Works are underway for Victoria’s first direct train line to Melbourne Airport, with initial and early works commencing in Keilor East and contracts awarded for several major projects.
Part of the State Government’s broader Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) project, the highly-anticipated airport service will offer 30-minute travel times from Melbourne’s CBD, 60-minutes for commuters in Clayton, and 90 minutes for those in Ballarat – a saving of around 50 minutes.
The airport link project is estimated to cost between $8 billion and $13 billion with initial co-funding of $5 million from both the Victorian and Federal Governments.
More than 30 stations across Melbourne will have a direct connection to the airport via the Metro Tunnel, and passengers from most other stations in Victoria will only need to change trains once.
An additional $143 million investment from the State Government will progress the delivery of its Sunshine Precinct Masterplan in support of the new works.
State Premier, Daniel Andrews, said the SRL project would be transformative to residents’ daily commutes.
“The Suburban Rail Loop will change the way our whole state moves, connecting every major suburban and regional rail line to Melbourne Airport,” Mr Andrews said.
A construction consortium of FCC Construction Australia, Winslow Infrastructure and McConnell Dowell have been selected as the preferred contractor to deliver key parts of the project, including the approximately 550m twin-track rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River.
The bridge will stand more than 50m above the river valley at its highest point, making it the second highest bridge in Victoria – second only to the West Gate Bridge.
A second construction consortium of John Holland, CPB, KBR and AECOM have been selected as the preferred contractor to deliver the Sunshine Systems Alliance works package to transform Sunshine Station, rebuild Albion Station, and build twin tracks between Sunshine and the Albion-Jacana corridor, including the elevated rail bridge.
The Station Place package will include station enhancements, a new bus interchange, shared vehicle and pedestrian pavements, more open-space and the creation of future development sites, making it easier to deliver further stages of the masterplan in the years to come as the community continues to grow.
The first tranche of works on SRL Airport includes the removal and relocation of six AusNet electricity transmission towers between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the existing Albion-Jacana freight corridor.
New towers will create space for a new rail bridge over the Western Ring Road, taking trains north to the airport every ten minutes and connecting more than 150,000 passengers in the City of Moonee Valley area to Victoria’s expanding rail network for the first time with a new station at Keilor East.
The relocation of the AusNet towers will take place alongside a broader early works package that will move up to 250 key utilities – including powerlines, gas mains, communications equipment, and sewer and water supplies.