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$2bn fast rail link on track for Melbourne

26/03/2019
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With Melbourne’s transport infrastructure coming under increasing pressure, the Australian government has announced a plan to spend $2bn (US$1.4bn) on building a fast rail link between Geelong and Melbourne, halving the amount of time it takes to travel the 80km distance to only 32 minutes.
The new Geelong to Melbourne rail line will be the fastest in Australia.
The line will be Australia’s fastest with trains able to achieve average speeds of 160km/h.

Construction of the new fast rail link is aimed at taking pressure off Melbourne’s Princes Freeway and West Gate Bridge. Over 54,000 vehicles take the Princes Freeway every day.

Melbourne’s new fast rail link is part of a broader 20-year fast rail plan from the Morrison government. $40m is to be invested in detailed assessments of five additional corridors, complementing the three presently underway that the federal government has funded, and others that state governments are funding.

The government has also announced that a new National Fast Rail Agency will be established to guide the work, determine priorities based on assessments, work with state governments and communities and the private sector as well as providing innovative financial solutions.

Commenting on the fast rail plans, Alan Tudge, minister for cities, said:

“Fast rail from the big capitals to the regional cities eases the pressure off the big cities while supporting the growth of the regions. This works alongside other measures such as reducing the migration rate and encouraging more new migrants and students to settle in smaller cities and regions that need them”.

“Geelong is a strong growing regional centre, but transport connectivity to Melbourne is constrained by existing infrastructure. During peak hour, trains are often full at key stations such as Wyndham Vale and Tarneit, with passenger numbers exceeding capacity on the line. Services on the Geelong Line also suffer frequent delays”.

Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, said:

“This is all part of our plan to manage population growth that I announced this week to take the pressure off our big cities like Melbourne and make our regional cities like Geelong even more attractive places to live and work”.

“As our population grows, fast rail networks are crucial to easing the congestion pressures in our cities and shaping Australia’s future”.

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$2bn fast rail link on track for Melbourne - Time to read 3 min
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