Originally launched in September 2016 by Tim Fischer, the Rail Futures Institute's InterCity proposal presents a decades-long proposal to increase connectivity to Melbourne for Victoria's regions through an investment program that would see new or altered routes as well as service improvements on the regional Victorian Rail network.
Regular readers might be familiar with InterCity as we've highlighted or referred to the group's proposal on multiple occasions over the past two years. Toward the end of the 2017, Rail Futures unveiled its latest update to its proposal for Victoria's regional passenger network in a presentation to the Hume City Council.
Speaking with Urban Melbourne, RFI's secretary, Bill Russell explained that the wider InterCity proposal will be continually refined by internal members of the RFI's team.
In the most recent update of the InterCity proposal, the Geelong line has seen some tweaks plus there are new additions to the west of the state - reactivating the Hamilton line as well as the Mildura line.
When InterCity was first released, it advocated for a new dedicated tunnel and track for Geelong-Colac-Warrnambool trains however that's changed to a more familiar routing: another track pair in the Regional Rail Link alignment.
This four track scenario in the Regional Rail Link corridor is necessary as the InterCity proposal sees the extension of the Werribee metro line 'back and around' the Regional Rail Link line - the stations currently on the RRL corridor would become Metro stations and another track pair, already catered for at existing stations and road overpasses, would run beside the existing pair.
As was the case in the original InterCity, the Melbourne Airport Rail Link & line extension to Bendigo & Shepparton/Albury lines is front and centre for improving regional connectivity to the north and west of Melbourne.
And as The Age noted back in November, the Premier's public comments to VECCI on the Melbourne Airport Rail Link somewhat closely mirrored the concepts embedded in the InterCity proposal.
Stay tuned for later this year as the rail-focused think-tank plans to update the InterCity proposal once again as well as release a metropolitan network-focused proposal.