Sydney Metro’s second mega boring machine has made history, breaking through a wall of rock at the new Waterloo Station.
TBM Mum Shirl started digging from Marrickville on 5 November 2018 and has since carved through about 304,000 tonnes of rock – enough to fill 47 swimming pools – building a 3.1 kilometre tunnel in six months.
Mum Shirl installed 1815 concrete rings to form the tunnel from Marrickville to Waterloo.
Mum Shirl is one of five TBMs building the 15.5 kilometre twin railway tunnels between Chatswood and Marrickville.
Two TBMs are working on 8.1 kilometres of twin metro tunnels from Marrickville to the new Sydney Metro station sites at Waterloo, Central, Pitt Street, Martin Place and on to Barangaroo, where they will be removed from deep underground.
TBM Mum Shirl will spend about two weeks at Waterloo undergoing planned maintenance before being re-launched through the opposite end of the station box towards Central Station.
Machines which work underground on major tunnelling projects around the world are traditionally given female names.
Mum Shirl was an Aboriginal woman who dedicated her life to her community, raising 60 foster children.