Received this information from John Holland regarding work on the Clifton Hill Rail Project, as there will be closures on the Merri Creek Trail between Northcote & Clifton Hill from early August 2008 to early 2009.

Please forward this information onto anyone you know who uses the Merri Creek Trail in this area – see maps + details below.

Read the full text from the Q & A below:

Clifton Hill Rail Project: Merri Creek Trail Diversions – Questions and Answers

Where will the trail be closed?
The Merri Creek Trail will be closed to cyclists between Ross Street and Rushall Station. Pedestrian access will be available between Rushall Station and High Street only.

Where are the alternate routes?
Cyclists and pedestrians are advised to detour via Ramsden or Westgarth Streets.

When will the closure take place?
The affected section of the trail will be closed from early August 2008.

When will the trail be reopened?
It is anticipated that the affected section of the trail will be reopened for use in early 2009.

Why are the diversions needed?
The closure of this section of the Merri Creek Trail is required for works to take place on the Clifton Hill Rail Project. A new rail bridge will be constructed across the Merri Creek (and Merri Creek Trail). The trail needs to be diverted to remove the public interface with the project works and ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and the workforce.

Why were these detour routes selected?
The recommended diversion routes have been devised to:

  • Minimise the inconvenience caused to pedestrians and cyclists travelling through the area;
  • Identify wherever possible direct routes that avoid significant gradients, road crossings or complex changes in route direction;
  • Minimise the need to alter the main bypass routes for the duration of the project; and
  • Make use of the existing local and district road and path network, and designated bike lanes.

Which route is best for me?

Northern Route:
The northern route encourages pedestrians and cyclists to stay on Westgarth Street for as long as possible, utilising existing traffic signals at High Street and minimising traffic in local streets. This route should suit people travelling east-west through the area (such as commuter cyclists skirting the southern edge of Northcote Hill). It also provides a reasonably direct connection between Rushall Station and Ross Street for cyclists travelling along the Merri Creek.

Southern Route:
The southern route follows the existing on road bike lanes in Ramsden Street/North Terrace, crosses Hoddle Street and Queens Parade at existing traffic lights, continues along the bike lane in Michael Street and then Falconer Street to rejoin the Merri Creek Trail at Rushall Station. The southern bypass route avoids heavily trafficked sections of Queens Parade and Hoddle Street. The local roads that make up the route already provide on road connections between the residential neighbourhoods of Clifton Hill and North Fitzroy. The on road paths also act as a feeder route to Merri Creek at Rushall Station, and to the Main Yarra Trail near the eastern end of Ramsden Street/Field Street.

Why canʼt cyclists access the trail between Rushall Station and High Street?
The section of trail between Rushall Station and High Street will be closed to cyclists as there is no ramp available at the High Street end.

What is the Clifton Hill Rail Project?
Currently, the single track bridge between Clifton Hill and Westgarth railway stations causes a bottleneck in the rail network, particularly during peak periods, causing delays to rail services. The duplication of the rail infrastructure, including construction of a new rail bridge over Merri Creek will ensure greater efficiency and reliability in train services on the Epping and Hurstbridge

As part of the overall project, John Hollandʼs works will include the:

  • Construction of a new rail bridge over Merri Creek;
  • Duplication of 750 metres of rail infrastructure;
  • Upgrade of four passive pedestrian crossings; and
  • Hard landscaping works.

Who is John Holland?
The John Holland Group has been contracted by the Victorian Government to deliver the main works package for the Clifton Hill Rail Project. John Holland is one of Australiaʼs leading engineering and construction companies, with experience in delivering diverse, multi-disciplined projects.

Where can I get more information on the detour or construction of the Clifton Hill Rail Project?
More information can be obtained by contacting the John Holland – Clifton Hill Rail Project Team on 9934 5308 or via

A project website will be live in August and can be found at