8000 direct & indirect jobs to be supported by Melbourne Airport Rail

Monica Gameng   |   September 26, 2022
Train to Melbourne Airport (cr: Victoria's Big Build)

The up-and-coming Melbourne Airport Rail in Victoria is progressing well towards the delivery phase with the release of the Business Case for the development as well as the announcement of a brand-new station in Keilor East. 

The Victorian and Australian Governments are committing to building a new station at Keilor East to connect more than 150,000 residents in the City of Moonee Valley area to the State’s broader rail network for the first time. 

“This is a giant win for our local community, a new station in Keilor East will be a gamechanger – by delivering an alternative transport option to get locals where they need to go faster,” Federal Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten said. 

“Our community has been calling out for this stations for years – and I’m glad that because of a strong partnership in Canberra we’ve been able to deliver it,” VIC Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll said. 

The Business Case for Melbourne Airport Rail highlights the wide range of economic and connectivity benefits the project will deliver. 

The new rail line will not only take passengers from the CBD to the airport in just about 30 minutes, but it will also help maximise connections to Melbourne’s booming west and south-east regions as well as Victoria’s major regional centres at Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Gippsland by running through Sunshine Station and the Metro Tunnel. 

The proposed scope of Melbourne Airport Rail includes: 

  • A new premium station at Melbourne Airport with services every ten minutes 
  • Major improvements to Sunshine Station, including a new, accessible second pedestrian concourse with escalators and lifts for better passenger connections between regional, metropolitan and Melbourne Airport trains 
  • New twin tracks rising over Anderson Road through to the start of the Albion-Jacana corridor, elevating the rail line over the Sunbury corridor, Ballarat Road and St Albans Road (less than 2 kilometres) 
  • A new forecourt area, extra bike cages and some minor modifications to car parking around Albion Station 
  • Twin tracks continuing at ground level along the Albion-Jacana corridor, including a new rail bridge to cross over the Maribyrnong River alongside the existing heritage bridge 
  • A new station at Keilor East 
  • A new rail bridge to cross over the Western Ring Road (M80) 
  • Changes to existing road bridges, pedestrian and cycling connections and other rail infrastructure upgrades – such as new signalling and power systems – along the length of the route 

“This is a world class project for a world-class city – and the addition of this new station will make it even better. 

“The new station at Keilor East means airport rail will truly be a new rail line for Melbourne’s west, connecting hundreds of thousands of people to Melbourne’s train network for the first time. 

“This project stacks up. Not only will it better connect Victorians to our city, our suburbs and the world – it will repay every cent invested in opportunities for local workers and businesses,” VIC Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said. 


Melbourne Airport Rail will provide a ‘turn up and go’ train service, with trains every 10 minutes. The development will also have 30 stations across Melbourne – reaching as far as Cranbourne and Pakenham – providing direct connections to the airport via the Metro Tunnel, allowing passengers from other stations in the State to only change trains once. 

The Business Case also estimates the project to cost around $8-13 billion as outlined in the 2018 Sunshine Route Strategic Appraisal. 

In addition, the Melbourne Airport Rail development is expected to support up to 8,000 direct and indirect jobs, with jobs ranging from engineers and planners to construction workers and local suppliers. This significant infrastructure investment is set to boost the State’s economy and jobs market by creating 1,880 net additional jobs across Victoria during peak construction period. 

The project will also provide opportunities for hundreds of apprentices, trainees and cadets through the State Government’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee. 

“We are proud to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver this landmark project – which will not only improve Victoria’s transport network but create thousands of jobs,” Acting Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Julie Collins said. 

The project’s Business Case includes an assessment that a new elevated station at Melbourne Airport is the best solution for passengers as this design will provide better integration with the airport precinct and will have less impacts on planned future developments at the airport. 

An elevated station will also be quicker to build and more cost effective to deliver as well as have minimal disruption to airport users during the construction phase. 

The Victorian and Australian Governments are committing $5 billion each towards the Melbourne Airport Rail development. 

Earlier this year, Laing O’Rourke was awarded the contract for early works that includes the relocation of more than 100 utilities along the project route. You can read more about it here. 

Construction on Melbourne Airport Rail is anticipated to commence in 2022, with the new rail line opening in 2029, subject to relevant State and Federal Government approvals. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Victoria’s Big Build – Melbourne Airport Rail (1, 2); Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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