The Metro Tunnel, Melbourne’s state-of-the-art underground project is set to boost efficiency and ease congestion in the city’s transport system, while boosting property prices within the vicinity of its stations.
Good news for Melbourne dwellers: the $11 billion Metro Tunnel project in Melbourne will start construction next year.
Due for completion in 2026, the twin nine-kilometre tunnels will deliver a new dedicated pathway through the heart of the city. This will free up Melbourne’s biggest bottleneck by running three of the busiest train lines through the tunnel, creating space for more trains to run more often across Melbourne’s rail network. Those three lines are each among the worst in Melbourne for peak-hour overcrowding, with multiple trains per day that breach Public Transport Victoria’s load standard of 900 passengers per train.
The Metro Tunnel is the first step towards a ‘metro style’ rail network for Melbourne with ‘turn-up-and-go’ train services that are the hallmark of the world’s great cities such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. Currently, commuters using Melbourne’s rail network have to rely on a timetable detailing what time trains will arrive, and plan their journeys around that.
Premier Daniel Andrews says commuters will be able to throw away the timetable after the Metro Tunnel project is complete.
“This project is all about turn-up-and-go, no-timetable-required public transport,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
The new train tunnel will rival the underground networks of Paris and Hong Kong, with state-of-the-art signalling technology that can run trains every three minutes.
The Metro Tunnel will create a new end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the west to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the south-east, with high capacity trains and five new underground stations located at Arden, Parkville, the CBD and Domain.
The five new underground stations are at North Melbourne, Parkville, State Library at the northern end of Swanston Street, Town Hall at the southern end of Swanston Street, and Anzac on St Kilda Road.
The two stations under Swanston Street will be directly connected to the City Loop at Melbourne Central and Flinders Street stations.
By creating a new dedicated pathway through the inner core for Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham services, more trains will be able to run more often on five other lines across the metropolitan rail network. The Craigieburn, Upfield, Frankston, Sandringham and Werribee lines will all benefit from this unlocked capacity.
As a result, capacity will be created on the network to enable 39,000 more passengers to use the rail system during each peak period. This will mean a less crowded and more reliable train network. More trains also means fewer cars on the roads, helping to tackle congestion in the suburbs.
The construction and operation of the Metro Tunnel is expected to create about 7000 jobs, and increase Victoria’s Gross State Product by at least $7 billion. It will go a long way towards maintaining Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities. This is expected to support the price growth of property in the area, benefiting property investors in Melbourne.
By Ian Choong
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