SRL Airport Takes Flight As Works Begin

29 October 2022

After years of proposals, planning and empty promises from others, the Andrews Labor Government will be the first to start work to build a train line to Melbourne Airport.

Works are underway at Keilor East, signalling the start of a massive program of initial and early works for the highly anticipated project that will better connect Victorians to the city, the suburbs and the world as part of the Suburban Rail Loop.

The Suburban Rail Loop won't just transform our suburbs – it'll change how our whole state moves too – connecting every major suburban and regional line to Melbourne Airport.

For communities on the SRL line, it'll mean a single, direct trip to the Airport. For passengers on our other suburban lines, it'll mean no longer needing to travel into the city just to travel back out.

And for people in our regional communities, it means no more having to catch a train to catch a bus. Instead, they'll get to the airport with a single, seamless interchange at one of our transport superhubs.

For someone in Clayton, it’ll take just 60 minutes to get to the airport and for someone in Ballarat, just 90 minutes – a saving of around 50 minutes.

When completed, the SRL Airport Line will mean passengers can get from the CBD to the airport in around 30 minutes.

More than 30 stations across Melbourne will have a direct connection to the airport via the Metro Tunnel, and passengers from most other stations in Victoria will only need to change trains once.

Supporting this state-shaping project, the Labor Government is also investing $143 million to deliver the first stage of the Sunshine Precinct Masterplan.

The Station Place package will include station enhancements, a new bus interchange, shared vehicle and pedestrian pavements, more open-space and the creation of future development sites, making it easier to deliver further stages of the masterplan in the years to come as the community continues to grow.

The first tranche of works on SRL Airport includes the removal and relocation of six AusNet electricity transmission towers between the Western Ring Road (M80) and the existing Albion-Jacana freight corridor.

New towers will create space for a new rail bridge over the Western Ring Road, taking trains north to the airport every 10 minutes and connecting more than 150,000 passengers in the City of Moonee Valley area to Victoria’s expanding rail network for the first time with a new station at Keilor East.

The relocation of the AusNet towers will take place alongside a broader early works package that will move up to 250 key utilities – including powerlines, gas mains, communications equipment, and sewer and water supplies.

A construction consortium of FCC Construction Australia and Winslow Infrastructure have been selected as the preferred contractor to deliver key parts of the project, including the approximately 550 metre twin track rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River.

The bridge will stand more than 50 metres above the river valley at its highest point, making it the second highest bridge in Victoria – second only to the West Gate Bridge.

A second construction consortium of John Holland, CPB, KBR and AECOM have been selected as the preferred contractor to deliver the Sunshine Systems Alliance works package to transform Sunshine Station, rebuild Albion Station, and build twin tracks between Sunshine and the Albion-Jacana corridor, including the elevated rail bridge.

These works will minimise the impact to residents and businesses and pave the way for major construction next year.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“The Suburban Rail Loop will change the way our whole state moves, connecting every major suburban and regional rail line to Melbourne Airport.”

“Only Labor will keep doing what matters – and only Labor will deliver the public transport we need to take cars off the roads and get Victorians home safer and sooner.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

“You can’t trust Matthew Guy’s Liberals to deliver the transport infrastructure Victorians need. They’ve promised to cut the Suburban Rail Loop – putting thousands of jobs at risk and leaving hundreds of thousands of Victorians stranded.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll

“The last time the Liberals were in charge, they promised to deliver the Metro Tunnel, Airport Rail, Doncaster Rail, Avalon Rail and Rowville Rail – and didn’t lay a single kilometre of track.”

Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly

“Getting started on this much-needed upgrade to Sunshine Station and Station Place comes on top of a brand-new station at Tarneit West, an overhaul of Albion Station and planning for a station at Truganina – creating jobs, supporting local businesses and getting passengers home safer and sooner.”

Quote attributable to Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman

“The Sunshine Station upgrade will give the entire precinct a facelift, with modern facilities and better access bringing this busy local hub up to the standard commuters in Melbourne’s west expect and deserve.”

Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall

“This is a great day for our local community – Melbourne Airport Rail will be a boon for people from Melbourne’s west who will be able to get to the airport quickly and safely.”

Reviewed 02 November 2022

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