Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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Melbourne Airport Rail Link construction to start 2022, trains to run to CBD every 10 minutes

Melbourne Airport Rail Link construction to start 2022, trains to run to CBD every 10 minutes
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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, the Victorian and federal governments say.

Each have committed $5 billion to the project, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison said would begin construction in 2022 and support up to 8,000 jobs.

In an announcement highlighting the details of the agreed route through Sunshine, authorities said the project would take travellers from the airport into the CBD in less than 30 minutes.

Passengers along the busy 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 route agreed to by federal and state authorities should deliver passengers from Melbourne Airport to the CBD in less than 30 minutes.(Supplied: Victorian Government)

The design states passengers from Geelong would be able to reach the airport in 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.

The rail link will use the High Capacity Metro Trains, which are still undergoing testing before being rolled out across Melbourne’s train network.

Andrews and Morrison spruik $10bn ‘true partnership’

After a difficult few months where tensions between the two leaders flared at times over Victoria’s pace of reopening, Mr Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews appeared via videolink together for a virtual press conference to spruik the project.

Mr Andrews said the $10 billion joint investment in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link was a “true partnership” that would support Victoria’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“This has been talked about for decades,” he said.

“The fact that it’s going to become a reality because of our partnership is a proud moment and a very important moment.”

A graphic illustration of a high-capacity train on tracks in daylight.
An illustration of the High Capacity Metro Trains, which are still being tested before they will be rolled out on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.(Supplied: Evolution Rail)

He said the Skybus service, which takes an average of 22 minutes to bus passengers from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station, would remain but there were many reasons why people would opt for a train service.

“You are getting to the centre of Melbourne quicker, you are using a service that isn’t available now and going where you want to go, rather than everybody having to hub through Southern Cross Station,” he said.

Mr Morrison said it was also important to remember the expectations of international travellers.

“Those international travellers have an expectation of world-class cities that such infrastructure would be in place and it’s exciting that that will now be realised for Melbourne,” he said.

Geelong trips to be cut by 15 minutes in $4bn upgrade

In an update on the Geelong Fast Rail project, the Victorian Government today announced it would match the Federal Government’s $2 billion commitment towards the project.

Authorities said construction would begin in 2023 and the project would reduce the journey time between Melbourne and Geelong to 50 minutes.

Mr Andrews said it was not yet clear exactly when that project would be completed, but the Government would provide an update once more detailed work had been completed.

The unusual virtual press conference ended on a cordial note as the Premier disconnected to allow federal political reporters more time with the Prime Minister.

“Thank you very much and have a good weekend, mate,” Mr Morrison said.

“Terrific, thanks very much PM,” Mr Andrews replied.



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