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THE Frankston train line is set to turn into “rollercoaster rail” as the government considers designs for elevated structures to remove level crossings.
Designs have been submitted for the removal of eight level crossings between Cheltenham and Frankston, where most of the line runs close to the beach and between two busy roads.
Not all of the crossings are in a row which means there will be no long “sky rail” bridges constructed, as the Andrews Government is building on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.
But the Herald Sun understands the government has firmed in its position that there will need to be some elevated structures.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said no decisions on how to remove the crossings had been made.
“Those eight level crossings are not all in a row if you like, which makes it a very different project — the Dandenong line-style elevated rail will not be necessarily the solution for those eight along the Frankston line,” Ms Allan said.
The crossings are not in a row which means there will be no long bridges. Picture: Andrew Batsch“There are some complexities along that line, things like the Patterson River and the proximity to the beach, there’s a strong desire around Mentone for the heritage station.”
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said a “rollercoaster ride” was already developing on the Frankston line as level crossings at Ormond, McKinnon and Bentleigh were lowered under the road.
“The rail line is going under the road but between stations it will come back up to street level,” Mr Bowen said.
“It might be an up, down, up, down kind of track when it’s all finished.”
He said it was important the government was “honest with the community” about its plans for the Frankston line and what geological considerations informed its decisions for each crossing.
Opposition planning spokesman David Davis said residents needed clear answers about the future of the Frankston line.
“Voters along the Frankston line deserve to know before the federal election if Daniel Andrews is going to build a sky rail through their suburbs,” Mr Davis said.
“Daniel Andrews and Bill Shorten can’t keep avoiding the truth and putting politics ahead of people in order to save some Labor seats.”
Bayside residents have already protested against the threat of sky rail.
Kingston Council declared it unable to support elevated rail on the Frankston line because of the “extraordinary level of public disquiet and concern”.
Federal Labor MP Mark Dreyfus, who holds the local seat of Isaacs, posted on Facebook that he was alerting State Government ministers to the community’s concerns.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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