Designs have been unveiled today for the new Bell and Preston premium stations, being built as part of the project to remove four dangerous and congested level crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston.
The rail line will be raised over the roads on the Mernda line, removing level crossings, delivering two new stations, new open space, and better local connections for the community.
Combined with the removal of four level crossings on the Upfield line, the project will mean no more level crossing delays on Bell Street – freeing up one of Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads.
The two new modern stations at Bell and Preston will rejuvenate the station precincts for locals and create safer and more direct links between public transport, local shops and parking.
The new stations include lifts and stair access to each elevated platform, a comfortable waiting room at ground level, undercover seating areas and improved lighting. The stations will feature more bicycle storage, new toilets and a pedestrian forecourt at each entrance as well as improved walking and cycling paths in the station precinct.
Solar panels, rainwater tanks and LED lighting will feature at both stations, as well as a dedicated cycle path to separate cyclists from foot traffic in these busy areas.
As the gateway to Preston’s shopping district, the design of Preston Station incorporates the liveliness of the area, with the bright coloured façade echoing the vivid colours of produce that can be found at Preston Market.
The new Preston Station and elevated rail line means that locals and Preston Market shoppers can enter and exit the new station safely via an open forecourt, allowing safer and more convenient access to the heart of Preston.
The new Bell Station reflects Preston’s rich history with references to post-war roof tops and the local art and culture scene. An extended forecourt creates open space between the new station and Bell Street with more planting, seating and a better east-west connection across the rail line – linking Garnet and Isaacs streets for pedestrians and cyclists.
Following community feedback, the project will create significant new green open space underneath the two-kilometre rail bridge between Oakover Road and Murray Road, for the community to enjoy.
The Preston Open Space Advisory Panel, which is made up of local community members, is working with the project team to further develop the designs for the space underneath the rail line, taking on board the community’s feedback.
The level crossings will be removed by the end of 2022 and the open space under the elevated rail line will be ready for locals to enjoy in 2023.
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