The Victorian Government is preparing to conduct a rail maintenance ”blitz” over the next few months in regional areas south-west and north-west of Melbourne.
According to a 20 November Government statement, while work would continue on some lines, new safety measures to be added to level crossings on other lines included detection devices, improved trenching and drainage, and boom mast foundations.
Work will also be conducted at several stations in the wider region to improve safety and repair ageing buildings.
The planned works include:
- Continuing the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds duplication and Stage 2 of the Warrnambool Line upgrade
- Level-crossing improvements on the Warrnambool line so that VLocity trains can operate to and from Warrnambool
- Key infrastructure work continuing on the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds duplication
- Maintenance, including bridge and culvert upgrades, on the Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill lines from late February to early March
- Repairs and upgrades at Bendigo, Woodend, Riddells Creek and Clarkefield stations
- Utility relocations continuing at South Geelong and Marshall stations
- Removal of level crossings and alignment work along the Surf Coast Highway in December and February.
During this period, the Government says, coaches will replace trains on many of these lines – details of which will be listed on the V/Line and PTV websites – and that passengers should allow extra travel time.
“We thank everyone for their patience while we get on with delivering important upgrades to rail lines and stations across regional Victoria,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson said in the release.
Minister for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams added: “We’ve saved regional Victorians millions of dollars through the regional fare cap and we’ll continue to provide more V/Line services, while maintaining the transport network and making services more comfortable and reliable long-term.”