Rail installation to start soon at Parkville Station
The Metro Tunnel Project is about to take another step towards completion, as crews prepare to start laying the first rail in the tunnels in the coming weeks.
Work is progressing on the initial track layer of 4000 concrete p anels through the tunnels. The panels have been cast in 300 different shapes to account for the varying curvature and elevation of the twin nine-kilometre tunnels, winding from Kensington to South Yarra.
This will create an even base to lay the near 40km of Australian-made rail on, ensuring it is properly aligned.
The state-of-the-art concrete panels – similar to track used in other world class metro systems – require significantly less maintenance compared to conventional surface railway tracks, which use sleepers laid on ballast.
The rail has arrived on freight trains in two deliveries over the course of the year – one at each of the tunnel entrances.
Workers will progressively clip the 165-metre lengths of steel to the concrete panels and weld them together to form a continuous line.
Once overhead power and the new high-tech signalling is installed in the tunnels and stations, along with more than two kilometres of platform screen doors, testing will begin in the tunnels with Melbourne’s new fleet of bigger, more modern trains in 2023.
It’s all part of the massive construction progress taking place at Parkville – and the four other Metro Tunnel stations – in recent months.
Three escalators have been installed at the station’s Grattan St main entrance, and initial work has started on the signature 54-metre long, 6.5-metre wide canopy, which will sit about 22 metres above concourse level.
The steel and glass canopy will create the largest skylight across all five of the project’s new underground stations.
Parkville Station will be on the doorstep of Victoria’s world-renowned education, health and research precinct, providing rail access to the University of Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for the first time.
The two Grattan St entrances – the main entrance opposite Barry St and a second on the corner of Royal Parade – will provide direct access to The University of Melbourne.
Two more entrances will give people direct access to hospitals on the western side of Royal Parade, with one entrance outside Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and another on the doorstep of The Royal Melbourne Hospital. •