Tunnelling has finished on Australia’s longest railway tunnels, with the last of four giant tunnelling machines completing work on Sydney Metro Northwest.
NSW Premier Mike Baird, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance and local MPs witnessed the historic breakthrough as Tunnel Boring Machine 2 ‘Florence’ arrived at what will become Cherrybrook Station.
“Today everyone can be proud at what’s been achieved, with this long-promised critical public transport project taking shape before our eyes,” Mr Baird said.
“This rail line will transform the lives of people in Sydney’s north-west, enabling commuters to catch a train every four minutes in the peak.”
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance says workers have collectively spent more than 360,000 hours underground building the tunnels.
“I pay tribute to all the men and women who have worked on this massive project and ensured tunnelling has finished about two months ahead of schedule,” Mr Constance said.
“About 2.7 million tonnes of Sydney Sandstone and shale has been excavated to complete the job.
“It’s taken just 16 months for our four giant tunnelling machines to deliver today’s result, and we’re only just getting started, as we prepare for construction of the next stage of the Metro project.”
More than 4,600 people worked on the Sydney Metro Northwest tunnelling contract, most of them from the Western Sydney region.
More than 100 kilometres of tunnels will be built in Sydney in the coming years, for projects including Sydney Metro City & Southwest, WestConnex and NorthConnex.
Sydney Metro Northwest is due to open in the first half of 2019.
More information is available on the Sydney Metro fact sheet (PDF 205KB).