Work to build longer platforms and replace ageing rail infrastructure will continue during August, to improve reliability along the Cranbourne and Pakenham corridor and to prepare for the testing and introduction of bigger trains.
As part of a 11-day August construction blitz, buses will replace trains between Saturday 4 August and Monday 14 August on sections of the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines past Dandenong.
Replacement buses will run between Dandenong and Cranbourne from 4-5 August, between Dandenong and Pakenham from 4-12 August, then between Westall, Cranbourne and Pakenham on 13 and 14 August.
During this time, there will be express bus services between Westall and Cranbourne and Pakenham, and additional services that will stop at all stations.
All V/Line Traralgon and Bairnsdale services will be replaced by coaches for the entire journey from 6 -14 August. Direct coaches will also run between Warragul, Drouin and Parliament Stations during peak times. The Steamrail Snow Train 2 will run to Traralgon as scheduled on Sunday 5 August.
During the disruption, platform upgrade works will continue at Dandenong, Officer, Cranbourne and Hallam – four of 13 stations along the line where platforms are being extended in readiness for longer seven carriage trains, set to start running on the line from mid-2019.
The construction blitz will see works continuing to upgrade decades old signalling along the line past Dandenong, which will improve reliability for both metropolitan and regional trains.
These works which are being carried out in phases all the way between the CBD, Cranbourne and Pakenham as we get ready to run bigger, longer trains, but to also improve reliability along the line.
The combination of level crossing removals, bigger trains and the Melbourne Metro Tunnel will see more trains run more often on the Cranbourne/Pakenham line – Melbourne’s busiest.
Each High Capacity Metro Train will be able to carry 20 per cent more passengers than any current train on the network, while providing a more spacious, comfortable ride. The trains will eventually run all the way through to Sunbury via the Metro Tunnel, transforming Melbourne’s busiest train lines into a ‘super corridor’.
For disruption information and to find your Plan B travel option, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Public Transport Luke Donnellan
“These upgrades are urgently needed for us to keep pace with demand on Melbourne’s busiest train lines – unless we act now, the system will eventually run itself into the ground.”
“We ask passengers to bear with us through these disruptions as we work towards creating the train service that Victorians expect.”