Sound Transit Tunnel Boring Machine Simulation

This is pretty cool:

The video was made by Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, and posted to Youtube by Sound Transit.


  1. Are there any photos or videos of the actual TBM in process? Specifically of it breaking ground?

    • Katherine says:

      Here’s one – I took a video myself but I think it’s on an old computer. It’s from the Beacon Hill tunnel breakthrough a couple years back. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show how after the machine stopped, like 20 guys crawled out the front, and they’re about 1/20th the size of the machine!

  2. From the latest U-Link update email: “Togo has advanced approximately 320 feet [...] and is making its way to the Montlake Cut. Once at the cut, the machine will hold for a week or so as more pieces of the machine are installed, and the proper safety and operational diagnostics are performed.”

  3. Oh, Archimedes screw, is there anything you can’t do?

    The automated wall-ring assembly system really is deeply impressive.

  4. Anthony says:

    What’s going to become of the lot directly across from Terminal 86 where they’re storing the tunnel wall pieces? This has to be somewhat valuable property since its located along Elliot Avenue.

  5. Thought at first it was a medical video explaining the colon.

  6. Grant McWilliams says:

    So that’s why tunnels cost so much these days. Back in the day you could just give pick-axes to whomever came into the country last and voila! a tunnel for cheap.

    • Dan Carey says:

      John Henry, the steel driving man, would never have stood a chance against the TBM.

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