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First breakthrough achieved for Western Sydney airport project

The first breakthrough has been achieved on the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Eileen arrived at the airport terminal metro station site after building 1.26 km (0.78 mile) of fully lined tunnel. It marked completion of the first leg of the 5.5 km (3.41 miles) journey towards the Aerotropolis metro station.

Since launching at Airport Business Park in April, TBM Eileen has tunneled at an average speed of 120 m (0.074 miles) per week and excavated around 112,000 tonnes of rock.

It took about five months to dig out approximately 293,000 tonnes of rock to build the 25m-deep Airport Terminal Station box to prepare for the TBM’s arrival.

The TBM will now traverse the station box before being relaunched to tunnel under the future Western Sydney International Airport. It is expected to arrive at the Aerotropolis metro station site in 2024. 

CPB Contractors and Ghella Joint Venture is using four TBMs to build the twin metro tunnels for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line, with three TBMs already in the ground. 

The 23 km (14.2 miles) rail line will be operational when Western Sydney International Airport opens for passenger services.

The joint venture is a partnership between Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and the Australia/New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline.

According to Sydney Metro, the project is designed to build six stations along current metro Sydney lines. 3.7 million people are expected to live in the region in coming years.

The project has been planned and considered within a 10 to 30 year time horizon, the vision of a metropolis of three cities, and the investments needed to realize that strategy.

It is anticipated that the work will create 14,000 construction jobs.

To find out more visit the project website here

Image courtesy of Sydney Metro.

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