Major construction will take place in Preston over the next two weeks, as crews remove the level crossings at Bell Street, Oakover Road, Cramer Street and Murray Road.
By the end of May, these four sets of boom gates along the Mernda line will be gone for good, removing a huge bottleneck for motorists in the northern suburbs.
During these works, buses will replace trains in sections between Parliament and Mernda, from 9pm Tuesday, 17 May to the last service on Sunday, 29 May.
Replacement bus services include Stopping All Stations, Express and Limited Express options.
Passengers are urged to check the PTV website or mobile app before travelling and to allow up to 45 minutes extra for their journey.
Short-term overnight and daytime road closures will be in place at each of the level crossings at the following times:
- Tuesday, 17 May from 9pm to 6am
- Wednesday, 25 May from 7am to 6pm
- Wednesday, 18 May from 1am to 6am
- Monday, 23 May from 7am to 6pm
- Tuesday 24 May from 7am to 6pm
- Wednesday, 18 May from 7am to 9pm
- Wednesday, 18 May from 9pm to 5am
We ask motorists to be vigilant for changes and to be alert when driving near work zones for everyone’s safety.
Crews will work 24/7 to remove the tracks between Miller Street and Taunton Avenue, the temporary Bell Station and the platforms at Bell and Preston. Construction will continue on the new Bell and Preston stations and on the Mernda-bound rail bridge.
When train services resume on Monday, 30 May, they will operate on a single track over the city-bound rail bridge between Thornbury and Regent stations for three months.
This will allow trains to run while crews complete construction of the Mernda-bound rail bridge.
During this period, trains will not stop at Bell and Preston station. Shuttle buses will provide access to Bell and Preston from the nearby Thornbury, Regent and Reservoir stations.
In September, both rail bridges will be complete and the new Bell and Preston stations will open to passengers.
Around 82,000 vehicles pass through these four level crossings on the Mernda line each day, with the boom gates down for up to 40 per cent of the morning peak.