Avalon Airport Rail Link

Avalon airport has been identified as a future second international airport for Victoria. It is located approximately 50 km south-west of Melbourne. A preferred alignment has been identified for a railway line to the airport, branching off the Geelong line between Little River and Lara.


Caulfield to Rowville Line

A new tram line has been proposed from Caulfield to Rowville in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Stage One of the line would be from Caulfield railway station via Chadstone shopping centre to the Clayton Campus of Monash University, near the intersection of Blackburn and Wellington Roads. Stage Two would extend from Clayton to Rowville via Waverley Park. The total length of the line is anticipated to be around 18 km. The Victorian Government has committed funds for design and planning work. In the 2018–19 Federal budget the Australian Government allocated $475 million for a heavy rail line to Monash University rather than a tram line. The funding would be around half the cost of the project, with the Victorian Government expected to fund the remainder.

Cranbourne Line Upgrade

This project would involve duplication of 8 km of single track between Dandenong and Cranbourne. Upgrading of tracks around Caulfield and Dandenong would also be carried out. Completion of this project would enable capacity on the line to double, with trains operating up to every 10 minutes during peak.

Faster Rail

Funding was provided in 2018 to support the development of three business cases, including between Melbourne to Greater Shepparton in Victoria. Five addiontal business cases were announced in the 2019–20 budget, including Melbourne to Albury–Wodonga and Melbourne to Traralgon. Although the Australian Government is providing financial support for the development of the business cases, this does not mean it will support delivery of specific projects.

Geelong Fast Rail

Various options for a fast rail link between Melbourne and Geelong are to be investigated by the Victorian Government. One option is the electrification of the existing railway line. Another option is the construction of a new dedicated high speed line with new trains capable of speeds between 250 and 300 km/h. Consideration of a railway route to Melbourne Airport is also part of the investigation. The Victorian Government has committed funds for planning work and to determine a preferred option.

Growing Our Rail Network 2018–2025

Growing Our Rail Network 2018–2025 is a plan for when the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025. It includes plans for metropolitan and regional rail services.

High Capacity Metro Trains Project​

65 new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) are being purchased for operation on the Melbourne suburban network. The shells are manufactured in Changchun, China, with final assembly at Newport in Melbourne. After extensive testing, the first train entered revenue service in December 2020. Ongoing deliveries are proceeding.


Hurstbidge Line Upgrade

Stage 1 of this project was completed in 2018 when the line between Heidelberg and Rosanna was duplicated. Stage 2 involves:

  • construction of a new station at Greensborough

  • duplication of 2 km of line between Greensborough and Montmorency

  • duplication of 1.5 km of track between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen.

Work is planned to be completed in 2022.

Level Crossing Removal

The Level Crossing Removal Authority was established to oversee the removal of level crossings in the Melbourne suburban area. A total of 50 have already been removed or planning is underway, and a further 25 removals will be completed by 2025.


Melbourne Airport Rail

Construction of a railway line to Melbourne airport has been discussed since the 1970s. A railway was identified as a future project in the Network Development Plan – Metropolitan Rail in 2012 and in Victoria’s 30-year Infrastructure Strategy in 2016. The Victorian Government has indicated support for the project and the Australian Government has agreed to contribute funding. A detailed business case is being developed for a route via Sunshine. Investigation and delivery of the line would be carried out by Rail Projects Victoria (RPV). Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and take up nine years.

Metro Tunnel

The Metro Tunnel is a major rail infrastructure project which comprises twin 9 km rail tunnels from South Kensington through the Melbourne CBD to South Yarra. It includes five new underground stations: Arden, Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac, as well as a train–tram interchange at Anzac station. The new Metro Tunnel will enable more trains to operate in and out of the CBD, providing for an additional 39,000 more passengers across the suburban railway network in peak times. Stations on the Melbourne Metro line are being built with platforms of 240 metres in length, enabling the operation of 10-car trains. Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) has responsibility for delivery of Metro Tunnel. John Holland has been awarded the first major contract, involving the excavation of shafts in preparation for tunnelling and the construction of underground stations. Major construction has begun, with services to commence running by 2025.


Murray Basin Rail Project

TThe Murray Basin Rail Project involves standardising and upgrading 1055 km of freight railway lines servicing the Murray Basin region in the north-west of Victoria, and increasing the axle loading on most of these lines from 19 to 21 tonnes. Some parts of the project have been completed while others are udner review.

Regional Rail Revival​

The Regional Rail Revival program includes further upgrades to the regional rail network in Victoria. Features of the program include:

  • Ballarat Line Upgrade: duplication of 18 km of track between Deer Park and Melton, construction of a new station at Cobblebank (between Rockbank and Melton), rebuilding Rockbank station, ugraded stations at Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and Wendouree, track duplication at Bacchus Marsh, new stabling facilities at Maddingley to replace those at Bacchus Marsh, passing loops at Ballan and Millbrook, signalling upgrades and track improvements. The upgrade will enable an increase in the frequency of services on the Ballarat line, and also enhances the possibility of future electrification of the line to Melton

  • Ballarat Line Upgrade Stage 2: train stabling facilities at Ararat, and upgrading of signalling and track work in the Ballarat area, providing capacity for extra passenger services to Maryborough and Ararat, and improving the movement of freight trains

  • Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade: upgrades to signalling between Bendigo, Epsom and Eaglehawk, and improving track speed between Epsom and Echuca from 80 km/h to 130 km/h, providing capacity for extra services and shorter journey times. Three new stations will also be built: at Goornong and Huntly on the Echuca line, and at Raywood on the Swan Hill line

  • Geelong Line Upgrade: construction of a second platform and pedestrian crossing at Waurn Ponds station, preparing for duplication of the line between Geelong and Waurn Ponds, and corridor planning for a possible future railway extension to Armstrong Creek

  • Gippsland Line Upgrade: duplication of the line between Bunyip and Longwarry, and between Traralgon and Morwell; additional platforms at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell and Traralgon; replacement of the Avon River bridge at Stratford

  • North-East Line Corridor Upgrade: improvements to stations at Donnybrook and Wallan, and design work and infrastructure for future standard gauge VLocity trains to operate on the line

  • Shepparton Line Upgrade: new train stabling facilities near Shepparton and the construction of a crossing loop near Murchison East, platform extensions and upgrades to track and signalling, which will enable trains to travel at speeds up to 130 km/h

  • Warrnambool Line Upgrade: installation of a crossing loop from Boorcan to Weerite, and upgrades to signalling between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool, providing capacity for extra services and shorter journey times, and enabling VLocity trains to operate to Warrnambool.

Suburban Rail Loop

The Suburban Rail Loop is a new 90-km railway line that will be built through Melbourne’s suburbs. Although described as a circle, it is actually more of a semi-circle, with Werribee in the western suburbs at one end and Cheltenham in the south-eastern suburbs at the other end. It proceeds via Sunshine, Melbourne Airport, Broadmeadows, Fawkner, Reservoir, Heidelberg, Box Hill, Glen Waverley and Clayton. The line will be mostly underground. There will be at least 12 new stations, as well as connections with existing stations. Superhubs, where the Suburban Rail Loop connects with regional lines, will be located at Sunshine, Broadmeadows and Clayton. Planning begn in 2019, with construction work to begin by 2022. It is projected that by 2051 the Suburban Rail Loop would be Melbourne’s busiest railway line with over 400,000 passengers per day.


Victoria’s 30-year Infrastructure Strategy

Infrastructure Victoria released Victoria’s 30-year Infrastructure Strategy in December 2016, following the earlier release of a draft strategy and consultation with the community. The strategy lists 137 recommendations to be delivered over the next three decades. Its vision is for a future where infrastructure enables people in Victoria to access opportunities, to connect with each other and the world, and to live sustainably. Railway and tramway projects listed in the strategy include:

  • extension of the tramway network to Fishermans Bend

  • new stations in the western suburbs of Melbourne on the Geelong railway line

  • extension of the electrified railway network to Melton and Wallan

  • construction of a new railway line from Cranbourne to Clyde

  • completion of a feasibility study into a rail or bus transport link to Wollert

  • provision of access to real-time public transport information across suburban and regional networks

  • train timetable changes to provide increased peak hour services on the suburban railway network, particularly the Werribee line

  • reviewing and updating Public Transport Victoria’s Network Development Plan – Metropolitan Rail and identifying priorities for network upgrades and enhancements to maximise use of the existing railway network

  • upgrading suburban railway stations with high passenger volumes, such as Caulfield and South Yarra

  • providing high-capacity signalling systems on important sections of the metropolitan rail network

  • continuing a long-term program of suburban and regional railway rolling stock and tram procurement, building on Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015–2025: Victorian Rolling Stock Strategy

  • introduction of ten-carriage metropolitan trains on lines that will run through the Melbourne Metro tunnel

  • construction of a railway line to Melbourne airport, ideally linking with the CBD and the south-eastern suburbs

  • reconfiguring the City Loop railway to improve capacity on the Craigieburn and Upfield lines

  • identifying future stages for the Melbourne Metro

  • targeted removal of level crossings in Melbourne

  • creation of mass transit bus or light rail networks linking major centres with existing heavy railway lines

  • identifying priorities for regional railway upgrades

  • providing additional passenger trains on long-distance lines, focusing on the scheduling of five services on five days each week to Warrnambool, Bairnsdale, Albury-Wodonga, Echuca, Swan Hill and Shepparton

  • improving capacity on the railway line to Dandenong and Gippsland

  • consideration of a high-capacity rail or bus transport link between Geelong and Torquay

  • preparation of a policy for railway access to the Port of Melbourne

  • finalising the location of the Western Intermodal Freight Terminal in the western suburbs of Melbourne

  • standardising the railway gauge in north-east Victoria and determining other priorities for rail standardisation

  • undertaking planning for the delivery of the Inland Rail project.

Western Rail Plan

The Western Rail Plan outlines the future investments that are required for the development of a fast, high-capacity rail network to service Victoria’s growing suburbs and regional cities. It includes three major connected projects:

  • Construction of two new electrified metropolitan rail lines in Melbourne’s western suburbs to Melton and Wyndham Vale. This would enable these areas to be serviced by suburban electric trains and separate them from the Ballarat and Geelong regional lines. A line connecting Wyndham Vale and Werribee would also be considered and could become part of the proposed Suburban Rail Loop.

  • Increased track capacity between the CBD and Sunshine, enabling more frequent train services to operate. It would also provide capacity for the Airport Rail Link.

  • Major investment in the Geelong and Ballarat regional rail lines, enabling trains to operate at faster speeds than the current 160km/h maximum. Planning will include investigation of the possible electrification of these lines and the operation of new, fast electric regional trains.