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State and federal governments lock in commitment to airport rail link

Image: @andrew_lund 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews have formally committed the Victorian and federal governments to the long-awaited airport rail link.

The pair signed a heads of agreement on the project at Sunshine train station this morning.

The federal government and Victorian government have each allocated $5 billion to the project.

This morning Minister for Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, told Neil Mitchell that an additional $3 billion to $5 billion is expected to be contributed to the project by private enterprise.

“We’ll get construction underway in 2 or 3 years time,” he said.

Minister Tudge could not tell Neil when the rail link will be fully operational.

“We won’t know that until we’ve had the full proposals come in from the providers who’ll build it,” he said.

A preliminary business case which began 16 months ago has planned the route of the rail line, which will travel via a new super-station at Sunshine.

The agreement signed today commits the federal and state governments to having a full business case ready within 12 months.

The airport rail line idea was first floated in 1958, and has been on and off the agenda for decades.

Trains may not run on the line until as far off as 2031.