Metro Tunnel breaks new ground

The first of the Metro Tunnel’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) has broken through at Parkville Station, as work continues on the biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history – supporting jobs and our economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

TBM Joan – named in honour of Victoria’s first female Premier Joan Kirner – bored into the station box 20 metres under Grattan Street just after 8:00am yesterday, after tunnelling 1.4 kilometres from the Arden Station site.

The machine will now be moved through the Parkville station box under Grattan Street and relaunched towards the new State Library Station site in about a month, after the TBM is cleaned and recommissioned.

The project’s TBM Meg, which is tunnelling parallel to Joan from Arden to Parkville is expected to arrive at the station in the coming weeks.

The breakthrough of TBM Joan at Parkville follows the completion of the 1.2 kilometre rail tunnels between Arden and the western tunnel entrance in Kensington earlier this year.

The third and fourth TBMs – Millie and Alice – were launched in April and May respectively. Both are tunnelling 1.7 kilometres from the Anzac Station site towards the eastern tunnel entrance at South Yarra. 

The four TBMs have together excavated more than 290,000 cubic metres of rock and soil, and installed more than 23,000 concrete segments to form rings lining the new tunnels.

The Metro Tunnel project is creating nearly 7,000 jobs, including hundreds for apprentices and trainees.

Construction on the Metro Tunnel Project has continued throughout August, with workers adhering to strict COVID-19 safety measures in line with the Victorian Government’s Stage 4 restrictions.

The new Parkville Station is taking shape below Grattan Street as work on the permanent structure continues. Crews are also working on two of the station’s entrances – one on Grattan Street West, near the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and one on Royal Parade.

The Metro Tunnel Project will create additional capacity for more than half a million passengers per week during peak periods and transform the way Victorians travel around Melbourne.