A massive rail maintenance blitz and work on major rail projects will progress over coming months, transforming the way passengers travel across regional Victoria.
The overhaul of rail services in the state’s south west is progressing with work continuing on the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication and Stage 2 of the Warrnambool Line Upgrade.
New train detection technology and safety improvements will be carried out at a number of level crossings along the Warrnambool Line with coaches replacing trains between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool from Saturday, December 9 to the last service on Sunday, December 10, and again from Saturday, December 16 to last service on Sunday, December 17.
Other regional Victoria key works include trenching, drainage and the installation of boom mast foundations, supporting the introduction of VLocity trains to run to and from Warrnambool for the first time when the upgrade is complete.
Work on key infrastructure as part of the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication will progress over summer, with handrails, balustrade and artwork by local Wadawarrung artist Billy-Jay O’Toole being installed during night closures on the Surf Coast Highway in December.
The Surf Coast Highway will be closed between Baanip Boulevard and the level crossing from 9.30pm to 6am on weeknights from Monday, November 27 until Friday, December 15.
Work to return the Surf Coast Highway to its original alignment will begin in February and utility relocations will continue at South Geelong and Marshall stations, and for the level crossing removals at Surf Coast Highway and Fyans Street.
V/Line has also scheduled annual maintenance and infrastructure upgrades on the Geelong and Warrnambool lines from Saturday, February 3 to Thursday, February 15. Coaches will replace trains between Wyndham Vale and Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool Line trains between Wyndham Vale and Warrnambool during this time.
A $4.7 million maintenance blitz on the Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill lines will begin in late February and early March will also take place from Wednesday, February 21 to last service on Sunday, March 3. Coaches will replace trains between Southern Cross and Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill.
During this time crews will be carrying out structure upgrades to a number of bridges and replacing an entire bridge with a concrete box culvert between Bendigo and Swan Hill.
Works to upgrade stations along the line include:
the first stage of replacing the roof at Bendigo Station
repairs to roofing and the verandah drainage system at Woodend Station
replacement of platform awnings and general repairs at Riddells Creek Station
upgrading of toilets and shelter repairs at Clarkefield Station.
Passengers should allow up to 60 minutes extra time for their journey and check the temporary coach replacement timetable, which will be available from the V/Line and PTV websites closer to the start of works.