A CONSORTIUM-backed plan to run trains every 10 minutes to the airport from Southern Cross Station has been backed by the Committee For Ballarat and the Rail Futures Institute.
The plan announced by consortium AirRail, which features global fund manager IFM Investors, Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains Australia and Southern Cross Station has promised to match the $5 billion in funding for the long-awaited link which has been supported by both the federal and state governments.
The groups’ blueprint seeks to establish $15 billion city to airport link with a travel time of 20 minutes, paving the way for a round-the-clock service.
The proposal will see a trains run every 10 minutes from Southern Cross Station through Sunshine, enabling regional commuters from Ballarat and Geelong to change trains, giving near seamless access to the airport.
It also plans for dedicated ‘airport stock’, not just suburban trains, and be easily accessible from the Southern Cross terminal at platforms one and two for city commuters.
Committee For Ballarat chair Nick Beale said the proposal would bring benefits for the whole state, but particularly Ballarat.
“What we do like about it is it will hopefully bring the project forward so it can get started earlier rather than later,” Mr Beale said.
“Committee For Ballarat looks forward to communicating with the parties involved to understand the impacts this will have on the development and quadruplication on the line to Melton and as it relates to the Sunshine interchange.”
Rail Futures Institute (RFI) president John Hearsch said the plan builds on RFI’s ongoing advocacy for a dedicated Airport route from Southern Cross Station via a single stop at Sunshine.
“A potential partnership between the private sector and State and Commonwealth Governments and which adopts the right solution for this critically important project is thankfully now in sight based on the detail of AirRail Melbourne proposal,” he said.
“If adopted, the project will hopefully move quickly into implementation mode.”
Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said; “As Melbourne marches toward becoming Australia’s largest city our infrastructure needs to keep pace” .
“Key to this is the development of the airport and all its elements to cope with a near doubling of passengers over the next 20 years.
“Our vision is for a seamless passenger experience at the airport, properly integrated between the train carriage and the terminal.”
The announcement comes just days after the state government opened up the project for registrations of interest which is the beginning of market engagement for providers that can help deliver the project.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said Rail Projects Victoria will lead the global registration of interest for organisations interested in the future development of the Airport Rail Link.
Further information is available on railprojects.vic.gov.au/airportraillink.
All registrations of interest should be lodged at firstname.lastname@example.org