Concept designs for the Melbourne Airport Rail Line project have been released, which include potentially one of the tallest bridges in Melbourne.
The new bridge will be 550 metres long, 50 metres high and built alongside the existing heritage-listed rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River.
Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the proposed elevated rail solution would avoid costly and disruptive impacts to several major roads.
“Works from Sunshine to Albion will form an important part of Melbourne Airport Rail, with Sunshine becoming a key station for airport services and other regional and metro lines,” Allan said.
“These improvements will make travelling through Sunshine easier, as the number of trains and passengers increases following the completion of projects such as the new Metro Tunnel, Sunbury Line Upgrade and Melbourne Airport Rail.”
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Airport trains will run through the Metro Tunnel, allowing commuters in the south-eastern suburbs to get to the airport without changing trains. The majority of Victorians will be able to get to the airport with just one interchange from their closest station.
Sunshine and the Albion Junction, airport trains will gradually rise to travel on new elevated twin tracks across a distance of less than two kilometres, before descending and continuing at ground level alongside the existing freight line through Sunshine and Airport West towards the airport.
Federal Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said tourists visiting the state will be able to get from the airport to regional Victoria in a hassle-free way – meaning more visitors and jobs for the regions.
“We know how long people have been waiting to see Melbourne Airport Rail become a reality, and these concept designs show just how much progress is happening on this transformational project,” Fletcher said.
“The Morrison Government is pleased to announce that this major investment is expected to deliver approximately 8000 construction jobs, and give Melbourne and greater Victoria a state-of-the-art airport connection.”
Reference design along the alignment is underway in consultation with councils, communities, government agencies, Heritage Victoria and contractors.
Construction on the project is set to start next year, subject to all relevant approvals, with early works to relocate utilities.
Melbourne Airport Rail has a target opening date of 2029, subject to relevant Australian and Victorian Government planning, environmental and other government approvals.