Art and name submissions open for Purple Line Extension Transit Project Section 3 tunnel boring machines

The Purple Line Extension Transit Project is welcoming the last two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to its TBM family! The new additions will join the Section 1 TBMs Elsie and Soyeon and the Section 2 TBMs Harriet and Ruth in LA. The Section 3 TBMs will be responsible for the last leg of the journey, digging tunnels from the VA Hospital Campus in West LA to Westwood/UCLA.

Traditionally, TBMs can’t start work until they are given names. TBMs are generally named after women as a sign of good luck for the project ahead. Historically, tunnellers looked to Saint Barbara for protection; she is the patron saint for military engineers, miners and others who work underground. And we’re looking for your help to name and provide artwork for our two new TBMs!

The contest is divided into two categories:

  • The naming contest will be open to U.S. Veterans affiliates (veterans and VA employees) and UCLA affiliates (university employees, students and alumni); each affiliation will name 1 of 2 TBMs. Names can be submitted here.
  • The art contest will be open to all Los Angeles County residents who will compete to illustrate their ideal community with the Purple Line Extension. Artwork can be submitted here.

The contest is open through July 30, 2020. Once it closes, a selection committee of elected officials and community influencers will make their top selections, and then L.A. County residents will be invited to cast their vote in support of the art and naming contest winners.

The winning TBM artwork and names will be displayed on the side of the huge TBM machines during the unveiling ceremony next year. The winners will also receive a special commemorative Metro TAP card with the winning names and art work and additional prizes.

The Purple Line Extension Transit Project will extend the subway from its current terminus at Wilshire/Western for nine miles to Westwood. The project is being constructed in three sections. The last section of the Purple Line Extension Transit Project, Section 3, will add 2.56 miles of new rail to Metro’s Rail system and connect downtown Los Angeles to the Westside.

2 replies

    • We do not own the TBMs; they are the responsibility of the contractors on each project. The Purple Line Extension project is being built in three different sections, each with its own contractor.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source