Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Melbourne Airport’s chief have thrown their support behind a “quick link “ tunnel as part of the airport rail link project.

It was revealed last week that the state government is considering a cheaper option of using existing rail between Sunshine and the Melbourne CBD, rather than building afresh.

Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi told

The Age the cheaper approach would not meet the standards required for the rail to work to its full capacity.

“The trip needs to be fast, the service needs to be frequent and the ticket price needs to be affordable and competitive with other modes,” Mr Strambi said.

“It is difficult to see those needs being met by sharing existing track capacity which is already congested.”

It comes after the state government last week announced its preferred stage one route for the suburban rail loop, which includes a super hub at Sunshine, connecting regional rail services to suburban loop trains.

Super hubs will also be built in Broadmeadows and Clayton and the wider city loop project will connect every metropolitan train line from Cheltenham to Werribee.

An authority to lead the design and delivery of the project has also been appointed.

The Suburban Rail Loop Authority began work last week, immediately consulting with local government, universities and other key stakeholders on options for stations.

The government said the loop will cut congestion across Melbourne and create more than 20,000 jobs during construction.

Premier Daniel Andrews said appointing the authority meant the project was a step closer.

“This dedicated new authority will ensure the biggest public transport project in our state’s history becomes a reality,” he said.

“The Suburban Rail Loop will better connect Victorians to jobs, education and each other.”

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