A third TBM has been launched for the $1.8bn Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project at Orchard Hills in a major milestone towards the delivery of world-class metro services.
This is the first Sydney Metro project to use an EPBM, specifically designed to support the ground as they excavate through shale rock and clay along the northern section of the line.
Herrenknecht EPBM Catherine will carve out one of the 4.3km tunnels from Orchard Hills to the new metro station site at St Marys. TBM Catherine joins TBMs Eileen and Peggy which are well into their journeys to build the 5.5km southern twin metro tunnels after launching at Airport Business Park towards the Aerotropolis station site this year. Each TBM will excavate about 120m a week. A fourth and final TBM for the project will launch at Orchard Hills in the coming months to bore the tunnel alongside TBM Catherine.
The tunnelling contract was awarded in December 2021 to CPB Contractors and Ghella Joint Venture to build the new twin metro rail tunnels.
The new metro line is a city-shaping project that will provide communities with easier access to job hubs, commercial and education facilities, and connections to Sydney’s wider public transport network.
The Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line will be operational when Western Sydney International Airport opens for passenger services, with an expected travel time of 15 minutes from St Marys metro station to Airport Terminal Station and a further five minutes to Aerotropolis Station.