The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with removing Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings, releasing the Expression of Interest for the Caulfield to Dandenong package today.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said on top of removing nine of Melbourne’s worst level crossings, the package would rebuild four stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Clayton and Hughesdale and roll out power and signalling upgrades.
The Cranbourne-Pakenham line is Melbourne’s busiest, serving some of Victoria’s most important economic centres, the Gippsland rail corridor, and thousands of homes in Melbourne’s booming south east.
These level crossings are also some of Melbourne’s worst, with boom gates down for up to 87 minutes across the two hour peak.
Removing every level crossing between Dandenong and Caulfield and buying 37 new high-capacity trains will boost capacity by 42 per cent, creating space for an extra 11,000 passengers in peak hour.
Delivering the works as a single package will allow works to be coordinated, saving money, reducing disruption and removing the crossings sooner.
An industry briefing will be held next week to provide more information and support the release of the Expression of Interest.
The EOI will close in late June 2015. The Level Crossing Removal Authority will then evaluate the submissions and shortlist two bidders to continue through the process.
Work on the removal of these level crossings is expected to commence in 2016, and all nine level crossing removals will be completed by 2018.
The Labor Government has provided $2.4 billion in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget for the removal of at least 20 of Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings in its first term, creating thousands of jobs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan
“Some of these boom gates are down for more than 80 minutes every morning. They are choking our city and putting lives at risk – they have to go.”
“Removing every level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong will reduce road congestion, make local communities safer, create jobs, and allow for more trains from Cranbourne, Pakenham and Gippsland.”
“The Andrews Labor Government getting on with the major job-creating projects we were elected to deliver.”