State’s first turn-up-and-go services trialled on Metro Tunnel

The State Library is one of the five underground station being built by Metro Tunnel Project. Picture: Unsplash, Ricardo Gomez Angel.

Turn-up-and-go train services to rival the world’s best public transport systems are gearing up to launch for the first time in Victoria, as the State Federal Government’s train testing program continues towards the Metro Tunnel’s opening in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule.

Premier Jacinta Allan and Transport Infrastructure Minister Danny Pearson visited the State Library station on Sunday 7 April to mark this critical phase of the project’s complex testing program that will create capacity for trains to run constantly from the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines through the Metro Tunnel to the Sunbury line.

On March, crews successfully ran test trains two minutes apart between West Footscray and Hawksburn stations, using cutting edge high-capacity signaling technology that will revolutionise Melbourne’s train network.

Premier Jacinta Allan said test trains are now running on new signaling tech to ensure quality service is delivered to Victorians.

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

“We promised Victorians we’d get on with building the Metro Tunnel – and that’s exactly what we’re doing, a whole year ahead of schedule.”

Crews have clocked over 16,500 kilometres running through the tunnels since July last year – paving the way to begin trial operations with drivers and station staff by year’s end.

As one of two stations coming to life deep beneath Melbourne’s CBD, the State Library Station was excavated to the deepest level of the Metro Tunnel project at around 40 metres – deeper than the height of Marvel Stadium.

600 workers are currently employed on the station’s construction.

26,000 people a day are expected to use State Library Station, which will showcase a grand main entrance near the corner of La Trobe and Swanston Street, complete with spectacular cathedral-like arched ceilings at platform level.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Danny Pearson said the project has been a huge success to the Metro services.

“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.”

In addition to the station’s 27 escalators and 19 lifts, an underground walkway will connect the station to Melbourne Central Station for an easy transfer between Metro Tunnel and City Loop services without passing through Myki gates.

The Federal Government’s Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines through 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 and creating capacity to run more trains more often.