Construction on Arden Station is completed, making it the first of the Metro Tunnel’s five new stations to reach this milestone after excavation began in 2018.
Construction on Arden Station is finished, making it the first of the Metro Tunnel’s 5 new stations to reach this significant milestone after nearly 6 years of construction on the project. It marks a huge step towards the Metro Tunnel opening to passengers in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule.
Construction on Arden Station started in 2018 with excavation. Since then, workers have:
- dug out 330,000 tonnes of rock and soil
- built the massive brick archway and facade
- poured the concrete for the station platforms
- laid lengths of steel rail through the tunnels
- installed the escalators, lifts and the Victorian-first platform screen doors.
In recent weeks crews worked on the finishing touches at Arden Station. Below ground they installed paving, seating and passenger information displays. Above ground, work took place on landscaping, paving, and installing signs, seating and bicycle hoops.
Sitting on a former industrial site, Arden Station features a soaring brick arched entrance, skylights to let natural light flow 14 metres underground, and Victorian-first platform screen doors for safe access to trains.
The modern station includes bike parking spaces, drop-off zones, accessibility carparks and will be within walking distance of the North Melbourne Recreation Centre, Arden Street Oval and the route 57 tram.
Across the precinct, the Labor Government is investing more than $5 billion to expand both the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospitals, forming part of a new biomedical and health sciences hub that will be easily accessible from the station, giving every Victorian easy access to some of the world’s best health services.
Since construction began in 2018, thousands of workers have excavated 330,000 tonnes of rock and soil, installed 3.000 lights and laid 104,000 locally manufactured bricks.
Arden Station’s completion was accelerated to start testing systems and provide a template for the remaining stations. In recent weeks, crews have laid down Arden’s finishing touches – with landscaping, seating, paving, bicycle hoops and passenger information displays now in place.
The Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines via 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.
The project, and its new High Capacity Metro Trains, will make room for an extra 121,000 peak-hour passengers every week – an increase of 45 per cent – saving people up to 15 minutes on a journey to Parkville and 25 minutes to St Kilda Road.
“The Metro Tunnel will save commuters hours every week and change the city forever,” says Premier Jacinta Allan.
“I thank and congratulate the thousands of workers who have been employed on this site since the beginning, and the many thousands more who are building rail lines and roads right across Melbourne and regional Victoria,” says Jacinta Allan.
The Liberals called the Metro Tunnel a “hoax” and claimed it was all “smoke and mirrors” with “lots of words but nothing…happening”. Lacking any vision for the future, they called Arden “a giant vacant railyard, where no one lives” and said the project was going to be a “disaster”. In 2017, they even tried to block the project in Parliament.
In 2023, the Liberals said the Metro Tunnel was a “good” project that had “always experienced full-throated, bipartisan support from the Liberal Party.”
Work is continuing on the other 4 underground stations – Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac – with Parkville expected to be the next station to be finished.
Arden Station’s completion was brought forward so it could become a test case for the remaining stations. Over the coming months, the project team will test station systems to make sure they work together. This includes passenger information displays, platform screen doors and ventilation. They will troubleshoot issues and run software updates before rolling these systems out at the other stations.
Arden Station will become the centrepiece of a new bio-medical and health sciences precinct for North Melbourne, accommodating up to 34,000 jobs and around 20,000 people by 2051.
Arden Station is now ready for testing before the underground rail line opens a full year ahead of schedule in 2025.
Image Source: © State Government of Victoria, Australia 2023
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