Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) – Melbourne’s biggest infrastructure investment

Melbourne

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The Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) will be a new 90 km railway line that will change the way people travel around Melbourne.

Victoria is expected to grow to 11.2 million people by 2056 and Greater Melbourne will reach around nine million people – a global city around the same size as London today.

Three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine will connect regional services, so passengers outside Melbourne won’t have to travel through the CBD to get to employment, world-class hospitals and universities in the suburbs.

SRL will be completed progressively over several decades. SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be open to passengers by 2035. Construction starts in 2022, with Initial and Early Works for SRL East creating up to 800 early direct jobs and paving the way for major construction and many thousands of jobs. SRL East is expected to cost between $30.0 to $34.5 billion. SRL East will deliver 26km twin tunnels and 6 underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill. 

The works will enable launch sites to be prepared for tunnel boring machines and will include upgrades to road and power supply, building new sub-stations, and relocating gas, water and other utilities.

Tunnelling and Construction 

Suburban Rail Loop has attracted interest from global leaders in tunnelling and construction, with submissions received from 5 world-class bidders to build the twin tunnels for SRL East.

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) have now closed for the 2 tunnelling contracts – the first between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley – the longest tunnelling package in Victoria’s history – and the second between Glen Waverley and Box Hill.

The 5 bidders include companies with track records delivering iconic projects both locally and internationally. They are:

  • Bouygues Construction Australia Pty Ltd
  • CPB Contractors Pty Limited and Ghella Pty Ltd and Acciona Construction Australia Pty Ltd
  • John Holland Pty Ltd and Gamuda Berhad trading as Gamuda (Australia) Branch
  • Samsung C&T Corporation and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co, Ltd
  • Webuild S.p.A and GS Engineering and Construction Australia Pty Ltd

Three bidders will move through to a Request for Proposal process later this year, and from there, 2 will be awarded tunnelling contracts – the first to be announced next year.

SRL North from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport and SRL West from Melbourne Airport to Werribee are currently in planning.

SRL Suburban-Rail-Loop

Suburban Rail Loop North

Box Hill to Melbourne Airport

SRL North will create 5,100 direct local jobs during construction, with up to 24,000 jobs across Victoria being supported to deliver both SRL East and SRL North. Strategic development, major investment, and new local projects surrounding SRL North stations will also help more jobs and housing in SRL Precincts. This will ease traffic congestion, reduce public transportation travel times, and improve all Victorians’ access to employment and services across Melbourne.

Seven new stations are proposed for SRL North at Doncaster, Heidelberg, Bundoora, Reservoir, Fawkner, Broadmeadows, and Melbourne Airport, connecting SRL North to Melbourne Airport Rail. Station and precinct locations are preliminary and will be confirmed as the planning and development of SRL North progresses.

Broadmeadows is set to become a transport superhub, with trains travelling in 4 directions – providing faster access to destinations around Melbourne, particularly for people travelling along the Hume corridor. By 2056, 8500 regional passengers will travel through the superhub station each day, and more than half of all passengers travelling on Hume corridor services will interchange at Broadmeadows.

SRL North will deliver better access to tertiary education, employment and business opportunities across Melbourne’s middle suburbs and will give many Victorians a direct connection to Melbourne Airport for the first time. The new rail line will slash public transport travel time from Broadmeadows to the airport by almost half, and journeys will be more accessible, reliable and more comfortable – particularly for those travelling with luggage.

SRL trains will be fitted out with convenient and secure luggage compartments. Better connections to the airport will also improve travel between regional, interstate and international markets. This will expand opportunities and boost the business and tourism potential of regional Victoria.

While SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill is the immediate focus for delivery, early planning and development on SRL North and SRL West continue, with opportunities for construction to start while SRL East is being delivered. SRL North will be complete by 2053.

Source: SRL North – Victoria’s Big Build 

Suburban Rail Loop West 

Melbourne Airport to Werribee

SRL West from Melbourne Airport to Werribee will build on the major road and rail projects already being delivered in the west to provide faster and more convenient travel and improve access to jobs and services in the middle suburbs.

SRL West will better connect people to critical educational, health and employment opportunities in Melbourne’s west, including the thriving Sunshine precinct, Victoria University, Sunshine Hospital and the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

A significant infrastructure program of work is underway in Melbourne’s west. Together with SRL West, the Metro TunnelMelbourne Airport RailGeelong Fast Rail, and Sunbury Line Upgrade will transform train travel, making getting to work, school and health services quicker and easier.

These projects will reduce congestion, cut travel times and provide more trains on every train line in the western suburbs. SRL West will tap into and enhance the transport superhub at Sunshine, which is now underway as part of Melbourne Airport Rail.

While SRL East (Cheltenham to Box Hill) is the immediate focus for delivery, early planning and development on SRL North and SRL West continue. Transport infrastructure projects are being coordinated to ensure SRL to Werribee can be delivered as quickly as possible.

Source: SRL West – Victoria’s Big Build 

Suburban Rail Loop East

Cheltenham to Box Hill

As a standalone 26km underground rail line integrated with our existing public transport network, SRL East includes new underground stations at CheltenhamClaytonMonashGlen WaverleyBurwood and Box Hill.

The Suburban Rail Loop East from Cheltenham to Box Hill (SRL) will link Melbourne’s east and southeast neighbourhoods, creating many jobs, health, education, and retail outlets. It will also slash travel times, create more public spaces, enable more direct journeys for regional Victorians and enhance walking, cycling and green spaces. The Gippsland line will be connected, reducing travel times, and up to 8000 local jobs will be created. Construction will begin in June 2022, and trains will run as of 2035.

When the SRL East commences in 2036, SRL East precincts will be home to 192,500 jobs, up from 120,500 in 2018, and 73,000 households, up from 48,500 in 2018.

Cheltenham underground station

The new Cheltenham station will be the southern gateway to the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) network, providing faster and more convenient public transportation to critical locations across Melbourne’s suburbs.

It will improve access to nearby employment areas and connect more people to one of Melbourne’s major retail and entertainment hubs, Southland Shopping Centre. Connecting to the existing Southland Station will also provide a convenient connection for Frankston line passengers to Monash, Deakin and La Trobe universities.

The SRL East project between Cheltenham and Box Hill will be complete by 2035, helping transform our public transport system and delivering enormous social and economic benefits to the local community. A trip between Cheltenham and Box Hill will take just 22 minutes, and a journey between Cheltenham and Clayton will take less than 10 minutes.

Connecting Cheltenham to the loop

The new station platform will sit around 17m below ground, with a single station entrance facing Bay Road.

The 2-level underground station will include a concourse level and an island platform below with escalators and lifts for passengers. Ticketing and customer facilities will also be located on the concourse level.

A new bus interchange off Bay Road will make it more convenient to access bus services, with accessible pickup and drop-off areas, taxi bays and undercover bicycle parking nearby.

Re-purposed open space will be delivered as part of the station plaza area with a new pedestrian and cycling overpass across Bay Road connecting the station precinct to Southland Shopping Centre and Southland Station.

About 8000 passengers are projected to use the SRL station at Cheltenham daily when trains start running in 2035, with about 2700 people interchanging with Frankston Line services.

Cheltenham station construction

Construction works for the SRL station at Cheltenham will be staged carefully to ensure safety and minimise disruption to the surrounding community.

Construction stages and activities include:

  • Early works involving demolition of existing structures, earthworks to prepare the site and utility relocations.
  • Excavation of the station box to create an open trench and use bottom-up construction to build internal structures.
  • Structural works include the station entrance, above-ground structures, and mechanical and electrical fit-out.
  • Construction of the pedestrian and cycling overpass on Bay Road. The overpass structure will be assembled offsite and installed using a crane.
  • Station completion, including any road and path upgrades, incorporation of public open space and planting and landscaping.

Clayton Underground Station

The new underground station at Clayton will become a major interchange, with trains travelling in 4 different directions, providing faster and more convenient transport to key destinations across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The transport superhub will cater to more than 90,000 transfers a day by 2056. It will connect to metropolitan and regional train services on the Cranbourne/Pakenham and Gippsland Lines – improving access to leading medical research and hospitals in the growing health precinct.

Connecting Clayton to the Loop

The new station at Clayton will be located north of Carinish Road and the existing Clayton Metro station. The underground SRL station will have two levels and be fully accessible for all passengers via lifts and escalators. This station is proposed to have two entrances – east and west of Clayton Road – and passengers will be able to interchange with the existing Clayton Station easily.

The new station platform will sit around 18m below ground, with two entrances, one east of Clayton Road in the Remembrance Gardens and one west of Clayton Road near the existing station. The 2-level underground station will include a concourse level and an island platform below with escalators and lifts for passengers. Ticketing and customer facilities will also be located on the concourse level.

A new elevated walkway will connect directly with the existing Clayton Station, with accessible pickup and drop-off areas, taxi bays and bicycle parking nearby. New pedestrian and cycling paths between Madeleine Street and Monash Medical Centre will improve safety in the area and connect with the Djerring Trail.

About 15,000 passengers are projected to use the SRL station at Clayton daily when trains start running in 2035, with about 10,000 people interchanging with the Cranbourne/Pakenham line and regional services.

Clayton station construction

Construction stages and activities include:

  • Initial works (outside the scope of the EES) to prepare the site, such as utility relocations.
  • Early works involving demolition of existing structures, earthworks to prepare the site and utility relocations.
  • Protection works to safeguard the existing elevated rail line during SRL East construction activities.
  • Excavation of the station box and construction of diaphragm walls to create an open trench and using bottom-up construction to build internal structures.
  • Structural works include station entrances, above-ground ruptures, and mechanical and electrical fit-out.
  • Station completion, including any road and path upgrades, incorporation of public open space and planting and landscaping.

Monash underground station

The new station at Monash will connect more people to Melbourne’s most significant employment and innovation hub outside the CBD – providing students, employees and visitors with a direct train connection to the area for the first time.

Along with an interchange for bus services and local road improvements, the station will improve access to world-class education, health and research facilities, delivering essential transport connections to the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster.

The new train station at Monash will be located north of Monash University, between Normanby and Ferntree Gully roads. The underground station will have two levels and be fully accessible for all passengers via lifts and escalators.

Two entrances are proposed, with a southern entrance providing a connection to Monash University and northern access providing a link to the industrial and business precinct.

About 9000 passengers are projected to use the SRL station at Monash daily when trains start running in 2035.

Connecting Monash to the Loop

The new station platform will sit around 20m below ground with two station entrances, one facing north towards Ferntree Gully Road and a southern entrandoorted towards Monash University.

New pedestrian and cycling paths will connect the station precinct to Monash University and nearby employment areas.

Above-ground buildings at the station will accommodate bicycle parking and potential retail tenancies. They will also house essential rail operations and systems equipment, including emergency and safety infrastructure.

Monash station construction 

Construction stages and activities include:

  • Initial works (outside the scope of the EES) to prepare the site, such as utility relocations.
  • Early works involving demolition of existing structures, earthworks to prepare the site and utility relocations.
  • Early works will also involve modifications to road intersections, excavation and construction of tunnel access shafts, and a temporary power supply substation to support tunnelling activities.
  • Excavation of the station box and construction of diaphragm walls to create an open trench and using bottom-up construction to build internal structures.
  • Structural works, including the station entrances and above ground, above-ground structures, and electrical fit-out.
  • Station completion, including any road and path upgrades, incorporation of public open space and planting and landscaping.

Two tunnel access shafts would be located at the SRL station site at Monash to facilitate tunnelling between Clayton and Glen Waverley.

Glen Waverly underground station

The new underground station at Glen Waverley will be one of the most well-connected on the metropolitan network – connecting more people to the heart of the vibrant shopping and hospitality district.

It will provide a critical transport link to the Glen Waverley Line, providing faster and more convenient access for locals and students to universities, employment and hospitals to the north and south of Glen Waverley.

Connecting Glen Waverly to the Loop

The SRL East station at Glen Waverley will make it easier for people to access retail, restaurants, entertainment and employment nearby and travel to Melbourne’s other middle suburbs.

The new station platform will sit around 17m below ground, with a single station entrance oriented towards Coleman Parade and the existing Glen Waverley Station.

The 2-level underground station will include a concourse level and an island platform below with escalators and lifts for passengers. Ticketing and customer facilities will also be located on the concourse level.

A new station plaza opposite Coleman Parade will enable passengers to connect with bus services and other surface transport options easily.

There will also be accessible pickup and drop-off areas, taxi bays and undercover bicycle parking nearby.

New pedestrian laneways and cycling paths will make it easier to move around and access Kingsway and the Glen Waverley Activity Centre.

Glen Waverly station construction

Construction stages and activities include:

  • Initial works (outside the scope of the EES) to prepare the site, such as utility relocations.
  • Early works involving demolition of existing structures, earthworks and utility relocations to prepare the site.
  • Works to realign Myrtle Street between Coleman Parade and Montclair Avenue.
  • Excavation of the station box to create an open trench and use bottom-up construction to build internal structures.
  • Structural works include station entrances, above-ground structures, and mechanical and electrical fit-out.
  • Station completion, including any road and path upgrades, incorporation of public open space and planting and landscaping.

Burwood underground station

The new underground station at Burwood will deliver better access to one of Australia’s most prominent universities for thousands of staff and students and connect locals to Melbourne’s train network – providing faster and more convenient access to key destinations across Melbourne.

A new tram stop outside the Burwood Highway station near Deakin University will make interchanges quick and easy, providing a new rail connection for local workers, students and residents.

A journey between Cheltenham and Burwood will take less than 20 minutes, meaning future students commuting from Cheltenham to Deakin University will save 40 to 60 minutes on a return journey.

The new station at Burwood will be located adjacent to Deakin University and close to the Gardiners Creek Trail and Burwood Highway, providing a direct connection to Deakin University. The underground station will have two levels and be fully accessible for all passengers via lifts and escalators. The station will open towards Burwood Highway and the route 75 tram.

Connecting Burwood to the Loop

The new station platform will sit around 18m below ground, with a single station entrance facing Burwood Highway.

The 2-level underground station will include a concourse level and an island platform below with escalators and lifts for passengers. Ticketing and customer facilities will also be located on the concourse level.

A new bus interchange adjacent to the station entrance will make it more convenient to access bus services, with accessible pickup and drop-off areas, taxi bays and undercover bicycle parking nearby.

A new pedestrian overpass across Burwood Highway will provide safe, uninterrupted connectivity between the station and Deakin University and improve links to Gardiners Creek trail and nearby schools.

Gardiners Creek and associated parklands will be enhanced with the naturalisation of the existing concrete-lined channel and landscape improvements adjacent to the station.

Burwood station construction

Construction stages and activities include:

  • Initial works (outside the scope of the EES) to prepare the site, such as utility relocations.
  • Early works involving the demolition of existing structures, earthworks to prepare the site, flood management measures and establishment of tunnel access shafts.
  • Ground support and excavation of the station box to create an open trench and using bottom-up construction to build the internal structures.
  • Structural works include the station entrance, above-ground structures, and mechanical and electrical fit-out.
  • Construction of the pedestrian overpass across Burwood Highway. The overpass structure will be assembled offsite and installed using a crane.
  • Station completion, including any road and path upgrades, incorporation of public open space and planting and landscaping.

Two tunnel access shafts would be located at the SRL station site at Burwood to facilitate tunnelling between Glen Waverley and Box Hill.

Box Hill underground station

The new underground Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) station at Box Hill will be one of the busiest and most well-connected stations on the metropolitan network – making it easier and faster to access the area’s thriving retail, education and health services.

The station will provide a convenient connection to Box Hill Station on the Belgrave/Lilydale Line. It will integrate with local tram and bus services – connecting more people to jobs, health services and study opportunities in one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing education and medical precincts.

SRL East between Cheltenham and Box Hill will be complete by 2035, helping transform our public transport system and delivering enormous social and economic benefits to the local community. A trip between Cheltenham and Box Hill will take just 22 minutes, with locals saving an average of 40 minutes on a one-way journey between SRL East stations.

The station will be located in the heart of the Box Hill activity centre, north of the existing Box Hill Station. The underground station will have two levels and be fully accessible for all passengers via lifts and escalators.

Proposed station entrances include a southern entrance at Main and Market streets and a northern entrance at Whitehorse Road.

Connecting Box Hill to the Loop 

The new station platform will sit around 23m below ground with two station entrances at Market Street and Whitehorse Road.

The 2-level underground station will include a concourse level and an island platform below with escalators and lifts for passengers. Ticketing and customer facilities will also be located on the concourse level.

At surface level, passengers can quickly transfer to the existing Box Hill Station from the Market Street entrance connecting them to broader rail and bus services.

There will also be accessible pickup and drop-off areas, taxi bays and bicycle parking nearby.

Whitehorse Road will be realigned between Nelson Road and Linsley Street to the northern side of the road reserve with two traffic lanes in each direction. Whitehorse Road will be further enhanced with a new public open space between Market Street and Station Street and a pedestrian promenade linking Whitehorse Road to Box Hill Gardens.

Box Hill station construction

Construction stages and activities include:

  • Initial works (outside the scope of the EES) to prepare the site, such as utility relocations.
  • Early works involving demolition of existing structures, earthworks to prepare the site, and works to relocate the 109 tram terminus.
  • Early Works will also involve building a temporary bridging structure over the station box area to allow Whitehorse Road to be realigned.
  • Ground support and excavation of the station box to create an open trench and use bottom-up construction to build internal structures.
  • Structural works include the station entrance, above-ground structures, and mechanical and electrical fit-out.
  • Station completion, including any road and path upgrades, incorporation of public open space and planting and landscaping.
  • As Box Hill is the end of the line for SRL East, a drought relief structure is being considered.
    This structure would be built on the station’s northern side, allowing air to escape as the train approaches, reducing air speed and pressure, to make the platforms more comfortable for passengers. The need for this structure would be determined during the detailed design phase.

Source: SRL East – Victoria’s Big Build 

Managing impacts across the SRL East

A range of measures will minimise and address implications for businesses and residents, similar to what has been done successfully for other recent major infrastructure projects in Melbourne.

Measures include:

  • Developing and implementing a construction traffic management plan to minimise disruption to traffic, parking, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  • Monitoring dust and air quality in line with Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria requirements and adapting site practices to protect air quality.
  • Removing and disposing of excavated soil by relevant legislation and implementing specific measures as required.
  • Offsetting the removal of trees and vegetation from Sir William Fry Reserve, including measures to double the amount of tree canopy impacted by construction and retain trees along Bay Road.
  • Working with key stakeholders to identify and manage any potential impacts on sensitive equipment in health and research precincts and applying at-source design measures to minimise electromagnetic interference (EMI) during the new rail line operation.
  • Providing advance notice of construction impacts, including changed traffic conditions and periods of potential high noise and vibration activities.
  • Commissioning property condition surveys by our contractors before construction begins to record the existing condition of buildings and residences near tunnels and construction sites.

The Suburban Rail Loop Authority has prepared Business and Residential Support Guidelines, which include specific measures to support businesses and residents who may be impacted during the construction of SRL East.

Source: Suburban Rail Loop – Victoria’s Big Build Copyright © 2022, State Government of Victoria, Australia

Image source: Copyright © 2022, State Government of Victoria, Australia.

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