City Loop upgrade powering ahead

Works will start this year on Stage 2 of major upgrades to improve the management of emergency situations at three City Loop stations after the Victorian Government signed a new contract with an experienced construction consortium.

Construction of the City Loop began in the 1970s and now comprises four tunnels, totalling 12 kilometres.

It’s a critical part of Melbourne’s rail network and requires constant maintenance to ensure it remains world class and caters to the needs of Melbourne’s growing rail network.   

While the City Loop is currently safe and operates in accordance with Metro Trains rail safety management system, Stage 2 will deliver several upgrades including modern smoke detection, extraction, and sprinkler systems at Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament.  

An alliance comprising of Acciona, Coleman Rail, WSP and Metro Trains Melbourne has been awarded a $319 million contract to deliver the works.

In preparation for works to begin, the group has already completed extensive investigations, planning and design work. On-site construction is scheduled to start by the middle of 2022.  

The project will require an estimated two-week closure of the City Loop during a quieter period in January 2023. Every effort will be made to minimise disruptions and detailed information will be provided in advance.   

Stage 1, which included a new intruder alarm system, has been completed. The Major Transport Infrastructure Authority will coordinate Stage 2 in collaboration with the alliance.  

This work complements the Victorian Government’s work building a turn-up-and-go train service to make it easier for Melburnians to reach their destination on time, with fewer disruptions.

The City Loop is being untangled by running the busy Cranbourne, Pakenham, and Sunbury lines through twin nine-kilometre tunnels that will form part of the new Metro Tunnel project by 2025.  

For more information about Victoria’s unprecedented Big Build and to help plan your journey while our crews get on with the job, please visit