They put a man on the moon in 1969!
And they haven't been back since Apollo 17 in 1972. I'll let you work out why.
Airport Rail. One of several rail related topics that have been done to death a million times, along with High Speed Rail and the restoration of H220, but here we go again!
Despite the high profile afforded to it by most in the media, it is not the highest priority for heavy rail in Melbourne. Melton Electrification is of a higher priority (according to Infrastructure Victoria, not me), as is extension of electrification from Werribee to Wyndham Vale.
Back to Airport Rail, you could build it fairly cheaply, with a basic branch from Airport West on the goods line, hooked in through Sunshine, just throw some old comengs on there, or even cheaper, use push pull P class diesels.
Or, you could do it properly. Step 1.
Duplicate and Electrify to Melton, new stations at Hopkins Rd (soon to be home to a massive new suburb called Mt Atkinson) and Mt Cottrell Rd, (home to another new suburb, part of which is already underway as the Thornhill Park estate);Step 2.
Quad electrified track from Caulfield to Dandenong, with no intermediate station platforms on the new track, line speed of 130km/h, just like RRL between Footscray and Sunshine;Step 3.
Build new double electrified track from Albion to Melbourne Airport;Step 4.
Order modified HCMT rollingstock with 130km/h speed capability and appropriate fit-out for extra luggage capacity, also better seating, to primarily be used for through routed Airport line services.
Plan for all of the above to open up at the same time as the Metro tunnel (2026)
Run 3 different services through the Metro: 1. Cranbourne - Sunbury,
stopping all stations, except Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn;2. Dandenong - Melton,
stopping all stations, except Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn;
Both 1 and 2 would use the new HCMT rollingstock, Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn would be served by Frankston trains;3. Pakenham - Melbourne Airport,
stops all stations Pakenham to Dandenong, express to Caulfield, express to Metro tunnel, stops all stations Domain to Footscray, express to Sunshine, express to Airport. These would utilise the modified HCMT Airport variant.
Pakenham is the furthest Suburban service from both the CBD and from Tullamarine, therefore it is the prime candidate for through routing with Airport trains, and for a faster service to the CBD.
That would be how to do it properly, future proofing a large part of Melbourne for the next 50 years. Won't be cheap though.