CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

The Ferguson Street level crossing is used by about 25,000 vehicles daily, with more than 110 trains passing through, delaying traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.

This dangerous and congested level crossing will be gone for good in 2022.

We now invite community members to view the four main ways that the level crossing at Ferguson Street can be removed.

Two of these designs – lowering the rail line under the road, or raising the rail line over the road – remain under active consideration. The remaining two road-based designs are no longer under consideration.

It is important for the community to see the designs and get an understanding of the short and long-term benefits and impacts of each. Please take our short survey below to share your thoughts on the designs.

The information we collect from the community will sit alongside technical and environmental factors when we determine the best design.

Submit your response by 5pm Friday 3 April 2020.

Selecting the best design

Each level crossing is unique and needs a design that considers environmental, community and technical factors. A design that works well for one area may not suit another.

Here are the four main ways that the level crossing at Ferguson Street could be removed. It is important for the community to see various possible designs to get an understanding of the short and long-term benefits and impacts of each.


Artist impression of the rail trench design solution for Ferguson Street, Williamstown.

This design involves lowering the rail line into an open trench under Ferguson Street. The trench would be up to 17 metres wide and 900 metres long. For safety, the border of the trench will have a two-metre-high fence.

Benefits and opportunities

  • Typically less visible for homes, businesses and facilities immediately next to the rail line.
  • We will build new train station platforms in the open trench, including new facilities for passengers.
  • No compulsory or voluntary land acquisition required.
  • Maintains privacy for homes near the rail corridor.

Challenges

  • To accommodate the rail trench, both train station buildings may need to be removed.
  • Safety impacts would need to be addressed, with the inclusion of two-metre-high crash barriers and anti-throw screens.
  • Large numbers of trees need to be removed for this design. Limited opportunity to plant additional trees.
  • May require temporary land access of residents on the rail line.

Impacts

  • To safely build a new rail trench, lengthy disruptions to the Williamstown line would be required. It is estimated that the line would be closed from Newport Station for up to six months. Buses would replace trains.
  • Construction works would occur 24 hours a day especially in the six month rail closure.
  • Ferguson Street could be closed for around five weeks while we excavate beneath the road.
  • The presence of high-strength basalt rock beneath the surface means excavation would cause prolonged noise, dust and vibration during construction.
  • Due to the large volume of soil that would need to be removed from site, there would be a high frequency of trucks on local roads.

Where has a rail under road design been done before?

Over 80 grade separations in Melbourne have been built using this design, including at:

  • Main and Furlong Roads, St Albans
  • McKinnon Road, McKinnon
  • Grange Road, Alphington
  • Camp Road, Campbellfield
  • Burke Road, Glen Iris
  • Heatherdale Road, Mitcham

Artist impression of the rail bridge design solution for Ferguson Street, Williamstown.

This design involves building an elevated rail bridge using concrete and steel beams. The rail structure will be around 900 metres long with a height of about eight metres when it crosses over the road.

Benefits and opportunities

  • A rail bridge would be built within the existing rail reserve and would create new open space below the rail line for the community to enjoy.
  • We will build a new train station, including new facilities for train passengers.
  • No compulsory land acquisition of private land.

Challenges

  • Developing a design that blends in with the existing area and creating public open space while maintaining Williamstown’s heritage and local character.
  • Ensuring ongoing maintenance and incorporating measures to deter graffiti and enhance safety in the area.
  • Both existing train station buildings potentially retained, however it is likely that they will need to be modified to allow for the elevated structure.
  • Maintaining privacy for residents directly adjacent to the rail corridor.
  • Some properties along the rail corridor may be eligible to have their properties purchased under a Voluntary Purchase Scheme.
  • Reducing the amount of vegetation removal needed for the design.

Impacts

  • To safely build a new rail bridge, temporary disruptions to the Williamstown line will be required. It is estimated that the Williamstown line would be closed for up to four months. Buses would replace trains.
  • Construction works will occur 24 hours a day during rail closure.
  • Minor road disruptions when overhead rail structures are put into position over Ferguson Street.
  • The presence of high-strength basalt rock beneath the surface means piling works would cause noise, dust and vibration during construction.

Where has a rail over road design been done before?

A rail over road design is the most common method of separating the road and rail network across Melbourne and in other major international cities.

Over 100 grade separations in Melbourne have been built using this design, including at:

  • Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena
  • Lower Plenty Road, Rosanna
  • Clayton Road, Clayton
  • Skye/Overton Road, Frankston
  • Kororoit Creek Road, Williamstown North
  • Abbotts Road, Dandenong South
  • Station Street, Carrum
  • High Street, Reservoir

Project expert videos

While we made the difficult decision to cancel our scheduled drop-in sessions based on the current health advice around COVID-19, we wanted to improvise and replicate that face-to-face interaction as best we could.

Our team has analysed the key questions that have come through to date during this phase of consultation and posed them to some of our project experts, who have provided answers in a series of videos below around key themes.

Watch our project experts answer your questions.