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Transport & Logistics

Project update on Suburban Rail Loop

3 Jun 2024, by Amy Sarcevic

Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is a 90 kilometre orbital rail loop linking every major train service from the Frankston line in Melbourne’s south east to the Werribee line in the west, via Melbourne Airport.

The turn-up-and-go service will ensure a high speed train up to every two minutes during peak hours; while three transport super hubs – at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine – will connect regional passengers to the network.

Frankie Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of the Suburban Rail Loop Authority (SRLA) says the infrastructure will ensure passengers outside of Melbourne won’t have to travel through the CBD to reach employment, hospitals and universities in the middle suburbs. It will also shape how Melbourne grows, delivering more housing where people want to live.

“We need more public transport in strategic locations – we can’t keep growing further out, forcing people to live further from jobs and opportunities. As an integrated transport and planning project, SRL will deliver both rail and greater housing diversity in our suburbs – attracting thousands more homes, jobs and services to the doorstep of great public transport.”

Stage 1 – SRL East

The first stage of the project, SRL East – which includes six new underground stations linked by 26 kilometre twin tunnels – has been under construction since 2022, and is powering ahead this year. Construction is underway at all six station sites and the stabling facility in Heatherton.

With stations at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill, SRL East will open up access to key employment, health, education and retail destinations in Melbourne’s east and south, delivering direct train services for the first time to the doorstep of Monash and Deakin universities.

Construction of SRL East is also creating up to 8,000 direct jobs, with more than 1200 people already working on the project. Tunnelling will start in 2026, with trains taking passengers by 2035.

Mr Carroll said the project is a key part of the Victorian government’s plan to tackle housing and population challenges, with a vision for 70,000 more homes in the areas around SRL East stations.

“By the 2050s, Melbourne will have a population of nearly 9 million – a city catching up with the size London is today – and we need to plan for that growth to ensure Melbourne remains one of the world’s most liveable cities.
“SRL East will transform the public transport system and help shape the way Melbourne grows in the decades ahead.”


SRLA is working with local councils, stakeholders and the community “every step of the way” throughout the planning and delivery of SRL, with proposed changes in land use and indicative building heights now open for public feedback.

Additionally, the project has attracted interest from the world’s biggest construction companies and global industry leaders. The $3.6 billion Tunnels South contract to build the 16 kilometre twin tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley was awarded last year to consortium Suburban Connect, and all main works contracts are out to market.

“We’ve had extraordinary interest from the industry in being part of this city-shaping project. We’ve awarded the first tunnelling contract to build the tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley, with the second to follow this year – and we’re on track for tunnelling to start in 2026.”

The Victorian and Federal Governments have contributed a total $14 billion for SRL East planning, Initial and Early Works, and major construction.
What’s next?

Three further stages will complete SRL over the coming decades:
– SRL North from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport
– SRL Airport from Melbourne Airport to Sunshine
– SRL West from Sunshine to Werribee

Sharing more project insights, Frankie Carroll will join former Director General of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Neil Scales OBE, for a trackside chat at the upcoming Urban Rail Conference.

This year’s event will be held 18-19 June at the Sofitel Brisbane and is co-located with the Rail Signalling Workshop on the 17 June.

Register your tickets here.

About Frankie Carroll

Frankie Carroll joined Suburban Rail Loop Authority in January 2021 as Chief Executive Officer, coming from the Queensland Public Service where he held a number of positions, including the Under Treasurer, where he led the Queensland Treasury.

Frankie is a highly regarded senior executive with extensive leadership experience in major infrastructure and finance roles across both the public and private sectors.




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