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Is this the biggest public transport overhaul in Victorian history?

V-Line Source: wikicommons

The Victorian government plans to build new crossing loops, carparks, platforms, stabling, and run more train services.

The Victorian Labor Government plans to overhaul the public transport network and get people home to their families safer and sooner.

According to the government, this is one of the biggest transformation of public transport in Victoria’s history!

The highlight of the Victorian Budget 2016-17 is the government’s decision to fully fund and deliver Melbourne’s new Metro Tunnel.

This is the biggest and most important public transport project in Australia.

According to the Hon Jacinta Allan, the Minister for Public Transport, “while the Government will welcome a partnership from any future Federal Government, this project simply cannot wait any longer.”

"After a 12 month wait for the business case and just nine weeks after giving it to the Turnbull Government, Daniel Andrews now says he can’t wait any longer for an answer," notes the Liberal Party of Victoria media release. 

If all goes as planned then in the short term, Melbourne’s City Loop train system will undergo a $134 million safety upgrade.

This will ensure that the train system remains safe for the 130,000 passengers that use it every day.

In regional Victoria, the Government is investing $1.3 billion for better regional rail services.

The Ballarat line will undergo a massive upgrade, with $518 million to duplicate the line to Melton, build new crossing loops, carparks, platforms and stabling, and run more services for Ballarat and suburbs in Melbourne’s west.

More than 170 V/Line services will be added, meaning trains will run more often to and from Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Maryborough, Shepparton, and Warrnambool.

The government also plans to remove the 50 most dangerous and congested level crossings to reduce congestion and save lives.

Liberal Party of Victoria says that "Not only has Daniel Andrews failed to complete a business case for this $6 billion spend but he has ignored VicRoads’ advice on which level crossings require priority removal. Instead Daniel Andrews is giving priority to level crossings like that at Werribee Street which sees only one train pass through every two hours."

In addition to removing the level crossings at Alphington and Rosanna, $140 million will be invested to upgrade the Hurstbridge Line – duplicating the notorious single section between Heidelberg and Rosanna through a new rail tunnel, and installing better power and signalling, to run more trains to Melbourne’s north east.

The Mernda Rail Project will be fully funded and delivered by the Labor Government with $588 million to build the eight kilometre extension from South Morang to the heart of the Mernda-Doreen growth corridor.

The next stage of Victoria’s rolling stock strategy is fully funded in this year’s Budget with:

• $875 million for 28 extra High Capacity Metro Trains, on top of the 37 in last year’s Budget

• $280.4 million for 27 VLocity carriages and extra stabling

• $105.2 million for five X’Trapolis trains

• $15 million for upgrades to trains on the North East line

V/Line’s classic fleet will be revamped and the Government has allocated $10 million to begin the development of a next generation regional train to boost capacity on the busiest corridors.

Regional services will also be bolstered through $198 million to rebuild the capacity of regional operator V/Line, and $141 million for major maintenance to improve reliability on the regional network.

More than 1500 extra commuter car parking spaces will be created at railway stations across the outer suburbs and regional Victoria will be created.