Media release: Massive rail investment to benefit millions of Victorians

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Media release: Massive rail investment to benefit millions of Victorians. Thursday, 06 March 2014

Premier Denis Napthine today announced a $2–2.5 billion rail project to cater for growth in Melbourne’s southeast as part of the Government’s broader plan to provide a 21st century rail service with more trains, carrying more people, more often.

The multi-billion dollar program to transform the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines will deliver a 30 per cent capacity boost for one of Melbourne’s busiest rail corridors.

Dr Napthine said the project would deliver:

– 25 new next generation, high-capacity trains;

– 21st century high-capacity signalling on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines – one of the first uses of this technology in Australia that will enable more trains to run, more often;

– four level crossing removals at Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena; Koornang Road, Carnegie; Clayton Road, Clayton; and Centre Road, Clayton;

– planning and preconstruction funding to remove a further five level crossings;

– newly-rebuilt stations at Clayton, Murrumbeena and Carnegie; and

– a new train maintenance depot at Pakenham East, which will create local jobs.

Dr Napthine said the project was another significant win for public transport that would see the number of trains running every peak hour increase to a total of 18 services.

“This significant investment in next generation technology will give us high capacity trains that can carry more passengers and high capacity signaling that will allow trains to run more frequently,” Dr Napthine said.

“With more trains running more often, that’s an extra 4,500 people in the peak hour who can get where they need to go as quickly as possible.

“This initiative will cater for an additional two million passengers per year to meet growing demand.”

Dr Napthine said Melbourne’s south east was one of the fastest growing employment and population centres in Melbourne.

“The Pakenham and Cranbourne rail corridor serves one in 10 Melburnians and by delivering this project we will provide a more frequent and reliable journey for passengers on both the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines,” Dr Napthine said.

“V/Line Gippsland commuters will also benefit from a more reliable journey with new signalling providing a smoother journey through the metropolitan area.”

With the $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link project currently underway and progressing well, the Coalition Government is delivering better services for V/Line passengers in western Victoria and providing increased capacity for metropolitan services in the western and northwestern suburbs.

The project announced today is a further stage in the Coalition Government’s vision to provide a 21st century rail service with increased and improved services for eastern Victoria and the southeastern suburbs.

Dr Napthine said the multi-billion dollar transformation of the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines would be delivered by MTR, with John Holland Construction and UGL Rail Services, with construction starting in 2015 and concluding in 2019.

More than 3,000 jobs will be created during the five-year construction phase.

“This project is the first under the Government’s new unsolicited proposals process, which is designed to harness the innovation of the private sector and hasten the delivery of better infrastructure and services to Victorians at the best possible price,” Dr Napthine said.

“It is clear that Victoria is open for business and the Government will continue to encourage the private sector to be part of our efforts to Build a Better Victoria with infrastructure like the transformation of the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines.

“This innovative proposal will deliver significant value for money for taxpayers and allows us to bring forward this investment.”

The Minister for Public Transport and Roads Terry Mulder said the project would also improve traffic flow and safety through the removal of four level crossings.

“This project will remove bottlenecks on our road networks and dramatically improve travel times and productivity for motorists, particularly those who travel on our public bus system,” Mr Mulder said.

“There are more than six million bus travellers on eight different routes that will benefit from the removal of these four level crossings.

“With these boom gates gone, these bus services will be more reliable, more efficient and will also increase in frequency.”

A further five level crossings have been allocated planning and preconstruction funding for future removal at Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler Roads in Noble Park; Grange Road, Carnegie; and Poath Road, Murrumbeena.

The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to building better transport through the $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link, the $6-8 billion East West Link and hundreds of other Moving Victoria projects.

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