Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today said the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link is approaching another important milestone with work soon to finish on the high-tech facility making the concrete lining for Australia’s longest rail tunnels.
“Having this major concreting facility close to completion at the Bella Vista site is another key milestone for the North West Rail Link, with the first of four tunnel boring machines now expected to be in the ground by October,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Work on this custom-designed factory started around Christmas and next month we expect it will start producing the first of 100,000 concrete segments – which will be assembled underground into 16,000 rings, to be installed as the tunnel boring machines move along the route.
“Proper planning by the NSW Government means the concrete for these segments will be made on-site, avoiding the need for thousands of concrete trucks on local roads.”
As the tunnelling machine cuts through the rock, a ring is put into place while the machine continues moving forward. The tunnel boring machines will cut about 120 metres on average every week.
Ms Berejiklian said tunnelling consortium Thiess John Holland Dragados is undergoing a massive recruitment operation to source the construction workforce to join the project over the coming months.
“The tunnelling on the North West Rail Link is supporting about 900 jobs, with a major recruitment drive now underway targeting Western Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Anywhere you go in the north west it is now obvious to everyone that we’re getting on with the job of building the biggest public transport project in the country. The North West Rail Link is on budget and moving forward rapidly.”
More than 140 tonnes of steel was used to build the frame for the Bella Vista facility, which is 147 metres long, 60 metres wide and 17 metres high at its tallest point.
The building has been enclosed with special acoustic cladding, which will allow the facility to make segments 24 hours a day without adversely impacting neighbouring properties.
Watch the construction of the factory here: http://nwrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/News/Multimedia