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Metro Tunnel

Project delivery

The Metro Tunnel is a major enhancement to Melbourne's rail network and will need to integrate with the existing system. A procurement and delivery strategy has been developed to respond to the unique challenges this poses.

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) is delivering Victoria’s largest ever rail infrastructure pipeline, with more than $30 billion invested in metropolitan and regional rail projects including Geelong Fast Rail, Melbourne Airport Rail, the Metro Tunnel and Regional Rail Revival. RPV is part of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) which was established to oversee major transport infrastructure projects in Victoria.

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) is responsible for planning and development of project reference design, site investigations, stakeholder engagement, planning approvals and procurement, through to the construction delivery and project commissioning phases.

The construction delivery strategy was validated with the market as part of a market sounding process. We have invited tenders and service providers to express interest in delivering the following scope elements of the Metro Tunnel Project.

Works package Procurement modelDelivery

Early Works
Utility service relocation and works to prepare construction sites

Managing Contractor

Contract awarded to John Holland.

Tunnel and Stations
Main tunnelling works, five underground stations, station fit-out, mechanical and electrical systems and specific maintenance services for the infrastructure delivered by the package and commercial opportunities at the new stations.

Availability based Public Private Partnership

Contract awarded to Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP) consortium, comprising Lendlease Melbourne Metro, John Holland, Bouygues Construction, John Laing and Capella Capital.

Metro Trains will provide technical, service and operational advice, as well as facilitate safe access to the rail corridor and manage disruptions to train services.

Rail Infrastructure
Works at the eastern and western portals including cut and cover tunnelling, decline structures, turnbacks and local reconfiguration and realignment of existing lines.

Competitive alliance

Contract awarded to a consortium comprising John Holland, CPB Contractors and AECOM.

Construction power

Utility Service Provider works

Contract awarded to Beon Energy Solutions.

Rail Systems
Rail systems design (including conventional signalling, High Capacity Signalling, train and power control systems and operational control systems), installation works, rail systems integration and commissioning.

Competitive alliance

Contract awarded to CPB Contractors and Bombardier Transportation and Metro Trains as the rail operator.

Tram infrastructure works

Franchise Works (Yarra Trams)

Delivered by Yarra Trams.

Wider Network Enhancements
Works required across the wider network including track modifications, station upgrades and signalling system upgrades.

Case by case

Market engagement to be developed case by case.

Early Works

Service relocations and construction preparation

An initial program of works including protection and relocation of utility services such as gas, sewer and water mains, demolition and road, bicycle and footpath changes has been delivered under the Early Works Managing Contractor contract.

A Managing Contractor procurement model involves the client engaging a supplier (the Managing Contractor – John Holland) through a competitive tendering process to manage the development of design, construction documentation and manage construction works on its behalf.

Tram infrastructure works

Works on tram infrastructure were undertaken by Yarra Trams (under the existing Tram Franchise Agreement). This includes:

  • new tram tracks and tram stops on Toorak Road West and St Kilda Road to enable the diversion of the Route 58 tram around the Domain station area during construction
  • a new tram stop on Park Street, South Melbourne to enable passengers to move safely and efficiently by tram when the Domain tram interchange is temporarily removed for construction of Domain Station.

Construction power

The supply of construction power was procured through the relevant utility service providers in early 2017 and will be delivered by Beon Energy Solutions. These works include:

  • construction of two temporary power substations – one in rail land in Arden and one at Edmund Herring Oval in Domain – to provide power to the tunnel boring machines that will build the new rail tunnels.

Tunnel and Stations

A multi-billion dollar availability based Public Private Partnership (PPP) includes the design and construction of the twin nine-kilometre tunnels and five underground stations, private finance and the provision of maintenance and other services during the operating term.

PPP works will be undertaken by the Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP) consortium. CYP comprises of Lendlease Melbourne Metro, John Holland, Bouygues Construction, John Laing and Capella Capital.

A PPP model drives innovation, best practice and value for money on the project. In an 'availability PPP' the State Government provides regular payments to the private party for making the asset 'available' for use. For this package, that will mean making the tunnel and stations available for public transport operations and Victorians to use.

Over Site Developments

Land has been acquired by the State to enable construction of the State Library and Town Hall stations in the heart of the CBD. These locations will become the main entrances for both stations, along with hosting new over site developments (OSD) above them. The OSD buildings are being developed under separate contractual arrangements (not as part of the PPP) and were packaged together with the Tunnel and Stations PPP works on the basis that an integrated process will result in optimised functional design outcomes and reduced disruption for passengers and local residents and businesses.

The OSD at State Library Station is being developed by a joint venture between John Holland and Scape, an innovative student accommodation provider. The development will be a mixed use project, including student housing and other accommodation close to RMIT University, as well as co-working and education facilities, retail and other complementary facilities.

The OSD at Town Hall Station, adjacent to Flinders Street Station, is being developed by Lendlease and will include high quality retail amenity, leading edge office accommodation and other complementary facilities.


The Rail Systems and Rail Infrastructure packages will be procured through separate competitive alliance processes in which direct price competition will be assessed along with non-priced criteria. The membership of both alliances will generally be comprised of the State, rail operators and constructors and will work as an integrated, collaborative team to deal with key project delivery matters in good faith, act with integrity and make best-for-project decisions.

Rail Systems

The Rail Systems Alliance (RSA) will deliver the design, supply, installation, testing, integration and commissioning activities in relation to train and power control systems, operational control systems, conventional and High Capacity Signalling.

Rail Systems works will be undertaken by a consortium comprising CPB Contractors and Bombardier Transportation.

Rail Infrastructure

The Rail Infrastructure Alliance (RIA) will deliver works at the eastern and western tunnel entrances including cut and cover tunnelling, decline structures and the reconfiguration and realignment of existing lines to connect the new Metro Tunnel rail tracks to the existing surface network.

RIA will also deliver a new platform at West Footscray (completed 2020) and associated suburban rail upgrades that will maximise the benefits of the Metro Tunnel.

A consortium comprising John Holland, CPB Contractors and AECOM will deliver these works, in partnership with Rail Projects Victoria and Metro Trains Melbourne. More information about RIA.

Specialist advisors

A range of specialist advisors have been appointed to assist in the delivery of the Metro Tunnel:

  • Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald (AJM) Joint Venture
    (Technical, Planning and Engagement Advisor)
  • KPMG
    (Commercial and Financial Advisor)
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
    (Legal Advisor)
  • Advisian
    (Constructability Advisor)
  • Aquenta
    (Cost Advisor)
  • O'Connor Marsden
    (Probity Advisor)