ACCIONA, in partnership with CPB Contractors and Ghella, has been shortlisted for the tunnelling contracts on Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East.

SRL East from Cheltenham to Box Hill will connect major employment, health, education and retail destinations in Melbourne’s east and southeast. The line will slash travel times, connect people travelling on the Gippsland corridor and building it will create up to 8,000 direct local jobs. Construction started in June 2022, and trains will be running by 2035.

The Victorian government media release follows.


Three Firms Shortlisted to Build SRL East Tunnels

Media Release by the Minister for Suburban Rail Loop, Jacinta Allan

6 September 2022

Major works on Suburban Rail Loop are another step closer, with three global industry leaders shortlisted for the tunnelling contracts on SRL East – a city-shaping project that will transform our public transport network, connect our suburbs and create thousands of jobs.

SRL East will deliver 26 kilometres of twin tunnels and six brand new underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill. Trains will be running by 2035, with an end-to-end trip of just 22 minutes.

Initial works on SRL East are already underway in Clayton and major works have been given the green light following a rigorous Environment Effects Statement (EES) planning process.

Tunnelling begins in 2026, with up to ten tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to be used to carve out the twin tunnels. The tunnelling task will be split into two separate contracts to ensure the work is done as efficiently as possible, minimising disruption to the community. These will be awarded from the shortlist announced today.

SRL East has drawn extraordinary interest from the international construction market, with five outstanding bids for the tunnelling work. Three have now been invited to submit a detailed Request for Proposal.

  • ACCIONA Construction Australia, CPB Contractors and Ghella – companies involved in Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, Sydney Metro, Vancouvers’ Broadway Millenium Subway and the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal.
  • John Holland and Gamuda Berhad – these companies have experience building Melbourne's Metro Tunnel, Sydney Metro Northwest Tunnel, Malaysia’s Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit, and Melbourne’s City Loop.
  • Webuild and GS Engineering and Construction Australia – companies with experience in projects including the North East Link tunnels, Copenhagen’s Cityringen and projects in the Middle East and Asia.

The first contract will be awarded next year for twin tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley. The second is to construct tunnels between Glen Waverley and Box Hill.

Contractors will be required to deliver at least 92 per cent local content (excluding TBMs) – a huge boost for Victoria’s steel and concrete industry.

Construction of SRL East will create up to 8,000 local jobs, creating a pipeline of employment and training opportunities – with at least 10 per cent of all hours to be worked by apprentices, trainees and cadets.

Minister for Suburban Rail Loop Jacinta Allan said, “SRL East is a project Victoria needs, and we’re getting on with delivering this city-shaping network and the many thousands of jobs during construction – this is an exciting day as we move closer to the start of tunnelling.”

Suburban Rail Loop CEO Frankie Carroll said, “This competitive process has been a massive vote of confidence in Suburban Rail Loop – with construction giants from around the world vying to partner with us to deliver this city-shaping project.”