Work will begin in 2022 on the Suburban Rail Loop, with $2.2 billion committed in the upcoming Victorian state budget to Stage One of the project.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop Jacinta Allan also confirmed that Stage One will begin at Southland and run to Box Hill.
An expression of interest will be released by the end of 2020 for the initial and early works package with a pre-qualification now released to market participants.
Andrews and Allan confirmed the location of the six stations for the route. The first will be at Southland, near Cheltenham, with a connection to the Frankston Line. The underground line will then progress to Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverly, Burwood, and Box Hill. Interchanges at Clayton will allow for regional connections, while passengers will be able to interchange to suburban rail services at Glen Waverly and Box Hill.
The station locations and corridor alignment was determined after 18 months of geotechnical investigations, site investigations, engineering assessments, and community consultation.
The $2.2bn in funding will go towards land acquisitions, utility and infrastructure works, and preparatory works for major construction. Enabling launch sites will be established for tunnel boring machines in Melbourne’s south east.
“This investment will pave the way for major construction on the Suburban Rail Loop. We promised to deliver this project and we’re delivering on that promise,” said Andrews.
An investment case is expected to be completed by early 2021.
Up to 800 direct jobs are expected to be created from the initial and early works with the entire project creating up to 20,000 jobs during construction, including 2,000 apprentices trainees and cadets.
“This is the biggest infrastructure project in Victoria’s history, and it will play a big role in getting our state back on track. Delivering a world-class public transport system – and creating tens of thousands of jobs for Victorians,” sand Andrews.
Once complete, the 90km line will link every rail line from the Frankston Line to the Werribee Line. The standalone system will require new, dedicated rollingstock that will be shorter than Melbourne’s existing train fleet, however arrive more often.