Meet Sydney Metro's new rigs

HOLE LOT OF WORK: Drilling rig Edith in action as she works her way through one of the Sydney Metro tunnels.
HOLE LOT OF WORK: Drilling rig Edith in action as she works her way through one of the Sydney Metro tunnels.

TWO new drilling rigs are turning the Sydney Metro tunnels into a train line.

The machines, named Edith and Emily, will drill 88,000 holes along the tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping. Overhead wiring will be installed in the holes.

So far the rigs have created 56,000 holes, covering 19km of 30km worth of tunnels, and are drilling an estimated 500 holes a day.

Baulkham Hills MP David Elliott said he is impressed with the technology being used to create the Rouse Hill to Chatswood rail line.

“Sydney Metro is a world-scale project and a mammoth undertaking – we’ve pulled out all the stops, including these custom-made drill rigs that allow us to get the job done as quickly as possible,” Mr Elliott said.

“This isn’t a case of popping down to the local hardware and picking up a few drill bits, these technical marvels are drilling around 30 holes a minute with millimetre precision so metro services can start as quickly as possible.”

The rigs were made in Brisbane and transported to Sydney on over-sized trucks.

They are named after Australian women’s rights campaigner Edith Cowan, and self-taught engineer Emily Warren Roebling, who contributed to the completion of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge.

The Rouse Hill to Chatswood rail line will be complete and operating in 2019.