Brisbane Cross River Rail TBMs being readied

23 November 2020

Two TBMs are being retrofitted in Brisbane, Australia in preparation for the city’s Cross River Rail project which has a total length of 10.2km and includes 5.9km of twin tunnels.

One TBM is now fully assembled and undergoing final checks at Herrenknecht’s northside facility while the second machine will reach the same stage in December. The two machines will be dismantled for transportation to the new Woolloongabba station work site where they are due to be launched in early 2021.

Armed with 39 cutting discs exerting a pressure of 32t each, the two 7.2m-diameter machines will tunnel mainly through hard rock at an expected rate of 20-30m/day, lining with 4.2t precast concrete segments as they progress. At the deepest point, the tunnels will lie 58m below the surface at Kangaroo Point and 42m below the Brisbane River. Expected to excavate around 290,000m3 of spoil per day, the TBMs are also noteworthy given they have back-up gantries that have been repurposed from the Sydney Metro project.

They will bore along a tunnel alignment that stretches from Woolloongabba under the Brisbane River, terminating at the Normanby northern portal. It will have four new underground stations at Boggo Road, Albert Street, Roma Street and Woolloongabba.

Cross River Rail is designed to upgrade Brisbane’s public transport system and regenerate the precincts around the stations. Promising to deliver 7,700 jobs in the city, the project has already seen over 100 subcontractors and suppliers supporting Herrenknecht in the US$7.3m TBM refurbishments.

The project is expected to deliver an extra 18,000 train seats, taking 14,000 drivers off the roads and reducing travel times on existing south-east Queensland train lines.