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Understanding the new North Williamstown Station

11 Oct 2020

The Victorian Government is removing 75 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne, including the level crossing at Ferguson Street, Williamstown.

We are getting rid of the Ferguson Street level crossing by lowering the rail line under the road.

Technical assessments and three phases of community consultation have helped us select the best solution for the area.

Lowering the rail line will make way for a new station and improved community spaces.

We are retaining the western station building and we’ll build a new North Williamstown Station that reflects the village feel of the area with gardens, better connections and secure bike parking.

The level crossing will be removed by 2022.

Station features:

  • New North Williamstown Station
  • Secure bike parking with new bike shelter
  • New garden spaces
  • Reflects the village feel
  • Sustainable design that includes solar panels

New North Williamstown station precinct design looking northeast from Victoria Street. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

What we considered

North Williamstown Station and the Ferguson Street level crossing sit within a narrow rail corridor with very few access points. As shown in the image below, this location is surrounded by residential homes, businesses and the Newport Railway Workshops.

The site is also constrained by the critical Mobil Refinery pipeline that runs above ground along Champion Road and Railway Place, and dips underground below Ferguson Street.

There is a three-metre exclusion zone on either side of the pipeline where we are unable to build.

For the rail trench and station to be functional and safe to use, we need to design the trench to rail design standards such as:

  • maximum track slope allowed for trains to safely travel in and out of the trench
  • minimum height clearances to allow trains to pass safely underneath Ferguson Street
  • minimum station platform widths to ensure passengers can safely fit on the platform during peak hours.

When developing a design, we also consider construction impacts, the need to acquire residential or commercial land and the environmental impact of the design.

Site constraints at Ferguson Street, including child care centre, DHHS land, Newport Railway Workshops, Williamstown-bound station building, City-bound station building, homes and businesses and Mobil Refinery pipeline.

New station features

Aligning with feedback from the community, we have designed the new station to be in keeping with Williamstown’s village feel and the area’s low-rise streetscapes.

Lifts, ramps and stairs from Ferguson Street will provide access to the new station platforms lowered into the rail trench.

The new station forecourt will be well-lit for safety, with plenty of seating and shelter. The materials in the forecourt will include familiar design elements to Williamstown, such as red brick and bluestone paving. We heard green spaces are important to the Williamstown community. We’ll create a new open space for the whole community to enjoy on the western side of the station.

The station forecourt will also feature large planter boxes that double as seating.

Near the city-bound platform and shared path, cyclists will be able to securely park their bikes in the brand-new bike shelter.

New North Williamstown Station entry area, including retained western station building. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

New North Williamstown Station forecourt, including shared use path and bike parking. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

Pedestrian and cyclist connections

We heard that the community would like to see safe pedestrian crossing points in the design.

We are including a new signalised pedestrian crossing that will make it easier for the community to access the station precinct. Located at the site of the existing level crossing, this new crossing will be synchronised with pedestrian crossings nearby.

This will make it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross Ferguson Street, without causing additional delay to road users.

We will build a new four-metre wide shared use path through the station precinct. This allows for connection to the Department of Transport's Strategic Cycling Corridor and Hobsons Bay City Council's future Champion Road shared use path.

Map showing pedestrian connection along Hobsons Bay City Council future shared use path, new shared use path, secure bike shelter and bus stop.

Why not a pedestrian underpass?

All level crossing removals must meet design standards to ensure they are safe and accessible for everyone in the community.

Due to complex junction of roads, proximity of homes and businesses and the Mobil Refinery pipeline, including a safe and user-friendly underpass is not possible at this location.

An underpass would have a negative impact on the precinct because:

  • long ramps and stairs at each end are required
  • private properties would need to be acquired
  • the road network would be affected
  • it would feel unsafe with no clear sight lines through the structure
  • space constraints mean it would not meet current design standards.

Due to these constraints, there is not enough space to build an underpass that is safe, accessible and compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Designs that were ruled out

Underpass east of current design

  • Requires property acquisition along Railway Place.

Map showing impacts to property acquisition along Railway Place.

Underpass between rail trench and Victoria Street

  • Even narrowest walkway would sit inside the Mobil Refinery pipeline exclusion zone.

Diagram showing walkway alongside Mobil Refinery pipeline exclusion zone.

Underpass west of current design

  • Outside of Mobile Pipeline exclusion zone
  • Negatively impacts road network
  • Difficult for pedestrians to access
  • Does not meet current design standards.

Map showing impact on roundabout and Victoria Street.

Moving the station platforms north

  • Requires private property acquisition along Power Street.
  • Moves the entry point away from Ferguson Street and local walking routes.

Map showing impact on homes and businesses along Power Street,

Moving the station platforms south

  • Requires private property acquisition along Railway Place.
  • Impacts the Mobil Refinery pipeline

Map showing impact on homes and businesses along Railway Place, and impacts to Mobil pipeline.

Working in a narrow rail corridor

There is 17.5 metres available between the existing buildings at North Williamstown Station.

At least 23 metres is required to build a trench and station that is compliant with design standards.

This means that while the larger building to the west will be retained, the smaller eastern building will need to be removed to ensure that the station is safe for passengers to use.

Diagram showing the narrow widths between existing station buildings, ramps and trench.

Station forecourt

We also heard that the community would like to see the new North Williamstown Station provide easy connection to public transport and include plenty of seating.

We’re building a generous station forecourt that faces Ferguson Street, providing easy access to the new shared use path and existing bus stops. The area will include large planter boxes that will double as seating.

The location of the station forecourt means that there will be clear line of sight to the lowered platforms. This increases the safety of passengers waiting on the platforms.

Increasing the size of the forecourt to the north would:

  • decrease passenger safety on the platforms below
  • require the trench to be deeper and longer to allow for gradients and overhead wires
  • cause greater impacts to nearby homes and businesses during construction
  • increase the time the Williamstown line would need to be closed.

The station forecourt provides a space for people to easily access public transport and ensures passenger safety whilst managing impacts on the Williamstown community.

New North Williamstown Station forecourt and platforms entry. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

Western station building

We heard that keeping heritage elements is important to the Williamstown community, as well as minimising visual impacts in the area.

We will retain the larger western station building on the city-bound platform and use it for Protective Services Officers’ facilities and station operations.

We will re-use the station veranda supports in the landscape design.

A new signalised crossing will make it easier and safer for pedestrians to access North Williamstown Station, without causing additional delays to drivers. Artist impression only. Subject to change.

Public art

We heard the community would like public art that is in keeping with the heritage and village feel of Williamstown, including links to coastal, maritime and rail themes.

We will include public art in the final design and have identified several options for how this could be incorporated, such as on the station support building, platform cladding, fencing, landscaping and stone paving.

More information on the public art will be available later in the project.

Get in touch

We’re here to answer any questions you may have about the project.

Project timeline

November 2019

Getting to know the area

  • Community input helped us understand what is important to Williamstown locals.
Early 2020

Preliminary assessment

  • Investigations helped us gain an understanding pf the area and tell us what additional detailed investigations are needed as we further refined the design options for this site.
March 2020

Detailed investigations and community feedback

  • We explained the potential designs and asked for feedback. This helped us determine the preferred design. We also undertook detailed technical investigations.
June 2020

Preferred design

  • We confirmed a rail under road design and continued its development. We asked the community for feedback on the look and feel of the design.
October 2020

Released station designs

  • We've shown the community the design and will continue to work through its development.

Late 2020

Finalise project design

  • We'll finalise the design and start talking to the community about construction in more detail.

Level crossing removed

  • We'll seek your feedback on how things are working and if there is anything we can do to make the construction phase easier for the community.

View the PDF version of this fact sheet PDF, 6.9 MB.

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