On September 22, the Victorian Government announced a period of consultation on the impacts of the Melbourne Metro project had begun.
21,000 letters were reportedly sent to residents and businesses along the alignment of the proposed new rail tunnel. The letters invited locals to go to an information session and find out where the tunnel will go, how it will be built and the planning process that will be undertaken.
The Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, stated at the time "this consultation process is about starting open, honest and respect conversations with people who may be affected by this critical project" and now the authority has quietly added new maps to its website.
The primary graphic used on the site (pictured above) has had some subtle changes, however it is the addition of a new satellite map of the indicative alignment which has since been added to the project's site.
While the map is clearly marked "indicative alignment only", the file is date-stamped September 26 and is high resolution with a large amount of detail, largely answering questions about the "where".
Marcus Wong has a great post on his blog looking over all the documents which had made their way into the public domain up until May of this year.
The new map does not show station entrances, but it does make the positioning of stations quite clear, albeit with the "indicative" caveat.
When you compare some of the old renders available on Marcus Wong's blog with the new map, the two most significant things that appear to have changed are the position of Arden and Parkville stations.
The 2012 concept renders (which Marcus originally obtained from the Public Transport Victoria site) appears to center the Parkville Station directly underneath the Royal Parade and Grattan Street intersection. The new map shows the station to be located east of Royal Parade, in front of the University of Melbourne's medicine building and the relatively new Doherty Institute building.
My initial thought on Parkville's position was hoping the final design for Parkville Station's surface buildings include an entrance on the western side of Royal Parade, to allow people using/connecting with Flemington Road trams a more convenient access option to the station (without having to use the pedestrian crossings on Royal Parade).
There were no concept renders depicting what Arden Station would look like underground (and therefore allow you to make a safe assumption about where the station would be located underground, like you can with the old Parkville concept drawings), however the old Arden concept renders did depict the station's surface buildings to be located where what looks to be at the end of Queensberry Street in North Melbourne.
The new map shows the station located a touch further north of the existing end of Queensberry Street and now the station will sit underground, offset from the grid of streets, with the eastern end of the station right near Barwise Street as show above in Google Street view.
The guesswork for Arden's location is now largely solved. One bonus of this location for Arden Station: concrete to build the station will not have to travel very far; one of the city's major concrete factories is located right next door.
View the new map on the Melbourne Metro Rail project website.
Thanks to Ian Woodcock for the prompt!