Upfield line works two weeks early

Victoria’s biggest ever level crossing removal construction blitz is on track to finish two weeks early, with trains running on the new Upfield elevated rail line from November 2.

Trains will return to the line after a three-month construction blitz to remove four dangerous and congested level crossings, minimising disruption while train patronage is lower and ensuring vital construction jobs can continue with strict COVIDSafe measures in place.

Crews have worked around the clock since late July to remove four sets of boom gates and raise the rail line over Bell Street, Munro Street and Reynard Street in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick.

Getting rid of these level crossings, including the notorious Bell Street crossing which is used by around 41,000 drivers per day, will reduce congestion, slash travel times and free up traffic on one of Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads.

Since July, crews have installed 268 concrete L-beam bridge segments, 21,000 tonnes of ballast, 7,000 concrete railway sleepers and more than ten kilometres of new rail to build the 2.5-kilometre elevated rail bridge in record time.

When trains return to the Upfield line, they will run express through Coburg and Moreland stations while work continues on the station buildings until mid-December. Replacement buses and trams will run between Brunswick and Batman stations to connect passengers with train services.

Work will continue into next year to create more than two MCGs worth of community open space underneath the rail line, featuring over 3,000 new trees and plants.

Work is ramping up right across the northern suburbs, including in Glenroy and Preston, where five more level crossings are being removed by the end of 2022, including the other Bell Street crossing in Preston, making Bell Street completely level crossing free in just two years.

The Victorian Government is now more than halfway through the program to remove 75 level crossings by 2025. When trains begin running on the Upfield line elevated rail in November, 43 level crossings will have been removed.

For more information about Victoria’s transport infrastructure projects visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au.