Saturday, July 13, 2024

Melbourne tunnel crews clock up 40 million hours

Crews working on Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project have clocked 40 million hours of work, as the city-shaping project continues to take shape.

Teams are working around the clock to get the twin 9-kilometre tunnels ready for the first test trains to begin in the second half of this year, Premier, Daniel Andrews said today.

“We’re a year ahead of schedule on the Metro Tunnel project, the biggest transformation of our rail network since the City Loop – it’s incredible to see it taking shape beneath our feet thanks to millions of hours from dedicated crews,” the Premier said.

As progress continues, the focus of the project is shifting from building the tunnels and stations to making sure the high-tech signalling, communications and other systems that allow trains to run safely are in place – making Melbourne a “turn-up-and-go” network, similar to world-class commuter cities like Singapore and London.

Lifts, escalators, security systems, communications, lighting, plumbing, power and platform screen doors will also be progressively tested in a rigorous process over many months, before the Metro Tunnel opens – a year ahead of schedule – in 2025, the Premier said.

Since work began in 2015, crews have dug the twin tunnels under Melbourne, installed the Victorian-first platform screen doors, and are bringing the five new underground stations – Arden, Parkville, State Library and Town Hall and Anzac – from concept to reality.

Arden Station is the most advanced of the five new underground stations, forming the centrepiece of the Arden Precinct – a massive urban renewal project on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD.

The building’s major structural elements are finished, and work is underway on architectural features and testing the station’s platform screen doors, escalators and lifts.

The Metro Tunnel Project is creating around 7,000 jobs for Victorians, including hundreds for apprentices, trainees and opportunities for Indigenous people and priority job seekers.

When complete in 2025, the Metro Tunnel will create capacity for more than a half a million extra passengers on the rail network every week.

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