Advertisement

Geotechnical investigations complete, Metro Tunnel construction to ramp up

You've probably heard of it by now - that new rail tunnel that's set to run through the city.    

The State Government has today announced geotechnical investigations are complete which will lead to the acceleration of the early works that have been slowly turning over for a while now in the CBD.

Things are about to become just that more real, more visible.

If you frequently travel to the city, the two sites which have seen some level of preparatory works already at both the top and bottom end of Swanston Street - Melbourne Central and Flinders Street Stations - will become construction focal points from this point on.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects confirmed the largest component of the entire project, the PPP contract for the civil works to construct the tunnels and stations, is still accepting bids until next month.  

A decision to announce the successful bidder is expected by the end of 2017 with the tunnel-boring machines expected to be let loose under the city sometime in 2018.

Expected capacity improvements after the Metro Tunnel is operational

The network map above, posted on the front page of the Metro Tunnel project's website, illustrates the capacity improvements expected once the metro tunnel is operational.

Based on previous announcements, we know that the Pakenham/Cranbourne-Sunbury line that is created as part of the Metro Tunnel project will have a modern signaling system which does away with blocks and allows trains to run closer together.  Government information released to date put this new capacity on rail lines using the new 'High Capacity Signalling' system at 24-30 trains per hour (a train every 2-2.5 minutes).

The current signaling system can 'safely' handle approximately 20 trains per hour according to published government information on the topic.

The Frankston, Sandringham, Craigieburn, Werribee/Williamstown and Upfield lines are set to see some infrastructure improvements which will allow more trains to run shorter runs on their respective lines: Cheltenham on the Frankston line, Essendon on the Craigieburn line, Gowrie on the Upfield line were all mentioned in the Metro Tunnel business case.

Of all the lines and the respective capacity improvements depicted on the map above, Upfield is a stand out.  This is most likely because it's coming off a very low base: there are only 3 trains per hour between 7am and 8am and 4 trains per hour between 8am and 9am at present.  

With 3400 units in 47 projects located in Brunswick & Coburg in the development pipeline, the extra services - likely to be a train every 10-12.5 minutes based on the capacity improvement number - are well and truly going to be needed.

1 comment

George D's picture

They're steaming along!

Back to top

Development & Planning

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 00:00
Melbourne property group H Developments' next premium project The Argyle is set to launch in Abbotsford’s up and coming Johnston Street precinct. One of several new projects contributing to the revitalisation of this well located retail strip, The Argyle is H Developments first collaboration with Fieldwork Architects, with the cutting edge building set to make a striking statement.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, April 21, 2017 - 00:00
Richard Tomlinson , University of Melbourne In the first article reviewing The Conversation’s many articles on housing issues, the commentary about fiscal and supply-side issues was consistent. The same is not true for affordable housing due to the diversity of affordability issues.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

Advertisement

Transport & Design

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 07:00
35 Spring Street has been anointed as one of Melbourne's elite high density residential projects. Developer Cbus Property is rightfully making note of the project's completion, with Planning Minister Richard Wynne recently officially opening the $350 million development. The project has drawn inspiration from equivalent park-front projects in New York, and holds views over Treasury Gardens that can never be built out.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 13:00
Victoria Walks, a walking promotion charity supported by VicHeath, is leading a crowdsourcing initiative that is supported by the State Government and 14 councils. The campaign aims to collect and analyse opinions on walking right across the Melbourne metropolitan area. The authorities are asking people to indicate their walking safety concerns through an interactive online map on CrowdSpot's platform.