Metro Rail Capacity Project

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This article is about the planned rail tunnel. For the suburban train operator, see Metro Trains Melbourne.
Metro Rail Capacity Project
Overview
Locale Melbourne
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of stations 5
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Website http://ptv.vic.gov.au/melbourne-metro/
Technical
System length 9 kilometres

The Metro Rail Capacity Project, formerly known as Melbourne Metro, is a planned metropolitan rail infrastructure project in Melbourne, Australia. It includes the construction of a rapid transit twin rail tunnel to travel from South Kensington railway station (north west of the Melbourne CBD) to South Yarra railway station (in the south east). It was announced in December 2008 as part of the now defunct Victorian State Government's Victorian Transport Plan.

Metro Rail Capacity Project is the centerpiece of a suite of infrastructure projects designed to significantly increase capacity and to transform the rail network from a commuter-style suburban rail system to a metro-style rapid transport system. In particular, the aim of the project is to 'untangle' much of the inner core of the network and allow for the creation of four independent metro-style services. The project has been touted as a precursor for various other expansion projects as outlined in the Metropolitan Rail Network Development Plan, in particular an expansion to Doncaster, Melbourne Airport and Rowville.

The project is currently the subject of further progress planning and geotechnical investigations, with community consultations and development works already underway. Estimated to cost up to $9 billion, the Metro Rail Capacity Project has been allocated $49.7 million from the 2011/2012 Victorian State Budget. The project is awaiting funding from a mix of federal, state and private sources for construction to commence.

Project description[edit]

The tunnel under its original proposal was set to be built in two stages. However, the State Government, under Ted Baillieu, reconfigured the proposal to be completed as a shorter, 9-kilometre one-stage project extending from Footscray/South Kensington to the Domain Interchange, providing direct rail connections for the first time to the St Kilda Road business district, south of the Melbourne CBD, and relieving pressure on the many tram services currently running through the area. The tunnel is part of a wider plan to reconfigure and untangle Melbourne's rail network. The plan will see the tunnel serviced by Sunbury (Sydenham) line services initially, which will no longer operate via the City Loop. Melton line services are also expected to use the tunnel when this line is upgraded to an electrified, metro service.[1]

The rail tunnel would provide new underground stations at the Domain Interchange (tram interchange at the corner of St Kilda Road and Domain Road), and the Parkville university/hospital precinct (near Grattan Street or the Haymarket roundabout on Flemington Road), as well as a station in North Melbourne to be known as Arden. The project also aims to provide interchange opportunities at the Melbourne Central railway station and Flinders Street stations.

Current status[edit]

In June 2010, Infrastructure Australia, the Commonwealth Government appointed advisory body for major infrastructure investment, defined the Metro Rail Capacity Project as a "Ready to proceed" project in its report "Getting the fundamentals right for Australia's Infrastructure Priorities". The Commonwealth considers the recommendations of Infrastructure Australia when allocating budget priorities for major infrastructure provision.

The Commonwealth Government has previously provided $40–50 million to the Victorian State Government to undertake detailed route investigations for the rail tunnel. In July 2010, the Victorian Government announced the outcomes of these investigations, with the tunnel proposed to terminate at the Domain Interchange, with new stations at Arden (North Melbourne), Parkville (Royal Parade and Grattan Street), CBD North (connected to Melbourne Central), CBD South (connected to Flinders Street Station) and Domain Interchange.

The 2012 Victorian State Budget allocated $49.7 million for ongoing planning and geotechnical works to continue with the project now moving into the formal planning process phase. The project was again given priority in the Victorian Governments' submission to Infrastructure Australia in 2011, however no new funds were allocated in the 2012 Federal Budget. As of May 2012, a Community Reference Group has been set up to examine the social and environmental impact the project will have on surrounding inner city residents. The project awaits a dual funding commitment from both the State and Federal Government. The project is estimated to cost approximately $5 billion.

In the Victorian Budget 2014 the route of a new tunnel called the "Melbourne rail link" from Southern Cross Station via Fishermans Bend to South Yarra was released. The status of the previous route through the city seems to have been abandoned.

Line[edit]

Arden[edit]

Arden is a proposed railway station under the project classification that will be fully underground,[2] located most-likely beneath Arden Street in North Melbourne.[3] The station will form part of the larger Metro tunnel, and will better serve the suburb of North Melbourne, as well as alleviate strain on the city's ageing City Loop which is currently approaching and even reaching full-capacity at times. Currently North Melbourne as a suburb is served by North Melbourne railway station to the west (actually within the boundaries of West Melbourne) and a variety of tram lines.[4]

Parkville[edit]

Parkville is a proposed railway station. The station would be fully underground,[5] most likely located at the intersection of Grattan Street and Royal Parade in Parkville. An alternative location would be the Haymarket roundabout on Flemington Road.[6] It would serve the University of Melbourne, hospital precinct and surrounding areas.[7]

CBD North[edit]

CBD North is a proposed railway station under the project classification that will be fully underground,[8] located beneath either La Trobe Street, Elizabeth Street or beneath a section of the deepest existing City Loop tunnels in Melbourne.[9] The station will form part of the larger Metro tunnel, and will join with Melbourne Central. Currently Melbourne CBD is served by Flagstaff to the west, Melbourne Central to the north, and Parliament to the east (forming the underground portion of the City Loop), with Flinders Street and Southern Cross forming the above-ground counterparts located at the South and Western edges of the CBD respectively.[10]

CBD South[edit]

CBD South is a proposed railway station under the project classification that will be fully underground,[11] located beneath Elizabeth Street or nearby buildings in Melbourne.[12] The station will form part of the larger Metro tunnel, and will join with Flinders Street - Melbourne's major railway station, that is earmarked for a major redevelopment (likely including development of CBD South) in the near future.

Domain[edit]

Domain is a proposed railway station under the project classification that will be fully underground,[13] located most-likely directly beneath or adjacent to the Domain Tram Interchange in Melbourne.[14] The station will form part of the larger Metro tunnel, and will likely be the last station located underground before the tunnel exits at South Yarra, close to the suburb of Prahran and the Chapel Street entertainment, nightlife and shopping precinct. The station would provide better access to the immediate inner-south-east of Melbourne, which is very accessible further south with trains, trams and buses (along with private cars) servicing South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor extensively. Currently trams are the only direct method of public transit to access the area around Domain Interchange directly from the inner CBD.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melbourne Metro - FAQs". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "PTV Corporate - Melbourne Metro". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Melbourne Metro Alignment". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Chisholm, Catherine (12 July 2010). "Melbourne rail revamp revealed". The Age. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "PTV Corporate - Melbourne Metro". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Melbourne Metro Alignment". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Chisholm, Catherine (12 July 2010). "Melbourne rail revamp revealed". The Age. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "PTV Corporate - Melbourne Metro". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Melbourne Metro Alignment". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Chisholm, Catherine (12 July 2010). "Melbourne rail revamp revealed". The Age. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "PTV Corporate - Melbourne Metro". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Melbourne Metro Alignment". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "PTV Corporate - Melbourne Metro". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Melbourne Metro Alignment". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 

External links[edit]