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Melbourne’s new suburban rail loop will operate up to 40m underground and could run driverless trains.
Cutting-edge phone technology would also feed commuters live information about disruptions and how to get around them.
Trains would be shorter than existing services so they can run more often.
A gun team of 150 experts from Australia and overseas has been assembled to get the $50 billion rail line — the biggest public transport project in Australia’s history — built.
Program director Dan Williams said the 90km loop wouldn’t only make travel easier but open up the suburbs for jobs and retail development.
“This is a mega project,’’ Mr Williams said.
An artist's impression of the underground twin tunnels. Picture: Suburban Rail Loop Authority
An artist's concept of a station at Cheltenham. Picture: Suburban Rail Loop Authority
An artist's concept of how the Suburban Rail Loop will look above and underground. Picture: Suburban Rail Loop Authority“For the city it’s a game-changer.
“The size and scale of this project is immense.
“It’s bigger than just a rail project — this is around land use, this is around connecting people with places and this is about development of precincts.”
Mr Williams, who has worked on big rail projects back home in the UK and in Canada, said driverless trains were among options under consideration having proved “incredibly effective” globally and on the new Sydney Metro.
Phone technology was also being developed to allow commuters to not only pay but provide live options on the fastest way to get to their destination across different transport modes.
Designs provided to the Sunday Herald Sun show the line will travel under the Monash Freeway and Gardiners Creek in its first stage between Cheltenham and Box Hill.
Design director Chris Deakin — who moved from Singapore having also worked on rail projects in Kuala Lumpur and the UK — said the twin tunnels would typically run about 25m below ground.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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