Australia’s Victorian government has revealed plans to transform rail connectivity around Melbourne under its Suburban Rail Loop scheme including new underground rail links.
The AUS$50bn (£28.5bn) underground system would connect major train line from the Frankston line all the way to the Werribee line through Melbourne Airport with up to 12 new underground stations.
Work on the project could start by late 2022 with construction to the south east of Melbourne and be completed by 2050.
“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 CBB,” said Victorian minister for public transport Jacinta Allan.
“Finally, Victorians will be able to catch public transport across and around the city – taking thousands of people off existing trains and slashing road congestion with up to 200,000 cars off our roads.”
The south east section will run underground between Cheltenham and Box Hill – with new rail tunnels linking the Frankston, Cranbourne-Pakenham, Glen Waverley and Belgrave-Lilydale lines.
This section could include six new underground stations – four underground interchanges with existing lines, and two potential new stations at the Monash Clayton and Deakin Burwood precincts.
The north east section will connect the Belgrave Lilydale line to the Hurstbridge, Mernda, Upfield and Craigieburn lines before heading to Melbourne Airport.
In addition to the four interchange stations on these lines, there will be potential new underground stations in Doncaster and the La Trobe precinct in Bundoora.
The new Airport Rail Link will form the north-west section, with construction also underway from 2022. The western section will connect to the Werribee line via the new Sunshine super-hub, with further technical investigations to determine the scope and route of this section.