First Metro Tunnel station complete
The Metro Tunnel has moved a major step closer to opening with construction of the first of five new underground stations now complete.
Arden Station – which forms the heart of a future health precinct just two kilometres from the CBD – is now ready for testing before the underground rail line opens a full year ahead of schedule in 2025.
Sitting on a former industrial site, Arden Station features a soaring brick arched entrance, skylights to let natural light flow 14 metres underground and Victorian-first platform screen doors for better safety.
The modern station includes bike parking spaces, drop-off zones, accessible carparks and will be within walking distance of the North Melbourne Recreation Centre, Arden Street Oval and the route 57 tram.
Since construction began in 2018, thousands of workers have excavated 330,000 tonnes of rock and soil, installed 3000 lights and laid 104,000 locally manufactured bricks.
Arden Station’s completion was accelerated to start testing systems and provide a template for the remaining stations. In recent weeks, crews have laid down Arden’s finishing touches – with landscaping, seating, paving, bicycle hoops and passenger information displays now in place.
Work on the Metro Tunnel’s CBD stations – Town Hall and State Library – is continuing as crews turn their attention to the stations’ entrances.
A section of Flinders Lane between Swanston St and Royston Place closed to traffic in January, to allow work on two Town Hall Station entrances in Cocker Alley and Scott Alley.
Town Hall Station will have seven entrances; in Cocker Alley, Scott Alley, City Square, Federation Square, Degraves Subway, Flinders St and Swanston St, making it easy to get to and from the station and some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks.
The section of Flinders Lane is expected to reopen in March.
The structure for State Library Station’s main entrance at the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets is now complete after six massive entrance beams were lifted into place late last year.
Deep below Swanston St both stations are progressing at pace, with architectural fit-out well underway and installation of Victorian-first platform screen doors now complete.
The Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne, and Pakenham lines via a new tunnel under the city, creating an end-to-end rail line from the north-west to the south-east, freeing up space in the City Loop and creating capacity to run more trains more often. •