Trains and vehicles have been successfully separated on Abbotts Road in Dandenong South, with the Andrews Labor Government removing yet another dangerous and congested level crossing
The view from above will be a welcome one for the many train drivers who travel along the Cranbourne line each day, with every level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong now gone and the Thompsons Road level crossing, formerly located near Merinda Park Station, also removed earlier this year.
These upgrades eliminate the very real risk of incidents at level crossings. Over the past decade at Abbotts Road, there were two collisions between a train and a vehicle which resulted in a fatality, in addition to several reported near misses.
Alongside the immediate safety benefits for both road and rail, the removal of the Abbotts Road level crossing also ensures a more reliable journey for the 22,000 vehicles – including a high number of trucks – that pass through the highly industrial area each weekday.
Within a relatively short period of time, workers have connected the new track across the bridge with existing track; removed the redundant ground-level track and level crossing infrastructure; upgraded signalling infrastructure; installed new drainage and repositioned the overhead lines.
In another example of removed rail materials getting a second life, the project team will be donating removed rail and rail clips to the volunteer-led Yarra Valley Railway.
Hundreds of concrete sleepers are also being donated to the Victorian Goldfields Railway, which operates a steam heritage train between the historic gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon.
Passenger services along the Cranbourne line are back up and running and the former Abbotts Road level crossing has been officially consigned to the history books. Crews will continue work around the site in coming months, to complete minor works such as landscaping and footpaths.
The Dandenong South level crossing becomes the 27th crossing removed by the Labor Government to date, with two more crossings set to be gone for good by October.
Locals in Melbourne’s south-east will have more trains, more often with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $750 million upgrade of the Cranbourne line and planning for a new rail link to Clyde.
As noted by Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Like many others across Melbourne, the Abbotts Road level crossing has sadly been the scene of tragedy in recent years and we’ve ensured it no longer poses that same danger.”
“Removing these dangerous and congested level crossings benefits road and rail users and the wider community.”
As noted by Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams
“After months of hard work by the project team and patience from the community, it’s great to see the new rail bridge in operation and the level crossing gone for good at Abbotts Road.”