Tunnelling on Sydney’s Second Under-Harbour Rail Line Has Officially Begun

We are thrilled to announce the launch of TBM Jessie, the first tunnel boring machine for the Sydney Metro West – Eastern Tunnelling Package, departing from The Bays. Named TBM Jessie, this impressive machine will carve out a 2.3-kilometre tunnel to Hunter Street in the CBD, establishing Sydney’s second under harbour railway crossing.

Operating 24 hours a day, five days a week, TBM Jessie will work at a rate of 90 metres per week. Designed to excavate through sandstone and under Darling Harbour, these mixed shield (slurry) TBMs will create tunnels seven metres in diameter and at an average depth of 37 metres, removing about 460,000 tonnes of material during construction.

TBM Jessie is named in honour of Jessie Street, a prominent activist who championed women’s rights and fought against Aboriginal discrimination. Her legacy includes pivotal roles in the 1967 referendum and the inclusion of 'sex' in the UN Charter's anti-discrimination clause. Transport Minister Jo Haylen remarked, “A powerful machine deserves a powerful name, and we are honoured to name this mega machine after Jessie Street, one of our nation’s most prominent female activists.”

The final TBM will launch from The Bays later this year to support Jessie’s city-bound journey. TBM Jessie is expected to reach Hunter Street by mid-2025.