Train services return for Ballarat commuters

YESTERDAY marked the return of train services for Ballarat commuters. 

Buses replaced trains since late December as Regional Rail Link works ramped up over the holiday season. 

Commuters may have noticed a difference this morning, with the removal of a level crossing at Anderson Road in Sunshine.

Some of the other works completed over the break include a new pedestrian concourse at Sunshine station, new platforms at Footscray station and structural works on the North Melbourne flyover. 

Acting Public Transport Minister David Hodgett said the completed works showed the progress that had been made over the break.

“Temporary rail line closures such as the one just completed are critical to delivering major rail infrastructure like Regional Rail Link,” he said. 

“While people were on replacement buses on some lines, more than 1,400 workers clocked up 350,000 man hours installing 18,000 sleepers and over 17 kilometres of new track.”

V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos said up to 300 train-replacement buses were used each day during the works and to support heat-affected trains during the heatwave. 

“It’s a credit to everyone involved – V/Line conductors, drivers, train engineers, track and signalling crews, customer service staff and coach drivers – that we were able to get customers to their destinations during the extreme heat,” he said.