Melbourne Metro

19 July 2016

Upgrades to the Melbourne city rail network will see the construction of a train station underneath the University of Melbourne Parkville campus. The underground Parkville Station will be part of the Melbourne Metro Rail (MMR) project and is designed to accommodate Melbourne’s growing population.

The new metro line will run from Kensington to South Yarra with underground stations stopping at Arden, Parkville, Melbourne CBD North and South and the Domain interchange. This will require the construction of five underground stations, including two CBD stops connecting to Melbourne Central Station and Flinders Street Station. The line will pass from the west directly under Grattan Street before turning south under Swanston Street.  

There will be three Parkville Station entrances, two on either side of Royal Parade on the corner of Grattan Street and one next to the campus Gate House, south of the John Medley West Tower. It is unclear at this stage precisely how long construction will take, but it is expected that Grattan Street will be closed periodically throughout the process.

According to MMR Project Director Christine Whelehan, members of the Major Transport Infrastructure Board met with the University MMR steering group on campus. Discussion was focused on ensuring that the needs of the University are well cared for during construction and after the project’s completion. Changes to Grattan Street and University operations are being considered, as are short and long term effects of the project on campus accessibility. A Project Control Group comprised of University staff members and infrastructure consultants has been formed in order to assess and monitor the project.

Proposals for construction methods, environmental impact precautions and feasibility reports for the stations are to be submitted by the start of July. University of Melbourne Student Union President Tyson Holloway-Clarke has expressed some concerns over the consequences of the Project.

“While we look forward to the [Melbourne Rail Project] the works will be significant and could prove highly disruptive,” he said.

Holloway-Clarke believes these disruptions should be an important factor being considered as the proposals move forward.   

Currently the metropolitan rail network’s average train transports 750,000 people per day. With Melbourne’s population set to hit six million by 2031, this figure will rise to 1.3 million commuters traveling throughout the city every day. The MMR project will aid in doubling Melbourne’s railway capacity, the Parkville station alone providing access to 45,000 jobs, 14,000 residents, and 70,000 students.

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