Transport

Level crossing removal

Learn about the State Government's Level Crossing Removal Project in Darebin.

As part of the State Government’s Level Crossing Removal Project, six level crossings in the City of Darebin on the Mernda and Hurstbridge lines will be removed.

These include:

Level crossing removals are funded and delivered by the State Government and its agency the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP).

Upcoming works

The State Government’s Preston Level Crossing Removal Project will commence 24-hour works during the following dates:

  • Monday 29 November to Friday 3 December
  • Thursday 9 December to Tuesday 14 December

Buses will replace trains on the Mernda line during these times and there will be single lane road closures along Murray Road. Part of the Railway Reserve bike path will be closed between Murray Road and Regent Street and there will be some minor pedestrian detours in place.

For the full details on traffic and public transport disruptions, please visit the Level Crossing Removal Project website or register for SMS updates by texting Preston to 0428 581 917.

What is Darebin City Council’s role in the Level Crossing Removal Project?

Level Crossing Removal projects are State Government projects and Council’s role in these projects is as a stakeholder, not a decision maker. Council is advocating for the best outcome for the community to minimise disruption throughout construction, achieve better design outcomes for our community, and protect trees and heritage as much as possible.

Council officers are regularly visiting local businesses and listening to their feedback. We are advocating on behalf of businesses and communicating their needs to the LXRP to minimise disruption throughout the construction period.

Bell to Preston Level Crossing Removal Project

The four level crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston are currently being removed simultaneously to minimise disruption to the community. The project will deliver two new stations and Preston and Bell. These level crossings will be removed by the end of 2022 and the open space ready for locals to enjoy in 2023.

The LXRP commenced early works for this project in October 2020, which continued into early 2021. These works were to prepare the area for major construction. Works included setting up site offices, removing vegetation, relocating underground services such as gas, water, and power, and signal upgrade works.

Following the demolition of the old Bell and Preston Stations, temporary station construction was completed in early 2021.

Major construction commenced in Q2 2021 and is expected to continue until Q3 2022. Final construction works, rectification, and landscaping will be completed between Q4 2022 and early 2023. 

Preston Reconnected

Darebin Council's advocacy position for the Bell-Preston Level Crossing Removal Project is outlined in the Preston Reconnected advocacy document. It contains Council's design, movement and delivery objectives.

Preston Reconnected was endorsed by Council during the 20 July 2020 Council meeting and amended by Council during the 26 April 2021 Council meeting.

1. Who do I contact if I have questions on the Level Crossing Removal Project?

The level crossing removal project is funded and delivered by the State Government. For all enquiries relating to design and construction, contact the Level Crossing Removal Project via email contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au or call 1800 105 105.

For project updates, customers can subscribe to receive project updates via LXRP's SMS subscriber option. Customers interested can text PRESTON to 0428 581 917 and they will receive traffic and pedestrian access changes direct to their mobile phone. In addition, and to sign up for email updates, visit https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/projects/bell-street-preston.

For service disruption updates visit www.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/disruptions. Plan your travel on public transport using the PTV Journey Planner.

For questions about changes to local parking, call Darebin City Council on (03) 8470 8888.

2. How Will Car Parking Be Affected at Bell and Preston Stations and the Surrounding Area?

Both Bell and Preston stations and the surrounding area will be major construction sites for the LXRP, accommodating temporary station buildings, site facilities, and construction equipment. Commuter carparks at Bell and Preston stations and the nearby car parking at Preston City Oval and along Edith Street, Preston, will be closed from late 2020 until mid-late 2022.

LXRP are encouraging passengers travelling by car to drive and park at Regent and Reservoir stations. Subject to capacity available at Regent and Reservoir Stations following the removal of commuter car parking, further offsets may be provided by the LXRP.

Accessible parking will be provided at Preston Station, in the north west station car park on the corner of Murray Road and St Georges Road. Please observe all safety signs and instructions that are in place.

3. What is Council doing to help with parking?

Council is regularly reviewing and refining car parking arrangements throughout the project area to ensure there is as much space available as possible for residents, workers and customers to park.

Council continues to advocate to the LXRP for further offset car parking and for improved active transport options within the project area, to help relieve pressure on the remaining available car parking areas.

4. What protections are in place for trees and vegetation?

The LXRP has advised that the removal of vegetation and trees within the station precinct and along the rail corridor is required for the construction of the new elevated rail and station. Expert arborists and wildlife handlers are undertaking a detailed assessment and working to identify ways to minimise impacts on local flora and fauna. A landscape plan is being developed for the new station precinct. More information will be made available this year. Council is working with the LXRP to ensure the best outcomes for the community as we plan for a greener, bolder, more connected city.

5. Will the roads be upgraded?

The LXRP is responsible only for the removal of level crossings and associated works within the project area/scope. Road improvements outside of the project area/scope are not included in this stage of the project.

Council continues to advocate upgrades to relevant roads within the vicinity of the project and the State Government has committed to ensuring the level crossing removal works will enable road improvements to be constructed later. Council continues to advocate to State Government for investment in the roads network.

6. How long will the project take?

The Level Crossing Removal project between Bell and Preston is due for completion in 2022 (four level crossings removed, and two new stations opened). Open space will be completed by 2023.

7. What can I do if I am being impacted by noise during the project?

The Level Crossing Removal Project is offering temporary relocation assistance to residents impacted by noise relating to the project.

If you are impacted by the noise of the construction zone and would like to find out if there is an option to be relocated while works continue, you can contact the Level Crossing Removal Project directly by calling 1800 105 105 or by emailing contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.

Reservoir Level Crossing Removal Project

The Reservoir level crossing removal project is complete and includes construction of a new station building, elevated rail, and amenities around the station precinct.

For project details, visit: https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/projects/high-street-reservoir.