The Victorian Government is seeking local drivers to operate the six mega tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will dig the Metro Tunnel.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, and Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, announced the recruitment drive at the site of the future North Melbourne station, where the first of four tunnel boring machines is already in place, ready to be assembled.
“These machines will operate like huge underground factories, with highly skilled operators working around the clock to build the Metro Tunnel,” Mr Andrews said.
Six trainee drivers will be hired – all from Victoria – with the recruitment process to begin in March 2019 and successful candidates to start training in May.
“The successful candidates will get the incredible opportunity to work on the biggest public transport project ever built in Victoria, while gaining the specialist skills needed to operate these massive, complex tunnelling machines,” Ms Allan said.
The trainees will take part in a world-class accelerated training program led by tunnels and stations contractor CYP Design and Construction’s experienced TBM operators, tunnellers and engineers, who have worked on some of the biggest infrastructure projects around the world.
Training will include a cutting edge TBM simulator that provides a computer-generated replica of the control panel inside a TBM, and recreates the geologies and operating conditions underground.
The first two TBMs will be launched from the North Melbourne site mid-2019 to dig the twin 9km tunnels that will unclog the heart of the rail network and enable more trains, more frequently across Melbourne.
In 2018 the Victorian Government announced that a $16 million state-of-the-art tunnelling centre will be established in Melbourne to train the thousands of local workers that will deliver Victoria’s massive pipeline of tunnelling projects, including the Metro Tunnel, Westgate Tunnel, North East Link and Suburban Rail Loop.
The Victorian Tunnelling Centre will be built at Holmesglen Institute’s Chadstone campus and open later this year.
The successful TBM driver candidates will be required to have an appreciation of mechanics, knowledge of civil engineering and an understanding of geology.
Details on how to apply will be available at metrotunnel.vic.gov.au in the coming weeks.