Five years after it was first announced, tunnelling for the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is finally on track to go ahead. This massive project will be a 90-kilometre rail line around Melbourne, linking every major line from Werribee to Frankston via the airport. And now, the Victorian government has signed the first tunnelling contract for SRL East. A consortium of tunnelling companies will begin the build with 16 kilometres of twin tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley. Tunnelling on the Suburban Rail Loop will start in 2026.
Suburban Rail Loop
The $3.6 billion contract will be delivered by CPB Contractors, Ghella and Acciona Construction. The project will create six new underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill.
“We are full steam ahead with the Suburban Rail Loop,” said Premier Jacinta Allan. “By 2026, tunnel boring machines will be in the ground and Victorians will be hard at work delivering a project that will slash travel times and transform our transport system.”
The other bidders for the contract will now compete for the second tunnelling package between Glen Waverley and Box Hill. That contract will be awarded in 2024.
This line from Cheltenham to Box Hill is currently known as SRL East. Trains are expected to run by 2035. While the immediate focus of the project is on SRL East, planning and development for SRL North (Box Hill to Melbourne Airport via Broadmeadows) and SRL West (Sunshine to Werribee) continues.
To learn more about the project, click here.