The Level Crossing Removal Project will remove 11 level crossings on the Frankston line. Works are underway at North, McKinnon and Centre Roads and the Victorian Government has announced the commencement of planning for the eight level crossings to be removed between Cheltenham and Frankston.

Overview

There are 30 level crossings on the Frankston Line and we are removing 11 crossings at various points along the line.

We are at the planning stages for removing the following eight crossings: 

  • Charman Road, Cheltenham 
  • Balcombe Road, Mentone 
  • Edithvale Road, Edithvale 
  • Station Street/Bondi Road, Bonbeach 
  • Station Street, Carrum 
  • Eel Race Road, Seaford 
  • Seaford Road, Seaford 
  • Skye/Overton Road, Frankston. 

Works are underway on the three level crossings at  North Road in Ormond, McKinnon Road in McKinnon and Centre Road in Bentleigh

Project development 

Planning is underway for the eight level crossings between Cheltenham and Frankston. Removing these level crossings will improve safety along the Frankston line by separating trains from pedestrians and from vehicles. 

We are conducting a range of engineering and other assessments to determine what is technically feasible at each location. Our investigations at each site will include the specific geography, ground conditions, nearby infrastructure, traffic movements and location of services such as gas, water and electricity.There are a number of factors that we need to take into account as we develop options for removing the level crossings:

Site characteristics

Each site has its own unique characteristics that we need to consider when developing recommended designs. These include the surrounding geography and environment, including things like the condition of the soil, utility locations and the proximity to natural obstacles. We also consider transport connections, safety, value for money, future development in the area, potential land acquisition and how the area is used now and into the future to ensure an ongoing thriving community.

Design option benefits and impacts

Design option benefits and impacts need to be considered differently at each site. The level crossings along the Frankston line are some of the most challenging to remove due to the proximity to the bay, and other natural features such as the Patterson River and Kananook Creek. Other engineering challenges include having two very busy roads (the Nepean Highway and Station Street) very close on either side of the rail line. 

Community and stakeholder feedback

While we develop design options, we will also be gathering and considering community and stakeholder feedback. Keep an eye on our website for consultation opportunities.

How do we remove level crossings?

During the planning phase for these eight level crossing sites, we will consider all options:

  • road under the rail
  • road over the rail
  • rail under the road
  • rail over the road, or
  • realigning the road to improve traffic flow and connections.

Why are the level crossing being removed?

More than 90,000 vehicles cross these eight level crossings in the morning peak. As a result the boom gates are down for an average of 34 minutes between 7am and 9am, or more than 25 per cent of the morning peak.

There are well over 200 passenger train services passing through the crossings each week day.

Removing the level crossings will result in improved safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, provide opportunities to reunite communities, and establish new connections to the beach.

Community

Thank you to everyone who attended our community drop-in sessions during March, to help us understand what solutions may work at each site. We have received more than 4,500 handwritten pieces of feedback from local residents and traders. 

We are now busy collating and analysing all the feedback received so far. We will be publishing a Community Consultation Report before we return for another round of consultation on feasible design options in the middle of the year. 

Mid-2016 

We will ask you to tell us what you think of the options for each level crossing removal. Your feedback will be considered, along with other criteria in the development of a recommended option. 

Late-2016 

We will present one recommended option for each level crossing removal We will ask you to share your local knowledge to refine the details of the option. Your feedback will be considered during the tender process to refine the design. 

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We will 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. 

Feedback

Our Social Pinpoint online engagement tool closed on 8 May. Thank you to all the community members who took the time to put information into Social Pinpoint and to send us feedback forms, emails and contact us via phone. We are considering your feedback along with other criteria as we develop design options.

We are now preparing a community consultation report, which we will be sharing with communities in the coming weeks.

If you didn't have an opportunity to contact us before 8 May, we are still keen to hear your thoughts. We will be presenting design options in the middle of the year and seeking feedback on these. We hope to see you at one of these community information sessions, but in the meantime, if you would like to complete our online feedback form we welcome your comments.

FAQs

When will we know how each crossing will be removed? 

The removal method for the eight level crossings between Cheltenham and Frankston will not be known until late 2016. This will allow us time to develop, consult, assess and determine the best solution at each location. We will be talking to communities in the middle of this year about feasible options for removing each level crossing and will have a recommended design by the end of 2016.

When will construction start? 

Construction is due to start in early 2018.

How long will construction take? 

The construction time depends on a range of factors, including the complexity of the site and the local environment. For example, level crossing removals with new train stations, bus interchanges and lots of road connections will typically take longer than others. We will be able to talk to communities again about the specifics of their level crossing removal when we know what the recommended design solution is towards the end of 2016.

Will there be several crossings removed at the same time? 

Where we can, we will undertake several removals at the same time to minimise disruption and deliver the benefits to communities as soon as possible. This will depend on the distance between sites, the ability to run replacement and alternative services and technical feasibility.

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