Sydney Metro West begins tunnelling journey towards Sydney’s CBD

Sydney Metro West is going deep below the harbour, getting ready to launch a tunnel boring machine (TBM) to build Sydney’s second under-harbour rail line.

TBM Jessie will launch from The Bays to begin carving out a 2.3-kilometre tunnel to Hunter Street in the CBD.

This follows Sydney Metro’s first successful crossing between Blues Point and Barangaroo as part of the City & Southwest project.

The 1,100-tonne machine is named after Jessie Street who was an Australian activist, feminist and lifelong campaigner for women’s rights and the peace movement.

TBM Jessie is the fifth TBM to start tunnelling on Metro West, with the sixth and final TBM to also launch from The Bays later this year.

The TBMs will cross under Sydney Harbour, alongside the iconic Anzac Bridge, heading to the Pyrmont Station site. The TBMs will then continue under Darling Harbour before reaching the Hunter Street Station site in the heart of the Sydney CBD.

This is the first mixed shield (slurry) TBM to be used on Metro West, which is specifically designed to excavate in the highly pressurised conditions that are expected under Sydney Harbour.

By connecting Parramatta to Hunter Street, Sydney Metro West will double rail capacity between the two CBDs, linking new communities to rail services and supporting employment growth and housing supply. For more information about the project, visit

About Jessie Street

Jessie Street (1889-1970) was an activist, feminist and lifelong campaigner for women’s rights, the peace movement, and the elimination of discrimination against Aboriginal people.

She worked throughout her life to improve the status of women, both in Australia and overseas. Jessie fought for equality of status for women, equal pay, the rights of women to retain their jobs after marriage, the appointment of women to public office and their election to Parliament.

Jessie was the sole woman on the Australian delegation to the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. There, she helped secure the inclusion of ‘sex’ in the anti-discrimination clause of the UN Charter. Jessie also played a pivotal role in the campaign for the 1967 referendum which amended the Australian constitution to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be counted in the census.


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