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'Business as usual' for Cathedral during CBD rail project

Construction work for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project will not disrupt the ministries of St Paul's Cathedral, says the Dean.

St Paul's Cathedral will be making a formal submission to have the new CBD South underground station named "St Paul's", and letters of support are welcome.

May 17 2016Victoria’s largest infrastructure project in a generation will not disrupt access to St Paul’s Cathedral and its ministries, says the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne.

The Melbourne Metro Rail Project will see two nine-kilometre rail tunnels built between South Kensington and South Yarra via the CBD, and construction of five new underground stations, including a station underneath Swanston Street with exits into City Square, Federation Square, and adjacent to Young and Jackson’s. The new line will connect the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines with the Sunbury line, and enable new 200 metre-long trains to travel through the heart of Melbourne, without needing to access the City Loop.

The Cathedral and the lands on which it is located will not be affected by the excavation work on City Square and Swanston Street, and nor will its ministries, said Dr Loewe. In fact, city and Metro Rail authorities are actively seeking solutions to upgrade the “civic spine” — the area between Town Hall and Federation Square, including the Cathedral lands — during the works.

“Our great ceremonial doors will remain open every day of the year for visitors and worshippers as we continue to provide a place of reflection and solace in our busy city,” he said.

The station excavation sites to the north and west of the Cathedral will differ from most CBD building sites in that they will be covered by large acoustic sheds, which will reduce the impact of ambient noise and dust. Walkways on Swanston Street will remain accessible to pedestrians, and trams will continue to run as normal.

“For us at St Paul’s it will be ‘business as usual’ while the new underground station is created. We do expect the area around us to change, but one of the wonderful things of St Paul’s is its changelessness and serenity. In the midst of a city that is continually moving and changing, we will continue to invite people to encounter God, the One who is constant and unchanging.”

The new CBD South station under Swanston Street has yet to be given its final name, and the Cathedral will be making a formal submission to have it named “St Paul’s”. The station will be located directly underneath Swanston Street. Three out of the six proposed exits will give alighting passengers a view of St Paul’s.

Members of the public are invited to support the naming of the new station as “St Paul’s” by writing to:

The Registrar of Geographic Names
Mr John E. Tulloch
Land Victoria
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
GPO Box 527
Melbourne VIC 3001

Work on the new CBD South station will commence in February 2017. During the building works, City Square and the retail precinct between Young and Jackson’s and the Nicholas Building opposite the Cathedral on Swanston Street will be turned into two large excavation sites, to enable the underground excavation of the new station.