The first Sydney Metro Northwest tunnel boring machine (TBM) to finish tunnelling has been dismantled and brought to the surface in pieces in a series of precision operations at Epping. TBM3 Isabelle was one of the four mega machines delivering the 15km twin tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping.
She finished her journey from Cherrybrook to Epping on Friday 18 September 2015 after digging almost 6 kilometres of Australia's longest railway tunnels. Specialist crews began dismantling TBM3 Isabelle when she ended her 10-month journey. One of the more complex procedures required a carefully choreographed and precise operation to retrieve her 105-tonne cutter-head and bring it 25 metres to the surface. TBM3 was named after 5 year old Isabelle Andersen, to represent the families of the 900 Thiess John Holland Dragados tunnelling workers. Isabelle was there at Epping to wave good-bye to TBM3 and watch the cutter-head lift with her dad Grant.