Regional Rail Link Beginning To Take Shape

Regular travellers on the Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo regional train lines, and the Werribee and Sydenham/Sunbury metropolitan train lines, will most likely have noticed a lot of new tracks being laid between Southern Cross (SCS) and North Melbourne (NME) stations, as part of the Regional Rail Link (RRL) project.

While this work between SCS and NME is plain for all to see, what isn’t so obvious is some of the work further down the line.

The latest aerial photography of Melbourne from the fabulous NearMap – (taken on October 2nd) – has started revealing other less obvious parts of the project.

For all of the following images, you can get a closer view by clicking on the images.

Firstly, here is some of the work to take the new rail line under the Citylink tollway, showing an already in-place crossover, and the future alignment of RRL:

Next up, the earthworks in the Lloyd Street precinct, where RRL takes over the old freight arrivals alignment, and the existing Lloyd Street bridge was removed – (this bridge was actually replaced last Friday night):

The next most obvious area of work for most commuters is in the Joseph Road precinct in Footscray, where the Werribee line will be moved to the south, to allow RRL to take up the existing alignment of the Werribee line – and a lot more earth has been placed since this shot was taken. RRL will pass over the new section of the Werribee line on a kilometre long structure, which will also take it over the Maribyrnong River:

Now into Footscray proper, where the Nicholson Street bridge is under heavy modification, and footings for the bridge that will take the new alignment of the Sydenham/Sunbury line over the freight lines to the north of the current alignment into new platforms at Footscray, for which construction has just commenced. RRL will take over the existing Sydenham/Sunbury alignment through Footscray station:

Further out into the suburbs to Sunshine, work has commenced to move the existing Ballarat line slightly to the north, to allow the line to be grade separated under Anderson Road, removing the existing level crossing:

Further out again to Caroline Springs/Deer Park, where earthworks are under way in the median of the Deer Park Bypass, to allow for RRL to travel beneath the freeway, as it turns south towards the Werribee/Tarneit area:

On to Tarneit itself, where a long section of initial earthworks already shows the route of the brand new section of line, taking in the location of the new Tarneit station:

More works should commence in the near future, and I’ll try keep things up to date for those interested travellers.

The new line is definitely beginning to take shape.

UPDATE: Apparently the crossover shown in the ‘Citylink’ section is not RRL related, and has been moved elsewhere last weekend.