A massive construction blitz on the Williamstown line is coming to an end, with the deadly level crossing at Ferguson Street gone forever and trains stopping at a new North Williamstown Station from tomorrow.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today joined Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne to mark the milestone at the new North Williamstown Station, where passengers will be able to catch the train from new, lowered platforms from Friday 17 December 2021.
The dangerous and congested level crossing at Ferguson Street has seen two fatalities, one collision with a cyclist and at least five near misses.
With trains and cars separated, safety has been significantly improved for the 25,000 vehicles that use the intersection daily, as well as pedestrians and cyclists in the busy precinct located in the heart of Williamstown.
While buses replaced trains, crews dug out around 50,000 tonnes of soil, clay and tough basalt rock from under Ferguson Street – enough to fill 20 Olympic sized swimming pools. They also laid track and 76,000 tonnes of crushed rock in the new 750-metre-long trench, which will now be used by Williamston line trains.
The red brick western station building has been meticulously restored on the city-bound platform, with around 2,500 recycled bricks used to rebuild the structure, as well as new flooring and masonry. The building will now house PSO facilities and rail equipment and will continue to be a proud feature of the station precinct.
The new station features ramps and stairs to connect to the new lowered platforms, and works will continue into next year to install lifts, giving people of all abilities improved access to train services.
Finishing touches will be added on a well-lit forecourt that faces Ferguson Street, featuring ample seating and shelter. A four-metre-wide shared use path will be installed through the precinct, connecting the station with key areas of Williamstown.
Crews will carry out landscaping works, planting 40,000 native plants and shrubs and more than 400 trees, plants and shrubs, as well as installing secure bike storage, a bike repair station and more bike hoops, which means locals can leave the car at home and cycle or walk to and from the new station.
This is the fourth level crossing to be removed in the west this year alone. Around Melbourne, the Andrews Labor Government is removing 85 level crossings by 2025, with 56 already gone for good. In 2021, 12 level crossings were removed and six new stations built – boosting safety and reliability for thousands of Victorians.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“The Ferguson Street level crossing saw some very tragic incidents – but it’s now gone for good, Williamstown locals and visitors can enjoy better flowing traffic and an improvement in safety, just in time for Christmas.”
“In 2021 we’ve seen 12 dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good and six new, modern stations open to passengers – a huge achievement and one that will deliver massive benefits for so many communities.”
Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne
“Trains are back up and running and stopping at the new station and the level crossing is gone forever – I thank our community for their patience, and I know we all won’t miss the sight of those boom gates.”
Reviewed 15 December 2021