Only two level crossings remain between the City and Ringwood

With rail services recommencing operations between Box Hill and Ringwood this morning after the completion of major works on Heatherdale Road and Blackburn road level crossing removal projects, there remains only two level crossings between Flinders Street and Ringwood.

Located at Mont Albert Road and Union Road, the latter of which saw a horrific accident last year, these two level crossings, if they were to be reprioritised - perhaps even bolted-on to the list of the state government's 50 - would most likely result in one station rebuild (Surrey Hills), possibly two (Surrey Hills and Mont Albert).

Beyond Ringwood on the Lilydale branch, level crossings remain at Dublin Road (East Ringwood), Coolstore Road (Croydon), Manchester Road (Mooroolbark), Melba Avenue and Maroodah Highway (Lilydale). Manchester Road and Maroondah Highway are on Spring Street's list of 50 crossings to be removed by 2022.

On the Belgrave branch, Bedford Road (Ringwood), Alpine Street (Ferntree Gully), and Railway Avenue (Upper Ferntree Gully) are the three remaining level crossings, after Scoresby Road and Mountain Highway were grade separated late last year.

Trenches are a feature of this eastern suburbs spine. Starting with the first modern day grade separation project at Boronia, right through to deepening the cutting that already existed at Heatherdale during the most recent grade separation.

The trench leading up to Blackburn Station. Image © Level Crossing Removal Authority

Dandenong corridor is firing up

At the same time as the Ringwood corridor is [almost] becoming level crossing-free, the major works on the Dandenong corridor have kicked up a gear.

Last week images of the first columns to support the elevated track between Caulfield and Oakleigh started appearing on social media. Murrumbeena is the site which is seeing the majority activity at present as it's the launch site for this section of the Dandenong corridor work.

Beyond the primary 'skyrail' project, there are five more level crossings on the list of 50 set to be removed over the next few years.

Abbots Road on the Cranbourne line along with Thompsons Road appear to be the most advanced with the primary website for the Level Crossing Removal Authority carrying multiple renders at both locations.

Likewise, South Gippsland Highway (Dandenong), Hallam Road (Hallam) and Clyde Road (Berwick) on the Pakenham line are currently 'in planning'.

8 comments

James Adams's picture

A few months ago I created a map of all Melbourne level crossings, including which ones are on the list of 50 to be removed and those which aren't. It's useful in visualising which lines are close to being level crossing free and overall progress.

You can see it here: Map of all Melbourne level crossings.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

Hi James, great stuff. If you change the privacy settings on that map to public, I can embed it in your comment.

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James Adams's picture

Done and thanks! Hope the map is useful.

And re: the article itself, I don't see Mont Albert and Surrey Hills happening for a while. The roads themselves don't carry a lot of traffic, it's in very safe Liberal territory, the engineering would be complex and locals themselves have previously voiced their opposition to a removal!

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Alastair Taylor's picture

And this was posted on the PT Minister's facebook feed this morning:

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Marcus W's picture

Some background to the last time the government tried to removed the level crossing at Surrey Hills - back in the late 1970s:

https://wongm.com/2016/03/union-road-surrey-hills-level-crossing/

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George D's picture

That's a very useful map James.

The Government is doing a very good job of this, and fuss over skyrail aside (these are the same people who would complain that 'something needs to be done'), they'll get most of the way through 50 in this term. They're right to focus their attention on parts of the city where their work will be appreciated by residents.

Not every crossing will be removed, and so I hope that the remainder are subject to intensive safety treatments in the next few years. No-one deserves to die as the result of a mistake.

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Aussie Steve's picture

Indeed, there are some level crossings in side streets throughout Melbourne such as Greville Street, Prahran and Union Street, Windsor that are really impossible to remove without the demolition of the heritage stations or at vast expense that is unjustified, so maybe future road closures will be needed or improved safety around them.

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George D's picture

You would think that they could place sensors that detect vehicles and warn them to move, as well as alerting incoming trains.

I'm sure there are a range of engineering and design solutions available, and it would be a pity if they're not used.

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