Thursday, December 01, 2022

First tunnel boring machines arrive for Sydney West Metro Ferrovial’s construction project

First tunnel boring machines arrive for Sydney West Metro Ferrovial's construction project

The Sydney West Metro construction project in New South Wales (Australia) has received its first tunnel boring machine. These machines have come to work at The Bays station and will be the first to go into operation for Sydney’s Metro West, where they will dig twin 11 km tunnels from The Bays to Sydney Olympic Park. Both the machines are ready to start construction of new 24-km tunnels that will connect Greater Parramatta with Sydney CBD.

These tunnel boring machines include refurbished parts from the mega drill used in the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project. Cutter heads, nose shields and grapple shields were originally used for tunnel boring machines excavating subway tunnels from Chatswood to Blues Point. Once commissioned, the newly arrived TBMs will dig an average of 200 meters per week, with approximately 15 workers per shift operating each TBM 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Each machine weighs about 1,300 tons, which is equivalent to three Boeing 747s. They are 165 meters long, longer than two Airbus A380s and about seven meters in diameter. The heaviest parts of the tunnel boring machine are the front shield and grab shield, which weigh about 280 tons.

About the Sydney Metro West Project

In July 2021, Acciona along with Ferrovial Construction was awarded the contract for the central section of the Sydney West Metro. The project is valued at 1.96 billion Australian dollars (equivalent to 1.24 billion euros) and is one of the largest projects in the state.

The company will build 11 km of twin tunnels that will connect Bays station with the Sydney Olympic Park station built for the 2000 Olympic Games. Ferrovial will also carry out the excavation and civilian works of five new stations and service partners.

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

TBMs will begin tunneling from The Bay in the first half of 2023 and arrive at Sydney Olympic Park in late 2024.

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