Tunnel boring machine (TBM) 2 Florence is taking a well-deserved rest after breaking through at Norwest on 4 March 2015. During her journey from Bella Vista, Florence excavated more than 180,000 tonnes of crushed rock and had 49 hardened steel cutters on her cutter head replaced after they'd been worn down from the harsh forces of cutting Sydney sandstone and shale. As Florence cut through and crushed the rock it then had to be transported back to Bella Vista – that was made possible by extending her conveyor belt by almost 3.6 kilometres.
But the journey to Norwest wasn't all about cutting, crushing, and breaking through – she was also building – installing more than 7,200 concrete segments to line the new rail tunnel. Just like Elizabeth before her, Florence is currently taking a ‘pit-stop' and moving slowly through the Norwest Station area. Maintenance teams are giving her some ‘pampering' to ensure all systems are go before she heads off on her next challenge – ‘chasing' Elizabeth on the Showground leg of their journey to Cherrybrook.