Answering A350OZ in reply 450:
Basically yes, although it may not be right along side if the situation with the "historic" bridge so dictates.
That's undoubtedly one thing that contributes to the total cost.
Thank you, I thought so.
Still, the $8bn+ does seem ridiculously high. Comparing this to the Regional Rail Link that was completed just 3 years ago, the cost came in at $3.65bn for a project of 47 kms length, of which 21 kms were upgrades/track replacements as well as new track within existing reserves, and 26 kms completely new developed track through farmland in the western growth corridor (which had to be acquired as well). It also included station upgrades along the way as well as 2 completely new stations. Why the airport rail link would be 3.6x the cost per km (at the lower end of $8bn) escapes me...there's only 6 kms of track outside existing reserves, and no land acquisitions required (apparently).
It could be high, but probably not that much when you include:
Inflation to end of construction, about 2028 - 2030
The elevated structure from the existing line to the airport which is why there is no land purchases [Believe that when I see it, I severely doubt the junction to the airport can be built entirely within the current rail reservation]
Airport station [presumably also elevated]
Major station rebuilt and extension for Sunshine
Rolling stock [a big one] Sydney just paid about 70.8 million per train for our latest order, built in China. I assume a minimum of 12 trains for the service so around $850 million to 1 billion just for the trains
New/expanded maintenance facilities
Modifications to existing assets
BTW IF the Inland Rail Project, IF built, comens in under $30 billion I will be very surprised. [I hope it is not built, upgrading existing lines within the existing MEL-SYD-BNE corridor will IMHO give a much better return on investment.