The Victorian Government has announced today that Melbourne’s City Loop tunnel – which contains the Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament underground stations – will get full 3G coverage by the end of the year, and will be upgraded to 4G by next year.
“It is frustrating when people coming into the City Loop drop off … in the 21st century we need full connectivity throughout our transport system,” Premier Dennis Napthine said in a press conference earlier this morning.
The project will be largely funded by the state-owned landowner of the railway network, VicTrack, and the three major telcos. Optus will be responsible for the roll out.
According to the Transport Minister Terry Mulder, this was made possible thanks to a $152 million upgrade of the train driver communication system from analog to digital.
The news was leaked earlier in May by The Citizen and last week by the Australian Financial Review. Telling The Citizen, Mulder confirmed that it will be built using the “leaky feeder” cabling system. This system has provided seamless mobile phone coverage for many rail networks that have underground tunnels, including the entire London Underground network and Sydney’s City Circle and the Eastern Suburbs line.