The ‘Melbourne Metro” rail project a priority after the East West Link: Tunnel under city or face rail chaos

An artist impression of the proposed CBD South Station, which would be build beneath Flinders Street. Photo: Jamie Brown

MELBOURNE’S trains will become so overcrowded passengers will be increasingly left behind during peak hour, unless work on an underground city rail tunnel begins within two years.

State government documents obtained by The Sunday Age reveal that unless work begins soon on the so-called ”Melbourne Metro” rail project, several of the city’s busiest train lines will come under further strain because the number of passengers will outstrip services.

”In the event of no further infrastructure being provided, all corridors except Sandringham will have significant overcrowding … by 2020. Moreover, it is anticipated that crowding will be so severe on the Werribee, Sunbury and Dandenong lines some passengers will be unable to board the trains in the critical peak hour,” business case documents reveal.

The long-awaited Melbourne Metro project involves building a nine-kilometre tunnel across the inner city, with five new underground stations between South Kensington and South Yarra: Arden, Parkville, CBD North, CBD South and Domain.

The tunnel will in turn link the Sunbury rail line, in Melbourne’s north-west, to the Dandenong rail corridor in the outer south-east, allowing an extra 24,000 passengers an hour across the train network.

The Baillieu government regards the project as one of its top infrastructure priorities after the east-west link, an 18-kilometre road connecting the Eastern Freeway and the Western Ring Road…

Farrah Tomazin, The Age, December 2, 2012

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