The event was attended by pupils from six local primary schools who had taken part in a TBM naming competition. Claremount Meadows Public School submitted the winning name –TBM Marlene, after Dr Marlene Kanga, who is a global leader in engineering and a role model to women in STEM.

TBM Marlene will tunnel 4.3km, from Orchard Hills to St Marys, to carve out the metro tunnel alongside TBM Catherine, which is currently about 100m into its journey. 

The TBM will tunnel at an average speed of 120m a week and is expected to arrive at the St Marys metro station site in mid-2024. 

With the launch of TBM Marlene, CPB Contractors and Ghella Joint Venture now have all four TBMs in the ground to build the 23km Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport.

The first breakthrough was made on the line in July when TBM Eileen arrived at the Airport Terminal metro station site after building 1.26km of fully lined tunnel.

The 23km rail line will be operational when Western Sydney International Airport opens for passenger services.