Crews have clocked up a whopping 40 million hours of work on Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project since work began in 2015.
With Metro Tunnel’s stations quickly taking shape, Premier Daniel Andrews said the project will be a huge asset to the people of Melbourne once complete.
“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,” said the Premier.
Crews are still working around the clock to get the twin nine-kilometre tunnels ready for the first test trains to begin in the second half of this year.
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.
Before the Metro Tunnel opens in 2025, everything from lifts, escalators, security systems, communications, lighting, plumbing, power and the platform screen doors will also be progressively tested to ensure full working order.
Works so far have included digging of the twin tunnels under Melbourne, installation of the platform screen doors, and the ongoing construction of the five new underground stations – Arden, Parkville, State Library and Town Hall and Anzac. The building’s major structural elements are finished, and work is underway on architectural features and testing phases.
As part of Victoria’s Big Build, 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 this adds to the huge number of people employed across Big Build projects.
“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,” Minister Allan said.
When complete in 2025, the Metro Tunnel is set to create capacity for more than a half a million extra passengers on the rail network every week.