The Metro Tunnel will transform Melbourne’s tram network as it builds a new train system below the city.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today announced that works at Domain will begin shortly, with a worksite to be established in the southern corner of the Shrine Reserve early next month.
The site will not affect the road or tram network, and work will initially focus on relocating gas, water and other services.
But as work ramps up next year, large construction sites will be established on St Kilda Road and Domain Road to build Domain Station and eventually provide a launch site for the massive tunnel boring machines that will dig the Metro Tunnel.
These sites will prevent Route 8 trams turning right onto St Kilda Road from Domain Road. As a result, the project will build new tracks along Toorak Road West, allowing trams to turn onto St Kilda Road south of the Domain construction site.
When this work is complete by mid-next year, Routes 8 and 55 will be combined into a new Route 58, which will run from Toorak through South Yarra to St Kilda Road via the new Toorak Road West connection. Trams will then turn left down Park Street and run along Kings Way to William Street, on to West Coburg.
At the same time, Route 6 from Glen Iris will be extended from Melbourne University to Moreland, to replace Route 8 services on Lygon Street.
This will ensure there is no reduction in service for passengers in Brunswick and Coburg, and will increase services to Prahran, Malvern and Glen Iris.
The Metro Tunnel project will also build new tram connections on Toorak Road West in South Yarra, Park Street in South Melbourne and on Flinders Street in the CBD to allow trams to continue at the end of Elizabeth Street.
These connections will allow trams to spread out across the city once the Metro Tunnel is up and running, delivering high-frequency train services from Domain to Parkville and relieving pressure on trams along Swanston Street and St Kilda Road – the busiest tram route in the world.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Metro Tunnel will relieve the pressure on the busiest tram route in the world by providing turn-up-and-go train services under Swanston Street from Domain to Parkville.”
“New connections in South Yarra, South Melbourne and the CBD will enable trams to fan out across the city to where they are needed most in the future.”
“Route 58 will start next year as part of the transformation this massive project will deliver to our tram network, while it builds a new tunnel to run more trains in and out of the city from the suburbs and regions.”