Eaglemont substation FAQs

What is a substation and what will it be used for?

A substation is an electrical asset owned by VicTrack and operated by Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) to provide the necessary power to operate trains, signals and communication equipment.

As part of the Hurstbridge Rail Line Upgrade, the Level Crossing Removal Authority will be constructing four new substations on behalf of MTM.

What equipment is contained within the substation?

Substations contain the following:

  • High voltage Alternating Current (AC) – normal household power that supplies the equipment
  • Rectifier – equipment used to convert power from AC to DC
  • Direct Current (DC) – converted power from Alternating Current to Direct Current to run the trains
  • Protection, electrolysis and electrical services
  • Signalling high voltage supply switchboard
  • Communications equipment.

All this equipment is needed to successfully operate trains, signals and the rail network.

Why do you need to construct new substations?

Substations are an integral part of the metropolitan rail network. They  convert and supply electricity to operate trains, signals and communication equipment.

In order to make improvements to the capacity of the rail network, such as the duplication of the rail line between Heidelberg and Rosanna stations, we need to build new substations.

By undertaking these upgrades, more trains will be able to run along the Hurstbridge line, ensuring the network can cater for future growth.

Across the network, substations are being added to provide more power to enable additional train services to run, particularly in the peak periods.


Why does the substation need to be located at this particular location?

The Sherwood Road, Eaglemont, site was determined based on several factors:

  • where on the Hurstbridge rail line additional power was needed
  • where enough land was available to accommodate the substation
  • flooding risks in the area
  • impacts on existing rail assets and underground services
  • environmental impacts, and
  • so as to avoid the acquisition of private property.

Why can’t the substation go somewhere else?

While other locations on Sherwood Road were investigated, they were not feasible from a technical perspective.


When will construction start?

Early works for the substation will begin in late July 2017 (including vegetation removal and investigations for existing in-ground services), with major construction set to commence in October 2017.

How long will the substation take to build?

Construction  will start in October 2017 and be completed by late February 2018.

Finishing works, such as landscaping, may take a little longer but should be completed by mid- 2018.

What type of works are involved in constructing a substation?

The substation is constructed off site and transported to Sherwood Road on the back of a truck. It will be moved directly from the truck trailer and installed in place.

Most construction works will be completed during normal working hours, however there may be a need for occasional night works. If this occurs the project team will advise residents who will be impacted prior to this work.

Any changes to traffic conditions will also be communicated to residents in advance.


How often will people be accessing the substation for maintenance?

The following maintenance regime will be implemented:

  • Minor maintenance visits should be expected every two months
  • Major maintenance visits should be expected every 18 months
  • Ad-hoc switching procedures would occur infrequently
  • Equipment repairs and replacement will occur rarely.


Will the substation emit any noise?

The substation is expected to emit some low-level noise, equivalent to the sound of a low computer hum. This is expected to be around 34dBA at the nearest residential property boundary, which is less than average noise levels inside a living room. Sound levels inside homes are expected to be much lower than 34dBA.

What are the regulations that govern noise associated with substations?

Noise generated by the Eaglemont substation is required to comply with the noise limits set out in the Victorian State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Noise from Commerce, Industry and Trade) No. N-1 (SEPP N-1). The noise limit is established by applying the relevant circumstances as outlined in the policy. For this substation, the strictest noise limits must be applied as the substation is considered to be in a noise sensitive area (i.e. residential area).

Will the Eaglemont substation comply with the regulations?

Yes. The Eaglemont substation is required to comply with the regulations and mitigation measures will be put in place to ensure compliance. Compliance will be confirmed by testing following commissioning of the new substation.

What mitigation measures will be put in place?

The substation will include an acoustic barrier to reduce noise levels and ensure compliance.

Electrical and Magnetic Fields (EMF)

What is EMF?

Electromagnetic emissions or electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a natural by-product of electricity and occur around all electrical items, including those in our homes. They also occur naturally through phenomena like the earth’s magnetic field and thunderstorms. Common household sources of EMF include computers, electric stoves, televisions, kettles, toasters and hairdryers.

What are the regulations that govern EMF associated with substations?

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Agency (ARPANSA) adopts international standards for exposure to electric and magnetic fields. ARPANSA adopts the international Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (INCIRP) guidelines, which ensure that electromagnetic field levels remain acceptably low.

What are the expected EMF levels  for this substation?

In general, electromagnetic field levels in public areas near 22kV substations are very low in relation to the guidelines specified by ARPANSA. In addition, the farther away you are from an EMF source, the lower the readings.

Will EMF from the substation negatively affect my health & wellbeing?

Substations are common throughout Melbourne and they do not impact health and wellbeing of people around them.