Below Rail Infrastructure, Engineering, Passenger Rail

Photos: TBM breaks through to North West Rail Link station

NWRL tunnel at Bella Vista. Photo: Transport for NSW

Elizabeth, one of the four tunnel boring machines working on Sydney’s North West Rail Link, has broken through into the new Showground Station site.

Transport for NSW’s North West Rail Link Facebook page shared the news to its followers on Tuesday afternoon.


With the breakthrough at Showground, tunneling for the project is now more than a third complete, the project’s management said.

“Elizabeth started tunnelling in September last year, four months ahead of schedule, and is now halfway through its nine kilometre journey from Bella Vista to Cherrybrook,” NWRL said.

“Over the coming weeks, TBM Elizabeth will undergo maintenance as she is moved through the Showground station area, before setting off again towards Castle Hill station and then on to Cherrybrook where she will be pulled from the ground.”

The four TBMs in operation have so far built over 12km of new tunnels, with a further 18km set to go.

“The twin 15km tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping are Australia’s longest-ever railway tunnels,” the NWRL detailed.

“More than one million tonnes of crushed rock has been excavated from the tunnels and recycled on commercial, residential and environmental projects elsewhere in Sydney.”

Showground Station is being built underground, with its platforms about 20m below ground level. It will feature 600 commuter car spots, 15 kiss-and-ride spots, four taxi spots and a bus interchange.

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