Video from Tunnel Boring Machine ceremony

Above is video from the naming ceremony on Monday for the tunnel boring machine [TBM] that will be used to dig one-mile twin tunnels on the northern part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line. In case you missed the news, the TBM’s name is Harriet.

The TBM when it is fully assembled underground will weigh 950 tons and have a diameter of 21.5 feet and will be 400 feet long. It should dig about 60 feet of tunnel each day. When the TBM reaches Leimert Park Station it will be disassembled and returned to the Expo construction yard, where it will be lowered again and launched to excavate the second tunnel.

3 replies

  1. Hmm. Are we actually the FIRST to name a mechanical mole after Harriet Tubman? Seems kind of obvious, in retrospect, to honor a leading Conductor of the Underground Railroad by naming a machine to be used to dig a literal underground railroad.

    Then again, I’ve never really understood why people (myself included) find mechanical moles so fascinating: they’re not very interesting, really: just big boring machines.

  2. Naming a tunnel (or a station) after her is certainly not mutually exclusive with naming the machine, and were your suggestion to be implemented, I would certainly applaud it, just as I applauded the decision to add “Watts Towers” to the name of the 103rd Street Station.

    I’m by no means sure of this, but the SF MUNI may have named not only the moles, but the tunnels they dug for the new Central Subway, after Margaret “Mom” Chung (an early 20th century San Francisco physician and humanitarian) and “Big Alma” Spreckels (an early 20th century philanthropist).