Railway line upgrade underway

WORK to replace the Latrobe River rail bridge is in full swing.

V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos said the bridge beams were being lifted into place following weeks of preliminary work.

“Pre-casting has been done off site and we’re now ready to replace the existing timber structure,” he said.

“This will be the first time the Latrobe River rail bridge has been replaced in its long history so it’s a big project.”

The bridge replacement is part of an $11.5 million upgrade of the Gippsland rail line.

Mr Taifalos said several key projects would be completed, with V/Line crews and contractors working around the clock for two weeks.

“The Morwell station platform will be upgraded to improve safety and accessibility,” he said.

“We’ll replace sections of track along station platforms at Rosedale, Sale, Stratford and Bairnsdale.

“Nine crossings will be upgraded with new tracks and road surfacing while more than 20 other crossings will be inspected, assessed and upgraded as required,” he said.

In addition, more than 27,000 timber sleepers will be replaced with concrete along 100 kilometres of track.

“All of this work is aimed at improving comfort and travel times for our customers,” Mr Taifalos said.

“It’ll mean we can progressively lift several speed restrictions to allow trains to travel at line speeds of up to 100 km/h,” he said.

The works will continue until Sunday, April 12, during Easter school holidays when train patronage is traditionally lower than normal.

V/Line will be operating a combination of trains and coaches to get customers to their destinations.

Bairnsdale trains to Melbourne will be replaced by coaches. For travel to Bairnsdale, Stratford, Sale and Rosedale, customers can catch a train to Traralgon and transfer to a coach to complete their journey.

For travel updates or for customers with special needs, phone 1800 800 007.