Australia’s Victoria Government has committed A$2.2bn ($1.61bn) for early works on Stage One of the Suburban Rail Loop project.
The funding was announced by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop Jacinta Allan.
The Suburban Rail Loop project is said to be the biggest rail project ever undertaken in the state. The 90km rail line will form a ring through Melbourne’s middle suburbs, connecting every major rail service from the Frankston line to the Werribee line.
Comprising six new stations, the first stage of the project will run between Cheltenham and Box Hill.
The new state funding will support land acquisition, road and power supply upgrades, construction of sub-stations, relocation of utilities, and other tasks before major construction work commences.
The early works are slated to begin in 2022 and will create up to 800 direct jobs.
Premier Daniel Andrews said: “This is the biggest infrastructure project in Victoria’s history, and it will play a big role in getting our state back on track. Delivering a world-class public transport system – and creating tens of thousands of jobs for Victorians.
“This investment will pave the way for major construction on the Suburban Rail Loop. We promised to deliver this project and we’re delivering on that promise.”
The expressions of interest (EOI) for the initial and early works package of Stage One is slated to be released by the end of the year.
Victoria recently carried out maintenance works on three regional lines to improve services.
The work programme involved rehabilitation works on along the Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca lines.