Metro Tunnel - Underground NOW and Finished-sml

The Metro Tunnel will create a new end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the west to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the south east, with bigger and more modern trains, next-generation signalling technology and five new stations.

The Metro Tunnel is the first step towards a metro-style rail network for Melbourne, with the turn-up-and-go rail services that are the hallmark of the world’s great cities. It will give passengers direct train access to new destinations including St Kilda Road (Anzac Station), Melbourne’s major health and education precinct (Parkville Station) and North Melbourne (Arden Station).

Passengers will save up to 50 minutes a day on a return train trip. The project includes:

— twin 9km rail tunnels from Kensington in the west of the city to South Yarra in the south east, connecting the Sunbury Line to the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines

— five new underground stations at Arden, Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac

— passenger connections to Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations for easy interchange with the City Loop

— Melbourne’s first tram/train interchange at Anzac Station on St Kilda Road

— High Capacity Signalling to enable more frequent services

— safety features including platform screen doors.

The Metro Tunnel is the biggest upgrade of Melbourne’s train network since the City Loop opened in 1981. It will enable more services and reduce travel times to key destinations by running the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines through a new tunnel under the city.

Construction on twin 9km tunnels and five new underground stations is almost finished.

Tunnelling under Melbourne
The twin tunnels were dug by four giant tunnel boring machines. The 1,000 tonne TBMs spent more than 18 months digging up to 40 metres below Melbourne.

They removed more than 600,000 cubic metres of rock and soil – enough to fill the MCG 1.2 times.

What’s next?

The five new stations are being fitted out with platform screen doors, lighting, lifts, escalators and passenger information displays.

Track has been laid through the twin tunnels, along with state-of-the-art signalling, communications and power equipment. Test trains will start running in the tunnels in the second half of 2023.

Better travel

Once operational, it will cut travel times to key destinations such as Parkville and St Kilda Road. It will connect Parkville’s health and education district and the St Kilda Road residential and employment hub to the rail network for the first time.

We will also have bigger, more comfortable trains with better accessibility, increasing capacity for an extra half a million passengers across the network every week.

Five new state-of-the-art underground stations will ease congestion on the busy St Kilda Road/Swanston Street tram corridor.

Testing train runs in the Metro Tunnel – UNDERWAY

Test trains are now running deep beneath Melbourne’s CBD in the Metro Tunnel – a moment years in the making and the project’s biggest milestone yet.

Fundamentals – such as lining the trains up with the platforms – will first be tested before the team gradually increases the complexity, from one train at low speed using minimal power through to multiple trains at greater speeds.

Everything from lifts, escalators, security systems, communications, lighting, plumbing, power and the Victorian-first platform screen doors will all be progressively tested to ensure all systems are working together with Melbourne’s new fleet of bigger, better trains.

This phase of the project will include testing how the Metro Tunnel’s new High Capacity

Signalling system integrates with the new tunnels and stations.

This testing stage will continue into 2024 before the project team runs simulated timetabled services in a dress rehearsal to ensure everything is ready for a safe, reliable and efficient opening to passengers in 2025, a year ahead of schedule.

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