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Metro Tunnel

TBMs on the way to dig the Metro Tunnel

Four giant tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will start arriving before the end of the year to build the $11 billion Metro Tunnel and transform Melbourne’s transport network.

The mammoth machines which will build the project’s twin 9 kilometre tunnels have been ordered.

The 100 metre long machines will operate like moving factories as they travel deep beneath the city’s surface, with giant cutting heads burrowing through soil and rock before it’s transported via pipes to the surface.

The first machine will arrive in December and the last one in March 2019. Two will be transported to North Melbourne and two to Anzac, where they will be assembled, lowered into a shaft 20 metres underground and launched into the earth.

Each TBM will head away from the city on the first leg of their journey before being retrieved in Kensington and South Yarra. They will then be dismantled and trucked back to their starting points to be relaunched towards the city, with tunnelling expected to be complete by 2021.