Work on Sydney Metro Northwest will pause briefly over Christmas – with tunnelling now 99 per cent complete. More than 29 of the 30 kilometre tunnelling job is now complete. The project has gone from four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) underground at the start of this year – an Australian transport infrastructure first – to just one remaining, delivering Australia’s longest railway tunnels. In 2015, work on the twin 15 kilometre tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping saw:
- almost 2.5 million tonnes of crushed rock excavated, mostly Sydney sandstone and shale
- 180 tunnellers spend more than 370,000 hours underground
- about 2,300 hardened steel teeth replaced on the four TBM cutter heads, and
- almost 96,000 concrete segments installed to line the new railway tunnels.
Less than 850 metres of tunnelling remains with TBM2 Florence the only mega tunnel boring machine still underground. TBM1 Elizabeth, TBM3 Isabelle and TBM4 Maria all finished tunnelling over the past three months and have been dismantled. Almost 1 of the 4 kilometre elevated skytrain between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill was built in 2015, with both huge construction cranes commissioned and operating.
Sydney Metro Northwest is on track to open in the first half of 2019 with a metro train every four minutes in the peak. Tunnelling work sites and the Sydney Metro Trains Facility site at Cudgegong Road will be closed 19 December to 3 January. Skytrain sites will be closed 24 December to 3 January. For urgent matters, the community can contact the 24/7 Sydney Metro Northwest community information line on 1800 019 989.