Perth tunnel boring machine gets a name

Perth’s Micro Tunnel Boring Machine (MTBM) has been officially named, after a competition which drew about 1300 suggestions from the public.

The unit will be named Jana, after 13-year-old Coogee resident Jana Edmondson, who lives with cerebral palsy. Despite her condition, one of Jana’s favourite activities is to catch the train to Perth and chat with other passengers on her trip.

Jana’s goodwill is infectious and Metronet believes her tenacity is the perfect spirit to embody the new MTBM.

The machine will drill twin 100m tunnels under the existing freight rail corridor near the Ranford Road Bridge to enable the relocation of a major water main through August and September.

Tunnel boring machines are traditionally given female names for good luck in honour of the patron saint of underground workers, Saint Barbara.

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.

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