Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is a step closer to reality with the release of the business and investment case outlining how it will deliver more jobs, better services and access to housing as Victoria continues to grow.
The project aims to shape the future liveability, productivity and connectivity of the city, with the 90 kilometre rail line linking every major rail line from Frankston to Werribee via the airport, better connecting Victorians to jobs, retail, education, health services and each other.
Three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine will connect regional services, so passengers outside Melbourne won’t have to travel through the CBD to get to employment, hospitals and universities in the suburbs.
According to a Victorian Department of Transport statement, running more trains into the CBD would clog up the City Loop with an outdated hub-and-spoke train network.
“To maintain the way of life we’re renowned for, we need to reset how our state grows to give Victorians the opportunity to work near where they live and to keep our city moving,” it said.
The full business and investment case shows SRL will support 24,000 jobs across Victoria, and connect people to around 550,000 jobs in the precincts around the stations, with first trains expected to run in 2035.
It also reveals the project will take 600,000 car trips off roads every day, slash public transport travel times by an average of 40 minutes for a one-way trip, and stimulate $58.7 billion in economic, social and environmental benefits to the state.
Further, SRL East – between Cheltenham and Box Hill – and SRL North – from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport – will deliver up to $58.7 billion in economic, social and environmental benefits to the state.
SRL East will be completed in 2035 and, combined with the completion of SRL North, will create a major pipeline of work during delivery, attracting more than 160,000 additional jobs to the broader station precincts.
The rail line between Cheltenham and Melbourne Airport will carry more than 430,000 passengers daily, including 30,000 passengers to the airport, taking more than 600,000 car trips off our roads every day.
SRL East is expected to cost between $30 billion to $34.5 billion across 14 years, to be delivered by 2035.
The Victorian government intends to fund this project through a range of streams, including state and commonwealth contributions and a mix of value capture opportunities.
Community and stakeholder consultation has been under way since 2019, and people will continue to have opportunities for input, including as part of the formal planning and approvals processes.