Construction crews have been working around the clock to ensure the $4.4 million planned works package on the Geelong and Warnambool line is on schedule.
“This is a massive $4.4 million program of works for the Geelong and Warrnambool lines so we’re working around the clock to get it done as quickly and safely as we can over the quieter school holidays period.” Regional Manager Peter Gibson said.
Despite the wet and muddy conditions in the beginning, 250 V/Line staff and contractors have already replaced thousands of sleepers and tonnes of ballast along the line in mid-April.
They’ve also ripped up 215m of track from the 141-year-old heritage Geelong tunnel to repair the foundation and improve the drainage, preparing it for the installation of new rail and sleepers. This work will help create a smoother and more reliable ride for passengers.
Since the critical works package commenced on Saturday 8 April, more than 1200 coaches have been used to transport 57,000 passengers to their destinations on the Geelong and Warrnambool lines.
“With 57,000 people transported by coach so far, we’ve had feedback from passengers telling us things are running smoothly, and we appreciate their continued patience as we work to make improvements to their train services,” Mr Gibson said.
While commuters continue to experience service disruptions, the impact has been minimised due to upgrades being conducted during early April and the quieter school holiday period.
Other work underway includes replacing track circuits near Manor Junction to improve train detection at level crossings, removal of trees and other vegetation to provide clearer line of sight for train drivers and motorists, and tamping along the line to make the tracks more durable.
On the Warrnambool line, the replacement of the deck of a rail bridge near Terang is in progress, in preparation for improvements to active level crossings, which will start in mid to late April.