Cross River Rail TBMS pass the half-way mark


Cross River Rail concept video screenshot.
Cross River Rail concept video screenshot.

Tunnel boring machines excavating the twin tunnels beneath Brisbane’s CBD for the Cross River Rail project are now more than halfway through their journey beneath Brisbane River.

The two 1350-tonne TBMs have excavated through two kilometres of their circa four-kilometre trek from Woolloongabba to Normanby.

The Cross River Rail will add a new 10.2-kilometre rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen hills, including the 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnelling currently underway.

The project also involves construction of four new underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street to support Brisbane’s rail network.

With South East Queensland’s population set to rise, pressure on the transport network is growing. The Cross River Rail project will remove a bottleneck by allowing more trains to run more often, and integrating with new roads and new bus services across South East Queensland

It will also serve as a critical contribution to the state’s transport infrastructure in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic games.

While the TBMs excavate the bulk (about 3.8 kilometres) of Cross River Rail’s 5.9-kilometre of twin tunnels, the 115-tonne roadheaders excavate the rest of the tunnels, including the station caverns and almost 900-metres of twin tunnels between Woolloongabba and Boggo Road.

The TBMs will install over 25,000 concrete segments weighing 4.2 tonnes each along the tunnel walls as they go. At their deepest points, the tunnels are 58 metres below the surface at Kangaroo Point, and 42 metres below the Brisbane River.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said two 115-tonne roadheaders had also progressed more than 500 metres along their almost 900-metre journey to the new Boggo Road Station.

“Cross River Rail will be a critical part of our transport task for the 2032 Olympic Games,” he said.

“To have these mega machines already more than halfway through excavating the project’s twin tunnels is a huge milestone.”

“The TBMs will breakthrough at Roma Street in coming weeks before emerging at Normanby near the RNA showgrounds, while the roadheaders will reach Boggo Road by the end of 2021 as well.”

The two TBMs are named in honour of two ground-breaking Queensland women – trailblazing engineer Else Shepherd AM and pioneering feminist Merle Thornton AM.

The Cross River Rial project is set to inject $4 million a day into the local economy, as well as provide employment for the 2900 workers currently on the project.

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