First look at Melbourne's airport rail

The Melbourne Airport Rail will run across the second tallest bridge in Melbourne – surpassed only by the West Gate Bridge – according to the first concept designs released by the Victorian and federal governments.

The concept designs depict a new rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River and elevated twin tracks between Sunshine and Albion Junction.

The new bridge will be 550 metres long, 50 metres high and built alongside the existing heritage-listed rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River.

Between Sunshine and the Albion Junction, trains will gradually rise to travel on new elevated twin tracks across a distance of less than two kilometres, before descending and continuing at ground level alongside the existing freight line through Sunshine and Airport West towards the airport.

The federal and state governments have each committed $5 billion to the project.

Federal minister for urban infrastructure and cities Paul Fletcher said that once the line was complete tourists visiting the state would be able to get from the airport to regional Victoria in a hassle-free way, while residents of the booming south-eastern suburbs would be able to get to the airport without changing trains.

“We know how long people have been waiting to see Melbourne Airport Rail become a reality, and these concept designs show just how much progress is happening on this transformational project,” he said.

State transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said elevating the line would avoid costly and disruptive impacts to several major roads.

“Works from Sunshine to Albion will form an important part of Melbourne Airport Rail, with Sunshine becoming a key station for airport services and other regional and metro lines,” she said.

“These improvements will make travelling through Sunshine easier, as the number of trains and passengers increases following the completion of projects such as the new Metro Tunnel, Sunbury Line Upgrade and Melbourne Airport Rail.”

Construction on the project is set to begin in 2021 and the target opening year is 2029.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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