A vital rail project joining Melbourne Airport to the CBD is finally going ahead following the announcement of a $5 billion contribution to the $15 million Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

AirRail Melbourne consortium announced it will contribute $5 billion to the project.

The Consortium of IFM Investors, Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains Australia and Southern Cross Station will be ready to break ground two years earlier than currently planned, provide a 20-minute trip between the airport and city and will also benefit regional Victorians.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO, Danny Broad, said the essential project has sat on the shelf for long enough and it’s time for it to proceed.

“The Victorian Government has said the door is open for private infrastructure funding and after debating for more than 50 years, AirRail Melbourne has a solution on the table that needs to go ahead,” Mr Broad said.

“Melbourne’s population is set to double and the city’s livability will only be maintained with continued investment in infrastructure projects like this.

“The consortium ticks all the boxes, financial security with IFM Investors, MTA’s local and international rail experience and is book-ended with the Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station.

“Rail is proven to have far-reaching benefits and AirRail Melbourne will be no different, benefitting regional Victoria with additional capacity for the regions and creating jobs during construction and operation.

“Rail in Australia is booming, with unprecedented investment nationally. The AirRail Melbourne super train will secure Melbourne’s future livability,” Mr Broad said.

27km of new track and twin rail tunnels will form AirRail Melbourne. The project will support 12,000 jobs each year during construction and stimulate 13,000 jobs in Melbourne’s west and Victoria’s regional areas. The service will operate 24 hours per day and reduce regional travel time into the city by ten minutes.

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