PASSENGER and freight trains are now running on the first section of elevated rail built to remove level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong, the Victorian Government announced week.
The approximate 1.5-kilometre long elevated rail section replaces level crossings at Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler roads in Noble Park, which are the first three of nine level crossings that will be removed this year as part of the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project.
The elevated rail also includes the newly-rebuilt Noble Park Station, which features:
- Station facilities at ground level;
- Stairs, escalators and lifts;
- Large sections of covered platform;
- CCTV cameras, lighting, improved surveillance and a Protective Services Officer (PSO) facility;
- Commuter parking, including disability permit parking and a number of drop-off zones;
- Ambulant commuter toilets and baby change facilities;
- New bus bays and taxi ranks;
- Parkiteer facilities (secure bicycle parking cages) and bicycle hoops; and
- New public information displays, hearing loops in waiting areas and on platforms.
The next phase will see some final works on the brand new station continue over coming months to finish off interior fittings and ground level buildings including the modern waiting room and toilets.
Meanwhile, the focus for construction crews is now turning towards clearing the rail corridor to make way for new open space that will include trees, paths, fitness stations and even an off-leash dog park. Workers have already started clearing old tracks and ballast from the old ground level rail corridor.
Project Director, Brett Summers, said raising the rail and creating open space along the line would connect communities previously split apart by ground level tracks.
"While improving congestion and safety will always be at the heart of this project, we are also setting out to transform places and this is an amazing opportunity to do just that," he said.
More than 275 trains – including Metro, V/Line and freight services – will run along the new elevated tracks each day, and by separating cars from trains, the Caulfield to Dandenong project will allow more trains to run more often on Melbourne's busiest line, the Cranbourne/Pakenham line.
An Alliance including Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aurecon and Metro Trains Melbourne is delivering the Caulfield to Dandenong project on behalf of the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
The Alliance is also undertaking work to upgrade signalling and power infrastructure along the entire Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, in preparation for the introduction of High Capacity Metro Trains.