The level crossing at Grange Road in Alphington is roughly half way between Alphington and Fairfield train stations on the Hurstbridge line and a short distance from Heidelberg Road. Grange Road is a north-south arterial road with two lanes in each direction and provides a connection with the Eastern Freeway to the south via the Chandler Highway and Darebin Road to the north.

On a typical weekday approximately 25,000 vehicles pass through the level crossing. Many of these drivers travel through the level crossing during the 7 – 9am peak, during which the boom gates are down for approximately 40 minutes.

Design option

Earlier in 2016, we spoke with you about options for improving and upgrading the Hurstbridge rail line, as part of the Victorian Government's plan to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne.

After a thorough investigation of a number of design options and substantial community and stakeholder consultation, it has been decided that the Grange Road level crossing will be removed by lowering the railway line to pass under Grange Road. Work will be completed by 2019.

Benefits from a rail trench include:

  • Enhanced accessibility and safety
  • Improved traffic flow
  • Enhanced pedestrian and cycle links
  • Enhanced local amenity.

Grange Road level crossing

The Grange Road level crossing is uniquely located in an established residential zone with houses situated close to the railway line. There is no station at the level crossing, which sits in a particularly narrow section of the rail corridor between Alphington and Fairfield stations. There are a small number of shops on Wingrove Street, with the main shopping precinct at Station Street, as well as established pedestrian and cycling routes along Wingrove Street and Fulham Road.

360º view

View the 360 view of Grange Road, Alphington

View the video and transcript for the Grange Road level crossing removal project overview

Options assessment and community feedback

We presented design options to the community in June 2016 at a number of information sessions and presentations. We also met with local residents, encouraged open dialogue via our online engagement hub, met with councils and community groups, and answered numerous queries via our 1800 number, contact email and social media channels.

Two rail-based and two road-based design options were considered to remove the level crossing, with the road-based options ruled out in September 2016 due to the extensive impact they would have on the area, including acquisition of private properties.

You can find out more about our investigations of the benefits and challenges of the design options.

Feedback was received from residents, property owners, traders and interest groups in the local area. In total we received 189 formal submissions. We have worked carefully through all this feedback to ensure your views have been considered, along with the results of our technical and engineering investigations to determine the best outcome for this level crossing and the community.

After an assessment using a range of criteria and engineering considerations including community and land use impacts, local topography, environmental impacts, costs, disruption to transport users and construction risks, a rail trench is considered the most suitable option for this site.

The Alphington community provided detailed feedback on the design options for the removal of the level crossing.

This feedback, which fell into the eight key areas shown below, has been taken into consideration in the development of the design option.

What you told us

What we're doing

You wanted to be able to travel efficiently through the area

  • Removing the level crossing will improve the movement of 25,000 vehicles daily – particularly during morning peaks – across Grange Road and around local streets.
  • There will no longer be boom gates that are down for 40 minutes of the morning peak.

You wanted enhanced connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists in particular

  • Two shared user bridges will be built over the rail trench to support public access.
  • These structures will be low-profile, to maintain a consistent height with the top of the rail trench to minimise visual impact and maximise privacy.
  • We'll also be installing ramps to the shared user bridges to improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • We'll also be upgrading and extending existing shared user paths.

You wanted consideration of design and aesthetics

  • We'll be providing landscaping along Wingrove Street and around Alphington Station.
  • We've also adjusted our design to lower the pedestrian and cyclist bridges over the trench to minimise visual impact and maximise privacy.

You wanted to preserve visual amenity

  • We'll be tying the trench into the local area through landscaping and enhanced pedestrian and cycling links.
  • We'll be using fencing material and treatments sensitive to the local area.

You wanted improved safety

  • We'll be providing lighting along the trench.
  • We'll be widening existing shared user paths.
  • We'll provide wider turning paths for cyclists crossing over Grange Road.
  • We'll be separating shared users paths on either side of Grange Road, improving safety by separating cyclist traffic.

You wanted to retain existing vegetation

  • An assessment has confirmed vegetation that may need to be removed is of low conservation value. We'll be planting native plants and shrubs in the public access areas, bordering the rail trench and larger trees in key areas – including along Wingrove Street and in Ravenscourt Place.
  • We will also be talking with the community about our landscaping strategy, including species selection.

You wanted to retain or create new areas of open space

Removing the Grange Road Level Crossing provides the opportunity to create a new open space at Ravenscourt Place.

You are concerned about construction impacts

There will be some noise, dust and vibration, but we will do our best to minimise this and work with the community to manage impacts and communicate our progress. There are rules and guidelines that govern how we do our work that we need to follow. We'll be available around the clock to talk if you have a concern.

Next Steps

We'll be providing progress updates as planning continues, highlighting opportunities for your continued input and engagement. An overview of the Grange Road level crossing removal is provided in the project lifecycle.

We'll also be establishing a community reference group to engage local representatives and experts to help drive key aspects of our work and ensure strong community influence on issues such as:

  • Minimising disruption during construction
  • Look and feel of the local area
  • Urban design
  • Any wider community feedback or concerns.

Getting on with removing the level crossing

The Victorian Government recently announced that an alliance of Laing O'Rourke, Fulton Hogan and Jacobs has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the Hurstbridge Rail Line Upgrade, which includes the Grange Road, Alphington level crossing removal. The upgrade also includes the removal of the level crossing at Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna and the duplication of the Hurstbridge line between Heidelberg and Rosanna stations.

Check out our video about the Hurstbridge rail line upgrade and the feedback we have received.

View the video and transcript for the Hurstbridge rail line upgrade

Project lifecycle

Timeline

Project stage

What's involved

2016 – Planning

  • Site investigations
  • Identification of design options
  • Stakeholder engagement

Mid-late 2016 – Options development

  • Community consultation
  • Presentation of options
  • Design options announced
Mid-late 2016 – Procurement
  • Project is put to tender
  • Preferred bidder selected
Early 2017 – Pre construction
  • Contract award
  • Detailed design
  • Enabling works

2017 – Delivery

Works commence – ongoing community engagement, project updates

2019 – Completion Project completion  – trains run under Grange Road and services resume

Community

Eliminating the road bridge and road trench options means there will be no land acquisition required for this project. If you own or live in a property on Grange Road, your house or apartment building will not be acquired.

Similarly, if you run a business on Grange Road, the building you operate within will not be acquired..

Have your say

Removing the Grange Road level crossing will change the way the community uses the local area. Join the conversation and tell us your preference for the colours of the bridges, the landscaping along Wingrove Street and the new community space at Ravenscourt Place.

Landscaping along Wingrove Street

We are seeking your feedback on three options.

Option 1: Native canopy and low plantings

Benefits listed below

  • Good for biodiversity
  • Uses indigenous plants, such as shrubs and ground covers
  • Low maintenance
  • 6 to 8 metre trees set away from the rail corridor
Option 2: Native trees and lawn

Benefits listed below

  • Native trees
  • Lawn
  • Good visibility
  • 6 to 8 metre trees set away from the rail corridor
Option 3: Deciduous trees, garden beds and lawn

Benefits listed below

  • Better conditions for grass
  • Seasonal tree colours and flowers
  • Structured plant garden beds
  • Exotic or native 6 to 8 metre deciduous trees

Planted rock embankment

Wingrove Street will also feature a planted rock embankment that will act as a vehicle barrier, preventing cars from entering the rail reserve or the pedestrian and bicycle bridges. Planted rock embankments provide a look that blends in with the natural environment. The rocks also allow for small shrubs and grasses to be planted between them that can create a soft green element. We are seeking your feedback about the balance of rocks and plants.

Option 1: Equal portioning of rocks and plants

Benefits listed below

Option 2: An emphasis on rocks in the landscaping

Benefits listed below

Ravenscourt Place

Ravenscourt Place is a pocket of land near the Grange Road level crossing. With this project we have an opportunity to create a new community space. We are seeking your feedback on three options for the landscaping and also how you would like to use this space.

Option 1: Native canopy and low plantings

Benefits listed below

  • Mostly planted
  • Small lawn
  • Good for biodiversity
  • Uses indigenous plants, such as shrubs and ground covers
  • Low maintenance
  • 6 to 8 metre trees set away from the rail corridor
Option 2: Native trees and lawn

Benefits listed below

  • Native trees
  • Lawn
  • Simple woodland
  • Good visibility
  • Potential for accessible seating
  • A relaxing 'pause point'
  • Potential for small-scale exercise equipment
  • 6 to 8 metre trees set away from the rail corridor
Option 3: Deciduous trees, garden beds and lawn

Benefits listed below

  • Exotic or native deciduous trees
  • Lawn
  • Seasonal colours
  • Seasonal variations in flowers
  • Structured plant garden beds
  • Potential for accessible seating
  • Potential for small-scale exercise equipment

Pedestrian and bicycle bridges – colour

The new pedestrian and bicycle bridges have been designed to act as a marker in the landscape. The form and colour signal the bridges as crossing points, connecting the community on each side of the rail line. We are seeking your feedback on three colour collections.

Option 1: Bright colours

Benefits listed below

This design uses a contemporary range of brighter colours inspired by the use of colour
in signage, railway signals and transport projects.

Option 2: Parks and bushland inspired colours

Benefits listed below

This approach derives from the dominant tones of natural landscapes in the bush settings along waterways and surrounding parkland areas.

Option 3: Native flora inspired colours

Benefits listed below

This approach combines brighter tints with more subdued colours drawn from the Australian landscape. The combination suggests the way eucalyptus flowers naturally create a visual focus in bush landscapes.

Keeping up to date

We encourage anyone who is interested in the removal of the Grange Road, Alphington level crossing to register their interest to receive project updates and notifications of upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.

Sign up for project updates

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.

FAQs

When will the Grange Road level crossing be removed?

Construction will commence in 2017, with the removal expected to be completed by 2019.

When will design commence?

Design development work started in early 2016, around the same time we began consulting with the community. Feedback from community consultation is being used to help develop the design options.

What is an Alliance?

Under an alliance contract, a state agency (in this case the Level Crossing Removal Authority) works collaboratively with private sector parties to develop designs and to deliver the project.

When will you consult with the community regarding this project?

Community consultation for this project was conducted between March and July 2016. The feedback gathered during this period will be used to help develop the designs.

A formal submission process was held in late November / early December as part of the project's the formal request for a planning scheme amendment to the Minister for Planning.

What does the Grange Road project involve?

The project will include the separation of the railway line from the road level to improve safety and reduce congestion.

Why are you removing the Grange Road level crossing?

The level crossing is a major congestion point for thousands of motorists each day, particularly during the weekday morning peak between 7am and 9am when the boom gates are down for around 40 minutes.

Removing the boom gates will mean no more level crossing queues for the 22,000 vehicles that use the level crossing each weekday.

The level crossing adds to congestion woes also experienced by motorists at the nearby Chandler Highway in Kew, which has consistently topped the RACV Red Spot Survey since 2006. 

Will the level crossing removal result in increased noise from trains?

Any impacts on noise will depend on the final design chosen. Noise assessments will be carried out prior to the start of construction. The project will meet the thresholds set out in the Victorian Government's Passenger Rail Infrastructure Noise Policy.

How can I stay up to date on the level crossing removals? Will I be notified about works that directly affect me?

You can keep track of progress here on our site, where you can also sign up to receive email updates about specific level crossing removals, or by connecting with us on social media.

Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be kept up to date during the project through a range of:

  • letterbox drops and doorknocks
  • community information sessions and pop ups
  • local newspaper advertisements
  • social media
  • onsite information boards and station posters
  • 24-hour information lines during construction. 

Will you impact the Fairfield or Alphington train station buildings?

No, the site in Grange Road, Alphington is between Fairfield and Alphington stations and there will be no impact to the stations.

Will the Grange Road works conflict with VicRoads' Chandler Highway Upgrade?

Works will be coordinated with the nearby Chandler Highway Upgrade to minimise disruptions to the community as much as possible and to provide a good, considered outcome which significantly enhances transport benefits in the local area. 

Will the removal of the Grange Road level crossing preclude the potential removal of the Station Street level crossing?

No. The Grange Road level crossing removal does not preclude the potential for the removal of the Station Street level crossing in the future.