Passengers on the Geelong and Warrnambool lines will benefit from more reliable services following a week-long program of maintenance and upgrade works, kicking off this weekend.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said the $4 million works were part of V/Line’s annual program of major infrastructure renewals and would focus on track maintenance at key locations along the line, as well as major upgrades to several rail bridges.
In the busy section of track between Geelong and Lara, crews will replace 900 metres of rail and renew rail joints, train detection technology and pieces of track which allow trains to cross from one line to another.
More than 100 services use this section of track each weekday and installing new infrastructure helps reduce the risk of faults, which can disrupt services.
Rail bridges in Moriac and Cudgee, as well as culverts in Buckley and Panmure, will receive major upgrades and crews will also inspect and complete spot repairs to other bridges along the corridor.
More than 350 staff will be on site to complete the program of works, which will also include lighting and power pole maintenance along the line, signaling and cable replacements at North Shore and Marshall, platform works at Terang and Little River, as well as sleeper replacements along the line at Moriac.
Coaches will replace Geelong line trains for all or part of the journey from the evening of Friday 26 February until Thursday 4 March and again on the evenings of Friday 5 March, Saturday 6 March and Sunday 7 March.
Most weekday trains will still run between Melbourne and Wyndham Vale Station, connecting with coaches between Wyndham Vale and Geelong/Waurn Ponds with some evening and weekend services replaced by coaches for the entire journey.
Warrnambool trains will be replaced by coaches for the entire journey from Saturday 27 February until Sunday 7 March.
To minimise the disruption to passengers, works have been timed to coincide with evening and weekend work on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel in South Kensington near the tracks that carry Geelong and Warrnambool trains to and from the city.
The major bridge and culvert works along the Warrnambool line will require time to bed down so trains will travel at slower speeds as a safety precaution. A temporary timetable will be in place for Warrnambool line services from Monday 8 March until Wednesday 31 March so passengers can plan their journey with confidence during this time.
These maintenance and upgrade works are in addition to the Geelong and Warrnambool line upgrade works to deliver more frequent and reliable train services for passengers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll
“These essential maintenance works are the result of months of planning so that crews can get as much done as possible while minimising the disruption for passengers.”
“We’re ensuring the line is in top condition so we can continue to deliver safe and reliable services for south-west Victorians.”
“A rail network is just like any other piece of infrastructure, it needs regular, targeted maintenance to ensure it remains in good working order.”
Reviewed 26 February 2021