Micro tunnel boring machine to get a name

Perth Metro management want help naming the micro tunnel boring machine (MTBM) to be used on METRONET’s Thornlie-Cockburn Link project.

A MICRO tunnel boring machine, hired for METRONET’S Thornlie-Cockburn Link project in Perth, is set to get a name, albeit with some help from the public.

Perth Metro authorities have released a statement, announcing a contest to name the MTBM.

In honour of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of underground workers, it’s an industry good luck tradition to give a female name to tunnel boring machines.

According to a statement from Perth METRONET, an “appropriate and creative name” is sought for their tunnel boring machine, which is to drill twin 100m tunnels under the freight rail corridor near the Ranford Road Bridge for a major water main.

At 3.5m long and weighing 27 tonnes, the MTBM is in the mini league compared to the two tunnel boring machines that drilled METRONET’s Forrestfield Airport Link. Those machines named ‘Sandy’ and ‘Grace’ were 130m long and weighed 600 tonnes.

‘Sandy’ was named after the sandgroper nickname used for West Australians. ‘Grace’ was named in honour of a girl battling a serious illness, who her classmates thought was ‘tough’, like the machines.

“We’re looking for a similarly meaningful and creative female name to christen our little MTBM,” a Perth METRONET spokesperson said.

Click here to enter a name – entries close on 26 July and the winner will be announced by transport minister Rita Saffioti.

Naming contests have the potential to throw up a surprise, notably with the infamous Boaty McBoatface name awarded to a British polar vessel.


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