The Metro Tunnel Project will not only transform Melbourne's rail network but will reshape the face of the CBD with new transport gateways.
The Metro Tunnel offers the first opportunity since the City Loop was completed more than 30 years ago to expand Melbourne's rail network and revitalise key areas of the city.
The two new underground CBD stations will include direct pedestrian connections to Flinders Street and Melbourne Central Stations, allowing passengers to easily transfer between Metro Tunnel and City Loop services.
Melbourne's CBD stations are currently experiencing crowding at peak times. Use of the five City Loop stations is projected to almost double from 580,000 passengers a day to 1.1 million in 2031.
The Metro Tunnel's two new CBD stations will more evenly distribute passenger flow and interchange movements in the inner core of Melbourne's rail network. Crowding across all City Loop stations is expected to drop by around 20 per cent, creating a more comfortable passenger experience.
Location and access
The two new CBD stations will be located underneath Swanston Street at each end of the city. The Metro Tunnel will travel from a new station at Parkville and then under Carlton, under Swanston Street and the Yarra River towards a new station at Domain.
The new underground station at the northern end of the CBD will be located under Swanston Street, between La Trobe Street and Franklin Street. It will include an underground pedestrian connection to Melbourne Central Station, allowing commuters to interchange between Metro Tunnel and City Loop train services.
The new station will have three entrances, including the underground connection directly into Melbourne Central station.
At street level, one entrance will be located, near the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets, providing easy access to RMIT and the State Library. Another entrance will be located on Franklin Street near the corner of Swanston Street. Franklin Street will feature widened footpaths, terraced seating and opportunities for outdoor dining, creating a new public meeting space. The station entry at Franklin Street is protected by a timber clad canopy and an accessible roof area.
The new underground station at the southern end of the CBD will be located under Swanston Street, between Flinders Street and Collins Street. It will include an underground pedestrian connection to the platforms at Flinders Street Station, allowing commuters to interchange between Metro Tunnel and City Loop train services.
The station will improve access to some of Melbourne's most iconic and important tourist destinations including Federation Square, Southbank, the Arts Centre, St Paul's Cathedral and other culturally significant landmarks.
Passengers will access the station from numerous points, including two entrances at City Square. Other access points will be at Federation Square, the Degraves Street subway, Flinders Street, Swanston Street, Cocker Alley and Scott Alley. Passengers will travel from the new station directly to Flinders Street Station platforms via the Degraves Street subway.
A street level entrance will be located at the north-west corner of Federation Square, and there will be entrances at both ends of City Square near Collins Street and Flinders Lane. Platform screen doors will be installed to provide increased safety and security, less train noise, and better climate control.
The CBD stations have been been designed as giant auditoriums of grand proportions, with new civic spaces marking the entrances.
The planting of native and indigenous plants at both stations brings nature into the city environment and helps express seasonal change.
'CBD North' and 'CBD South' are working names for the new CBD stations during the project design and development phase. Permanent names for both stations will be determined in due course.