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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
SURROUNDED by heavy-duty machinery as the sound of rock-breaking excavators pummelled my eardrums, I could have been on a mining site.
But I was in the heart of Epping to get the first glimpse of a road header machine which today began digging a 300m tunnel that will link the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link with Epping Train Station.
She has been graced with a feminine name, Sharlea, but the hulking, remote-controlled road-header is the ultimate boy’s toy.
Onsite at the North West Rail link project facility in between Ray and Beecroft Rds in Epping. Road headers will dig 300m from here to the Epping Train Station
Weighing 50 tonnes with a cutting reach of 6m by 6.4m, the Mitsui S220 model machine sports a rotating cutter head mounted on a boom that will grind through about five metres of rock a day.
Across town in Cherrybrook, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian this morning launched tunnel boring machine Isabelle, one of two gigantic tunnel boring machines that will dig the 6km tunnel from Cherrybrook to Epping.
Tunnel boring machine “Elizabeth” is digging the tunnel from Bella Vista to Cherrybrook
Elizabeth, another tunnel borer, is already more than 700m along her 9km underground journey from Bella Vista to Cherrybrook.
The road header will finish the job that the tunnel borers are too big to do — connecting the twin tunnels with the Epping to Chatswood railway line.
With the help of another road header due to arrive this week, it will excavate about 65,000 tonnes of rock over six months.
Artist's impression of a North West Rail Link train
About 800 cubic metres of crushed rock would be removed each day from the site between Beecroft Rd and Ray Rd, equating to between 24 and 30 truck movements a day.
Residents have been told to expect 24-hour tunnelling and spoil handling and out of hours deliveries of over-size machinery.
Noise barriers have been erected and most of the work between 10pm and 7am would be underground to minimise impact on residents.
There will be a train every four minutes in peak times when NWRL is completed
Ms Berejiklian said the NWRL, Australia’s biggest public transport project, would transform public transport in Sydney forever.
“The North West Rail Link includes eight new railway stations and 4000 commuter car parking spaces,” she said.
It is due to open in the first half of 2019 and is the first stage of Sydney Rapid Transit, the city’s new fully automated rail network.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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