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Mega borer Kathleen arrives to dig deep under Sydney Harbour

Staff Writer | February 18, 2019
Sydney Metro’s fifth mega tunnel boring machine has arrived to begin the historic first rail crossing deep under Sydney Harbour.
Sydney borer machine
Australia   Sydney borer machine
Tunnel boring machine Kathleen is being assembled at the site of the new Barangaroo metro station, to start tunnelling under the Harbour in the coming months.

Specially designed for the geological conditions under Sydney Harbour, the 975 tonne machine will dig twin metro rail tunnels from Barangaroo to Blues Point.

Kathleen arrived by ship at White Bay and was transported by barge to Barangaroo Station near Hickson Road.

Kathleen will start her journey deep underground later this year from a massive cavern next to Barangaroo Station, which is being built to allow metro trains to cross from one rail line to another.

After building the first tunnel, TBM Kathleen will have her giant cutter head and main section lifted out at Blues Point and placed on a barge to return to Barangaroo.

The machine’s support trailers will be pulled back to Barangaroo inside the first tunnel.

Kathleen will then build the second tunnel under Sydney Harbour before being retrieved at Blues Point and taken away by barge.

The machine is expected to tunnel through clay, silt and sediment and will use state-of-the-art tunnelling technology to safely make its way under the harbour.

Each tunnel is about one kilometre long.