The first of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have been launched at the future site of the Woolloongabba station, to build Cross River Rail tunnels.
Named Else, after female engineer Else Shephard AM, the TBM is expected to cut through 20 to 30 metres of hard rock every day before emerging at the project’s northern portal at Normanby towards the end of the year.
The milestone marks the beginning of tunnelling on the Cross River Rail project. As part of the launch, a traditional indigenous blessing ceremony was performed to wish TBM Else and the tunnellers safe passage as they make their way underground.
TBM Merle, the second machine, will follow Else to ensure all the twin tunnels are complete by the end of 2021.
- Cross River Rail TBMs almost ready to begin digging
- Subcontractor snags two Cross River Rail foundation contracts
- Cross River Rail construction declared priority area
Each machine will carve out one of the Cross River Rail’s 5.9 kilometre twin tunnels, passing underneath the CBD and Brisbane River. The machines will also install 25,000 concrete segments along the tunnel walls as they go.
Up to 15 people will work on these machines at any one time.
From Woolloongabba, the TBMs will tunnel under the river and break through to Albert Street station at a depth of 31 metres in mid-2021 and continue to Roma Street before emerging at the project’s northern portal at Normanby.
At their deepest point the TBMs will reach 58 metres below the surface at Kangaroo Point and they will create a tunnel 42 metres below the Brisbane River.