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New milestone marked on Melbourne Airport Rail Link project


Posted by Monica Gameng

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.

“By choosing the Sunshine route, we are ensuring all Victorians can benefit from the rail link, including people living in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

AirRail+Melbourne+-+Proposal+MapAirRail 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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Source: Premier of Victoria; The Age; The Urban Developer

Monica Gameng

Monica Gameng

As PlantMiner's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1000 posts. She truly is an industry expert. Monica's passion for educating and inspiring readers saw the PlantMiner blog recognised by Feedspot as one of the Best Australian Construction Blogs in 2018 and 2019. PlantMiner is Australia's largest online construction marketplace. Sign up as a vendor to find and engage with civil and commercial contractors across Australia. Alternatively, if you're looking for plant and equipment you can compare equipment and subcontractor quotes from vendors near you in just a few steps.