South Yarra park now open after Metro Tunnel upgrades

South Yarra Park Metro Tunnel

For the first time in six years South Yarra’s Siding Reserve has reopened, to the delight of locals and their pets.

The reserve was closed in 2018 to allow for the Metro Tunnel’s eastern entrance to be built. Since then, Siding Reserve has been transformed with new landscaping, pedestrian and bike paths, a picnic area, seating, and improved lighting.

The new park will provide much-needed open green space for the community and is an on-leash dog park, so even four-legged friends can enjoy a day out for a picnic.

The reserve features artworks from two First Nations artists, Where We Walk by Barkindji man Kent Morris, and Murrup Biik by Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Kim Wandin with collaborating artist Christine Joy. Aunty Kim’s work extends to the nearby Arthur Street pocket park.

Two pocket parks were also created by the project, returning what was once a Metro Tunnel work site back to the local community on William and Arthur streets.



Arthur Street pocket park opened with Siding Reserve in May. William Street pocket park, the William St Bridge, and Lovers Walk – a pedestrian link between Chapel St and Toorak Rd – reopened in late 2023.

More than 160 trees have been planted at the reserve and pocket parks. This is around a 40 per cent increase of trees in the area, creating greener spaces for the community.

Beneath the park lives the South Yarra Substation – the first in Victoria to be built underground. The substation provides the extra power needed for the new bigger, better trains running through the Metro Tunnel and on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines.

For the eastern entrance of the tunnel to be constructed, crews widened the rail corridor and created an emergency exit building on Osbourne St, enabling trains to continue running on the surface while construction on the nine-kilometre twin tunnels continued below.

The Metro Tunnel will connect the busy Sunbury and Cranbourne/Pakenham lines via a new tunnel under the city, creating an end-to-end rail line from the north-west to the south-east, freeing up space in the City Loop and better connecting all Victorians to jobs, healthcare, and education. •

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