The long-demanded rail link to Melbourne airport will be included in an expanded Metro rail tunnel plan that Premier Denis Napthine has promised will begin this decade.
Speaking at a Property Council lunch in Melbourne on Wednesday, Dr Napthine said: ''Let me absolutely assure you, our government is committed to a rail capacity project, to enhance rail capacity through the centre of Melbourne, to boost rail capacity on the Dandenong line and the Gippsland line. We need it, it is essential.
His spokeswoman confirmed that the airport route, known as the Albion East option, remains the preferred alignment for the rail link, although the final alignment of the Metro project could result in its connection into the city changing. But problems could arise because the existing freight line relies on diesel trains, without electrification.
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Using Albion East option will require electrifying the West line between Albion and the Airport. but at what point on the Albion/Jacana line will it branch or will this happen north of Broadmeadows?
Diesel trains will not be an option as the trains to and from the airport will need to travel via Metro One.
Rollingstock types and changes have not been mentioned.