Cross River Rail’s twin mega machines meet up at Roma Street

Published Monday, 23 August, 2021 at 02:00 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Cross River Rail’s second Tunnel Boring Machine is expected to break through at Roma Street today, joining the project’s other mega machine in the future station’s huge underground cavern.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the breakthrough marked a major milestone in construction of Cross River Rail.

The Premier said Cross River Rail was an important part of the state’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, injecting more than $4 million a day into the economy and employing more than 2900 workers, including more than 370 directly working on the twin tunnels.

“Major infrastructure projects backed by my government are creating jobs and rebuilding Queensland’s economy,” the Premier said.

“Both tunnel boring machines breaking ground at Roma Street is a major milestone.

“Twin tunnels now connect the future Roma Street and Woolloongabba Cross River Rail stations, which were important selling points in our bid to secure the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“These machines have both excavated more than 2.5 kilometres of tunnel below the Brisbane River and CBD, passing under Albert Street and breaking through at Roma Street.

“This is the same route people will travel in the future to get to where they need to be, including between the athletics and swimming events at the 2032 Games.”

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said TBM Merle’s breakthrough into the 280-metre-long cavern at Roma Street followed TBM Else’s arrival earlier this month.

“A breakthrough is a massive feat of engineering and a huge milestone in its own right for any tunnelling project,” he said.

“But seeing both of these 1350-tonne mega machines together in the same underground cavern at the same time, is just awe inspiring.

“It’s a really tangible reminder of just how big this project is and how transformational it will be for Queenslanders travelling to, from and through Brisbane in the future.”

Mr Bailey said the TBMs would take about four weeks to traverse the Roma Street cavern on a skidding system and would then continue on to the project’s northern portal, where they would break through by the end of the year.

“Work on this critical mega project is powering ahead, with additional safety measures in place to continue momentum during COVID-19 lockdowns and increased restrictions,” he said.

“These include segregated work teams with work ‘zones’, only project critical face-to-face meetings occurring, strong social distancing measures, and all non-essential travel between or to site ceasing.”

To track Cross River Rail’s TBMs, visit the project’s website.


Media contact: Toby Walker – 0439 347 875