A plan to build a 90km underground rail loop connecting Melbourne’s western and eastern suburbs with the airport and all major train lines, has been unveiled by the Labor government of the state of Victoria.
The government said construction on the link would start in 2022.
Daniel Andrews, the prime minister of Victoria (pictured), announced the US$37bn scheme with a Facebook video. He said on the clip that the government has spent the past four years removing level crossings, building the metro tunnel and fixing roads, "now we’ll embark on the project we’ll need for tomorrow – the biggest public transformation in Victorian history".
The planned route of the Suburban Rail Loop (Government of Victoria)
The line, which is being described as the "Suburban Rail Loop" will run between Cheltenham and Werribee via Melbourne Airport, and will include 12 stations.
The scheme would provide a lateral connection between suburbs, avoiding the need to enter the city centre, and would link the city’s Monash, Deakin and La Trobe universities.
Some of the cost of the project will be met through capturing some of the uplift in property values brought by the rail link.
Image: Daniel Andrews (Government of Victoria)