The Caulfield to Dandenong: Level Crossing Removal Project is removing nine level crossings and rebuilding five stations. The Cranbourne-Pakenham train line is Melbourne's busiest and is crossed by some of our most congested roads, with boom gates down for up to 82 minutes during the morning peak.

Overview

The Caulfield to Dandenong project is working to improve safety and reduce congestion along Melbourne's busiest train line. We are removing nine level crossings at:

We are also building five brand new stations at Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, Clayton and Noble Park.

An Alliance including Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aurecon and Metro Trains Melbourne is delivering the project on behalf of LXRA.

This Alliance will also be undertaking critical work to upgrade signalling and power infrastructure along the entire Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, in preparation for the introduction of High Capacity Metro Trains.

Design

We will remove the nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong by elevating three sections of the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.

The elevated structure design is being guided  by urban design principles. For more information view the urban design factsheet.

The new elevated structure will be designed to safely carry both Metro passenger trains and diesel freight trains. Just as passenger and freight trains share tracks currently, they will continue to share tracks in the elevated design.

Read more in our 'why rail over' factsheet.

Community feedback has shaped many important changes to original designs for stations and the elevated rail. Find more detail in the Consultation Outcomes and Submissions Report.

Finalised designs released include:

For more information on the design process and finalised designs visit our design page.

Construction

Major construction has commenced to build the three sections of elevated structure that will raise the rail line over nine existing level crossings. We are using different construction methodologies in different sections of the rail corridor depending on the amount of space available for machinery  and equipment.

Caulfield to Hughesdale

Because the rail corridor is narrow in this area, special 'gantry' cranes will be used to build the elevated structure. The two gantry cranes will be based at Murrumbeena where they will assemble the segments into bridge spans, and lift them onto the elevated structure. For more information about how the spans are assembled, view this fact sheet

For more information about the gantry crane, view this fact sheet.

From there, a straddle carrier will travel back and forth along the elevated deck to install the new spans. This is an advanced technique that will allow trains to keep running underneath.

For more information on the straddle carrier, view this fact sheet.

Two support beams will assist the straddle carrier install the new spans. For more information on the support beams, view this fact sheet.

For more information on where to see the elevated rail in construction, view this brochure.

Watch a video showing the gantry crane and carrier in action:

Clayton/Noble Park section

A wider rail corridor means traditional bridge construction methods can be used here. Cranes will operate in the rail corridor to lift 'Super T' beams into place.

View a brochure about the construction method.

Strategies

Environment

We are committed to leaving a positive environmental legacy and complying with all regulatory and policy requirements.

Our Environmental Management Strategy PDF, 1.4 MB, sets out localised approaches to managing air water, vegetation and wildlife. It also outlines how noise, vibration and air quality/dust impacts will be managed as part of the project.

Native vegetation and wildlife

Any threatened species will be managed in accordance with the relevant legislation, including the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and Wildlife Act 1975.

Where trees need to be removed, they will be pre-inspected for wildlife and suitably permitted wildlife handlers available to assist as required.

Cultural heritage

To ensure that we comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 a Cultural Heritage Management Plan has been developed.  We will manage sites of local heritage significance in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Air quality and noise reports

Two recent studies have indicated positive results for nearby residents for both air and noise quality.

Preliminary Noise Report – predictive modelling shows that the elevated rail design will result in an overall reduction in noise throughout the corridor and surrounding areas. For more information on noise view the understanding rail noise and vibration fact sheet.

Air Quality Report – modelling indicates that air quality will be improved for households immediately adjacent to the rail line. The elevated structure will help to diluting and disperse fine particles.

Disruptions

The project requires some closures of roads and rail lines, and we thank you for your patience during these times. Read more here on our planned travel disruptions page or on the individual level crossing pages.

Consultation

Local communities, traders and residents have provided valuable input to the project. Feedback has covered a range of topics including design, public open space, local parking, noise, safety and environment.

June to August 2015

Thousands of pieces of feedback were given to the project team. This feedback helped to inform the designs put together by bidders during the formal tender process, and is summarised in a consultation report PDF, 3.1 MB (October 2015).

February to March 2016

Following the release of proposed designs from the successful bidder, community consultation was held on the proposed designs for the Caulfield to Dandenong level crossings project. This process included door knocks and meetings with over 170 individual residents closest to the rail corridor, and meetings  with over 80 local businesses. Over 2,200 individuals participated In the 10 interactive Your Suburb, Your Say consultation while thousands of people discussed the project at 60 pop up information stands at train stations, libraries and shopping areas.

Feedback received via this consultation is summarised in the Consultation Outcomes and Submissions Report (April 2016).

In March 2016, a report into Community sentiment towards the Caulfield to Dandenong level crossings removals was released. This report was commissioned by the Level Crossing Removal Authority.

June 2016 to April 2017

The Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP) was established to oversee plans for the new open space and to incorporate local knowledge into the final designs. COSEP was chaired by Professor Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and brought together local knowledge from representatives of the local community (selected through an expression of interest), combined with expertise from Victoria Police, Bicycle Network, local councils and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA). COSEP convened eleven times between June 2016 and April 2017.

COSEPs key feedback, ideas and recommendations are summarised in the Community Open Space Expert Panel Report.

December 2016 to June 2017

Consultation on the 22.5 hectares of new parkland being created by the project was undertaken via the Open Space Ideas Hub. The Open Space Ideas Hub was created to seek community feedback on some of the ideas from COSEP and to hear creative ideas and solutions from the community on how to transform the rail corridor into an attractive and safe environment for Melburnians to enjoy. We also spoke with thousands of community members and key stakeholders face-to-face and via telephone.

Key feedback, ideas and recommendations from the community, businesses and stakeholders is summarised in the Open Space Consultation Report.

Comments and feedback from both COSEP and the broader community were fed through to the project design team throughout the consultation period. This process means that the feedback from both the panel and the community has already had significant and valuable influence on the open space design. The design team is currently working through all the feedback as they progress towards the final detailed design, which will be released in late 2017

From August 2017

We will continue to consult with the community on what the project means and how any potential impacts can be reduced. Feedback received will continue to help to inform decision-making about the project.

New open space

We will create 22.5 hectares of new public space by raising the rail line – equivalent to 11 MCGs. For more information view the public open space and parklands factsheet.

As part of the final stage of the Caulfield to Dandenong Project we will build new parkland, recreation facilities and pedestrian and cycling paths.

Maintenance

To make sure that the new space stays green and well cared for, a $15 million dollar maintenance fund will be established. It's likely that the fund will include works such as graffiti removal, weeding, cleaning and litter collection, the Community Open Space Expert Panel will provide advice and recommendations. We are consulting with key stakeholders to determine the appropriate arrangements for the governance and administration of the fund.

Trees and plants

One of the benefits of elevating the rail line is that it allows for thousands of plants and trees to be introduced in the new parkland. As this vegetation establishes, it will create a new urban forest. This will increase biodiversity by providing more habitat for local fauna.

For more information on trees and vegetation including the removals that have occurred view the trees and vegetation factsheet and retention summary report.

Cycling and walking

17 kilometres of shared paths will be created when we elevate the rail line, a boon for cyclists and walkers. The new path will create a continuous path from Caulfield to the EastLink trail. Read more about benefits for cyclists and pedestrians.

Design and Landscaping

The design team are continuing to integrate feedback into the open space design, which will be released in late 2017.

Works on the public open space (the linear park, the shared use path and community spaces) will begin once the existing rail line has been moved onto the elevated structure and the old tracks are removed in 2018. Vegetation and tree planting will occur at the end of the construction program to minimise damage to trees and plants during construction works.

Community

Shop local – support our traders

We are committed to minimising the impacts of construction on traders and working closely with traders to make sure customers have ready access to local shops and businesses at all times.

As part of our 'Shop Local' campaign we encourage the community to support local traders, and have a wide range of initiatives and incentives in place to encourage our large workforce to do the same. Read more about the 'Shop local' campaign.

Stakeholder liaison group

Stakeholder liaison groups (SLGs) play an important role in making sure individuals and groups affected by the project are kept informed and can offer feedback about construction activities.

Read meeting summaries for each group:

To request a copy of meeting minutes please email contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.

Clayton Avenue of Honour

A new Avenue of Honour memorial will be built to commemorate the legacy of local servicemen and women. We are working with the Clayton Returned Services League (RSL) to design the memorial, along with a new multi-use community space.

Employment and Training – building a skilled rail workforce

In partnership with the Chisholm Institute, we have established a new training centre (New Employment Exchange and Training). NEXT will provide tailored training for apprentices and entry-level workers, helping to build a skilled workforce for the future.

Voluntary purchase scheme

In response to community feedback, a Voluntary Purchase Scheme has been established.

Under the voluntary purchase scheme, the government will offer to purchase residential properties most impacted by the project on a voluntary basis – this means that eligible owners have the option of selling their property to the Level Crossing Removal Authority.

No compulsory land acquisition is required for the Caulfield to Dandenong  Level Crossing Removal Project. Any decision for owners to sell their homes to the Government will be entirely voluntary.

Learn more about Voluntary Purchase Scheme and guiding principles.

Fencing and landscaping packages

Fencing and landscaping packages are also available to eligible property owners.  Learn more about the fencing and landscaping program.

Project updates

To view the latest project newsletters and community updates visit the Caulfield to Dandenong publications page.