Thanks to the Metro tunnel team (specifically the guys at Cross Yarra Partnership) I managed to get a ticket to the tour of Arden station held yesterday.
Arden Station is named after nearby Arden Street, and will be located in a new urban renewal precinct of the same name. The station will be between Footscray to the west, and Parkville (in the University/Hospital precinct) to the east.
At one stage they planned to name Arden station as North Melbourne, and to rename North Melbourne as West Melbourne. That plan has fallen by the wayside, basically because it was too hard to move the name.
This render of Arden Station’s overall design may help make the context of the photos below clearer.
The entrance is on Laurens Street, with a distinctive brick archway design said to reflect the industrial history of the area. Certainly an impressive structure. Hopefully not too much rain gets in on wet days.
From here, escalators and lifts will take passengers down to the concourse level, which features natural light from above.
Provision will be made for a second entrance to be added later as the area develops.
The basic layout of the station is completed, but it’s a little difficult to see how the passenger flows around the concourse will work. Hopefully it will be a direct path down to the platforms, without any kind of retail maze as at Melbourne Central.
From the concourse level, passengers will go down to the two platforms.
One platform is for westbound trains (towards Footscray, Sunshine, and then Sunbury and from 2029 the Airport), and one platform is for eastbound trains (towards Parkville, the CBD, then out to Caulfield and the Cranbourne/Pakenham line).
On the tour we got to go a couple of hundred metres into the tunnel. Note the emergency walkway along the tunnel wall to the platform, for evacuating passengers from trains if ever required.
If you’ve ever seen trucks rolling around Melbourne with pieces of tunnel on them, you’ll recognise these. The “35” is I think the metres to the station platform.
The Metro Tunnel project has been a long time coming. It started over 15 years ago as just a conceptual line on a map. It’s great to see it coming together.
I’m also struck by how the Metro Tunnel is achieving some things the Suburban Rail Loop may not: stations located directly under the places they serve, and a station in an urban renewal precinct. (Both will have some long connecting tunnels between existing and new stations.)
It also underscores that Fishermans Bend is going to be a real mess in the future if it doesn’t get a heavy rail connection such as Metro 2.
But I digress. Arden station and the rest of Metro 1 is expected to be open in 2025. The scale of the project is very impressive to see.
Apart from completing the infrastructure, the challenge for government is to ensure the services that run through it are up to scratch: trains every few minutes, waits of no more than 10 minutes, every day, all day until late – that’s what Melbourne needs.
Plenty more pics on Twitter: