Train services along the Altona Loop will resume tomorrow as the planned 43-day construction blitz to remove another level crossing and build new track finishes almost a week ahead of schedule.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today visited the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing site in Williamstown North to inspect progress, as works wrap up to construct the new dual rail bridge and duplicate a section of track along the Altona Loop.
Altona Loop commuters can look forward to more reliable journeys with the addition of a duplicated section of track between the Werribee line junction and Kororoit Creek, removing a significant bottleneck and providing another point along the loop where trains can safely pass one another.
The Kororoit Creek Road level crossing is also gone for good in an upgrade that improves both safety and congestion, as trains run over the new dual rail bridge while vehicles pass through the now free-flowing road below.
Buses will continue to replace trains today, with trains running to the normal timetable from the first service tomorrow morning. The new upgrades have already been successfully tested, with a test train running through the Altona Loop and over the new rail bridges last night.
The dual rail bridge is made up of 40 L-shaped concrete beams up to 31 metres long, each transported to site before being craned into place, and joined together in pairs to form the U-shaped viaducts. More than 70,000 hours have been worked by 750 workers over the course of the construction blitz, with more than 7000 tonnes of concrete used and almost 12 kilometres of cabling laid.
The removal of the Kororoit Creek Road level crossing takes the total number of crossings removed by the Level Crossing Removal Authority to 26, smashing the Andrews Labor Government's promise to remove 20 in this term.
The Werribee line will also benefit from the new metropolitan timetable that will commence on August 26 with 35 additional services, of 190 new services and hundreds of extended services across all lines.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Another level crossing has been consigned to the history books and I congratulate all those who worked hard to finish these upgrades ahead of schedule.”
“I’d like to thank local commuters for their patience as these important works were undertaken – that dangerous and congested level crossing is now gone, delivering benefits for those who use both rail and road."
Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Wade Noonan
“It's been great to see the progress at Kororoit Creek Road over the last 37 days – and see those boom gates gone for good - drivers will never again have to put up with those frustrating boom gate delays.”
Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy
“In the past, train drivers have been forced to bypass the Altona Loop as a result of delays elsewhere on the network, but the new section of duplicated track will get locals where they need to go safer and sooner."
Reviewed 19 August 2020