A consortium backed by the superannuation of more than seven million Australians announced a detailed plan for Melbourne’s long-awaited Airport rail link, promising the fastest travel times, a premium round-the-clock service, and enhanced access for regional Victorians.
AirRail Melbourne – comprising IFM Investors, Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains Australia, and Southern Cross Station – unveiled its blueprint for the development of the rail link with the Federal and Victorian state governments.
Under the $15 billion plan, AirRail Melbourne is proposing to match the $5 billion funding announced by both the Victorian and Federal governments to build a world-class link that unlocks additional rail capacity, while also creating thousands of new jobs.
“Our ‘Super Train’ investment proposal represents a significant opportunity for seven million Australians to invest in a nation-building project through their superannuation funds,” said Brett Himbury, IFM Investors chief executive.
“A partnership between the Victorian and Commonwealth governments demonstrates the universal support for this essential project, which has transformed talk of a Melbourne Airport rail link into a viable project that drives productivity for the nation.”
AirRail Melbourne represents a logical combination of globally recognised transport operators and investors. With the operators of both Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station in the consortium, and experience in international Airport rail links, AirRail Melbourne is uniquely placed to accelerate the delivery of this city-shaping project.
“As Melbourne marches toward becoming Australia’s largest city, our infrastructure needs to keep pace,” said Lyell Strambi, Melbourne Airport CEO.
“Key to this is the development of the airport and all its elements to cope with a near doubling of passengers over the next 20 years. As we expand our runways and terminal facilities, we also need world-class linkages between the airport, city and regional Victoria.
“Our vision is for a seamless passenger experience at the Airport, properly integrated between the train carriage and the terminal.”
The Super Train investment proposal’s key features include:
- 20-minute travel time to the city, using a re-developed Sunshine Station super-hub to provide greater access for regional passengers;
- Construction-ready in late 2020, two years earlier than currently planned;
- 24/7 trains, departing every 10 minutes during peak periods, with passengers fast-tracked at Southern Cross Station and Melbourne Airport to cut interchange times;
- One-way tickets at less than $20 compared to today’s prices;
- Reduction of 10 minutes from travel times for regional services into the city via new dedicated tracks;
- Supporting 12,000 jobs each year during construction and stimulating 13,000 jobs in Melbourne’s west and Victoria’s regions; and
- 27km of new track and twin rail tunnels to deliver a premium Airport rail service and open up additional capacity for rail services to Melbourne’s booming west.
“We are committed to delivering a world-class service with the frequency, comfort, safety and reliability people expect of a high-performing Airport rail line,” said Leah Waymark, acting managing director of Metro Trains Australia.
“Victorians and visitors alike will benefit from being able to plan their journey with precision. The Melbourne Airport rail link is an essential part of an interconnected public transport service for our growing international city.”
The Super Train proposal would connect the entire Victorian rail network with the Airport, cut road congestion in Melbourne’s west and north, and complement the Metro Tunnel and proposed Suburban Rail Loop projects.
“With more than a million people passing through our station each week, Southern Cross is uniquely positioned to connect local and international travellers with Melbourne Airport, the CBD, metropolitan Melbourne, and the rest of Victoria,”
“Our design enhances the capacity of Melbourne’s broader rail network from day one, allowing more trains to run more often and supercharges future upgrades to metro and regional rail lines.”