Yesterday evening was my last V/Line train trip for a fortnight as the shutdown kicked in.
A truly staggering amount of materials, plant and equipment scattered along the line from Calder Park right through to Footscray and a lot of activity had already started as workers prepped for the off.
Noted multiple examples of yellow dozer / excavators on wooden ramps adjacent the line ready to go, giant mounds of ballast scattered about and a lot of rail and concrete ties ready at Sydenham which is clearly in for a big transformation over the next 2 weeks.
Will be very interesting to see how it looks on Monday 23rd assuming I'll be lucky enough to be back on the AM Down Swanners that day
I was thinking the same thing when I travelled through on Friday at about 1945. I counted about 20 high rail cherry pickers in the Tottenham Yard, along with two empty spoil trains, a dozen excavators and dump trucks that were not there earlier in the morning. Overhead equipment was scattered around Tottenham ready for installation over the coming weeks.
Large amounts of conduit and pits are also scattered along the line from West Footscray through to Sunshine, suggesting a new cable route is being installed during the shut down.
At Albion, another dozen or so excavators near the old substation ready to start works on the new substation.
Foundation pilling for OLE is contenting though to Watergardens, but no gantries have yet been delivered.
As BG mentioned another large collection of construction machinery appeared at Watergardens during the course of the day. 20 or so excavators with rock breaker attachments on the UP side of Melton Highway, large piles of ballast and more conduit as well.
The site compound in the middle of no mans land has come to life with trucks parked next to a now lit up marquee.
At Calder Park, more and more construction machinery ready to start works to presumably connect the mix match of new track into the exisiting network. Hopefully come the end of November the rather strange layout will make sense.
At Diggers Rest Platform 1 has been marked out for the raised boarding hump.
At Sunbury the new construction compound off Horne Street has come to life with a small amount of workers and new site sheds being installed. A concrete foundation has been laid next to the historic blue stone culvert 50 or so meters from the level crossing. This is being extending to allow the current third track to be extended DOWN of the current level crossing.
One must assume that V/Line trains will have dedicated use of this track, bypassing Sunbury Station at 160Km/h once the SLU is complete and HCMTS call Sunbury home.
Service proving works are also underway for the Gap Road LX removal in Sunbury with this being brought forward to line up with the current works schedule, much smarter than doing it in a couple of years. This will be road under.
I must say, those building and selling construction machinery must be earning a bit of coin from the government. Just in this works package alone hundreds of pieces of machinery are in use along the corridor.
On to busses for the next few weeks now.