A significant milestone has been reached on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project, as three roadheaders meet at what will be the site of the new Town Hall station.
The three roadheaders have been at work creating the cavern and pedestrian connections between the new station and Flinders Street and Flinders Quarter.
“This is a huge milestone for this important project, bringing Melbourne another step closer to a turn up and go rail system, while keeping our construction workers safely on the job,” said Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan.
The new Town Hall station will be one of two interchange stations between the Metro Tunnel and the existing City Loop, with the other being at State Library/Melbourne Central.
When complete, the new station will be 33 metres deep and longer than a city block.
“We’ve made such amazing progress, we now have deep underground a new station entrance at Federation Square, the length of the future station platform and come out at the new entrance at City Square,” said Allan.
The three roadheaders have been working from three different launch sites. The first was launched late last year from City Square and began tunnelling under Swanston Street for the main station cavern. The second roadheader launched under Federation Square and will create the passenger connection between Flinders Street station and Town Hall. The third roadheader excavated the connection between Flinders Quarter and the station.
Each machine weighs up to 118 tonnes and has been working 25 metres below ground level. The cutterheads can cut through rock three times harder than concrete.
Once the roadheaders have finished excavating the stations, the tunnel boring machines will create the twin tunnels between the future Town Hall and State Library stations. All four tunnel boring machines are currently making their way underground towards the CBD.
The project is on track to have trains running through the new tunnels by 2025.