News

Removing unsafe level crossings and creating better transport in Victoria

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
23 February 2021

Work has started on removing a dangerous and congested level crossing at Williamstown in Victoria and replacing it with a community-friendly transport solution including a new railway station. 

Arup is working on the $192 million project with McConnell Dowell, Mott McDonald, Metro Trains and the Level Crossing Removal Project. The teams are collaborating as the Western Program Alliance. 

To date the Alliance has successfully removed three level crossings for the Victorian Government and is working on three others.

In Williamstown, the Ferguson St level crossing is used by more than 25,000 vehicles and 110 trains each day, forcing regular boom gate closures which create significant safety concerns and pedestrian, cyclist and driver frustration. 

To separate trains from vehicles, the Alliance team will:

  • lower the rail line into a 750m-long trench below road level

  • rebuild Ferguson St over the trench, including a 20m wide pedestrian and cyclist concourse

  • introduce an additional pedestrian crossing and 

  • build a new North Williamstown railway station. 

Construction is expected to be completed next year.

Months and months of careful work and planning has gone into fine-tuning this design and we’ll continue to work with the local community as we remove this level crossing for good. ” Jacinta Allan Minister for Transport Infrastructure

During the design phase, Arup created a ‘virtual community information room’ to explain the proposed project and seek feedback. The online centre was developed when COVID health measures restricted in-person consultation and allowed the public and stakeholders to access information, view maps and drawings, watch scheme fly-throughs, navigate 3D models and share feedback at any time. 

With the Alliance team members needing to work from home, design work processes also changed with an emphasis on digital collaboration tools. 

Arup's Virtual Engage platform picturing the virtual community information room, Ferguson St Level Crossing Consultation Arup's Virtual Engage platform picturing the virtual community information room, Ferguson St Level Crossing Consultation
Our virtual community information room for the level crossing removal at Ferguson Street. Arup Virtual Engage allows the public or a specific audience to access information, view maps and drawings, watch scheme fly-throughs, navigate 3D models and share feedback from any location and at any time.

We focussed on 3D modelling, and used it earlier than usual in the development phase. This helped us co-ordinate design inputs and we moved more quickly to detailed modelling. ”

Liam O'Donohue Liam O'Donohue Transport Leader, Victoria and South Australia

“Knowing the complexity of the project, our plans are aimed at minimising community inconvenience and transport disruption,” Liam said. 

“We also want the final outcome to enhance the local precinct. We have created new open space for the community and deliberately maintained the character of Williamstown’s lowrise streetscapes for the new station.” 

The Alliance is also working on the Cherry Street level crossing removal in Werribee which will create a new direct connection to the Princes Highway, the removal of the level crossing on Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing, and the Werribee Street level crossing, also in Werribee. This Alliance is also focused on delivering the Cranbourne Line Upgrade, removing the Greens Road level crossing in Dandenong South and duplicating the rail line between Dandenong and Cranbourne to improve service frequency.