Local Students To Name First North West Rail Link Tunnel Boring Machine

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced school students from Sydney’s North West will have the chance to name the first of the four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) on the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link.

 With the first tunnel boring machine due in the ground at Bella Vista in October this year, the competition to name it has the theme: “Women who have made a positive contribution to life in Sydney”.

 Ms Berejiklian said it’s been a long-held tradition that tunnel boring machines around the world are named after women.

 “The North West Rail Link will change public transport in Sydney forever so it’s fitting that these massive machines will be named after women who have made a positive contribution to life in Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

 “School students from Sydney’s North West will name the first TBM and the winners will attend and will be involved in the official launch of the machine as it starts digging the first of the twin 15km tunnels.”

 The TBM is currently being manufactured overseas and in coming months will be tested and shipped to Australia – before being transported to the North West and re-assembled at Bella Vista.

 Judges will take into account how creative the entries are, with students encouraged to make their case using technology like short videos or social media.

 “Students will be able to put forward historical or contemporary figures, community leaders, local champions or unsung heroes – all they have to do is make their case for why these people deserve a special place in our city’s history,” Ms Berejiklian said.

 History shows that underground workers like tunnellers look to Saint Barbara for protection, the patron saint for military engineers, miners and others who work underground. Because of that, machines that work underground are traditionally given female names. 

 Competition entries close on May 25, and will only be accepted via the North West Rail Link project website, where there is also more detail about the competition: www.northwestrail.com.au