Passengers on the Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca lines will benefit from more reliable services by the end of November, thanks to maintenance and upgrade works which are starting on Friday night.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said more than 150 staff would work around the clock to complete track and signalling maintenance along all three lines, as well as delivering important safety upgrades at four level crossings on the Swan Hill line.
In Kerang, crews will upgrade train detection technology and add boom barriers to the existing bells and flashing lights at the Murray Street, Victoria Street, Vaughan Street and Wellington Street level crossings.
Works along the Bendigo line will include ballast and drainage improvements, culvert maintenance in Clarkefield and renewal of the track and road surface at the Ravenswood Street level crossing in Ravenswood.
To minimise the disruption to passengers, the $4 million works package has been scheduled to coincide with Metro Tunnel Project and Sunbury Line Upgrade works.
Coaches will replace all Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca trains for the entire journey from 8pm Friday, 6 November until the last service on Saturday, 21 November. Passengers are encouraged to download the temporary coach timetable from the V/Line website to plan their journey.
On the Echuca line workers will replace more than 8000 sleepers and adjustments will be made to the signalling system at the Murray Valley Highway level crossing in Echuca, to allow new traffic signals to be activated at the nearby Sturt Street intersection.
Victorian Goldfields Railway will also complete maintenance on the tracks which carry heritage trains between Castlemaine and Maldon.
Crews will also complete rail milling works between Kyneton and Gisborne thanks to almost $1 million in funding from the Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works stimulus package in response to the coronavirus.
As stated by Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll
“We’ve done months of planning to make sure we get as much done as possible while minimising the disruption for passengers.”
“The safety of the community is our number one priority, which is why we’re working to upgrade level crossings and road intersections across the state.”
As stated by Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“These rail lines are a vital link for many Northern Victorians – we’re getting on with these upgrades to make sure passengers continue to have safe, comfortable and efficient journeys around our state well into the future.”