Peter Doherty given behind-the-scenes look of Parkville Station

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Award-winning immunologist Peter Doherty has been given a unique tour of the Metro Tunnel Project, just a few months out from the first test trains being launched.

Professor Doherty recently inspected the enormous progress at Parkville Station, where Victorian-first platform screen doors have been installed to improve passenger safety and help keep trains running on time. 

He was given a behind-the-scenes look of the concourse and platform levels and was impressed by the size and scale of the work some 25 metres below the northern fringe of the CBD. 

“This is a massive engineering enterprise,” Prof. Doherty said.

“It’s so important to be moving people now using electricity, getting people to places easier, quicker, conveniently – and safely of course – and underground railway is obviously just perfect for a lot of that in a big city like Melbourne.”

Parkville is the first of the five new underground stations to have been fitted with floor-to-ceiling platform screen doors – a hallmark of world-class metro rail systems, such as those in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris.

The toughened-glass sliding doors will open and close in tandem with the fleet of Melbourne’s new high-capacity trains, improving passenger safety by creating a barrier between the track and platforms to prevent people and objects from falling into the path of oncoming trains.

Prof. Doherty, who has been a Parkville resident for 20 years, said the station would be transformational for residents and workers in the medical and research precinct.

“For the people who work in Parkville – and that includes a large number of university students … this will be an enormous convenience,” he said.

“The trams have been great and they’re a great feature of Melbourne but obviously trams get very crowded and, of course, trains move enormous numbers of people very quickly and very cleanly.”

 

I think that’s the future – we have to be moving large numbers of people quickly, cleanly and safely.

 

Australian-made steel rail is now also being laid through the twin nine-kilometre tunnels, as the project gets ready for train testing from the second half of 2023.  

Once complete, the Metro Tunnel will create capacity for more than a half-a-million extra peak passengers each week, saving people up to 50 minutes a day on a return trip. 

From 2029, the Metro Tunnel and Melbourne Airport Rail will allow passengers to catch a train from the CBD to Melbourne Airport in around 30 minutes. •

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