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St. Albans, Blackburn and Mitcham set to see more level crossing removals

The Premier and Minister for Public Transport this morning announced four more level crossing removals had been funded - Main and Furlong Roads in St. Albans, Blackburn Road in Blackburn and Heatherdale Road in Mitcham.

"These four level crossings will all be removed by 2018, and are part of our $2-2.4 billion commitment in the 2015-2016 Victorian Budget to remove at least 20 of these congested death traps over four years" the Premier said.

Leighton Contractors, Aurecon and Hyder Consulting will be working together to both design and build the four grade separation projects with input from public sector agencies VicRoads, Public Transport Victoria and the operator of the metropolitan rail network, Metro Trains Melbourne.

In a media release distributed on Tuesday morning, the Government has announced the package of works will cost around $480 million including $151 million from the Federal Government. This federal money is reportedly derived from savings made on the Regional Rail Project which began operations on Sunday.

Heatherdale Road, Blackburn Road and Furlong Road projects will be funded by the Victorian Government and the Main Road grade separation project funded by the Regional Rail Link savings.

In terms of rail corridor changes, at all four project sites the rail lines will be lowered under the existing road grade and three stations will be re-built as a consequence: St. Albans, Ginifter and Heatherdale.

​Of all four level crossing removal projects which were awarded today, Heatherdale is likely to be the more intriguing from a design perspective. As seen in the google street view above, the existing station is already on a downhill (toward Ringwood) grade and lowering the rail line below the existing road grade will likely require a large amount of excavation to the west of the station in order to smooth out the rail corridor between Mitcham and Heatherdale stations.

As Blackburn Road and Heatherdale Road are completed, the only remaining level crossings between the city and Ringwood will be located at Union Road in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road in Mont Albert. Given Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Stations are located within a kilometre of each other, Urban Melbourne expects that both of these stations - which have three tracks and platforms like the recently announced Frankston line level crossing removals - would be completed at the same time, whenever they are prioritised by Government. These two level crossings do not feature in the list of 50 grade separation projects.

With the announcement of Main Road and Furlong Road projects today, once complete in 2018, all Sunbury line trains as far as Watergardens will be running on track with no level crossings, thanks to previous removal projects in the region with the most recent being Anderson Road as part of the Regional Rail Link project.

The State Government has also announced that geotechnical investigations have begun in the Dandenong corridor where nine previously announced level crossings are to be removed and four stations are scheduled to be rebuilt.

The 50 level crossings the Government aims to remove over eight years. economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au

Level crossing removals announced to date

The Dandenong corridor:

  • Grange Road, Carnegie
  • Koornang Road, Carnegie - includes rebuilding Carnegie station.
  • Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena - includes rebuilding Murrumbeena station.
  • Poath Road, Murrumbeena - includes rebuilding Hughesdale station.
  • Clayton Road, Clayton - includes rebuilding Clayton station.
  • Centre Road, Clayton
  • Corrigan Road, Noble Park
  • Heatherton Road, Noble Park
  • Chandler Road, Noble Park

Expressions of interest were being sought in June and an earlier media release from the Minister for Public Transport stated the work was expected to start in 2016 - and today's announcement confirms that - and complete by 2018. Total value, designs and contractors not yet announced.

The Frankston Line:

  • North Road, Ormond - includes rebuilding Ormond station.
  • McKinnon Road, McKinnon - includes rebuilding McKinnon station.
  • Centre Road, Bentleigh - includes rebuilding Bentleight station.

The Glen Waverley Line:

  • Burke Road, Glen Iris - includes rebuilding Gardiner station.

Contracts for these four level crossing removals were awarded to a consortium which comprises John Holland and KBR. $524 million and complete by 2018.

The Ringwood corridor:

  • Blackburn Road, Blackburn.
  • Heatherdale Road, Mitcham - includes rebuilding Heatherdale station.

The Sunbury Line

  • Furlong Road, St. Albans - includes rebuilding Ginifer station.
  • Main Road, St. Albans - includes rebuilding St. Albans station.

Contracts awarded to an alliance of Leighton Contractors, Aurecon and Hayder Consulting. $480 million. St. Albans projects complete by 2017, Ringwood corridor projects complete by 2018.

Lead image credit: Google Street View.

3 comments

Uncle Monty's picture

The State Government haven't made much of it (for obvious reasons) but I think I read somewhere that the Feds were contributing around $150 million of the $418 million for the latest batch. Happy to be corrected if I misread it.

If so, its an interesting development.

Uncle Monty

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James Adams's picture

Something that no one really seems to be talking about or spruiking but is really a win from an urban planning perspective is the relocation of Ginifer Station. It is to be moved 300m south from its current location to actually align to Furlong Road. This has brought it much closer to Sunshine Hospital, which will now only be a 3 minute walk of 300m (down from 8 minutes/600m). Might seem small, but I think it'll definitely cause more people to take the train to the hospital when they see how close the station is.

Furthermore, if it's ever decided to run a bus straight down Furlong Road, bus stops can be located at the doorstep of the station with no need to divert off their route, similar to the current operation of Nunawading and Springvale stations after they were grade separated.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

^ good catch. I've only seen concept renders of the 4 recently announced grade seps (yes I'm still working on preparing the DB to have grade sep and MMR stations inputted) but didn't realise that the station is being moved.

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