The summer months will see major movement on Victoria’s biggest transport projects, with tunnelling towards Kensington already underway.
Since late October the Metro Tunnel’s second tunnel boring machine (TBM) Meg been tunnelling and progressed approximately 50 m towards the tunnel entrance in Kensington, installing more than 20 rings.
The project’s first TBM, Joan, had already travelled more than 250 m west from North Melbourne and installed more than 140 rings to line the new tunnel.
Both Joan and Meg are expected to arrive in Kensington – the western entrance to the Metro Tunnel – in early 2020 before being returned to the North Melbourne site and relaunched towards Parkville for the second leg of their journey.
Early next year, two more TBMs will be assembled at the Anzac Station site on St Kilda Road, ready to start boring towards the eastern entrance at South Yarra.
Victoria Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan is excited by the progress so far.
“I’m delighted to see the progress being made by these huge tunnel boring machines,” said Ms Allan.
“It’s an early glimpse of what the Metro Tunnel will look like.”
In January, the excavation of the Metro Tunnel’s final section at South Yarra will begin as crews begin shifting the existing train tracks to make room for the new track.
Once finalised, the Metro Tunnel will provide space on the rail network for over half a million extra trips a week to and from the suburbs during peak periods, slashing travel times by up to 50 minutes a day.
However, during the works, sections of the Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston and Sandringham lines will be closed.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said these vital upgrades and biggest transport projects in history are essential to ensuring the city and state don’t grind to a halt.
“We know it will be disruptive but with less people on our roads and rail, it’s the right time to get this work done,” said Mr Andrews.
For more information visit the Metro Tunnel website.
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First published 25 November 2019.