Following 12 months of intensive technical, planning and design work for Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop, new details of the project have emerged.
The Suburban Rail Loop – a twin-tunel, standalone line – will include a new fleet of high-tech trains and integrate into the existing network.
Marking a year since the Andrews Labor Government was re-elected, Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, to announce new details of the project.
The 90km rail ring will connect every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line, making it quicker and easier to get to Melbourne’s major health, education and employment centres.
It will be built as a separate rail line, meaning it can use state-of-the-art systems from around the world without having to retrofit technology into the existing network – saving time and money.
Passengers will be able to easily transfer across both networks, with the same ticketing system servicing both and up to 12 new stations connecting the existing rail system with the new standalone line.
Being a dedicated line also means the design of the trains that use the line won’t be constrained by the requirements of Melbourne’s hundred-year-old train network.
As a result, the new trains will be four to five carriages long and faster than the existing fleet. Being smaller, means they can turn up more often, and that the platforms will be shorter – reducing the distance passengers need to walk at the station each day to get on the train.
Pre-construction work on the Stage One route from Box Hill to Cheltenham is gathering pace, with geotechnical drilling well underway. Fourteen boreholes have already been dug, with close to 100 to be drilled by mid-2020.
The information collected will help determine the final alignment and station locations for the project, and how it will be built.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “A year ago Victorians voted for the Suburban Rail Loop and we haven’t wasted a moment getting on with it.
“This standalone line with purpose-built trains will fully integrate into our public transport network and deliver ‘turn-up-and-go’ services – better connecting people to jobs, education and each other.”
Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “The Suburban Rail Loop will be a dedicated line with dedicated trains – and it will change the way our city and state moves forever.
“We’ve removed 30 level crossings, we’re building the Metro Tunnel, and we’re doing the vital planning and design work for the Suburban Rail Loop.”
Community consultation and market engagement will ramp up next year and construction on Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop is expected to begin in 2022. For more information, visit suburbanrailloop.vic.gov.au.