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Metro Tunnel

Rail Infrastructure and Rail Systems Planning Scheme Amendments (GC96 and C152)

To take full advantage of the extra capacity on the rail network created by the Metro Tunnel and its new High Capacity Metro Trains, a range of upgrades are proposed on the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

These will include installation of next-generation signalling technology and upgrades to infrastructure.

Proposed works summary

The proposed upgrades to the rail network are generally located within the rail corridor and extend from Sunbury to South Kensington station in the west and from South Yarra to Cranbourne and Pakenham in the south east.

Works are proposed in the rail corridor between Epping and South Morang to prepare for initial testing of the new High Capacity Signalling. The proposed works include the installation of signalling, cables, track side radio equipment and associated infrastructure.

Signalling and track work is proposed along the rail corridor within inner-city areas and along the Sandringham line between South Yarra station and Windsor station to support the network upgrades.

Civil works at Newell’s Paddock, Footscray are proposed to support flood offset requirements (Planning Scheme Amendment C152mari).

These upgrades are being delivered progressively from late 2018.

See the Upgrades to the rail network page for details.

Network Map between Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham

Approved documentation

The Minister for Planning has approved a Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) GC96 and C152mari to facilitate the works, after a request for approval from Rail Projects Victoria (RPV).

RPV sought public comment on the draft PSA and supporting documentation between 23 March and 21 April 2018. Read the results of our Community Engagement (PDF, 601.6 KB).

Following the feedback period, the updated PSA was submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval. RPV requested the Minister for Planning use his powers under section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to assess and approve the PSAs.

Managing the environment

In delivering these works, we want to avoid or minimise impacts on the environment.

RPV has undertaken a range of environmental investigations to support the design and planning of these enhancements to the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines. While the majority of the enhancement works would occur within the rail corridor, parts of our rail network have ecological and historical significance.

Flora and fauna

Our design is expected to avoid all listed species identified in the rail corridor, however the works may impact on native vegetation in some locations. Our ecologists will continue to advise on how to minimise native vegetation removal, avoid areas of higher quality native vegetation and secure appropriate environmental offsets for native vegetation loss. Where large, old trees could be impacted, we will work with our arborists to mitigate this appropriately.

Historical heritage

There are several heritage sites along the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines. In some cases, these sites are registered on the Victorian Heritage Register and require a heritage permit before works are undertaken. Where these sites will potentially be impacted, further assessments will be undertaken to understand potential impacts and whether additional measures are required to protect our historical heritage.

Cultural heritage

We are working with our cultural heritage advisors to identify areas of cultural heritage in the vicinity of our proposed enhancement works. To ensure we appropriately identify, minimise and mitigate any impact on Aboriginal heritage values we are preparing Cultural Heritage Management Plans for the proposed works.


During construction, the use of heavy machinery may cause some noise and vibration above existing levels. A number of mitigation measures would be used to manage the impacts of noise on nearby properties during construction.

We have also undertaken noise assessments to understand the potential operational noise generated by the enhancement works. This assessment found the level of noise generated by the works would largely be consistent with existing rail operations. In areas where there could be an increase in operational noise, it was found to be below the level requiring further mitigation.

More information