The first Sydney Metro Northwest tunnel boring machine to finish tunnelling has been pulled out of the ground in a precision operation, with its massive 105-tonne cutter-head lifted 25m to the surface.
Tunnel Boring Machine 3 Isabelle recently finished her journey at Epping after digging almost 6km of Australia’s longest railway tunnels.
She was one of the four mega machines delivering the 15km twin tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping.
The cutter-head chewed through more than 600,000 tonnes of Sydney sandstone and went through more than 600 hardened steel teeth due to the forces of tunnelling.
Specialist crews have been dismantling TBM3 Isabelle since she ended her 10-month journey with a carefully choreographed and precise operation needed to retrieve her 105-tonne cutter-head and bring it to the surface.
“The dismantling of Isabelle will continue over coming weeks to make way for the arrival of her sister, TBM4 Maria, which is currently less than 1km from Epping,” Mr Constance said.
“Collectively, the four TBMs have completed 23km or nearly 80 per cent of the 30km tunnelling task and the project continues to move forward at a cracking pace.”
TBM3 was named after 5 year old Isabelle Andersen, to represent the families of the 900 Thiess John Holland Dragados tunnelling workers. Isabelle watched the cutter-head lift with her dad Grant.
The Epping site will be used for fresh air tunnel ventilation and as an emergency access point to the tunnels below once Sydney’s new trains start running in the first half of 2019.
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