TBM Beatrice prepares to begin operation.

Two new tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have begun their 11km journeys from The Bays to Sydney Olympic Park, as part of the Sydney Metro project. As is tunnelling tradition across the world, the Sydney Metro West TBMs are named after women to bring luck to the workers who look to Saint Barbara for protection. 

TBM Daphne is already 150m into its journey, with TBM Beatrice not far behind at 45m into its parallel tunnel. 

TBM Daphne has been named in honour of pioneer for Paralympic sport, Daphne Hilton.

Daphne Hilton was one of the most successful Australian athletes of all time and a trailblazer for women in sport. 

Daphne competed in three Paralympic Games between 1960 and 1968 and set a record that is unlikely to ever be broken – winning 14 medals across five different sports including athletics, swimming, archery, table tennis and fencing. 

TBM Beatrice’s namesake is iconic local newspaper seller Beatrice Bush, who sold newspapers for over 25 years from the traffic island at the intersection of Victoria Road and The Crescent in White Bay. 

It is estimated she sold five million papers between 1971 to 1996, passing away six days after she sold her last paper. Her life inspired songwriters, filmmakers, sculptors and painters.   

Along with TBM excavation, construction of the tunnels includes activities like the construction of cross passages and crossover caverns.

Construction of the twin metro tunnels from The Bays to Sydney Olympic Park is part of the Central Tunnelling Package awarded in July 2021 to the Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture. 

Sydney Metro West will double the rail capacity between Sydney’s two biggest CBDs once passenger services commence in 2030.

Featured image: TBM Beatrice prepares to begin operation. Image provided by Sydney Metro.

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