Drivers and public transport passengers are being urged to plan ahead over the coming months, with work ramping up on major rail and road projects across Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan and Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan today inspected the Metro Tunnel’s North Melbourne construction site, where excavation of the station box is underway to prepare for the launch of the Metro Tunnel’s first tunnel boring machine.
The new North Melbourne Station will kickstart the transformation of the area from an industrial precinct to a new suburb with a vibrant mix of residential, retail and business uses. Over the next 30 years, the area will create 34,000 jobs and house 15,000 people.
Over the coming months, Victorians will be faced with another construction blitz to prepare for bigger trains, work on the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and improvements to Hoddle Street.
Work is continuing to overhaul rail infrastructure along the Cranbourne/Pakenham line as part of ongoing preparations for the introduction of a new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains, which will be able to carry 20 per cent more passengers than any train currently running on the network.
From 1-23 December, buses will replace trains along sections of the line. Coaches will also replace Gippsland trains for the entire journey to Southern Cross Station during these times.
Recognising the ongoing impact of disruption, passengers on the disrupted sections Cranbourne, Pakenham and Gippsland lines will get free travel for their journey. This free travel will apply during the major construction blitz taking place from 1-23 December.
Passengers on these corridors have already experienced more than 100 days of disrupted travel this year.
There will also be some shorter line closures in the lead up to the December construction blitz across the metropolitan rail network.
These works are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s more than $40 billion investment in transport infrastructure which is transforming our rail and road networks.
Other construction being undertaken between now and the end of the year include maintenance on parts of the V/Line network, work on the Ballarat line as part of Regional Rail Revival, West Gate Tunnel Project works, improvements to Hoddle Street and regular maintenance on the tram and train networks.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“We said we’d build the world-class transport network Victoria needs with bigger and longer trains, better roads and turn-up-and-go services – and we’re getting it done.”
“We thank people for their patience as we get on with delivering these vital upgrades to get Victorians where they need to go safer and sooner.”
As noted by Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan
“Recognising the impact of disruption caused to passengers on some of our busiest lines we are offering free travel to say thank you to these passengers for their ongoing patience during this massive program of works.”
As noted by Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“As soon as the footy finals finish, we’ll be getting to work on the next stage of our massive Hoddle Street upgrade – it will involve some significant closures so we’re giving people plenty of notice to plan ahead.”