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Project News December 2013

December 18, 2013

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TYSSE Hits a Major Milestone: Twin tunnelling is complete

 Photo of TBM “Torkie” and crowd cheering.
Contractor and TTC staff cheer as TBM “Torkie” completes the final drive.

The photo above says it all! The Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) is celebrating the achievement of a major milestone as tunnel boring machine (TBM) “Torkie” has finished the 10th and final tunnel drive for the project. Twin tunnelling is complete!

On Friday, November 8, 2013, around noon, TBM “Torkie” broke through the headwall at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station (VMC) extraction shaft, located on the south side of Highway 7, just west of Jane Street. This sets the stage for the next phase of work in the tunnels, including installation of inverts and walkways, track, traction power, signal and communication systems.

Two pairs of TBMs, each TBM weighing 430,000 kg (equivalent to 280 cars), built the tunnels for the project. “Holey” and “Moley” are the pair that bored the tunnels south of Finch West Station – the southern tunnels. “Yorkie” and “Torkie” are the pair that bored the tunnels north of Finch West Station – the northern tunnels.

Photo of twin tunnels at extraction shaft.
TBM “Torkie” arrives at the VMC extraction shaft alongside TBM “Yorkie’s” completed tunnel.

In the summer of 2011, TBM “Holey” began boring from a launch shaft at the Downsview Park Station site. Now, a little more than two years later, the TBMs have completed 6.4 kilometres of twin tunnels. The TBMs built the tunnels using pre-cast reinforced concrete rings. In total, 8,493 rings (each ring is made up of six segments) were used to build the tunnels. The remaining 2.2 kilometres of the new subway line include the stations and other structures where primarily cut-and-cover construction is being used, in addition to a special tunnelling method.

Photo of Tunnel Rings
TBM tunnel rings.

Now that the tunnelling is complete, “Holey”, “Moley”, “Yorkie” and “Torkie” are in storage and the TTC will be looking at selling the machines for other projects.

Photo of operators peeking out from TBM “Torkie’s”.
Operators peek through TBM “Torkie’s” cutter-head.

The TYSSE is an 8.6-kilometre extension of the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from its present terminus at Sheppard West Station (currently called Downsview Station) to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre at Highway 7 in The Regional Municipality of York. Construction work is expected to be completed by fall 2016 and has already generated thousands of jobs. Once the subway extension is finished, it will have six new subway stations and three new commuter parking lots.

Map of tunnelling progress.
Map showing the route taken by the TBMs.

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The Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto and The Regional Municipality of York. 

Bus Route Changes


Review the new changes to bus routes in the area to connect to the new subway extension.

Read about it here!

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