Industry Infrastructure, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), State, Track Construction, Tunnelling

The final Sydney Metro West tunnel boring machines have arrived

Sydney Metro West is gearing up to build Sydney’s second under-harbour railway crossing with the final tunnel boring machines (TBMs) arriving on site.

The two TBMs will carve out the 2.3-kilometre twin tunnels from The Bays, under Sydney Harbour, to Hunter Street in the Sydney CBD as part of the Sydney Metro West – Eastern Tunnelling Package (ETP). These are the last of six TBMs being used for tunnelling on the 24-kilometre Sydney Metro West line.

The TBMs arrived in 32 pieces by ship (16 for each TBM) at White Bay port last month. They are currently inside the 34-metre-deep station box at The Bays being assembled ahead of their launch later this year.

Both 1,100 tonne machines will journey parallel to the iconic Anzac Bridge, heading to the new Pyrmont Station site, and then under Darling Harbour before reaching the Hunter Street Station site in the heart of the CBD.

Image/Transport for NSW

These mixed shield (slurry) TBMs are specifically designed to excavate through sandstone and under the harbour. This will be the second under harbour crossing undertaken by Sydney Metro using this technology following the successful crossing between Blues Point and Barangaroo as part of the City & Southwest project.

Once launched, the TBMs will tunnel at an average rate of 90 metres per week and will arrive at the Hunter Street Station site in mid-2025.

The Sydney Metro West project will provide fast, reliable, turn-up-and-go metro services with fully accessible stations, link new communities to rail services and support employment growth and housing supply.

Sydney Metro West is expected to be complete by 2032.