Premier Daniel Andrews and minister for public transport Jacinta Allan opened a ‘registration of interest’ (ROI) process to kick off market engagement for the project. If re-elected in November, the Andrews government has committed up to AU$5bn (£2.7bn) to the project, which will run from the central business district to the airport via Sunshine.
Preparation of the full business case is currently under way, with the project scheduled to begin construction by 2022.
The ROI is intended to help in the assessment of which organisations have the experience and capability to help bring the project to fruition, as well as gauging the interest of potential private sector investors and operators.
Rail Projects Victoria will lead the global ROI. The search includes designers, engineers, rail systems providers, rolling stock providers, investors, financiers, developers and other rail infrastructure providers.
The Melbourne Airport Rail Link will also form the north-western section of the Suburban Rail Loop, an underground rail network forming a circle around Melbourne’s suburbs. If relected, the government will also invest AU$300m for the business case to get this project under way, in addition to the US$5bn for construction of the Airport Rail Link (link opens in new tab).