$3.65 billion Regional Rail Link complete
14 June 2015
The $3.65 billion Regional Rail Link is complete, with the final section of the project through Tarneit and Wyndham Vale opening to commuters next Sunday, June 21.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews joined Parliamentary colleagues, project representatives and local government officials today on the first passenger train service along the new dedicated regional tracks through Melbourne's west.
Mr Truss said Regional Rail Link removed major bottlenecks in Victoria's rail network and significantly increased capacity for passengers in Melbourne's west and Victoria's major regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
“The Regional Rail Link has expanded Victoria's rail network by laying 50 kilometres of dedicated dual track and 40 kilometres of single track from West Werribee through to Southern Cross Station,” Mr Truss said.
“The completion of this project has seen regional rail services separated from metropolitan rail services, providing additional capacity for passengers across the rail network.
“It has also provided an economic boost for Victoria, with an injection of $1 billion annually into the Victorian economy during construction and the creation of 3,500 construction jobs.”
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said commuters will be able to spend more time at home and less time waiting for transport with trains running every 10 minutes for Geelong commuters throughout peak periods.
“Regional Rail Link transforms our train network, delivering more frequent, reliable trains to Melbourne's booming west and Victoria's major regional centres,” Mr Andrews said.
“Regional Rail Link is one of the most important projects in Victoria's history and a great example of what can be achieved when Federal and State Governments work together to deliver major public transport infrastructure."
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said it was exciting to catch the first passenger service on the new tracks and acknowledged the hard work of all involved.
“This is the culmination of seven years of hard work by 15,000 engineers, designers and builders,” Mrs Allan said.
“Regional Rail Link proves how important investing in public transport infrastructure is to jobs, our economy and our future. We're getting on with it, building Melbourne Metro and removing 50 of our worst level crossings”
Regional Rail Link is the state's first new major rail line in 80 years and has been delivered ahead of schedule and under budget. The project has delivered:
- 90 kilometres of new track,
- five new or upgraded stations,
- 13 grade separations,
- two level crossing removals, and
- improvements to cycling and civic infrastructure across Melbourne's west
The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government investing $2.7 billion and the Victorian Government contributing $931 million.