The Bayswater station built by the Victorian Government is now taking passengers.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane at Bayswater Station to celebrate the official opening, following a massive 37 day construction blitz.
For more than five weeks, hundreds of staff have worked around the clock excavating 25 Olympic swimming pools-worth of soil to lower the rail line so trains can run safely under Scoresby Road and Mountain Highway.
The Scoresby Road level crossing is now gone and Mountain Highway will reopen without boom gates just before Christmas 2016.
These level crossings were among Victoria’s worst. Both boom gates were down for around a quarter of the morning peak, causing frustration, disruption and delay for thousands of motorists.
They were also dangerous, with two accidents and countless near misses in the past decade alone.
Once work is complete in Bayswater, construction crews will turn their attention to the removal of the Blackburn Road and Heatherdale Road crossings in Melbourne’s inner-east.
From 27 December 2016 to 5 February 2017, buses will replace trains between Box Hill and Ringwood stations while construction crews lower the rail line, upgrade Blackburn Station and build a new Heatherdale Station.
When this work is complete, four dangerous crossings on the Belgrave/Lilydale line will be gone and the upgraded stations will be open. Finishing works – including car parks and landscaping – will continue throughout 2017.
The Victorian Government has already removed seven level crossings, a further 13 are underway, and six more removals will start in 2017.
By the end of 2018, 37 level crossing removals will be either finished or underway.