First tunnel boring machines arrive for Sydney Metro West construction project


First tunnel boring machines arrive for Sydney Metro West construction project

The Sydney Metro West construction project in New South Wales, Australia, has received its first tunnel boring machines. These machines have arrived at The Bays Station site and will be the first in the ground for Sydney Metro West, where they will carve out 11-kilometer twin tunnels from The Bays to Sydney Olympic Park. The two machines are ready to start construction on the new 24-kilometer tunnels which will connect Greater Parramatta to the Sydney CBD.

These tunnel boring machines (TBMs) include refurbished parts from the mega boring machines used on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project. The cutterheads, front shields and gripper shields were originally used for the TBMs that dug the metro tunnels from Chatswood to Blues Point. Once launched, the newly arrived TBMs will excavate an average of 200 meters per week, with around 15 workers per shift operating each TBM 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Each TBM weighs almost 1,300 tonnes, equivalent to three Boeing 747 jets. They are 165 meters long, longer than two Airbus A380s, and approximately seven meters in diameter.  The heaviest pieces of the TBM are the front shield and gripper shield which weigh approximately 280 tonnes each.

About the Sydney Metro West project

In July 2021 Ferrovial Construction, in conjunction with Acciona, was awarded the contract for the central section of Sydney Metro West. The project is worth AUD$ 1.96 billion (equivalent to €1.24 billion) and is one of the largest projects in the state.

The company will construct the 11 km twin tunnels to connect The Bays Station with Sydney Olympic Park Station, which was built for the 2000 Olympics. Ferrovial will also carry out excavation and civil works for five new stations and the associated services.

When Sydney Metro West opens in 2030 it will double rail capacity between Greater Parramatta and the Sydney CBD, link new communities to rail services, and support employment growth and housing supply.

The TBMs are due to start tunneling from The Bays in the first half of 2023 and will arrive in Sydney Olympic Park in late 2024.



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