Construction has started on the new North Melbourne Station which is one of five new underground stations being built as part of the $11 billion Metro Tunnel.
Workers have started preparations to construct underground walls that will be up to 30m deep and help ensure the safe excavation of 330,000 tonnes of rock and soil.
The new North Melbourne Station will then be built within the excavated space, up to 20m below ground and long enough to accommodate platforms over 225m long.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said, “The start of North Melbourne Station construction marks another major milestone for this mammoth project.
“The Metro Tunnel will transform our public transport system by creating space to run more trains, more often, right across Melbourne.”
Above ground, the station design includes a plaza on the corner of Laurens and Barwise Streets to welcome passengers.
Around 300 people will work on the construction of the station, which will be ready for the Metro Tunnel to open in 2025.
The new station will help transform the area from an industrial precinct to a brand new suburb on the edge of the CBD.
Over the next 30 years, the area will become home to more than 43,000 jobs and 25,000 residents.
In coming weeks, construction of new underground stations at Parkville, Anzac and two CBD locations will ramp up, including construction of an $18 million manufacturing facility in Melbourne’s west to produce more than 50,000 concrete segments to line the project’s twin nine-kilometre tunnels.
The Deer Park facility is expected to start operating in 2018 – creating 80 new jobs, including jobs for up to 50 ex-auto workers.
The facility will produce around 150 concrete segments a day, each weighing 4.5 tonnes, before they are transported below the earth’s surface.
Giant tunnel boring machines, two of which will be launched from the site of the new station in North Melbourne, will then install the segments as they excavate deep below the ground to create permanent watertight lining.