The Government of Victoria in Australia has started early work on the Hurstbridge line modernisation in Melbourne.
Funding of A$140m ($102m) is allocated for the project in the Victorian 2016/17 budget. It will be used to duplicate the line and build a new tunnel adjacent to the existing tunnel in Heidelberg.
Geotechnical site investigations have commenced, which will involve drilling 100mm holes up to 25m deep to provide information about ground conditions at the site. This information will inform project design.
Drilling is planned near the intersections of Burgundy Street and Studley Road, as well as Darebin and Hawdon Street.
Other parts of the project include power and signalling modernisation to allow more trains during peak hours and the removal of dangerous, congested level crossings at Grange Road in Alphington, as well as Lower Plenty Road in Rosanna.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said: "This notorious single section of track needs duplicating for passengers in the north east to have the frequent and reliable services they deserve. We’re getting it done and work starts now."
"Removing this notorious bottleneck means we can run more trains in peak hour when we need them most."