Charman Road in Cheltenham intersects with both the Nepean Highway and Park Road. The Cheltenham Shopping Centre, located in the heart of Cheltenham on Charman Road, is home to a mixture of retail, residential buildings and offices. Charman Road runs past schools, reserves, golf clubs and the Cheltenham Station, which has a local heritage overlay.

During the weekday peak between 7.00am – 9.00am, the Park Road level crossing is down for an average of 48 minutes and the level crossing at Charman Road is down for 35 minutes, significantly impacting travel times for thousands of motorists and causing frustration for all road users.

Latest news

We will be lowering the rail line into a trench at Park Road and Charman Road, Cheltenham, and each of these roads will be rebuilt at their current road level. We will also build a new Cheltenham Station.

The decision to proceed with a rail trench design solution was based on what we heard from you, the local community, along with environmental considerations and findings from our technical investigations.

Aerial design of Park Road and Charman Road. See design benefits below

Benefits and opportunities:

  • A brand new Cheltenham Station with improved lighting, visibility and accessibility, including lifts to the lowered platforms.
  • There is opportunity for the existing heritage station buildings on both platforms to be repositioned (onsite or offsite) and repurposed.
  • We will look at building walking/cycling paths along the rail line and pedestrian overpasses to keep the community connected and allow easy access to the retail centre, Cheltenham Park and Cemetery, and nearby school.
  • New opportunities for retail and residential development within the station precinct and urban renewal of the broader area.

View the video and transcript for Cheltenham rail under road.

Now that we have a design solution, there are a number of key aspects that need to be considered further. As we move into the next phase of planning work, we will focus on:

  • Working with owners of the residential and commercial properties that may need to be acquired to build the trench. Those affected have already been notified and we will continue to work closely with them as the project progresses.
  • Working with the community to refine the design details of the rail trench, station (including historic station buildings) and new public spaces.
  • Refining design requirements for rail barriers, pedestrian overpasses and the new carpark.
    Managing road, rail and utility service relocations during construction.
  • Ways to manage the overland water and groundwater that exists within 5 metres of the surface, during and after construction.
  • The removal of the level crossings at Park Road and Charman Road will transform Cheltenham. We want to continue working with you to ensure that this project protects and enhances what you value about your local area.

Historic station buildings

Many members of the community said the protection of the historic Cheltenham Station buildings was important to them.

The existing station buildings, which have a local heritage overlay, will need to be removed to make way for the new station.

Throughout 2017, we will continue the conversation within the community about how we use the historic station buildings.

Latrobe Street

Last year we consulted on the option to close Latrobe Street level crossing because of its relatively low traffic volumes and close proximity to the other level crossings being removed at Charman, Park and Balcombe Roads. However, over half of the community feedback that we collected in September –  October 2016 showed a preference to keep the street open. We have decided not to close Latrobe Street at this stage.

For more information on the design solution, please see our February Community Update.

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For the latest news on our project, please see our July Community Update.

We will also keep you informed about the project and its progress via website updates, social media, regular email bulletins and letterbox drops, local newspaper advertising, onsite information boards and community information displays.

FAQs

Top 5 FAQs

  1. Will there be more or less parking at Cheltenham and Mentone stations once the works are complete?
  2. Why is there a need for the third track through the station at Cheltenham?
  3. What will happen to the historic station buildings at Cheltenham and Mentone Stations?
  4. Why isn't the Warrigal Road Level Crossing being removed?
  5. What are the construction timeframes for Cheltenham and Mentone?

Timeline

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Date Stage
2016 Early investigations and consultation on design options.
February 2017 Design solution announced.
Mid to late 2017 Tender phase – we are working with the two shortlisted bidders to find a construction partner for the project.
Mid to late 2017Community workshops on urban design elements.
Late 2017Successful construction partner announced.
Late 2018 Construction starts.

Community

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our consultation process and provided feedback on the design options under consideration in late 2016.

Your feedback has played an important role in helping us develop the design solution. Our community consultation period revealed the following feedback themes:

  • Overall, there is a preference in the community for a rail trench solution for Cheltenham.
    Many residents and traders regard the key benefits as:    
    • reduced / less visual impact,
    • reduced / less noise, and
    • improvements to traffic flow.
  • When asked about the biggest priority moving forward, the feedback varied. Top responses included:    
    • building a rail trench,
    • considering the aesthetics of the area and
    • improving traffic flow and reducing congestion.

What's next?

We are asking for your input on a range of elements including:

  • Station design, such as the integration of heritage-listed station buildings
  • Design opportunities
  • Public space opportunities, such as walking/cycling paths
  • Landscaping opportunities
  • Retail and residential development opportunities
  • Disruption planning.

Your feedback will be used to inform the next phases of detailed design and construction, including as we begin the process of appointing construction companies.

Submissions

Submissions for the Planning Scheme Amendment are now closed.

We will continue to talk to the community as we refine the design and there will be more opportunities this year for you to have your say.

Technical work

We have undertaken a range of technical investigations in the Cheltenham and Mentone areas to fully understand how our design solution will benefit and impact the area. These investigations are vital in helping us find the best design solution for each site.

While detailed investigations commenced in 2016, investigations such as noise, traffic, geological (ground) and hydrogeological (ground water) on complex projects like these typically continue beyond selection of a design solution to further inform detailed design and construction. LXRA will provide  regular insights into these studies.

For more detail on what's involved in the various technical investigations, please refer to our Technical Investigations Update – Cheltenham and fact sheets on the following areas:

  • Rail noise
  • Visual assessment
  • Feature surveys
  • Overshadowing
  • Car park surveys
  • Traffic monitoring and modelling
  • Hydrology
  • Utility investigations
  • Hydrogeology
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Cultural heritage – Indigenous and European
  • Property title survey
  • Flora and fauna
  • Air quality.

Works update

Geotechnical investigations

As part of our planning works, geotechnical investigations on the Frankston line started in August 2016 and have been continuing in select locations. Geotechnical investigations provide important information about the physical properties of the soil and rock and the water table.

What we are doing

A sample of soil will be taken using drill rigs, with cores samples being 100 millimetres in diameter (around the size of a DVD) and to a depth of up to 40 metres.

At each level crossing removal location, multiple soil samples are required, so drilling is taking place at a number of sites within each area. The position of drill holes is affected by factors such as safe access for workers and equipment, as well as the location of existing underground cables and  pipes.

What to expect

The works require the use of a drilling rig and vehicles and there may be low level noise. Once tests are complete, drill holes are filled in and the drilling area returned to its original condition as far as possible.

Access to local businesses and residences is maintained at all times.

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