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Work starts on Melbourne high-capacity signalling upgrade

Construction crews will begin installing new high-capacity signalling (HCS) on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines to help run more trains across the Melbourne network.

Construction crews will begin installing new high-capacity signalling (HCS) on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines to help run more trains across the Melbourne network.

The signalling is one of the final aspects to deliver a ‘turn up and go’ network when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025.

Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the new signalling technology is key to running more trains, more often, and slashing travel times from the suburbs to the city.

“These works will enable bigger and better trains to run more frequently through the Metro Tunnel when it opens in 2025 – allowing space for more passengers to get home safer and sooner,” Allan said.

HCS is a new signalling system that enables trains to safely run closer together, meaning they can travel more frequently. 55 kilometres of signalling will be installed which will allow trains to run every two to three minutes and has been designed to replace the current system, which uses coloured signals to indicate when it is safe for a train to proceed.

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Crews will test the signalling equipment at various points along the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines over 11 days, to ensure its operating correctly and installed in the right location.

Testing on the lines between Caulfield and Westall stations has already commenced, to examine communication between signalling equipment on the ground and on the train.

Further testing along the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines take place in March 2022 with the new High-Capacity Metro Trains.

The signalling system will operate 65 of the new high-capacity trains, which will run on the Sunbury to Cranbourne and Pakenham lines via the Metro Tunnel. The additional testing will ensure the signalling system and the new trains, as well as freight and V/Line trains, can safely run alongside the existing system.

Once complete, the Metro Tunnel project will create room for 121,000 passengers every week on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, and save passengers travelling from Cranbourne or Pakenham up to 15 minutes off a journey to Parkville, or up to 25 minutes off a journey to St Kilda Road.

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