The Metro Tunnel Project’s second tunnel boring machine (TBM) Meg has started tunnelling after months of assembly and commissioning.
Named after Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning, the TBM has progressed approximately 50 metres towards the tunnel entrance in Kensington, installing more than 20 rings that form the walls of the tunnel.
The project’s first TBM Joan, named after Victoria’s first female Premier Joan Kirner, has already travelled more than 250 metres west from North Melbourne and installed more than 140 rings to line the new tunnel.
Today, the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan inspected the tunnels at the site of the new North Melbourne Station.
Each tunnel ring comprises six concrete segments, which are being manufactured at a purpose-built facility in Deer Park that is supporting 70 jobs. The Metro Tunnel will use more than 56,000 segments in its construction.
The TBM is powered by a purpose-built electrical substation that supplies power to the site and the TBMs, which are working round the clock to build the twin nine-kilometre tunnels. Each TBM is 7.28 metres in diameter, 120 metres long and weighs more than 1,100 tonnes.
TBMs Joan and Meg are expected to arrive in Kensington – the western entrance to the Metro Tunnel – in early 2020. Each TBM will then be retrieved and returned to the North Melbourne site to be relaunched towards Parkville for the second leg of their journey.
Early next year, two more TBMs will be assembled at the Anzac Station site on St Kilda Road, ready to start boring towards the eastern entrance at South Yarra.
By taking three of the busiest train lines through a new tunnel under the city, the Andrews Labor Government’s Metro Tunnel will free up space in the City Loop to run more trains, more often, right across the network.
Both metropolitan and regional passengers will be able to enjoy reduced travel times to and from new destinations at Domain and Parkville, thanks to the Metro Tunnel.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“The second TBM is in the ground, building the biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history.”
“It’s amazing to see how much work is happening underneath Melbourne, to build the Metro Tunnel and deliver more frequent, reliable trains every day.”
As noted by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“I’m delighted to see the progress being made by these huge tunnel boring machines. It’s an early glimpse of what the Metro Tunnel will look like.”