The Victorian Government has provided a AUD 2.2 billion (USD 1.6 billion) funding for Melbourne suburban rail loop preparatory works, paving the way for the kick off of the project.
The funding will support the initial and early works of the first stage of the project to run between Cheltenham and Box Hill, with the full project to eventually link every major train line between Frankston and Werribee via Melbourne Airport.
“This investment will pave the way for major construction on the suburban rail loop. Delivering a world-class public transport system – and creating tens of thousands of jobs for Victorians,” said Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s Prime Minister.
The funding will support the land procurement, the roads and power supply upgrade, the construction of new sub-stations. It will also relocate and protect gas, water and other utilities, and deliver other vital works to prepare for major construction.
A pre-qualification will now go out to the market ahead of Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the first stage initial and early works package being released by the end of the year.
When providing the funding, the proposed locations of six new train stations have also been revealed, with the new line to start near Southland, underneath Sir William Fry Reserve. Other proposed stations are next to Monash and Deakin universities, central to the Box Hill and Glen Waverley activity centres, and north of Carinish Road in Clayton, where a transport super-hub will connect regional passengers to the loop.
The AUD 300 million (USD 218.85 million) allocated to project planning in last year’s budget has delivered significant progress in the design and development of the project, and has enabled engineering, rolling stock and precinct assessments, and community and stakeholder consultation. The Investment Case is expected to be completed by early 2021.
The construction works will start in 2022, creating up to 800 direct jobs in initial and early works and enabling launch sites to be established for tunnel boring machines in Melbourne’s south east.
Melbourne suburban rail loop will have a length of 90 km linking every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line, via the airport, better connecting Victorians to jobs, retail, education, health services and each other.