Before construction of a major infrastructure project can commence, investigations and planning activities are undertaken to help inform project designs and decision making.

Site investigations

Investigation activities currently underway to help us understand existing conditions include:

  • identifying existing utilities and drainage infrastructure
  • flora and fauna studies
  • cultural heritage studies
  • examining current transport network operations (road, rail, cycling, pedestrian)
  • geotechnical conditions.

Stakeholder and community engagement

Ongoing community engagement will play an integral role in shaping Melbourne Airport Rail, and we want you to have your say.

We have been engaging with stakeholders and the community since 2018 to understand how Melbourne Airport Rail might affect stakeholders, businesses and the local community located along the route and how the project can best manage construction and operational changes.

Engagement to date has included:

  • letters to residents and businesses adjacent to the rail line between Sunshine Station and Melbourne Airport
  • notifications regarding early site investigations
  • stakeholder meetings
  • an online community survey
  • information pop-ups to raise awareness of the project.

Planning approvals

As part of planning for Melbourne Airport Rail, Rail Projects Victoria is seeking a range of Victorian and Commonwealth planning, environment and other statutory approvals.

This is because the Melbourne Airport Rail route includes State land and Commonwealth land at the airport.

To date, we’ve progressed several of these approvals including receiving guidance from the Victorian Minister for Planning to apply for planning approval on State land using a tailored provision (Clause 52.36 of the planning schemes), as well as guidance from Federal departments following submissions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

We are continuing to refine detailed assessments on potential impacts more broadly along the route, as well as progressing community and stakeholder engagement to inform these planning and environmental approvals.

Learn more about planning approvals.

Heritage Victoria referral

The existing bridge over the Maribyrnong River, locally known has the Albion Viaduct, has heritage significance and is noted on the Victorian Heritage Register.

As part of Melbourne Airport Rail, there is a proposal construct a new rail bridge adjacent to the Albion Viaduct.

Rail Projects Victoria has submitted a Heritage Permit application to Heritage Victoria in April 2022 seeking to construct this new rail bridge.

Heritage Victoria is currently assessing this application under Section 93 of the Heritage Act 2017 for a permit for works to construct a new railway bridge adjacent to the Albion Viaduct.

Rail Projects Victoria also submitted an application for the construction of a section of a viaduct structure adjacent to the John Darling and Son Flour Mill. Heritage Victoria has granted permission for these works to occur adjacent to this building of heritage significance, subject to a number of conditions. Further information can be found at Recent permit decisions (

Planning and design work

Our teams are working hard behind the scenes, using information obtained from site investigation and engagement activities to continue developing project designs.