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Key details of VIC transport plan announced

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Victorian premier John Brumby has released key details for four major projects in the Victorian Transport Plan (VTP), though three of these are yet to receive the federal funding needed for project go-ahead. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry</p><p>Brumby unveiled the routes for four major VTP projects, including the $4.3bn Regional Rail Link and the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.</p><p>While Brumby said the release of the plans demonstrated the government’s continued commitment to deliver the VTP, the Regional Rail Link was the only project announced that has secured the necessary federal funding for it to go ahead.</p><p>The Regional Rail Link was the big winner in Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) first priority list of priority infrastructure projects last year and received $3.2bn in federal funding.</p><p>The Melbourne Metro rail tunnel , under the guidance of IA, also received $40m in the 2009 budget for pre-construction work and feasibility.</p><p>In IA’s recent infrastructure report, the project made it to the &quothighest ranking&quot category of projects, &quotready to proceed&quot, a spokesperson for Victoria’s Department of Transport told <em>Rail Express.</em></p><p>&quotThe only other rail project listed at that level was a $28m tram study in Melbourne,&quot the spokesperson said, adding that the government was obviously pleased with this result.</p><p>However, unlike it’s first report in 2009, IA’s recent report did not allocate actual money to projects.</p><p>The Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel has an estimated cost of more than $4.5bn.</p><p>The project will&nbspsee a&nbspnew rail tunnel between Dynon in the west and St Kilda Road near Domain. It is proposed to have&nbspunderground stops connecting to Melbourne Central and Flinders Street, and will provide an easy interchange point to access new stations in North Melbourne, Parkville, and St Kilda Road in order to&nbsp relieve pressure on trams in Swanston Street and St Kilda Road.</p><p>Upon releasing the key details for the projects last week, Brumby said funding has been allocated for more than $10bn worth of transport projects.</p><p>Key details announced included alignment for the Regional Rail Link along the existing rail reservation, including designs for extra tracks through Footscray and details of new tender packages for construction and five new station locations and the preferred route for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, including details of the new underground Arden station in North Melbourne.<br /><br />&nbsp</p>