Construction teams will work around the clock to upgrade metropolitan lines shared by Gippsland trains between 6 and 23 April, as part of the state-wide Autumn transport construction blitz, with free travel to be offered during the entire period.
A mix of express and semi express buses will replace all Gippsland trains for the duration of the blitz which will see power, signalling and station upgrades take place along the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines ahead of new High Capacity Metro Trains entering service later this year.
The upgrades will improve train reliability, including for Gippsland passengers as they travel along these lines. Metro Tunnel construction teams will also be working 24/7 to unearth the tunnel’s South Yarra entrance as part of the construction blitz.
Gippsland line passengers are encouraged to allow up to 90 minutes extra travel time when travelling to Melbourne during this time. These works have been timed to coincide with the Easter holiday period to lessen the impact on passengers, however people are still strongly encouraged to plan ahead.
Passengers travelling between Traralgon and Melbourne will not need to touch on or off with their myki as they board replacement services during April. Those travelling on Bairnsdale and Sale replacement bus services will need to reserve a seat as usual, but no charge will apply.
A six-month calendar is now also online, showing proposed work dates where buses will replace trains, giving Gippsland line passengers more certainty when planning their journey. The calendar and detailed travel information around the upcoming construction blitz is available at ptv.vic.gov.au.
To further improve train reliability, VLine has recently introduced a new Suburban Interface Manager (SIM) role to improve the performance of Gippsland and other regional rail services operating on the metropolitan network
The SIM monitors V/Line performance on metropolitan lines, works with Metro Trains during disruptions and develops strategies for managing growing regional rail patronage.
In addition, the $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade package of works being built as part of the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival are out to market this week, with contractors being sought to design and build the bulk of the upgrade.
Gippsland Line Upgrade works will include upgrading signalling, duplicating track, extending a crossing loop, adding platforms at four stations, a stabling facility, modernising train detection at level crossings and renewing the drainage structures underneath the railway.
Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“I want to thank Gippsland passengers for their continued patience as we work to deliver crucial upgrades to the rail network.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing
“Once works to prepare for the introduction of bigger, better trains are complete, Gippsland passengers will receive more reliable services on the sections of line shared with the metropolitan trains.”