Wow, can't believe there is this Sydney vs Melbourne mentality going on.
EDIT: I meant can't believe why we are comparing Sydney's western airport link with Melbourne's, they're very different
Also blaming the current government for all the past government's poor ability to upgrade the railway network.
EDIT: Bringing up the Chatswood link was unneccessery and brought in nothing constructive to the discussion.
Also another thing to note is Liberal government in NSW started their big transport agenda before Victoria's big transport agenda, this is due to the new incoming NSW government coming in 2011/2012, for Victoria it was 2014/2015. Please note why our big agenda is about 3 years behind.
Another thing it takes time to plan and get these projects underway. Sydney's second airport railway plan and West Metro were brought up years ago, now that planning has been done the construction is underway. (Also note the political change is 3 years ahead of Melbourne, by that time Airport rail link + Suburban rail loop + Cranbourne Duplication + Hurstbridge duplication + Sunbury line upgrade would be fully underway or almost complete.)
Level crossings is an unfortunate part of Melbourne's railway network, due to poor planning to remove them sooner, as Sydney did in the past. Note that Sydney's rail network is a completely different network to Melbourne, Melbourne railways branches out and has a very grid road network, which means a high proportion of crossings, compared with Sydney railway and road network.
The Upfield line is actually getting 4 crossing removal, not 2. Also by the way the Upfield line isn't the busiest line on the network and isn't the main focus for removals, the fact the Upfield line had 5 removals reduces it crossing count by . The Sunbury - Pakenham/Cranbourne corridor is where crossings are removed in masses and actually is saving money. The fact that whole corridor had a total of 35 level crossings prior to the LXRP, and once the LXRP is done will have 9 left, a reduction of 26 level crossings, which is significant since that's 1/3 of the program is focused on it. Another thing is it costs a tonne of money of doing a bunch of grade separating the railway, 1.6 billion to remove 9 crossings on the line, costs about 3 billion for removal of 20 crossings on the Frankston corridor. It adds up very quickly. It's just poor planning why it wasn't done at a rapid rate in the past to save money now.