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History made as Metro completes Harbour tunnel

9 December 2019

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.

“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.

“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.

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