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Concept designs for the level crossing removal at Ringwood East – one of two dangerous level crossings being removed in Ringwood, Victoria – have been released, with plans including a 650m-long rail trench to take train services under the road and a new Ringwood East Station.
There are 12 level crossings along the Belgrave and Lilydale lines that will be removed, meaning no boom gates from the city all the way to Ferntree Gully and Lilydale.
This includes removing the remaining two dangerous and congested level crossings on Dublin Road and Bedford Road to improve safety and ease congestion for the thousands of drivers that pass through every day.
The Victorian Government is planning to remove 85 level crossings by 2025 – with 59 already completed – in an effort to improve safety and reduce congestion in Melbourne’s suburbs as part of the state-wide Level Crossings Removal project.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “We’re making Ringwood level crossing free. No one will ever get stuck at a boom gate in Ringwood ever again.
“The Dublin Road and Bedford Road level crossings cause traffic chaos in Ringwood during peak hour and removing them will make the roads safer for drivers and provide a brand-new, modern station for train passengers.”
About 23,000 vehicles use the Dublin Road and Bedford Road level crossings each day, with the boom gates down for up to 23 minutes of the morning peak at each location, causing delays and congestion.
The proximity of these crossings to each other means many drivers currently get caught at both of them multiple times each day.
The Dublin Road, Ringwood East level crossing will be removed by building a 650m-long rail trench, with trains to travel under the road.
A brand-new Ringwood East Station will also be built, featuring a forecourt with direct access to shops and bus connections, and a new entrance to the platforms. The station will include new lifts, stairs, lighting, upgraded pedestrian and cycling paths in the area, as well as 460 upgraded commuter car parks.
Member for Ringwood, Dustin Halse, said, “Every local knows the frustration of being stuck at these locations when the boom gates are down. That’s why we are getting rid of them – and building a state of the art new train station at Ringwood East.”
The Bedford Road level crossing will also be replaced with a rail trench, following the unveiling of the concept designs for the removal earlier this year.
The Government has also decided that as part of the Bedford Road level crossing removal, a new shared use path will be included in the project.
The new path will connect the 19.2km Heathmont Rail Trail to Bedford Park alongside the Belgrave Line, removing the need to travel on-road and improving walking and cycling options in the area.
The Dublin Road level crossing is just one of the five remaining level crossings on the Lilydale Line – all of which will be gone by 2025 – making the line level crossing free and paving the way for more services, more often.
Removing the Bedford Road crossing will ensure the Belgrave Line is level crossing free between Ferntree Gully and the city.
Further along the Belgrave/Lilydale Line, work is well underway to remove level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert, which will be replaced by a 1.3km rail trench and consolidate the Surrey Hills and Mont Albert stations into one modern station.
Planning is also moving ahead for the removal of the Coolstore Road, Croydon level crossing with a brand-new Croydon station and the closure of Cave Hill Road, Lilydale level crossing.
The project team will continue site investigations at Dublin Road throughout 2022, with major construction to start in 2023, while work at Bedford Road will start later in 2022. The boom gates at both locations will be gone for good by 2025.
The community now has the opportunity to provide feedback on aspects of the concept designs for the Dublin Road level crossing removal and the new Ringwood East Station, which can be found here.
This article first appeared on infrastructuremagazine.com.au
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