Sydney Metro's second batch of TBMs on their way

Sydney Metro's second batch of TBMs on their way
Sydney Metro's second batch of TBMs on their way

Sydney Metro's second phase through the city and inner south-west suburbs will soon begin tunnelling with the first of five TBMs on their way, according to Transport for NSW.

The first of the 150-metre long tunnel boring machines will launch in Marrickville later in 2018 and begin tunnelling towards Waterloo Station.  It will then continue through the Sydney CBD before completing its run at Barangaroo.

A second TBM will start in Marrickville at a later date and then start its run to create the second rail tunnel toward Barangaroo and another two TBMs will begin on their run on the north shore, kicking off the tunnel section from Chatswood to Blues Point.

The fifth TBM will work specifically on the cross-harbour section from Blues Port to Barangaroo.  In all after the 8.1 km Marriveville to Barangaroo tunnel, the 6.2km Chatswood to Blues Point and 1km cross-harbour tunnel are complete, Sydney will have another twin set of 15km rail tunnels underneath the city.

Transport for NSW says the TBMs are delivered in eight shipping containers as well as 23 pieces that are too big they can't fit in a container including the massive 115-tonne cutter head and the TBMs, when they're in full swing, are expected to complete 120m of tunnel per week.

Sydney Metro's second batch of TBMs on their way
Image: Sydney Metro

This second lot of TBMs for the overall Sydney Metro project are approximately 30m longer than those used in the first phase, Sydney Metro Northwest.

The contract for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest was awarded in June 2017 with an initial price tag set at $2.81 billion.

A joint venture between John Holland, CPB Contracts and Ghella will be responsible for:

  • Twin 15.5km rail tunnels from Chatswood to Marrickville.
  • Civil works for six new metro stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo, Marin Place, Pitt Street and Waterloo.
  • Construction of the dive sites at Chatswood and Marrickville as well as a cavern for a rail crossover at Barangaroo.
  • Excavation of a temporary shaft at Blues Point for TBM retrieval and a substation shaft at Artarmon.
  • A precast facility in Marrickville that will create the concrete tunnel lining.

Transport for New South Wales is running a new consultation round on the Sydenham to Bankstown section of Sydney Metro City & Southwest.  Read our report here or to lodge a submission, see

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

Sydney Metro


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