Skip to main content

Disruptions

Preston Q and As

03 Dec 2020

On the Mernda line, the level crossings at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road in Preston will be removed simultaneously by raising the rail line.

  • What level crossings are being removed?
    • The Preston Level Crossing Removal Project will get rid of the boom gates at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston. By raising the rail over the roads, the Preston project will deliver new community open spaces, two new premium stations and improve safety.

  • Why are you removing these level crossings?
    • At these four level crossings, the boom gates are down for up to 40 per cent of the morning peak, causing delays and leading to congestion for road users.

      Removing these level crossings will also enhance safety and improve traffic flow in the area for cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.

  • When will the level crossings be removed?
    • Early works have started to prepare the site for major construction in 2021. All four sets of boom gates will be removed by the end of 2022, and open space will be ready for the community to enjoy in 2023.

  • Are there going to be any new stations built as part of the project?
    • New premium stations will be built at Bell and Preston to accommodate raised platforms and improve station facilities.

  • Why has a rail over road design been selected for this project?
    • Raising the rail line over the road will create new open space under the rail bridge and improve east–west connections while minimising disruption during construction.

  • Why were other designs, such as lowering the rail into an open trench, not selected for removing these level crossings?
    • Digging a rail trench would be more disruptive to nearby residents, causing greater noise, dust and vibration. It would also require a much longer shutdown of the rail line and more machinery and trucks on local streets.

      The land surrounding the rail corridor in Preston lies on a natural flood plain. If the rail was lowered into a trench, extensive drainage work would need to be carried out in the area. Melbourne’s oldest surviving water main system, the Yan Yean Water Supply System, also runs through the area and would need to be redirected if the rail line was lowered.

      Road based solutions were ruled out due to the impact they would have on the community and busy local intersections, as well as requiring the acquisition of homes and businesses.

  • How high will the rail bridge be?
    • The height of the rail bridges will vary along the corridor. We are working to refine the designs including the height of the elevated structures. We’ll be back out to the community with more information when the detailed designs of the rail bridge have been finalised.

  • Where will the rail bridge start and end?
    • The rail bridge will elevate shortly after Miller Street in the south and shortly after Clinch Avenue in the north.  We’ll be back out to the community with more information when the detailed designs of the rail bridge have been finalised.

  • How will the overshadowing and visual impact of the two rail bridges be minimised?
    • We are working to refine the designs and understand potential overshadowing and visual impacts.

      We’ll be back out to the community with more information when the detailed designs of the rail bridge have been finalised.

  • When will project designs be released?
    • When the detailed design of the rail bridges is finalised, we’ll be back out to the community with more information.  In the meantime, you can view the new Bell and Preston Station designs, plus share your thoughts on the new open space concept designs.

  • Why is the new Bell Station car park located on the east side of the rail?
    • A number of location options were investigated for the new Bell Station car park. The east side of the elevated rail provides the safest and easiest way for passengers who walk, ride, drive or travel by bus or taxi to access the new station.

  • Why can’t the land on the west side of Bell Station be used for open space or car park?
    • The land on the west side of Bell Station, between Oakover Road and Bell Street, is owned by VicTrack who has allowed the project to use some of their land during construction. This will enable enough space to build the elevated structure efficiently and safely. This land is not designated to the Project, and therefore cannot be considered in the design.

  • What will be built under the rail bridge?
    • As part of the Preston Level Crossing Removal Project, we’re creating new open spaces for the community to enjoy.

      These open space designs have resulted from online community engagement activity conducted in April and a series of meetings with the Preston Open Space Advisory Panel between May and November 2020.

  • How have the open space designs been developed?
    • The open space designs have resulted from online community engagement activity conducted in April and a series of meetings with the Preston Open Space Advisory Panel between May and November 2020.

  • How are the open spaces at the station precincts been designed?
    • One of the key constraints on open space, particularly around the station precincts, are the functional elements of the elevated rail structure and stations.  This includes utilities, signalling to safely operate the trains and keep station facilities operational.

      When designing the open space at the station precincts, we’re taking into consideration what we heard from the community in previous consultation and input from the Preston Open Space Advisory Panel.

  • Will any trees be removed as part of the project?
    • Trees, vegetation and green space are valued by the Preston community. Minimising the impact of tree and vegetation removal is an important consideration in the design and construction of the project.

      To build the new rail bridge and Bell and Preston stations we need to install new infrastructure and relocate existing power, communications, and water services in the area. This means some tree and vegetation removal is required.

      To prepare for major construction, tree and vegetation removal will take place from November 2020 until end-2021.

      Careful planning is undertaken by qualified arborists and sustainability and environmental specialists to minimise the impacts to local flora and fauna.

  • Will you close the Mernda line during construction?
    • Rail closures will be required at times for project works to be safely conducted when trains aren’t running.

      The Mernda line cannot be closed for more than 12 consecutive days due to the Epping maintenance yard, which services half of Melbourne’s trains.

      We’ll inform the community and passengers in advance of any planned rail disruptions.

Was this page helpful?
Send feedback

Contact Us

1800 105 105

Get in touch with us for any queries you have about our projects

24 hours, 7 days