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Giant tunnelling machines need a name too – Metrolinx wants your input

DCN-JOC News Services
Giant tunnelling machines need a name too – Metrolinx wants your input
METROLINX—Metrolinx has launched a naming contest for tunnel boring machines that will be used on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and Scarborough Subway Extension projects. Pictured is one of the two Eglinton Crosstown West Extension tunnel boring machines during factory testing in Germany.

TORONTO—What’s in a name? Well, a lot for three massive tunnelling machines.

Metrolinx has started naming contests for the giant machines that will dig the tunnels for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Scarborough Subway Extension and community members are being invited to submit names.

The tunnel boring machines, manufactured by a company called Herrenknecht in Germany, are being custom-built for each respective subway project, states a Metrolinx blog, adding one machine was built for the Scarborough Subway Extension’s single tunnel and two machines are being built for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension’s twin tunnels.

All three machines are making their way overseas and are expected to arrive in Canada in January. The machines are anticipated to start tunnelling in the spring.

Anyone 18 years or older can submit name ideas for these tunnel boring machines until Nov. 18. Once the submission period closes, a judging panel will create a short list from all the entries and the names will be posted online for the community to vote on their top choices. Winners of the naming contests will be credited and have the chance be part of a photo op with the mammoth machines.

Winning names will be announced when the tunnel boring machines arrive at their respective launch shaft sites in Scarborough and Etobicoke.

To submit names and read the rules for the Scarborough Subway Extension naming contest, visit

To submit names for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension naming contest, visit For this particular contest, community members are invited to submit pairs of names so that both the project’s tunnel boring machines have names that go well together, states Metrolinx.

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