Canada: TBMs Travel to Toronto to Dig Eglinton Crosstown West Extension Tunnels

Work on Toronto’s Eglington Crosstown West Extension is a step closer to starting, as the project’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are now on their way to Canada.

The ECWE tunnel boring machine in the German factory.
The ECWE tunnel boring machine in the German factory

After testing was completed in Germany, the TBMs were dismantled and packaged into 14 shipping containers ahead of their journey.

The largest parts of the TBMs, the cutterheads, are making the trip in one piece. Weighing approximately 65 tonnes, they’re laid down on a flatbed on the cargo ship’s bridge for their journey across the Atlantic.

After clearing customs, the shipping containers carrying the TBMs will travel to the launch site at Renforth Drive and Commerce Boulevard by truck. They will  then be assembled and lowered into the ground in spring 2022.

One of the cutter wheels for one of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension’s tunnel boring machines being loaded onto a ship.
One of the cutter wheels for one of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension’s tunnel boring machines being loaded onto a ship.

Metrolinx is running a competition to name the TBMs, and 140 names were submitted by local residents. These have now been shortlisted with voting now open to the community.

The winning names will be announced in the new year, when the TBMs arrive at the launch shaft site.

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