Three roadheaders have met 30 metres underground in the first major breakthrough of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel.
Each machine weighs 118 tonnes and is 15 metres long. The machines have been mining station caverns and underground passenger connections for the new State Library station.
In total, more than 500,000 tonnes of material will be excavated with 1500 tonnes of rock and soil removed every 24 hours.
Seven roadheaders will be used in the CBD as part of the project – four for State Library station and three for Town Hall Station.
The roadheaders have dug our more than 20 per cent of the State Library station. Excavation is expected to finish late 2020.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said this is a huge achievement after months of hard work.
“These giant roadheaders have been working day and night underground, building the Metro Tunnel – to run more trains, more often, across Melbourne.”
As construction continues on the Metro Tunnel, Melbourne-based TTM Rail has been awarded the $1.6 million contract to fit out two X’Trapolis trains for high capacity signalling to be tested on the Mernda Line.
Work has already begun to prepare the track between Epping and South Morang stations for testing in 2020.
Once the project is complete high capacity signalling will be installed on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines.