Plans of a massive underground rail network project - valued at $50 billion - has been revealed by the Victorian Government. The Suburban Rail Loop is set to become Australia’s largest public transport project in history.
This new 90-kilometre rail network will be linking Melbourne’s western and eastern suburbs through the Melbourne Airport - running between Cheltenham and Werribee - as well as major train lines in the region. The multi-billion dollar project will also include the construction of 12 new stations along the route.
“The Suburban Rail Loop will get people to where they want to go - and more people on public transport means less traffic on the road for you,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
The south-east section of the rail line will be running underground between Cheltenham and Box Hill, with new rail tunnels linking the Frankston, Cranbourne-Pakenham, Glen Waverley and Belgrave-Lilydale lines.
Approximately six new stations will be included in the south-east section - four of which will be underground interchanges on the existing lines and the other two will be new stations at the Monash Clayton and Deakin Burwood precincts.
The north-east section is planned to have two new underground stations at Doncaster and La Trobe.
Lastly, the western section of the rail networks will be connecting the Werribee line via the future Sunshine superhub.
“The Suburban Rail Loop is the underground train system a growing Melbourne and Victoria needs - connecting every Victorian to jobs, education, hospitals and shopping without needing to change trains in the CBD,” Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said.
Once the Suburban Rail Loop is up and running, it will be able provide an easier travel option for commuters heading to the Melbourne Airport. The rail loop will also make it easier to navigate around Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs without having to go through the city.
The Suburban Rail Loop will be able to carry 400,000 passengers daily and it will take about 200,000 cars away from major roads.
Over the past 12 months, Development Victoria together with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Office of Coordinator General worked to complete the planning and feasibility study for the project.
The Labor Government is also planning to invest up to $300 million towards a full business case, design and pre-construction works.
If approved, construction on the Suburban Rail Loop is expected to commence by 2022 and works will be delivered over a number of decades.
This massive project is also expected to create more then 20,000 jobs.
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