SUBURBAN RAIL LOOP SET TO TRANSFORM ALTONA DISTRICT
A re-elected Andrews Government will embark upon the biggest transformation of public transport in Australia’s history, with a new underground rail network set to circle Melbourne’s suburbs and connect every major train line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line through Melbourne Airport.
The Suburban Rail Loop will deliver major benefits for people living and working in the Altona District by reducing congestion across the transport network, taking passengers off existing rail lines, taking 200,000 cars off our major roads and creating 20,000 jobs during construction.
It will mean that local people won’t have to travel into the CBD to get where they want to go. Suburban Rail Loop will make it easier to move around Melbourne – connecting our suburbs with major employment centres, universities and TAFEs, hospitals and retail precincts.
In the last four years, the Andrews Labor Government has embarked upon the biggest transport building program ever – removing level crossings, fixing regional train lines, and building big new road and rail tunnels to free up space on the existing network.
The Suburban Rail Loop is the big, bold new project our state needs for the future – Labor’s vision for a modern, connected transport network that will make Melbourne one of the world’s truly great cities.
The project will run underground between Cheltenham and Box Hill – with new rail tunnels linking the Frankston, Cranbourne/Pakenham, Glen Waverley and Belgrave/Lilydale lines. The north east section will connect the Belgrave Lilydale line to the Hurstbridge, Mernda, Upfield and Craigieburn lines before heading to Melbourne Airport.
The new Melbourne Airport Rail Link will form the north-west section, with the south-western section connecting to the Werribee line via the new Sunshine super-hub. Further technical investigations are needed to determine the scope and route of this section, and there is potential for new stations in the west to be added depending on the design solution.
Modelling projects strong patronage in both directions throughout the day, with 400,000 trips a day by 2051 set to make it Victoria’s busiest rail line.
Labor will invest an initial $300 million in a full business case, planning and pre-construction works, with work on the first sections in Melbourne’s south east between Cheltenham and Box Hill and the north-west connection between Sunshine and the Melbourne Airport expected to begin by the end of 2022.
Exact station locations, route alignment, rolling stock, and staging will be confirmed through the full business case and technical work, including extensive consultation and environmental assessments.
A project of this massive scale – amongst the largest in the world – will be built over multiple decades, with the first sections expected to take around a decade of construction. State, Commonwealth and private sector contributions, as well as value capture opportunities, will be required to fund the project.
Business case development, detailed design and community consultation will commence in 2019, with work on the first stage expected to begin by the end of 2022.
Quotes attributable to Jill Hennessy MP
“We’ve already been removing level crossings and building big road and train tunnels, and now we are delivering the biggest investment in public transport in Australia’s history.
“Suburban Rail Loop is the underground metro that our community needs to make it easier to get to employment centres, travel to the airport, and access world-class universities, TAFEs and hospitals and retail centres in our suburbs.”