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Tunnel boring machine smashes through at future Western Sydney Airport Station


a worker standing in front of TBM Peggy a worker standing in front of TBM Peggy
TBM Peggy breakthrough TBM Peggy breakthrough
TBM Peggy breaking through TBM Peggy breaking through

Western Sydney residents are one step closer to catching fast metro services, with TBM Peggy smashing through at the future Airport Terminal Station in a major milestone for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.

The 1,066-tonne mega machine completed the first leg of its 5.5-kilometre journey to the Aerotropolis, following TBM Eileen who made her historic first breakthrough in July.

Peggy has worked around the clock at an average speed of 120 metres per week to build the fully lined 1.26-kilometre tunnel from Airport Business Park, excavating around 112,000 tonnes of rock – enough to fill about 18 Olympic swimming pools.
In preparation for Peggy’s arrival, approximately 293,000 tonnes of rock (about 48 Olympic swimming pools) have been excavated from the 25-metre-deep Airport Terminal station box.

The enormous machine will now traverse the station box before being relaunched, to tunnel under the future Western Sydney International Airport, with the TBM expected to arrive at the Aerotropolis Station site in 2024.

TBM Peggy is named after Peggy Kelman OAM, an Australian aviation pioneer and adventurer. Peggy Kelman was a friend of Nancy-Bird Walton, the namesake of the new international airport.

A total of four TBMs will build the 9.8-kilometre twin tunnels for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line between St Marys and Aerotropolis. 

The line will be operational when Western Sydney International Airport opens for passenger services, with an expected travel time of 15 minutes from St Marys metro station to Airport Terminal Station and a further five minutes to Aerotropolis Station. 

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