Another set of notorious boom gates have been removed for good as works ramp up to get trains travelling over a new rail bridge on the Cranbourne line.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan and Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams today visited the Abbotts Road level crossing in Dandenong South as crews dismantled the boom gates: an important milestone to separate road and rail during the current 10-day rail shutdown.
Eliminating the level crossing provides an immediate improvement to safety at an intersection that has seen two fatal collisions between trains and vehicles over the past decade, in addition to several near misses.
These incidents included a collision between a train and a truck at the crossing in November 2012 that resulted in the death of a train passenger and injury to six others onboard, including serious injuries sustained by the train driver.
This upgrade means one less safety concern for the many train drivers who operate Cranbourne line services each day, while around 22,000 vehicles – including a high number of trucks – that pass over the crossing each weekday can now expect a safer and more reliable journey without boom gate delays.
Buses are replacing trains between Dandenong and Cranbourne, allowing crews to access the rail corridor while trains are not running and put the finishing touches on the 410-metre-long rail bridge.
With all 15 bridge beams now in place, works during this period will include connecting new track across the bridge with existing track, removing the redundant ground-level track, upgrading signalling, installing new drainage and repositioning overhead lines.
When services resume along the line from the morning of Saturday 8 September, passenger trains will be able to travel over the new rail bridge at the same time as vehicles pass through underneath.
Careful planning as part of this level crossing removal project has also future-proofed the intersection for the duplication of both road and rail.
During the works, public transport users are advised to plan ahead and allow more time for their journey. For disruption information and to find your Plan B travel option visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“The Abbotts Road level crossing is one of an unprecedented 29 crossings that will have been removed by the Labor Government by October this year – a great outcome for all involved.”
“Each level crossing we remove is another necessary step towards safer, more reliable road and rail journeys.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams
“Abbotts Road is a busy connector that carries tens of thousands of cars and heavy vehicles every day, all of which will be able to enjoy the benefits that come from removing the level crossing for good.”
“I thank local traders, residents and commuters for their patience as we get on with the job of completing this important upgrade.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020