In addition to the level crossing removal works I've noticed, on the Pakenham line, that new footings for the overhead support stanchions have been cast almost all the way out to Pakenham, not just at the works sites. In all the publicity floating around about improvements to the metro system, I cant recall anything about overhead refurbishment. Does anyone here know more about this?
Yes I think I can enlighten you.
The overhead refurbishments are part of a whole line upgrade project from Pakenham/Cranbourne to the City in preparation for the HCMT's (High-Capacity Metro Trains). This refurbishment encompasses the skyrail project and is being delivered by LXRA. In addition there is going to be a signalling upgrade and probably track upgrades as well. There was an entry in the October LXRA community newsletter for the Skyral (CD9) project about the commencement of the whole line upgrade: http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media-library/publications/caulfield-to-dandenong-publications/project-wide-community-updates/caulfield-to-dandenong-community-update-october-2016
Re the new overhead footings, these have also appeared in the Springvale - Sandown Park area, Oakleigh - Clayton & Caulfield - Malvern with some indications they will be extending them all the way to the City. I have been told that every overhead gantry will be replaced - most of them are near 100 years old anyway so they are due for replacement. Large work bases have been established at Dandenong & in the old Malvern sidings area for this part of the project. I can't be sure but there is new construction happening in the old Malvern sidings between the Tramway substation & Glenferrie Rd - a large area has been paved with gravel, a short section of signalling conduit has appeared at the back of this area, and a shipping container has appeared - new signalling relay room?
Anyway, with all this construction going on, the whole line upgrade, CD9 removals and soon Melbourne Metro junction at South Yarra, it's going to be a very busy line for construction over a number of years.