The work on the eastern entrance at South Yarra for the Metro Tunnel Project in Victoria, Australia, has finished more than five months ahead of schedule.
Work associated with connecting the new structure with the project’s twin tunnels is currently underway.
The tunnel entrance, which has been completed in two years, will save about 50 minutes a day for commuters, with around 48 trains travelling through the tunnel every hour.
The work on the eastern entrance consisted of broadening the current rail corridor, digging more than 31,000m³ of rock and soil, and building a base slab, internal walls and roof slab.
The old William Street Bridge was demolished to construct a new, longer single-span bridge.
In addition, the current four rail tracks for the Frankston, Dandenong, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines were moved to create space for the new tracks to enter the tunnel.
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After the completion of the Melbourne Airport Rail, the trains will operate from Cranbourne and Pakenham via this tunnel entrance directly to the airport.
Work is currently progressing on an underground substation at the South Yarra Siding Reserve and rail systems equipment rooms at Chambers Street.
The tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have already finished three-quarters of tunnelling for the project’s twin 9km tunnels.
The new metro tunnel is expected to handle more than half a million passengers a week during peak time.
The project will link the Sunbury Line to the Cranbourne while Pakenham lines will run up to 30m below Melbourne streets.
There will be five new underground stations, along with the connections to City Loop services at the new CBD stations of Town Hall and State Library.
The Metro Tunnel Project is expected to be concluded in 2025, one year ahead of schedule.
In a separate development, New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole announced that the 3801 steam locomotive will return to passenger service after more than a decade.
This comes after the NSW government provided nearly $3.5m in funding for its overhaul.