Melbourne's Metro Tunnel HQ opens with interactive learning centre

Melbourne's Metro Tunnel HQ opens with interactive learning centre
Melbourne's Metro Tunnel HQ opens with interactive learning centre

The Melbourne Metro Tunnel project has sourced itself some prime office space on Swanston Street and in so doing opened a new visitor's centre for the Metro Tunnel Project.

Dubbed "Metro Tunnel HQ", the centre will provide an education program developed for Victorian teachers and available to students across the state.  According to the state government, "[the students] will be taught about the project in a way that matches the Victorian curriculum and includes details on the construction techniques and the thousands of jobs needed."

Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, and Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, unveiled the new visitor centre located opposite Melbourne Town Hall that will allow visitors to get up-to-date information about works in project areas, including the latest information on temporary changes to the road, tram and rail networks that will enable the construction of the project.

A dedicated learning centre is located at the HQ which also includes virtual reality facilities that will allow visitors to get an up-close look at how the tunnel boring machines will complete their work.

“Metro Tunnel HQ will give schoolkids and adults a unique opportunity to learn about this once-in-a-generation project,” the Minister for Public Transport said.

As the early works progress and we await the arrival of the TBMs before tunnelling kicks off, the state government has is beginning to focus on communicating network benefits.

New time-saving information was recently rolled out on the metro tunnel's website and the visitor & education centre is another layer of public engagement.

Previously, benefits listed for individual train lines were limited to the percentage of new peak services that will be available on each line after the tunnel is constructed and the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Sunbury lines are joined, now Rail Projects Victoria have published journey time savings.

With a focus on the two areas which currently have no railway station, Parkville and St. Kilda Road (ANZAC station), time savings vary from 5 minutes up to 20 minutes.

Parkville with its focus on education and the sciences is a growing employment precinct and ANZAC station, at the top end of St Kilda Road will deposit passengers closer to places of employment to the south of the city.

The greatest time-saving benefit is to users of the Pakenham, Cranbourne and Sunbury lines - as they will form the services that will run through the 5 new stations.  As per the Metro Tunnel website, Pakenham/Cranbourne line users will save 15 minutes off a journey to Parkville and 25 minutes off a journey to St Kilda Road.

Sunbury line passengers will save 20 minutes off the journey to Parkville.  Every other line has a time-saving estimate and the savings will be made possible through the interchange at either Flinders Street-Town Hall or Melbourne Central-State Library once the metro tunnel opens.

To read more about the Metro Tunnel HQ and the education programs that are made available, see metrotunnel.vic.gov.au.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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Melbourne Metro

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