Millions of commuters in Melbourne’s southeast will face unprecedented train disruptions in January, with several lines shut for weeks as major works on the Metro Tunnel project take place.

Sections of the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston and Sandringham lines will be replaced with buses between January 2 and 30, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Thursday, as excavation of the Metro Tunnel entrance at South Yarra begins.

“It’s work that’s creating jobs, setting us up for the future and making sure our city and state will continue to move forward,” he told reporters, noting the alternative was a crumbling system.

AAP