Two brand new world-class stations have opened today for passengers in Melbourne’s north, after the Andrews Labor Government removed another four dangerous and congested level crossings from Preston earlier this year.
The new Bell and Preston stations create safer and more direct links between public transport, local shops and parking, as well as better facilities and new elevated platforms. Solar panels, rainwater tanks and LED lighting feature at both stations, with a dedicated cycling path to be built in these busy areas.
As part of the works to build the new stations, the level crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston were removed in May. Removing the level crossing on Bell Street has slashed travel time on one of Melbourne’s busiest road.
About 82,000 vehicles and 200 trains passed through these four level crossings each day, with the boom gates down for up to 40 per cent of the morning peak.
Work will now begin on the equivalent of three MCGs worth of new open space under the two-kilometre rail line in Preston, which will be ready next year and will feature play and exercise areas, including an amphitheatre to the west of Bell Station, a barbecue area and casual seating.
The community space will include landscaped areas with thousands of trees, shrubs and grasses, and a shared walking and cycling path connecting the new Preston and Bell stations. The landscaping work will be completed by Wamarra, an Aboriginal-owned and operated civil contractor.
A further 11 level crossing removals are underway across the city, from Pakenham to Sunbury, as the Labor Government delivers on its promise to remove 85 of the state’s most dangerous and congested crossings to create jobs and slash travel times.
At Robinsons Road in Deer Park, commuters are asked to plan ahead and allow extra time while the road is closed at the rail line until Monday 12 September, when a new road underpass will open – providing reduced travel times, better local connections and easier access to services.
Buses will replace trains on the nearby Hurstbridge line from tomorrow until Tuesday 20 September, as crews work around the clock on the second stage of the Hurstbridge Line Duplication.
This project will deliver further improvements, including more train services, less crowding on peak trains and better connections to public transport in Melbourne's north-east.
Work on the Gap Road level crossing removal in Sunbury is progressing well, with the team nearing the finish line as the road re-opens next month. In Melbourne’s south-east, major works are underway on level crossing removals at Glen Huntly and in Mont Albert and Surrey Hills.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We’ve built or upgraded 37 new stations across Melbourne and removed 65 dangerous and congested level crossings, boosting safety, easing congestion and supporting local jobs.”
“Only a Labor government will deliver the transport connections that Victorians need – giving Victorians more trains, more often and thousands of jobs.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous
“Our brand-new Bell station is here - trains are running and what was once one of Melbourne’s most dangerous level crossings is gone for good. The excitement continues with works underway on the new paths and open spaces for our community to enjoy.”
Quote attributable to Member for Preston Robin Scott
“The new Preston station provides upgraded facilities for the local community and will help improve safety and ease congestion in the surrounding area.”
Reviewed 05 September 2022