I’ve been trying to sort out the status of all the level crossings from the various lists. Some are fully funded, others are funded for planning, and some are merely promises/pledges from the politicians.
I ended up going back to the ALCAM 2008 list, and working through which have already been grade separated, and which are now proposed.
The full list is below, and I’m sure will make for a riveting read (note also some footnotes at the bottom) but first a summary of what I found:
The ALCAM list included 1,872 crossings across Victoria. 180 are railway crossings in the metropolitan area. Another 5 are on the light rail lines to St Kilda and Port Melbourne. The rest are on non-metro lines (including on the Stony Point line, and V/Line areas within metropolitan Melbourne), so typically have much fewer rail services and less road and pedestrian traffic.
Of the 180 metropolitan crossings, 9 have already been grade-separated: 4 by Labor between 2007 [See note 8] and 2010, and 5 by the Coalition since then, leaving 171 level crossings around Melbourne (excluding light rail).
The most expensive funded or completed crossing by far is Main Road, St Albans, at $200 million. The cheapest was Kororoit Creek Road in Altona, at $48.5 million, which included road duplication, but no new station.
The average cost since 2007 is $130.1 million. Some have included new railway stations. Some such as the $173.9 million grade separation of Footscray Road in the Port of Melbourne area have included large-scale roadworks. (The project also included two much further down the priority list, and not counted as “Metro”: Appleton Dock Road, ranked 1325 and Enterprise Road, ranked 651.)
8 more level crossing removals are currently fully-funded by the Coalition, either via the budget or as part of the Dandenong rail project. A further 7 have planning or early works funding from the Coalition.
The only possible way to get close to their claim is to include Regional Rail Link bridges, which are on a new line, so are not “level crossing removal” because there was never a level crossing there. There’s also Christies Road on the Ballarat line, which is a road extension over an existing line, not on the RRL route but done as part of the project. Again, no level crossing has actually been removed, though at a stretch you might count all of these 13 as “grade separation”. If you did, you’d also need to count three similar instances along the Epping to South Morang extension, funded by Labor.
(There are four river bridges on the RRL line as well, but they can’t count as they don’t involve roads or level crossings.)
So unless I’m missing something, the closest I can get to the Coalition’s claim of 40 grade separations is 33.
I asked anonymous Coalition blogger SpringStSource about this some time ago, but have not had a reply. Since then the 40 claim hasn’t been used as much, but was repeated by Coalition MP David Southwick at the MTF Glen Eira forum a couple of weeks ago, and tweeted by Treasurer Michael O’Brien last week as well.
— Michael O'Brien (@michaelobrienmp) September 17, 2014
Update: Michael O’Brien has advised me that funding was provided in the 2014-15 budget for investigating another 7 (as-yet unnamed) grade separations. From page 17 of the Budget Information Paper: Infrastructure Investment: $21 million in new funding provided in the 2014-15 Budget to commence planning for seven priority level crossing removals as the next stage of the Metro Level Crossing Blitz program.
Meanwhile Labor is pledging to remove 50, with 40 on their list from last year, and another 2 so far added.
Their priority list includes many (but not all) of the top crossings in the ALCAM list. They say they’d do this over 8 years (two terms), funded by sale of the Port.
All of the current 8 fully funded crossings are included on the list pledged by Labor so far. Effectively this means those 8 will happen no matter who wins the election… well, if whoever wins fulfils their promises.
Does this make Labor’s pledge empty on those 8? Perhaps, though Labor pledged them before the Coalition funded them.
The top 300 crossings
Note the Location really refers to the types of trains, not where it is. Some “Non-Metro” are in Melbourne. The Risk Score is a formula based on a number of factors, including the likelihood of collisions; the number of trains, motor vehicles and pedestrians; and the consequence. See this document, section 4/page 3.
Edit: This list is only the top 300, which includes all of the Metro crossings. There are actually another 1,572 non-Metro crossings not included here. You can see them on the original list. (Thanks David S for noticing my error.)