Tunnelling on the North West Rail Link is more than a third complete as, Elizabeth, the first of the project’s four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) today broke through into the new Showground Station site.
The NSW Government also revealed the new cutting-edge design for Showground – one of eight new railway stations being delivered on the $8.3 billion project. Showground station is being built underground with platforms about 20 metres beneath the surface, providing access to existing residential development, the Castle Hill Showground and nearby employment areas.
Elizabeth, started tunnelling in September last year, four months ahead of schedule, and is now halfway through its nine kilometre journey from Bella Vista to Cherrybrook. Over the coming weeks, TBM Elizabeth will undergo maintenance as she is moved through the Showground station area, before setting off again towards Castle Hill station and then on to Cherrybrook where she will be pulled from the ground.
The four TBMs in the ground have so far built more than 12 kilometres of new tunnels, well over a third of the new 30 kilometre tunnelling task. The twin 15 kilometre tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping are Australia’s longest ever railway tunnels. More than 1 million tonnes of crushed rock has been excavated from the tunnels and recycled on commercial, residential and environmental projects elsewhere in Sydney.
The North West Rail Link is ahead of schedule with services to start in the first half of 2019, delivering a train every four minutes in the peak.
Fast Facts - Tunnelling
In tunnelling to Showground from the Bella Vista site via Norwest station, TBM1 Elizabeth has:
- Excavated more than 435,000 tonnes of crushed rock, both sandstone and shale;
- Installed 14,898 concrete segments to line the new rail tunnel
- Been the workplace for 60 workers, including tunnellers, maintenance crews, geologists, surveyors and engineers, who combined have spent 68,900 hours underground
- Had 392 hardened steel cutters on her cutter head replaced, worn down from the harsh forces of cutting the Sydney sandstone and shale
- Had her conveyor belt extended by almost 9 kilometres so the crushed rock can be transported back to Bella Vista.
Fast Facts - Showground Station
Showground Station is being built underground with platforms about 20 m beneath the surface. It includes:
- 600 commuter car parking spaces
- 15 kiss-and-ride parking spaces
- 4 taxi spaces
- Bus interchange on Doran Drive
- Parking and storage for 40 bicycles.