Cranbourne line passengers will experience a more reliable and frequent service as a result of one of Melbourne’s biggest ever upgrades to a working rail line.
Delays and cancellations on the line have led to the undertaking of $15 billion worth of work to improve services, including building the Metro Tunnel and removing 11 dangerous and congested level crossings.
A massive, long-overdue revamp of power and signalling along the entire length of the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines is continuing this week as part of an 11-day construction blitz which began last Saturday and will run until 14 August.
Enough communications cabling to run all the way from Melbourne to Sydney is being installed as part of the 80-kilometre overhaul, supporting a modernised signalling system.
These works also include track work to improve the tangled rail junction at Dandenong – a crucial first step towards the duplication of track through Lynbrook, Merinda Park and Cranbourne.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 committed to detailed planning towards the duplication of track between Dandenong and Cranbourne to remove the bottleneck created by the current single track. This planning process, already underway, is part of a $572 million upgrade package for Melbourne’s busiest corridor.
Building bigger trains, removing level crossings and fixing signalling are all part of a broader plan to transform the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines into a ‘super corridor’, with bigger, more frequent trains running all the way out to Sunbury via the Metro Tunnel.
A new metropolitan train timetable, kicking off on 26 August, will incorporate ten extra weekday services from Cranbourne and 80 extra new or extended services on the Caulfield-Dandenong corridor.
The Cranbourne and Pakenham lines are Melbourne’s busiest, used by more than 90,000 passengers per day.