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Melbourne Airport Rail Link route chosen

The route for the $10 billion Melbourne Airport Rail link has been set and is expected to take travellers into the CBD in less than 30 minutes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the route, which will connect Victoria’s regional and metropolitan rail networks to the airport.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022 with the rail link to open to passengers in 2029 subject to planning and approvals.

“The airport link is a nationally significant project and Victorians have been waiting a long time for it to become a reality. With construction to start in 2022, the agreement will support up to 8,000 jobs during construction,” Morrison said.

“When complete, the link will slash travel times, bust congestion and be a major boost to the economy.”

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Trains from the airport will run through the Metro Tunnel so that commuters in the south eastern suburbs can get to the airport without changing trains. The majority of Victorians will have only one change on route to the airport.

Ten minute turn-up-and-go services have been promised from the Airport through to the CBD.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the announcement was a historic day for all of Victoria.

“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,” Andrews said.

“As we continue our recovery, we need a long-term plan. We need a pipeline of jobs for Victorians looking for work now, and for those who will need jobs in the future. We said we’d deliver this project, and we’re keeping our promise.”

Passengers from the regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo will travel to the airport via a single interchange at Sunshine, while passengers from Gippsland will be connected via a single interchange at a choice of locations along the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

It is also hoped that tourists visiting Victoria will be able to get to regional Victorian locations easier, boosting the regional economy.

The Victorian and Australian governments have committed $5 billion each in funding. Detailed planning and development work is currently underway, which will inform more detailed cost estimates.

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