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Thursday , 6 June 2024

Melbourne’s 80th Level Crossing Removed, Two New Pakenham Stations Open

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The Victorian government has announced that Melbourne’s 80th dangerous and congested level crossing is gone following the removal of three level crossings at Main Street, McGregor Road, and Racecourse Road along the Pakenham Line. Two new stations, Pakenham and East Pakenham, are opening to passengers from today.

Pakenham Station has undergone a major upgrade, while the brand-new East Pakenham Station extends the metropolitan train line by two kilometres into Melbourne’s newest suburb. East Pakenham Station aims to serve a growing community expected to have 7,200 new homes and provide better connections for regional Victorians via dedicated V/Line tracks.

Starting today, all Pakenham Line services will run through the new stations with increased frequency during peak hours. Passengers on the Pakenham Line are also expected to benefit from the Metro Tunnel opening next year.

A crew of 200 people worked throughout May to remove the level crossings. This effort is part of a larger plan to remove a total of 110 level crossings by 2030.

Premier Jacinta Allan in a statement said, “When we promised to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings, some people said it would never be done. They were right – we didn’t remove 50, we removed 80, and we won’t stop until we’ve removed 110.”

“Melbourne’s population is set to reach the size of London by 2050, so we’re building the infrastructure to support families in our growing south-east while slashing travel times and delivering better public transport,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson said.

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Emma Vulin, Member for Pakenham, called the removal of level crossings and the opening of new stations a “game-changer” for the community.

Over the coming months, work will continue to create six MCG-sized new open spaces below the two-and-a-half-kilometre rail bridge between McGregor and Racecourse Road. The design includes a shared-use path, a basketball court, a playground, and parklands set to open later this year.

The Government’s Car Parks for Commuters program, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, has delivered 300 new car parking spaces at East Pakenham Station, with another 450 new and upgraded spaces at Pakenham Station to open in spring.

Approximately 63,000 vehicles used Pakenham level crossings daily, experiencing delays when the boom gates were down for 30 per cent of the morning peak. Only three level crossings remain on the Pakenham Line, and they are scheduled for removal to make the rail line boom gate-free.

Since 2015, the government has delivered 49 new and upgraded stations, created the equivalent of 21 MCG-sized open spaces for communities, and built 60 kilometres of walking and cycling paths across the city. With 80 level crossings now removed, this means 50 hours of boom gate time saved every morning peak and 100 crashes and near misses avoided every year.

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