More than $2 billion is being funnelled into upgrades for Melbourne’s Sunbury rail line to cope with the Metro Tunnel amid booming population growth in the city’s west.
It’s part of a $27.4 billion suburban transport spend outlined in Monday’s state budget, with almost all the projects having been promised before the Labor government was re-elected in November.
Regional public transport will receive $615 million, including for 18 new modified V/Line VLocity trains to run on an upgraded northeast line.
Suburban rail gets a $3.4 billion boost, with $2.1 billion for the Sunbury line, including bigger trains to fit in an extra 113,000 peak-hour passengers. The upgrade is expected to be finished by 2023.
The Cranbourne line will also be duplicated at a cost of $750 million, while nearly $550 million will go towards upgrading and duplicating the Hurstbridge line, as promised during the election.
Treasurer Tim Pallas’ fifth budget also includes $15.8 billion to fully fund the North East Link road, which the government says will cut travel times by up to 35 minutes, and $6.6 billion to rip up another 25 level crossings.
Nearly $50 million will be put into new train stations in and around Bendigo, at Goornong, Raywood and Huntly.
Meanwhile, Melbourne’s tram network gets an extra $163 million, buses $50 million and local roads $608 million.