The $A 11bn ($US 7.5bn) Metro Tunnel project is a 9km twin-bore tunnel with five stations under the centre of Melbourne to create a new cross-city line from Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham.

The roadheaders have been mining station caverns and underground passenger connections under Swanston Street, near Franklin Street, for the new State Library station, and will have excavated more than 500,000 tonnes of material when the project is completed.

A total of four roadheaders will be used to construct State Library station, with another three working on Town Hall station. The machines have dug out more than 20% of State Library station, with excavation expected to be finished by late-2020.

In December 2017, a $A 6bn tunnels and stations package was awarded to the Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP) consortium led by Lendlease Engineering, with John Holland Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital.

A $A 1.1bn systems contract, covering signalling, train and power control systems and operational control systems, was awarded to the Rail Systems Alliance (RSA) comprising Bombardier, CPB Contractors, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority and Metro Trains Melbourne.

High-capacity signalling

Victoria Public Transport has also awarded Melbourne-based TTM Rail a $A 1.6m contract to equip two X’Trapolis trains for high-capacity signalling (HCS), using Bombardier’s Cityflo 650 CBTC system, to be tested on the Mernda Line.

The HCS roll-out on the existing rail network is an Australian first, and testing will involve running the two test trains without passengers to adapt the technology to Melbourne conditions.

Work has already begun to prepare the track between Epping and South Morang stations for testing in 2020. When the project is complete, HCS will be installed on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines.