Melbourne, Australia – A Summer construction blitz started on 2nd January in Melbourne to prepare for the Metro Tunnel and the new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains.

The continued construction work on the Metro Tunnel has been coordinated to coincide with the biggest ever upgrade of power, signalling and communications on Melbourne’s train network in preparation for a new fleet of bigger trains which will arrive later this year.

These works will create more capacity along Melbourne’s busiest train line and improve reliability for passengers, particularly on the shared section with V/Line trains to and from Gippsland.

The eastern tunnel entrance will be located in the South Yarra Siding Reserve. A decline structure, or descending tracks, will be built so trains can enter the new Metro Tunnel near William Street and pass underneath the Sandringham and Frankston lines.

To construct the eastern tunnel entrance, the rail corridor between William and Chapel streets will need to be widened, and the train tracks reconfigured to allow two additional tracks to be constructed. These new tracks will then enter the new Metro Tunnel.

The decline structure and tunnel entrance are proposed to be built via a ‘cut and cover’ method, which will see them excavated from the top down and the surface then reinstated over the top of the tunnels.

A tunnel boring machine (TBM) retrieval box will be constructed in the rail reserve between Osborne Street and the existing Sandringham line. TBMs will be used to create the tunnels linking the eastern tunnel entrance to Anzac Station and the rest of the network.

These tunnels will pass under Osborne Street, Davis Avenue, Powell Street, Myrtle Street and Macfarlan Street and travel west under Toorak Road and St Kilda Road to connect with the new Anzac Station.

Construction works are continuing within the South Yarra precinct during January and will include:

  • Piling works
  • Track works, including track, overhead structure and crushed rock removal and installation
  • Demolition and earthworks
  • Signalling removal, protection and installation
  • Service investigations
  • Retaining wall construction
  • Installation of fencing and spoil containment barriers.

Works are required in the rail corridor between Footscray and Tottenham stations to identify the location of underground services and prepare the area to build a new platform and track at West Footscray station.