Below Rail Infrastructure, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Operations & Maintenance, Passenger Rail, Track & Civil Construction

Boring task at Keilor East

Keilor East

Children from a Keilor East early learning centre had the exciting opportunity to see a mini tunnel boring machine up close before she got to work on the Melbourne Airport Rail Project. 

The youngsters from Milleara Integrated Learning and Development Centre, and Jigsaw Childcare in Sunshine North, took part in a competition to name one of two mini tunnel boring machines being used to create space for utility services under the rail corridor and surrounding roads. 

The TBM named Taylor which is two metres long and half a metre in diameter – is working at Slater Parade, Keilor East, where she will bore for nearly 50 metres, around 6m below ground. She’s expected to cover up to 12m per day. 

Prior to Taylor’s visit, Melbourne Airport Rail project staff visited the early learning centres to teach the children more about the machines and the project through play-based activities, viewing animations and dressing up in hardhats and safety vests.  

Work at Keilor East and Sunshine North includes the construction of dedicated tracks for Melbourne Airport Rail services in the existing freight corridor between Sunshine and Airport West.  

The new tracks will take trains to the new station at Keilor East, before crossing the Western Ring Road (M80 freeway) and then continuing on an elevated rail line along Airport Drive and arriving at a new premium train station at Melbourne Airport. 

Early work to prepare for the new tracks involves relocating and protecting hundreds of utilities –such as water, gas, electricity, sewerage and telecommunications – that are located in the rail corridor and adjacent roads. This is where Taylor will play a key role. The second machine will be launched in Gee Street, Sunshine North, to do similar work.  

The new station at Keilor East will connect more than 150,000 passengers in the City of Moonee Valley area to Victoria’s expanding rail network for the first time. 

The project team has been talking to the local community to ensure that they are aware of the works and can plan around them. 

Public Transport minister Ben Carroll said it was great to see the local children and the community getting involved in the highly anticipated project, which would bring so many benefits to the area for decades to come.

“People travelling from Keilor East will reach Melbourne Airport in around six minutes, and the new station will have six trains per hour offering seamless travel to the heart of Melbourne’s CBD in around 30 minutes,” he said.