Premier Denis Napthine today announced the Coalition Government would build the Melbourne Rail Link – the biggest transformation of public transport in Victoria since the introduction of the City Loop.
The Melbourne Rail Link will do for rail passengers in the 21st century, what the City Loop achieved last century – high frequency rail services moving more people, more often and more conveniently.
“This is about the future. It is about building a better Victoria by ensuring we provide the services Victorians will need as our population grows.
“A new underground tunnel, new and upgraded stations and a rail link to Melbourne Airport will provide Victorians with more reliable, more frequent and more convenient services, irrespective of whether you live in North, South, East or West,” Dr Napthine said.
The Melbourne Rail Link, which will create 3,700 jobs during construction will comprise:
- Twin 7.5 kilometre tunnels from Southern Cross to South Yarra;
- New underground stations at Fishermans Bend (Montague) and Domain;
- New underground platforms at Southern Cross and South Yarra;
- Train-tram interchanges at Southern Cross, Montague, Domain and South Yarra; and
- A rail link to Melbourne Airport.
“The Melbourne Rail Link will support the growing office and residential precinct in the west of the CBD and will further develop Southern Cross as a transport hub,” Dr Napthine said.
“It will also allow for a future passenger rail extension to Rowville and lay the foundation for improved rail freight links between Dandenong and the Port of Melbourne.
“It will deliver a reliable, convenient and efficient rail link to Melbourne Airport, with services every 10 minutes during the day, to support massive growth in the number of passengers travelling to and from the airport.
“This historic project will build on the benefits delivered through the Regional Rail Link and Cranbourne-Pakenham Rail Corridor projects to create modern, efficient and safe rail services needed to support Victoria’s growth and prosperity.
“The Melbourne Rail Link will help ensure Melbourne’s position as one of the world’s most liveable cities,” Dr Napthine said.
Treasurer Michael O’Brien said the Coalition Government was able to deliver the Melbourne Rail Link because of the strength of the Victorian economy and strong budget surpluses over the forward estimates.
“The Coalition Government’s strong economic management means we have the capacity to deliver the Melbourne Rail Link, which has an estimated capital cost of between $8.5-$11 billion,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien said components of the Melbourne Rail Link are planned to be delivered as a Public Private Partnership, with financing sourced from the Victorian Coalition Government and the private sector.
“$830 million will be invested in the Melbourne Rail Link over the next four years. We will be wasting no time in progressing planning, design and community consultation work to enable early works to commence in mid-2016 and major construction to start in mid-2017,” Mr O’Brien said.
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said the Melbourne Rail Link will transform rail services by reducing delays, improving reliability and boosting capacity by up to 30 per cent.
“It will create dedicated, separated lines to reduce congestion and delays on the network, allowing us to run more trains and carry thousands more people, more often,” Mr Mulder said.
“Melbourne Rail Link will deliver the same rail capacity uplift but at a lower cost and with less disruption to CBD streets than the proposal put forward by the ALP,” Mr Mulder said.
“Commuters across the entire network will benefit from this project, which will also include a package of tram and bus upgrades to build on the extensive public transport in Parkville.
“We are investing in transport infrastructure to connect people, support industry and create jobs,” Mr Mulder said
“Melbourne needs and deserves a truly world-class rail network and that’s exactly what the Melbourne Rail Link will deliver,” Dr Napthine said.