Vital maintenance works on tracks near Southern Cross Station have been completed, providing regional passengers with more reliable journeys.
Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne, said that trains have returned to the Ballarat and Albury lines after V/Line replaced two critical sections of track near Southern Cross Station.
The tracks funnel regional trains to and from platforms 3, 4, 5 and 6 at Southern Cross Station and form a crucial part of the network – replacing them has greatly reduced the risk of a fault.
More than 60 staff worked on the $3.4 million project which involved replacing old track and point machines with more reliable infrastructure.
The new infrastructure was installed on a special materials train, before laying the new tracks and installing machines and safety systems that control the movement of the track to direct trains to and from different platforms.
Coaches replaced trains on the Ballarat and Albury lines for part or all of the journey to reduce the number of services using Southern Cross so that the works could take place, however trains from all regional lines will benefit as disruptions at Southern Cross Station often have flow-on impacts to the entire network.
Trains on other lines were able to continue to run using platforms 1, 2, 7, 8, 15 and 16 with special fencing used to cordon off the work area so staff and passengers remained safe.
While trains were not running on the Albury line, staff also performed major maintenance on the standard gauge trains which operate services, and the Australian Rail Track Corporation used the opportunity to expedite the removal of several temporary speed restrictions between Seymour and Albury.
The works involved extensive testing of the new infrastructure before passenger trains began using the new track points.
“The track that was replaced at Southern Cross Station is one of the most used and most complex pieces of track on the regional network – which is why this maintenance work is so important,” Ms Horne said.