A date has now been set for the opening of Clayton’s brand new station, with the facility to open on 16 April when trains begin to run on a new 1.4-kilometre stretch of elevated track.
The milestone will see two level crossings removed at Clayton and Centre roads, and follow an intensive 17-day construction blitz to connect wiring, install signalling, and ready the new station for passengers.
Buses will replace trains between Oakleigh and Dandenong from Friday 30 March and Tuesday 2 April, then between Caulfield to Westall from Tuesday 3 April to Sunday 15 April.
When complete, Clayton’s rebuilt station will be far better suited to the busy suburb, a major employment, study and healthcare hub home to Monash Hospital, Monash University and thriving shopping precinct.
Around 80 parking spaces will be added around the station, while new taxi bays, drop-off zones and bike parking facilities will also make it easier to get to the station and hop on a train.
The station design will also better cater for passengers with a disability, disability permit parking, accessible toilets, and hearing loops in waiting rooms and on platforms,
Level crossings across Melbourne are gradually disappearing, with 15 already removed and four more to be removed by the end of April following the Autumn construction blitz, which includes a 44-day shutdown of the Hurstbridge line.
The extensive period of works follows the successful opening of new elevated rail through Noble Park, where three level crossings were removed in February.
Suzy Berk, of Noble Park’s Little Bad Wolf eatery, described the change as “phenomenal”.
“It has already made such a difference to us and to our customers, especially the ones opposite us. It used to take them so long to get to us, now they come straight over,” she said.
Boom gates at Centre and Clayton roads are down for the majority of each morning peak, halting cars for 75 and 82 minutes respectively during each two-hour morning peak.
While Clayton Station will open for passengers on 16 April, works will continue over coming months to put final touches on the station facilities including a ground level waiting room and ticket office.
During April, work will also start to rip up old tracks and remove stony ballast in readiness for landscaping works to begin on the open space set to replace the old ground level rail line.
At Clayton, the space will encompass a landscaped station forecourt – the largest of the five new stations – which will link on to the new open space and recreation facilities.
The station’s original timber station waiting room, built in 1891 and now heritage-listed, will feature in the new forecourt and bring a sense of history to the design.
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