Melbourne Metro Study, Australia

The Victorian Department of Transport (DOT), Australia appointed Aurecon, in association with Mott MacDonald, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) and Grimshaw Architects, to the role of technical advisors (TA) for the development of concept designs for the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel which runs from Dynon to the Caulfield line in suburban Melbourne.

The scope of the study required route and station options to be identified and evaluated, including development of the preferred route and station concepts to determine the project scope, risk, programme and cost estimate.

The key challenges facing the project, deemed the largest planned rail tunnel in Melbourne, were the complex integration with the existing network, including the signalling and electrical components and planning of the underground station in a congested urban area while simultaneously delivering ease of connectivity with other modes of public transport.

As technical advisors, Aurecon led the investigation of options for tunnelling, stations, track configuration and associated systems and facilities. After an extensive review of all options and close consultation with the client, the preferred alignment option included:

  • New twin tracks descending from the existing Sunbury corridor tracks to a tunnel portal at South Kensington, a cut and cover tunnel and then twin-tube bored tunnels passing under Parkville, the CBD and the Yarra River, through to Domain with approximately eight km of underground works.
  • Intermediate underground stations at Arden, Parkville, CBD North, CBD South and Domain.
  • Provision for stabling and wider network upgrades.

Working in a collaborative environment with DOT’s planning, patronage, environment and community team, Aurecon addressed the challenges and prepared an interim submission to Federal Government. 

Based on the high quality of the submission demonstrating economical, community and environmental benefits of the project, Infrastructure Australia listed the project as “ready to proceed” – the key ranking used to inform the Federal Government about which projects it would be best to fund.

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