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Plans updated for Suburban Rail Loop

New details about Victoria’s Suburban Rail Loop have emerged, with the Victorian Government announcing it will be a twin-tunnel standalone line with a dedicated fleet of high-tech trains.

The tunnels will be built as a separate rail line to allow the loop to use new systems without needing to retrofit technology into the existing network to save time and money.

As a result of being a dedicated line, the design of the trains will not be limited by Melbourne’s 100-year-old rail network. This means the new trains will be shorter, with around four to five carriages, and faster than the existing fleet. By being smaller, the trains could provide more services and platforms would be shorter, reducing the distance passengers need to walk at each station.

“A year ago, Victorians voted for the Suburban Rail Loop and we haven’t wasted a moment getting on with it,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

“This standalone line with purpose-built trains will fully integrate into our public transport network and deliver ‘turn-up-and-go’ services – better connecting people to jobs, education and each other.”

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It follows 12 months of technical, planning and design work, with drilling having commenced as part of the preconstruction phase of works.

14 boreholes have been dug as part of preconstruction works on the Stage One route from Box Hill to Cheltenham, with close to 100 to be drilled by mid-2020.

Information collected by the drilling will help to determine the final alignment and station locations, and how it will be built.

The Suburban Rail Loop is planned to be a 90-kilometres rail ring that connects every major metropolitan rail line in Melbourne and to make it quicker to move around the city. Passengers will be able to transfer across both the above ground rail network and the underground rail loop, with the same ticketing system to service both networks.

Community and industry consultation is set to increase in 2020, with construction of Stage One of the Rail Look expected to begin in 2022.

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