Drilling underway for Airport Link as excavation commences at ANZAC Station

Drilling underway for Airport Link as excavation commences at ANZAC Station
Drilling underway for Airport Link as excavation commences at ANZAC Station

As excavation gets underway at Anzac Station as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, the Andrews Government has also announced the beginning of soil testing to help inform the detailed Business Case for Melbourne Airport rail Link.

The Melbourne Airport rail Link (MARL) will extend from the CBD to Melbourne Airport via Sunshine and form the north-western section of the Suburban Rail Loop.

Geotechnical drilling is the latest stage of preliminary works for the project and will be used to establish ground conditions and soil quality. The investigations involve drilling boreholes up to 25 centimetres in diameter and 45 metres deep to collect soil and rock samples.

Rail Projects Victoria, which will oversee delivery of MARL, is undertaking the investigations at six sites around the M80 Ring Road in Tullamarine and near the Maribyrnong River to guide further planning of the preferred Sunshine route. Each investigation is expected to take two weeks to complete.

The works will inform the Business Case currently being prepared which will include assessment of design and construction options for the new rail line, with further testing set to occur later this year.

The Andrews Government has committed up to $5 billion to build the link, with the Federal Government  also committing funding to the project. The total cost of the project will be determined in the full Business Case and is estimated in the range of $8-$13 billion.

Construction of Melbourne Airport rail Link is scheduled to start in 2022, subject to required approvals with construction expected to take up to nine years.

A market-led proposal dubbed AirRail Melbourne is being assessed by the Government in parallel to the Business Case being prepared. AirRail Melbourne claims construction could be brought forward to 2021 under their proposal.

Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan visited the future Anzac Station site on St Kilda Road today, where excavation on the 300-metre-long, 30-metre wide, and 22-metre-deep station box is ramping up.

Temporary closure of St Kilda Road between Dorcas Street and Kings Way/Toorak Road West will occur on Monday 4 February, from 1:30am-5:00am, to relocate large construction equipment.

An acoustic shed will be built over the northern section of the Anzac Station site in mid-2019 to contain dust and noise as hundreds of workers remove around 400,000 tonnes of rock and soil to build the new station.

According to the State Government, suitable topsoil and excavated material will be re-used wherever possible in collaboration with community groups, local government and industry. This includes rehabilitating old quarries, improving public open space and supporting other suitable construction projects.

What they say...

We’re not wasting a minute building the Metro Tunnel – excavation is now underway at every station and the massive tunnel boring machines will be digging under Melbourne by the end of the year.

The Metro Tunnel will create space to run more trains, slash travel times, and connect areas such as Domain and Parkville to the network for the first time.

- Premier Daniel Andrews


Whether it’s the Airport rail Link, the Metro Tunnel, removing level crossings or planning for the Suburban Rail Loop – we’re getting it done. 

The Metro Tunnel will not only deliver more trains more often – it will create thousands of local jobs and kick-start the careers of hundreds of young Victorians.

We’ve made sure the Airport rail Link will benefit all Victorians – delivering a new super-hub at Sunshine and paving the way for fast rail to the regions.

It will deliver wider benefits beyond simply moving tourists and business people between the CBD and the airport. It will help us transform the way people live, work and travel right across Victoria.

- Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

Lead image: AirRail Melbourne + Cross Yarra Partnership

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

Melbourne Airport Link Anzac Station Melbourne Metro

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Ross Corrigan
Nine years to build a rail line! This line was needed a decade ago and to wait another decade is just not acceptable.
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