Little by little we're getting closer to the money and shovels-in-the-ground end of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project with the announcement that the Cross Yarra Partnership is the successful bidder for the Tunnel & Stations availability-based private-public partnership (PPP) contract.
And on Tuesday morning the Victorian Government announced that CPB Contractors and Bombadier will be awarded the Rail Systems Alliance contract to implement a new signalling system across the railway line.
Thanks to a major update to the project's website, the five different works packages are now detailed on the site and the announcement over the weekend ticks off two boxes.
The last of the four major works packages - the Rail Infrastructure package which deals with design and build of the infrastructure connecting existing lines to the new tunnel - is now open for expressions of interest.
The Tunnels and Stations package will create more than 5,000 jobs, including apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets.
The project will build five new underground stations, each with its own identity. They will include wider platforms, more natural light and sweeping arches, bringing world-class urban design to the heart of Melbourne and its train network.
There will be revitalised open space above ground at all five stations, and additional entrances to reduce crowding on major streets in the CBD, including two entrances at City Square, and at Swanston Street, Flinders Street, Federation Square, Franklin Street and La Trobe Street.
In Parkville, a new entrance will be built on the doorstep of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, giving thousands of people from Melbourne and regional Victoria better access to the Hospital.
Walkways at Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations will be put underground, allowing passengers to change easily between the Metro Tunnel stations and the City Loop, creating a true, international-style metro network.
Domain station will feature a floating timber canopy and sit below the new tram interchange on St Kilda Road, relieving the pressure on the world’s busiest tram corridor.Victorian Government media release
As part of the new signalling system to be implemented, two new control centres will be built in Sunshine and Dandenong, which signifies a departure from centralised control and points to greater segmentation of Melbourne's rail network.