The Victorian Government is preparing to award $1.5 billion in rail work contracts to remove 75 dangerous and congested level crossings across Victoria.
Nine level crossings will be affected along with several others to be removed ahead of schedule in this fast-tracked project.
The accelerated delivery program plans to remove one level crossing every four weeks in 2021. Stations set for early removal include level crossings at Surrey Hills, Mont Albert, Pakenham and Glen Huntly.
Premier Daniel Andrews stated that these works needed to go ahead due to increased safety concerns.
Particular concerns have arisen at Union Road level crossing with many past fatal accidents and near misses. The removal of this level crossing will make the Surry Hill and Mont Albert communities safer. A rail trench, as well as separate road and tracks, will replace the level crossing by 2023.
“Every level crossing removal makes our streets safer, improves traffic flow and allows us to run more trains – in addition to creating hundreds of Victorian jobs.
“With a dangerous and congested level crossing to go every four weeks on average in 2021, we’re not wasting a minute getting rid of these relics of the past,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
A New Central Station
After extensive engineering and technical investigations, a new single premium station will be built between Surrey Hills and Mont Albert. This centrally located station will reduce construction impacts and avoid the need to acquire homes and businesses for new stations. Trains will run more frequently with this additional station, benefiting local commuters.
The new central station will be located 150 metres from Surry Hill Station and 400 metres from Mont Albert Station with entrances at both ends of the platform.
Works on this new central station are expected to begin in mid-2021 with major construction starting in 2022.
A New Pakenham East Train Station
The Victorian Government will also be building a new train station at Pakenham East which will require extending the metropolitan rail track by two kilometres to improve connections for the region.
The new rail line will relieve a major bottleneck with the current V/Line and metro trains on a shared track; a new line will bust this congestion and improve service reliability. Pakenham East Station will also include separate turnback tracks for Metro trains and dedicated V/Line tracks.
These track upgrades will be delivered as part of the McGregor Road, Racecourse Road and Main Street level crossing removal. The project will involve raising the rail line, building the Pakenham station and delivering a new space for community use.
By 2023/24, Pakenham will be boom gate-free with safer journeys for more than 60,000 vehicles that pass through the level crossing every day.
$1.5 billion investment
The $1.5 billion work of fast-tracked contracts is expected to be awarded by the end of this year along with the removal of level crossings in Hallam, Williamstown, Deer Park Ardeer, Glenroy and Bell Street Preston.
All up with the level crossing removal and the construction of two new stations, these projects will create up to 3,400 direct local jobs.
Source: Media Release
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