What’s next for the $5.6bn interrail project
Australia’s $5 billion interrail train network is under construction, and the $2.9 billion project to connect Melbourne’s CBD to the rest of Sydney is set to get underway later this year.
But a major challenge is the need for more rail capacity.
The Sydney Morning Herald has learnt the State Government has given preliminary approval to a $2 billion “bulk-build” of the Melbourne Interchange project, with construction likely to start in late 2019.
“It is a significant step forward in our plan to connect Sydney and Melbourne by rail, and will give us the flexibility to proceed on schedule,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“I’m pleased that we have received preliminary approval for this large-scale project, and look forward to working with the State and Federal Government to bring this project to fruition.”
The $2bn interchange project is expected to take more than 100 years to build.
Construction will include a number of major new stations, including the existing Central Station, a new “hub” on the Central Link line, a major new interchange and a new rail bridge over the Swan River.
The State Government says the bulk-build project will be built in stages, with the first phase to be complete by 2028.
A spokesperson for the State Transport Minister, Terry Mulder, said: “The Government is committed to ensuring that all Australians have the option to travel, work and play by rail.”
This plan will deliver more than two million more trips a year and will be a significant upgrade to the existing system and will provide commuters with a more reliable and more comfortable rail network.
“The State Transport minister also confirmed that Melbourne will be the first Australian city to be a hub for the Sydney Interchange.”
There will be significant improvements to the central station area, as well as a new interchange, which will also provide better connectivity between the CBD and central areas of the city,” the spokesperson said.
The project is due to be completed in 2019, with rail services to commence by 2024.
In a recent article for The Conversation, Ms Berejaklian noted the “tremendous” work that had gone into the project.”
These projects are the backbone of our transport network, and it is important that we keep them going as far as possible,” she said.
Ms Berejoklian also said the state had completed “a great deal” of planning and construction.”
We are very much on track to deliver a system that will enable our residents to travel and work more safely,” she added.”
A large part of that is due, in part, to the work that has gone into these projects, and this will allow us to move on to the next stage of the construction process.
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