What’s going on in-between the railway lines at South Yarra?

As part of the Metro Tunnel project, the railway junction on the approach to South Yarra station is being redeveloped to accommodate the new tunnel portal. Whilst this much is obvious, what isn’t immediately clear is the purpose of all that work that’s going between the Caulfield and Sandringham lines.

Satellite image from Apple Maps

A quick peak at the Rail Infrastructure Alliance Eastern Portal Development Plan, and all is revealed. A new, small park, providing perfect views of the converging rail lines and new tunnel portal! Rail fans rejoice.

RIA Eastern Portal Development Plan, page 54

What’s more, this park will be at street level—it’ll look over the railway lines rather than being beside them. This should go a decent way towards quieting any ambient noise from train wheels rounding the curve as well.

What lies underneath…

If you’re like me however and you’ve been keeping mental tabs on this construction for a while, you would’ve noticed that they pretty much demolished the entire existing landmass in early 2019. What’s actually going on here? Again, the Development Plan has all the answers.

RIA Eastern Portal Development Plan, page 63
RIA Eastern Portal Development Plan, page 63

It appears that beneath the 1.5m of surface soil will lie an electrical traction substation in the southern end of the park, and a storm-water detention tank in the northern end. An ingenious use of the space in an area that’s already quite constrained.

If you’re interested, I can highly recommend checking out the development plans on the Metro Tunnel website. You can find all kinds of gems like this, slowly revealing what the finished product will look like whilst also providing a peak behind the curtain. The State Library Station plans are also quite interesting too—detailing the interchange underneath La Trobe Street between the existing Melbourne Central Station and the concourse of the new station—I may write a quick post about this one as well in the future.

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