New Tunnelling Packages For Suburban Rail Loop

(Photo by Pexels)

The Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is powering ahead, with a major package of works going out to market and the Andrews Labor Government working to deliver benefits to local communities as construction gets underway.

Expressions of Interest will open this week for the tunnelling packages on the project. The first tunnelling package will be the longest in Victoria’s history – delivering around 16 kilometres of twin tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley. The second will complete the SRL East corridor with tunnels from Glen Waverley to Box Hill.

Up to ten tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be used for SRL East – each custom-built to suit the local ground conditions. The Metro Tunnel used four TBMs, while eight were used for the dual 21km tunnels on London’s CrossRail project.

The number of TBMs will speed up the tunnelling process, with launching sites planned for three locations: Monash, Heatherton, and Burwood.

Initial construction on the project will start in coming weeks, with tunnelling expected to kick off in 2026 – attracting the interest of some of the world’s leading construction companies keen to be part of this state-shaping project.

This package of works will also include safety cross passages between the tunnels, station boxes at Clayton and Monash, and tunnel entrances and exits at the stabling facility.

Today, the Labor Government also launched the SRL Community Projects Fund. The new fund will deliver local projects to communities from Cheltenham to Box Hill while SRL East is being built – so communities along the line will start to see the benefits of the project long before any trains hit the tracks.

Eligible projects could include new and improved open spaces and facilities like parks, playgrounds, community hubs, sports club upgrades and new equipment, or support for community events and festivals.

Funding rounds will be offered each year during construction for exciting new initiatives and projects both big and small. Applications are now open for the first round of Community Support Grants, with not-for-profits, sports clubs and schools able to apply for grants between $10,000 and $80,000, with the first to be awarded later this year.