The federal government pledged $5 billion for a Melbourne Airport Rail link in the May federal budget, and now the Andrews government has agreed to match the figure if Labor is re-elected in Victoria later this year. Victorians are one step closer to being able to catch a train to the airport.
The proposed route will connect trains from the CBD with Melbourne Airport via a new “Sunshine Super Hub”. The hub will connect regional trains to the currently under construction Metro Tunnel and allow for one-change connections to the airport from Geelong and Ballarat.
The Airport Rail Link Business Case produced by the Andrews government shows the Sunshine Route will cost between $8 and $13 billion (private-sector contributions will also be required to fund the project). The full cost of the project won’t be known until 2019, when a full Rail Projects Victoria business case is completed.
Sunshine will be connected to Tullamarine by the Albion East rail reserve and sections of tunnel. The Age reports Premier Andrews has said that no private houses or businesses will need to be acquired to create the new rail link.
If re-elected the Andrews government has promised to begin construction within the next four years. As reported by the Age the Coalition has also promised to start work on the link using the Federal governments $5 billion contribution should it win the Victorian state election in November.