Passenger and freight trains are now running on the first section of elevated rail built to remove nine dangerous and congested level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan were at Noble Park this morning to mark the occasion and inspect the new-look station.
The new station sits at the centre of a 1.5 kilometre stretch of raised track that is now taking trains over Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler roads – removing these dangerous level crossings forever.
They are the first three of nine level crossings that will be removed this year between Caulfield and Dandenong.
Bollywood dancers, musicians, and a primary school choir added to the festive atmosphere at the station this morning. A family day is also planned for Saturday 24 February to thank the local community.
More than 275 trains, including Metro, V/Line and freight services, will run along the new elevated tracks each day. The first pulled in at Noble Park at 5.23am this morning.
With traffic flowing freely, the tens of thousands of drivers who use Chandler, Heatherton and Corrigan roads every day are already enjoying level-crossing-free Noble Park.
The project is expected to bring huge improvements for small businesses and traders, many of whom have long felt cut off from customers or local destinations on the opposite side of the tracks.
By separating cars from trains, the Caulfield to Dandenong project will allow more trains to run more often on the Cranbourne/Pakenham line – Melbourne’s busiest.
The line is used by 90,000 passengers each day, forcing boom gates down for more than 80 minutes in the morning peak at the busiest crossing on the line.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This is a significant moment for this community and Victoria – after years of frustration, the level crossings are gone forever and trains are running on this state-of-the-art line.”
“We’re getting things done. These crossings are gone and six more will be removed by the end of the year – creating space for bigger trains, more often on Melbourne’s busiest line.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“This project is not only about the massive benefits to traffic and safety, it’s creating thousands of jobs for people in Melbourne’s south east.”
“In the past five years there have been hundreds of near misses at these level crossings —now they’re gone because we get things done.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020