Second Broadway Subway TBM prepares for launch

Nov. 29, 2022
The behemoth machine, named Phyllis, will bore tunnels to extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to the future Broadway and Arbutus station.

The second custom-designed tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will help bore the tunnels needed for the Broadway Subway project in Vancouver, B.C., is ready for “imminent launch,” according to the province.

The 150-meter (492.1-foot) long, six-meter (19.7-foot) in diameter TBM known as Phyllis will join its sister TBM, known as Elsie, in tunneling the five kilometers (3.1 miles) of the 5.7-kilometer (3.5-mile) project.

Elsie, the first TBM, launched Oct. 7, 2022, and the province reports the machine has made significant progress toward its first breakthrough at Mount Pleasant Station while the second machine is now fully assembled and set to launch.

Progress continues to be made on tunneling work with more than half of the columns for the guideway between VCC-Clark and Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station are complete. Construction and fit out of the stations and tracks will begin once tunnel boring has finished.

The project completion is estimated to be early 2026 after a five-week strike impacted the concrete supply in the Lower Mainland, which affected the start of tunnel boring. The province says a precise update on the project timeline will be provided in the spring of 2023 when station excavation and tunnel boring are further advanced.

The Broadway Subway will extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to the future Broadway and Arbutus station, providing fast, convenient SkyTrain service along the Broadway corridor.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.