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 around 30 minutes.
What are you building as part of the project?
Proposed scope as part of Melbourne Airport Rail includes:
- improvements to Sunshine Station, including a new, accessible second pedestrian concourse with escalators and lifts for better passenger connections between regional, metropolitan and Melbourne Airport trains
- new twin tracks rising over Anderson Road through to the start of the Albion-Jacana corridor, elevating the rail line over the Sunbury corridor, Ballarat Road and St Albans Road (less than 2km)
- a new forecourt area, extra bike cages and some minor modifications to car parking around Albion Station
- twin tracks continuing at ground level along the Albion-Jacana corridor, including a new rail bridge to cross over the Maribyrnong River alongside the existing heritage bridge
- a new rail bridge to cross over the Western Ring Road (M80)
- changes to existing road bridges, pedestrian connections and other rail infrastructure upgrades – such as new signalling and power systems – along the length of the route.
We’re continuing to refine designs as part of the planning and development of the project, with scope and designs to be finalised once works contracts are awarded. minutes.
What are you delivering at Sunshine Station?
Sunshine Station is already an important interchange and will become a transport superhub in Melbourne’s west, as a key connection point for metropolitan, regional and airport services.
As part of Melbourne Airport Rail, Sunshine Station will almost double in size and include a new, accessible second pedestrian concourse with escalators and lifts for better passenger connections between services.
Melbourne Airport Rail’s improvements to Sunshine Station will complement planning for the wider Sunshine transport precinct, through the delivery of projects including Melbourne Airport Rail, Metro Tunnel, Sunbury Line Upgrade and Suburban Rail Loop.
Rail Projects Victoria is continuing to work with the Department of Transport and other stakeholders on this important precinct planning work.
How much will it cost to build?
The Victorian and Australian governments have committed $5 billion each to the project to date.
We expect the project to cost between $8-13 billion – this is consistent with the figure outlined in the Sunshine Route Strategic Appraisal. The final project budget will be confirmed once all major contracts are awarded.
Who will build it?
Melbourne Airport Rail is a massive engineering project and, informed by feedback from the industry, it is proposed to divide works up into several packages to provide more opportunities to different contractors.
The first of these packages issued to market covers works within the Sunshine/Albion area. This works package comprises of works around the Sunshine and Albion area which will almost double the size of Sunshine Station, build a section of elevated rail between Sunshine and the Albion-Jacana corridor, and deliver improvements around Albion Station.
Further work is continuing to refine the exact scope and timing involved in each of the remaining packages of work. Rail Projects Victoria will run a robust and thorough tender process prior to awarding any delivery contracts for the project.
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 around 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.