Victoria’s $50 billion suburban rail loop will run on its own line with dedicated trains.
The 90-kilometre rail ring will be a seperate twin-tunnel line to be integrated into the existing public transport network, the state government announced on Sunday.
“The suburban rail loop will be a dedicated line with dedicated trains – and it will change the way our city and state moves forever,” Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said.
It means the existing network won’t need to have the new technology retrofitted, and the train design won’t be held back by the city’s century-old train network.
The trains will be smaller – four to five carriages long – allowing them to run more often and faster than the existing fleet.
The loop will connect to an airport rail and create three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine.
Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said the government was quiet about the cost of the rail loop and where it needed to put the stations.
“It’s a train that has got no deadline and no financial costs written down,” he said.
The geotechnical work is underway between route from Box Hill to Cheltenham, and will be used to determine the final alignment, station locations and how it’ll be built.
Building works are expected to start in late 2022 and finish by 2051.