Melbourne Airport Rail Link


Victorian Department of Infrastructure



Completion date


When the Victorian government initially proposed to set aside land for a future rail link to Melbourne Airport, there was considerable criticism concerning the lack of community consultation. The Victorian Department of Infrastructure responded by undertaking a detailed assessment of the impacts associated with the proposed rail link, including a full assessment of two alternative routes.

Scope of Services

With extensive experience in community consultation and in environmental noise and vibration modelling, Marshall Day Acoustics (MDA) was commissioned to assess the noise and vibration impacts for the project.

Victoria has no legislation controlling rail noise and vibration and MDA was keenly aware that the criteria set for this project would create a precedent. In the end, achievable and realistic criteria were developed based on interstate and overseas practice. Of particular interest were the vibration criteria, which were based on a Norwegian standard that relates vibration exposure to community response.

Noise monitoring was undertaken at many locations adjacent to the various route options. Sites were selected in order to reflect a variety of situations and in response to concerns from individuals regarding their existing rail noise exposure.

The impacts near existing sections of rail line were modelled as changes to the existing noise environment. For new sections, rail noise was predicted using the Norwegian Kilde 130 method implemented on SoundPLAN noise modelling software. This method, establishing both maximum and average noise levels, enables the impact from each rail option to be compared, evaluated and ranked.