Image looks down on the ship as it docks.

They’re here. Tunnel boring machines for Scarborough Subway Extension and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension arrive

After a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, the mighty tunnel boring machines, which will dig the tunnels for the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, arrived in the ports of Oshawa and Hamilton this week. Here are images to commemorate these massive machines being unloaded onto Canadian soil.

After a long voyage from Germany, tunnel boring machines that will be used on the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension have arrived on Canadian soil.

And soon, they’ll be digging into that northern earth.

All three tunnel boring machines (TBMs) were manufactured in a small town in Germany called Schwanau before beginning their trek to North America.

The TBMs for the two projects took very similar paths to arrive on Canadian shores. When we last saw the machine that will dig the 7.8 kilometre Scarborough Subway Extension, it was being loaded onto a massive cargo ship, called Jumbo Vision, in Westdorpe in the Netherlands.

Image shows a deck hand watching over cargo.
Scarborough Subway Extension’s TBM being loaded onto the cargo ship in the Netherlands (Strabag photo)

Jumbo Vision left Dutch shores on Nov. 26, travelled across the Atlantic Ocean, into the St. Lawrence Seaway, and eventually down to Lake Ontario, before docking at the port of Oshawa.

Image of the ship.
Jumbo Vision arriving in the port of Oshawa (Photos provided by HOPA Ports)
Image looks down on the ship as it docks.
An overhead view of Jumbo Vision docked in the port of Oshawa with its cargo (Photos provided by HOPA Ports)

Meanwhile, the two TBMs that will dig the 6.5-kilometre tunnels between Renforth Drive and Scarlett Road for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension left Antwerp on Nov. 20, before taking a similar path across the Atlantic Ocean, down the St. Lawrence Seaway, before arriving at the port of Hamilton.    

Images shows inside of the container ship.
An overhead view of the Federal Delta, the ship carrying parts of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension TBMs, docked at the port in Hamilton (Photo provided by HOPA Ports)

“Projects like the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Scarborough Subway Extension will not only benefit the communities where they are being built, but the region as a whole,” said Phil Verster, Metrolinx President and CEO.

“We’re happy to see these incredible machines arrive through local ports in Hamilton and Oshawa as part of their journeys to their respective launch sites.”  

Staff from the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports) say they were excited to see the ships and the machines arrive at their ports and to play a role in expanding much-needed transit in the region.

“As an integrated port network, we look to create better connections for businesses and industrial users moving cargo throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe, just like Metrolinx does for rail passengers,” said Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of HOPA Ports.

“We’re thrilled to see goods move through the Ports of Hamilton and Oshawa, which will in turn help people move more efficiently.”

Crews at the ports have already started unloading the shipping containers and other parts, like the cutterheads. This is the part found at the front of the machine that has different types of tools to cut through the ground as it spins.

Image shows crews offloading the parts.
Unloading one of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension cutter heads from the Federal Delta. (Photo provided by FMT Hamilton)

The pieces for the Scarborough Subway Extension will be transported to the launch shaft site in at Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road in Scarborough later this month and into the new year, while the cutterheads for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension are expected to make their way to the tunnel launch site at Renforth Drive as early as next week.

Don’t forget to vote

Voting is still open to name the mammoth machines.

After receiving nearly 350 community submissions, names were shortlisted the three tunnel boring machines. Visit metrolinxegage.com/SSE-TBM and metrolinxengage.com/ECWE-TBM to vote for your favourite now. Voting closes Dec. 22.

For the latest project information about the Scarborough Subway Extension, visit metrolinx.com/scarboroughsubway or follow the project on Twitter @ScarbSubwayExt.

For the latest project information about the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, visit metrolinx.com/eglintonwest or follow the project on Twitter @EglintonWestEXT.

Story by Kimberly Murphy and Joshua Patel, Metrolinx senior advisors, Subway Program