Planners in Victoria, Australia, have been tasked with investigating the cost and requirements of building a high-speed line between Melbourne and the state’s second biggest city, Geelong.
Trains travelling at speeds of up to 300 km/h could operate between the two areas should the project be given the go ahead.
Announcing $50 million for the study, transport minister Jacinta Allan explained that a high-speed line to Geelong could create a rail corridor to Melbourne Airport – for which a preliminary business case for a connecting rail link is already underway.
She said: “This is about ensuring any link to the airport delivers better services for Geelong and regional Victoria.
“With the right planning, this could change the way people live and work in Geelong.”
Investigations will assess infrastructure upgrades – including the possible electrification of the existing line to Geelong, as well as new dedicated high-speed rail alignments – costs and train requirements.
Procurement of a new fleet of trains will also be looked at.
These investigations will help to identify a preferred option for the high-speed line and pave the way for a full business case.
The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority will become Rail Projects Victoria to lead the investigation, development and delivery of the programme.
Rail Projects Victoria’s portfolio will also include the $11 billion Metro Tunnel and the $1.7 billion Regional Rail Revival project.