Expect more rail chaos tonight

Melbourne’s rail commuters face more disruption on the journey home tonight, with evening peak trains to be hit by delays in completing major signalling work. The delays could also stretch into the Tuesday morning peak.

The works, part of the Regional Rail Link project, were meant to have been completed overnight on Sunday, in time for the Monday morning peak but are taking longer than the four-day schedule.

This morning’s delays affected commuters on several urban lines and have severely disrupted some V/Line services, particularly on the Gippsland line.

Tonight, commuters on the Werribee, Frankston, Williamstown, Craigieburn, Sunbury and Pakenham will again be affected, Metro warns.

“We know the disruptions were significant and frustrating for many of our customers this morning and apologise sincerely for these works extending further,” Metro said in a statement.

“We are currently creating a modified timetable for the afternoon and will post details on our website as soon as they are available (likely to be about 1.30pm).”

A Metro spokeswoman said it could not be guaranteed that the disruptions would not stretch into tomorrow morning, as new signalling had not yet been tested.

“We won’t be certain until later today. There is still a large amount of testing to be done,” the spokeswoman said.

“Just because of the magnitude of the works being undertaken, there’s been some difficulty in integrating the new technology they are laying with the existing infrastructure.”

Tony Morton, president of the Public Transport Users Association, said there was a pattern of recent major works running over time and creating peak-hour disruption, and that Metro needed to improve its time management.

“Just about every piece of major infrastructure work that’s been done over a weekend, almost without exception, they’ve all run late and gone into Monday,” Mr Morton said.

“If you’re given a four-day window to do things then you plan things so that you reduce your chance that you won’t complete it in time.”

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