to the west, more often.

Since 2016, we’ve removed four level crossings on the Werribee Line. But there’s more to do, so now, we’ll make the line level crossing free from 2030, removing:

  • Hudsons Road, Spotswood
  • Maddox Road, Newport
  • Maidstone Street, Altona

More than 27,000 vehicles cross the tracks at these three crossings daily, with the boom gates down for up to 52 minutes in the two-hour morning peak, when around 48 trains run through.

With the Metro Tunnel on track to open a year early in 2025, we’ll free up even more space for more trains on the Werribee line – and Geelong Fast Rail will also use this corridor.

In 2014, the Government promised to remove 50 level crossings by 2022 – an election commitment built on in 2018 when we promised to remove 75 by 2025.

Today’s announcement means we’re removing 110 dangerous and congested level crossings by 2030.

Commuters in Spotswood will benefit from a brand-new train station, giving them the most modern and accessible facilities – rejuvenating the station precinct for locals and creating safer and more direct links between public transport, local shops and parking.

Early assessments indicate the level crossing at Hudsons Road, Spotswood is likely to be removed by building an elevated rail bridge.

At Maidstone Street, a road bridge will be built to avoid disrupting important utilities and maintain connections for this industrial area.

Two level crossings will be closed as part of the project, at Anderson Street, Yarraville, and Champion Road, Newport.

Anderson Street in Yarraville is one of the most dangerous level crossings in Victoria. It has been the site of a tragic fatality, alongside numerous injuries and near misses.

Replacing the level crossing with a rail bridge or trench is not feasible due to the tightness of the rail corridor, significant heritage impacts and the nearby Somerville Road overpass and Francis Street underpass impeding grade separation designs.

We’ll work with the community to enhance the precinct, ensuring the thousands of pedestrians crossing the line each day can move around safely, through a wide and well-lit underpass, and the level crossing will be closed.

Upgrades to the local road network will allow the level crossing at Champion Road, Newport to be closed, with vehicles able to cross the rail line at nearby Maddox Road, where an elevated rail bridge will be built to remove the level crossing.

A new grade-separated pedestrian crossing will be built at Champion Road, linking to local paths. The local road network will be modified to improve connections between Maddox and Champion Roads.

Removing these dangerous and congested level crossings on the Werribee line is an important step in getting on with Geelong Fast Rail.

Since 2015, the Government has removed 67 level crossings well ahead of schedule, built 37 new and upgraded stations, created 50km of walking and cycling paths, and unlocked 20 MCGs of open space across Melbourne.

You can't trust Matthew Guy’s Liberals to deliver transport infrastructure – when last in government they promised a lot but delivered no new major projects. The Liberals have opposed all of the Andrews Labor Government's Big Build and have promised to cut the Suburban Rail Loop and planned level crossing removals.

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Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re getting more Victorians home safer and sooner by fixing our number one traffic nightmare. They hold up cars, they slow down trains, they take young lives – they’ve got to go.”

“We’ve already removed four level crossings on the Werribee line, but there’s more to do – so we’ll get rid of the remaining five, create more jobs, and make more communities safer.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

“The Werribee line will join the Sunbury, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Lilydale and Frankston lines in being level crossing free by 2030, transforming communities and changing the way people live, work and travel.”

“We’re also thrilled to be on the way to delivering faster services to Geelong, building on the massive investments already underway on the line, including upgrades for more frequent and reliable services.”

Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“Making the Werribee line level crossing free is massive for our community and builds on the work already delivered on the line, including four dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good.”

Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne

“This is another fantastic investment for the west, and I look forward to seeing these dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good from our community.”

Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall

“We're closing Anderson Street in Yarraville to provide a safer transport system for pedestrians and commuters. This is an opportunity to future-proof our precinct, and I encourage the community to engage with future consultations and put their views forward for a safer, better Yarraville.”

Reviewed 25 October 2022

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