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Testing of turn-up-and-go Metro Tunnel services underway

The Metro Tunnel Project has begun testing turn-up-and-go train services along the new Cranbourne/Pakenham to Sunbury line for the first time, using its state-of-the-art signalling systems.

Testing crews have successfully run 12 trains back and forth from West Footscray to Hawksburn via the Metro Tunnel, over a three-hour period. That’s 18 trains each hour – 54 journeys in total – with trains running as frequently as two minutes apart.

These trials are part of an intensive testing program to demonstrate the reliability of Melbourne’s new High Capacity Signalling system. This allows trains to safely run closer together, meaning more services can run.

Premier Jacinta Allan said that test trains are now running on new signalling tech.

“We’re getting ready to deliver turn-up-and-go transport services that will change the way our city moves forever,” she said.

The next stage of testing is trial operations. This is where High Capacity Metro Train services will run from Clayton to West Footscray through the Metro Tunnel, using all the new systems.

These trial runs are like a dress rehearsal – they will simulate timetabled services and a range of possible real-life scenarios with station staff, drivers and passengers.

Trial operations will confirm that everything is ready for a safe, reliable and efficient passenger service to begin when the Metro Tunnel and five new stations open in 2025.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson explained the progress of the project.

“We’re making huge progress at State Library Station which will become a new gateway for passengers to interchange between Metro Tunnel and City Loop services,” he said.

“The Liberals abandoned the Metro Tunnel Project when they were in power and said it would be worse than the Berlin Wall, but we’re getting on and delivering this massive project ahead of schedule.”