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More than a rail line

Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is Victoria’s biggest ever transport investment – but it’s much more than a rail line. Combined with developments and initiatives around the new underground stations, SRL will reshape where people live and work and support our quality of life in the decades to come.

Victoria is expected to grow to 11.2 million people by 2056 and Greater Melbourne will reach around nine million people – a global city around the same size as London today. As Melbourne’s urban footprint expands, people are forced to live further away from job opportunities, resulting in longer commutes and increased road and rail congestion.

Beyond delivering the rail line infrastructure, SRL also includes strategic land planning and development initiatives in SRL Precincts (the 1600m areas around stations). These will attract and support new businesses and deliver better local services as well as additional housing.

The development of SRL Precincts will encourage more families to live in these areas with more jobs nearby – all a short distance from a new train station. Initiatives in these neighbourhoods will include new and enhanced open and public spaces, more walking and cycling paths, town plazas and more greening and cooling of local areas.

By 2056, there’ll be around 550,000 jobs in SRL Precincts from Cheltenham to Melbourne Airport – around the same number of jobs as there are in the central city today. More than 165,000 additional jobs in and around SRL stations will be located in these areas as a direct result of SRL.

SRL will also support more diverse housing to meet the needs of different households and improve affordability. SRL Precincts are forecast to be home to around 47,500 new households by 2056 – this will also help curb urban sprawl.

More Melburnians will be encouraged to use active transport, increasing levels of physical activity in communities and generating an expected health benefit of around $1.6 million to $1.7 billion in present value terms for the Victorian economy. Delivering more sustainable travel options will help Victoria reach net zero emissions by 2050. With SRL East and SRL North delivered an additional 2.4 million trips will be made on foot or by bicycle each day by 2056.

Strategic or ‘city-shaping’ infrastructure has the power to change a city’s growth. It influences where a business chooses to locate and where a person chooses to live. Melbourne’s City Loop, the West Gate Bridge, the Western Ring Road and CityLink all helped to re-balance Melbourne’s lopsided growth from the south east to the north west and west. It is impossible to think of Melbourne today without the long-term contribution of these investments, despite the disruption accompanying construction.

SRL, together with more than $80 billion in transport infrastructure being delivered as part of Victoria’s Big Build, will ensure Victoria continues to grow sustainably with equal opportunities to access jobs, education, health and affordable housing – building on the qualities that make Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities. Read more about how SRL will reshape Melbourne in the Business and Investment Case Key Findings.

Melbourne - east Suburban Rail Loop