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Perth’s rail-tunnel borer has completed the first 500m in a two-year operation to build the $1.8 billion underground train line between Forrestfield, the airport and Bayswater.
The first photographs taken from within the tunnel show it has been lined with concrete rings – about 13 rings are installed each day, with about 9000 to be used to form the walls of two 8km tunnels.
The boring operation began at Dundas Road in Forrestfield. So far, the tunnel has passed under the metropolitan freight rail line and is approaching Abernathy Road.
Inside the new Perth rail tunnel to Forrestfield.Picture: Public Transport Authority“It’s very exciting to see the first images from inside the first tunnel,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said. “Tunnel Boring Machine Grace is currently hurtling along at a speed of about 20m a day as she makes her way towards Bayswater.
“It takes 18 people to operate the machine 24 hours a day and as TBM Grace picks up pace, the second TBM Sandy will launch later this month.”
TBM Grace was named after five-year-old Grace McPhee, who is being treated for leukaemia. TBM Sandy was named by Year 4 student Sarah Spratt.
The depth of the tunnels will average 15m below the surface, with the deepest point being beneath the Swan River when the roof of the tunnel will be approximately 25m below the riverbed.
Inside the new Perth rail tunnel to Forrestfield.Picture: Public Transport AuthorityThe $20 million, 600-tonne boring machines – two of only nine in the world - were built by German company Herrenknecht and spent nine months in China for initial assembly.
Inside the new Perth rail tunnel to Forrestfield.Picture: Public Transport AuthorityThe first trains are due to run on the new line in 2020.
This article first appeared on thewest.com.au
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