Melbourne-Avalon Airport rail link back on track with light rail?

By David Flynn, August 6 2013
Melbourne-Avalon Airport rail link back on track with light rail?

Melbourne’s Avalon Airport could finally get the rail link that travellers have been waiting for, although it won’t be a direct line to the city as previously promised.

Instead, the latest low-cost plan would see a light rail line branching off the main Melbourne-Geelong train line.

A new Avalon Airport interchange station would be built between the current Lara and Little River stations, with an automated ‘people mover’ to shuttle passengers to and from the airport.

The light rail spur carries a far cheaper price tag than the estimated $250 million direct line pledged by the Victorian Government in 2010, and would also be faster to build.

It’s modelled only on similar systems used both within airports and to connect them to nearby centres, as well as the driverless trains which will run on Sydney’s new North West Rail Link.

The light rail link will boost Avalon’s ambitions to become Melbourne's second international airport, which includes plans for a new $15m terminal (shown below) with up to 10,000 square metres to cater for the customs and security requirements of overseas flights along with space for retail and duty-free.

Avalon Airport chief executive Justin Giddings envisions “the airport experience” as beginning at Avalon Airport station rather than waiting for passengers to arrive at the terminal.

"They'd check in, drop their bags off, have a coffee or whatever, and get their boarding pass. Then when they're ready, they'd get on to a light rail to the airport."

Avalon Airport is located 55km south-west of the Melbourne CBD, sitting nearest to the regional Victorian centre of Geelong, with travellers flying via Avalon currently relying on a shuttle bus or private transport to Melbourne.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1464

All those rail link debates quite controversial for Melbourne. Yes, one can catch "tube" in Heathrow - I did it and it is really nice. However if they make train from Tulla to CBD it frankly will not affect me anyhow. People who living outside CBD (99% of Melbourne population) hardly find it very convenient catch train (that you actually has to get to somehow with baggage!), go to city and change to other one (with baggage!!!). It became way too long and cumbersome. Only backpackers and people who flying to Melbourne for one-day business trip may benefit, but usually latest do not care because their company pays taxi. I am very "anti-taxi-monopoly" person, but seriously I fail to see huge usage from train. Also buses exist for those who hate taxis. Same applicable to Avalon - unfortunately I do not believe that it will see huge usage.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654 oz born/bred/live...born/bred melb area 25yrs ...currently live in syd area 25yrs.and have experienced other 'major' airports around oz.. perth/adelaide/hobart/brisbane/gold coast/carins/ well as avalon...and i'm embarrased to say that for a country that relies on the tourism dollar and air travel.. due to its vastness...state govts/federal govts...any govt!!!! doesnt 'get it'!!! .. poor airports...poor infrastrure.. poor transport.. sadly oz govts drop the ball regarding forward planning on infrastructure .... and always seem to try  to plug the holes using the cheapest plan..yes we always hear the opposition to more effecient plans because they are 'unaustralian' ..'jobs lost'..blah blah....oz is a great country.... but sadly govts wont adopt/commit to 'radical' (sensible) policy/plans in fear of losing votes/popularity/govt!!!  

Agreed. Politicians should not be in-charge of planning infrastructure. This should be devolved to a RBA-like body that plans infrastructure according to the demands of the economy to facilitates sustainable growth.

This RBA-like body should not be made up in the main by political appointees but instead governed through a charter that removes them from the meddling of politicians.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Jul 2012

Total posts 35

The real question is if Melbourne-Avalon airport needs a rail link then why doesn't the private company that operates the airport pay for it and build it.

The same applies to Melbourne-Melbourne airport. If the government (state and federal) want to set target numbers of pasengers accessing the airports by public transport then by all means contribute but do not pay for everything.

And don't get me started with the whole 'Ryanair' naming convention!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2012

Total posts 121

and add Perth to the 'needs a rail link' list too.....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 130

I think the issue for the Mel CBD to Tulla is that there is some deal with state gov and citylink not to allow this to happen for a number of years..interesting..

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 5

Frequency of direct line  CBD/ airport  would depend on air passenger logistics.

Frequency to new Avalon Airport station would be present train services > Geelong - plus no doubt additional timetable.

Check in, baggage drop at new station is in line with present trends most travellers have found. _ KL, HK at least known to me.



Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Feb 2012

Total posts 17

I am all for rail links to airports.  I understand the "99% of people don't live in the cbd" argument but a hell of a lot of tourists and business people DO want CBD access. In Melbourne's case, if I live, for insntance in the SE or towards the Morning Peninsula getting a train from teh airport to the CBD and then on to (say) Frankston is huge.

As for the link to Avalon, it would do a hell of a lot to may it more acceptable if the link to the CBD was then continued to Tullamarine. The more connected the airports are the more traffic they can coordinate/generate.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Melbourne-Avalon Airport rail link back on track with light rail?