A railway link for Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport has received the green light from the Victoria's state government as part of an election year budget.
The airport line is part of an ambitious Melbourne Rail Link project costed at $8.5 billion to $11 billion, with construction due to begin mid-2016 and some trains running from 2023, although the government hasn't spelled out exactly which of the link's services these would be.
That's because the project includes not only a line to Tullamarine Airport but a 7.5km underground train tunnel running from the city's Southern Cross gateway to South Yarra.
“We expect to see it come into operation from 2023, but obviously final end dates for the whole project will depend to some extent on the procurement process" said state treasurer Michael O’Brien.
However, the Victorian government will contribute only $830 million over the next four years as the project kicks into gear, leaving as much as $10.2 billion still to be found and funnelled into the scheme.
Previous | The long-promised but always-delayed railway link for Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport is back on the agenda, with Victorian Premier Denis Napthine today promising the line will be built under his government.
The state government's May budget is expected to outline the timetable and cost for the city-to-airport line, which would see new tracks built between the Melbourne Airport to Albion, from where it would "join the existing rail network and run through to Southern Cross Station" Napthine said.
Trains would run as frequently as every 10 minutes during peak periods with a total travel time of 25 minutes between Southern Cross station and the airport.
"This project has been on the books for 40 years" Napthine said during his address to the state Liberal Party's council meeting on Sunday. "It is time this rail link was built."
Napthine and his party head to the polls in the Victorian state election on 29 November 2014.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT