Victoria to invest over $2bn on new trains and track upgrades

The state of Victoria has committed between $2 and $2.5 billion on new trains and signalling upgrades around Melbourne.

Work will focus on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines to the southeast of the city. As well as a new modern signalling system, money will be invested in a fleet of 25 new high-capacity trains and removing level crossings along the route.

Premier Denis Napthine said: “This significant investment in next generation technology will give us high capacity trains that can carry more passengers and high capacity signalling that will allow trains to run more frequently.

“With more trains running more often, that’s an extra 4,500 people in the peak hour who can get where they need to go as quickly as possible.

“This initiative will cater for an additional two million passengers per year to meet growing demand.”

The Pakenham and Cranbourne line upgrades will be delivered by the MTR, John Holland and UGL Rail Services consortium which currently operates Metro Trains Melbourne services.

Over the course of the five-year project, more than 3,000 jobs are expected to be created.

Napthine added: “The Pakenham and Cranbourne rail corridor serves one in 10 Melburnians and by delivering this project we will provide a more frequent and reliable journey for passengers on both the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

“V/Line Gippsland commuters will also benefit from a more reliable journey with new signalling providing a smoother journey through the metropolitan area.”