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Melbourne’s long-awaited $10bn airport rail link will take travellers from Tullamarine into the heart of the CBD in less than half an hour via the Metro Tunnel.
Daniel Andrews and Scott Morrison have finally struck an agreement on the design of the project and will contribute $5bn each to start construction in 2022.
The link is expected to be finished by 2029, enabling commuters to travel from the airport all the way along the Cranbourne/Pakenham line — Melbourne’s busiest rail corridor — without changing trains.
Turn-up-and-go services on new high capacity trains will run every 10 minutes.
Melbourne Airport rail journey times.While no decision has been made on ticket prices, the Herald Sun understands commuters can expect a fare similar to the existing $20 SkyBus service, charged through myki.
A private consortium, including Melbourne Airport and Metro Trains, was told on Friday night the state and federal governments had rejected its $7bn contribution, which would have involved a new tunnel running through Melbourne’s inner west.
Instead, the airport link will connect to a new Sunshine super-hub — where commuters can change trains for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo — and into the Metro Tunnel, which will open in 2025.
That means it will take 27 minutes to reach the new State Library station, 29 minutes to the Town Hall hub linked to Flinders Street Station, and 24 minutes to the research and education precinct in Parkville.
The Prime Minister said the “nationally significant project” would create 8000 jobs during construction.
“When complete, the link will slash travel times, bust congestion and be a major boost to the economy,” Mr Morrison said.
The Premier said it was part of Victoria’s COVID-19 recovery plan to be revealed in next week’s state budget.
“We need a pipeline of jobs for Victorians looking for work now, and for those who will need jobs in the future,” Mr Andrews said.
The project will require several expensive flyover sections through Melbourne’s west, and some properties may have to be acquired near Sunshine station, which will be redeveloped to connect with regional lines.
Infrastructure authorities will also work with Melbourne Airport to design the location of the station as part of its expansion plans.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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