Rail Loop Set To Connect Western Victoria

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 Ballarat, Maryborough or Ararat have to travel through the centre of Melbourne to access world-class education and health services, including La Trobe University and Monash and Austin hospitals’.

Regional rail users from Western Victoria 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 the potential for a high-speed rail link to Ballarat.

In the last four years, the 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 Ballarat and Western Victoria this has included getting on with the Ballarat Line Upgrade, upgrading safer country crossings, upgrading and creating hundreds of new carparks, delivering the Murray Basin Rail and Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Projects, better and connected bus routes and upgrading stations.

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 Buninyong Geoff Howard

“A Regional super hub at Sunshine will mean locals won’t need to travel into the centre of Melbourne to get where they need to go – with Melbourne Airport set to be just one stop away.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

“The Rail Loop will give Ballarat passengers the easy access they need across Melbourne, while also making it easier for Melburnians to visit our great city and see all it has to offer – that’s good for jobs and tourism.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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