The 900 tonne tunnel boring machine (TBM) Elizabeth broke through into the station area just days after the fourth and final machine, Maria, began tunnelling on the project.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said the TBM was launched at Bella Vista in September 2014, tunnelling 2.1 km to reach the Norwest site.
By tunnelling to Norwest from the Bella Vista tunnelling site, TBM1 Elizabeth had:
- “¢ Excavated more than 206,000 tonnes of crushed rock, both sandstone and shale
- “¢ Installed more than 7,300 concrete segments to line the new rail tunnel
- “¢ Been home to 85 workers, including tunnellers, maintenance crews, geologists, surveyors and engineers, who combined have spent more than 25,000 hours underground
- “¢ Had 40 hardened steel cutters on her cutter head replaced.
New South Wales State Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said the North West Rail Link was currently running ahead of schedule and $300 million under budget, with the project due to be open by the first half of 2019.
The North West Rail Link includes eight new railway stations, 4,000 car parking spaces and a train every four minutes during peak hours.
Over the coming weeks, Elizabeth will be moved through the Norwest Station area before setting off again towards Showground Station.
The other three machines Florence, Isabelle and Maria, continue their digging work.