The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed today’s confirmation of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link route, with the project to unlock billions of dollars in investment and create thousands of jobs.

ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said today’s announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was a welcome boost for the people of Melbourne as they start their economic recovery.

“The Melbourne Airport Rail Link has been a long awaited project for the people of Victoria,” she said.

“Today’s decision will unlock the Federal and Victorian governments’ combined $10 billion commitment to speed the state’s recovery and deliver a rail link that will serve the community well for years to come.”

Ms Wilkie said rail construction projects had driven jobs growth across the country in recent years, and that trend would continue with the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

The project is expected to create up to 8000 jobs during construction, highlighting the essential role rail must play in Australia’s economic recovery.

Ms Wilkie said the project would also help address the state’s heavy reliance on road transport to get to and from the airport.

Every full commuter train takes 578 cars off the road, reducing carbon emissions and delivering better safety outcomes.

“Airport rail links are a crucial part of the transport network in major cities the world over and has been desperately needed in Melbourne for some time,” she said.

“The project will help relieve congestion on busy city roads and provide a convenient solution for both Victorians and tourists visiting the state.”

She said the project must draw on industry expertise and innovation to deliver the best possible outcomes for the community.

“The Melbourne Airport Rail Link will be part of visitors’ first impression of the city, so it is essential the project delivers a modern, innovative and responsive solution that will stand the test of time,” Ms Wilkie said.

Melbourne Airport Rail is expected to deliver 10-minute turn-up-and-go services from Melbourne Airport to the city.

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