The first of four massive Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) that will dig the Metro Tunnel is being assembled in North Melbourne, with the very first piece now in place.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan in North Melbourne today to view the pieces of the mega machine and mark one year since ground was first broken at the site.
They also announced details of the upcoming winter construction blitz, which will use the quieter school holiday period to continue work on the lines across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
At the North Melbourne worksite, crews are working around the clock to prepare the remaining TBM pieces for lifting and lowering. In the past week, three pieces have been lowered into the station box. Once launched, the mega machine – coloured red and named after the trailblazing Joan Kirner – will excavate more than 100,000 cubic metres of rock and soil.
Hand in hand with Metro Tunnel construction, Melbourne’s biggest ever upgrade of power, signalling and communications continues this winter, paving the way for more trains more often across the network.
From 6 to 14 July, buses will replace trains on the Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston lines between Flinders Street and Caulfield (extended out to Westall and Moorabbin on 13-14 July). Traralgon and Bairnsdale services will also be replaced by coaches for the entire journey during the works.
Works are also moving full steam ahead at Carrum, where three level crossings are being removed and the old station demolished to make way for a brand-new facility. Buses will replace trains between Mordialloc and Frankston from Saturday, 20 July to Sunday, 28 July.
Level crossing works are also ramping up on the Mernda line, with buses replacing trains on some weekends and evenings. Trains will also run express through Reservoir from 20 July to 4 August while workers get on with building the suburb’s new station.
Ballarat Line Upgrade works will see coaches replacing trains between Wendouree and Southern Cross from Monday, 24 June to Sunday, 7 July. Motorists should also look out for lane and exit ramp closures on the West Gate Freeway, including a closure of the Williamstown Road exit ramp for the Queens Birthday Long Weekend.
As stated by Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews
“Crews are working around the clock to put these massive machines together, which will dig the Metro Tunnel, untangle the city loop, and deliver more trains more often across Melbourne.”
“It’s part of our massive Suburban Transport Blitz – which is creating thousands of jobs and building the road and rail projects we need to get you where you need to go.”
As stated by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Soon these massive tunnel boring machines will be digging underneath our city to run more trains more often. We thank passengers for their patience whilst we get this work done.”