The proposed Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) in Victoria is one step closer to becoming a reality with a Heads of Agreement signed by the State and Commonwealth Governments.
This agreement will get the two governments to complete a full business case for the project within a 12-month period and, eventually, begin construction within 3 years’ time. A project team is set to be established to help develop and finalise the full business case.
“In last year’s Budget we made a $5 billion investment in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, it was the biggest infrastructure commitment in the Budget.
“Melbourne is truly a global city that deserves world class infrastructure. The Rail Link is part of our plan to bust congestion across the city, and get people home faster and safer,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
In July 2018, the Victorian Government announced that it will invest $5 billion towards the project and in September the same year, the AirRail Melbourne consortium - comprised of IFM Investors, Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains and Southern Cross Station - announced that it will invest $5 billion as well.
To date, approximately $15 billion has been lodged towards the delivery of MARL.
Registration of Interest (ROI) was opened for submission to find businesses, investors and builders for the delivery of the project in September 2018 together with the announcement of the preferred route for MARL.
The new Airport Rail Link will include a 27-kilometre twin tunnel that will run between the Southern Cross Station in Melbourne’s CBD and a new underground station at the Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine via a super hub in Sunshine.
“The Melbourne Airport Rail Link has been talked about for far too long - we’re doing the detailed planning and development work to make it a reality.
AirRail Melbourne's proposal for the project (source: AirRail Melbourne)
Preliminary planning works on MARL commenced in February of this year, including geotechnical drilling - undertaken by Rail Projects Victoria - that will help determine ground conditions as well as soil quality along the route.
MARL is estimated to cost between $8 billion to $13 billion, though the final value of the project is yet to be determined by the full business case. Construction of the project is also estimated to take up to nine years to complete.
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