The Sydney Metro-Western Sydney Airport project is well underway, with two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) having already carved 2.4km of tunnel, marking the halfway point on their journey to St Marys. 

TBMs Catherine and Marlene reached the milestone when they broke through at the Claremont Meadows services facility shaft, after launching at the Orchard Hills Station site in July and August 2023 respectively.

Tunnelling at an average speed of 120m a week, the TBMs are carving out the twin 4.3km tunnels to the new St Marys Metro Station site.

They have removed 600,000t of spoil so far, enough to fill about 95 Olympic swimming pools, and installed 17,820 precast concrete segments as they tunnelled under the M4 Motorway to the 21m-deep services shaft.

The TBMs will now traverse the 16m-diameter services shaft, which is used to supply materials like concrete and steel, before being relaunched to complete their journey. They are expected to reach St Marys in mid-2024.

A further two TBMs, Eileen and Peggy, are building the two 5.5km southern tunnels from Airport Business Park to the Aerotropolis. Both are respectively about 3km into their journeys and are due to arrive at the Aerotropolis in late 2024.

The Sydney Metro-Western Sydney Airport line will be operational when the new international airport opens for passenger services, with the end-to-end journey time between the St Marys Metro Station and Aerotropolis Station to take around 20 minutes.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that this milestone marks one step closer to seeing transformative public transport delivered for Greater Western Sydney.

“When the new metro line opens, passengers will have a world-class transport option directly to the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and major job hubs, including the new Aerotropolis,” Minister King said. 

New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, said that the fleet of TBMs is making big strides as they carve out the key pieces of this 23km mega project.

“Once completed, this new city-shaping metro line will service travellers and airport workers with major population centres like Penrith, Parramatta and the Sydney CBD via St Marys,” Minister Haylen said. 

Senator for New South Wales, Tony Sheldon, said that new suburbs will be able to grow around this brand-new metro line, giving Western Sydney the opportunity to attract new jobs and housing opportunities.

“I thank residents for their patience while we build this vital airport link.”

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