Metro tunnel turn up and go system rivals world's best

Turn-up-and-go train services to rival the world’s best public transport systems are gearing up to launch for the first time in Victoria.

Melbourne's Metro Tunnel is set to open in 2025, a year ahead of schedule, and will create capacity for trains to run constantly from the Cranbourne/Pakenham lines through to the Sunbury line. 

Premier Jacinta Allan and Transport Infrastructure Minister Danny Pearson visited State Library station on Sunday to share that crews successfully ran test trains two minutes apart between West Footscray and Hawksburn stations. 

Crews have clocked over 16,500 kilometres running through the tunnels since July, paving the way to begin trial operations with drivers and station staff by year’s end.

The Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines through a new tunnel under the city, creating an end-to-end rail line from the north-west to the south-east – freeing up space in the City Loop and creating capacity to run more trains more often.

Premier Jacinta Allan said the turn-up-and-go services were an exciting prospect. 

“Test trains are now running on new signalling tech, and we’re getting ready to deliver turn-up-and-go transport services that will change the way our city moves forever," she told reporters. 

Transport Infrastructure Minister Danny Pearson said Victoria's growing population meant projects like this were needed. 

“We absolutely need to make these sorts of investments, because we know that Victoria's population is just getting bigger and bigger, and by the 2050s, Melbourne will have a population the size of London," he told reporters. 

“We’re a global city and we need to make sure we’ve got the infrastructure that matches our size, our scale and our breadth."

Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen called  for the government to invest and commit to run all Metro lines frequently.

"Anything less is a missed opportunity," he posted on X (formerly Twitter). 

When directly asked about the timing of trains on the Metro line, Ms Allan said the government was still working through timetabling and would not commit to two minute services.

Opposition Leader John Pesutto said he would believe two minute services when he saw them.

“When the premier says we're going to see trains running every two minutes, that's hard to understand when they haven't taken into account regional rail services like V/Line," Mr Pesutto told reporters on Sunday.

"So we'll wait and see what the results are - they've made promises before”

Mr Pesutto said the government was irresponsible to also pursue the Suburban Rail Loop project.

The idea of two-minute train services has been floated before, with social media users designing some clever parodies with two minute noodle packets.

The bill to Victorian taxpayers for the tunnel has blown out from the initial $11 billion cost, after the state government and consortium each agreed to pay $1.37 billion more in 2020 - an even split of an extra $2.74 billion in costs.

Another $281 million in COVID-related payments was tacked on in May, taking the total taxpayer cost to $12.6 billion.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store