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Hurstbridge Line - New electrical substation: Preston FAQ

17 May 2018

To be able to make improvements to the network and power train services along the South Morang and Hurstbridge lines, a new electrical substation needs to be installed next to an existing tie station on VicTrack land in Preston.

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  • 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 is constructing five new substations along the Hurstbridge and South Morang lines on behalf of MTM.

  • Why do you need more substations along the network?
    • Substations are an integral part of Melbourne's train network. They convert and supply household electricity to operate trains, signals and communication equipment. In order to make improvements to the capacity of the network and introduce new timetables to the Hurstbridge and South Morang lines we need to build new substations. By undertaking these upgrades, more trains will be able to run along both lines, ensuring the network can cater for future growth. Across the metropolitan rail network, substations are being added to provide more power for additional train services to run, particularly in the peak periods.

  • Why does the substation need to be located in this specific location?
    • The design, construction and operation of the substations are based on the principle of providing a safe and functional electrical supply, and a number of options have been investigated to determine the location of the new substations. The existing Preston tie station is located within VicTrack land, and the new substation will be installed next to it. The old tie station will be removed from the site at a later date.

  • How long will it take to build the substation?
    • Construction will start in May 2018 and be completed in the second half of the year.

  • What is the size of the substation?
    • The dimensions of the substation building will be as follows:


      28 metres


      5 metres


      4.1 metres*

      The substation with its associated electrical equipment and security fencing will be around 36.5 metres in length and 11.5 metres in width. Fencing around the transformer yard will be 3 metres high.

      *The substation will sit on foundations that are around 1.2 metres high

  • Will the substation affect my health and wellbeing?
    • Substations are common throughout Melbourne and they do not impact health and wellbeing of surrounding residents.

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