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.
Passengers landing at Melbourne Airport will be able to take trains to the heart of the CBD every 10 minutes once the Melbourne Airport Rail Link is completed in 2029, governments say.
The Victorian government and federal government have each committed $5 billion to the project, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison said construction would begin in 2022 and support up to 8,000 jobs.
“When complete, the link will slash travel times, bust congestion and be a major boost to the economy,” he said.
In an announcement highlighting the details of the agreed route through Sunshine, authorities stated the project would take travellers from the airport into the CBD in less than half an hour.
Unlike Australians in other states, Victorians not been able to catch a train to their airport but instead had to rely on an expensive Skybus service or taxis.
Passengers along the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines in Melbourne’s south-east will be able to board a train and ride without changes to the airport, while other metro lines will require one swap inside the Metro Tunnel, which is due to be completed by 2025.
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 design states passengers from Geelong would be able to reach the airport in under an hour, with a swap at Sunshine.
Exchanges at Sunshine would also allow travellers from Ballarat to reach the airport in 90 minutes and those heading in from Bendigo in two hours.
Passengers from Traralgon are estimated to be able to make the rail journey to the airport in three hours, with a swap at the Metro Tunnel.
In an update on the Geelong Fast Rail project, towards which both governments have committed $2 billion, authorities said construction would begin in 2023 and the project would reduce the journey time between Melbourne and Geelong to 50 minutes.