27 September 2023

Rail Loop on the right track

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The Premier and Minister for Transport Infrastructure have announced new details of the Suburban Rail Loop, a new twin-tunnel standalone train line that will include a dedicated fleet of high-tech trains.

The Premier, Daniel Andrews said the announcement followed 12 months of intensive technical planning and design work.

“This standalone line with purpose-built trains will fully integrate into our public transport network and deliver ‘turn-up-and-go’ services – better connecting people to jobs, education and each other,” Mr Andrews said.

The Minister, Jacinta Allan said the 90-kilometre rail ring would connect every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line.

“It will be built as a separate rail line, meaning it can use state-of-the-art systems from around the world without having to retrofit technology into the existing network,” Ms Allan said.

“Being a dedicated line also means the design of the trains that use the line won’t be constrained by the requirements of Melbourne’s hundred-year-old train network,” she said.

“As a result, the new trains will be four to five carriages long and faster than the existing fleet.”

Ms Allan said pre-construction work on the Stage One route from Box Hill to Cheltenham was gathering pace, with geotechnical drilling well underway.

She said community consultation and market engagement would ramp up next year with construction on Stage One expected to begin in 2022.

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