The Victorian Government has removed a total of 80 level crossings across the state with the completion of three more removals on the Pakenham Line, alongside the opening of two new stations.  

Pakenham Station has opened following its major upgrade, along with a brand-new East Pakenham Station that extends the metropolitan train line by 2km into Melbourne’s newest suburb. 

East Pakenham delivers a direct connection into a growing community, set to accommodate around 7,200 new homes in the coming years – putting more houses close to transport connections, schools and jobs. 

The new East Pakenham Station will also provide better connections for regional Victorians – with dedicated V/Line tracks to cut congestion and improve service reliability on the Gippsland Line. 

From 3 June, all Pakenham Line services will run through to the new stations, with five-to-ten-minute frequency during weekday peaks, and 20 minutes during off-peak periods. 

Over the coming months, work will ramp up to create six MCGs of new open space below the 2.5km rail bridge between McGregor and Racecourse Road – with the design including a shared use path as well as a basketball court, playground and parklands set to open later in 2024.  

The government’s Car Parks for Commuters program in partnership with the Federal 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. 

Some 63,000 vehicles used Pakenham level crossings every day, experiencing delays when the boom gates were down for 30 per cent of the morning peak. 

A crew of 200 people worked around the clock throughout May to get rid of three boom gates at Main Street, McGregor Road and Racecourse Road. 

Only three level crossings remain on the Pakenham Line. They will be removed to make the rail line boom gate-free – with passengers on the Pakenham Line also set to benefit from the Metro Tunnel when it opens in 2025. 

With 80 level crossings now gone for good, it means 50 hours of boom gate time saved every morning peak – and 100 crashes and near misses avoided every year. 

Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allan, said that when the government 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,” Ms Allan said.  

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Danny Pearson, said, “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.”  

Image: Mark and Anna Photography/shutterstock.com 

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