Melbourne Airport rail design clash

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Melbourne Airport management and the state government disagree over the design of the rail link connecting Tullamarine to the city.

The state government plans to build an elevated station at the airport, but operators prefer a subway station near the facility.

As part of the project, a new railway station will also be built at Keilor East and an overhead rail bridge over the M80 Freeway.

In a statement, a representative from Melbourne Airport said airport officials have not yet reached an agreement with the state government on the location or design of the airport link.

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“Melbourne Airport’s preference has been and remains a metro station,” said Jai McDermott, the airport’s head of ground transportation.

“(It) provides a superior passenger experience, ensures future connectivity and is suitable for Victoria’s international gateway.

“It is important that the new train station works for all airport users, not just those who come by train.”

The business case, released Wednesday, indicated that the project will cost between $8 billion and $13 billion and would have a benefit-cost ratio of up to $2.10 for every $1 spent.

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It said building an elevated station at the site would be faster and cheaper to build, while having less impact on passengers during construction.

The Victorian and Australian governments are each contributing $5 billion to the project.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the new station is a big win for residents of Melbourne’s growing western suburbs.

“The new station at Keilor East means that the airport train will truly be a new rail line for Melbourne’s west, connecting hundreds of thousands of people to Melbourne’s train network for the first time,” Minister Allan said in a statement.

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“This project is piling up. Not only will it better connect Victorians to our city, our suburbs and the world, it will repay every cent invested in opportunities for local workers and businesses.”

The state government says trains between the city and the airport would run every ten minutes and the journey would take about 30 minutes when the project is completed in 2029.

It would also include 12 kilometers of additional track and an upgrade to Sunshine station.

– MONKEY

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