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Bell to Moreland community update – July 2020

29 Jul 2020

Major construction starting soon on the Bell to Moreland project

Coburg Station eastern view. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

Coburg Station eastern view. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

Major construction to build the elevated rail and new stations will begin on Monday 27 July and be complete by end of 2020. The open space will be complete in 2021.

The new elevated structure will be constructed and the level crossings will be removed in just three and a half months, the fastest ever removal of four level crossings.

We received valuable feedback from the community on how the open space and areas around the stations should be used. Our designers have incorporated your ideas into the open space designs.

We are pleased to show you the open space and final station designs on the following pages.

June construction blitz

Thanks for your patience as we closed the Upfield rail line and worked around the clock from Friday 19 June until Monday 22 June.

This closure enabled us to work safely without the trains running and prepare for major construction starting at the end of July.

We successfully built foundations for overhead wires and rail bridge piers, installed new rail signalling and power equipment and started delivery of rail bridge segments to site.

Our train replacement buses transported around 4,800 people while the works took place.

Bell to Moreland updated landscaping map

We have been working with key stakeholders and incorporating community feedback into the updated landscaping map and station designs.

Wurundjeri considerations – canoe tree

In collaboration with the Wurundjeri Elders culturally significant pieces have been preserved and incorporated into the design.

  • The canoe tree at Moreland Station will be respectfully incorporated into the open space.
  • We are planting around 3000 indigenous and native species of trees, plants and shrubs along the open space.
  • There will be more green spaces, shade and habitat for wildlife.

New open space designs

Since September 2019, our designers have been reviewing your feedback on the open space designs and feeding it into the design process.

Key themes emerged from your feedback, with the Brunswick and Coburg community wanting the design to focus on:

  • landscaping and vegetation: you asked for landscaped areas to have an Australian native look and feel. Plant species should be drought tolerant and easy to maintained.
  • playgrounds: feedback showed a preference for natural elements; logs, rocks and vegetation, and maintaining the playgrounds in their current locations.
  • walking and cycling: you suggested that we keep bike paths separate from other open spaces, to make sure pedestrians are safe where cycling and pedestrian paths meet.
  • community areas: you asked for community spaces along the rail corridor that could be used for multiple purposes. Feedback on public art showed a want for functional art that reflects the local culture and Indigenous heritage.

We have updated our open space designs to include:

  • separated cycling and walking paths along the whole elevated rail, including through Coburg and Moreland stations
  • priority crossing at Reynard Street for cyclists and pedestrians
  • natural materials incorporated into the Moreland playground design
  • clearer sight lines for people accessing open space
  • public seating in both station precincts
  • new flexible community spaces for small events with seating, drinking fountains and rubbish bins
  • local Wurundjeri considerations throughout the open space design.

Final station designs

With input from key stakeholders – Heritage Victoria, Metro Trains, Moreland City Council – we have refined the station designs.

Significant changes to the design of the Coburg and Moreland station precincts have been made including:

  • new station signage at Coburg Station
  • public seating in both station precincts
  • update to station facades
  • heritage interpretation at Coburg and Moreland stations
  • feature lighting at Coburg and Moreland stations.

Moreland Station concourse

Moreland Station concourse sees some minor updates to the landscape, and inclusion of lighting and signage.

The new Moreland Station.

Moreland Station at night

Moreland Station will have new lighting features under the stairs, backlighting to the Moreland sign and new lighting on the station platform.

The new Moreland Station at night.

Coburg southern entrance

Changes to the southern entrance of Coburg Station include heritage platform and seating, and inclusion of heritage rail, lighting and signage and removal of balustrade.

The southern undercroft and entry to the new Coburg Station.

Coburg eastern entrance

Key changes from the previous design are changes to Coburg signage, and landscape layout.

The heritage listed station buildings at Moreland and Coburg will be retained.

Coburg Bell Street entrance

The Coburg signage, landscape layout, and precast patterns have all been updated. Additional lighting and signage has been incorporated.

Bell Street entry to the new Coburg Station.

Changes to the way you travel

From 8.30pm Monday 27 July to Sunday 15 November passengers on the Upfield train line will change the way they travel while we remove four level crossings and build new stations at Coburg and Moreland.

Station closures:

  • Coburg and Moreland stations will be closed from Monday 27 July
  • The new stations will open in December 2020

Buses replace trains between the City (Flagstaff) and Upfield from:

  • 8.30pm Monday 27 July to Sunday 2 August
  • Monday 9 November to Sunday 15 November

Trains will run between Anstey and the City Loop from:

  • Monday 3 August to Sunday 8 November

A range of alternative transport options, including a combination of buses, trams and other trains, will be available to get passengers to their destinations.

Some passengers will be transported to the Craigieburn Line on weekdays for the quickest journey.

To find out more about replacement services and play your journey, visit

Did you know?

As well as removing the level crossing on Bell Street in Coburg, the crossing at Bell Street Preston will also be gone in 2022.

Removing both Bell Street crossings will ease congestion and free up travel for the thousands of motorists who travel across them every day.

The two crossings are among Melbourne’s busiest. Around 41,000 vehicles travel across the tracks at Bell Street in Coburg, while approximately 52,000 vehicles cross Preston’s Bell Street crossing every day.

Removing them will cut travel times on one of Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads. Once they are gone, drivers will be able to travel along Bell Street from Pascoe Vale to Heidelberg without getting stuck at a single set of boom gates.

As we remove these level crossings on the Upfield line over the coming months, the project team has worked hard to keep Bell Street open to traffic for most of the works, only closing the road for short periods at night and on weekends.

Traffic at boom gates in Bell Street, Coburg

Banishing boom on Bell Street IMAGE is Bell Street level crossing

Project timeline

  • Site investigations
  • Community consultation
  • Design refinement and further technical considerations
  • Government commitment to remove additional crossing on the Upfield line
  • Confirm design solution
  • Further community consultation
  • Early works begin
Early 2020
  • Relocate train power and signalling infrastructure
  • Site establishment
July 2020
  • Install turnback facility at Anstey Station
  • Major construction 24/7 for 3.5 months
November 2020
  • Elevated rail operational
December 2020
  • New stations at Coburg and Moreland open
Early 2021
  • Construction of the open space
Mid 2021
  • Project complete

Please note that the timeline above is subject to change.

Bell to Moreland project area

There’s been plenty happening to get the project site ready for major construction. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been doing between March and June.

Progress so far on the project - 152 out of 268 L-beams fabricated, 63,357 tonnes of crane pad material,  246km of Combined Services Route (CSR) conduit laid and 70 bored piles.

March and April

In March, we worked around the clock on two separate weekends to continue site establishment and set up for major construction.

In March and April, we constructed hardstands, moved utility services, installed fencing and new services, and relocated train power and signalling.

May and June

We constructed foundations for overhead wires and rail bridge piers, installed new rail signalling and power equipment, relocated the heritage signal hut at Moreland Station and started delivery of concrete rail bridge segments. Our two gantry cranes were also delivered to site.

The tracks for the new elevated rail have been delivered to site, and lift shaft excavations commenced for the new stations.

  • 152 out of 268 L-beams fabricated
  • 63,357 tonnes of crane pad material
  • 246km of Combined Services Route (CSR) conduit lair
  • 70 bored piles

View the PDF version of this community update PDF, 986.3 KB.

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