by Keri Allan
25 May 2021
Four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have finished 20 months of digging under Melbourne to create two 9km, 6.3m high rail tunnels lined with around 250,000 tonnes of concrete for the Metro Tunnel Project.
Set to transform Melbourne’s train network, this project will deliver more trains to and from the suburbs and slash travel times by up to 50 minutes a day.
The work took place just 1.5m underneath Melbourne’s City Loop as trains continued to run, as well as digging 12m under the Yarra riverbed and around 7m below the Burnley Tunnel.
TBM Meg was the last to arrive at the Town Hall Station site 25m under Swanston and Collins streets, following TBMs Millie, Joan and Alice, which broke through at the station over the past month.
The four machines have tunnelled on six separate legs between Kensington and South Yarra, installing more than 55,000 curved concrete segments to create a waterproof tunnel lining. They dug as deep as 40m below ground and tunnelled through 600,000 m3 of basalt rock, gravel and silt and clay.
After starting work progressively from August 2019, the TBMs tunnelled an average of 90m a week, with Alice recording the best rate of 195m in a single week.
While the TBMs have finished the rail tunnels between the project’s five stations, roadheaders are still at work digging the final section of tunnels alongside the platforms at Town Hall Station.
The TBMs are now being dismantled underground and retrieved, with the ‘skin’ of each shield to remain in the tunnels to form part of the permanent lining. The remaining components will be assessed for potential reuse on other tunnelling projects.
“This is a huge milestone for the amazing team at the Metro Tunnel. This vital project is a year ahead of schedule but there's still a huge amount of work to be done to finish the stations and get the tunnel ready to deliver more trains, more often.”
Attention now turns to the next phase of works on the project, with construction well underway on the 26 cross passages.
With the tunnel entrances at South Yarra and Kensington completed, work has also begun to connect the entrance structures to the tunnels.
Australia’s first autonomous tunnel boring machine (TBM) has been launched as part of the Sydney Metro West project.
Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Peggy has broken through at the site of Western Sydney International Airport's metro station.
The Government of Victoria has confirmed that testing is now underway within Melbourne's new Metro Tunnel.
Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Eileen has arrived at the Airport Terminal metro station for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.
Škoda Group has announced that it will supply up to 1,120 traction motors for a new fleet of trams being produced for Melbourne, Australia.
Two tunnel boring machines – Eileen and Peggy – have started their journeys at the future Airport Business Park Station.
Hitachi Rail is piloting its ‘Over and Back’ testing solution to deliver ETCS digital signalling for Queensland’s Cross River Rail project.
Sydney Metro has launched the first two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to carve out a section of the 24-kilometre Sydney Metro West line.
Aurizon has contracted Progress Rail to build a zero-emissions capable battery-powered freight locomotive in Australia.
The Cross River Rail project has reached new milestones in testing ETCS Level 2 signalling on the Shorncliffe Line in South East Queensland.
Metro trains have commenced testing under Sydney Harbour as part of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has approved the use of solar-powered signalling across its Inland Rail corridor.
Construction work to connect the Sydney Metro City & Southwest line with the existing Metro North West line is now complete.
A new substation in South Yarra has been switched on to provide power for high-capacity trains travelling through the Melbourne Metro Tunnel.
Sydney Metro has contracted Hyundai Movex to install mechanical gap fillers at stations for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
Progress Rail has been contracted to supply 12 new GT46 locomotives to Qube, an import and export logistics service provider in Australia.
The Parklife Metro consortium has been awarded the third and final major contract for the Sydney Metro — Western Sydney Airport project.
High voltage power systems have been installed and commissioned at Victoria Cross Station for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest service.
A John Holland, CPB Contractors (CPB) and Ghella joint venture has been awarded Sydney Metro West’s eastern tunnelling contract.
The NSW Government is investing 180m AUD to modernise the network at Central Station’s Grand Concourse in Sydney to accomodate more trains.
Four of 23 new driverless trains for the City & Southwest Line have started passenger service on Sydney's Metro North West Line this week.
Sydney Metro West's first tunnel boring machines have arrived at The Bays Station to carve out 11-kilometre tunnels to Sydney Olympic Park.
The Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA) has commissioned Perth’s Forrestfield-Airport link.
Sunshine Systems Alliance has been selected to deliver a major construction package for the Melbourne Airport Rail project.
CAF will supply an additional 5 trams equipped with OESS to run on catenary-free sections of the Canberra Metro.
Alstom has received an order for an additional 12 VLocity DMU regional trains from the Department of Transport in Victoria.
The final piece of track has been laid for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest lines, Australia's largest public transport project.
Alstom’s first C-series railcar for Metronet is on its way to the Nowergup depot to begin dynamic testing in mid-September.
With testing and commissioning of Perth’s Forrestfield-Airport Link entering its final stages, operations will begin in October.
The world's first fully automated heavy-rail system AutoHaul has been increased by 166km to connect Rio Tinto's new Gudai-Darri iron ore mine.
Hitachi Rail has been chosen to install ATO over ETCS Level 2 technology across Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock fleet.
ABB’s Enviline Energy Storage System is being used by Metro Trains Melbourne to capture, store and reuse energy created by braking trains.
Alstom has signed a framework contract with the Department of Transport Victoria, Australia, for 100 Flexity low-floor next generation trams.
Australia’s top built environment experts will meet with industry businesses and vendors at the annual Sydney Build Expo 2022.
The ARTC has chosen Martinus as the preferred contractor for delivery of the Inland Rail sections of its Rail Corridor Programme.
Melbourne’s tram network is receiving a boost to its capacity as new E-class trams enter passenger service on Route 58 this month.
Alstom has delivered its 100th and final Flexity light rail vehicle (LRV) to the Department of Transport in Victoria.
Alstom has signed a €300m contract with to supply 25 X’trapolis trains for Melbourne’s suburban rail network.
Alstom has been awarded contracts to design, deliver and provide long-term service support for ETCS Level 2 trackside signalling technology.
A SYSTRA and KBR joint venture has been awarded an independent certification services contract for the Sydney Metro West project.
CAF has secured tram supply extension contracts in Belgium and Australia, in addition to a signalling installation contract in Turkey.
Alstom has begun operations at METRONET’s brand new train manufacturing facility in Perth, Western Australia.
The Sydney Metro West project has announced two new stations – Pyrmont, and Hunter Street in the city's central business district.
Melbourne Metro Tunnel's 9km tunnels have moved closer to completion, switching the project’s focus on to its five new underground stations.
Two companies have been shortlisted to construct more than 10km of viaducts, bridges and embankments for the Sydney Airport Metro.
Siemens Mobility has been awarded two contracts by the New South Wales Government to upgrade the signalling technology on the Sydney metro.
The Sydney Metro West project has received two major planning approvals in readiness for the TBMs to start working by the end of 2022.
Transport for New South Wales has extended Network Rail Consulting's digital systems integration contract until 2024.
ARCT has awarded a 30 million AUD signalling contract to Arcadis for the Inland Rail freight project that will connect Melbourne to Brisbane.
Downer EDI has won the contract to upgrade stations on the Bankstown Line, which will become part of the Sydney Metro network.
9 new VLocity trains have entered service on Victoria's regional rail network. In total Victoria has ordered 18 new three-car VLocity trains.
The Australian federal budget includes more than half a billion dollars in funding for rail infrastructure projects in the state of Victoria.
The Warrnambool Line Upgrade, which will see signalling upgrades and a new crossing loop, is now underway. Completion is expected for 2021.
Keolis has won a 1.32 billion euro contract to operate and maintain Adelaide's commuter rail network for a period of eight years.
The Australian state of Victoria will receive an additional 18 three-car Bombardier VLocity trains, in a mix of broad and standad gauge.
The NSW government has approved plans for 2 rail freight projects that will increase capacity on the tracks serving freigh trains in Sydney.
Construction on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest line has entered a new phase, following completion of the tunnels in March 2020.
Tracklaying has begun on the 8.5km Forrestfield-Airport Link that will connect Perth's CBD with the city's airport in the east.
Early works have now commenced on the Yanchep extension of teh Joondalup Railway Line. It is estimated works will be complete in 2021.
The Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development on the key successes and challenges for rail.
Bombardier is one of the event sponsors of AusRAIL PLUS 2019 the biggest rail show in Australia, which takes place in Sydney 3–5 December.
Metronet has made public a tender for the construction of an assembly and maintenance depot for railcars in Bellevue, Western Australia.
Downer installs Dwell Track system at Wynyard Station in Sydney to optimise passenger flow and safety on platforms.
An Arcadis-Mott MacDonald joint venture has been awarded a design contract for a section of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest line.
Bombardier-EDI Downer JV deliver last of the B-series electric multiple units for Transperth. The contract began in 2004.
Anton Abrahams, Chairman of the Critical Communications World (CCW), discusses critical communications for Australia's railways.
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