Trains shut down for three weeks

BENDIGO V/Line passengers will have to put up with replacement buses for three weeks from today (28 December) for work on the Regional Rail Link project.

The Premier Denis Napthine said yesterday Footscray was the centre of around-the-clock construction works in Melbourne’s western suburbs for the $4.8 billion project.

Buses will replace trains from first service today to last service Sunday 19 January 2014 on the Bendigo and Ballarat lines. Buses will also replace the Sunbury line.

Commuters at Bendigo station were philosophical yesterday.

“I much prefer the train but if it’s going to improve the service then it’s got to be done,” said Karen Martens.

Dennis Barber said it  didn’t really bother him. “As long as you can get from A to B,” he said.

“The track has to be maintained so there’s nothing you can do about it”.

Kimberlee Bruce said “it’s a pain because it takes a lot longer and it’s slower, but it’s not too big an issue.”

Trains will still run between Ballarat and Ararat, and Ballarat and Maryborough. 

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said carrying out the works  during the quieter holiday period reduced future disruption for rail passengers.

“Patronage drops around 50 per cent during the Christmas and New Year’s break,” Mr Mulder said.

“As a result, we’re carrying out major works during the holiday period to improve Victoria’s rail network, so passengers return to better rail services.

"Passengers will still be able to get around on public transport using rail replacement buses, however, we recommend people allow extra time for their journey and plan their travel in advance."

Dr Napthine said the works included the continued revamp of Footscray and Sunshine stations, and the removal of  two level crossings on Anderson Road in Sunshine.

“Reconfiguration of the ‘flyover’ tracks leading into Southern Cross station will also take place, as part of the untangling of Melbourne’s rail network,” Dr Napthine said.

For more information contact Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 or visit ptv.vic.gov.au

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