Five years after work began on the Metro Tunnel, the third and fourth tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are being assembled before starting work on Victoria’s biggest public transport project.
Works are ramping up at Anzac station where TBMs Millie and Alice – named after Victoria’s first female MP and a First World War hero – are being assembled at the site of the new Anzac Station under St Kilda Road.
Over the coming months, each TBM piece will be lowered into the station box and the two machines will be assembled piece-by-piece. Once assembled and tested, and the station box is fully excavated, the TBMs will begin digging towards the Metro Tunnel’s eastern entrance in South Yarra.
The project’s first two tunnel boring machines, Joan and Meg have also been busy – tunnelling from Arden Station to Kensington since September 2019, lining the new tunnel with more than 5,000 concrete segments.
In the five years since works began on the project, crews have made huge progress – beginning with the Early Works package in 2016, which relocated up to 100 underground utilities ahead of construction beginning.
Shafts have been dug for State Library and Town Hall stations at City Square, A’Beckett Street and Franklin Street.
The station cavern has also been excavated for State Library station 36 metres under Swanston Street, and support structures and a roof slab have been built for the tunnel’s eastern entrance at South Yarra.
Six massive temporary acoustic sheds have been built across the city to minimise noise, light and dust for Melburnians as crews work around the clock on the tunnels, and 1.8 kilometres of new track has been laid – which will allow the tunnels to connect to the existing Cranbourne/Pakenham lines.
When finished, the Andrews Labor Government’s Metro Tunnel will create capacity for more than a half-a-million extra passengers per week across Melbourne’s train network during peak periods, and slash travel times.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Five years ago work started on the biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history – today, we’re getting it done with the final tunnel boring machines being assembled.”
“We’re delivering the big transport projects people voted for and Victoria needs.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“The Metro Tunnel will slash travel times, support 7,000 jobs and carry half-a-million extra passengers every week.”