Melbourne’s long-awaited airport-to-city rail link route has been unveiled, with a promise to get travellers to their destination in less than 30 minutes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews announced the route on Nov 21, committing billions in funding for the historic project, which will connect Victoria’s regional and metropolitan rail networks.
The reality of an airport-to-city rail journey has been much-anticipated by Victorians, who unlike Australians in other states, have not been able to catch a train to their airport but instead had to rely on an expensive Skybus service or taxis.
Construction is expected to kick off in 2022 and be completed by 2029, a joint statement issued by federal and state governments said.
Morrison labelled the project “nationally significant” because it will generate 8000 jobs during construction.
“When complete, the link will slash travel times, bust congestion and be a major boost to the economy,” he said.
Airport trains will run through the new Metro Tunnel, meaning families in the outer southeast will be able to get to the airport without changing services.
The majority of Victorians will be able get to the airport by changing trains once.
“This project has been talked about for a long time, it’s key to our recovery and this design means it will benefit all Victorians,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
The federal and state governments have also announced a faster rail link between Melbourne and Geelong, which will take 15 minutes off the travel time, moving passengers between the two cities in under an hour.
The works will include track upgrades between Werribee and Laverton and include a new dedicated express line that will create a faster route for Geelong services.
Andi Yu in Melbourne