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HISTORY MADE AS METRO COMPLETES HARBOUR TUNNEL

TBM Kathleen's front shield and cutterhead are transported back across Sydney Harbour to Barangaroo. The 975 tonne tunnel boring machine, is being returned to Barangaroo to start the second one-kilometre tunnel which is 40 metres below the Harbour at its deepest point.
Written by Aksel Ritenis

HISTORY MADE AS METRO COMPLETES HARBOUR TUNNEL

The first metro railway tunnel to be built deep under Sydney Harbour has been completed in an historic milestone for public transport in Sydney.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today walked to the deepest point of the tunnel 40 metres below the harbour floor, meeting workers who built it.

“This is an engineering feat of historic proportions for our great city which will forever change how we get around Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Kathleen breaks through at Blues Point on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, after completing its historic rail crossing from Barangaroo deep under Sydney Harbour as part of Australia’s biggest public transport project. Named after Kathleen Butler, who played a vital role in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the technical advisor to legendary engineer John Bradfield, the 975-tonne TBM will now return to Barangaroo to start work on the second one-kilometre tunnel, 40 metres below the harbour at its deepest point.

“Today we have made history walking deep beneath Sydney Harbour for the first time, inside one of two metro railway tunnels to be built as part of this mega project.”

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Kathleen is digging twin railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour as part of Sydney Metro – Australia’s biggest public transport project.

The machine was pulled apart and its giant 90-tonne cutter head and front sections were barged back across Sydney Harbour where it is being reassembled to start digging the second tunnel.

The specialised TBM is named after Kathleen Butler, who played a vital role in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as technical adviser to engineer John Bradfield.

TBM Kathleen’s front shield is moved across Hickson Road at Barangaroo after being transported back across Sydney Harbour from Blues Point. TBM Kathleen has had her giant cutter head and main section lifted out at Blues Point and placed on a barge to return to Barangaroo. The machines support trailers will be pulled back to Barangaroo inside the first tunnel. TBM Kathleen, the 975 tonne tunnel boring machine, is being returned to Barangaroo to start the second one-kilometre tunnels, 40 metres below the Harbour at its deepest.

“It is incredible that Kathleen has already finished her first tunnel and we are able to walk through this crucial piece of infrastructure deep under the harbour,” Mr Constance said.

Metro trains will start running through the tunnels in 2024 extending the North West Metro into the city and beyond to Bankstown

Sydney Metro will have the ultimate capacity of a train every two minutes in each direction under the Sydney CBD and will be able to move more people across the harbour in the busiest hour of the peak than the Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel combined.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher Sydney Times