Baird and Berejiklian were onsite as the first TBM broke through into the future Norwest Station area – just days after the fourth (and final) machine started digging.

"This is an exciting day for locals and another clear sign that construction of this critical rail link is powering ahead," Mr Baird said. "It was only in September that we launched this first massive machine at Bella Vista – in that time it has tunnelled 2.1km to reach today’s historic breakthrough at Norwest.

"All four machines are now in the ground digging Australia’s longest railway tunnels. We are wasting no time delivering this world class infrastructure project and doing it ahead of schedule and under budget." Berejiklian said turn-up-and-go rapid transit services on the North West Rail Link were on track to begin for customers in the first half of 2019.


Berejiklian paid tribute to all the workers on this project for their dedication and commitment to safety. "After months underground, I am sure the team are as pleased as the community to see that cutter head break through at Norwest," Berejiklian said.


"The project is now running AUD 300M (USD 234M) under budget and I am confident there will be further savings for taxpayers as the project progresses."

In tunnelling to Norwest from the Bella Vista tunnelling site, the TBM has had 40 hardened steel cutters on her cutter head replaced, worn down from the harsh forces of cutting the Sydney sandstone and shale.

Over the coming weeks, Elizabeth will be moved through the Norwest Station area, before setting off again towards Showground Station as the other three machines Florence, Isabelle and Maria continue their work.