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Watch: Here's what happens when a massive machine tunnels into a future Vancouver subway station

Exciting news from a boring story.

It's a real breakthrough.


Elsie (named after a notable female engineer born in Vancouver) poked through the wall at the future site of the Main Street station around 8 p.m. on Jan. 23, marking the completion of the first section of tunnel on the Broadway Subway project.

Another video shows the time-lapse version, if you're in a hurry.

It marks the first tunneling milestone for the machines. The Mount Pleasant station site is the first underground section of the new transit project, with the curviest approach. Elsie will continue on to Broadway-City Hall, then Oak-Vancouver General Hospital, then South Granville, before finishing at Arbutus. Those stations are all in one straight line along Broadway.

A second tunnelling machine, named Phyllis (named after a famed female mountaineer and naturalist) is boring a second tunnel beside Elsie, but is a couple of months away from completing the first section.

For an inside look at the tunneling machines, check out this video.