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The Australian and Victorian Governments have issued an expressions of interest process for contractors to execute the Melbourne Airport Rail Link works around Albion and Sunshine.

Under the first works package for this project, contractors are being called for submitting their preliminary proposals.

The move follows feedback from the rail industry and aims to share the workload with more opportunities to various suppliers and contractors.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said: “Melbourne Airport is one of the key gateways to Australia and provides crucial links to interstate and regional destinations, helping to drive business and trade by connecting Victorians to the rest of Australia and the world.

“More than 100 organisations in Australia and across the world have registered their interest to be a part of building this once-in-a-generation project, which will support up to 8,000 jobs during its delivery.”

As part of the project, a new accessible pedestrian concourse will be constructed at Sunshine Station, facilitating transfers at both ends of the platforms.

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The project scope also includes extra ticketing gates, weather-secured platform extensions, and additional available lifts.

A journey from Sunshine to CBD will take nearly 16 minutes via the Metro Tunnel whereas a trip to Melbourne Airport will take about 11 minutes.

Other details of this project are being planned and developed.

Both the governments have agreed to provide nearly $3.85bn (A$5bn) each for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link project, which aims to link Melbourne Airport to Victoria’s regional and metropolitan train network.

Under this project, trains will operate from Melbourne Airport to Sunshine Station.

Before reaching the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, they will run through the Metro Tunnel and the CBD.

Construction will commence next year, with an aim to start operations in 2029, subject to planning, environmental and other government approvals.

In November 2020, the Australian and Victorian Governments unveiled the route for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.