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Sat September 25 2021

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Private sector pitches proposal for $15bn Melbourne rail link

18 Sep 18 A consortium of investors and transport operators has unveiled a plan for building the proposed link to Melbourne Airport in Australia.

The AirRail Melbourne consortium’s plan for the ‘Super Train’ involves matching the AU$5bn funding announced by both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments to provide a total of AU$15bn (£8.2bn) for “world-class link that unlocks additional rail capacity and creates thousands of new jobs”. The project would include 27km of new track and twin rail tunnels.

The consortium comprises IFM Investors (which is owned by owned by superannuation funds of more than seven million Australians), Melbourne Airport, Metro Trains Australia and Southern Cross Station.

The Super Train proposal would connect the entire Victorian rail network with the airport, cut road congestion in Melbourne’s west and north and complement the Metro Tunnel and proposed Suburban Rail Loop projects, said the consortium. AirRail Melbourne is its plan to government this week.

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IFM Investors chief executive Brett Himbury said: “Our ‘Super Train’ investment proposal represents a significant opportunity for seven million Australians to invest in a nation-building project through their superannuation funds. A partnership between the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments demonstrates the universal support for this essential project which has transformed talk of a Melbourne Airport Rail Link into a viable project that drives productivity for the nation.”

Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said “As Melbourne marches toward becoming Australia’s largest city our infrastructure needs to keep pace. Key to this is the development of the airport and all its elements to cope with a near doubling of passengers over the next 20 years. As we expand our runways and terminal facilities we also need world-class linkages between the airport, city and regional Victoria. Our vision is for a seamless passenger experience at the airport, properly integrated between the train carriage and the terminal.”

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