Metro tunnel sign

Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel is on track to begin testing trains in the second half of 2023, with crews having clocked 40 million hours of work on the project.

The Metro Tunnel’s stations are quickly taking shape, with crews still working around the clock to get the twin 9km  tunnels ready for the first test trains. 

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “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.”

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 – aiming to make Melbourne a “turn-up-and-go” network, similar to world-class commuter cities like Singapore and London.

Everything from lifts, escalators, security systems, communications, lighting, plumbing, power and the 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.

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 being built as part of the Metro Tunnel, 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.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “Victoria’s Big Build infrastructure projects are keeping more than 20,000 people employed – and for every 100 direct jobs, an average of 200 are supported across the economy.”

When completed 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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