Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Train Stations, Passenger Rail, Industry Infrastructure

Metro Tunnel future crafted in warehouse

metro tunnel warehouse


Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel project teams are finalising architectural elements for the project’s five new stations inside a Footscray warehouse.

A  former flower market, the site houses a mock train station with architectural elements from each of the underground stations – offering an insight into how the finished stations will look when they open a year ahead of schedule in 2025.

For three years teams of architects, designers and engineers have prototyped and tested everything from ticket gates to floor finishes inside the warehouse, ensuring everything has been designed and crafted to the highest standards.

Some of the proven design elements have already been installed across the stations, including light fittings, ceiling systems and platform screen doors (PSDs) – a first for the Victorian rail network.

The Metro Tunnel warehouse includes a mock station concourse, ticket gates, seating, customer help points, PSDs, signature light fittings and a replica of the cathedral-like arched ceilings at the two new CBD stations.

Several of the elements being tested are being made in Melbourne, including light fittings, wall cladding, architectural brackets and ceiling fixtures – as part of a $45 million investment in local manufacturing. The Melbourne-made light fittings were created by ISM Objects, a lighting design company based in Mentone.

At the same time, testing inside the tunnels is gathering pace, with trains reaching their full speed just weeks after the first test trains entered the twin tunnels.

Since the first 1.7-kilometre journey at low speed late last month, test trains are now running at 80km/h – the full speed they will travel at between all five stations when the tunnel opens.

Work at the five stations is also forging ahead, with installation of escalators and lifts, plumbing and electrical work continuing.

Parkville Station’s signature glass entrance canopy is in place, while crews are building streets and footpaths outside Arden Station.

The Metro Tunnel remains on track to open a year ahead of schedule in 2025.

The project will connect the busy Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham lines via a new tunnel under the city, creating an end-to-end rail line from the north-west to the south-east, freeing up space in the City Loop to run more trains more often to growing suburbs like Werribee, Sunbury and Frankston.