In Transport

Victoria Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder

Major Summer Works Program For Regional Rail Link

Victor P Taffa

Major Regional Rail Link construction works including new tracks, new signals and tunnel strengthening will be carried out over the quieter summer holiday period, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.

Mr. Mulder said works to be undertaken between Footscray and Sunshine included:

  • Bridge modifications in Footscray and West Melbourne;
  • Track installation and realignment in Footscray and West Melbourne;
  • Station upgrade works at Sunshine, West Footscray and Footscray railway stations;
  • Continued work to remove two level crossings at Anderson Road, Sunshine;
  • Tunnel strengthening works to support the Dudley Street bridge structure;
  • Earthworks in Tottenham, Footscray and North Melbourne;
  • Replacement of track and ballast in Sunshine;
  • Rail signal replacements at South Kensington;
  • Service relocation in Sunshine;
  • Site investigations.

To enable these works to be carried out safely, buses will replace trains on the Sydenham (Sunbury) line between Albion and Footscray, the Bendigo line between Sunbury and Southern Cross Station and the Ballarat line while the works are carried out.

Replacement buses will start from 8 pm Friday 28 December 2012 to last service Sunday 30 December 2012 and from 8 pm Friday 4 January 2013 to last service on Sunday 13 January 2013.

On the weekends of 5-6 January and 12-13 January 2013, Sydenham (Sunbury) and Werribee/Williamstown trains from Footscray will run direct to Flinders Street via Southern Cross and Craigieburn, and Upfield trains will run direct to Flinders Street via Southern Cross.

Mr. Mulder said the temporary rail line closures were planned during the holiday period to reduce future disruption for rail passengers and the community.

“The Regional Rail Link is now in full construction mode. Replacement buses are sometimes necessary so works can be carried out safely along the rail corridor.” Mr. Mulder said.

“Importantly, all affected lines are scheduled to be open so people can travel for free on New Year’s Eve to Melbourne’s CBD or our regional cities to celebrate with family and friends.”

“We are giving people as much notice as possible so they can make alternative plans if necessary. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we carry out these vital works to improve Victoria’s public transport system.”

Mr. Mulder said the Regional Rail Link was providing a major jobs boost in Victoria with approximately 1,900 people already employed on the project.

“The construction contractors have already carried out eight scheduled passenger line shutdowns this year in order to complete major construction works.” Mr. Mulder said.

“These shutdowns have seen approximately 240,000 hours worked by project staff in an effort to optimise the project’s construction schedule.”

The Regional Rail Link will create capacity for an extra 23 suburban and 10 regional services during each morning and evening at peak times, allowing an extra 54,000 passenger trips each day.

Dedicated regional tracks will be built from West Werribee Junction to Deer Park then alongside the existing tracks from Sunshine to Southern Cross Station. When completed, passengers on the Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat lines will have a streamlined journey on their own tracks, avoiding congestion with suburban trains.

As well as improving existing services, the Regional Rail Link will lay the foundations for future expansion of the rail network to meet the needs of Victoria’s growing population.

Over the coming weeks, commuters will receive more information to help with journey planning during the summer closures.

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