The Australian Rail Track Corporation is asking residents along the North Melbourne to Albury section of the rail corridor to stay vigilant around the railway this holiday period as it undertakes a range of works to improve the safety and reliability of the rail line in the region.
ARTC’s Executive General Manager Interstate Tim Ryan said despite many rail services not operating over Christmas and January, the North East Victorian rail corridor will be a hive of activity as ARTC undertakes a range of critical upgrade and maintenance activities.
“With trains not operating during the Regional Rail Link shutdown period we’ve scheduled a range of works because it is a great window to get in and undertake them more safely and efficiently than we would otherwise be able,” Mr Ryan said.
The standard gauge track will be closed from 28 December to 31 January with further works taking place from now until mid-January.
“That means that there will be a greater number of work vehicles and workers around the track than usual and we ask residents to take care when travelling near the rail corridor for their own, and trackworker, safety,” said Mr Ryan.
Some of the key works during the shutdown include:
- Construction of Passing Lane Number 1 between Keilor East and Donnybrook, which will see heavy cranes lift signal gantries into place over the track in three separate locations;
- Works to upgrade the pedestrian subway crossing at Seymour; and,
- Upgrades to the ballast and track condition at railway level crossings and rail bridges throughout the rail corridor.
Heavy track machinery, including ARTC’s new $10 million Shoulder Ballast Cleaner will also be in operation along the rail corridor at this time.
During the shutdown period most of the works will be undertaken in daylight hours between 6am and 6.30pm and while there will be some overnight work in various sections of the track, it will be limited in residential areas.
Mr Ryan said some of the works will require road closures for short periods of time, but there will be traffic management in place and local residents will be informed by letterbox drop.
He said ARTC will make every effort to minimise noise and other disruptions generated by the works and appreciated the patience of local communities during the festive season.
“The work we are undertaking to rebuild this section of track is an important part of our major program to repair the line between Melbourne and Sydney,” Mr Ryan said.
ARTCs new shoulder ballast cleaner will be operating on the West track between Seymour & Wodonga