Possible rail link to Melbourne AirportPosted: March 2, 2010
The Age ran an editorial this week arguing that a rail line should be built from the CBD to Melbourne Airport to deal with growing traffic congestion on the principal radial freeway route. I have a lot of difficulty seeing how this could ever work financially, much less why it should be a priority compared to other potential transport projects. I’ve been on both the new Sydney and the new Brisbane airport rail lines and judging by the low patronage I’m not surprised they’ve both been in deep financial difficulty.
It might be that interstate business travellers heading to and from the CBD could find a rail line an attractive option at peak times when taxi queues are long and the freeway is congested. However the CBD only contains 17% of Melbourne’s jobs. I can’t see business visitors whose cab fares are a company expense changing trains in the CBD to get say to a manufacturer in Altona or even changing to a tram at Parliament to get to a meeting in Fitzroy or Brunswick.
But the key problem for a train is that Melbourne residents (who have to get both to and from the airport) live in dispersed locations across the suburbs. Very few frequent business travellers live close to the likely route between the CBD and the airport. EDIT: see further post here.