Power boost for train network

Melbourne’s rail network will undergo significant power upgrades and essential maintenance this month to deliver more trains carrying more passengers.

From 9pm on Friday August 30 through to the early hours of Monday 2 September, overhead power will be switched off across the network to deliver around-the-clock upgrades, including new overhead wiring and a Victorian-first double-storey substation at Southern Cross station. 

Department of Transport Head of Transport Services Jeroen Weimar said the works were part of the state’s biggest power upgrade along the 80km length of the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines, helping to power bigger and better trains, signals and communications.

As a result, buses will replace trains on all or part of the Werribee, Williamstown, Sunbury, Craigieburn, Upfield and Geelong lines with no trains running through the City Loop. 

Trams and extra buses will keep people moving across the city.

“While we understand that this may cause significant disruption to passengers, we believe this is the least disruptive time and best opportunity to complete these essential works,” Mr Weimar said. 

Mr Weimar said crews would also complete essential rail maintenance between Southern Cross and Caulfield over the weekend with buses replacing trains on all or part of the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston and Sandringham lines and coaches replacing V/Line services on the Bairnsdale line. 

The upgrades will include works to resurface platforms and improve drainage at South Yarra station as well as new ground tactiles to be added to station platforms to help blind or low vision passengers get on and off the trains more safely. 

“These works are part of an important investment to deliver a public transport network that our passengers want and deserve,” Mr Weimar said. 

Services will continue to operate direct to and from Flinders Street Station on the Mernda, Hurstbridge, Belgrave, Lilydale, Glen Waverley and Alamein lines across the weekend, with affected lines to return to regular timetables on Monday 2 September.

Visit ptv.vic.gov.au for more information on service changes during these works.