The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to link Avalon Airport with Melbourne and Geelong by rail, with the 2011-12 Victorian Budget providing funding to begin project planning and design.
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said the Budget would allocate $3 million to begin planning and design of the rail link from Lara to Avalon Airport.
"This rail link will allow passengers to travel from Melbourne, Geelong or even Warrnambool by train direct to Avalon Airport," Mr Mulder said.
"The project will provide a new station at Avalon Airport and a new rail link between the airport and Lara Station.
"Access to Avalon Airport will be greatly improved, which will help to secure its future as Victoria's second international airport."
Mr Mulder said Avalon Airport played an important role in Victoria's future and with the right transport infrastructure – including a heavy rail link – it could be a competitive, viable and attractive alternative to Melbourne Airport.
"With the Coalition Government's commitment to a new international terminal at Avalon, it is expected up to two million passengers per annum will access the airport," Mr Mulder said.
"This new rail link will be vital to provide improved access to the airport from across Victoria."
When complete the Avalon rail link will include:
- rail connections leaving the Melbourne to Geelong rail line between Little River and Lara railway stations to allow trains from both Geelong and Southern Cross to travel to and from Avalon on a new single track rail line;
- cuttings for the link to pass under Old Melbourne Road, Geelong Road (Princes Highway West) and Beach Road;
- a new railway station at Avalon; and
- dual gauge concrete sleepers with provision for the future installation of a third rail to enable standard gauge freight trains to access Avalon.
Media contact: Larissa Garvin 0427 669 628