Superannuation-backed consortium bids for Melbourne Airport rail

AirRail Melbourne has announced its detailed plan for Melbourne’s airport rail link, promising to match the Federal and Victorian governments' $5 billion commitments and deliver a 20-minute service.AirRail Melbourne has announced its detailed plan for Melbourne’s airport rail link, promising to match the Federal and Victorian governments’ $5 billion commitments and deliver a 20-minute service.

The consortium, comprising IFM Investors, Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains Australia and Southern Cross Station, and backed by superannuation funds, announced its proposal for the project, which would see the project construction ready in late 2020 – two years earlier than currently planned.

Under its $15 billion ‘Super Train’ plan, AirRail Melbourne says it will deliver a 20-minute travel time to the city from the airport using a redeveloped Sunshine Station ‘super-hub’ including 24/7 trains departing every 10 minutes during peak periods.

The plan would see 27 kilometres of new track and twin rail tunnels delivered, with 12,000 jobs supported each year during construction.

Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said the Airport Rail Link was key to ensuring Melbourne’s infrastructure kept pace with the city and the airport’s growth.

“As we expand our runways and terminal facilities we also need world-class linkages between the airport, city and regional Victoria,” Mr. Strambi said.

“Our vision is for a seamless passenger experience at the airport, properly integrated between the train carriage and the terminal.”

Southern Cross Station CEO Colin Chanter said Southern Cross is uniquely positioned to connect local and international travellers with Melbourne Airport, the CBD, metropolitan Melbourne and the rest of Victoria.

“Our design enhances the capacity of Melbourne’s broader rail network from day one, allowing more trains to run more often and supercharges future upgrades to metro and regional rail lines.”

The Australasian Railway Association welcomed the proposal to deliver the project, which CEO Danny Broad said had sat on the shelf for long enough.

“The Victorian Government has said the door is open for private infrastructure funding and after debating for more than 50 years, AirRail Melbourne has a solution on the table that needs to go ahead,” Mr. Broad said.

“The consortium ticks all the boxes, financial security with IFM Investors, MTA’s local and international rail experience and is book-ended with the Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station.

“Rail in Australia is booming, with unprecedented investment nationally. The AirRail Melbourne super train will secure Melbourne’s future liveability,” concluded Danny Broad.

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