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Melbourne Airport Rail Link

Funding Program:National Rail Program
Status:In planning
Transport Mode:Rail
Expected Start/Finish:Late 2017 - TBC
Australian Government Contribution:$5,030,000,000

Project Description

The Australian Government has committed up to $5 billion towards the construction of a rail link from Melbourne Airport to the Melbourne CBD. This funding, to be equally matched by the Victorian Government, will ensure this long awaited, nationally significant project can be delivered.

The Australian Government understands the importance of being an active and informed investor, which is why its commitment is being informed through the development of a comprehensive business case. The business case will identify a preferred route, determine the location of stations and future operating requirements, and develop a funding and financing strategy. The Australian Government wishes to maximise the level of private sector investment in the project, which is why innovative funding and financing options, such as the use of value capture, will be consider as part of the business case. The Australian Government has committed $30 million to develop the business case.


Melbourne Airport is the nation’s second busiest and is expecting strong growth. In 2016-17, Melbourne Airport handed over 35 million passengers and 239,000 aircraft movements. This is expected to increase to almost 68 million passengers and 384,000 aircraft movements by 2037-38. Currently, motorists travelling on the Tullamarine Freeway experience heavy congestion, causing frequent delays and unpredictable travel times to Melbourne Airport.

A rail link to Melbourne Airport is considered critical to the effective future functioning of Melbourne and its development as an integrated, international city. A rail link will also provide a fast and reliable service to passengers and commuters travelling between Melbourne Airport and the Melbourne CBD. A rail link also has the potential to unlock north-west regional Victoria and may open up new areas for affordable housing around Melbourne Airport and north-west Melbourne.


The Australian Government committed up to $5 billion towards construction of a rail link to Melbourne Airport. This funding is to be equally matched by the Victorian Government. The Australian Government has allocated up to $2.5 billion from the National Rail Program and up to $2.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment Program. This funding is in addition to the $30 million previously committed by the Australian Government to develop the business case.


The business case commenced on 16 November 2017. The detailed business case is expected to be completed in 2019-20. Construction timeframes for the project will be determined as part of this business case.

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Project details last updated: 23/01/2019