Two more level crossings have been removed in Melbourne’s south east and another new station opened as part of the landmark Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project.
Boom gates at Centre Road and Clayton Road were dismantled last week ahead of today’s milestone, which sees trains running for the first time on a 1.4 kilometre stretch of elevated rail and stopping at the rebuilt Clayton Station.
Located in the middle of a busy shopping strip and close to significant employers including Monash University, CSIRO and the Monash Health precinct, the congested Clayton Road level crossing has long created major headaches for the community.
Ambulances on their way to Monash Hospital had been known to sit at the former level crossing for considerable amounts of time.
Centre and Clayton roads are the fourth and fifth crossings to be removed as part of the “CD9” project, which is getting rid of every crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong by the end of 2018.
Earlier this year the first stretch of elevated rail was commissioned at Noble Park, separating trains from vehicles and relieving congestion along Chandler, Heatherton and Corrigan Roads.
Clayton Station – the tenth station to be built by the level crossing removal project – opened succesfully, with passengers treated to entertainment, free coffee and cupcakes as they made their way up to the elevated platforms.
Melbourne indie band ‘Rudely Interrupted’ kicked off at the early hour of 7:00am, delighting commuters with a train-themed song set.
Bollywood dancers and Chinese drum performers also brought colour to the occasion.
When complete, the station will feature an improved layout, dedicated bus link road, better lighting and CCTV, as well as more than 80 additional commuter car parks.
Secure bike parking will be a boon for cyclists who will also have use of a new 17-kilometre walking and cycling path all the way from Caulfield to Dandenong.
Last week, crowds of locals gathered to watch boom gates at Clayton Road being taken down, cheering on work crews as they carried away the gates.
Commuters were thanked today for their patience following a 17-day construction blitz along a section of the Cranbourne/Pakenham line.
See more photos of the new station below.