Architectural elements at Melbourne’s new tunnel stations all set with $45m local manufacturing investment

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The project team for Melbourne’s world-class Metro Tunnel stations is finalising architectural elements for the five new stations inside a Footscray warehouse as part of a $45 million investment in local manufacturing, the Victorian government announced in a news release. 

Several of the pieces being tested are manufactured in Melbourne, including light fittings, wall cladding, architectural brackets, and ceiling fixtures. 

In particular, the light fittings manufactured in Melbourne were designed by ISM Objects, a lighting design firm based in Mentone.

The warehouse, a former flower market, features a replica railway station with architectural elements from each of the underground stations, providing a glimpse of how the completed stations will look when they open a year ahead of schedule in 2025.

A simulated station concourse, ticket gates, seats, customer support desks, PSDs, distinctive light fixtures, and a reproduction of the cathedral-like arched ceilings at the two new CBD stations are all part of the warehouse.

Simultaneously, the government revealed that testing inside the tunnels is progressing, with trains achieving full speed only weeks after the first test trains entered the twin tunnels.

Test trains have been travelling at 80 km/h since late last month, which is the maximum speed at which they will be able to travel between all five stops once the tunnel opens after their initial 1.7 km at low speed.

Escalator and lift installation, as well as ongoing plumbing and electrical work, are all ongoing projects at the five stations.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan stated that the Metro Tunnel is being built, designed, and manufactured in Victoria, whether by local businesses or by thousands of Victorian workforce, creating jobs and supporting businesses.

“As the stations take shape, test trains are running at line speed deep beneath Melbourne – bringing us closer to the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025, a year ahead of schedule,” the minister noted. 

The project will provide an end-to-end rail line from the northwest to the southeast by connecting the congested Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham lines through a new tunnel beneath the city.

This will potentially free up space in the City Loop to operate more trains more often in developing suburbs like Werribee, Sunbury, and Frankston.