The first tunnel boring machine (TBM) for works on the Forrestfield-Airport Link has arrived in Perth, marking a major milestone in the delivery of the $1.86 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link.Key components of a 600-tonne tunnel boring machine have been delivered to the future Forrestfield Station, with operations set to begin once the machine has been assembled and tested.
The $20 million machine is one of two TBMs which will each dig eight kilometres of seven-metre diameter tunnels – including under Perth Airport and the Swan River.
Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “The TBMs use new dual-mode, variable-density technology, which is important given the varied ground conditions between Forrestfield and Bayswater.
“The machines will tunnel under Perth Airport and the Swan River, reaching a depth of 25m, and the conditions underground on the route are incredibly diverse – ranging from sandy material to clays and rock, all under water.
“The Salini Impregilo-NRW Joint Venture has adopted the latest technology, which enables the TBM to bore through these variable soils.”
The highly specialised machine, one of only nine of its kind in the world, was manufactured by German company Herrenknecht. It spent nine months in China for initial assembly and testing, and arrived at Henderson in early May 2017.
The TBM will be craned into the dive structure at Forrestfield, and in July 2017 will begin its two-year journey underground to Bayswater where the rail line will spur off the Midland Line.