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Cranbourne Line Upgrade – vegetation removal fact sheet

19 May 2020

The Cranbourne line is being upgraded to remove four level crossings, rebuild Merinda Park Station and fully duplicate the track. This vital upgrade will allow for trains every ten minutes and pave the way for a future extension out to Clyde.

Tree and vegetation removal is an important part of the process of preparing for major construction. It will take place along the Cranbourne Line from May until September 2020.

Careful planning is undertaken by environmental and sustainability specialists whose focus is on minimising impacts to both flora and fauna.

Why we need to remove trees and vegetation

As well as laying new track at ground level, we need to install a significant amount of rail equipment. Much of this will sit underground next to the track and needs to be well away from trees and their root systems.

New drainage, signalling cables, maintenance tracks and overhead power structures all need to be installed.

Reducing tree loss

Reducing tree loss is a major priority for the project. We are constantly reviewing our design and construction methods to reduce the number of trees that need to be removed. These efforts will be ongoing and our workers on the ground will look for practical ways to avoid tree loss.

Wildlife

We work with qualified ecologists and wildlife handlers who inspect trees flagged for removal and make sure all wildlife is safely rehomed. We will also put in nesting boxes to help protect local fauna.

Assessing trees and vegetation

Independent arborists have conducted a comprehensive assessment of trees and vegetation along the Cranbourne line. This assessment has helped us identify which trees along the corridor pose a hazard to rail operations.

Understanding root systems and health of trees is also crucial to identifying where tree removal can be avoided.

Planting and landscaping

Once the newly duplicated track is in place, thousands of trees and shrubs will be planted along the corridor.

Planting design and species selection forms an important part of the design process. This will be ongoing over the coming months and see environmental specialists collaborating with our landscaping team.

There are considerable limitations when it comes to planting trees and vegetation in a rail corridor. We will follow Metro Trains safety guidelines carefully. Trees planted too close to a railway track can easily become a hazard or lead to equipment faults.

We’ll also be creating landscaped areas around Merinda Park Station, the Greens Road level crossing removal and the duplicated Abbotts Road rail bridge.

Offsets

Victoria has a state-wide offsets program aimed at maintaining overall biodiversity across the state. The Cranbourne Line Upgrade is contributing to this scheme in Melbourne’s south east. We are also working closely with the City of Greater Dandenong and City of Casey on opportunities to enhance or contribute to native vegetation in the local area.

More information about offsets can be found at environment.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation.

What happens when trees are removed?

Felled trees will be re-used for habitat logs, landscaping elements and mulch.

We donate wood, mulch and harvested seeds to councils and local groups, and re-use timber or mulch within our project areas wherever possible.

Call us on 1800 105 105 or email contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au

View the PDF version of this fact sheet here PDF, 328.4 KB.

Artist impression of Merinda Park station. Subject to change.

Merinda Park Station - artist impression subject to change.

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