VICTORIAN Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan this week announced the longest rail line closure since the construction of the City Loop is over and the new McKinnon Station is now open.
In just over five weeks, more than 1,000 people worked around the clock excavating 250,000 cubic metres of soil – enough to fill the MCG – to lower the line so trains can run safely under Centre, McKinnon and North roads.
Ms Allan described the level crossings were some of Melbourne's worst, with boom gates down for up to 45 minutes in the two-hour morning peak.
The new McKinnon Station includes lifts, ramps and stairs down to platforms below ground level in the new rail cutting.
Ormond and Bentleigh Stations were also built during the closure and will open later in August. Carpark and landscaping works at all three new stations will continue over the coming months.
To enable these works to occur, the Frankston line was closed between Caulfield and Moorabbin for more than five weeks, and replacement buses moved thousands of passengers every day.
Construction has started at a further 15 crossing removals, and by the end of 2018 work will be underway or complete on the removal of 35 of Victoria's worst crossings, with 50 level crossings to be removed by 2022.