A Suburban Connect consortium has been selected by Australia’s Victoria Government as the preferred bidder for the main works contract of Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East.

The consortium comprises tunnelling experts, including CPB Contractors, Ghella, and Acciona Construction.

The contract is anticipated to be granted by the end of this year. It covers 16km of twin tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley.

Next year, a second contract will be given for the tunnels connecting Glen Waverley and Box Hill.

A total of ten tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will start digging for the complete 26km of twin tunnels for SRL East. These TBMs will initiate their operations from Monash, Burwood, and Heatherton.

As part of the contract, the TBMs are expected to start excavation in 2026.

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By GlobalData

Early construction for SRL East has commenced in Box Hill, Burwood, and Heatherton. The project will soon begin in Monash and will return to Glen Waverley and Clayton later this year.

Passenger service on SRL East is anticipated to commence by 2035.

Construction is anticipated to generate up to 8,000 direct jobs, as well as deliver six new underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill.

This project will help reduce travel times and congestion besides connecting people to crucial employment, health and education destinations in the east and south-east of Melbourne.

To be completed in multiple stages, SRL will deliver a 90km orbital rail line that will provide a direct link to Melbourne Airport.