The Kororoit Creek Road Level Crossing in williamstown North is among 28 level crossings in Melbourne to be removed by the end of 2018.

Kororoit Creek Road is part of VicRoads’ Principal Freight Network carrying 22,000 vehicles daily across the industrial and residential areas of Williamstown, Altona, Laverton and Princes Freeway. I believe the significance of Kororoit Creek Road as a key transport corridor and the availability of abundant construction space facilitating its removal explains why this grade separation is being priortised over many other level crossings in Melbourne.

This is not the first time a level crossing had been removed at Kororoit Creek Road. One was removed in 2011 at a cost of $48.5 million, with two road bridges built over the railway tracks that run express Werribee train services between Laverton and Newport (Ref 12).

The project will see a rail bridge being built over Kororoit Creek Road to replace the current boom gate located east of the Altona Mobil Refinery. The project scope is expanded to include a 800 metres partial track duplication of the Altona Loop from the Altona Junction to Kororoit Creek, following consultation with the local community. The Altona Loop Group, which has been actively advocating better public transport in the area, has played a key role in lobbying for this partial duplication.

The Altona Loop, by virtue of its single track, constrains trains to run in one direction at any time. Trains that are delayed by this single track often resort to bypassing the Altona Loop by running express between Newport and Laverton. The Westona station is currently the only location where trains can cross paths. The new partial duplication will provide another safe crossover point and help to improve service reliability by reducing the number of loop bypasses.

The construction began in August 2017 and is expected to be completed at the end of 2018. Train services on the Altona Loop will stop for about 43 days from 7:30pm on Saturday 16 June 2018 to the last service on Sunday 29 July 2018. During this period, replacement buses will service passengers between Laverton, Westona, Altona, Seaholme and Newport stations. The buses will run every 7-10 minutes during AM/PM peak hours and every 15-20 minutes during off-peak hours and weekends.

Stations Bus Travel Time (in minutes)
Altona – Newport 22
Seaholme – Newport 18
Westona – Newport 30
Westona – Laverton 15

As seen in the table above, it is probably better for Westona passengers to take the replacement bus to Laverton (than to Newport) for catching a train to the City.