The Melbourne Airport Rail Link is finally ready for lift off, securing an extra $10 billion in backing—split equally between the state and federal governments.
Melbourne's outer suburbs are expected to see a big boost in development as a result of the new airport station which will link to the new Suburban Rail Loop.
Governing body Rail Projects Victoria is overseeing the project with a business case and costing expected next year, construction to start in 2022 and it will be finalised in 2029.
The project scope includes a new “premium” station at Melbourne Airport, new tracks and track reconfiguration between Albion and Sunshine Stations as well as a a rail bridge over Maribyrnong River.
The line from Sunshine Station goes along the Albion-Jacana freight corridor before crossing the M80 freeway and following Airport Drive to the new station.
It will provide direct connections to key growth sites including Melbourne University, the Parkville medical precinct, Melbourne Central and Flinders Street stations and the St Kilda Road business precinct.
Prime minister Scott Morrison said families in the booming south-eastern suburbs can get to the airport without changing trains, and the majority of Victorians can get to the airport with just one interchange from their closest station.
“The airport link is a nationally significant project and Victorians have been waiting a long time for it to become a reality,” Morrison said.
“With construction to start in 2022, the agreement will support up to 8,000 jobs during construction.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said the state and federal government have also agreed on $2 billion in funding each for the Geelong Fast Rail Project.
“We will deliver faster services to Geelong and shovels will be in the ground in just a few years,” Andrews said.
This route also goes via Sunshine Station creating a service 8 kilometres shorter than the current route while freeing up room for more services in Melbourne's west.
The technical and commercial advisors for the project are joint-venture Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald (AJM JV) and KPMG.
Development has already been ramping up around these areas with Biotech giant CSL Group building a $1 billion vaccine manufacturing facility nearby Tullamarine Airport.