Melbourne is currently undergoing intensive construction works to prepare the city’s network for new high capacity trains and to take steps towards removing a further nine level crossings.
Major signalling upgrade works in the Caulfield Junction have been underway since January 2 and have forced passenger train services to be replaced by on some sections of the Cranbourne-Pakenham, Frankston and Gippsland lines.
These signalling works will enable the new High Capacity Metro Train fleet to run through the junction when they eventually begin servicing the Cranbourne-Pakenham lines in 2019.
Level crossing removal works on the Cranbourne-Pakenham Line and the Gippsland Line will also see service interruptions between 10 and 17 January, with further works and disruptions to occur in February.
Acting state public transport minister Philip Dalidakis said that the works were part of $30 billion program to boost capacity and reduce congestion, and that the significant disruptions caused meant that the public had to be prepared to face longer journey times over the next few weeks.
“We encourage the public to plan ahead during these disruptions and thank them for their patience as we deliver the transport network we need,” Dalidakis said.
Between 18-23 January, track duplication and level crossing removal works along a section of the Hurstbridge line will see buses replace trains, while track renewal works on Lygon Street between Elgin and Weston Streets have caused the section of road to close to traffic and trams until 16 January.
Construction work on the Metro Tunnel will also cause traffic changes and closures in January, including on Flinders Lane between Swanston and Russell Streets, and Franklin Street West between Swanston and Stuart Streets.
“What we are trying to do is build a better road and rail system to make it easier for people to get around, to improve the travelling time for our public,” Dalidakis said at the commencement of the works a few days ago.
“There is no gain without pain.”