Trains resume on Dandenong and Frankston rail corridors

Trains resume on Dandenong and Frankston rail corridors
Trains resume on Dandenong and Frankston rail corridors

Despite some unrelated signalling issues around Cardinia Road on Monday morning, the trains are back and all the level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong have been removed in south east Melbourne's busiest rail corridor.

Likewise, the new Frankston station was opened to passengers today that will also see Frankston trains use the new Skye/Overton Road bridges.  Frankston line trains will also be using new temporary track through the site of the Seaford Road level crossing removal project.

Carnegie and Murrumbeena stations are now open, albeit with temporarily reduced accessibility - the stations are only accessible via temporary stairs while work continues below the train deck. Hughesdale station is still a few months away from opening.

Trumpeting the government's progress, removing more than their original target of 20 in the first term of government, the Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said the removal of level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong has paved the way to run more trains more often.

"No government has ever removed this many level crossings, this quickly. As we reach the half way point of the project, we celebrate the significant progress we’ve made but recognise there is still plenty more to do," the Minister said.

The Victorian Government says by the end of June 2018, 25 level crossings will have been removed - this includes the 4 level crossings between Caulfield and Oakleigh which opened on Monday, Skye/Overton Road in Frankston and Thompsons Road in Cranbourne.

The first section of the new road bridge that will send Thompsons Road rising over the Cranbourne line will open at the end of this week. 

As was the case at the site of the level crossing removal at Watergardens, one section of new road bridge will open taking both directions of traffic while the second section is built.  Eventually, Thompsons Road will have 6 car lanes over the Cranbourne line, up from the single lane in each direction with a level crossing.

Now that Frankston trains divert around the original site of the Seaford Road level crossing on temporary track, major works will get underway to remove the level crossing entirely by building a rail bridge over Seaford Road.  

Trains running through all three individual elevated rail segments on the Dandenong corridor is only temporary as another major shutdown, from Westall to Pakenham and Cranbourne, is scheduled to kick off on June 30 and last until July 8 while power and signalling systems are upgraded.

According to the Victorian Government's bigbuild.vic.gov.au website, level crossings located at Kororoit Creek Road in Williamstown North, Buckley Street in Essendon and Abbots Road in Dandenong South will have been removed as well.

Lead image credit: Level Crossing Removal Authority.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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Level crossing removals

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