Forrestfield-Airport Link officially names TBMs

The Forrestfield-Airport Link has officially named the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will be used to tunnel the AU$2 billion project.

A competition had been running amongst Western Australian primary and high school children to name and decorate the two TBMs.

The project involves the construction of a new train line, facilitated by the excavation of 8.5 km twin tunnels underneath the Swan River, to connect the eastern suburbs of Perth with existing rail networks in Perth’s CBD.

More than 100 entries were submitted to the competition which announced the first TBM named will be named Grace in honour of Grace McPhee.

Edney Primary School students nominated pre-primary school student Grace, who is currently undergoing treatment for leukaemia, as the toughest person they know.

The TBM will have to be just as tough and enduring as Grace, to bore through the earth and complete operations.

It has been decorated with artwork by Georgia Fields, a Year 6 student from Walliston Primary School.

The second TBM has been named Sandy, which was suggested by Grade 4 student Sarah Spratt who was inspired by a sandgroper, a local insect known for its tunnelling abilities “just like the TBM”.

Sandy will be decorated with artwork by Faith Brand and Jood Al Jashammi, both Year 5 students at Rossmoyne Primary School.

The five winning students were invited to the official launching ceremony and had their photo taken next to the 7 m tall TBM Grace.

For more information visit the Forrestfield-Airport Link website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Managing Editor Nick Lovering at

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