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Melbourne Metro Tunnel

Melbourne Metro Tunnel is one of several public rail lines under the jurisdiction of Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) in Victoria, Australia. As the government body overseeing Metro Rail’s new Metro Tunnel Project, RPV is responsible for all aspects of the project, from planning and developing its reference design to stakeholder engagement, project commissioning, and construction delivery. The project, which was announced in 2015, is now underway and is scheduled for completion by 2025.

The Challenge: System integration for a multifaceted rail infrastructure development

With a projected cost of $11 billion, theMetro Tunnel Project is the largest-ever investment in public transport in Melbourne. For the Metro Rail system, the project will provide new twin 9-kilometer tunnels as well as five new undergroundboarding stations and a new train/tram interchange. The project further includes signaling to maximize efficiency of the Metro Rail’s new fleet of high-capacity trains.


Network enhancements for the project include new infrastructure to facilitate access to sidings and train turn-backs. Improvements are additionally being made for signaling headway, tram network operations, and service frequency across the existing Metro Rail network.


Given the infrastructure’s new technologies and various subcontractors, RPVofficials had to identify and implement a system integration model to coordinate the collective engineering complexity. Specifically, the model had to support the seamless integration of infrastructure systems being built under multiple contracts. At the same time, project officials required a model that would help them mitigate potential risks such as delays, cost blow-outs and disruption to the project’s schedule and progress.

The Solution: IBM® Rational® DOORS® Next Generation and ClearObject Engineering Cloud

RPV is using IBM’s Rational DOORS Next Generation application as their system integration model for the Metro Tunnel Project and its expanded infrastructure. The Rational DOORS Next Generation app is managed as a cloud solution via ClearObject Engineering Cloud services. This joint solution gives RPV officials a secure collaborative cloud environment to capture, trace, analyze and manage project requirements in real-time. As importantly, officials can preserve the data privacy and IP of the many individual subcontractor organizations involved in the project. 

“As other major infrastructure programs come online around Australia, this continuous engineering approach is becoming the de facto standard.”


-- David La Rose, Managing Director, IBM Australia/ New Zealand

The Result

RPV officials have used the Rational DOORS Next Generation-ClearObject Engineering Cloud environment to guide the Metro Tunnel Project to date. Ultimately, the new tunnel and rail infrastructure will pave the way for expansion of the Melbourne Metro Rail network and create capacity for more trains at higher frequencies across Melbourne.


New high-capacity trains being added to the Melbourne Metro Rail network

Projected cost of the Metro Tunnel Project


Going Forward

Along with the Metro Tunnel Project, a new third turn-back platform station and other current projects on an associated rail line will create four metro-style lines throughout the Melbourne area. Each line will run independently of one another in distinct rail service areas. This project phase is to include the provision of high-speed signaling, level crossing removals, track and station improvements, and additional train stabling facilities. It is anticipated that the Rational DOORS Next Generation-Engineering Cloud solution from ClearObject will be used throughout these later project stages.

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