10th September 2018
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has promised a major upgrade to Melbourne train services if re-elected in November 2018.
Last week, the premier announced plans for the “Suburban Rail Loop”, the biggest public transport project in Australian history.
The $50 billion public transport project will duplicate eight kilometres of underground tunnels to connect all existing major rail lines with Doncaster and Melbourne Airport.
The labour party has committed $300 million for planning.
The major upgrade will carry 400,000 commuters a day and allow trains to run every 10 minutes during peak times.
"This is the longest single track on Melbourne's metropolitan network. The problem is with a single track it causes congestion, it causes delays and it means you can't run more services ... that's why the project we are announcing is needed," said Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan.
“If one train is delayed even for one minute the whole network, the whole system, finishes up disrupted,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
By duplicating the underground tunnels, the project will reduce bottlenecks and aim to take 200,000 vehicles off the Victorian roads.
“It will change the way people move around, and connect with each other,” Ms Allen said.
Planned stops include, Glen Waverley, Werribee, Bundoora, Cheltenham, Box Hill, Melbourne Airport, and Heidelberg. Along with three “super hubs” that will better connect regional Victorian commuters at Broadmeadows, Clayton and Sunshine.
"We'll be looking to provide the fastest service possible at the best possible value for Victorians and those who visit us from interstate and overseas," Mr Andrews said.
The project is set to create over 20,000 jobs and will begin construction in 2021. The completion date is estimated to be 2051.
“I won’t be the Premier when this project is finished,” Mr Andrews said.
“It’s exactly what the country’s fastest-growing city needs.”