Although sky travel, or much travel at all, might seem like the stuff of fantasy in our current global pandemic situation, there is light at the end of the (railway) tunnel for dreaming jetsetters wanting faster access to Melbourne airport. The proposed rail link is expected to start construction in 2022, and aims to speed travellers to and from Melbourne’s city centre in less than 30 minutes. The new transport link would send trains every 10 minutes and give international visitors easy access to Melbourne’s vibrant CBD area.
A post-pandemic economic boost
The project, which has been some years in the planning, is set to cost an estimated $10 billion AUD and is likely to create roughly 8,000 jobs across multiple sectors. The project has been approved by both Victoria and federal governments who are both contributing half to the estimated budget. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews have used the announcement to express their support of the joint project, with Premier Andrews calling it a ‘true partnership’ between the two governments.
The trains used on the rail link will be the forthcoming High Capacity Metro Trains set to enter usage in Melbourne once testing has been finished on them next year. The high capacity of the train cars is expected to be fully appreciated by 2038 when an estimated 67 million people plus are likely to be travelling on the line. The rail link plans to run through the CBD Metro Tunnel and pass through the outer station of Sunshine before arriving at the airport. A skybus service from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station will also stay running and take passengers to their destination in roughly 22 minutes, though it is thought likely many will opt for the less crowded train route through Sunshine.