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Five new stations - including an underground rail station at North Melbourne's Arden Street - are part of the Brumby government's new $10 billion transport plan.
Premier John Brumby today released the Victorian Transport Plan report for 2010, describing it as a significant milestone for Melbourne’s transport future.
In the biggest expansion of Melbourne's rail network since the City Loop, the $4.5 billion Melbourne Metro rail tunnel will provide capacity for an extra 12,000 passengers every hour.
Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the Metro network would run from North Melbourne via Parkville, serving the hospital precinct, and Melbourne University to the Domain.
“Regional Rail Link and Melbourne Metro will transform our rail system into a high capacity, mass transit metro system,” he said.
The overall transport plan also includes a new road tunnel as an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, which would take trucks off the streets in the city's inner west and ease congestion.
Regional Rail Link for country commuters
The $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link would give commuters between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo faster and more reliable train services.
However, the plan includes putting extra train tracks through Footscray, which would mean up to 26 houses will be compulsorily acquired and demolished.
Under the plan, regional trains travelling between Southern Cross Station and western Victoria will have their own dedicated line.
Mr Brumby said the duplication though the western suburbs would be built within the existing rail corridor through Sunshine and Footscray, minimising disruption to local communities.
The project will include the development of two new train stations at Tarneit and Wyndham Vale.
“This the biggest expansion of the rail network since the City Loop – and the biggest transport project since EastLink – and there is no doubt that we’re expecting extremely strong bids for the major construction packages,” Mr Brumby said.
“Regional Rail Link, along with the Melbourne Metro, will provide an unprecedented boost to our rail system.”
Mr Brumby said the duplication would provide room for an extra 9000 passengers an hour on affected regional and metropolitan services.
‘‘It will end that long history of regional trains stuck behind suburban trains that need to stop at every station,’’ Mr Brumby told a lunch of stakeholders in Melbourne.
'Milestone for Melbourne's transport future'
He said the release of plans today was a significant milestone for Melbourne’s transport future and demonstrated the government’s continued commitment to deliver the transport plan.
“These new alignments will not only deliver better transport options for the west, but they are also focused on minimising the impact on people’s homes and where possible avoiding residential areas,” he said.
“Now it is important we work with local communities, minimise impacts and disruptions, and ensure the maximum benefits in improved transport, better amenity and long-term job creation.”
Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the Melbourne Metro 1 plan, together with the Regional Rail Link project, totalled almost $9 billion and would provide capacity for an extra 20,000 passengers every hour, easing commuters' woes.
He said the Arden Street station held the potential to spur major redevelopment in inner-city North Melbourne estimated to be worth approximately $2 billion.
"Melbourne Metro will provide a new rail spine running from North Melbourne via Parkville serving the hospital precinct and Melbourne University to the Domain,” Mr Pakula said.
“Passengers using the Melbourne Metro will be able to transfer to and from City Loop services and rail to the Domain will relieve pressure on the St Kilda tram corridor.
Options for WestLink project released for community consultation, including an extended tunnel option that emerges beyond residential areas near Paramount Road in West Footscray.
Mr Brumby said in WestLink and the Truck Action Plan the Government was delivering on its plan to provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge corridor and importantly, take trucks off streets in the inner-western suburbs of Melbourne.
"These projects are vital to the future of Melbourne’s west, as people continue to move into the area and Victoria’s freight task grows,” he said.
"WestLink and the Truck Action Plan will reduce congestion and take heavy vehicles off local roads, provide an economic boost and create jobs, while improving urban amenity in the west.”
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