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World’s largest tower crane assembles TBM on Sydney Metro West

Marr Contracting has deployed the world’s largest tower crane to successfully construct the TBM for the Sydney Metro West project that will build Sydney’s second under-harbour rail line.

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Marr deployed the largest tower crane in the world, the M2480D, to help assemble parts in the TBM’s launch box at The Bays, with the TBM set to bore a 2.3km tunnel to Hunter Street in Sydney’s CBD.

Erected to a height of 75m, the M2480D has been helping with the lifting assembly of TBM parts that, according to Sydney Metro West’s newsletter, was delivered in 12 sections and assembled on site. For the M2480D, this was no problem, as it is the largest luffing tower crane in the world, capable of lifting 100 tonnes at a 45m radius with 130m hook height and no support ties.

According to Marr, the M2480D operates unlike conventional crawler cranes or truck cranes, as it is capable of operating in wind speeds of up to 20m per second. The crane possesses a maximum radius of 120m and holds a capacity of 25 tonnes at a 45m radius.

News of Marr’s success with the Bays Station TBM follows on from its world record tower crane lift on the Sydney Metro in 2021, where it utilised one M2480D and one 100-tonne M1280D to lift a 255-tonne component of a TBM on the Bangaroo Station Site.

Furthermore, Marr’s performance comes in light of a report recently released examining Australia’s construction crane activity that revealed a significant increase in demand for heavy lifting construction cranes.

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The TBM, named TBM Jessie after women’s rights, peace, and anti-Indigenous discrimination activist, Jessie Steet, is the first slurry TBM to be used on metro West that is specifically designed to excavate in the highly pressurised conditions that are expected under Sydney Harbour.

Once completed, by connecting Parramatta to Hunter Street, Sydney Metro West will double the rail capacity between the two regions, accommodating employment growth and surging housing supply.