SRL train and tunnel concept render

Frequently asked questions

Suburban Rail Loop is a city and state-shaping project that will transform Victoria’s public transport system, connecting our suburbs and creating opportunities in great places.

The 90-kilometre Suburban Rail Loop will link every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line, via Melbourne Airport, providing important travel connections between employment, health, education and activity centres in Melbourne’s middle suburbs.

Three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine will connect regional passengers to Suburban Rail Loop.

The project will be delivered in stages over several decades, with construction on Stage One between Cheltenham and Box Hill starting in 2022.

Suburban Rail Loop will be a catalyst to attract investments in the areas around the new train stations to make them even better places to live, work and visit.

Suburban Rail Loop will deliver important cross-suburb travel connections between major hospitals, universities and TAFEs, retail and employment centres outside the CBD. It will change how we move around Melbourne and will ease congestion, taking pressure off existing transport networks.

The project will trigger investment and development around the station precincts. This provides a valuable opportunity to consider the services, amenity and infrastructure these communities will need in the future as Melbourne grows.

The biggest rail project ever built in Victoria, it will create a pipeline of jobs and construction activity with at least 800 direct jobs created during Initial and Early works on Stage One from 2022, and up to 20,000 jobs during construction.

Regional passengers will be connected to Suburban Rail Loop, which means they won’t have to go through the CBD to get to the airport, jobs, and world-class education and health services in Melbourne’s suburbs.

Suburban Rail Loop will provide faster and more convenient travel to university campuses including Monash, Deakin and La Trobe, and major hospitals including Monash, Monash Children’s, Box Hill and the Austin.

Regional passengers will be connected to Suburban Rail Loop via interchanges at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine.

Suburban Rail Loop will slash travel times for Regional Victorians travelling to Melbourne’s middle suburbs. For example, a journey between Traralgon and Box Hill Hospital will be around 26 minutes faster by rail – taking around two and a half hours instead of three and making train travel times comparable to a car trip.

From 2022, the Initial and Early Works on Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop will create up to 800 direct jobs. The project will create around 20,000 jobs during construction, with up to 2,000 apprentices, trainees and cadets employed under the Government’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee.

Beyond construction of the rail infrastructure, improving cross-suburb transport and increasing economic activity around the station precincts will drive business opportunities and clusters of new jobs. This will enable more people to work closer to where they live and will give Victorians greater access to more diverse employment opportunities outside of the CBD.

The locations of six new underground stations and the refined rail tunnel corridor between Cheltenham and Box Hill have been identified following 18 months of project development and design, geotechnical investigations and engineering assessments, and consultation with local stakeholders.

The new line will start near Southland, underneath Sir William Fry Reserve, with stations next to Monash and Deakin universities, central to the Box Hill and Glen Waverley activity centres, and north of Carinish Road in Clayton, where a transport super-hub will connect regional passengers to the loop.

The sites will now be subject to a concentrated geotechnical drilling program to determine the precise underground station footprints and entrances. Local residents, businesses and landowners are being notified as work in these areas increases over coming months, and will be kept informed of any potential impacts as plans for the stations develop.

When we talk about ‘precincts’ we’re looking at the local area and neighbourhoods associated with Suburban Rail Loop stations.

We’re considering the green and public space, services, amenity, housing mix and other infrastructure that can help ensure these communities are even better places to live, work and learn as our city grows.

One of the key project objectives beyond the significant transport benefits is to drive investment, job growth and economic activity in the employment, health and education centres that have already been established outside Melbourne’s CBD.

There are six precincts associated with new underground stations as part of Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill.

The middle suburbs of Melbourne were identified as the preferred broad alignment for Suburban Rail Loop to facilitate better travel connections to health, education and employment hubs across Melbourne’s suburbs and to regional Victoria.

Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 sets Victoria’s overarching policy direction for population, economic growth and urban planning over the next 30 years. It identifies places of state significance across Melbourne that will be a focus for jobs growth and strategic infrastructure investment to help expand employment opportunities, including National Employment and Innovation Clusters (NEICs) and Metropolitan Activity Centres (MACs). These provide the community with good access to a range of major retail, community, government, entertainment, cultural and transport services.

Stage One is considered the priority because it will connect major employment precincts, universities, hospitals and shopping centres in the south east, including the Monash NEIC, Burwood education precinct and Box Hill MAC. It will also benefit regional Victorian passengers, connecting them to jobs and world-class services in Melbourne’s suburbs via the connection to Suburban Rail Loop at Clayton.

More than 80 per cent of Melburnians will experience reduced travel times thanks to the Suburban Rail Loop, which will deliver shorter, faster and more reliable journeys for Victorians while slashing travel times across the state.

Suburban Rail Loop will deliver faster and more convenient public transport journeys to high growth areas of Melbourne. By shortening commutes and improving cross-suburb connectivity more people will be encouraged to jump on public transport and leave their car at home. This will have a knock-on effect of slashing congestion with improved traffic flows on freeways and major arterial roads.

The service will deliver a resilient and reliable network – providing frequent ‘turn up and go’ services, reducing crowding on existing lines and making it simple to transfer between radial lines, just like other world class public transport networks around the world.

Suburban Rail Loop is the biggest rail project ever undertaken in Victoria and it will be completed in stages over several decades.

Initial and Early works on Stage One from Cheltenham to Box Hill will get underway in 2022, creating 800 early direct jobs and paving the way for major construction and many thousands of jobs. The works will enable launch sites to be prepared for tunnel boring machines, and include upgrades to road and power supply, building new sub-stations, and relocating gas, water and other utilities.

Further detail regarding the delivery timeline and completion will be determined as part of the ongoing technical work and Investment Case.

This will be one of the world’s biggest and most ambitious projects, costing tens of billions of dollars over the life of the entire project. However, it will be funded and delivered in stages over several decades.

The Victorian Government has provided $2.2b to deliver all Initial and Early Works on Stage One, taking the project from concept and planning to the start of on-the-ground delivery in 2022. This follows funding of $300 million in the 2019-20 Budget for project planning and pre-construction activities.

The Investment Case and technical work underway will determine details of the project infrastructure, design, construction methodology and delivery, and associated costs. Funding options being considered include potential State, Commonwealth and private sector contributions, as well as value creation and value capture opportunities.

Stage One from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be approximately 26 kilometres constructed as a twin tunnel. This will be a fully operational standalone line that interchanges with existing metropolitan and regional lines. More technical investigations are needed on subsequent stages of the project, but they are expected to be a combination of tunnel and surface rail.

Hundreds of boreholes and land surveys have already been completed across the Stage One project area, helping to inform the project planning and development, and the Investment Case. The Stage One station locations will now be subject to a concentrated ground testing program to determine the precise underground station footprints.

Details about current works in your area can be found here.

Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be tunnelled underground, significantly minimising impacts on land and property. While every effort is being made to minimise impacts to homes and businesses, the scale and complexity of Suburban Rail Loop means there will be some unavoidable disruption and land acquisition.

Project developments will be communicated to people who live or own properties or businesses in the general vicinities of the new proposed stations.

The landowners and tenants of around 300 properties have been notified that their property is likely to be required for the project. They will be kept informed as the project progresses.

You can visit this page of our website to see the letters that have been sent from Suburban Rail Loop Authority (SRLA). If you have received a letter and would like more information about the process of land acquisition and compensation, you can find it here.

Old Dandenong Road, Heatherton, has been identified as the location for a new Suburban Rail Loop train stabling facility.

This site was found to be the most suitable of several locations considered, based on criteria including engineering design, the environment, sensitivity to the local community, protection of local jobs and the safeguarding of existing agricultural land.

The train stabling will be subject to a robust planning and environmental assessment and statutory approvals process. 

You can find more information and provide feedback on the train stabling at Heatherton here.

The community has an important part to play in the development and delivery of Suburban Rail Loop and it is our priority to consult widely, ensuring Victorians are informed of project updates and can have their say.

In 2019 and early 2020, our team held a series of community ‘pop-ups’ along the Stage One corridor, getting out to shopping centres, train stations and festivals to share project information with residents. During COVID-19, engagement moved safely online with surveys and online mapping tools gathering feedback from the community.

Our virtual engagement room is open and we encourage you to visit to learn more about the project, here. There will be further opportunities for face-to-face consultation from mid-2021.

We’re also working closely with stakeholders, seeking the input of local government, peak bodies, developers and key health, education and industry groups.

We’ve been gathering important feedback from the community and stakeholders since 2019, and there will be further opportunities to contribute to the planning process and have your say.

The best way to stay informed of our progress and participate in engagement opportunities is by registering for updates here.

You can find current and upcoming opportunities to provide feedback on our Have Your Say page.

Haven't found the answer you needed? Feel free to give us a call on 1800 105 105, 24/7.