Two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that were in use on the Sydney Metro project have been shipped north to begin digging twin tunnels under the Brisbane river for the Cross River Rail project.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the machines have arrived and are being prepared to start major tunnelling for the underground rail project.
“They are the same machines that dug the Sydney Metro. Now they’ll get a full refit and refurbishment at Herrenknecht’s north-side facility, to prepare them to dig Brisbane’s first underground.”
The two TBMs will excavate the twin tunnels that will connect the rail lines north and south of the Brisbane CBD via a new river crossing. The machines will be launched from Woolloongabba Station on Brisbane’s south-side and emerge at the project’s northern portal at Normanby.
During tunnelling, the TBMs will carve through the Albert Street and Roma Street stations sites. The TBMs will travel 30 metres a day and line the tunnels with concrete segments as they create the passages. An expected 290,000 cubic metres of soil will be generated over the course of tunnelling.
Each of the TBMs weighs 1,350 tonnes and is 165 metres long. At its peak, refurbishment work will be done 247 at Herrenknecht’s site in Pinkemba.
Palaszczuk said that preparing the TBMs to work on the Cross River Rail project will create local jobs.
“More than a dozen people have started working on the refit of the Cross River Rail TBMs, and that will increase to up to 35 people during peak activity – local jobs at a local factory.”
State Development Minister Kate Jones said these jobs would have a long-term benefit to Queensland.
“Cross River Rail will transform the way we travel and it will also leave behind a legacy of skilled workers trained by world-leaders in specialist trades,” said Jones.