The 1,1100-tonne TBM has been named Jessie after Jessie Street (1889-1970) who was an activist, feminist and lifelong campaigner for women’s rights, the peace movement, and the elimination of discrimination against Aboriginal people.

Sydney Metro West is working deep below the harbour, getting ready to launch the 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 sixth and final TBM will 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.