The Andrews Labor Government will make the Lilydale line level crossing-free, with the last three dangerous and congested level crossings to be gone for good by 2025.
Since 2016, the Labor Government has removed four level crossings on the Belgrave/Lilydale line, and started work to remove another. Two brand new stations have been built and another two underway.
But there is more to do – so four more level crossings will be removed, allowing for more trains and supporting local business and hundreds of jobs as our economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
On the Lilydale line, the level crossings at Dublin Road Ringwood East and Coolstore Road Croydon will be removed and the crossing at Cave Hill Road in Lilydale will be closed. New stations will be built at Ringwood East and Croydon.
On the Belgrave line, the level crossing at Bedford Road in Ringwood will be removed, making the line boom gate-free between Ferntree Gully and the city.
Removing these extra crossings will make the Lilydale line and the Belgrave line crossing-free to Ferntree Gully, improving safety, reducing congestion and allowing more trains to run without frustrating boom gate delays.
With work underway at more than 20 sites across Melbourne and one crossing being removed on average every four weeks in 2021, it makes sense to get rid of these extra level crossings while crews are already on the ground. It will maximise efficiencies and means more level crossings can go sooner.
These removals will not only create jobs and support small business — it will give people across Melbourne better access to work, healthcare services, education and recreation.
Early investigations suggest the most likely design to remove the crossings at Bedford Road and Dublin Road will be to build trenches under the roads. The Coolstore Road crossing will be removed through a rail bridge over the road.
Preferred design solutions have been selected for each location, however technical engineers will continue to assess and refine each one, ahead of final designs being confirmed.
About 36,000 vehicles currently travel through these three crossings each day, and frustratingly, the boom gates at these sites can be down for up to 19 per cent of the morning peak, when up to 18 trains run through these crossings.
Four dangerous and congested level crossings have already been removed on the Belgrave/Lilydale line at Blackburn and Heatherdale roads, and on the Belgrave line at Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road in Bayswater. Works to remove crossings on the Lilydale line at Mooroolbark and Lilydale will be complete by October.
A new multi-deck car park will also be built at Mooroolbark Station as part of these removals, which will double car parking to 900 spaces, making it easier for commuters to drive and catch the train.
The removal of the dangerous crossings at Union Road in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road in Mont Albert have been fast-tracked and will go in 2023, with a new premium station between Surrey Hills and Mont Albert.
Removing these crossings will allow more frequent and reliable services for more than 72,000 passengers use the Belgrave and Lilydale lines each weekday – the second busiest on Melbourne’s network – and ease road congestion.
The three new level crossing removals are part of an additional 10 level crossing removals across Melbourne announced by the Labor Government.
Construction on these next 10 level crossing removals – which will bring the total number of level crossings gone for good to 85 – will begin by 2022 and will be delivered by 2025.
Since 2016, the Government has removed 46 level crossings, built 26 new and upgraded stations, created over 5,000 jobs, delivered 30km of bike paths and is creating around 20 MCGs of open space and for local communities across Melbourne to enjoy.
For more information about the new level crossing removals and preferred designs, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.
As stated by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Every Victorian knows the dinging sound of boom gates coming down and the frustration that comes with it, that’s why we’re getting rid of them – saving lives, easing congestion and getting you home sooner.”
“We’ve already removed 46 level crossings well ahead of schedule. These extra sites will boost our economy after the pandemic and support hundreds of jobs.”
As stated by Member for Ringwood Dustin Halse
“Every local knows how frustrating and time consuming these level crossings can be and I’m proud that the Andrews Labor Government is getting on with removing them. It’s the culmination of nearly 3 years of advocacy and I would like to thank all who have spoken to me about removing these level crossings.”
As stated by Member for Bayswater Jackson Taylor
“Removing the dangerous and congested level crossing at Bedford Road is a massive win for the local community and we’re looking forward to less congestion and improved safety.”
As stated by Member for Eastern Victoria Sonja Terpstra
“We made promises to remove level crossings and keep our community safe and moving – and it’s truly brilliant to see more on the list, supporting jobs and more trains more often.”