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MELBOURNE AIRPORT: Train link station above ground 2030

MELBOURNE AIRPORT: Train link station above ground 2030

Melbourne Airport has finally agreed with the Victorian Government that the above ground Airport Station will be the less expensive option.

The resolution of this agreement means that the Airport may finally have a public transport link directly between the Airport and Melbourne. The opening of the train line is scheduled for 2030, when the Airport is expecting to get its proposed third runway.

a city skyline with tall buildings
Melbourne City view from 27th floor of the Grand Hyatt. [Schuet/2PAXfly]

The disagreement

The disagreement about the station’s positioning has impeded the commencement of construction on the AU$10 billion rail link.

It looks like the rail link might finally happen. Decades of delays have been caused by funding issues and federal infrastructure reviews.

“We will work with the Victorian government to deliver their preferred above-ground station at the airport so the rail line can become reality.”

Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer

The rail link is necessary for the airport’s expansion and is expected to benefit the economy of the entire state.

a group of people in a lobby
No pierced wing frame forms as in Sydney here at the Melbourne First lounge. [Schuetz/2PAXfly]


The dispute has really been about money, convenience, and who will pay. Having a train station in the airport underground is the most convenient resolution for travellers, but also the most expensive. The Victorian Government, already in a budget crisis, with massive debt on infrastructure projects, resisted the extra cost.

Melbourne Airport, has not come to the party over the additional cost either.

The federal Transport Minister, Catherine King, appointed a mediator, Neil Scales, to resolve the dispute. He reported in June that the station should be overground. An underground station is only an option if the Airport can provide a comprehensive business case.

Melbourne Airport thought this would represent an additional two years of delay, with no guarantee they would get their way.

“We need to accept the state position and work constructively to get that train in place … so we’ve made the compromise.”

Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer

The Airport is eager to get construction underway as soon as possible. It wants the link to be open by the time the AU$3 billion third runway is opened.

Air India aircraft Dreamliner spotted at Melbourne Airport July 2023
Air India aircraft Dreamliner spotted at Melbourne Airport July 2023

2PAXfly Takeout

The airport’s announcement of a backdown has been welcomed by everyone, from the local Moonee Valley Council Mayor to the Public Transport Users Association.

“With an estimated 45 million travellers a year predicted to be using our airport when the third runway opens, the rail link will support a massive increase in passenger numbers and billions of dollars in additional economic activity for Victoria.

Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer

This is a very positive story. I can’t wait to have a public transport link between Central Melbourne and the Airport. That should save AU$70 to AU$100 in Taxi/Uber charges.

2030 is probably an optimistic timeline, and AU$10 billion is an underestimate of budget. Have you ever heard of an Australian infrastructure project to be completed on time and on budget? Nominate examples in the comments!

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