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COMMUTING between Geelong and Melbourne would be cut to half an hour via three multi-billion dollar fast rail options developed by leading consultants.
As Geelong council lobbies the State Government on the city-shaping project, a “high level technical report” reveals billion-dollar tunnels between Melbourne and Footscray, and sky rail along Geelong Road in Melbourne’s west may be needed to build dedicated fast rail tracks out of Southern Cross Station.
The council has raised the possibility of a levy forcing commuters and ratepayers to subsidise the project.
The Geelong Advertiser can reveal trains would operate at 200km/h along three routes that have been costed and developed by Raylink Consulting for council.
The consultant’s preferred option following the route of the existing regional rail link costing $10.5 billion would get commuters to Melbourne in 32 minutes.
It would require two 7km tunnels from West Footscray to Southern Cross Station passing under the Maribyrnong River costing $1.57 billion, and twin 2km tunnels through Sunshine costing $546 million.
Sky rail or rail under road at Ardeer station will also be needed for this route.
Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood said he had sought a meeting with Transport Minister Jacinta Allan to discuss the contents of the report.
“This is still a very early stage of the whole project. We have to present to the government why they should engage. It hasn’t been done before in this manner,” Mr Harwood said.
“With the continued population growth in the Geelong region and the increasing opportunities for employment, the need for a fast rail service has never been stronger.”
This article first appeared on www.geelongadvertiser.com.au
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