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Sydney Metro reaches new tunnel milestone

The Sydney Metro has reached another milestone as the project’s second tunnel boring machine (TBM) breaks through rock at the site of the new Waterloo Station.

The Sydney Metro has reached another milestone as the project’s second tunnel boring machine (TBM) breaks through rock at the site of the new Waterloo Station.

TBM Mum Shirl began digging from Marrickville on 5 November 2018, carving its way through around 304,000 tonnes of rock and building a 3.1 kilometres tunnel in six months.

It has removed enough rock to fill 47 swimming pools and has installed 1815 concrete rings in order to form the tunnel.

TBM Mum Shirl is one of five TBMs building the 15.5-kilometre twin railway tunnels between Chatswood and Marrickville.

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Currently, two TBMs are working on 8.1 kilometres of twin metro tunnels from Marrickville to the new Sydney Metro station sites at Waterloo, Central Pitt Street, Martin Place and Barangaroo, where they will then be removed from underground.

TBM Mum Shirl will spend about two weeks at Waterloo, where it will undergo planned maintenance before being relaunched through the opposite end of the station box towards Central Station.

Machinery which works underground on major tunnel projects are traditionally given female names. Mum Shirl was an Aboriginal woman who dedicated her life to her community, raising 60 foster children.

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