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Fri June 25 2021

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First TBM breaks through for Melbourne rail route

24 Feb 20 The first section of the new Metro Tunnel in Melbourne, Australia, is now complete.

TBM Joan broke through into a 13m-deep shaft after tunnelling 1.2km since August 2019. 

Joan – named after former Victoria state premier Joan Kirner – completed her journey from Arden Station to the tunnel’s western entrance in Kensington after tunnelling under rail lines, CityLink, Moonee Ponds Creek, North Yarra Main Sewer and the West Melbourne Terminal Station.

The TBM has installed 4,200 curved concrete segments to create 700 rings lining the walls of the tunnel.

The segments, each weighing 4.5 tonnes, are among 56,000 being manufactured by 70 workers at a purpose-built concrete manufacturing plant in Deer Park.

Joan is one of four TBMs built for the project by Herrenknecht in China.

A second TBM, Meg – named after Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning – is travelling on a parallel route to carve out the second tunnel from Arden to Kensington and will break through in the coming weeks.

Work began in January at the site of the new Anzac Station to assemble the third and fourth TBMs for the Metro Tunnel project. These are expected to be launched in the middle of this year.

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