Metro Tunnel shines a light on world-class design

Melbournians can expect to see innovative and eye-catching station designs take shape as work on the Metro Tunnel Project progresses over the next few years, according to Rail Projects Victoria’s Linda Cantan.

The construction expert has five new stations to watch over as package director, tunnels and stations for the massive project – and she said Melbourne was the place to be for world-class transport hubs to rival those of London and Moscow.

“Our project and London’s Jubilee Line extension share the themes of generous space and natural light at deep levels of the station,” Linda said.  

“There are also similarities with Crossrail’s Elizabeth Line, which aims to provide relief for the existing London Underground, and the trinocular design is reminiscent of the Moscow Metro transit system.”

Natural light has been high on the priority list of station design features.

“There’ll be light from the street to each station, most notably at Arden, Parkville and Anzac,” Linda said. “We don’t want commuters to face gloomy, confined stations. We want the spaces to be light and airy.”

The generous size of the platforms will help with that.

“At 18 metres wide, the Town Hall and State Library platforms will be almost the same width as London’s Canary Wharf Station,” Linda said. “They’ll be among the widest in the world, ensuring enough space for growing passenger numbers long after they open.”

“We’ll have access from the street to platforms via lifts, tactile surfaces to guide those who are visually impaired and intuitive signs to help with accessibility.”

As commuters travel through the tunnel, there’ll be no doubting which station they’re in.

“The design for Parkville will reflect medicine and knowledge,” Linda said. “Anzac’s design will incorporate the Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

“For those watching the project closely, Parkville and Arden aren’t far off taking shape. Work will get underway on the above ground structures early next year.”

When it comes to the benefits of the project, it’s a case of “Where do I start?” for Linda. 

“It’ll have a profound impact on the way we move around our city, untangling the City Loop and providing interchanges between Town Hall and Flinders Street stations, and State Library and Melbourne Central,” Linda said.  

“It will open some of Melbourne’s most important health and education precincts to rail commuters. It will increase the peak capacity of the entire metropolitan train network, giving people back some of their time.”

“The best word to describe the Metro Tunnel is ‘transformative’ for our city.” •

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