Tunneling All Systems Go On $11bn Melbourne Metro Tunnel

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Tunnelling works on the $11 billion Melbourne Metro is well under way with all four of the boring machines now digging in an effort to complete the project's 9-kilometre twin tunnels below the city surface. 

The initial boring machines, which launched last year, executed the 1.2 kilometre stretch from Arden to the western tunnel entrance in Kensington earlier this year. 

Digging has now begun on the Arden sit in North Melbourne, with work continuing across all sites in accordance with the strict health and safety measures outlined by the State and Federal Governments. 

The first tunnel between Anzac Station and the Metro Tunnel's eastern entrance at South Yarra kicked off in April this year. 

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The project is scheduled for completion in 2025 and is set to deliver state-of-the-art underground rail infrastructure between South Kensington station, north-west of Melbourne's CBD, and South Yarra, south-east of the city, as well as five new underground stations. 

“We’re making significant progress in this landmark project – with all four tunnel boring machines in the ground.

“Big construction projects like the Metro Tunnel are more important than ever as we rebuild from the pandemic – kickstarting our economy and supporting thousands of jobs,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

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The four boring machines are named after prominent Victorian women, namely Victoria’s first female Premier Joan Kirner, Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, the State’s first female Member of Parliament Lady Millie Peacock, and medical hero Alice Appleford.

“The team have worked around-the-clock to get the four tunnel boring machines underway, while observing social distancing and keeping workers safe,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said.

The Melbourne Metro Tunnel project encompasses:

  • High capacity signalling to maximise the efficiency of the new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains
  • Twin nine-kilometre rail tunnels that runs from the west of the city to the south-east as part of a new Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham line
  • New underground stations at Arden, Parkville, Domain and the two new CBD stations directly connected to the City Loop at Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations
  • Train/tram interchange between Anzac Station and the Domain Interchange

The Metro Tunnel is forecast to support more than 7,000 jobs, with hundreds of opportunities for trainees and apprentices available, too. 

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