The Victorian Government has awarded a $215 million contract to begin the $2.1 billion upgrade of the Sunbury line ahead of the opening of the Metro Tunnel.
John Holland, CPB Contractors and AECOM will team up with Metro Trains Melbourne on the initial package of works, which will extend platforms, boost accessibility and build new stabling at stations along the line.
The state said site investigations for the platform extensions and stabling yards will start in late August.
This first package of works awarded on August 10 is the first under the Sunbury Line Upgrade program, funded in the forward estimates of the 2018/19 state budget.
Overall the upgrade program covers platform extensions at every station between Sunbury and Footscray, wheelchair boarding platforms at eight stations, traction power upgrades and improvements to train stabling at Sunbury, Calder Park and Watergardens.
The project is designed to facilitate the operation of a fleet of 65 new high-capacity metro trains (HCMTs) to run all the way to Sunbury once the Metro Tunnel is opened in 2025.
The tunnel will connect the Sunbury line under the CBD with the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, freeing up capacity across the wider network. Platform extensions are necessary for the new HCMTs, which will be 20 per cent larger than the current trains on the metropolitan network.
Victorian transport minister Jacinta Allan said with the contract signed, the first package of works would begin within weeks.
“We’re not wasting a moment delivering these vital upgrades, which will pave the way for new, high-capacity trains on the Sunbury line,” Allan said. “Sunbury passengers will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the Metro Tunnel and new high-capacity trains – and this project is a critical part of delivering those benefits.”