New Rail Loop Set To Connect Geelong And The South-West

28 August 2018

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will embark upon the biggest transformation of public transport in Australia’s history, with a new underground rail network set to circle Melbourne connecting every major regional train line from the Geelong line to the Gippsland line through Melbourne Airport.

Regional Victorian passengers will be big winners thanks to regional super-hubs included in the project at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine providing better access to jobs, education and health services outside the CBD – with 200,000 vehicles also forecast to be removed from our major roads.

This will build upon the Labor Government’s $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival plans that are upgrading every regional passenger line in the state.

No longer will people living in Geelong have to travel through the centre of Melbourne to access world-class education and health services, including Monash and Austin hospitals’, with residents across Melbourne’s north also more easily able to access work and educational services in Geelong.

Regional rail users from the Geelong will also be one stop away from Melbourne Airport via a regional super hub in Sunshine, providing the connection rail users need – a service that’s set to be even faster with a proposed high-speed rail connection currently under investigation thanks to a $50 million planning study.

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, investing in regional roads, and building big new road and rail tunnels to free up space on the existing network.

Across Geelong and the south-west this has included getting on with the Geelong and Warrnambool Line Upgrades as part of our $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival, upgrading safer country crossings, extra train services, hundreds of new and upgraded carparks and better bus connections.

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 continue to make Victoria great and help connect.

The project will create up to 12 new underground train stations, linking into every existing major suburban and regional line. 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 – alongside creating 20,000 jobs.

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 to begin by 2022.

A re-elected Labor Government will also provide up to $5 billion towards the construction of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, matching a commitment from the Federal Government. This will enable the Sunshine and the Melbourne Airport section of the Suburban Rail Loop to get under way by 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.

Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“This is the underground train system a growing Victoria needs – connecting all Victorians to jobs, education, hospitals and shopping without needing to change trains in the CBD.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“We’re already getting on with fixing the Geelong line – including a massive boost to train services and a promise to duplicate to Waurn Ponds – and thanks to this, locals will have access to the very best public transport system.”

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“The Rail Loop will not only mean that Geelong rail users can get across Melbourne, but ensures that Melburnians will have the easy access they need to get to Geelong and all it has to offer – this is great for jobs and tourism.”

Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren

“Whether it’s building the West Gate Tunnel, delivering hundreds of extra rail services or a rail regional super-hub at Sunshine – local families are getting the transport options they need to for work and to access education.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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