Sydney Metro West Welcomes First Tunnel Boring Machines
The first two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for the Sydney Metro West project in New South Wales, Australia, have been delivered to the Acciona Ferrovial JV.
The two tunnel boring machines were ordered by the joint venture between Acciona Construction Australia and Ferrovial Construction (AF JV) at the beginning of this year.
In July 2021, the New South Wales government gave AF JV the A$1.96 billion central tunnelling contract for the Sydney Metro West project.
The TBMs have now arrived at the Bays Station site, which is in a new neighbourhood 2 kilometres west of Sydney's CBD (CBD). In November 2020, construction on the launch site for the tunnel began. Four of the six TBMs in Sydney Metro West will begin their journeys from this site.
The entire project entails 24 km of twin tunnels that will provide a new underground railway connecting the Greater Parramatta precinct and Sydney's central business district. From the Bays to Sydney Olympic Park, the central section runs for 11 kilometres.
Refurbished components from the giant boring machines used on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project are used in the two TBMs, which will be the first ones in the ground for the project. The metro tunnels from Chatswood to Blues Point were originally dug by the TBMs using cutterheads, front shields, and gripper shields.
Each TBM has a diameter of roughly 7 metres, is 165 metres long, and weighs almost 1,300 tonnes.
Once they are operating, the recently arrived TBMs will excavate 200m on average each week, with 15 workers each shift running each machine around-the-clock, seven days a week. Each cutterhead on the machines has 38 disc cutters with a diameter of more than 48 cm.
The front shield and gripper shield, which weigh about 280 tonnes apiece, are the TBMs' largest components.
In the first half of 2023, the TBMs are scheduled to begin tunnelling at the Bays location, and they are anticipated to reach Sydney Olympic Park in the latter part of 2024.
The Sydney Olympic Park metro station has now also begun receiving major construction. The 200 m long, 37 m wide, and 27 m deep station box is now being excavated; the project will take 13 months to complete.
The last segment of the eastern tunnel, spanning 3.5 kilometres between the Bays and Sydney CBD, has recently acquired planning approval for Sydney Metro West.
The project's first major planning permission was given for the project concept between the west Sydney suburb of Westmead and the Sydney CBD, as well as for station excavation and tunnelling between Westmead and the Bays external site, in March 2021.
A joint venture between Gamuda and Laing O'Rourke Australia was awarded the western tunnelling contract in March of this year, which covers 9 km of rail tunnels between Sydney Olympic Park and Westmead.
Sydney Metro West, when it debuts in 2030, will connect additional suburbs to rail services while doubling the rail capacity between Greater Parramatta and the Sydney CBD.
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