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Metro Tunnel

Melbourne Airport Rail Link

Connecting Melbourne Airport to all metropolitan and regional rail lines via Sunshine

The Victorian Government has given the green light to progress the detailed Business Case for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, having selected the Sunshine Route as its preferred route.

During 2018, Rail Projects Victoria tested market interest from across the professional disciplines needed to deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link – including design, engineering, construction and finance.

The Victorian Government will now assess the applications from the more than 100 local and global organisations that responded and begin gauging the interest of potential private sector investors and operators.

Sunshine Route

Map of the Airport Rail Link preferred route

The Strategic Appraisal found that the Sunshine Route performs better than the Maribyrnong, Flemington and Craigieburn options.

Compared to the other options, the Sunshine Route provides:

  • Superior connections to more areas of Melbourne through its integration with the Metro Tunnel
  • Superior connections to regional Victoria through an upgraded Sunshine interchange
  • Earlier deliverability at a lower cost Combined Relative Benefit and Deliverability.

This decision is consistent with the recommendation of the 2012 Public Transport Victoria study.

View the Melbourne Airport Rail Link - Strategic Appraisal (PDF 770KB).

Development of the detailed Business Case for the Sunshine Route is now underway, with the project set to begin construction by 2022 subject to required approvals. Construction is expected to take up to nine years.

Geotechnical investigations

Geotechnical investigations are used to establish ground conditions and soil quality, and involve drilling boreholes up to 25 centimetres in diameter and 45 metres deep to collect soil and rock samples.

Geotechnical drilling is being conducted at six sites around the M80 Ring Road in Tullamarine and near the Maribyrnong River to guide further planning of the preferred Sunshine route. Each investigation takes around two weeks to complete.

The works will inform the design of the new rail line and how it will be built, with a further phase of testing to occur later this year.

Technical and commercial advisors

Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (AJM JV) has been appointed as a technical advisor and KPMG has been appointed as a commercial advisor for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

AJM JV has a solid record in major infrastructure projects – having worked on major international projects such as London’s Crossrail, Sydney Metro Northwest and Auckland’s City Rail Link, and as the Technical Advisor for the Metro Tunnel Project.

AJM JV have already started site investigations in the Airport Rail Link corridor as part of early planning work. Ecologists are looking for protected flora and fauna to map the sites. The results from the surveys will be used to support detailed planning and assessments for the Airport Rail Link project.

Next steps include stakeholder engagement work to help inform the Business Case, and detailed planning and development, including investigation of economic, social and environmental impacts and the required statutory approval processes to enable the delivery of the project.

A reference group including community, industry and local government representatives will be established to provide guidance and feedback to the project team as the Business Case is developed.

More information

Melbourne Airport Rail Link factsheet - July 2018 (PDF 135KB)

Media release - Worlds best lining up to build Airport Rail (13 December 2018)

Media release - Drilling underway to shape Airport Link (31 January 2019)

Media release - Airport Rail Link closer to takeoff as joint agreement signed (13 March 2019)

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