Isabelle is the third TMB to arrive in Sydney ready to start work on Australia’s biggest public transport project. Project contractor Thiess John Holland Dragados (TJHD) has named the machine after the four-year-old daughter of the construction director to represent the families of the 900 workers who will deliver the twin 15km tunnels. TJHD project director Terry Sleiman said four-year- old Isabelle is a big supporter of the North West Rail Link. “Izzy came to see me about a year ago asking if we could paint the tunnels pink. After being completely out-negotiated, we agreed on a compromise,” he said.
Isabelle is one of four TBMs that will be used for the North West Rail Link. “Isabelle is the first of the two tunnel boring machines which will start work from Cherrybrook, digging the longest railway tunnels ever built in Australia,” said minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian. “The first tunnel boring machine Elizabeth is already more than 330 metres along her underground journey from Bella Vista to Cherrybrook, while the second machine Florence is now being assembled at Bella Vista to start digging before the end of this year.
The latest TBM, which weighs more than 900t, is being assembled and tested about 14m below the surface at the new Cherrybrook Station before she also starts digging in the next few months.