Link maker

Completion of the tunnel on the City Rail Link project in Auckland, New Zealand

The tunneling phase of the City Rail Link (CRL) project in Auckland, New Zealand has been completed. The tunnel boring machine (TBM) Dame Whina Cooper broke into Te Waihorotiu station (Aotea).

This phase required the drilling of twin tunnels 1.6 km long up to 42 m under the largest metropolis in the country. More than 64,200 m3 of concrete was used to build the City Rail Link tunnels. The TBM traveled over 3.2 km to bore the twin tunnels from Maungawhau/Mount Eden Station to Te Waihorotiu Station. This led to the installation of 2,118 segmented rings and the evacuation of 260,000 t of cuttings.

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The Dame Whina Cooper tunnel boring machine is 130 meters long and 7.15 meters in diameter. It weighs 910 tons. With the boring of the tunnel now complete, this tunnel boring machine will be dismantled and raised above ground. It will be delivered to the port so that it can be sent back to its manufacturer, Herrenknecht.

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City Rail Link to boost mobility in Auckland

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff released a statement in which he said: “The 13 months of arduous effort by the tunnel boring crews has finally paid off with the final tunnel breakthrough. When completed, City Rail Link will make travel to and through central Auckland faster and easier. This will instantly triple the capacity of the heavy rail system and eventually transport up to 54,000 people per hour during peak hours.

A collection of companies known as the Link Alliance is responsible for providing CRL with major tunnels, stations and rail systems. “The faster completion of the second tunnel reflected operational improvements and efficiencies,” said Francois Dudouit, project manager for Link Alliance.

The current project is an updated version of earlier rail access improvements to downtown Auckland. They were first proposed in the 1920s. A revival of interest in the plan resulted from the increase in rail traffic in Auckland at the start of the 21st century. Additionally, this was partly caused by the completion of the Britomart Transport Hub in 2003. The CRL was identified as the most significant transport investment for Auckland in the 2012 Auckland Spatial Plan. project has great popular support.

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