Sydney Metro West is preparing to launch a tunnel boring machine (TBM) to build the city’s second under-harbour rail line.  

TBM Jessie will launch from The Bays to begin carving out a 2.3km tunnel to Hunter Street in the CBD. 

This follows Sydney Metro’s first successful crossing between Blues Point and Barangaroo as part of the City & Southwest project. 

The 1,100t machine is named after Jessie Street who was an Australian activist, feminist and lifelong campaigner for women’s rights and the peace movement. 

TBM Jessie is the fifth TBM to start tunnelling on Metro West, with the sixth and final TBM to also launch from The Bays later in 2024. 

The TBMs will cross under Sydney Harbour, alongside the iconic Anzac Bridge, heading to the Pyrmont Station site. The TBMs will then continue under Darling Harbour before reaching the Hunter Street Station site in the heart of the Sydney CBD. 

This is the first mixed shield (slurry) TBM to be used on Metro West, which is specifically designed to excavate in the highly pressurised conditions that are expected under Sydney Harbour. 

By connecting Parramatta to Hunter Street, Sydney Metro West is set to double rail capacity between the two CBDs, linking new communities to rail services and supporting employment growth and housing supply.  

Featured image: TBM Jessie in position to be launched. Image credit: New South Wales Government. 

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