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Melbourne Metro orders TBMs

The four tunnel boring machines (TMBs) that will be used to build the AU$11 billion Melbourne Metro Tunnel have been ordered.

The TBMs, which will be manufactured and supplied by Herrenknecht, will construct twin 9 km tunnels along with five new underground stations beneath the city as part of Victoria’s largest infrastructure project to upgrade Melbourne’s transport network.

Two of the 100 m long, 7.2 diameter machines will be assembled and launched from a 20 m shaft at North Melbourne Station, while the other two will be assembled and launched from Anzac Station.

The TBMs will first tunnel away from the city, before being retrieved from Kensington and South Yarra, disassembled and returned to their starting points.

Once at their original locations, they will be relaunched towards the city.

Over the course of their journey, the four machines will install approximately 55,000 concrete segments that will fit together to form a watertight concrete tunnel lining.

“These machines will operate like giant underground factories as they burrow around 40 metres beneath Melbourne to build the Metro Tunnel,” said Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan.

“They will dig through a variety of ground conditions to link one side of the city to the other and its completion will represent a significant engineering feat.

“The Metro Tunnel will provide more trains, more often across Melbourne, meaning less time waiting on platforms or stuck on a train, and more time with your family.”

The first of the TBMs is set to arrive in December 2018, with the last one arriving in March 2019.

Tunnelling is anticipated to be completed by 2021.

For more information visit the Metro Tunnel website.

If you have a project you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Chloe Jenkins at

Images supplied by Melbourne Metro

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