Upgrades to the rail network
To take full advantage of the extra capacity on the rail network created by the Metro Tunnel and its new High Capacity Metro Trains, a range of upgrades are proposed on the Sunbury, Sandringham, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.
These will include installation of next-generation signalling technology and upgrades to infrastructure.
- Current works on the Sunbury line
- Current works on the south eastern lines
- Current works on the Mernda line
- What upgrades are taking place?
Upgrades to the rail network
High Capacity Signalling
As part of the Metro Tunnel Project, the first roll-out of High Capacity Signalling (HCS) anywhere in Australia will be installed on the Sunbury and Cranbourne / Pakenham lines .
High Capacity Signalling will increase the capacity of the network enabling bigger and more modern trains to run on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines and through the Metro Tunnel more frequently.
Sophisticated HCS equipment will be installed in both the rail corridor and within the driver’s cabin of each train, allowing trains to safely run closer together.
Track side communication equipment will also be installed along the length of the corridor.
Dedicated control centres will be built in Dandenong and Sunshine to support the new technology and allow staff to monitor trains on the new Metro Tunnel line.
Initial testing of HCS will be trialled on part of the Mernda Line, between Epping and South Morang, before being rolled out along the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines and through the Metro Tunnel.
Sunbury Line Upgrade
To take full advantage of the extra capacity on the rail network created by the Metro Tunnel, a range of enhancements are needed on the Sunbury line to enable more modern trains to run on the line.
The $2.1 billion Sunbury Line Upgrade will see various upgrades within the rail corridor extending from Sunbury to Footscray.
- Power upgrades between Sunbury and the Metro Tunnel entrance near South Kensington station
- Platform extensions at eight stations between Sunbury and Footscray
- Installation of wheelchair boarding platforms at eight stations
- Train stabling (facilities used to maintain and store trains when not in service) upgrades at Sunbury, Calder Park and Watergardens.
West Footscray station
Construction of a new passenger platform and additional track at West Footscray, known as the Western Turnback, will allow services to start and finish at West Footscray station.
Providing an additional platform for Sunbury line trains will allow for an increase in the number of services and help ease overcrowding at West Footscray, Middle Footscray and Footscray stations during the morning and afternoon peaks.
Works on other lines
Prior to being implemented on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury Lines, High Capacity Signalling will first undergo testing along the Mernda Line between Epping and South Morang stations.
This allows the technology to be tested and drivers, operators and maintenance crews to be trained. The testing and training program will involve using empty trains running on this section of track when passenger trains are not running. Initial testing will take place in the rail corridor between Epping and South Morang. These works include the installation of signalling, cables, track side radio equipment and associated infrastructure.
To support the network upgrades, signalling and track work may also be required along the rail corridor within inner city areas.
Along the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, works between South Yarra and Caulfield station will prepare the network for more modern trains when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025. This ongoing construction includes power, signalling and communications upgrades.
At Hawksburn station, works to extend platforms and install additional infrastructure are ongoing.