Priority Level Crossing Removal Sites: Cranbourne line
The Victorian Government has adopted a selection framework for future level crossing removals. Under the framework, crossings are prioritised for removal based on the following key principles:
Sites with a record of incidents and a high risk of incidents.
Sites with excessive delay, congestion and unreliability, caused by high train frequencies and high traffic volumes.
Sites where high train frequency significantly limits connectivity between communities and impedes access to important facilities.
Delivery efficiency Sites where there is an opportunity to increase investment efficiency and minimise disruption through leveraging delivery of other projects across the network.
Using this framework, crossings along the Cranbourne Line at Webster Street, Greens Road, Evans Road and Camms Road have been identified as priority sites for future removal.
About 39,000 vehicles currently travel through these crossings each day. That figure is forecast to grow by about 41 per cent to more than 55,000 by 2026. At the Webster Street crossing – located on both the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines – boom gates can be down for more than 19 per cent of the 7:00 to 9:00 am morning peak.
During this time up to 22 trains run through the crossing. On the Cranbourne line, boom gates can be down for up to 12 per cent of the 7:00 to 9:00 am morning peak, with up to 13 trains running through the crossings.
Current network plans involve increasing trains running on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, which would mean even more boom gate downtime.
As well as causing congestion and delay, the level crossings on the Cranbourne line present a significant safety risk. There has been one serious collision since 2005 and 47 near misses since 2012, when train drivers have had to take emergency action.
Carrying out these works in line with the planned Cranbourne Line Duplication project would be cost effective and limit disruption to road and rail users.
As part of the current level crossing removal program, 11 level crossings have already been removed on the Cranbourne-Pakenham and Cranbourne line. Further works at Webster Street, and Camms, Evans and Greens roads would see the last remaining crossings on the Cranbourne line removed.
These removals would also maximise the benefits of the planned Cranbourne Line Duplication, which would enable a higher number of trains to run on the line. A significant program of upgrades is already underway along the line in preparation for the introduction of High Capacity Metro Trains from mid 2019.
Design and next steps
Early investigations suggest the most likely design to remove the level crossing at Webster Street would be a hybrid solution, to lower the road and raise the rail line. At the Greens Road level crossing, the most likely design would be raising the rail line over the road.
Using an elevated rail solution could provide significant local amenity benefits to the community, including connectivity across the rail corridor and new open space.
At both Evans Road and Camms Road, early investigations suggest the most likely design would be elevating the road over the rail line. These options would be subject to further engineering assessments and community consultation.
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