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A boring sequel: Second tunneling machine at work under Vancouver

Meet Phyllis.

While snow blankets the city and slows down the surface dwellers, below Vancouver a second giant beast of a machine has begun its slow journey west.

Phyllis the boring machine launched from the Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station a couple of weeks ago, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. It's headed west at a very slow pace for the next year as part of the ongoing construction of the Broadway Subway. 

Phyllis is the second of the two boring machines. The first, Elsie, launched back in October. In the two months since it left the Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station it's gone about halfway to the Main Street station, which is about 580 m as the crow flies (the tunnel won't be straight, but has a couple of curves).

Elsie is expected to arrive at Main Street Station in January.

The pair of machines will each take about one year to get to Cypress Street in Kitsilano, the end of their journey just past the future Arbutus Station. The Broadway Subway project is expected to open in 2026.

The two are named after notable women from B.C.'s history: Elsie MacGill and Phyllis Munday.

MacGill, born in Vancouver in 1905, was the world's first female aeronautical engineer. Phyllis Munday was born in Sri Lanka in 1894 before moving to B.C. as a child. She was known for her exploits as a mountaineer, climbing over 100 peaks with her husband (who she once saved from a grizzly by charging it with an ice axe).