Gippsland Line services return following latest works

Works on the Gippsland Line over the past month.

Stefan Bradley

SERVICES have returned to the Gippsland Line following another long blitz of bus replacements and works, but temporarily timetables and coach replacements will be in place until July 7 that will see trains departure and arrival times vary.

Due to the major works, temporary speed restrictions have been in place on parts of the Gippsland Line to allow tracks to bed down.

Trains to Melbourne will depart each station up to four minutes earlier, except for the weekday 8.22pm Traralgon to Southern Cross train – which will depart 11 minutes later and is expected to arrive 29 minutes later, and the Saturday 11.27am Traralgon to Southern Cross service, – which will depart eight minutes later and is expected to arrive 27 minutes later.

Trains to Traralgon and Bairnsdale will arrive up to 10 minutes later, except for the weekday 5.38pm Southern Cross to Traralgon, which will arrive up to 16 minutes later.

A temporary train timetable for Gippsland ended last Friday (June 13-June 21). Coaches will replace Gippsland Line trains for part of the journey this weekend (June 22-23). A temporary train timetable for Gippsland (June 24-July 7) is available on the V/Line website.

As part of the Regional Rail Revival program, crews completed the following while coaches replaced trains between Southern Cross and Bairnsdale from May 4 until June 13 (six days ahead of schedule):

  • Complex signalling work between Pakenham and Drouin;
  • Safety testing;
  • Driver training, and;
  • Track duplication at Bunyip and Longwarry.

The brand new East Pakenham Station has also opened and Pakenham Station has reopened after being rebuilt.

East Pakenham has bypass tracks for the Gippsland Line, fixing a bottleneck for those travelling on this line that caused delays and cancellations due to sharing tracks with Metro trains. The bypass, in theory, should lead to fewer disruptions and more services in the future, but Gippslanders will have to wait and see.

Passengers are advised to check the temporary train timetables before travelling.

East Pakenham Station will allow V/Line tracks to avoid congestion with Metro trains. Photos: Contributed