The first road header machine have been launched to mine out two new stations on the Melbourne Metro project, Australia.
The 118t, 15m long machine has been lowered almost 30m underground in pieces before being re-assembled to mine out the caverns for both Metro Tunnel CBD stations- State Library and Town Hall.
A total of six road headers will be used in the CBD as part of the project, with the first State Library road header starting work on mining out of the A’Beckett Street shaft towards Swanston Street.
To minimise disruption during the construction of the new State Library Station, access shafts are being built to allow machinery, equipment and workers to be transported underground to build the new station in heavily built-up areas.
Next year, a second road header will start its journey from the A’Beckett Street shaft towards La Trobe Street, and a third from Franklin Street east towards A’Beckett Street, as the three machines work together to form State Library Station. The station will be 240m long and 30m wide, with platforms about 36m underground.
The machines will excavate around 1500t of rock each day, and around-the-clock excavation will continue within the Franklin St East acoustic shed, with the access shaft currently at a depth of around 30m.
Piling is currently underway to support the excavation of access shafts at Franklin Street West and on the corner of La Trobe and Swanston streets.
Victorian government premier Daniel Andrews said: “Whether it’s building the Metro Tunnel, removing level crossings, delivering bigger trains or building the Suburban Rail Loop – we’re delivering the projects Victorians need.”
“We’re not wasting a minute with major construction ramping up on the Metro Tunnel, so we can run more trains more often.”
The tunnels and stations will be complete in September 2024, which will allow the track and signalling work to connect the tunnels to the existing rail corridors to be complete by the end of 2025.