The Federal Government has reaffirmed its support of the delivery of the $9 billion Melbourne Metro passenger train system, with Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese saying that the Federal Budget would allocate $3 billion to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Government.

Federal funding of $40 million had previously been provided to assist in the planning.

“Following a decade in which train patronage rose by 70 per cent and in light of predictions that Melbourne’s population will hit 5 million residents by 2025, no project is more important to the City’s future than the renewal of its urban passenger rail network,” Mr Albanese said.

“What’s more, the potential benefits of this project are not confirmed to the rail network.  As well as easing congestion along the St Kilda tram corridor – one of the busiest in the world – completion of this new line has the potential to spur major redevelopments across inner-city North Melbourne.”

The project will see the delivery of a 9 kilometre tunnel extending from South Kensington to South Yarra, with a new station to be constructed at Arden Street.

“This transformative project would provide capacity for up to 19 extra services and 20,000 additional passengers per hour,” Mr Albanese said.