Melbourne Airport Rail Link


Prospective pipeline

Credibly proposed


Under procurement

Preferred bidder announced

Recently closed
Melbourne Airport Rail Link

Prospective pipeline

Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.

Credibly proposed

The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.   


The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.

Under procurement

The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).

Preferred bidder announced

A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.

Recently closed

Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.

ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:


Construction projects: > AUD$300m

Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m

New Zealand

All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million

STATUS: Announced
TYPE: Greenfield

Project Scope

The Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) is a proposed rail transit service that will take passengers from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport to the CBD in less than 30 minutes, using Victoria's new High Capacity Metro Trains. The project will enable most Victorians to reach Tullamarine with just one interchange, while those in south-east Melbourne will be able to travel directly to the airport.

The MARL’s anticipated route, will travel through Sunshine in Melbourne’s west and utilise the Metro Tunnel in Melbourne’s CBD. The MARL will be integrated with the Suburban Rail Loop as part of the north-west section of the orbital loop planned for construction around the Melbourne CBD. The total cost of the Sunshine alignment is estimated to be between $8-$13 billion, with construction slated to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2029. The full business case using the Sunshine alignment is expected to be completed in 2020.

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV, formerly the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority) is responsible for the delivery of MARL.



Key Dates

Nov 2020: The Federal and Victorian Governments commit up to $5 billion each

2022: Construction expected to begin

2029: Construction expected to be completed




Related contracts

Sep 2018: RPV called for Registrations of Interest (ROIs) in September 2018 for industry participants interested in being part of delivering MARL. ROIs are being sought from designers, engineers, rail systems providers, rolling stock providers, investors, financiers, developers and other rail infrastructure providers. Industry proponents who do not participate in the ROI process are not precluded from bidding for work once procurement starts.




Federal Government: In the 2018-19 budget, the Federal Government announced it would invest $5 billion for the MARL project, indicating it expects to enter a 50:50 funding partnership with the Victorian Government while also welcoming private sector investment.

Nov 2020: The Federal and Victorian Governments confirm they wll both commit up to $5 billion each

VIC Government: The 2017-18 State Budget allocated $10 million (from the Federal Government's Asset Recycling Initiative) to develop a MARL plan in partnership with the private sector

The 2018-19 Victorian Budget allocated $50 million towards detailed planning and technical investigations to identify the preferred option for MARL

In July 2018 the Victorian Government announced that if re-elected at the November 2018 State election, it would match Federal Government funding by providing up to $5 billion towards MARL.

The 2019-2020 budget allocated $681 million over the forward estimates from the Federal Government.

Nov 2020: The Federal and Victorian Governments have confirmed they will each provide up to $5 billion for construction of the project.



Project History

Dec 2020: The Victorian Government commenced community engagement, with feedback to be provided by February 2021.

Mar 2019: Federal and Victorian Governments signed a Heads of Agreement document for the project. The agreement outlines how the two governments will cooperate on the project, including jointly progressing the business case for the project. The business case is expected to be finalised in 2020.

Dec 2018: The Victorian Government announced that a Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (AJM JV) had been appointed as a technical advisor and KPMG as a commercial adviser for the project. The AJM JV is carrying out detailed investigations of infrastructure upgrades, costs and train requirements to deliver fast rail to the regions as part of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link for the Western Rail Plan.

Jul 2018: In the lead up to the November state election the Victorian Government identified the Sunshine (Albion east) alignment as the Victorian Government's preferred alignment.

Nov 2017: In November 2017, the Victorian and Commonwealth governments met with industry and formally commenced the business case study

2005: The Victorian Government reserved land for a rail link to Melbourne Airport, which spurred off an existing freight corridor that runs between the Sunbury and Craigieburn lines.


Last reviewed: 25/01/2021

Presented by

Government sponsors


Supporting agencies