Racegoers using public transport could face hour-long delays as coaches replace trains during the busy May Racing Carnival.
Trains will not run between Warrnambool and Geelong from April 30 to May 11, with the city's four daily return services to be replaced by coaches for the entire journey.
Passengers have been asked to allow an extra 60 minutes to travel time.
It comes as the Warrnambool Racing Club is gearing up for tens of thousands of people to attend the three-day May Racing Carnival next week.
The carnival attracts racegoers from towns located on the Warrnambool line corridor, including Camperdown, Terang, Cobden and Geelong.
Regional Rail Revival director Mark Havryluk told The Standard coach services from Melbourne would run in addition to the regular train timetable during the three-day carnival.
"We understand the importance of the May Racing Carnival to the Warrnambool community and economy, which is why passengers from Melbourne will be provided with additional express coaches, making it easier to get to and from the races," he said.
"V/Line will continue to monitor patronage for people attending the carnival and can increase services when required. This will include having other coaches on standby."
The express coaches will run between Southern Cross station and Warrnambool each day of the carnival.
The express coaches will depart as followed:
May 3 and May 4:
Thursday 5 May
Those services will run in addition to normal scheduled services on the line, which will also be replaced by coaches due to the works.
The replacement services will originate and depart from Warrnambool station as scheduled in the timetable.
Passengers boarding from any of the 17 stations between Melbourne and Warrnambool will only have access to the replacement coach services.
Information obtained from Regional Rail Revival revealed the transport service was working with local stakeholders, including the Warrnambool Racing Club, regarding coach and bus replacement services to accommodate the anticipated increase in passengers.
The Standard asked V/Line and Regional Rail Revival for patronage numbers on the line during previous May Racing Carnivals but those figures weren't provided.
In the lead up to the Easter long weekend, patronage on the Warrnambool line was running at around 60 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels.
The disruptions on the Warrnambool and Geelong lines are expected to last four weeks as work ramps up at Waurn Ponds.
Coaches are also expected to replace trains between:
The final two 50-metre sections of rail at Waurn Ponds station will be installed along the line, with live signalling boxes to be relocated from the rail corridor to complete track duplication at the station, allowing trains to pass each other in this section.
Works will also continue on the line in preparation for commissioning of the remaining signalling upgrades from Warncoort to Warrnambool later in the year.
Works during the disruption will include trenching and installing cable at Sherwood Park, to provide the communications and power supply for new signalling equipment.
Construction will continue on a pedestrian and cyclist path on the south side of the station, with features including CCTV and lighting, along with final fit outs on the second platform, ramps and stairs.
More than 150 V/Line staff and contractors will be on site to complete track, signal and station works.
A temporary timetable will be in place at vline.com.au.
IN OTHER NEWS
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.