A crew of more than 90 workers will carry out major upgrades along the Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough lines from Wednesday this week.
The $3.9 million package of maintenance and improvement works will run from 22 April until 3 May, with coaches replacing Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough trains for all or part of the journey.
Crews will focus on maintaining and renewing important infrastructure along the line, including the historic Melton Reservoir Viaduct.
The surface of the rail bridge over Toolern Creek and several culverts will be replaced, which allow water to pass under the tracks.
The package of works also includes replacing and improving sections of track, installing signalling equipment and upgrading the road surface at the Dowling Road level crossing in Windermere.
During this time, coaches will replace all trains for the entire journey between Southern Cross, Ballarat and Ararat.
Coaches will also replace Maryborough line trains between Southern Cross, Ballarat and Maryborough from 22 to 27 April.
Trains will resume running between Maryborough and Ballarat, connecting with coaches between Ballarat and Southern Cross from 28 April to 3 May.
Works will be following the Chief Health Officer’s guidelines on work sites, including implementing physical distancing wherever possible by limiting physical interaction between workers and limiting worker numbers.
While coach replacement services will run to provide an essential service for those who need to travel, the message is clear – stay home. There are only four reasons to leave home: food and supplies, medical care, exercise, and work or education.
To help maintain physical distancing, replacement coaches are typically limited to 25 passengers per coach and the front two rows of seats are not available for passengers. Coach operators have also increased cleaning measures.