Significant works are now underway on the Metro Tunnel’s entrance at South Yarra, with crews working around the clock to complete vital upgrades as part of an autumn construction blitz.
The scale of work being delivered in April is unprecedented and will impact nine different metropolitan and regional train lines between April 1 and 23 when buses will replace trains in different sections.
During the works, Metro Tunnel crews in South Yarra will pour 400 cubic metres of concrete to build the roof for the tunnel entrance, remove and reinstate 800 metres of track, and install 3,500 metres of overhead wire.
Since the construction blitz started on 1 April, a crew of 250 workers on the Frankston line has already prepared signalling equipment and utilities for the Carrum level crossing removal. Mernda line closures begin tonight, with crews preparing to demolish Reservoir Station as part of the project to remove the level crossing.
Thousands of passengers have already been moved on buses, and work will ramp up significantly from this weekend when closures begin on the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston, Sandringham and Gippsland lines.
The Andrews Labor Government has timed the blitz to coincide with the Easter holidays to lessen the impact on passengers, but there will still be delays of up to 60 minutes in peak hour.
Public Transport Victoria and Metro Trains are also working closely with major event organisers, including helping AFL fans get to and from football games at the MCG and Marvel Stadium. The Sandringham line will reopen for Easter Monday and V/Line trains will be running for Geelong supporters to get to the Hawthorn vs Geelong game.
The free tram zone will also be extended to the MCG for affected games during rounds 3-5, and trains on some lines won’t run through Richmond station, so AFL fans should allow extra time to get to the footy this month.
The autumn closures will also allow for major power and signalling improvements, significant upgrades on the Ballarat line and more level crossing removal works in Carrum and Reservoir.
In addition to the disruptions on the rail network, the citybound exit ramp for Williamstown Road on the West Gate Freeway will be closed for three weekends in April and May, as work progresses on the West Gate Tunnel.
Gippsland passengers, who have been most impacted by the upgrades, will again receive free travel. For updates on planned disruptions, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au. To plan your journey, visit ptv.vic.gov.au or vicroads.vic.gov.au.
Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We know how frustrating this can be for passengers, but the work is essential as we deliver the biggest ever upgrade to Victoria’s rail network.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Crews will work around the clock to keep building the Metro Tunnel, while also preparing our network for bigger, better trains and delivering improvements for regional passengers.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“I urge passengers to plan ahead, check the latest updates and allow extra travel time this month, as we deliver this critical work.”