Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Works underway at all suburban rail loop stations

Construction is now underway at all six station sites on the first stage of the Suburban Rail Loop project, in anticipation for tunneling to begin in 2026.

Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Suburban Rail Loop Danny Pearson visited the tunnel boring machine launch site in Burwood to meet workers on the project and announce that works are getting underway at all sites.

The team of almost 1,000 currently working to deliver the project have already clocked more than five million hours on site.

Works on the first tunnel access structure in Heatherton will begin this week, while in Box Hill, crews will also soon start work on a temporary bridge to keep traffic moving while the project tunnels underneath Whitehorse Rd.

Minister for Suburban Rail Loop Danny Pearson spoke about the loop.

“This project will take almost an hour off a student’s commute from Frankston to Australia’s largest University,” he said.

“Anyone threatening to board up the tunnel and give up on the project halfway through construction is saying these jobs don’t matter, these travel time savings don’t matter, and these communities don’t matter.”

Early works in Cheltenham are also underway, with crews in Glen Waverley, Clayton and Monash University continuing to relocate utilities and other services in preparation for construction of the underground stations.

With the first tunnelling contract to build tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley awarded last year, detailed survey works will continue throughout 2024.

The contract for the tunnels between Glen Waverley and Box Hill will be awarded later this year, while two consortia have also been shortlisted to build the trains and signalling system, and to operate the network.

In total, construction of SRL between Cheltenham and Box Hill will create 8,000 direct jobs as it delivers six new underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill – slashing travel times and congestion and connecting people to new housing, employment and health and education services.

At least 10 per cent of all hours to be worked on the project will be delivered by cadets, apprentices and trainees.

The draft Suburban Rail Loop Precinct Visions released in December have already received more than 2,000 responses from communities having their say on how their neighborhoods can benefit.

The project is backed by an $11.8 billion investment by the Labor Government and a $2.2 billion investment from the Albanese Labor Government.