Bell Street in Preston is a major east-west arterial road which runs from Heidelberg in the east to the Tullamarine Freeway in the west. Bell Street is also intersected by several key north-south arterial roads including Plenty Road, St Georges Road and High Street in the Preston area.


The dangerous and congested level crossing at Bell Street in Preston is being removed, which will deliver better traffic flow and improved safety in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

The level crossing at Bell Street in Preston, located on the South Morang rail line, is one of northern Melbourne’s worst congestion hot spots.

The Victorian Government has awarded the contract for the North East program of works to an Alliance of the Level Crossing Removal Authority, Laing O’Rourke, Fulton Hogan and Jacobs. The Alliance is initially delivering the Grange Road, Alphington and Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna level crossing removal projects and the Hurstbridge rail line duplication. If the Alliance meets strict performance measures in the delivery of these projects, they will then retain the contract to remove the High Street, Reservoir and Bell Street, Preston level crossings.

Works to remove these level crossings are planned to commence in 2018 and will take 18 months to two years to complete.

Project development

Planning is underway for the removal of the Bell Street level crossing, with community consultation having started in mid-2016 and continuing into 2018. During this stage we will also be undertaking planning and technical investigations to help with the development of options at this location.

Darebin Council

LXRA is working closely with Darebin City Council to ensure all current and future opportunities for level crossing removal on the South Morang line are thoroughly investigated.

Project lifecycle

Project stage


What's involved


Early to mid-2016

  • Site investigations
  • Identification of options
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Community consultation

Technical investigations (current stage)

Early 2017 to early 2018

  • Technical investigations conducted
  • Community consultation
  • Assessment of design options
  • Presentation of feasible options


Early to mid-2018

  • Procurement process
Final design and works startMid to late 2018
  • Recommended design option announced
  • Contract is awarded
  • Community consultation
  • Works starting


Late 2018 to 2020

  • Construction continues
  • Project completed


Community feedback

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback online or at our community drop in sessions during October 2016, and told us what is important to them about the project area. We appreciate so many community members joining the conversation about their area.

The Preston community told us they want:

  • a vibrant station precinct
  • improved traffic flow
  • safer paths and better connections for pedestrians and cyclists
  • a greener station precinct, with more plants and trees
  • improved facilities at Bell Station
  • pride in your community with a visually pleasing design
  • a new station that reflects the heritage features of the existing station.

This feedback is informing the development of design options for the level crossing removal.
In the coming months there will be more opportunities to have your say about how we can transform the local area in a way that will best benefit your community.

If you have any questions, please get in touch by email at or by calling 1800 762 667 (24 hours 7 days).

Project updates

Sign up for project updates

There will be a number of opportunities to get involved and provide feedback as the project progresses. Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be provided project information via website updates, regular bulletins and letterbox drops, local newspaper advertising, onsite information boards and community information displays.

We will be back out in your community in early 2018 to present the feasible design options.


When will the Bell Street level crossing be removed?

Works are planned to commence in 2018 and expected to take 18 months to two years to complete.

What will be done before construction starts?

Planning and technical investigation works got underway in 2016 and will continue into 2018. These works include:

  • Geotechnical investigations to learn about the ground conditions.
  • Site surveys, including feature surveys and environmental surveys.
  • Traffic studies.
  • Determining where the existing service utilities are located.
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Community updates.
  • Development of design options.

When will design commence?

Design work started in mid-2016 and feedback from community consultation will be used to inform the development of the design.

Have you decided on the design for the level crossing removal at Bell Street?

No. There are several design options when removing a level crossing to separate the road and railway line. These options include building a railway bridge over the road, lowering the railway line under the road, lowering the road under the railway line or a road bridge over the railway line.

We will investigate several options before a recommended design is determined. Before then, considerations will include community feedback, constructability, cost, technical constraints, impacts to rail operations and road traffic and development opportunites.

When will you consult with the community regarding this project?

We started consulting with the community in mid 2016, and the community will have a number opportunities to have their say on the project in early 2018.

Please visit this website regularly for updates about how and when to have your say.