Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, and the Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan, announced that Melbourne Suburban Rail Loop will be operated by dedicated trains, which will be faster than the existing fleet, comprising four to five carriages. 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.
The details announced are the result of 12 months of intensive technical, planning and design work.
“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,” Daniel Andrews said.
The 90-km rail ring will be built as a separate rail line, connecting 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.
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.
Currently, geotechnical drilling is underway for the first stage route from Box Hill to Cheltenham. 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.
“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,” the Minister for Transport said.
The construction on the first stage of Suburban Rail Loop is expected to begin in 2022.