How is rail access to the docks more useless?
Simple solution - bridge the Yarra at Appleton Dock, with a swing bridge from Fishermans Bend to the Newport Sunshine line (giving rail access to Webb Dock).
Just as expensive as driving a big tunnel through Maribyrnong for the Airport line and even more useless.
As an alternative, I fully endorse the 'AirTrain' proposal by the Rail Future Institute.
I've heard about this reopening the Webb dock rail link closed in 1996. Seems like a better solution than the West Gate tunnel, but you know politics, they always go for the easy option, which is to accept Transurban proposal instead of investigating other options with infrastructure Victoria first.
But I do really think the Rail Future Institute has done a great job investigating options in the long term for an Airport rail link. Focusing on separating the regional and metro system. I support either a direct link into airport, or one that links to Sunshine. Webb dock link and a Metro 2 tunnel into Newport are also good projects to happen as well. I'm not quite convinced the freight link needs to go to Newport, or the plan to move the freight corridor and reuse existing one for metro services.
Airport link could connect direct into Southern Cross, either as a VLine service, or both Metro/Vline service. They're might need more capacity along the Sunshine/Craigeburn corridor depending on the route. This is exactly why an airport line was never built, this link is a hassle to get into the CBD and the lack in patronage is a real issue in the debate.