October 3 - Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift has utilised its Manitowoc MLC650 to assemble one of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) for the construction of a new rail link in Perth, Australia.

The TBMs, which each weigh over 160 tonnes and measure 7 m in diameter, will be used to construct the underground rail system of the AUD1.86 billion (USD1.45 billion) Forrestfield-Airport Link project, which will connect downtown Perth with the city's airport.

The TBM units arrived at Forrestfield by truck, before the 650-tonne capacity MLC650 was used to assemble and lift into position one of the machines.

David Taylor, business development manager at Tutt Bryant said that 

the crane's Variable Position Counterweight (VPC) provided ample lift ability, allowed the counterweight to be positioned automatically and offered versatility.

Manitowoc's VPC system automatically positions the counterweight to fit the required lift. The counterweight moves along the rotating bed and is positioned according to changes in boom angle and lift load.

The assembled TBM began drilling an 8 km stretch of tunnel that will link Perth's foothills with the city's downtown area in July. According to Manitowoc, the drilling is expected to last two years.