$9.3bn new funding committed to deliver VIC Suburban Rail Loop East

Monica Gameng   |   November 29, 2021
Suburban Rail Loop (cr: Victoria's Big Build)

Victoria’s largest transport infrastructure will begin major construction next year following the announcement of a $9.3 billion funding investment from the Victorian Government to get the gear moving on Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East. 

The significant investment boost will not only deliver works on this project, but will also create up to 8,000 direct jobs. 

“We told the Victorian community we will get this project started – and we’re getting on with it. 

“The Suburban Rail Loop is not just a rail line – it delivers opportunities for Victorians to live close to work, more access to education and services and supports thousands of new jobs at a time our state needs them most,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. 

SRL East – between Cheltenham and Box Hill – will deliver a 26-kilometre twin rail tunnels along with six underground stations located at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill. The investment will also deliver new community projects and initiatives in the areas surrounding the stations. 

Once up and running, SRL East will connect Victorians to major employment as well as health, education and retail precincts in Melbourne’s east and south east. In addition, the line will improve travel times and provide connections to commuters travelling on the Gippsland corridor. 

Those travelling from Melbourne’s south east will be able to experience faster journeys with the new underground line. Trains are expected to take 3-4 minutes to travel between stations and travelling between Cheltenham and Box Hill to only take 22 minutes. 

The announcement of the new funding injection gives certainty to the delivery of the project and paves the way for procurement for main works packages to commence next year. 

“As Victoria starts to open up, Suburban Rail Loop is an exciting development for people in Box Hill and for the thousands of students here at Box Hill Institute, one of Victoria’s oldest TAFEs,” Box Hill Institute CEO and Managing Director Vivienne King said. 

In addition to the new funding announcement, the contract for the first phase of works has also been awarded to Laing O’Rourke. 

The $500 million contract will get the contractor to deliver Initial Works and Early Works on SRL East, supporting up to 800 early direct jobs. Scope of this contract include preparing sites where the tunnel boring machines are going to be launched, relocation and protection of underground services, ground improvement works, geotechnical investigations and road modifications. 

“We're not wasting a minute on this vital project which will play a big role in our economic recovery – we've signed the contract to deliver Initial and Early Works on SRL East and we’ll be in the ground next year with up to 800 early jobs created,” Suburban Rail Loop Minister Jacinta Allan said. 

For this project, Laing O’Rourke is committed to provide opportunities for local industries and suppliers with an agreement to deliver over 95 per cent local content. This commitment also includes about 14 per cent of total work hours to be undertaken by apprentices, trainees and cadets. 

Opportunities will also be provided to women as well as Aboriginal and disadvantaged Victorians. 

Construction on SRL East will begin in 2022 and is due to be completed in 2035. 

“Laing O’Rourke is delighted to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver SRL East Initial Works and Early Works. As well as clearing the way for the main works, we will also provide new opportunities for Victorians to be involved in this city-shaping project and we appreciate the trust placed in us to deliver great outcomes for the community,” Laing O’Rourke Australia Managing Director Cathal O’Rourke said. 

SRL-map-homepage-1280-6-10-2021Suburban Rail Loop map (source: Victoria's Big Build)

The entire Suburban Rail Loop development will deliver a 90-kilometre rail line that will connect every major rail line from the Frankston Line to the Werribee Line via Melbourne Airport. 

This massive infrastructure project will also build three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine to link regional services and allow passengers from outside Melbourne to bypass the CBD to get to employment, health and education precincts in the suburbs. 

Suburban Rail Loop is going to be built in three sections, namely: 

  • SRL East – Cheltenham to Box Hill 
  • SRL North – Box Hill to Melbourne Airport 
  • SRL West – Melbourne Airport to Werribee 

The Business and Investment case for this development highlights that SRL East and SRL North will deliver $58.7 billion in economic as well as social and environmental benefits, and support approximately 24,000 local jobs. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Victoria’s Big Build – Suburban Rail Loop (1, 2, 3, 4); Infrastructure Magazine; Laing O’Rourke; Global Construction Review; Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline (1, 2)

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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