The shape of Tunnel Boring Machines to comeBy
Early last week, the MTA took us all for a visual trip inside the Second Ave. Subway launch box. With the starter tunnels nearly complete, the Capital Construction crews will soon lower the tunnel boring machine 60 feet under the ground to start the trip from 96th St. to the existing tunnels at 63rd St.
Yesterday, via its NYCTSubwayScoop Twitter account, Transit unveiled some information about the tunnel boring machine that will soon dig the city its long-awaited Second Ave. Subway. The picture above – courtesy of MTA Capital Construction – shows the tunnel boring machine currently at work digging out the 7 line extension. The one for Second Avenue is quite similar.
Per Transit, the TBM for the East Side dates from the late 1970s. It has been reconditioned and is now “like new.” Now on the way from Newark, the TBM was tested in New Jersey and will be reassembled in front of the starter tunnels underground. A new era in the New York City subway will soon be upon us.
For this particular tunnel boring machine, a trip underground in New York City is nothing new. This is the same TBM that dug out the 63rd St. tunnel a few decades ago. Now, it will reunite with that tunnel and activate currently unused tracks that connect to the BMT Broadway line. Most recently, this machine dug out the Fall River CSO in Massachusetts.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll have more on the tunnel boring machine and its launch date approaches. For now, I’ll leave you after the jump with two final images – again via Capital Construction – of the TBM underneath 11th Ave. The first shows the TBM getting pulled through the station cavern at 34th St., and the second shows the TBM’s trailing gear. Soon, we’ll have pictures similar to these but under Second Ave. as the phantom subway inches closer to reality.
Click the pictures for bigger views. These are impressive pieces of machinery digging underneath our city right now.