Planning begins for Melbourne’s Airport Rail link

Plans are underway to give Melbourne a world-class airport rail link, with the Australian and Victorian governments meeting to brief key industry and community stakeholders on the project.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, and Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, joined state representatives to meet with industry and local government to discuss the Melbourne Airport rail link business case.

Mr Chester said the business case would look at potential corridors for the rail link, existing and future rail upgrades across the metropolitan network, and proposals from private industry.

“The Australian Government is delivering a record $20 billion investment in rail. We are getting on with the job of delivering this vital rail link between Australia’s second busiest airport and the city with $30 million already set aside in the Budget,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Fletcher said planning work on the project was part of the Australian Government’s record $75 billion investment in infrastructure with the airport link set to benefit local communities as well as airport travellers.

“Melbourne Airport rail is a missing link in the urban transport network in Victoria. Sydney has a rail connection between the airport and the city, Brisbane has one, Perth is building one — a city of the scale and importance of Melbourne deserves such a connection and that’s why the Turnbull Government is getting this important process underway,” Mr Fletcher said.

The Victorian community and industry stakeholders will be consulted throughout the business case process.

The study will build on previous studies to examine potential transport improvements for Melbourne Airport, along with new detailed transport planning and analysis.

The business case will ensure the Melbourne Airport Rail Link:

  • Addresses network pressures in and around Melbourne, including population growth and increasing congestion
  • Ensuring financial and economic sustainability of the rail link
  • Maximising benefits for passengers through frequent and reliable services and improved amenity
  • Integrating the rail link into the urban and transport network

The business case will be delivered in two stages, with a preliminary business case to be completed in 2018 for consideration by both governments, ahead of a detailed business case being prepared on the preferred alignment.

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