Melbourne to finally build airport rail link

Melbourne, Australia - March 17, 2014: Image of Virgin Australia passenger airliner at Melbourne Airport with silhouette of person watching loading preparations.

Anyone who has travelled to Melbourne tends to come back with glowing praise for the city.

‘Oh the side streets,’ they say.

‘The delicious food,’ they gush.

‘What incredible bars,’ they proclaim.

‘But my god is it a pain to get to the city from Tullamarine,’ they conclude.

Well, this airport to city struggle might soon come to an end, as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has promised to begin building the long-awaited airport rail link within the decade.

The rail overhaul would also see faster train services to Geelong and Ballarat from the airport.

There has been no start date confirmed just yet, however, travellers and Melbournites alike are already overwhelmed by the news, we assume.

During an address yesterday morning, Andrews told business groups the government is hoping to have begun construction by 2026.

According to ABC News, the rail line will be built at Sunshine and will link the city to the airport and also see a series of new high-speed trains on Melbourne railways.

The Victorian Government would not simply be “an expensive funnel for tourists and businesspeople between the CBD and airport”, it will take the pressure off regional and metropolitan networks.

During his speech, Andrews said, “Imagine travelling from Geelong to Melbourne in under 40 minutes.”

“It would change the way people work and live. And it would change the face of our state forever,” he added.

“By separating metro lines from regional ones and using the airport link to create capacity on the rest of the network, (fast regional rail) dream becomes a reality,” Andrews said.

Committee for Ballarat chairman Janet Dore said she was “delighted with the commitment and recognition that regional Victoria is in desperate need for faster and more frequent services”.

As per ABC, Melbourne Airport’s Lorie Argus said a public transport system for the airport was crucial to the city.

“If you consider [at] Melbourne Airport today we have 35 million passengers travelling through. That forecast is set to grow to 60 million passengers by 2033,” she said.

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