Airport Rail: On The Right Track?

For almost as long as Melbourne Airport has existed, the question has hung in the air like a circling plane, why isn’t there a train line to Melbourne Airport?

The number of people using the airport are already substantial and they’re only growing. Currently, there are 35 million passengers a year, which is forecast to rise to 67 million over the next 20 years.

It’s also worth noting that over one quarter of the of the 127,000 airport trips every day are made by employees working in the various business and services at Melbourne Airport.

More runways and terminals are being planned to cope with the rise of tourists and business travellers, but more options are needed beyond cars and Skybus to cope with the number of people going to and from the airport.

A fast rail connection with high capacity and frequent services seems like an obvious fix. Especially as the population continues to grow, planning and assessing the airport rail link is a priority.

Sunshine, with strong transport connections to Melbourne, is looking as the most likely hub for the line. The suburb in Melbourne’s west, would connect both the regional and metro train lines to the airport.

Key considerations

There will, of course, be many travellers who won’t use the train, preferring instead to make their own way across town, but a Melbourne Airport rail link will benefit Victorian’s as well as interstate and international guests visiting our great state.

As with any project of this scale, the multi-billion-dollar airport rail link must deliver value and meet the needs of all Victorians. In this case, the airport train link must:

  • Be easy to use and reach from airport terminals
  • Have frequent and reliable services
  • Ensure simple transfers across the city and regional Victoria
  • Connect to Melbourne’s broader public transport network which must be improved

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Authorised by Bryce Prosser, RACV General Manager Public Policy and Corporate Affairs, 485 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000