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Buses Will Replace Trains on a Heap of Melbourne's Train Lines in January

Parts of the rail network will be closed throughout the month to complete upgrades for the Metro Tunnel and a new fleet of high-capacity trains.
By Lauren Vadnjal
December 11, 2018
By Lauren Vadnjal
December 11, 2018

If you're planning on heading into the new year sans frustration and worry, you might want to avoid catching public transport for the first few weeks of it. The Victorian Government today announced that sections of 11 Melbourne train lines will be closed in January to complete more work on the Metro Tunnel make way for a shiny new fleet of high-capacity trains.

What does that mean? Replacement buses. If you travel on any of the lines that service the east, southeast  and western suburbs, you'll have to switch from the train to a bus as you come into the city. Those on the Glen Waverley, Alamein, Belgrave, Lilydale Werribee, Williamstown and Sunbury lines will only have to deal with it for a weekend, but Cranbourne, Pakenham and Frankston passengers will need to do the switch for a whole two weeks after the new year.

The Cranbourne and Pakenham lines are already closed from Westall onwards, with the government offering free travel up until December 23. Passengers won't be able to claim free travel for this round of closures.

Here's what's happening on each of the affected lines.

  • Cranbourne and Pakenham: Buses will replace trains between Flinders Street and Westall stations between January 2–13.
  • Frankston: Buses will replace trains between Flinders Street and Moorabbin stations between January 2–13.
  • Sandringham: Buses will replace trains between Flinders Street and Elsternwick stations between January 2–6.
  • Glen Waverley, Alamein, Belgrave and Lilydale: Buses will replace trains between Flinders Street and Burnley stations for the weekend of January 12–13.
  • Werribee, Williamstown and Sunbury: Buses will replace trains between Kensington and the city for the weekend of January 19–20.

Plus, V/Line services will be affected as well. Buses will replace trains on the Gippsland line right up until January 23, and you'll have to swap to a bus if you're travelling past Sunbury to get to Bendigo, Swan Hill or Echuca from January 12–27. Something to keep in mind if you're travelling home or out of the metro area over the holiday period.

The good thing is that the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines will have new seven-carriage high-capacity trains up and running by mid-2019. The new vehicles will have the ability to carry 20 percent more passengers than any other train on the network — so maybe you'll actually be able to sit down on your commute.

The State Government is advising commuters to leave an extra 45–75 minutes for travel in the case of delays, so it's advisable that you plan your trip carefully. For up-to-date info, your best bet is to check the disruptions map on the government's Big Build website.

Image: Visit Victoria. 

Published on December 11, 2018 by Lauren Vadnjal
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