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Cranbourne-Pakenham line commuters have been spared the pain of replacement bus services, with giant cranes set to install massive sections of elevated track while trains travel as usual underneath.
The cranes, weighing 230 tonnes each, will begin work near Murrumbeena station next month for what the government describes as an engineering first for Victoria.
The Murrumbeena and Carnegie station car parks will be closed from August until 2018, when the project is due for completion.
Five elevated stations will be built on the controversial "sky rail" section of the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.
Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters that using the cranes would allow the railway line to continue operating.
Once the project is complete there will be no level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.
An artist's impression of sky rail at Murrumbeena station. Photo: Supplied
The Murrumbeena station site is being used as a staging ground but Mr Andrews said there would be replacement car parking.
He said it was not feasible to use replacement buses so the line would not be closing while works were undertaken.
This will mean that passengers on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line will not face lengthy disruptions and replacement bus services as is happening on the Frankston line.
Premier Daniel Andrews at Bentleigh station the day after the federal election. Photo: Paul Jeffers
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said it was also not an option to run trains underground on the sections of Cranbourne-Pakenham line to remove the level crossings.
She said there would be "significant improvements" to open space once the project was completed.
Other station car parks that will close partially include Noble Park, Clayton and Hughesdale.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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