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Victoria celebrates removal of 80 level crossings

Victoria celebrates removal of 80 level crossings

The Victorian Government has successfully removed 80 level crossings across Melbourne, with three more gone along the Pakenham Line.

Additionally, today marks the opening of two new railway stations: Pakenham Station, following a major upgrade, and the brand-new East Pakenham Station, which extends the metropolitan train line by two kilometres into Melbourne’s newest suburb.

East Pakenham Station establishes a direct link to a growing community projected to accommodate approximately 7,200 new homes in the coming years. It also enhances connections for regional Victorians, with dedicated V/Line tracks aimed at easing congestion and improving service reliability on the Gippsland Line.

“Melbourne’s population [is] set to reach the size of London by 2050, so we’re building the infrastructure to support families in our growing south-east while slashing travel times and delivering better public transport,” said Victoria’s Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Danny Pearson.

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Starting today, all Pakenham Line services will run to the new stations, operating at frequencies of five to ten minutes during weekday peaks and every 20 minutes during off-peak periods.

In the months ahead, construction efforts will intensify to create new open spaces beneath the 2.5-kilometre rail bridge between McGregor and Racecourse Roads. This design includes a shared-use path, a basketball court, a playground and parklands, set to open later this year.

As part of the Government’s Car Parks for Commuters program, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, East Pakenham Station features 300 new parking spaces, with an additional 450 new and upgraded spaces at Pakenham Station scheduled to open in spring.

Previously, 63,000 vehicles used Pakenham level crossings daily, experiencing frustrating delays when the boom gates were down for 30 per cent of the morning peak.

Emma Vulin, Victoria’s member for Pakenham, said, “No longer will locals be held up at frustrating boom gates in Pakenham, and the two new stations are a game-changer for our community.”

Throughout May, a crew of 200 people worked around the clock to remove the three boom gates at Main Street, McGregor Road and Racecourse Road.

Only three level crossings remain on the Pakenham Line, all slated for removal to make the rail line completely boom gate-free. Passengers on the Pakenham Line will also benefit from the Metro Tunnel when it opens next year.

Since 2015, the Victorian Government has delivered 49 new and upgraded stations, created the equivalent of 21 Melbourne Cricket Grounds of open space for communities, and built 60 kilometres of walking and cycling paths across the city.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said: “When we promised to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings, some people said it would never be done.”

“They were right – we didn’t remove 50, we removed 80, and we won’t stop until we’ve removed 110.”

With 80 level crossings now permanently removed, this translates to 50 hours of saved boom gate time every morning peak and the prevention of 100 crashes and near misses annually.

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