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What is Melbourne Airport Rail?

Melbourne Airport Rail is a transformational public transport project that will deliver a rail connection to Melbourne Airport for the first time.

It will provide a viable, reliable and much-needed alternative to road travel, bringing an airport rail connection to Melbourne in line with other cities across Australia and around the world.

What is the Melbourne Airport Rail route?

Melbourne Airport Rail will run from a new premium station at Melbourne Airport, via Sunshine Station and into the heart of the CBD through the Metro Tunnel.

New dedicated tracks will be constructed along the existing Albion-Jacana freight corridor between Sunshine and Airport West. The tracks will veer off the freight corridor crossing the M80 freeway and head towards the airport following Airport Drive, before arriving at a premium station at Melbourne Airport.

As part of the project, a new rail bridge will be constructed across the Maribyrnong River Valley and an elevated rail design will be used to cross the M80 freeway – one of the busiest freeways in Melbourne.

Why is this the best option?

This solution delivers the best connections from Melbourne Airport to the regions and suburbs for all Victorians, getting people to where they want to go with easy transfers to all regional lines and direct trips into the heart of the CBD in under 30 minutes.

How much will it cost to build?

The Victorian and Australian governments have committed $5 billion each to the project to date.

The actual project budget is being considered as part of the business case and will ultimately be shaped by a number of factors over the project’s lifetime.

Who will build it?

Details of project staging and possible delivery packages are still being worked through. Rail Projects Victoria will run a robust and thorough tender process prior to awarding any delivery contracts for the project.

What work will you be doing at Sunshine Station?

Sunshine Station will become a key interchange for Melbourne Airport Rail services, so some changes and upgrades will be required in and around the station.

Further work is required to determine the upgrades required. We will work closely with the local council, nearby residents and businesses, and the broader community throughout this process.

How often will airport services run?

Melbourne Airport Rail services will run every 10 minutes, which equates to six services per hour with seamless travel to the heart of Melbourne’s CBD in under 30 minutes.

What trains will be used?

Melbourne Airport Rail will use the new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs). The HCMTs will be the most modern, highest capacity and passenger friendly trains operating on the Victorian network. These bigger and better trains will have more carriages, better accessibility features, more hand-holds and more space than existing trains.

How will regional passengers benefit?

Passengers on the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland lines will be able to access Melbourne Airport with only one transport interchange.

Melbourne Airport Rail trains will stop at Sunshine Station, connecting passengers from the key western regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo. Running trains through the Metro Tunnel provides a direct connection to the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines allowing Gippsland passengers to access airport services through one interchange on that line.

When will construction start?

Construction will begin in 2022 with a target opening date for Melbourne Airport Rail services of 2029, subject to relevant Victorian and Federal planning, environmental and other government approvals.

What happens from here?

We are currently undertaking a range of site investigations and technical studies to better understand existing conditions to assist with the design and planning for Melbourne Airport Rail. This includes flora and fauna, cultural and historic heritage, geotechnical investigations, utility surveys and inspections and traffic surveys. We have also undertaken market sounding, stakeholder engagement and progressed the development of a concept design.

We’ll now progress with the project’s design, consult with key stakeholders and the community, work through the necessary statutory approvals, finalise the business case and refine our procurement approach to land on the best way to deliver Melbourne Airport Rail.

How can I get involved in, or keep up to date with, the project?

To be kept informed about the project, we encourage people to register for updates and to follow the project on Facebook.