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Creative names sought for METRONET micro tunnel boring machine

  • Competition to name METRONET's new micro tunnel boring machine now open
  • Will drill twin 100m tunnels as part of the METRONET Thornlie-Cockburn Link project
  • Tunnel Boring Machines traditionally given female names in honour of Saint Barbara
  • Entries close July 26 with name to be announced in August  

The McGowan Government is seeking a creative new name for a micro tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will drill under the freight rail corridor near the Ranford Road Bridge, as part of the METRONET Thornlie-Cockburn Link project.

The 3.5m long, 27,000kg micro tunnel boring machine will drill twin 100m tunnels under the existing freight rail corridor near the Ranford Road Bridge to enable Water Corporation's Serpentine Trunk Main to be relocated.

It will be operated by Australian-based tunnel-boring specialist Rob Carr, with work expected to take place this August and September.

A similar competition was held in 2017 when Western Australian school students were asked to name the two TBMs used to drill the twin 8km tunnels as part of METRONET's Forrestfield-Airport Link. 

One of the Forrestfield-Airport Link TBMs was named Sandy, inspired by WA's tunnelling insect the sandgroper, while the other was named Grace in honour of pre-primary student Grace McPhee, who was nominated by her classmates at Edney Primary School for her bravery while undergoing leukaemia treatment.

TBMs are traditionally given female names for good luck in honour of the patron saint of underground workers, Saint Barbara, who is believed to bring success to the project.

The competition is open to all Western Australians and entries can be submitted at https://www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au until 5pm on Monday, July 26.

Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

"Western Australians have a strong track record for coming up with many creative, locally-inspired suggestions during similar competitions in the past and I'm excited to see what they can come up with this time."

Minister's office - 6552 5500

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