Construction has officially commenced at all six station sites for the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East project in Australia. 

The wider SRL scheme is an infrastructure initiative by the state’s Allan Labor government in Victoria. It will deliver a 90km rail line and 13 stations. 

SRL East train stations include Box Hill, Burwood, Glen Waverley, and Cheltenham. 

Victorian premier Jacinta Allan and SRL Minister Danny Pearson recently visited the tunnel boring machine launch site in Burwood.  

Pearson said: “This project will take almost an hour off a student’s commute from Frankston to Australia’s largest university.” 

Tunnelling is expected to begin in 2026. 

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By GlobalData

Allan added: “By 2026, we’ll have four tunnel boring machines in the ground, twin tunnels being built, major contracts awarded and major construction underway at every one of the six station sites.” 

The project aims to connect every major train line in Melbourne, from the Frankston Line to the Werribee Line. 

The SRL is intended to enhance urban development, offering diverse housing, local services, and job opportunities near the new stations. 

The project team, comprising approximately 1,000 Victorians, has dedicated more than five million hours to the SRL. 

This week marks the beginning of construction on the first tunnel access structure in Heatherton.  

In Box Hill, preparations are underway for a temporary bridge to facilitate traffic flow during the tunnelling process beneath Whitehorse Road.  

Cheltenham has also seen the start of early works, with utility and service relocations ongoing in Glen Waverley, Clayton, and Monash University to prepare for the underground stations. 

Following the award of the first tunnelling contract for the section between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley last year, detailed survey works will continue throughout this year.  

The contract for the tunnels between Glen Waverley and Box Hill is planned to be awarded later this year. 

Construction of the SRL between Cheltenham and Box Hill is expected to generate 8,000 direct jobs.  

This development is anticipated to reduce travel times and congestion while also connecting communities to new housing and essential services.  

The project commits to workforce development, with at least 10% of all work hours to be completed by cadets, apprentices, and trainees. 

The SRL project is being supported by an investment of A$11.8bn ($7.70m) from the state Labor government and an additional A$2.2bn from the federal Albanese Labor government.