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Melbourne Surburban Rail Loop

Martin Mankowski's picture

OMG. This is huge. There has been many a proposal on this site about a cross city line but never thought it would happen any time soon. Wow!


State government announces massive suburban rail loop for Melbourne

A massive underground suburban rail network will be built linking every major rail line in Melbourne and the new airport rail, the Victorian government has pledged.

Billed as "the biggest public transport project in Australian history", the Suburban Rail Loop will connect key train lines from Frankston to Werribee.

This means that many commuters would not need to travel first to the city to reach a destination in another part of Melbourne - a major downfall in the city's train network.

There will be 12 stations, starting near Cheltenham and connect the south-eastern train lines, with potential stations at Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill.

Heading north, it would travel underground, with potential connections at Doncaster, Heidelberg, Bundoora, Reservoir, Fawkner and Broadmeadows.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

Updated the article with the comments the Premier and PT minister made: https://www.urban.com.au/transport/2018/08/28/victorian-government-unvei...

The project will be built in phases with the first to be the Cheltenham to Box Hill section. The Premier also mentioned that the North West section (between the Airport and Sunshine) is already underway in the form of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
The Premier said the Cheltenham to Melbourne Airport section will be entirely underground, that's over a whopping 50 kilometres.
If the Andrews Government has been re-elected, the detailed planning and geotech work will begin early next year as part of the $300 million to be allocated toward planning.
The Premier also said the project, championed by Jacinta Allan, has seen internal department work on the concept for over 12 months.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Underground Suburban Rail Loop To Connect Victoria

28 August 2018

A re-elected Andrews Government will start work on the biggest transformation of public transport in Australian history – a new underground rail network circling Melbourne’s suburbs.

The Suburban Rail Loop will connect every major train line from the Frankston line all the way to the Werribee line through Melbourne Airport, with up to 12 new underground stations.

In the last four years, the Andrews Labor Government has embarked upon the biggest transport building program ever – keeping our promise to remove level crossings and fix roads and rail across Victoria.

But our 100-year-old radial transport network – built to move people in and out of the CBD – can’t keep up with a rapidly growing Victoria. Without action, demand on the network will grind our state to a halt.

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 make Melbourne one of the world’s truly great cities.

No longer will Victorians have to travel into the CBD to get where they want to go. The project will change the way that people move around Melbourne – connecting our suburbs with major employment centres, universities and TAFEs, hospitals and retail precincts.

The Suburban Rail Loop is the only project that will slash congestion across the entire transport network – expected to take thousands of passengers off existing rail lines, and 200,000 cars off our major roads.

It’s projected there will be strong patronage in both directions throughout the day – with 400,000 trips daily set to make it Victoria’s busiest rail line by 2051.

Labor will invest $300 million in a full business case, design, and pre-construction works, with work on the first section in Melbourne’s south east expected to begin by the end of 2022.

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.

Regional Victorian passengers will be big winners, with three new super-hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine providing better access to jobs, education and health outside the CBD.

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.

Early planning and feasibility work, including identification of the project corridor, was undertaken by experts at Development Victoria, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Office of the Coordinator General over the past 12 months.

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 10 years to construct.

The Suburban Rail Loop is projected to create more than 20,000 jobs during construction – including 2,000 apprentices, trainees and cadets employed through Labor’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee.

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.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Alastair Taylor's picture

I'd love to know how they get to 90km from Cheltenham to Werribee.

Just did a quick measure via gmaps - using the most direct lines/routes between the nominated stations I get to 95km.

The western side of the city is very awks and can see why the map even the gov produced is a bit wtf - L2 mentioned above if the Sunshine-Werribee section is the quad-tracks plus third side of the west Werribee triangle along the RRL alignment, the total length blows out to 112km (but admittedly, apart from 4-5km around sunshine, it's on the surface, not underground).

Anyhow, best representations I can come up with based on the public info: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?hl=en&mid=1JqtsS3n4Hurzi69zPIWU-Niq...

The stations in purple - what the government unveiled. The stations in Green - my suggestions (East Keilor and Heatherton).

The first phase (Cheltenham-Box Hill) measures 24km.
The second phase (Box Hill-Airport) measures 35km.
The third phase direct (Airport-Sunshine-Werribee) measures 38km
The third phase alternative (Airport-Sunshine-Regional Rail Link-Werribee) measures 53km.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Crucial questions remain over cost of Melbourne's suburban rail loop

Timna Jacks & Benjamin Preiss 28 August 2018 — 7:23pm

Melbourne Surburban Rail Loop

A 90-kilometre underground rail loop described as "the biggest public transport project in Australian history" has been promised by the Andrews government three months out from the state election, but crucial questions remain over its true cost and how it would be funded.

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Premier Daniel Andrews pledged to deliver the ambitious suburban loop, stretching from Cheltenham to Werribee via Tullamarine airport, for an estimated $50 billion.

Due to finish by 2050, when Melbourne’s population is projected to hit 8 million, it would link 15 stations, including five new stations at Doncaster, Melbourne Airport and La Trobe, Deakin and Monash universities.

The government would spend $300 million on a business case and detailed designs next year if it is re-elected in November, the Premier said.

Once the rail link is complete, Melburnians could bypass the city on their daily commute, with the loop linking the spokes in the city's 150-year-old radial train network.

The track will be built in stages. Construction works on the first section - a 25-kilometre section from Cheltenham to Clayton, Burwood and Box Hill - would start in 2022, and take about a decade to complete.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Thirty years? Experts say rail loop could be built in half the time

29 August 2018 — 5:30pm

Crossrail, a 118 kilometre rail line through London – 21 kilometres of it in underground tunnels – is due to open in December, 11 years after work began.

The Channel Tunnel, a 50 kilometre rail tunnel beneath the English Channel linking Britain with northern France was dug in six years.

And the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a 60-kilometre rail tunnel carved through the Swiss Alps took 17 years to complete.

So why will it take 28 years for a project of a similar scale to be bored beneath suburban Melbourne?

On Tuesday, the Andrews government announced that if it regains power in November's state election, it would build a 90 kilometre orbital rail line.

The $50 billion rail line – "the biggest public transport project in Australian history" – would be mostly underground, linking every major line from Cheltenham to Werribee.

The announcement came three months before the election, although the project itself would take many decades – until 2050 – to complete.

But engineers speaking to The Age suggested that the line, which would include five new stations in public transport-poor areas including Doncaster and at Monash Clayton, could be delivered in about half the projected time, with many suggesting 15 years was possible.

Some ventured 10 years.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture


New Rail Loop To Slash Travel Time And Connect Our Suburbs

29 August 2018

The Suburban Rail Loop will connect every Victorian to some of our biggest universities and TAFEs, and get people there faster than our road network.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined leaders from major universities and TAFEs to outline the benefits to students and the huge travel time savings the new underground rail line will bring.

The Suburban Rail Loop will be the biggest rail project in Australian history – connecting every major train line in Melbourne and providing a direct rail link to Melbourne Airport for the first time.

Trains will travel up to 130km/h through dedicated tunnels with no level crossings, no interaction with the existing network, and a dedicated fleet of rollingstock allowing trains to travel faster than ever before.

Expert modelling undertaken as part of planning for the project shows the trip from Cheltenham to Melbourne Airport will take 45 minutes – less time than it takes in the car. A trip from Box Hill to the airport through the tunnels could take just 25 minutes – saving people time, money and hassle when they fly.

The landmark project will connect Monash Clayton, Deakin Burwood and La Trobe Bundoora, with travel between Monash Clayton and La Trobe Bundoora taking just 25 minutes.

It will mean someone living in Broadmeadows can get to Monash Clayton in around 35 minutes – making studying or working at one of the world’s best universities a possible for many for the first time.

TAFEs will also be connected, including the Box Hill Institute, Melbourne Polytechnic in Heidelberg, and VU Polytechnic in Sunshine.

New super-hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine will connect regional passengers to the new line, giving them direct access to these education and jobs precincts, and opening up new opportunities for regional students.

The Suburban Rail Loop is projected to create more than 20,000 jobs during construction – including 2,000 apprentices, trainees and cadets employed through Labor’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee.

Labor will invest $300 million in a full business case, design, and pre-construction works, with work on the first section in Melbourne’s south east expected to begin by the end of 2022.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture


London calling: planning lessons for our $50-billion rail loop

6 October 2018 — 7:00pm Timna Jacks

Melbourne Surburban Rail Loop
Retail space at Bentleigh station lies vacant since the new station opened in 2016. DANIEL BOWEN

Libraries, schools, aged care units or green spaces should be built above and around new train stations in Melbourne’s middle suburbs as part of the $50 billion suburban loop, consultants say.

Premier Daniel Andrews wants “value capture” to help fund the 90-kilometre underground line, meaning he plans to sell the land and air rights on and around the project's 15 stations to private developers and put the profits back into the loop.

But previous attempts at developing housing and retail at suburban train stations have had limited success, drawing criticism from planners and public transport advocates.

Apartment towers planned over the railway in Windsor and Ormond have stalled due to local opposition. Store fronts at new stations in Bentleigh and McKinnon lie vacant since their opening in 2016.

Infrastructure consulting firm AECOM, which advised Transport for London on value capture for two major rail projects, said a lack of proper planning has led to these projects failing in Melbourne.

"If this is purely seen as a funding opportunity, so a plan to help fund infrastructure and doesn't go beyond that, it won't work," the firm's director of cities in Melbourne, Tim O'Loan said.

Rather than simply selling off valuable state-owned land to private developers, Mr O'Loan said the government should keep the land and take a hands-on approach to planning the station area's re-development.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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David Broadbent's picture

Interesting the "powers that be" that proport to plan the Infrastructure and run this State, and say they have the whole State's best interests at heart, still focus most Major Infrastructure around the Top of Port Phillip Bay ie to benefit Central Melbourne.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Doubt cast on suburban rail loop with workers to be linked to low-job areas
March 13, 2019 — 12.00am Timna Jacks

Melbourne Surburban Rail Loop
CITY TOTAL Average workforce growth (2011-2016) 2.3% Source: Grattan Institute

The massive suburban loop project at the centre of the Andrews government’s election win will not connect workers to jobs, a Grattan Institute analysis reveals.

The $50 billion suburban rail loop, connecting nearly every metropolitan train line in a ring around the city, would not achieve the key aim due to the low number of jobs in Melbourne’s middle suburbs, Grattan's transport program director Marion Terrill says.

The 90-kilometre, mostly underground rail line would connect existing train lines with universities, hospitals, shopping centres and the proposed airport train station.

The government hopes this will see Melbourne become a 'polycentric city', meaning that housing and jobs would cluster in locations outside of the CBD.

But Ms Terrill pointed to Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing jobs growth had been slow in suburbs surrounding many of the new stations.

Between 2011 and 2016, jobs growth in half of the suburban loop station suburbs was lower than the city-wide average of 2.3 per cent.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Don't get too excited about the suburban rail loop
March 12, 2019 Marion Terrill

The $50 billion suburban rail loop burst onto the scene last August, and Melburnians show every sign of loving it. Even if people don’t personally expect to use it, they still hope it will get other people off the roads.

But before you get too excited, consider whether this project is worth chewing up a generation’s worth of transport investment. There are plenty of reasons to be sceptical about this grand plan for a massive rail tunnel looping through the middle-ring suburbs.

First and foremost is whether the project is really needed. Melbourne is very car-dominated, with 72 per cent of people driving to work. While that figure is down from 77 per cent a decade ago, it’s still true that driving remains the most convenient option for most people. The new rail loop will encourage more people onto public transport only if it is as convenient as driving.

Will it get people to work more quickly? Contrary to popular belief, commute times in Melbourne have barely changed in the past 15 years, even in the face of record population growth. Half of us spend no more than half an hour getting to work; a quarter spend no more than 15 minutes, and 90 per cent spend no more than an hour. Getting to work was only marginally quicker in 2002 than in 2016. Instead of letting their commute times blow out, people make other changes: they move home, they change where they work; they work more from home; or they change their method of travel.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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