The two tunnel boring machines that will dig the tunnels for the Forrestfield-Airport Link have been officially named.
The machines are also being decorated with creative designs recently submitted by local schoolchildren.
More than 100 students entered a competition for the chance to be a part of the $1.86 billion project, jointly funded by the State and Federal governments, which will link the central business district to Perth Airport and the eastern foothills.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today congratulated the five winners - who provided names and artwork - at the site of the future Forrestfield Station where the first machine will soon break ground.
The first TBM has been named Grace, in honour of pre-primary student Grace McPhee who was nominated by her classmates at Edney Primary School in High Wycombe. The students said Grace, who is undergoing treatment for leukaemia, was the toughest person they knew - a toughness the TBM would need to bore through the earth.
This TBM is decorated with artwork by Year 6 Walliston Primary School student Georgia Fields.
The second TBM, which will begin work in September, will be named Sandy - suggested by High Wycombe Primary School Year 4 student Sarah Spratt. Sarah was inspired after finding a sandgroper in her backyard, as the local insect (which is also a colloquial name for Western Australians) is 'excellent at tunnelling, just like the TBM'.
This TBM will be decorated with artwork by Rossmoyne Primary School Year 5 students Faith Brand and Jood Al Jashammi.
The TBMs will each dig eight kilometres of seven-metre diameter tunnels - including under Perth Airport and the Swan River.
The machines will take two years to make the journey underground to Bayswater, where the rail link will spur off the Midland Line. First trains are due on the line in late 2020.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"I am thrilled to announce the winners of the competition to name and decorate the $20 million tunnel boring machines.
"I'm particularly delighted that the winners are all young students from the region who will undoubtedly grow up using the rail link once it is completed."
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