Two new stations at Coburg and Moreland are now open to passengers on the Upfield line thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s blitz to remove four dangerous and congested level crossings and elevate the rail line.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll welcomed some of the first trains through Coburg and Moreland stations after crews worked around the clock from July on Victoria’s biggest ever level crossing removal project – removing boom gates at Bell Street, Munro Street and Reynard Street in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick.
Removing these four level crossings from the Upfield line, including the notorious Bell Street level crossing, which is used by around 41,000 drivers per day, has already improved safety, reduced congestion, and slashed travel times by freeing up traffic on one of Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads.
Trains were able to run on the Upfield line from early November while crews continued work to prepare the new, modern Coburg and Moreland stations for passengers. The stations are energy-efficient and offer better accessibility, with lifts and stairs to take passengers from the concourse to the train platforms.
Passengers can enter both stations from the south-eastern side of the rail line, with the remaining entrances and paths to the stations to open next year when landscaping, pedestrian and cycling paths are completed.
Station facilities at the premium Coburg Station include fully accessible toilets, a Protective Services Officers pod and a climate-controlled waiting area, while Moreland Station proudly incorporates local Wurundjeri heritage in the station and landscape design around the station precinct.
As work continues on the landscaping and open space underneath the rail line, the car parks at both stations will open early next year – but alternative parking is available in the meantime at Batman Station in Coburg North.
In January, the construction team will start work on the open space underneath the rail line, creating almost two MCGs worth of space for the community to enjoy and planting thousands of trees, shrubs, grasses and seedlings.
Opening in mid-2021, these new open spaces underneath and alongside the Upfield rail line will feature something for everyone. The project will build three half size basketball courts, playgrounds, a dog park, table tennis tables, skating and parkour area and exercise equipment.
The open space is designed to improve east-west connections and delivers an upgrade to the Upfield Bike Path, including separated cycling and walking paths along the rail line and more lighting for safety.
Work on level crossing removals in nearby Glenroy and Preston will ramp up next year, with major construction contracts set to be awarded by the end of this year. The Labor Government is removing 75 level crossings by 2025, with 44 already gone for good. For more information visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.
As stated by Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll
“While we’ve removed 44 dangerous and congested level crossings, we’ve also built 30 new stations around Melbourne – delivering the modern public transport infrastructure our growing state needs.”
“This huge level crossing project in the North may be finished and open to passengers, but we’re not stopping here – with two more level crossings to go in Glenroy and Preston to ease congestion and improve people’s journeys.”
As stated by Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn
“The two new, level crossing-free stations will transform Moreland and Coburg. Thanks to the community for their patience through the works this year – and I look forward to seeing the new open space open for everyone to enjoy.”