THREE more weeks and the commuters on the Ballarat line should start to see some big changes on their commute to and from Melbourne.
But in order to see the finished results, you'll need to plan at least an extra 45 minutes in your journey until December 2, because the line will be out of action while signal specialists work on the finishing touches to the line.
For 23 days, from today (Saturday November 9) until Monday December 2, the line will be out of action to commuters.
Regional Rail Revival director Mark Havryluk said crews would also be laying track at level crossings in Melton South, Bacchus Marsh and on the Ballan passing loop between Bacchus Marsh and Maddingley.
"The commissioning process is all about ensuring the new track and new station are fully integrated into the existing network and ready to safely take passengers when we reopen the line," Mr Havryluk said.
From December 2, a new timetable will be in place which will include two new services including one in the morning peak and one in the evening. The new timetable will also include the new stop at Cobblebank between Melton and Rockbank.
But the stoppages won't be finished just yet with works on the second line to from Ararat to Ballarat to see trains offline between the two stops from December 7-13. Passengers who usually board the train at Wendouree will be coached to Ballarat station during this period while buses will run the journey from Ararat to Ballarat.
Motorists are also advised that from December 7-9, Gillies Street will also be closed for level crossing works. Detours for vehicles and pedestrians will be in place as the second track is finally laid around the Wendouree Station precinct.
Mr Havryluk said there would be one further stoppage next year, at a date to be confirmed to complete and commission the line before extra services, including more peak services and 40-minute off peak trains from Ballarat, are launched at some point in 2020.
But in some bad news for Ballarat commuters won't receive any compensation, or free trips, at this stage, as was offered on the Gippsland line during a similar stoppage from July 6-14 this year.
Department of Transport Head of Transport Services Jeroen Weimar said "We understand there have been significant changes on the Ballarat line recently ... and I want to thank everyone for their patience," he said.
"While we understand changes to regular services can be frustrating, it will mean a massive amount of work can be completed and passengers will experience the benefits sooner." Mr Weimar said.
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